How is everyone doing? Fantastic I hope. Everything is going great here! I have been in Guatemala for a whole week now! So crazy! It´s gone by really fast but don´t worry because there isn´t a day that goes by that I don´t think about each one of you :) Anyway. So I told you a little about my companion Elder Johansen last week. He´s a great guy. We get along good. And my district is good too. The Hermanas name from Tonga that I couldn´t pronounce, I can finally say! I´ve been practicing all week! Her name is Hermana Lafoóu-kaho (La Fo Oh Ka Ho) She knows Tongan, Tahitian, English and is learning Spanish because she is serving in Panama. I also got to meet my Latino companions! There names are Elder Bravo and Elder Ochoa. Elder Bravo is from here in Gutemala City and will be serving in Nicaragua and Elder Ochoa is from Quetzletanango and will be serving in Peru. Very cool. Elder Bravo knows quite a bit of english because he took 2 years in High School and he loves speaking it! He wants to be fluent so bad! So he always speaks to me in english and then if he doesn't know a word, he´ll ask me in Spanish. It's good practice for me because whatever he said in English, I´ll repeat it back to him in Spanish to see if what he said was correct. It´s great. Elder Ochoa doesn't know any English besides a couple words here and there. I keep telling him to speak in English because he does want to learn but he is very self concious which I can understand because I was the same way with Spanish. He is learning though. Even though they are both going to be speaking Spanish on their missions, the church really wants them to learn English because that is the language the original Book of Mormon was written and so it´s more accurate, unlike the translated spanish Book of Mormon. plus they will probably have North American companions in the mission field so they will have an hour of language study everyday and can use that time to study English. They were given books to help them learn English and they have asked the North American companions to help them learn everyday and I love it! It´s so much fun teaching them English! It is so hard though because English has so many exceptions. I feel bad for them because they get frusturated sometimes but I tell them to just keep trying! You´ll get it! How lucky we are to know english. I would rather learn Spanish than learn English. I got to go to the temple last Friday! It was so pretty! Actually if I look to the left right now and look out the window I can see it! It is very small but it is very beautiful. Walking back from the temple Elder Johansen and I had to walk through a gas station and as we were walking through, this giant armoured truck pulled up and this giant guys with giant shotguns jumped out and ran into the gas station. All we could say to them was ¨Buenos dias!¨ and hope they just ignored us. The laws are so different here in Guatemala. but that´s not always a bad thing I guess. Just the fact that there are guns everywhere. hahaha. hmmmmmmm. Anyway. Sunday was fast and testimony meeting and I wasnt planning on bearing my testimony but my latino companions got up on the stand and then kept waving me up. So I caved and bore my testimony.......in Spanish! After the meeting was over, the branch president came up to me and told me that my Spanish was extremely good! He was so impressed! Apparently a lot of other people were impressed as well. I was so nervous but I´m glad I bore my testimony, it was very cool. The food here is very different. We have a different type of juice everyday. Some types of juices include pineapple, watermelon, apple, grape, banana, milk (juice), strawberry, and tons of others. The food is very local. We have beans everyday for breakfast! That´s weird, but they aren,t bad. Also, it´s rude to throw food away here so I have to eat it all! I´m so gordo now! Good thing its good food. Alright friends, family, stalkers, and people I have talked to once, it is time for me to go. There are a thousand more things I would love to share with you but time does not permit me to do so. Just know that I am doing fantastic and that I love Guatemala, even though it rains everyday, most of the day. I will email you all again in exatcly a week! Love you all and hope you are doing fantastic!
Love, Elder Yates