Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Living in the Poorest House in the Mission (I'll say!)

My home - (never judge a book by its cover I say)
Door off of kitchen - leading to sink
Our pila -  sink
We not only wash our dishes here, but sometimes there is no running water, so we fill the sink with water and keep it in case we need to wash up in the morning here using the saved water

One side of the kitchen, microwave, counter, black food cupboard

Other side of kitchen - fridge
Bedroom Study Area

Last Companion's birthday cake
Training his New Companion, Elder Palomera, From Puerto Vallarta  Mexico
In English it means:  Extraordinary Coaches

In the backyard there was a big iguana, that the house owners caught, and cooked and ate it, so i took a picture of it. I've yet to try Iguana meat yet though, some day...

August 28, 2012
Hey Fammmmmm Que Tal Están??

(Tanner's response to hearing that his Grandparents got their mission call to New Delhi, India)
Well, thats some  exciting news this week, INDIA! thats crazy. when i first read it i thought it said INDIANA, but nope, its INDIA! thats going to be such a cool experience, as crazy, maybe even crazier than Guatemala. They have great food there, at least the food they sell in calgary that they call indian food is great food. Grandpa and nanny Tina are going to come back with a great accent ha.

Excited that Parker Landed in Moscow. thats a sweet picture of him in red square, so handsome, nice suit, nice tie, nice smile, thats going to be such a cool mission for him. Crazy language, lots of Delicious Borscht and perogies, yum yummm.
awesome that Vickie's papers are in too, A DONDE VA A IR?? SAAAABERRRRR

I'll do some clarifications, I was trained for 6 weeks, back in those days it was only for one change, and i don't think there was some big set up program. Elder Euteinier did train me for the whole 6 weeks, but now is back in beautiful Las Vegas, hittin the strip maybe. But now the training program is a 2 change, 12 week program. so i will most likely be here until his training is done, for 12 weeks.

My new comps name is Elder Palomera, From Puerto Vallarta Mexico. I think thats where we were at when we went to mexico, to Ixtapa, i think its the big city where we went fishing at, I don't know though, you should check that for me. But yes, training is good, it is a lot more work, I kinda have to teach our companionship studies now, and we have an extra hour every day of it, 2 hours in total, so about 4 hours every morning. some mornings we have to get up at like 5 30 now to get all the studies in. Also I have to be absolutely Perfect for the next 12 weeks it what President said, but that will be easy.... haha.
He does have a Mexican Accent haha , a very different accent from the one here, so at times its been a little tougher to understand him especially with all his mexican grammar and words that aren't used here in Guatemala, and it is a little bit more feminine ha, but its going good. 

Thats a cool sounding fireside you went to, I like what he said about putting it in the Lords hands. So tell me, whats going to happen for the big celebration, is Madison going to sing a taylor swift song in front of the Prophet?

So i have soo many cards to send, i haven't been able to send any for the last month cuz theres no post office, so sorry for the late responses that everyone is going to get, theres like 20 cards there, so what I'm going to do is send you a package of things, with the cards, so that you can mail them out, less cost and worry for me. but we're going to go to Santiago Amatitlan soon, a very tourist area, so I'll wait to send it so i can include some things from there in the package.

you should put a door between my room and madisons old room or something, so its like one big room for me haha, awesome! great idea hey?

So i was thinking this week, that everybody here calls us Angels, Everybody who has been baptized because of missionaries efforts, refers to them as Angels. Then i was thinking, and it is true, for two years we are not only missionaries, but we are Angels of the Lord for a lot of people. and this definition supports what it said in the scripture guide. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to act as an angel to so many people. I don't want to get this plaque taken off of me in 8 months ahhhhh, too soon. yes, yesterday i completed another month. time is just flying!

Well. thanks for the love, also we have 3 baptisms coming up this week, Barney, Juan and Aaron. Barney happens to be very large, we're gonna have trouble finding baptismal clothes this week haha.

From Guatemala, With Love,
Elder Hopkins

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

As the Missionaries Call it - Pregnant and about to be a Father!

Me and my district. Elder Hale, from Colorado, Elder Reyes, from Dominican Republic, Elder Haefner, from St. Louis, Hna Neghbor, from Utah, and Hna Steed, from Raymond AB.
"A" and his tremendous girls!

