Week 13 – Chickens and Broken Bathrooms

Oh it is that time once again to hear from Guatemala! Well this week has been oh so wonderful let me tell you! First, we had cambios and I am can hardly express how blessed I am with my nueva companera. She is from El Salvador and before I even knew who my new companera was going to be the wife to the President came up and gave me a hug and kept saying how happy she was for my new companerismo. Wow she is so right. Let me tell you a little bit about my nueva companera.

First off she is just the happiest ray of El Salvadorian sunshine that I have ever met. If all people from El Salvador are like her you better believe I am moving there. Second we laugh all of the time. What a blessing that is because some times when it is raining outside and you have stepped in dog poop you just have got to laugh. This sweet sister has had a very difficult life, but she is so happy. We were sitting with one our sweet investigators who wants to get baptized but her mom will not let her and Hermana Reyes shared her testimony and needless to say we were all in tears. Hermana Reyes converted to the gospel 4 years ago at the age of 22 and is now 26 and is serving a mission. I LOVE HER!

Anyways we shall now take a look at my first week in my new area. First of all my new area literally touches the boundaries of my other area… so the leap was only a skip. When I was told about my new area Alamedas I was told that on the danger scale this was bright red and I said thats fine. We packed up our taxi with my luggage and off we went, we pulled into this gated community and I thought there aint no way that this area is a red. I unpacked my things and out we went. When we left the house my companion started heading towards the gate and I just looked at her and she started to laugh and said that this is not our area and out we went and then I saw that we were in red. Armed military men walk the streets so we try and stay close to them. But I love my area so much I cannot even count how many kids have come up to me and told me I am white.

Our new house is so big but the bathroom is a death hole. Let us start with the cold rain water shower… that is new…. but it is easy to wake up in the morning with that. Now let us look at the toilet…. well it does not flush by itself so we fill up a pitcher and flush it ourselves… that is also new… but good to know. Now let us look at the sink…… My first day there I noticed the sink was not really attached to the wall so I took note of that. But my second day I woke up early in the morning to use the bathroom and as I was filling up my pitcher…. you better believe that sink fell and crashed to pieces on the floor….. that too is new… I have never seen that before. My compa just laughed and laughed. Try telling your new zone leader that you broke the sink…. needless to say I am making a lot of friends in this zone.

I also had another new experience here. We went out to go and teach and we knocked on a door and the daughter answered and said her mom was busy preparing lunch so we asked if we could help and she said sure…. little did we know preparing lunch was snapping the neck of a chicken and cleaning it out….. This sweet woman snapped the neck and then taught me how to clean the chicken and you had better believe that I defeathered the chicken and took the scales off its feet. I was feeling pretty good about myself and then she started cleaning out the inside and I needed a chair….. yeah thats all I have to say about that. The same day that I defeathered a chicken I also held a pigeon. Check that off of the things I need to do here. We were talking with this family when this little boy came up to me and told me to hold out my hands, usually when this happens they give me a toy or something…. not this time I look down and there is this feathery creature flapping its wings going nuts. Yeah I held that pigeon and now I am best friends with that family because the other norte that served before me would not hold it.

Well, now comes the spiritual part. This week again I have learned more about service. One night the rain started pounding so we started running, we ran past these two women trying to bring in all of their clothes off of the clothes line so we stopped to help them. They invited us sopping wet missionaries into their house and we talked and talked. These sweet old sisters kept touching my face but that is nothing new and telling me they love me and that is when we dropped the first lesson on these Evangelicos. We shared testimony and the tortillas we just made with them. And got 4 new investigators. Service really is the key. This week alone we have carried 5 gallon water jugs up hills, killed a chicken, washed dishes all because that is what the Savior did. Jesus Christ did not stand on top of a building and yell His testimony to the people, rather He walked through the streets, healing those that needed it, providing rest for those that are weary, bring love to those that did not have it. What a testimony I have of service. How powerful it is to serve our fellow men and to love them unconditionally. At times it is so hard, but we honestly can learn something from every person we meet we might not learn until after but if we love them with a heart of service everything will be alright.

