Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Or we just have telepathy like you have always suspected.

For New Years Eve, Guatemala kind of does the same thing as they do on Christmas, it is usually not as big though because there is not as much money left after Christmas. Some families choose whether to celebrate Christmas or New Year’s Eve though. This week we donated a bunch of toys and clothes that we asked from the members. We talked to a hospital about helping us and they accepted. We came the next day with our donations and it turns out that they didnt want to help us the next day because the went on strike instead. They hadn’t been paid in 6 months so they weren’t going to work until they got paid. They didn’t want to help because they didn’t want it to look like they were working. Two people from the Peace Corp were there so they helped us with talking to the Mayor of Palastina, and he showed us places that we could go to donate our stuff. One place was a Catholic church, and when the group who went there got there, the building was already filled. They started giving out stuff and when they were almost out, the people went crazy and started pushing people to get in front of the lines. Most of the people didn’t even speak Spanish there, they spoke Mum. For Christmas Eve, me and my companion were invited to an investigators house at last minute. When we went there was a bunch of food, but it was just me and my companion. We ate and talked until pretty late, then two other people came, but it was kind of strange that they had prepared so much food (it was a lot) and only four people were going to eat it. We left a little before the fireworks went off because we didn’t want to be on the streets when that was going on. The fireworks lasted for two hours, nonstop, until 2:00; they all kind of just stopped at once. IN church yesterday, a dog came in during sacrament. It was having fun visiting all the people, but someone got up after the dog had been in for a little and took off his belt and beat it until it left. I took a picture of it real quick because I didn’t want to messing around with my camera during sacrament, but I thought it was awesome that a dog wondered into the building so I really wanted a picture of it too.  The computer isn’t reading my card so hopefully next week I can send you the picture of it. Thanks for the pictures you sent me.  I forgot Joey did that too the first time we skyped him.  Great minds think alike.  Or we just have telepathy like you have always suspected.
Te amo, Bret

Christmas 2012 Elder Joey Mecham~England
2014 Elder Bret Mecham ~ Guatemala

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Skype

We were so excited to have all the kids gaze upon this face when they woke up Christmas morning! 

Bret hadn't yet opened his Christmas box but when he Skyped again Christmas night he was wearing his matching cat PJs! 
Bret when he first saw the family!
The early morning Christmas crew!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I believe it too because from the one McDonalds I went to, here in Guatemala, it blew all the USA McDonalds away.

Christine, you are a big word freak, you can’t blind side me with words like "palpable" when I am in Guatemala. English is a very forgettable language. This week was pretty interesting because my companion went on divisions a lot so he could get his ear fixed at a real hospital. From what I heard about the hospital, it is nicer than the ones in the U.S. I believe it too because from the one McDonalds I went to, here in Guatemala, it blew all the USA McDonalds away. One day when I was on divisions (with a latino companion) we went to a members house for dinner and we saw that one of her daughters had just returned from her mission. We talked with her for a few minutes until all of a sudden the conversation turned into us doing a role play of a way for missionaries to explain how only our church has the authority to baptize, not to just anyone who preaches the gospel. Not long after, the whole family gathered around me  and asked me to read the instructions to something they had recently bought, but the instructions where only in English. I (obviously) agreed, and they brought me a can opener! I asked them to bring me a can so I could show them but they brought me a soda can. I found out that soda cans have little dimples where a can opener should cut a can, but I was determined to teach these people of the usefulness of a can opener so I squeezed the can opener as hard as I could so the can opener would cut the can. As a result, when I was about to completely cut the lid of the can, it exploded on me. They laughed and brought me a towel along with a coffee maker. They then wanted me to show them how to use it. I explained that I don’t drink coffee, therefore I do not know how to use one because I have never used one. They then said that I was a Gringo, therefore I should know how to use it. We kinda went in a circle and couldn’t understand one another’s logic, so I finally said I will take a look at it as see if I could figure it out. I told them that you need to plug it in so it gets hot, you put pure water in here, and coffee grounds with a filter (they were not happy that they had to buy filters). The Latino companion that I was with at the time then came over and said it is simple. This is the ON button, this is the OFF button, This is the SETTING button, and to not worry because this last button is not important. I than laughed and said NO, this is the HOUR button to change the time on the clock, this is the MINUTE button to change the minutes on the clock, he was right and this was the SETTING button, but the last button was important because it was the ON button. I love this country.
For Christmas I am not sure what we are doing. We are going to skype but we don’t know where because it depends on the internet. It will be at a church because Members only have wifi for a certain time at their houses and we don’t feel confident that the wifi will be able to skype two people at the same time.
It is kinda weird that my family’s  lives are changing. I knew it would happen, but at the same time I always kinda hoped that we would all have one more chance to be together as just brothers and sisters, not husbands and wives when I got home.
Can’t wait to talk to you on Christmas


