Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fighting a Tarantula, Protecting the Dogs

Something to kill!


Don't worry too much about the mosquitoes, I bought a bunch of spray here, and this spiral thing that you burn like incense to get rid of them, there's a little less, but still tons ha ha. Listerine is sold here, but its a little expensive, but good to know that that apparently works.
hmmm, about the only relief to the heat I get is when I take my cold shower, usually at night so I don't go to bed covered in sweat, and in the morning, but in the morning its not that pleasant.

That shaved ice place sounds great, i would love some right now. they actually sell it a lot here, but in the street, and who knows if its from pure water, so we cant eat it.

The branch is alright, we had 8 investigators at church on Sunday, also the dogs of course. we had a goal as a mission to have 500 investigators attending. we got 520. The most that we have ever had in the history of all the mission. fantastic.

The dogs are good. there's actually another one, named Gaviota, or Seagul in English ha ha, she's actually the mom of Chavo, she followed us to lessons all day yesterday, entered with us, and sat there during. She followed us home a night, and then we entered into our house. about an hour later I checked to see if she was still there, and there she was, but also with Chavo, sleeping at our door. and what do you know when I got up, I opened the door, and there was Chavo, sleeping at the door, and then when I went our back, to wash up in the outdoor sink (pila) that we have, there was Gaviota, chillin out back. its pretty funny actually, but every street we go down, all the other dogs attack Chavo and Gaviota, its kinda a hassle, I feel like I gotta protect them.

This week one day when we came home there was a tarantula in our house, kinda freaked me out, but i just killed it real quick.

also we have a baptism this Friday, a 18 year old boy named Ronaldo. he's pretty cool. There was a 3 day youth camp this last weekend that he went to, it was over night and everything in a different city, and he absolutely loved it. it made me glad for all the great youth programs of the church. It made me think of all the fun things I got to do as a youth.

Also as a district we got 6 more baptism dates. whooo! we had a goal to challenge people to baptism more this week, and it seemed to have worked. That means I've got a lot of interviews to do. my first one is on Saturday. hopefully it's all good ha.

And yes, the food here is pretty similar to everywhere else, maybe a little different. also there are tons of coconuts, and we drink them a lot, cuz people give them to us, and we have some investigators that don't have jobs that's all they have to do is sell cocos, so I buy them from them every so often. I don't actually like them that much. I mean I love coconut flavored drinks, candy, just about anything, but just plain coconut isn't the absolute best ha.

I've been good with my energy, the first few days I was full of it, now its a little less, but still plenty to get the work done but there's a scripture in d y c that says if we work hard and are diligent, we will always have enough to do what we need to do.

Had a little bit of a fever the other day, but I'm all good now. just took a bunch of pills, rested a little, and drank lots of water.

I'm excited to hear where los abuelos are going, and where Jesse will be going for their mission. Guatemala Central!! wherever it  is, it will be perfect for them.

Well, that's about all for this week, love ya guys, have fun in Phoenix girls, and have fun at home boys.
I got a bunch of letter the other day btw, from every one in the fam basically, and friends. it was great.

love ya guys, keep it classy
From Guatemala, with Love,
Elder Hopkins

A little hot, Elder?

Time for the end of the day shower.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New District Leader - Advancing from Fleas in the City to Mosquitoes on the Coast

Buuuuuuenas Dias Querida Familia mia

So  first of all the backyard looks great, looks like a great place to hang out on a nice summers day, the only thing that I'm going to add to it is a hammock.

So yes, i guess you all know that I've been assigned as a district leader. its pretty good so far, i get to call everybody at night and see how they're doing, and try to motivate them. there isn't too much time for journal writing anymore, but I already got bored of that like 5 months ago. I just write the cool stuff when it happens. but yeah, i haven't even used all of the journal paper that I came with, and grandma has sent me like 600 extra sheets of it already, but just so ya know, I'm all good and won't need anymore haha.

But yeah, I now get to act as a judge of Israel, and interview people for baptism, which is a big responsibility, I haven't done one yet, but next week I think I have 2. and I just finished my first district meeting, it was pretty good.

Sooooo. I am now in the hot hot hot coast, in a tiny little town with  a tiny little branch.  The town name is Ceiba Amelia, but dont try looking it up on a map, cuz its not there, its kinda close, just south to a small town called democracia, if that's not on the map either, it's south of a town called siquinala. I'm not actually on the ocean though, but it's still the coast area.

