Week 17

Okay everybody I would just like to say I am sorry for the bore of a letter that I sent last week…. what a drag for heavens sake I am living in Guate I can write a little better than that…. so hopefully this letter will be a little bit better.

First off, let us start off with the exciting news of the week…. we had a baptism yesterday! Oh my good night this baptism was hard, hard work but very well worth it. This baptism date had fallen thru 3 times, the first time because the mom would not give permission, the second time because the girl was afraid of her mom and finally yesterday we told this girl that her baptism was going to be that night and she said okay. But her mom would not sign the papers – but we decided to push on with the baptism and her mom finally signed the papers only 15 minutes before this sweet girl walked into the font. Oh can we all shout Amen! What a miracle. So that was a blessing this week.

This week I have been working a lot more on talking with the people in the streets to try and learn this language that I am supposed to be learning. I met this man who told me he watched me walk the streets 3 times that week and wanted to talk to me and finally he had the courage to. He wants to learn English so I invited him to my English class that I have every Saturday… yeah you read that right this kid that is trying to speak Spanish is now teaching English in Spanish…. talk about a hot mess. So on Saturday we met up with him and I stuck out my hand to shake his and he passed the hand right up and went in for the kiss on the cheek. My comp lost it and he tried to tell her that it is okay because we are friends…. Don’t worry that was only the first kiss of the day…. I do what I want….. not really Latinos do what they want….. After clase de Ingles we went to a members house and talked about this new guy that we met. Well little did we know that he was actually part of a gang and spent some time in prison, but now he is trying to clean up his life…. I am pretty hard core I guess.

So this week we caught wind that there is a dangerous storm coming our way…. I thought we were coming to an end of the rain…. I guess not. There is only so much hiking in a skirt and mud slides that I like to do, but I guess that I can handle a little bit more. So now it is our job to find the members and menos activos that live in the more dangerous terrain places and bring them food for their food storage. I mean it is really fun to deliver the food and make people happy but a 30 lb bag of dried leche in a mudslide is kind of an adventure but I guess bring it on Guate.

This week has been fun and been so good. From people asking us to translate dreams to watching a kids fly into a baranco (baby grand canyon) it has been good. If nothing else I have learned more about faith. With that baptism we had yesterday we knew that it had to happen yesterday but when our sweet investigator came to us crying because her mom would not sign the papers we were lost as what to do, but I guess it is just like Moses (clearly on a much smaller scale) . He had a mass of people following him when he came up to the sea. He had no idea what was going to happen or how these people were going to get across but he knew that Lord had made a promise and it took putting his feet into the water for the sea to split. We did not know how this baptism was going to happen yesterday but we knew that it was supposed to. We went through with all the plans and it was not until the mom saw her daughter in those baptismal clothes that she signed those papers. Some times we have to get our feet wet. We do not know how in the world things are going to work out but the Lord will never let us drown not even in a mudslide in Guatemala. He is very aware and He has a plan and I know that with all that is in me. Like usual I am grateful to be here what a blessing it is in my life! I hope that you all have such a wonderful wonderful week and if not well suck it up and smile! And I say that with love! I LOVE YOU ALL!

Con Amor,
Hermana Edwards

Week 16 – All is Well

Hola de Guatemala!

Well this has just been quite a solid week of work and rain. I cannot believe all of the stuff that we have accomplished this week but I am so very grateful for all of it. I am sad to say that I do not have any really good stories but this week was the INdependence Day of Guatemala so that was just a huge party itself.

Let me tell you about how we celebrate freedom down here… music (from the US), fireworks (all day and all night) and crazy partying in the street. Man I want to come back here when I am not a missionary because it looks like such a blast. Because of the craziness down here we were really not let out into the streets…. I think it is because they know that putting Hermana Edwards into the streets would make it all a little more crazy but all is well. We would be laying in our beds not able to sleep because the music would just go all night and our beds would be shaking from how loud the music was but it was fun none the less.

