How Remote? – Two-hour hikes through the mountains just to visit people

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Hola Tat y Nun (Quiché for Mom & Dad),

Life in the small village of Pancá is amazing. Many missionaries dread having to serve in such remote villages, but after hearing dad’s mission stories, I was actually secretly hoping that I would have the opportunity to serve in an aldea in the mountains of Momos… even if it means having to hike through the mountains for hours at a time just to visit people. It also means I will no longer be able to order Dominos Pizza like I did in Xela. Oh well.

My companion is a Latino from Honduras. His name is Elder Vivias. I doubt that I will stay in contact with him after I receive a new companion. He is kind of a “Negative Nancy”, and always looks for ways to complain about everything. But he seems to like me, so I am usually able to help him maintain a more positive outlook on the mission.

We almost always cook our own meals here in Pancá. We are usually the ones who are giving the members’ kids snacks because most people here can barley afford to feed their own family. We luckily still have someone who washes our clothes though.

If all goes according to plan, that man and his wife should be getting married in the beginning of June, and then baptized the week after. They are already pretty much “active members.” Although I use the word “active” loosely, since an active member here is someone who goes to church at least twice a month.

It is actually pretty nice living in the chapel. If we did not live in the chapel, we would probably not have running water. Also we would have to walk “mil años” (a thousand years) just to get to church on Sundays.

The farthest we probably have to walk in a day is when we visit the man who should be getting married within the next few weeks. To see that family, we have to repel down a mountain side, just to climb up and repel down four more mountains just to get to his house. The journey usually takes about two hours.

I have included a few photos for you. As long as you keep sending me photos of little Leah, I will make sure to keep sending you photos as well. Deal? After hearing Leah tell me to come home when we Skyped on Mothers Day, I knew that I would not be able to make it through the Skype session without crying.

Siempre con amor, tu hijo, Jake

P.S. That would be cool if your side of the family decided to start taking missions discussion as a result of reading my mission blog. But that might be too high of hopes. By the way I forgot to mention that I finally received Grandma’s care package about two weeks ago.  Tell her thanks for me.

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