Not So Remote After All

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Sorry Dad, you got the bum scoop from your spies in the mission. I am not in Santa Ana Huista. I am actually in a suburb of HueHue [pronounced “WayWay”] called Tojocas, which is in the south side of HueHuetenango, as you come into town from the road from Xela [pronounced Shayla]. There are missionaries in the villages of Santa Ana Huista, but that is the furthest out the missionaries go.

I am still in a larger city… we still have all the luxuries of home, including McDonalds, Dominos, Pollo Campero, and Paiz Super Market. So the missionaries still have it pretty easy here, unlike the missionaries who go to remote villages in the Momos Zone, where you are totally shut off from the world. The surrounding towns around HueHue are probably more like the towns in the coastal region of Guatemala. You hardly see Wachalales here. That probably explains why the people here are a lot more friendly, like the people from the coast. I think the Wachalales are more skeptical of outsiders and gringos. Here in HueHue, you don’t even have to initiate the conversion to get someone to feel comfortable talking to you. You can quickly gain confidence with the people here, as opposed to Xela.

Where I am at is more jungly, like the Coast since it is not as high in the mountains. Because of the humidity here in HueHue, hardly any of the homes have showers here, like I assume it is like on the coast. We just lather up our bodies, and then we just fill up buckets of water to rinse ourselves off with cold water when we are done… just like we did in the house of the Castillo Family. Because it is miserable taking cold showers in the morning, we just heat up the water on the stove, so that it is not excruciatingly painful to shower in the morning. That doesn’t mean that I am not happy to finally be in HueHue. In Xela, I would never have the experience of helping a member build a kitchen out of tree logs that we had to roll down a mountainside, as the majority of people in Xela already have their kitchens built into the house. With that said, I have to say that I am still disappointed that I will not be there for the baptisms of Juan Menchu and Anaytee. We had planned their baptisms for June. And then there was that awesome family of 7, whom I just learned have now committed to being baptized in June as well. They were likely tired of my new comp trying to pressure them to committing to a date they weren’t really comfortable with.

Right now I am trying to get them to make the changes necessary to be baptized, and help them develop a desire to follow Christ so they can have happier life. I don’t like it when they get baptized out of a sense of obligation to the missionaries, or because they feel pressured to do so. I still think that I will finally be able to complete my goal being part of the conversion of an entire family. We are working with two families here in HueHue, whom we found this week. When I arrived in this area, the prior missionaries only had 2 families that they were teaching. So we just doubled our teaching pool in one day!

I’ve become spoiled living in Xela. I forgot how inconvenient it is to be in a ward where there isn’t enough members capable of running church meetings by themselves. My first Sunday here they already had me teach the Sunday School class. I guess I would prefer doing everything over having to scratch my eye sockets out listening to a member drag out a lesson about talents for an hour by asking the members one by one “what is a talent?” and asking them “what talent they would like to have,” and then follow along with the same commentary to every response… “that is good talent, I wish I had that talent; yeah that would be a good talent to have.” At least the members here don’t seem a incapable as the people in Panca! We couldn’t get the members to do anything there! They didn’t even bother to update their computer records for 5 years for crying out loud! We had to do that for them!

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