With Dia de Independencia came so much food….. oh my good night. I cannot hardly believe all the food that these people were dishing out. We had this one drink that kind of tasted like popcorn so I clearly asked my comp what in the world I was drinking and she told me corn. I swear they can turn any food into a drink. Through some mushed up corn into a pot and call it good.

So, I have been with my crazy El Salvadorian for 4 weeks now. At first I thought that I was not understanding everything that she said to me because it was just bizarre but I am definitely understanding her clearly and she definitely says some weird things to me. I should have been writing quotes of the week from this crazy kid. A couple days ago she was trying to convince me that there are little flies that live in the water and that they onle eat white meat and that is why I have so many bug bites. A couple days before that she told that she did not understand why all of the boys liked me because I do not wear make-up or do my hair and yet they still talk to me. Another time we were talking about our investigators and what their needs are and then she looked at me in all seriousness and told me that I have little bugs in my body because I have to use the bathroom during the night…… I love this kid a whole lot.

This week we have really stepped up our game. We had divisions at the start of this week and I do not know what happened with Hermana Reyes but she does not have as much fear now. I am so very grateful for that. If I have learned anything in my time in the streets of Guatemala it is that nothing gets done when you are afraid. Some times things are a little scary but bienvenida Guatemala. But if you are afraid to talk to some one who will talk to them, if you are afraid to teach some one who will teach them. With the our new area that we are in charge of a lot of fear has bene put into Hermana Reyes because of all the gangs but I know for a fact if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing there really is nothing to fear and that is that.

Like always I am thankful for this past week and I am thankful for this mission call. I certainly do love Guate with all of my heart and would not want to be doing anything else. I hope that you all have a happy week!

Con Amor,
Hermana Edwards

Week 15 – Word from Guatemala

Oh my dear people it is time for the weekly update!

So this week I got 2 boyfriends and that is about the highlight so until next time…. Just kidding well kind of. This week has probably been the hardest in my 3 month stay. We had such a wonderful P day and thought the week would follow as such but Tuesday night we got some pretty rough news. Let me draw this out for you.

So the area that I am in right now we share with the Elders. These Elders have the more difficult more dangerous part of our area. I love these Elders dearly they work so hard and are so wonderful. Tuesday night Elder Kilts gave us a little call. I cannot really hear what he is saying but after they bid their adioses my comp came into our room and started to cry. She told me that we were meeting with the Elders at 7:30 the next morning to meet their investigators and learn about their area because they had emergency transfers. This whole area was now ours. I then started to cry. Talk about a hot mess and doubly messy because I was trying to speak in Espanol. The next day we hiked through their area and I just about died. We met with the Bishop who was freaking out because he did not want to put hermanas in this area so he set up some rules for us.

But after the first day of shock I really love this area. This is the first time that Hermanas have been put in this area. Part of the area we have to leave by 4:00 because there is no electricity and in this area I am a walking wonder these past couple of days. Kids run into the streets and tug on my skirt and ask me where I am from. I would say the United States (obvio) and they would run back to their parents “You were right she is from the US” Needless to say we had an abundance of street contacting. But the hard part came from the other parts if our area. Lately the gang activity has been on the rise so people are afraid to open their doors or be out on the street. So our number of lessons was well less than hot. But all is well in the Villas de Alameda.

But now to the important news of the week my new boyfriends. Things are moving pretty quick and I keep telling them I am a missionary but they do not quite understand, it could be because one of them is 3 and the other 73 – but that’s okay.

This week has certainly been hard and really wet but we are learning. We are learning a whole heck of a lot. I am learning about change. First, change in our area but also change in people. We met this woman about a week ago whose insides were literally swimming in alcohol. She looked me in the eyes and said she wanted to learn. We found her when the Elders were showing us their area and she told us she was drinking less just in case she saw me again. We talked about life and she told me I was wasting my time because I have not had babies yet…. but we talked about God and His love. I am also learning how powerful the youth are. We hear frequently that there is so much power in the Youth and oh that is so true. Our ward has many problems and we have not really figured out what to do. We have prayed and prayed and finally we need to work with the youth and hopefully one day through their example their parents will want to change.

