September 30, 2013

One Down...The Rest of Honduras to Go

Well here is my first baptism folks! His name is Cristian Josue Lopes Gutierrez and it was awesome!

The Jungle Report; 30th of September

Well where to begin? So at the beginning of this week things were really slow and really sucked. My companion was really down and wanting to go home and whining. Normally there is nothing I hate worse than someone being really whiny, but I found out I hate someone being really whiny in  Spanish is even worse. So I applied a little of a tried and true method to get him out of the dumps, it's called work hard. As in I took up and we went to climb mountains. Here in Copan Ruinas it is completely surrounded by mountains and jungle and our area is everything that we can see. He hates climbing those jungle mountains but guess who made/drug their Mexican companion up those stinking mountains? If you guessed this guy then you are completely correct.
So it takes us about forty minutes of climbing, and I mean climbing, to get up into these little mountain villages. The one we go to and are now teaching is called Carrilito but I have started calling it Rivendell mostly because it is a lost village in the middle of a hidden valley in the mountains.
We hike through the jungle and everything to get there and it was so funny to hear my companion just complain the whole time we were climbing. So finally we got there and are now teaching four new families. Yes whole families! And they are really receptive. I think it may have something to do with the fact that a gringo and a Mexican literally had to hack their way through the jungle to get there may have ad something to do with it. Maybe they thought "wow these guys really worked hard to get here maybe they have something important to tell us." It could be that or maybe the act that lots of their kids have never seen a gringo up close like this.
So as you all saw from the pictures I had my first baptism and that was awesome! His name is Cristian and he is ten and he is a total stud. Want to know the crazier news? Well this week we have three more baptisms, the family Perez which consists of Miguel his wife Bertha and their eldest son Luis, and then next week we have one more. So yup the work here is progressing. Yes we baptize in a pool. It was kinda funny actually cause there was a bunch of gringos in the background cause it is a hotel so they were taking a bunch of pictures and really interested so hey maybe it will do something for them later.
Oh so on Friday was pay day for all the chopiadors (the guys who are in the fields with machetes harvesting all the fruit and stuff) so it was like three in the afternoon and there were just tons of passed out drunk guys in the streets. Kinda funny and sad at the same time. In fact some of those guys were dead because they just drank themselves to death. Yeah but here the police take of the dead guys really fast cause they don't want the tourists getting scared off.
My English class that I teach twice a week is progressing and we have new people every time so hey maybe this will take off and get big. Ya never know. As of other Spanish news, my Spanish is now to the point where I can just about say whatever I want to them and crack jokes at the annoying little kids. So progressing is what you could say. Still working hard  on it though.
So Grant was completely right, when you're a missionary all the crazies are instantly attracted to you. So the other day we were getting out hair cut and i was done and waiting on my companion when this hombre just walks up and starts chatting it up with me. The conversation started really normal and then he started acting like he knew the U.S. and was trying to quote geography and then started crying and crazy laughing at the same time. Kinda crazy but hey we just finished our haircuts and ducked out and were on the way back to the house when we hear from behind "Hey Elders!" in English. So we turn around and it is this couple who were so gringo it was so funny.
So he was a cattleman you could see it from the fact that his face and arms were tan but his legs were pasty white, kinda like dad's. He still had on his cowboy hat and had a huge handle bar mustache and was speaking with a very stereotypical western cattleman drawl and was using his Spanish that he knew from talking to his field hands. So funny and so they bought us dinner and we told them what stuff was cool to see and what was overpriced and not worth your time. Then we parted ways. turns out gringos are way cooler than I would have thought. Well this is about all I have in the jungle report until next week which will hopefully have more baptism pics in it. Love you all,


September 23, 2013

The Jungle Report, Issue 23 SEPT 2013

Well this week has been an okay one but a very strange on at that. So starting on Thursday I was first on splits with the Zone leaders and after that on Friday I was on splits with my district leader until this morning. Yeah so I only got to work with my companion for part of the week and during this week I found a whole lot of stuff out. 1 my Mexican companion hates to climb mountains so that is why we haven't gone to this one area yet so I went there when on divisions and it was totally worth the half hour trek through the jungle and up mountains to get to it. Well when we got there to the top it has a view that makes it all worth the trip itself but then we were just walking through the little village and people were asking to talk with us. Yeah so now that is my area until all the work is done.We'll get back even if I have to carry a whining Mexican on my shoulders up the mountains.
So we had a baptism this week that had to be canceled because it hasn't rained in a while and the streams are all dried up so we couldn't baptize him anywhere. Yeah kinda sucks. And there was no other way for us to get to a big river or a baptism font because those are literally two to three hours away by expensive bus and these people don't have enough money for it. So we are just praying for rain.
In other news my Spanish is progressing and most of all of our investigators are progressing so it has been a good but strange week. The adventures in the jungle are progressing and are getting way too much fun.
So I found out why our branch here has been such a pain in the butt this whole time, they hate my companion and think he is just a dink and doesn't take the work serious so I will now be changing that by taking the lead and doubling the effort until they see that I am here to work not to mess around like my companion.
Well that is all for the jungle report or this week, I love you all, but there are some I don't love as much as others. I'll give you a hint, he lives in Jersey and his name starts with a "J" and ends with "ack Conway" Hahahahaha! No really love you all and can't wait to hear from you soon.


