Monday, June 9, 2014

Day 56 (Week 8):  Life in Guatemala

Katelyn's latest letter with pictures too.

Here is a little about our life here.

 Everyone we teach lives in cement or brick huts. They have metal roofs. we all have what we call a pila. It is a big cement sink that we wash our clothes and dishes in. It sits in the back of our houses. I share a house, a real house with my companion. Her name is Hermana Fought. She is from Nevada. I am lucky that I have a companion form the states because she is more patient about me learning the language than most Latinas might be. We live in a little house. We share a bedroom, have a room for our clothes and stuff, then there is a bigger room that is our kitchen and desk space. We also share a bathroom because the other one is broken. It is not bad by American standards, but is really nice by the standards here. Everyday we get up at 6:30 and go exercise for a half hour. Then we have an hour to get ready and eat. From 8 to 12 we study by ourselves then as a companionship. At 12 we eat, then we are out of the house by 1. We go and look for people to teach and serve. At 5:30 we have to have a member with us because it is safer that way after dark. We usually teach lesson after this and by 9 we are supposed to be back in the house to plan, eat, and get ready for bed. Our days are always busy.

Almost everyday it rains at least once. Some days it rains all day, but a little bit. Then there are days like Friday. This last Friday at about 4:30 it started raining, no pouring. I didn't wear rain boots, which was a big mistake. There was so much rain that some of the streets were flooded. I got home and my shoes were soaked. They are still wet and it is 3 days later. 
I have met so many amazing people. To start with My companion is an amazing person. She is training me so we will probably be together for another 10 weeks. After that, it is possible that I could move to another area and get a new companion.
Anyways. There are lots of great people here. We are teaching a woman named Johanna. We are teaching her to prepare her for a baptism on Saturday. We have been teaching her since I got here. We are also teaching a little girl named Sandy. She wants to get baptized really bad and we are going to try to get her baptized by the 1st week of July. We bring Sandy's brother Alex with us to the lessons. He is 6 so we are not looking at a baptism for him yet. We have another investigator named Maria. she is a Muchacha for a family in the ward. which means she lives with them and they feed her and in return she cooks, cleans, takes care of the house and their kid. She has it pretty good because the are LDS, but a lot of Muchachas here are treated badly. They also get paid a little, very little. Maria has her baptism scheduled for this Saturday also. We don't know if she will be ready so please pray for her. 
Everyone here is really friendly. Whenever we go into a house we kiss the women of the house on the cheek and everyone says "Hola" and "Buenas" when we pass by.
We have been having a hard time getting new investigators lately. Some times we will knock doors and contact people on the street before anyone will really talk to us, We have a new investigator. his name is Jorge. He is an older gentleman that lives by himself so we always have to have a lesson with a member. We have only met with him 2 times, and the first time he didn't seem that interested, but I could really imagine him as being a great leader in the church here. 
Oh also I had to buy new shoes because my black ones broke. Also I bought an umbrella and boots for the rain.  Oh and don't worry about the shoes I bought. you will see that they were on sale and not super expensive. Besides everything is really cheap here. Also today we had a lot of free time after we cleaned the house so we went to this huge store called the MegaPaca. It is a big thrift store. I wanted another t shirt to wear for when I work out and to wear to bed. I ended up buying a Johnny Cash shirt that I thought was awesome and an Audrey Hepburn shirt. Hermana Fought is obsessed with Taylor Swift so when we found a T Swift shirt she had to buy it. It cost us about 10 Q for each shirt which is about 1.50 in American money. 
This last week I had a cold. but I feel good now. 
I am going to attach some pictures. One is of me, one of the days when we were knocking doors. Another is of me and Hermana Fought. There is also a picture of the view from the road side of one of the neighborhoods where we knocked doors. It is beautiful here and I love it.
Now, about the problems about home. I would like to remind you, that just because I am in Guatemala doesn't mean you would not have the same problems if I was home. Like you told me before I left, just because I am gone doesn't mean life will just stop at home. I know that there have been some hard things at home, but look at the positives: Grandpa is moving up in the priesthood. Meagan has a job, Justin's neck is healing, school is ending, Taylor is preparing for a mission. No one is dying, The house is still standing, We have the gospel in our lives. Now I hate to go all missionary on you, but Hermana Kelly Hansen I invite you to continue to pray and read your scriptures every night. And when you pray share the desires of your heart with your Heavenly Father who knows all and can do ALL and ask for His help but with Faith and Real intent and a desire to act on your answer to help you. I promise you that you will be blessed and you will receive the answers or peace or comfort that you need. this is true for all. God is a just God and has promised that if we come unto Him, He will bless us. It has to happen because He cannot lie. All we need is Faith.
I almost forgot to answer some of your questions. So, on P-day we get up at 6:30 as usual, but then we exercise or study, then we come back, clean the house, go to the store do our grocery shopping, then write out families. At 6 our P-day ends and we have to go back to work unless we have FHE planned with a family, which we have the last couple weeks. Then we go home at 9.
Also, we take our laundry to a lady in the ward. Sometimes we can't get to her right away and end up washing some of our clothes, but usually we pay her to wash our clothes. My Spanish is okay. I am sure it is improving a little everyday but I personally don't see a difference. Mostly I need to improve in my confidence. When I speak it is not bad, but I am not always confident about speaking. I am getting better. I teach more in the lessons when we have them and contact more people on the street. 
My companion: I love her. We laugh all the time. She loves Taylor Swift and Cats. She loves fruit and Vegetables. Her dad is a Vet in Nevada and owns his own Clinic. She went to BYU for about a year and want to be Dental hygienist. Her best friends are on Missions. She has an older brother on a mission. She is country girl but likes all the modern stuff too. any way I love her.
I don't know what else if you have questions ask.
I love you.
Hermana Hansen
Here are the pictures she sent.  What a couple of cute missionaries.


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