Called to serve in the Guatemala Quetzaltenango mission

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

First week in the CCM in Guatemala!

Hi everyone!  I just finished my first week here at the Guatemala CCM, and it has been the longest, most eventful, hardest, and best week of my life.  First I'll talk about arriving here.  Last week we arrived at LA International at around 10 and had a three hour layover.  I was still feeling nervous and stuff, so I didn't bother eating.  It was good to sit around for a little and think about what I was getting myself into!  We then boarded a plane for Guatemala.  I was in the very back of the plane, with a loud screaming kid behind me and some very raucous Guatemalan's around me haha... They gave us some declaration forms to fill out.  Did I do them right? Probably not, but I filled them out and went to sleep.

The Guatemalan airport was fairly nice, though definitely third world.  We grabbed our luggage then headed to a curb to wait for our bus, which ended up being some sketchy 1970's school buses.  Oh one note, if this letter or the punctuation seems a little weird it's because I'm using a Spanish keyboard and it's kind of weird!  Any way, all 46 of us missionaries loaded into the buses and made a ten minute drive through downtown to the ccm.  It's very similar to Mexico, but we're definitely in the nicest part of Guatemala here.  We arrived at about 8, unloaded our stuff, and got our companions.  Ah, my companion....

My companion is VERY similar to Eric Stewart. He loves video games.  He loves Golf.  He's a little taller but only weighs a buck twenty five. He's very nice, but unlike Eric his work ethic is severely lacking.  He likes to walk slow, eat slow, take a lot of time in the bathroom.  I don't want to complain too much haha but it's been a real challenge trying to learn spanish without a buddy.  Oh, and his spanish is muy muy mal, but he is improving greatly. Every day we have to teach a fake investigator in spanish, so I usually have to lead the conversation.  Hopefully I can make him want to work hard!

My district is pretty cool.  Elder Savage is our district leader.  He's a nice guy, though he falls into the problem that pretty much most people here have... they don't want to work very hard!  A lot of people waste time talking about stuff and don't want to study spanish, which is very irritating because I'm here to work hard, not be lazy.  Dad, teach your deacons how to work hard because being a missionary is hard work, we literally work for 13 hours a day.

Alright, I'm sure you guys are wondering what the CCM is like.  It's kind of like a nicer hotel where everyone is learning spanish and the gospel.  The food is fairly normal and they try giving us Guatemalan food like beans and eggs for breakfast.  The juice here comes in half liter bottles and is super tasty.  People always told me to never ever eat lettuce in Guatemala, so it made me nervous when they fed us these taco salad things the other day.  But I ate it all because whatever you do here your can't ever waste food, it's super disrespectful.  

Here at the CCM you are either a norteamericano or a latino.  There are only like 10 girls here, so I'm kind of glad I'm not a girl haha.  The latinos are super funny and always want to learn English. But some elders have been teaching them words like swag, how you doin, and ey man, wats yo problem hahaha... They are very funny people and very hard workers, they're awesome.

Presidente Cox, the CCM presidente, had a meeting with Elder Russel Nelson the other day and Elder Nelson checked out his heart.  Turns out he had some clot or something so he left to Salt Lake the other day to have it removed.  He should be back within a week, but his being gone has definitely led to more chaos here.  Before he left he would always check our floor at nights and be pretty strict with the rules.  Now that he's gone, people are getting a little more crazy, especially at night.  Some elders decided to shave an elders chest into a superman s, and they aren't going to bed on time.  But I keep the rules and it's really not that bad, just a little more crazy.  

A few things you may be wondering about.  I did have to get my head shaved, though my hair was pretty stinking short.  Today we went to the Guatemala City temple and it was very beautiful.  It's a small temple but very unique.  The weather here is very good, though pretty humid.  We have a chance to go to the market next Tuesday, so I should be able to find some really cool stuff.  Oh, they took our cameras the first day because some elders were inappropriate so no pictures for a while haha, sorry mom....  oh don't send packages here ever!  The other day I was in the shower when some guy told me I had a package and had to pay thirty dollars.  I quickly got dressed, grabbed thirty bucks, and flew downstairs.  Apparently it was for the other Elder Call here haha, but still, I don't want to have to pay that much!  I love you guys so much and want you to know I'm doing fine.  It's hard, but it's worth it.  Adios!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ready to Serve

Hi everyone, welcome to my mission blog.  I'm exactly one week from entering the Guatemala CCM and I'm excited to serve!  Remember to always follow Christ.  Remember to follow the commandments.  The Book of Mormon is the word of God, read it!  Please follow the gospel and enjoy life because it goes by so quickly.

My email address is listed on the right side of this blog.  If you would like to send any letters (no packages allowed at the CCM) during my first six weeks, the address is:

Elder Jackson James Call
Guatemala Missionary Training Center
Bulevar Vista Hermosa 23-71
Vista Hermosa I, Zona 15
Guatemala City 01015

P.S. Family and friends, thanks for the support.  You guys rock!