August 21, 2012
Hey Family!!.
Sounds like your all doing great in the busy city. Great that you could have some get aways.
So to answer your questions, yes there was another tarantula in the house haha. this was the third. ay ay ay, im going to come home with spider fears haha. but i did do a huuuuge house cleaning yesterday, sweeping and hosing down all the walls, there used to be so many spider webs everywhere, and dirt and dust. There still is a little. The problem is its open where the walls and roof meet, since its just a little tin roof. i havent taken pictures just because I've always forgotten, but I'll try to remember this week. I changed all the furniture arrangement too.

so yes tomorrow is changes. and only the missionaries that have changes go to it, and the rest have to wait till later to get their packages, but the mail usually comes through the district leaders through the zone leaders.

But....., yes we do have changes. my comp is leaving, and i am pregnant, or in other words tomorrow i am going to be a dad, or in other words, for the next two changes, i am going to be training, a brand new missionary!  It should be fun, difficult, and challenging, but fun. It's about a 50/50 chance of  it being a norte americano, or a latino. Yes, your missionary son is now going to be a Father, exciting.
I'm excited cuz i was never trained on the new training program, so i have no idea what its all about, so I'll get to experience it, from the teaching side. that could also be a disadvantage too, cuz im going through it for the first time with my kid too. but it will be a great learning experience. Pres Brough said that training will probably be the most difficult thing of the mission, but it will also be rewarding. so thats the news i got.

Juan Aaron and Barney all all doing good. they are going to be baptized on the 2nd. We reported them as set baptismal dates. We are working on a few more to be baptized in september, so that as a mission we can reach 300 baptism, something that has never been done here.

Hearing that you ate at that Indian food restaurant made my mouth water. that place is so sooooo good! lets go eat there when i get back. along with tons of other great restaurants. I think I will gain weight when I'm back! 

Speaking of my return, a kind of depressing topic, i was thinking I will get home right before fast sunday, so my homecoming talk would end up being the next Sunday which is Mothers Day, who knows, people will want to go to their ward with their moms, and all the moms that have missionaries will get sad haha, If you pick me up we can go to all the markets and load up on things to bring back from Guatemala.
But its still way too early to be speaking of this, i don't get home for another 2 years...

The picture i sent you are of “A” and his family, the two little girls are tremendous! so funny haha, hes the only non member, but its not looking like hes going to be baptized, we told him straight up that if he doesn't get baptized on the 2nd we are going to stop visiting him, which sucks, cuz its a great family, and they all love it when we come to visit.

I found a place that makes super awesome hammocks, and you can pick all the colors, nice type of knit, they're super comfy, so im gonna order 2 haha, it'll be like 50 dollars, but its worth it for these ones, the one i have is kinda crappy, but these will be great to bring home.

well, thats all for this week folks,
Love you all, keep on the straight and narrow, in all aspects of your lives.
From Guatemala, with much love,
Elder Hopkins

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Coast, More Tarantulas, & Garbage Picking

A Visit to the Coast

We were only there for an hour, but my feet got sunburnt!

Another Missionary wrote this in the sand to send to his girlfriend, so I thought I would take advantage of it and send it to you too (says "I Love You")
Hey familyyy! 

Sounds like you folks are keeping yourselves busy, i sure am too, busy busy busy.
Sounds like a fun BBQ. All i have to eat here are little restaurants that are fairly tasty, but I'm always scared that I'll have to use the bathroom all day after eating there ha. Had some good tacos on the coast, and this didn't make me sick but I was scared for the hour long bus ride after haha.

So before I forget, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MADISON!! 17?!?! thats crazy. I'm teaching someone who turns 17 on the 16th too, but she's living alone with some 25 year old from el Salvador haha. I'm glad you're not living like that. Have a great birthday! save me a piece of cake, I'll be there for the next one!

To answer your questions. I did try the ice thing air conditioner, it kinda works, not as good as I thought, but worth doing on a hot morning. I was told that it works better if you put the ice behind the fan, so it doesn't melt as fast. so yes I do have a small freezer.

Yes, I do have a cook and a laundry lady. our cook doesn't make that good of food though haha unfortunately, but it fills us up.

Yes, the water does go sometimes. The way that these pilas, or big sinks work, is that the middle of it is always filled up with water, you just keep it filled, and then you have buckets to scoop up water and use it to clean on the two sides, so when theres no water, our sink is still filled up.

Yes I keep my eyes open when I shower. I just hope the water doesn't give me eye infections, I don't know how I could do it with them closed. A tarantula would bite me! There was another in our house yesterday.

I had to climb down a well yesterday to get a blender, I really wanted a blender, I have a cool video of it, but its too big to send on here. there was a lot of spiders and stuff down there, spooky ha.

