Happy New Year!!
Well, New Year's in Zacapa... Where do I start?
Let's start with the most interesting part of the week: the bolos. (that means the drunk people, it's a Guatemalan word) There are WAAAAAAYYYY too many drunk people here in Zacapa. At more than one point, Elder Franco and I had to turn around and find another way forward because the mob of drunk people was blocking the streets. To make matters worse, NO ONE is in their house on New Year's. To every other missionary who's served in Central America, let me say this: I understand now. And I'm so sorry you had to endure the same things I endured this week.
Here's a list of the many ways the bolos have been messing with the missionary work:
1. Chasing us down the streets (literally, like zombies)
2. Trying to rob us very clumsily and unsuccessfully
3. Sobbing to us and explaining their problems
4. Grabbing our shirts or our hands and never letting go
5. Walking in on our lessons and trying to sell us backpacks
6. Giving us hugs (This is the worst! Nothing smells as horrible)
7. When we show up to an appointment and the people we want to teach are drunk
8. Trying to get English lessons from me
Horrible. That's all I can say.
This week I learned how to make a traditional dessert here! It's called a mollete. At first glance, it looks like a frog. It's actually a sweet bread stuffed with raisins and a corn mixture called masa, and then cooked like French toast and bathed in brown sugar or cane sugar.. Very cool. I may have mentioned it before in earlier letters, but now I know how to actually make them! Next thing I have to learn: tamales.
One of the scriptures I've been studying says this: "But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind,if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage." (Mosiah 7:33) Sometimes, we feel trapped by everything that's going on around us, by our circumstances, or by the people around us. Whatever the circumstances are, I can tell you that it doesn't matter. Not in the slightest. You know who you are. If you don't, ask the Lord who you are. He can tell you. Once you find out who you are, do what you are meant to do. Work. Work and work and work and work and work and never stop working. You will see the rewards soon.
Elder Jeffrey Reed