Well this week has really been so wonderful. I have been able to meet so many new people and get into homes that we have not yet gotten into. This work is powerful and I love it so very much. Well know that I love you all and hope everything is fine and dandy in your lives!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Edwards

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Week 12 – AND WE SANG

Hello all of you darlings!

Well, let me first start at by saying this week was such a grand week! Yesterday was our ward conference and it was quite the event, let me tell you! First off, I was asked to play the piano for the choir….. and well that was an event in itself – I had one week to relearn how to play the piano. Also for our choir a sister in the ward made us matching shirts and we were just a lovely ocean of coral silk (picture to follow). We had the highest attendance in a long time at 142 people, our ward has not broken 100 in a very long time. What a great day.

Also yesterday was big for us missionaries because we received calls about changes. This whole week I had been telling everyone that I had another 6 weeks here because you are supposed to have at least 12 weeks in your primary area. Last night at 11 we received the call. My white hermana is leaving, my Honduranian is staying and they did not know what I was doing….. bienvenida my life. We spent all this morning calling around to figure out if I should pack or what not and it ends up that I am being transferred. All of the nortes in my zone are being transferred because we have been having some safety problems. My heart is a little broken because after this past week we have 3 new families and we were working hard but of course I am excited for a change, we shall where this story goes.

Now let me tell you about this past week. I cannot even express how much I love being white down here and that is not even sarcastic. First off, the drunks follow me and sing to me but I am a celebrity everyone knows Hermana Edwars (they dont say that final d). A few days ago these two little girls came up to me and invited me to their birthday party. I wanted to go so bad OBVIOUSLY, but all is well I gave them candy and called it even. I am still pretty bummed that I could not go because fiestas are huge down here. They make the biggest cakes of my life and then they have even bigger pinatas! puh lease these Guates know how to do it.

This week really has been a huge blessing. My Spanish has increased immensely in just a week. I can hardly put my love for this place into words. I have seen the Lords hand in my life and in the lives of everyone down here. All you need honestly, is faith. Faith that your prayers will be answered, faith that people will listen, faith that things will work out, faith in God in general. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve. My heart breaks thinking about leaving this area, but Hermana Edwards is needed somewhere else I guess. I may not understand why things happen the way that they do but all is well. I am not here to know everything but to learn and grow in faith a little more every day. I hope that you all have a wonderful week this week and that you can depend on your faith just a little bit more! I LOVE YOU ALL!

With all the Love from Guatemala,
Hermana Edwards

Week 11 – Hello World

HELLO WORLD!!!
First off I want to thank everyone for all of the wonderful cards and emails that you send! This past week I got a card from the Durango Ward CTR 4 class and that made my life! You all are so wonderful to think of this missionary in Guatemala! I send all of the love that I have to you ALL!!

Now to start with this week. We did not have monkey uterus in fact we lived off of tortillas, because we gave all of our food away to a woman who a week ago we walked home because she was afraid her husband would come back. She warned us to be safe…… well I hope you like our oatmeal…….

We also had interviews with the President and his wife. What a blessing to have such a wonderful President. His wife is so kind and told me she thinks my mom is cute because they are friends on facebook now. President Watts taught me so well and so kind. He knows exactly what to say and how to teach in the most loving way. He told me that he thought a lot of me and challenged me to become fluent in Espanol more than just missionary fluent. So now I am waking up an hour early to spend more time in my studying of the language. All is well.

So some time ago, my dear Archibald clan found a video of my cuz Natalie and I walking and me getting mauled by a dog and Natalie was fully convinced that I enjoyed it. Well…. the same thing happened this week. This dog just came after me and down we both went. All I could think of was natalie convincing Steph that I liked it. The members thought it was so funny, at least we all got a good laugh.

My Spanish is improving every day as it should, being that I live in Guatemala. But even though it is not perfect, I have found that I really have no fear when it comes to talking to people. We were knocking on a door when I saw that a lady was pushing 2 king sized matresses in a wheel barrow up a hill. Immediatly I dropped my backpack and asked if I could help. We walked for a ways and my comps followed behind me. We talked and talked and I know it was not perfect, but I love having the opportunity to serve. I have learned that is only through service that people will open up. If we are willing to get on their level and get a little dirty and have fleas and eat monkey they will know that we are there to help them.