I do speak english alot with my comp, he's just starting out the mission, so his spanish isn't all there yet, but on the streets and all day I teach him things.

But yeah even though i have a cell phone, I almost always have to keep it in the house, kinda strange, its a rule, but its just for emergencies and on sunday mornings to get people to church.

But yeah, on pday the other day we went to the beach, it was pretty cool there were real big waves, its a surfing beach, there were a few, pretty cool. just kinda hung out, burned my legs and feet, drank a coco, it was fun.
The guy we were teaching, well it isn't looking too good for him to be baptized as of right now, he just doesn't really have the desire, which is sad, we even had a lesson with the branch President with him. But we have three lined up for Sept. 2 - Juan and Aaron, 10 and 8 years old, of a part member family, and Barney, 23 years old. so pray for them, and pray for my district. we will see miracles happen.

Thats all the time I've got today, love ya all, keep it classy.

From Guatemala, With Love,
Elder Hopkins

My New Area
Eating Sugar Cane

I come home pretty dirty every night!
Drinking Milk out of a bag, they sell tons of drinks just out of the bag here

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I got a Cell Phone!  After 15 months with no cell phone!  Only District Leaders were given them!

The niece of our Investigator had a shirt on with my name on it!  Woohoo

August 7, 2012

Hay fam jam

Excited news about Jesse's call. Everyone's going there! He'll love it. Thats where drake is from. and J Beibs, right? I dont remember things anymore. I'm glad he's safe from his fall. Sounds crazy. Did he fall off a cliff or something? or onto shale?

Thats a fantastic idea about air conditioning I think I'll try it. I'll actually be cool at night! Yesterday was a hard night. just completely out of the covers with the fan on. But i made it. It usually rains at night so its usually not too bad. (I told him to put a bowl of ice in front of his fan and it will blow cooler air onto him like a mini air conditioner)

Its still the rainy season, until like October. but it doesn't rain during the day most of the time, just at nights, so we usually only have to put up with it for a little bit at night. apparently today a tropical storm is coming, thats what I've heard, but I'm not to worried about it. I switch my shoes everyday. I bought a pair of dressy ones the other month from a paca too for like ten dollars. Brand new. A paca is just a little used clothing store. But yes I'll be good on shoes for the rest of the mish.

That's exciting about your new calling, and your calling to be temple tour guides. That'll be real special. 

About my companion? me and my comp get along well, he's a little different from me in many ways, but we get along. He's a little shy but he's getting a little less and less shy as the days go on.
I've had some favorite comps and some hard ones, Oh Boy, but I learned lots from them.

hope dad's knee will get better soon, keep it up!
as in keep it elevated.

Yesterday we had interviews with the President, it was awesome. We talked about evil spirits and how to cast them out and it was cool. also i got a cell phone! the Prez decided to give district leaders cell Phones! so after 15 months of not having one, I now have one!
also i got a bunch of cards yesterday which was awesome.  I got a nice card from Sam, My brother, it was a nice card.
Also in one from kent he starts telling me about how theres a dog of a member who follows him around constantly. Anywhere he goes, that sleeps outside of their house, and I started laughing so hard cuz thats the EXACT same thing with this area! Chavo and Gaviota the dogs are always following us and sleep outside our house. Looks like were having similar experiences. He sure has lost weight too, puchis. hes skinnier than me almost haha.

Also i did get a letter from the Bishop, and I am about to write him one back. i haven't written too too much lately cuz theres just noooo time ay ay ay. Especially with all the phone calls I have to do at night with my district. 

and I did get a letter from Kianna quite a few months back, which was great, but I didn't write her back cuz of the time!  I will make time and I also got an awesome letter from Vickie yesterday. She's a good friend.

But yes  I do have a bunch of letters I need to send, but what I'm gonna do is send you an envelope full of them, and they you can mail them out. less money sent from me, and I doubt that if I send a card to Russia from Guatemala that it will ever get there. Better chances from Canada. I doubt that one would get to Provo in time if i send it now. dang Guatemalan post.

also yea, those picture of me bathing with buckets. that is what we often have to do cuz sometimes theres no water, just the water that is in our pila, or big sink thing.

Also I wanted you to send me something about the revelation of why angel Moroni is on the temple. I understand that theres that scripture in revelations, thats a scripture mastery, but i wanted to know a little more, I'm curious.