Some say that the house I'm in in the worst house in the mission, but I don't see why,
It's sometimes like I'm at the beach cuz sand comes out of the shower as well as well with the unheated cold water, I'll never be cold like I was in the mountains, in fact it gets up to 110 Fahrenheit or 43 Celsius inside the house (my comp has a thermometer), I'll never be alone, cuz I have like 100 mosquitos to keep me company, i don't need a hair dryer, cuz the fan that I use to cool down feels just like one, my eyes will never hurt from too much light, cuz there's hardly any in the house. hahaha, but yeah its not too bad, I've got things pretty much figured out.

I'm super glad i brought a mosquito net, but I'm not too sure how to use it, I think I have it inside out cuz it just seems to keep the mosquitos in with me.

My new companion is Elder Brandon Haefner. he's a Gringo. he's from St Louis. Its his third change in the mission, aka he's pretty new, just finished his training.

The church attendance down here is a little low, there's a little branch that is in my district that only about 25 people are there each week. at my branch there were about 50 people, and 2 dogs, one of the dogs was actually in each class and sacrament meeting with us. or in other words, 4% of the attendance are dogs.

There's this dog named Chave that is a member's dog, but basically the missionary's dog, he follows us absolutely everywhere, he even enters into people's yards and houses when we go to teach lessons, we try not to let him in, but he always finds a way, then just curls up under our chairs and sleeps as we teach. he was there sleeping outside of our house when we got up to go this morning too, (see picture)

The other day i saw one of the volcanoes erupt. it was super cool. it just shot up a ton of smoke. but cool.

My area is close to a sugar plant, the brand name Magdalena. a sugar band. they export to the States and Canada tons of sugar. almost everyone here working for them. also a lot of bananas from here go up to the states and Canada, the brands Del Monte, Chiquitita, and dole, if it says Guatemala on it, it comes from close to where i am.

Before I forget, me last bishop, Bishop Monroy told me to say to my dad that he says I am a great missionary haha, i thought that was funny, so i said I'd tell him that.

I did get the package, the shoes are great. I liked the picture of Madi drinking milk in a bag, cuz basically all their drinks here are in bags like that too. she's just like me!

Well, if you haven't sent the package yet, you should send me some Crystal Light packages. Parker sent me one in a letter haha, and i drank it and it a delicious! great guy.

Also look on the internet to see if there a cheap effective way to get rid on mosquitos. I bought some poison and stuff, spent a ton of money on it, and it seemed to control them for now. I just couldn't stand the mosquitos haha. also send me some after bite please, I've only got a bit left.

but yes, I'm good, here in the coast, sweating like a dog. I have a cold shower every night when i get home. I never thought I'd like cold showers before.

Well, I tried to send a bunch of photos, but it didn't work, i think you'll be able to go only my sent mail and get them that way. they're uploaded onto my account.

One is me and Elder Clifton, the elder from Magrath and just went home from his mission, one of me saying goodbye to Alberto Acebedo, one of the tiny little tin roof church here, the dog Chavo, inside my house, and a picture of my area.

Also sometimes the ward buys the wedding cakes and flowers, something the missionaries have to. i had to spend 300 Q on a lawyer last time.

The last wedding and baptism was of the family Manuel, the man's name is James. Grandma wanted to know

Well, i love you guys tons! Keep it classy, I know you always are ;)

From Guatemala with love,
Elder Hopkins

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another Baptism, sad to leave the area

My last baptism in this area, 18 year old Elizabeth
(Tanner isn't that tall, so the people are very short!)
A giant Grasshopper thing,, Crazyyy!