We also had exchanges this week and it was probably the funnest and scariest thing that we have done. There were three white sisters in our zone and we were glowing. The drunks were really after us then. But I learned so much. The sister that came with us only has 1 week left and she was so kind and really wanted to help.

Well, this week has not been jam packed but I have certainly learned a lot. The thing that I have learned that I think is the greatest importance for me right now is the fact that this is the work of the Lord, and with that I am on the time of the Lord. I am so grateful to be here. At times it is difficult but even after the hardest rainstorms that we have worked through there is always a peace after. There is always silence after the noise. There is a lot of power here and I am so grateful to be here! I love you all and hope that you all have a wonderful week!

With Love, Hermana Edwards

Hermana Edwards – YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT IS IN MY STOMACH (week 10)

Hermana Edwards here once again with the weekly update!

First off, as sister missionaries we are expected to be in the ward choir…. so we are. And I think that because I am white and I live close to Utah it is autimatically assumed that I am a master on they keys…… I am not, but here I am in Guatemala as the ward choir pianist. Mom thank you for having me take piano lessons so I do not look like a total fool when we have ward conference….. this might be interesting. But on other news let me give you an update of what is in my stomach. So this week has been full of new food which has been good…..until yesterday. So let me set this scene up for you all. Yesterday was Fast Sunday so like most Mormons do, we fasted. One of the families in our ward invited us for dinner and told us that they were making their favorite dinner, so I got real excited I though it was pizza because all Guates love pizza. They told us after we were done with our work tomorrow to come on over and share a message and eat dinner. Around 7 we show up at this families house stoked to eat because we are pretty durn hungry. We share a message and then gather around the table. They start dishing up our plates and setting them in front of us. My comp from up North looked at it and looked at me and said you go first. I looked at it and said I think it is mushrooms….. trying to lie to myself because watever it was was not familiar to me. We both put in and chewed… now I cannot really tell you how this tasted…. but definitely was not my favorite food ever. The members watched us for approval and you had better believere we put smiles on. It was the game where you only chewed enough so you didn’t choke when it went down. After getting that down my comp from Honduras asked what it was….. this is where you think of the oddest meat that you can eat… keeping guessing I bet you are wrong……. because last night I ate monkey uterus….. that is right, you read that right, I ate monkey uterus…. there is a monkey in the jungle of Guatemala that is missing its uterus because it is sitting inside of me right now. My father is probably gagging right now, but bienvenida Guatemala monkey uterus for everyone!!!!!

Well that is not all that happened this week, 4 weeks into the field and I was finally chased by my first dog up a mountain in a skirt. My comp would not stop laughing, she thought it was the funniest thing that she had ever seen. I also held a boa constrictor in the mall and the Elders were pretty impressed with that one because I was the first one up to hold it. I have never felt so popular in my life. Everyone there was taking pictures of the white girl with the snake.

Also we had a first service project this week. And I learned how to cut a tree with an ax! I am lumberjack now. Also I can make tortillas like a Champina. I am living the Guate Dream down here for sure.

And of course there was some Gospel time in this past week. I had the opportunity to teach a 10 year old girl that I have come to love so dearly. She loves the scriptures and reads them, so diligently. It is really so impressive. She is open to the Gospel and wants to learn more. I think I am understanding being as a little child. They have no guile and they have a lot of patience. She is so sweet and is preparing for Baptism right now.

This past week I have also seen the language coming more and more, My Norte comp was out for 2 days so it was me and only Spanish. It was difficult at first but I spoke, the words came and my mouth was open ready to share those words. What a great blessing to see that in my life.

Well everyone I hope that you are having a good week and if not, just think of me eating monkey uterus. I love this Gospel and I love this work. There is power in obedience and there is power in love. My language is not perfect and I do not expect it to be, but the people here know that I love them and that is all I can ask for right now. This week has certainly been a trial of patience but it has been a week of trying new things. I love this country, I love this people and I love being a missionary. Have a beautiful day!!!!! I love you all!!!

Love your monkey uterus eating missionary,
Hermana Edwards