We've put some baptism dates for the 2nd of september and some goals for the 19th of august. well see how tihngs go. Pray for a man named Adelso, his whole family are recent converts, but he's afraid he wont be able to endure to the end. but we're being creative with him, making him posters, and we're gonna drop him off some baptismal clothes this week.

Well, I'm sure i probably missed some of your questions, and I'm sure i forgot to tell you things that i wanted to, but times flies and is now up, but i love ya guys tons! keep things classy. madi, do not wear my ray ban sunglasses, and limit yourself to my clothes. you cant keep things secret when you  send me pictures wearing my stuff. nice try. haha. love ya!

And I don't even want to think about coming home and marriage or anything, i cant get married until I've had my fun with Parker and Tyler and Jesse being single after their missions, whoooo.

From Guatemala, with love, 

Elder Hopkins 

Someone posted a comment on Tanner's blog wondering how Tanner is sending me pictures each week from Guatemala, and this is Tanner's response
here's an easy answer. Just like some Americans might have the wrong impression of Canada and think we live in igloos, we Canadians, along with the Americans can have the wrong impression of other countries as well, until we visit them. There are computers in Guatemala, there are cameras, there is Internet, and there are a lot of corn tortillas. but not completely all of Guatemala is super super poor, just the majority, and there even happens to be Internet cafes in the poor parts. 
hooray for world advancement!  (So in other words, you can send pictures just like you can from home)
The nearby volcano "smoking"

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Forgetting English, Another Baptism, and an Awesome Air Conditioned Ride!

His outdoor sink, washing up in the morning with only COLD water doesn't feel so great he says

Closest Baptismal Font in the neighboring town


July 31, 2012

Buenas Tardes Familia.

hey hey hows it going?? good i hope.

This week was a fairly good week, we got Ronaldo Baptised which was great.
We had to travel a half hour to a neighboring town that has a baptismal font, so the branch president picked us up in his truck, and drove us, Ronaldo, and a bunch of youth to come support him. it was a small little service, but it was great. it was also great to be in an AIR CONDITIONED truck for a little bit. that felt great.

I was able to do my first baptismal interviews this week, as the sisters in my district had some baptism. They went good, with some young men that were ready to be baptized. can you believe it that your little boy is acting as a judge of Israel?? under the mission presidents keys of coarse. Its pretty crazy to think of it that way. lots of responsibility.

Hmmm, what else this week... I did divisions with Elder Tanner. it  was real fun, worked hard, and of coarse talked all about stuff back home after haha. hes a cool guy. i think you've talked to him before when he was in the office. but yeah, i learned lots from him.

Thats too bad that the mission calls haven't gotten there yet, but next week I'll be waiting. to tell you the truth i forget completely all about the mission calls in the mail until i read that they haven't gotten here yet. haha. whoops.

A tiny preach my gospel in spanish would be great! i kinda actually have one already, we got a member to go print out tiny ones, but they still aren't too tiny, just a little smaller. lots of missionaries try to find book binding shops to do it, but they don't do it that great here. so yea, you ahead and send me a tiny one in the next package.

Well, i officially only have 9 months left to go. crazy. Atl east now I'm content that if anybody decides, or undecidedly has a baby, i can still make it back for their birth. thats always a calming thought. I know some people that weren't able to make it home for their brothers birth haha. but the time just flies in the mission. Hooolyyy.

And i did get Tyler Johnsons card. it was absolutely INCREDIBLE. i loved it. hes a great guy, ive got a letter written out to him, but i just gotta find a mail office. Thats the problem about living in a tiny town, theres absolutely NOTHING! theres not even places to buy food. fun stuff.

Thats great to hear that Parkers doing good in the mtc. ive got a letter for him too. Its good to hear that he's still got his sense of Humor. i lost mine a long time ago. gotta find it again. but i can't even find english words anymore.

Thats good to know that dads okay from his little accident. way to go dad, he's still got it in him. you should be proud that your married to a 25 year old in a 50 year olds body. haha, but just don't get too too hurt. we've got lots of riding to do in 9 months.

Well, i don't know what else to write. i usually have to write it all down in my agenda to remember what to say, but this week i didn't really write anything.

oh yeah, you said to tell you if I'm sick, i don't know why though, you'll just worry..  2 weeks ago i was sick with a fever, but don't worry, I'm better now.  haha .there ya go, you wanted to hear, there it is., but don't go off worrying about it

Well. i love ya all, que se cuiden.
im gonna go eat a taco and an icecream cone. 

From Guatemala, With Love,
Elder Hopkins