I’m in my first area right now- ZACAPA! It’s a small city a couple hours east of the capital. It’s SO HOT here- literally like Arizona every day.
My new companion is named Elder Franco. He’s a small little guy from Panama who doesn’t speak a word of English, and I can only communicate with him through my broken Spanish. Also, people here don’t talk very fast, but they have a pretty strong accent. They drop their S's left and right, and combine their words all day long.
I live in a small cement building with no air conditioning (no one has air conditioning here; it’s too expensive) and barely enough for electricity. On the first day I was here, the bus lost my luggage, so I had to go without supplies for a day. That was fun...
It’s beautiful here! We get basically no rain during the day, but at night, there are storm clouds covering every part of the horizon, and the lightning will light up random spots of the horizon everywhere you look. It’s really cool.
There are about as many dogs here as people, or 'chuchos' as the natives call them. They're all wild. I haven’t been bitten yet, but I figure the reason that Zacapa doesn’t have crime is because everyone’s too scared of upsetting a dog to do anything stupid. They roam the cobblestone streets everywhere, and all have personalities. Some are quiet, and some are loud, some are nice, and some are mean. I’m more scared of being mugged by a dog than a human here.
OK, so my area I’m serving in isn’t only the city; it goes to the outskirts of town by a river, where it’s basically like a sparse forest. It also extends past the outskirts to a little village called Frutillo, in the middle of the desert. People here live in cement houses or worse, usually a room is outdoors, like our house. They done have sinks; they have three-basin tubs with a hose spouting water in called pilas. Typically, a pila lets the dirty water run directly out of the basin onto the ground.
OK- let me introduce you to the crew. There’s Elder Franco, my trainer. He can’t really communicate with me that well, but we make it work. He’s being very patient with me as I learn how to speak to people, and he works hard. He’s been out here for 8 months now, and I’m the first person he has trained. I’m currently teaching him how to pray in English. We have 6 investigators who want to get baptized- Flor De Dalia, Danilo, Rafael, Mario, Eva, and Kevin. Mario and Eva are progressing pretty slowly, as is Flor, but the other three are learning rapidly. They haven’t been to church yet, so were gonna invite them to church next. The work is great here, and there's almost no danger from people.
I miss you guys! Keep working hard and learning to see the hand of the Lord in your life!