July 10, 2012

Hola Familia!
This week was a good week as well, we tried for another perfect week, but its hard to get 8 investigators at church, we got four again, but we also found a super super inactive family, that we brought to church, which was good. We did have another baptism this week, Elizabeth, her name is, she is 18 years old and is the niece to some members in the ward, that were also inactive, but we got them back at church.
This was my last baptism that i will be having in this area, Guakitos 1, as tomorrow i will be shipped off to a different area, yes they called with changes, and I'm going. I also have an interview at 8 in the morning before changes, so we'll see what happens.
The yard looks super great. Great work there. and thank you, because now i don't have to do it haha.
Great to hear that madison is doing good at her new job. I treated myself to some icecream yesterday, and it was the best thing I've done all week. besides baptizing and all that good stuff. I talked to the icecream lady about how my sister works at an icecream place. and now i gotta go and tell her how good my sister is at making waffle cones! haha. i remember Jocelyn always telling us how she would make waffle cones all day long. I'm glad she got my letter and I'm glad she liked it haha.
How is this new burger place? compared to five guys? the best burger place here is mcdonalds, so not that good, especially how Guatemala Mcdonalds is gross compared to the delicious Canadian Mcdonalds that i grew up to love..
Fantastic that Jesse and grampa and grandmas papers are in! whoohoo!!
I'm rooting for Guatemala City Central for all of them! wouldn't that be awesome haha.
Poor parker with rats in his dorm. I don't even have rats in my house in Guatemala! and I don't even have cockroaches anymore, I got rid of them all.
And right now i don't have fleas, don't you worry, i just wanted to make sure i have spray for when they find me again, but they have some new kind of poison that they are going to get to everyone apparently, but don't you worry about me mommy.
  Well, I'll let you know next week where I'm at, and what I'm doing. I'm hoping that I'll go to solola, up in the mountains, with the indiginous people, I miss them. Maybe they'll send me to roast in the coast. but wherever I'm at, I'll miss this area, I love the members here, and everything, but thats just the cycle of life.
    let me know what missionary mall says about my shoes, cuz even when the streets are damp, after a rainfall, my foot gets wet cuz there is practically nothing in between my foot and the street where that hole is.
Before I forget, the laundry bag i use was one of those drycleaning bags we had, that blue one, from martinizing cleaners or something, something like that would be good, just any bad like that thats not mesh. Also in the package if you can send those face scrub pads, buff puff i think you call them. And send me a little coco butter lotion stuff from walgreens, like that big bottle we have in the phoenix house, I don't really need it but it would be cool, just a tiny bottle, and some easy floss things. I think thats all I can think of. and yeah, the japanese fan is because I want to look like a geisha girl, like jamie takahashi.
Have a great week, love ya all,
From Guatemala with love,
Elder Tanner Hopkins

A cute Corte baby
My District
My Zone

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rain Rain and more Rain! & Wedding Stresses

Ready for the daily downpours!
Wasn't prepared this day, got soaked even though we bought garbage bags to try and keep dry
Happy Canada Day!

First a Wedding.....

And then a Baptism
A Very Happy Family
July 3, 2012
Hey family!!

well I'm glad you liked those videos, my spanish wasn't very good back then when i did them, a few mistakes i think, but its all good. ive taken a few nice videos on my new card, but they're kinda too big to send over the computer, you'll just have to wait.

Well that sound great that your getting the backyard into nice working order, it will be nice to come back to a nice backyard, instead of a backyard that i have to fix haha. and the bathroom? when are you gonna get that done?? haha just kidding, hey you could just leave all the garbage this next year in the backyard and bathroom and it would be nicer than some of the ones here, but im glad that i have the chance to be in humble conditions.

yeahh, to answer your question i bought all that stuff in a place not in my area, we had to go to the dentist for my comp,btw they gave me a free teeth cleaning, so on the way back we had to pass buy it, and we needed to buy food, so it was quicker to go there quickly than have to come back to our area and walk all the way to the supermarket.

in the next package that you send me it would be great to get a new laundry bag, the same type, cuz mine is ripping, and not in great condition. also send me one of those japanese paper folding fans. that would be great actually, maybe it sounds a little gay that I'm asking for that, but it would be fantastic. also send me a nice canadian flag pin., maybe a canadian flag haha, but don't send me too too much, cuz my bags are getting full, and I still have so much candy.

So yes, we did manage to marry, and baptize that family this past weekend, and it looks like we might just baptize this weekend coming up too.
But let me tell you, it was the hardest wedding that I've pulled off, let me explain...
So the wedding was scheduled for saturday at 5:00 pm. at 8:30 am we get a phone call from the lawyer, and he tells us that he cant do the wedding anymore and that he was about to leave the city. AYAYAY. so after a few minutes of panicking, we called the elders that live closer to him and get them to run to his house to get all the documents that we already gave him that we need to marry them, and we call absolutely everyone and every lawyer that we know, trying to find one. Finally the Stake President who we had called found a guy for us, so we take like a 30 min bus ride to his house and get him the papers, he told us we needed some other papers as well, so we had to take a bus to the house of the family we were going to marry, get more documents, run over to the mall, get photocopies of them, and then run them back over to the lawyers house. As we were doing this it started to rain super super hard, and we didn't have our umbrellas so we just bought garbage bags, and still got soaked. But after all, we had the wedding, not too many people came cuz it was still raining unfortunately, but we got them married, and baptized, and happy. The wife was already a member, so we didn't baptize her of course.

The next day i woke up a little sick with a cold and cough from getting wet, so i decided to put on all my great rain gear and also my umbrella so i wouldn't get more sick. (see pictures)
We didn't quite have a perfect week, as we needed 4 more investigators attending church, (we had four), but well see what we can do this next week thats coming.

Love you all tons!
keep things classy
From Guatemala, With Love,
Elder Hopkins

Canada Day Fun

Another Wall Art Graffiti
A true Missionary's shoes!
Not so great in the rain!