Sunday, October 26, 2014

¡Oh! Fun fact. I got attacked by my first animal this week. Don’t worry I am fine...

Yes I  have heard about the flu, but that’s all I have heard about it, that it exists. It is so strange how much you do not know about the world when you are on the mission. It reminds me of how "We are in the world, but not of it". It was like that too in the MTC. I have not gotten any mail of any kind (except emails). I am sure it will get here soon.  Don’t worry. We went down to Reu for a training meeting the same day the mission leaders were going to get the mail, but the mail people said to get it the next day. So, the mail may very well be here, but I just have to wait until someone from our district goes back to Reu and picks up the mail for us. We had another p-noche last night. It is basically the best (worst) idea ever. Basically you go over to another missionary’s house the day before your P-day once the day is over and stay the night playing games, talking, and other things that missionaries do. There are never enough beds so you have to get pretty creative with sleeping arrangements and you stay up way too late. It is pretty great. It rained a lot this week, which is weird. People in the mission are saying it is because El Salvador is having an hurricane. This transfer has flown by. We are already on the last week. ¡Oh! Fun fact. I got attacked by my first animal this week. Don’t worry I am fine... it was a goose. An evil goose might I add. We were contacting and this goose raised its head up all the day and started to hiss at us (I didn’t know they could do that, I guess you just learn a lot on your mission). It then got super low, pointed its head at me, and charged. It lunged at me but I kicked it just in time. My companion then proceeded to hit it with a tree branch, but it didn’t effect it at all. It just kept circling us and hissing. I also went on splits again with my district leader. I like going with him because we usually plan a pretty good day for him and I love the way he teaches. We also went to chop wood, which I am really bad at, but I hope I will have the next few months to practice so I can help my investigators, especially next year during the winter. Well, I love you, I don’t have pictures again this week. I always forget to take them.

Love, Bret

Monday, October 13, 2014

Now we can’t use water for our entire house now (including showering).

Yes, Christine, It is getting much colder here. I am trying to decide if I should buy another jacket or not because it is only cold here in the mountains, so I would never use it after this area. Our mailing address is...
Elder Bret Mecham
Guatemala Retalhuleu Mission
Inglesia Mormona, Boulevard Centenario
Salida a Coatepeque, Zona 2, Apt. Postal 26
Retalhuleu, Guatemala
I am not sure how mailing works, but I think that it goes to the mission building, which is Retalhuleu. That means that even if the package you already sent is delivered, I don’t think I get the package until I have to go to the church building in Retalhuleu. My companion and I made the recipe of cookies you sent this week and gave them to some of our investigators who always go out of their way to cook or give us something. It was an interesting trying to make cookies here. No one makes homemade cookies here so no one could help us (we wouldn’t need help except they don’t have some of the ingredients we need to make them and the measurements here are different-). The cookies came out decent and were rated an 8 out of 10 when I asked people. I thought they were more like a 3 or 4 though. They kind of came out like sugary pancakes. Nothing like yours.  Our neighbor has also had family over for the past week and the wall is kind of broken between our houses, so his family (and he) took that as an invitation to use our backyard. They tied things to our house, dug up a firepit, used our bathroom, moved furniture over, and broke our sink.  Now we can’t use water for our entire house now (including showering). They also had a fiesta until 2 in the morning yesterday. My companion absolutely hates it, but I don’t really mind it at all. If anything, it just kind of reminds of Utah. They are also always cooking so in the morning and at night they give us food for no reason. I don’t have to make breakfast or dinner now. There are more spiders now too. They are in the church so during our lesson in church (we usually teach for at least one of the two hours every week. We don’t know which or even what is on. It is pretty fun.) Members will just randomly point to a place on the ground, and there will be a spider there that they want us to kill. Well, the mission president cut our emailing time in half now so I can’t talk as much, but I miss you all.

Love, Bret

Friday, October 10, 2014

Food in America is better in almost every way (taste wise, and parasite wise).