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

But for Christmas everyone really just makes a bunch of tamales from rice (the rice ones are more expensive)

This week has been kinda a bad week for my companion.. We went to print out pictures that he has on one of his old and full SIM cards. When we took it to the place, they pulled the chip out before they should have and it burned the chip. All his pictures on that FULL SIM card are lost now. He talked to his mom and she said to keep it because she thinks that she might be able to get it fixed when he gets home in 2 months, but he ended up losing the card. Also, for Christmas in Guatemala they go crazy with fireworks (which are really just bombs instead of fireworks). While on divisions, my companion turned a corner right as a firework (bomb) went off and it messed up his ear. He ended up going to the hospital because he cannot hear out of one of his ears now. They said it is just super swollen and that it didn’t rip. He still can’t hear out of it that well (but it is getting better), so we are thinking about going to a hospital in Xela because it is a better hospital. But for Christmas everyone really just makes a bunch of tamales from rice (the rice ones are more expensive) and eat with friends and family. When there are events like birthdays they usually make these kinds of tamales. Our cook doesn’t give us tamales, only tortillas because she thinks that Gringos do not like tamales. I haven’t opened my package yet and it is killing my companion. I want to wait until Christmas. I ended up not having changes so I am still in San Antonio and my companion stayed too, which has made things pretty awkward for him because we spent the last few days saying bye to members and investigators because he thought he was going to go. Every companionship in our zone ended up having changes except me and my companion. I have photos but I am trying to get the computer to read my SIM card.  I am getting emails yes. I  get them from the guys (we have a big group email), you, dad, Millie,  mom, Erika, Rozzle, Cheryl, Elder Z, and some from Jenna, and Joey. It is slow work now.  The mission president even emailed me today asking me how I am doing in an area de fe.  An area de fe is an area that has not and usually doesn’t baptize much. But I am good.
Thanks for updating my blog and facebook.  I have some photos for you, so  here you go.

Love, Bret

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Christmas Box is Here

Note from Christine
Throughout each week, I send Bret pictures I take with my phone of the daily happenings around our house.  He loves getting pictures of the cats, projects on which we are working,  and of the families in our ward and stake.  I sometimes send him photos of things I cook for which he has a fondness.  Last week I made pizzelles (Italian cookies)  a treat Bret loves that I make each year during Christmas time.  In fact he would eat an entire batch himself  if we were the only two at home. Then he would say "If you clean up fast no one else will even know you made them."
Here is the photo-

Here is his response-
AHHHHHHHH!  I have literally thought about these cookies every day since December has started.  Is there any way you can mail those to me?