September 16, 2013

This Week's Jungle Report

Whatup my gringos?!!! Oh how they ask that down here literally means "Who farted?" Yeah I laugh every single time. Anywho...

Well for this week's report I am sad to announce that no there are no more goats. But I do own a wicked awesome machete and so now I hack through the jungle to get to our gators' houses instead of taking the road. Yes the Hondurans laugh and but it is totally worth it.
So we have been progressing our investigators and life here is pretty normal. Just wake up and climb mountains in dress clothes and then speak to Hondurans who don't have teeth and speak really fast. But hey it's what happens right.
So the bananas are almost in season and they are getting HUGE. I mean almost apple sized bananas. Yes they are really good.
So today for our P-Day we went to the ruins and went through having fun. The main group had a tour guide but we ditched them so we could go inside things and do things that they don't let you do. You know when at a museum they have something taped off and you want to go touch it, yeah we did that, and for all of you people who want to know what it feels like to touch the thing past the is AWESOME! Oh and the ancient Mayans have this tree that they considered to be the source of all life cause it is huge and really freaking old so we climbed it, or went to but then there was this huge spider, like the size of my head huge. Yeah so we took a snapshot of that and then I snuck into the tomb of the last king of the kingdom of Copan and took some pictures before the tour guides saw us. Yeah it's fun to do bad things. That quote was for Pete, I hope he enjoys it.
Let's see what else. Oh so this week we took a moto taxi (a moto taxi is like a tiny motorcycle engine in a tricycle that is red and looks a little like a motorized rickshaw (spelling?) yeah they are everywhere and are the mosquitoes of the road) to get back from our investigators house to our little slice of heaven and then he tried to hold us up with this little tiny knife. I literally laughed at him right in his face and then we just got out of the cab and walked away. It was so funny to see this little Honduran hombre who is all of less than five feet act so confused that the people he is trying to rob just laugh and get out of his little taxi. He had such a confused look on his face.
Anyhow so the little kids all the way up to like twenty year olds here try to bug you for money like "hey give me some cash for food." And they then look sad when I laugh at them too and then the gringo makes fun of them with their own insults one of which actually is "go pound sand."
Yeah so not a whole lot has happened here...oh wait it was la Dia del Niño this week which means that they spoil the crap out of their already pain in the butt kids and so the kids would come up to me and be like you have to give me candy cause it's the Dia del Niño and I would just say to them that it's not a real holiday and they were making crap up. So then they would leave me alone and quit bugging me or candy. Well that is about all that is happening down here in the jungles of Honduras. I love hearing from you all and can't wait until next week,


September 9, 2013

The Jungle Report

Well one and all back in Gringo-Landia! Well to begin, don't worry, I am completely safe. Copan Ruinas is just a bustling little village and the people are completely nice. No we don't have cars or bikes for that matter, we walk everywhere even to the top of the mountain for our investigators, Marivel y Dunia. Yes it is an actual mountain and it sucks to have to climb every single day.
As of the big question from last week that everyone keeps asking, where did I get a goat? Well funny story, P-Day we were just walking around adventuring and we were of fin the jungle where no one lives and I found a goat and claimed it for my own. After asking the locals who's goat it was and everyone just said it is one of the wild ones so we took it and traded it for some boots. Yes it is winning in my book.
Well let's see what else happened. Oh lightning here is insane! It shakes the entire sky and shakes ya down to the core when it hits. But it doesn't have thunder storms that often here so we just live the life. But it does down pour every day at about 4 in the afternoon and by down pour I mean like we are out in it for two seconds and are soaked to the undies. Yeah that is actually how we get a lot of our new investigators. I guess they take pity on a skinny Mexican kid and a Gringo who is trying to talk some form of Spanglish who are just soaked in the rain and 5 inch thick mud but are smiling and asking if they (the missionaries) can help this family feel true happiness in life. Hahahahaha! Yeah we use it to our advantage and the gators never knew what hit them, then are in their house playing with their crazy kids and boom! Hook, line and sinker! But shhhh! Don't let the Hondurans know that we are playing their hospitality to our advantage.
Well as for the typical day it consists o having about ten miles of hiking in the mountains and about 7-10 lessons a day where we are just rolling. Life here is really happy and I still find all these tiny Honduran "hot shot muscle boys" who walk around with their shirts off trying to act big staring at me and always end up putting their shirts back on after they realize that I happen to be 8 inches taller and their legs are as big as my arms.
Oh we did a service project for one of our gator families who the wife is really interested in the lessons but the husband was avoiding us like the plague. Well we went built his fence for him. And by we I mean me because my companion has never done a day of physical labor in his life and was sweeping the dirt floor of the house for the hermana while I was splitting banana tree logs for posts and digging post holes and planting posts and stretching wire. In total I built this fence around his place in two hours and when he got off work and came home and saw me finishing the fence that hadn't been there two hours before, needless to say someone is now actually listening to our lessons and went to church for the first time yesterday.
While building the fence I was splitting this log and noticed there was a bunch of little kids watching me then like I turn around and it happens to be a bunch of the men standing there whispering about how I am splitting logs really easy. Yeah it feels good to be a giant here.
So I am teaching English classes twice a week and we are now teaching the local police force thanks to our sneaky way of bringing lambs to use. Hahahahaha! Yes they are as corrupt as they come but hey you never know, maybe I can get a hook up with the police chief and get some sweet stuff, I can dream can't I?
Well our gator's dates had to be pushed back because of the crappy paper system that Honduras still runs on. Yeah their wedding papers are going to take 16 days to be processed and back to us so in the mean time Miguel and Bertha are just being patient and we keep teaching.
Well that is about all the stories I have to tell this time, I will make sure that I keep shaking life up here in the jungle and keeping record of it for you guys. Remember that I love you and am working to bring the Lamanites back. Can't wait to hear from you next week,


