Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 -- Week #3, Day #15 Guatemala MTC

3/3/15 4:02 pm

We just got back to the CCM after traveling around Guatemala City, took off the sheets and remade our beds, and are painting toes and writing! Yay for P-day [Preparation Day]!  It was so quiet this morning without our Latinas, and I miss them.  But we get a whole bunch of new people tomorrow!

10:12 pm
So much happened today and I feel bad because I am so tired and I don't feel like writing much. But I will try to cover as much as possible.  First off, Elder Renk from Distrito Matteo is from Alaska, and he hasn't had any Spanish experience before, so he was trying to say the quote from Elder Russell M. Nelson where "Obedience brings success; exact obedience brings miracles" click:  Elder Nelson quote but instead he accidentally said "Exact obedience brings miercoles", which means Wednesday's.  So we have a running joke in our 2 districts to remind each other that "Exact obedience brings Wednesdays!"  Good times.
Also, the Church in Guatemala really likes to use scented toilet paper, so the bathrooms kinda smell like flowery baby powder, which is totally a good thing, just another change from the States that I've noticed.

So today, we went to the temple, which was wonderful as always, and then we hopped on a bus and went downtown to the Central Market and Plaza, which was an interesting experience. For one thing, I think I mentioned before, is that the streets are crazy. I'm so grateful I'm not driving a car, because there is no way I would be comfortable driving here. The lines here basically don't exist, and little motorcycle taxis are zooming all over the place, and people just walking across the street in front of you, and you just pull out into traffic and hope you don't die. So I'm really glad our bus driver knew what he was doing, because I would be a smooshed stress case if I were driving a huge bus of people. But it was good.



The Central Market is this massive, underground rabbit warren of shops all selling kinda the same things, and an eating area and butchery and candles and flowers and fruit, and it's all quite overstimulating, actually, but there were some really cool things and it was just a neat experience to walk around and be totally lost in this other world and way of life. Weird but cool.
Presidential Palace - Guatemala City

Also, I saw the little crocheted minions that Elder Oldham got for his backpack, so I got pretty excited about that.  The Plaza is this huge public square between the Presidential Palace and the Cathedral (go Google Image them, the palace is gorgeous!) and we were given the assignment to go around and contact people and give them copies of the Book of Mormon, which was kinda scary and good at the same time.  Mis companeras and I placed 4 copies of the Book of Mormon, our district together placed 11. So I think we did pretty well with that.
Guatemala City Cathedral
Then we had lunch at Wendy's, and we ordered in Spanish and paid in quets (short for quetzales, Guatemala's currency named after the bird) click:  Quetzal Bird so that was pretty fun. They have a slightly different menu than in America, but it was fun to shake up our food items from just the CCM food (which is amazing, by the way).  I had a BBQ chicken salad, Jr Bacon cheeseburger, frosty, coca-cola, apple empanda, and some fries.  It was delicious! I ate it all and I was so proud of myself! But it really was very yummy and fun to have soda again, I've missed having a little processed corn syrupy sugar source. So I enjoyed that.

We also had the opportunity to walk through the cathedral on the side of the Central Plaza, which was interesting. I've never been in a Catholic cathedral before, and it felt different than the churches I usually attend. I don't intend to offend those who are Catholic, but it did feel strange, and I can't say I felt very comfortable. It was gorgeously decorated and I loved the architecture and the scroll-work and the marble floors and everything, and I was excited to recognize things from when I took APAH [Advanced Placement Art History - sophomore year of High School], but it just felt strange.  And there were statues of the saints and Christ, and prayers for them, and they were well made, but I didn't really like the way they looked as they were all dying horrible deaths. And it just felt kinda dark and scary, like something was off.  click:  Inside La Catedral de Santiago de Guatemala
Guatemala Metropolitan Cathedral

Later in District Meeting we were discussing our day and we finally recognized that we just had the Spirit with us, and when we stepped over that threshold it left.  I didn't like how I felt when I was there. There was so much focus of the "outward beauty" and making it look nice with expensive materials and stuff, but it felt devoid of light and spirituality.  click:  How to recognize and understand the Spirit

Contrasting that to the temples that we visit and worship in, and how simply constructed they are, and still of the highest quality materials and are so beautiful, but they have so much more focus on the most important ordinances and spiritual revelation. And how clean and simple and full of light they are.  click:  October 2010 Temple Issue of the Ensign  There's really a difference and I'm glad I could experience that, because we went to the LDS temple that morning, and then the cathedral in the afternoon, and just how different they were.  click:  Guatemala City Temple  click:  LDS Temples around the world
Celestial Room - San Antonio Temple
click:  Inside LDS Temples  Anyway, I enjoyed the day of wandering around in Guatemala City.  I also painted my toes a lovely coral color, and took a freezing cold shower. Count your blessings for American water heaters!  I also figured that I should probably memorize the Articles of Faith in Spanish, I think they might come in handy sometime while I'm teaching, so I'll probably start on that sometime soon. So much to learn!!!  click:  13 Articles of Faith

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