I am glad to know you already shared He is The Gift.  Good job! This week was good, but we didn’t get a lot done. Wednesday my companion went on divisions so I left with a missionary who doesn’t always work well. Since I am still new to the mission, he always works hard with me though. I had a great lesson with him, but I was only able to have one because we had to go so far to get to the lesson. The next day we went to Xetulul with the mission. It was super fun. It is like an amusement park in the U.S. but there is way less people and rides, but it is still a super big park. Our zone just kinda stayed at the bumper cars. they were the best bumper cars I have ever been on. You can go so fast and I am pretty sure you could flip one of the bumper cars if you tried hard enough. After we saw one of the strangest magic shows I have ever seen. That night my companion got super sick and puked through the night. In the morning we went to the hospital and her got x-rays, a blood, urine and poop, test, then an ultra-sound. They said that there was something wrong with his appendix and that he should stay at the hospital and drink some of this super Gatorade type drink because his electrolytes were super low. Instead we just bought a bunch of the drink and crashed at the zone leaders’ house because it is 5 minutes away from the hospital. I just studied the mission library the whole time and learned a lot. By the next day he was fine. We took it easy though, and when night came around his stomach hurt again so we went back home. He is completely fine now, and we think he is leaving this change (December 10th), so we have just been spending this time going to members and investigators houses to take pictures and have them write in his Baggy (a Baggy is a T-Book, but the missionaries here are weird and don’t want to call it that). The Christmas Devotional was awesome. When it started, all the gringo missionaries quickly left the room where the Devotional was playing and made another English room. My Christmas box is here, I have it I just don’t know if it is it (I assume it is because it is huge!) Will you please tell my mom I got the box from her too. The primary program sounds like it went great! And no, I don’t ever get to visit the primary because we either teach Doctrine Essentials or have something to do like talk to the bishop.  Christine, will you and dad set up a skype account for me.  I will need it done and all the information about how to log on sent to me for our Christmas call.  Also will you let me mom know that you are doing that so she knows it’s me when I call.  I am not sure if I can skype.  I have to find a way to do that.  My companion said one hour but the zone leaders told they will talk for like five hours.  I will ask my mission president though.
I don’t think I am getting transferred but I don’t know for sure yet.  I will know tomorrow.  My scripture for my mission plaque is Alma 26:30.  Try to have it done in Espanol. 

Love, Bret

Monday, December 1, 2014

¡YOU GUYS GOT ANOTHER CAT! That is awesome.

Thanksgiving was good. as a zone, we celebrated it with a turkey, cake, potatoes, fruit salad, and other stuff. Me and my companion brought the cake because there is a panadería near our house so we asked them to customize a cake for us. ¡YOU GUYS GOT ANOTHER CAT! That is awesome. We now have two cats that have been imported from Idaho. That’s nice to know that I didn’t miss a crazy Black Friday adventure. I found out that they have Black Friday here too. It is only in electronic stores, and it is not nearly as big. I remember when we waited in front of Sam’s Club for Black Friday for our phones. It was great talking to other people, being laughed at for waiting in front of a store all night, and telling other people that we were waiting to buy there pie. One of our investigators is super into America because he lived there for ten years and is overly impressed with our police. We talk to him in English and he is super excited because he is going to return back to the United States January 5th to live with his family again. He is super positive and does and changes everything we ask of him because we have the "American Mentality" as he calls it. The only thing he wants to wait on is baptism because his wife is catholic and he wants to talk to her before he changes his religion without talking to her. He says that he will go to the LDS Church when he returns to the U.S. though, so, I guess the Georgia, Atlanta missionaries will baptize him. Our P-day was taken from us today, so today is just a normal day but we get to email home. it is taken because we are going to Xetalulu this Thursday as a mission. Xetalulu is the adventure park we have in the mission. We all customized and bought zone jerseys for the day. It is basically the missions Christmas party. As a mission this week we were also talked to tell others about the video "He is the Gift" or as the chapins say it "El es la Dàdiva" (a Chapin is someone who was born in Guatemala like how a Gringo is someone who was born in the U.S.). So I guess people should probably check it out. The church is putting a lot of money into advertising it, so I guess they Quorum of the 12 has a lot of confidence in this video. I guess it just begs the question: Como Nefi ¿Irà y Harà?

Love Bret