September 2, 2013

The Jungle Report, Week 2

Well life continues on here in the ruins of the Mayan Civilization. Just so you all know I actually didn't get a birthday dinner, we were on the road to San Pedro Sula and missed any dinner at all. But it was all good. It is good to hear that life back hoe is finally sorting out after the whole episode of getting hit by lightning. And it pays to be gone and have all your stuff unplugged I guess. Hahahahaha! ¡winning!
No dad I have not eaten any armadillos or anything strange yet, in fact they really don't even eat anything really weird. Or spicy for that matter. Their food is very poor and bland. As in they love fried chicken and green bananas cut and french fried. It is pretty good. Any and all things chicken they eat. And tons of beans and tortillas. Yeah they are like that, I know very stereotypical but it's true.
Oh the corn season is drawing to a close so there won't be as much corn on the cob as I have been having. Yeah it is like a daily thing here, feed the missionaries corn on the cob. Not with salt or anything good like butter or anything, just corn. Yeah they are kinda too poor to have salt on a regular basis so they just make do without any seasoning at all. I cooked some potatoes and mashed them with milk and some butter and salt and blew minds the other day. Yeah, who would have that that good ole mashed potatoes would be revolutionizing?
Let's see what else...oh so there was this dog who always gave us trouble that one day got crushed by a boulder and there was much rejoicing from my companion and I. Yeah a boulder rolled off the mountain and crushed him dead and it was a great day all around.
So do you guys know what the greatest thing in the world is...waking up and having the coldest shower ever. As in super SUPER freezing. It is just soooo much fun to go from nice and warm and comfy in bed to the last scene from Titanic, "I'll never let go Jack!" (Spoiler alert, she does).
Anywho let's see. Our gators are progressing well. Miguel and Bertha get married this week and are then baptized next week.
Oh so some sisters in the little branch here were helping us talk with people and this group of little boys on the oldest bikes I have ever seen kept riding after us up this mountain and hassling the women and I kinda lost my temper and took one of the kid's bikes and threw it off the mountain. We later saw him retrieving his bike from out of the top of a banana tree. It was very funny and made my day brighter.
The bananas are almost in season so I may be starting to eat a whole lot more bananas it seems. Hint, they get old really fast. Don't get me wrong, I love bananas, but when you are so poor that that is all you eat until it is out of season it kinda sucks.
So the language is coming along really fast actually. I guess that happens when you never get any English at all. I am finally am starting to understand what the locals are saying to me. And by locals I mean like the backwoods banjo type locals. Even though the ones with no teeth still suck and I just smile and nod and say "uh huh." they just have the worst lisps in the world which is quantified because Spanish uses a whole heck of a lot of the letter "s."
Oh found out we can watch Disney movies so now I just have to acquire some Disney movies
Well that is all I have to report this week, still working on getting a sweet machete. And I am now the proud owner of some sweet Honduran Mayan themed cowboy boots. Yeah, totally worth the goat I traded for.
I am in cowboy country and it is really funny to see them driving with the smallest most puny horses in the world. Oh and they just love any shirt with English writing on it.
The other day some kid had a shirt that said "People United for Cats Movement" and a picture of the single dumbest looking cat on it. Hilarious to say the least.
Well elections down here are coming up so I will keep you updated if the Libre party (socialist, and I mean UBER socialist) wins or not. Please keep me updated on football and anything American at all. I love you all and can't wait to hear from you soon.


P.S. Zeke, you better DESTROY UPenn this week or I will hunt you down with my little Honduran friends.