We had a lot this week with meetings. Out of the whole week we probably only got about 2 day’s worth of proselyting. Every other day we were taking buses to get to Reu for training meetings and interviews. On Saturday and Sunday we stayed at the church all day because of conference. With the new "speak your language" for conference, It was super cool to switch between the English and Spanish channels so we heard the speaker and not the translator. I felt the exact same way about the conference talks, like something is about to happen, I am not sure if it is going to be the church or the world that will change though (probably both, like an action/reaction between the views of the world and the views of the church). Some people watch it at home, but for the most part people go to the building to watch it. From what I have gathered, most people just don’t watch it.  It is the coolest thing to watch conference with just the missionaries from our zone. We took a room and a T.V. so we could watch it in English, but most of our zone doesn’t know English so it was just 6 of us in a room. It was pretty great. This week for our interviews, they fed us from a place called Pollo Tampero. It is basically the KFC of Guatemala and is super popular here. The thing about it though is that it usually gets Gringos pretty sick the first time they eat it, and that is exactly what happened to me. Because of this, I had the unique experience of throwing up in the back of an overly crowded bus for a few hours. The rain here is starting to stop, we have had a few days of no rain, but, like right now, it is raining pretty hard. It is cool because you can hear it hit the top of the metal roofs. It is getting a lot colder in the night, and getting colder faster when night comes around, but it feels like it is getting warmer in the mornings, around mid day, so I always just carry my jacket with me. It is definitely getting colder here, and the spiders know it too. There are so many spiders in our house... so many. we kill one and two more show up. you have to kill them here though because if you just kick them out (literally) they immediately run back in. You can play spider futból here using the door. It is like when you do something bad to Frost, you can call him and he will just return like nothing happened. I have some good news and bad news from this week too. Good news: when getting a ride home from conference, the driver offered us some chocolate kisses, which was lo mejor. Bad news: I ATE MY LAST CHOCOLATE KISS THIS WEEK. We got some investigators to go to conference this week, and they all really enjoyed it. I did too. For Christmas, food is a good thing to have because if I have stuff, I have to take it around with me for the rest of my mission. I have been super craving peanut butter (creamy) and for some reason gummy bears. What I really want is just some spending money so I can buy things, like shirts, ties (they styles of ties here are really cool, a suit , you can get a really nice tailored suit with the Guatemalan flag on the inside for really cheap. Like 600 quetzals or like $80), I also want to get these scripture cases where some one gets wool and uses a wood burner to make pictures on it. I can choose the pictures for it too. I know money isn’t that fun to give though.
Oh and, hey we have the keys to the church so we can cook. Do you have a cookie, brownie, or any of your great and easy recipe we can have so we can make some sweets?
Haha, that is awesome. Joey always has girls on him, he just doesn’t like people knowing, and usually because he doesn’t like them back (at least not as much as they like him)
The trek you are planning sounds great.  I have no idea what ideas would be best.  I have never been on one so I would not what to expect or what makes one good or bad. I think going through the struggles would make it cool, but I think there would be a lot of people who would disagree with me on that. It is weird that will be taking place right before I get home and you are already working on it. 
I have gotten emails from everyone in the family.  Erika emails me pretty frequently (basically weekly), I got an email last week from Erin McNally, and then we have a group email that contains me, Alec, Travis, Travis, Jorge, Chase, and Robert.
I really like your weekly updates things because I get to stay up with what is going on at home. It is nice when you add spiritual things too, it is all my life consists of now.  When I get home it is going to be like culture shock all over again because of how much will change during my mission. 

PS- Those cookies look so good! Besides Mexican food,  the food in America is better in almost every way (taste wise, and parasite wise).

Love, Bret


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dangerously Low on Chocolate Kisses

I love to go tracting and street contacting. I went out with my district leader this week and he said "Anyone that is here that says tracting doesn’t work is lying". I believe it. If you can get them to laugh and relate with them, you can basically say anything to them, make a good impression on them about the church, and have them want you to talk more about it. There are definitely three types of investigators here:
1. they just eat up your word and are excited to learn more and do more (ellos son lo mejor)
2. they let you return because they like you and want to change, but they have a hard time doing what we ask them too (it makes sense to them in their heads but they can’t find the motivation or complete trust in God to follow his commandments)
3. they let you come off to make a point. They can be super prideful and contend with everything you say. they are either just trying to prove our religion wrong through the bible or are trying to find a religion that believes in what they believe exactly, no more, no less. (I have never seen a missionary become more angry then when they talk to these kind of investigators).
I am lovig the mission, but I would feel better if I could be more social. I basically live where I can only talk to one person. It is almost like I am not in the United States anymore. I am getting to know other companionships, and I am super grateful for my papá. I come from a mission lineage of unhelpful fathers. The more I get to know him, the more I grow to love him. There are a lot of missionaries here that are not here to do work. The members and people here know that too. It is insane how close Christmas is. I am excited to talk home. It has only been a month or so, but... there are defiantly things i miss about home, but there are defiantly things I never want to change that I do here on the mission.
Christine, I am dangerously low on chocolate kisses. I have to ration myself, but they are great to give to people. I ask people if they want chocolate, and they say sure, but don’t think too much of it. I then tell them it is from America and they grab it and eat it right away. Everything that is valued here is from the U.S. Clothes stores here are called pacas, and they are basically just 24-7 garage sales of clothes that they went to the U.S. to buy. I am not really reading the scripture as i am just studying different topics. I have a manual that I have to follow, and I slowly have to do more things and explain things, so I study those things that I have to do. It takes a long time because I try not to do anything in English, including studying. I love my mission president too. He is such a strong member, and he loves facebook (at least from what I have heard). He always is either talking or taking pictures. Fun fact of this week, week got a new AP so our money comes one week later than was expected. Everyone in our zone (except for like 3 people) have no money at all. They are not sure how to get back into their area because they can’t pay the cab, and some can’t pay for the internet to write home today. There is no way some of them can get through this week. I am so grateful that I am fruitful.

Love, Bret

My papa
Yummmmy  Dinner