I want you all to know how much I love you. Thanks for the cards and pictures and what not. I really appreciate it. I want you to know that this work is true. And that this work can only be accomplished through the Power of God. If not, they would not put some 20 year old white girl in a part of Guatemala run by Guatemalan gangsters. I guess it is good that I am pretty thug. But really there is power here, there is power in fast, there is power in prayer, and there is power in service. I love Guatemala with all that is in me, I certainly am not fluent in Spanish but all is well. Nephi didnt know how to build a boat and some how he managed so I think that I will be okay . I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!

Con Amor,
Hermana Edwards

Week 14 – no machetes allowed

Hello Everybody I am here once again!!!!

Well let me first start by wishing the woman who birthed me a big FELIZ CUMPLEANOS!!!!! Yeah it is her birthday this week and I love her dearly, so now that we have shared that let us move onto the happenings of this week.

Oh my, remember how a week ago we talked briefly about my death hole of a bathroom (if you do not remember please refer back to last weeks letter). This week me and my comp got a good old case of Guate Gripe and spent some time in the bathroom. Oh my what good times that was. But I am getting pretty good at holding it if I know we are going to the capilla which is about a 2 mile walk away you had better believe I will hold it threw the night and into the next morning to use a bathroom that can flush all on its own. But that is that.

For those of you that are now just joining and reading in on the adventures of Guatemala I would like to remind you of the time that my name was the Diabla in the CCM…. well the man who always got mad at me…. is my stake president….. bienvenida mi vida…. enough said there.

This week the sky has turned into a waterfall. I do not think that I have ever seen so much water in my life. On top of raining all of the time the raindrops are big enough to drown a small mammal. Needless to say we are usually wetter than water, but all is well because it is pretty warm here so basically it is like riding Splash Moutain in the middle of the Summer. Which that reminds me of something else, remember how at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean there are wood planks hanging from the ceiling and they look they are falling, but they never will because your are safe in DIsneyland well I have noticed that look in a lot of the little shacks we teach in. This past week we started teaching the sweetest El Salvadorian woman ever and in her sweet tin house she has a crib tied with twine to here ceiling and a full dresser tied with twine on a wall. I do not know how well that is going to hold…… but all is well.

Our sweet investigator Albina, oh man I love her immensely. One night we were teaching her and then there was a knock at the door. Some whispering commenced and Albina returned and retrieved her machette from underneath her bed, I looked at her and she told me there was one in the bathroom as well. But do not even fret, mom, President Watts just came out with a new rule that we are not allowed to use those anymore so all is well. And my sweet companera is afraid of them anyways. She is kind of afraid of everything. One day we were walking and it was raining (clearly) and she stopped dead in her tracks and I looked back at her and she said we need to find safety because she is afraid that a pole will fall on us and that because it is raining we will get electricuted…… I guess it could happen……

Well now that I just word vomitted everything I have in my brain let us look at what we learned this week. This week I have been trying to be more grateful. At times and I mean everyday, I ask and I plead with Heavenly Father to help me with everything I mean everything, when really that is not what I need to be spending my time talking about. The more that I really look at these people that I serve and the more that I get to know them I am more humbled. I have everything that I could ever need and am asking for more when these people live in tin shacks, sleep in wet beds and always ask what they can do for me. Yeah at times I think my life is so hard because my toilet doesn’t work like the ones in the US and because my language is not perfect, but there is so much more than that. I love it here a whole lot and I am learning a whole lot. I get to spend all my time thinking of how I can be a better servant, how I can help these people and I am given so much in return. I know this work to be true and I know that it is powerful, I watch myself change along with the people everyday.

I hope you all know how much I love you and I hope that you can all have a wonderful week and everytime you flush your toilet I hope you think of me! Happy Birthday MOM! Peace and Blessings!

Con Amor
Hermana Edwards