Merrry Christmas y Feliz Navidad!
Welcome to the wonderful world of fireworks and smoke in place of the carolers and snow! Here in Cobán Guatemala Christmas gets celebrated a little different.
First off Christmas is accompanied by many other holidays including one of my favorites Dec 7th “queman al diablo” where we get to burn devil piñatas! Well.. Okay maybe WE don’t get to.. But everyone else here does.
I’m living healthy and enjoying the cool Cobán weather where maybe there isn’t snow but it feels like it could start at any moment! My companion and I are making a great effort to give our gift to the baby Jesus and hope to baptize soon! We have a few maybes and we’re working hard to get more. I hope it’ll be accepted by the Lord, it’s all I can do!
Elder Clark (Me!), Loves to help others by serving in the office. He continues to learn day after day as new surprises and adventures present themselves continually in the office! He enjoys being with his companion, receiving letters, writing his family and using SIMI (List of Menos activos) to find new investigators and start conversations with random people in the callejones.
Elder Zavala loves to slip in the mud. Alright maybe he doesn’t love doing that but it happens to him a LOT :P But in all seriousness he is a hard worker, a great leader and as district leader of la Distrita he keeps us raising our dats and is always there with a helping hand. He speaks perfect English and is definitely in my top 3 favorite companions.. So far.. Out of the 3 I’ve had. (he also likes to receive letters! Hint Hint).
La Distrita is changing and growing and is getting more and more dats every week! Hna. Ball has been setting a forest fire here in Coban 2nd Ward and at the pace of this fire I’m sure we’ll catch fire any second now as well!
We recived two new Hnas in la Distrita this last change and their names are Hna. Cerrato (From my group as well as Elder Zavala) y Hna Gonzalez from El Salvador, She’s been correcting my Spanish (viciously… With love?) and all I can do is say thank you because it’s getting better! Chivo! She said maybe She’ll teach us all how to make pupusas!
We’re working hard and have made a lot of friends in the area and hope to continue to make not temporary friends but friends that we’ll meet again someday in heaven. We are putting our strength into finding more and teaching with MORE spirit.
Okay so the dogs… I’m going to let you know when they make fun of how Elders always get chased by dogs it’s not a lie.. and here in Guatemala where there are more dogs than humans (almost) it happens a lot! I told this experience to the Cole Family:
So we have a Hermana in the ward that is really helpful finding references for us and so we go over there and ask for our fair share of references.. which is all of them cause she lives in our area Mwahaha! Anyways she has a dog named Hercules.. He’s one of those skinny scarier looking dog’s that look like they’d eat just about anything that crosses their path (I usually try and avoid these dogs but he’s a pet so I figured he couldn’t be that bad!) anyways I’ll fast forward and skip the part about him ripping off my companions pant leg and go to a later visit where it was my turn.
Okay.. Here we are. We’ve just got done sharing a scripture and we gave a blessing or something.. I don’t remember very much the details of the day just that I thought Hercules was finally warming up to us! We were standing and talking before we leave and Hercules comes in.. everyone stops and looks at him and we’re all waiting to see if he’s used to us or not.. he slowly walks up to me and I just look at him with a stare that says “I KNOW what you’re thinking but we’re all watching and I know you’re not that stupid!” he looks back at me and just shrinks close to the floor in shame and I think “That’s right.. we’re all here watching you… watch what you do!” then out of nowhere he bites my leg!!! WHAT THE FREAK?! What are you doing!? I was so shocked that he was biting my leg that I literally just stood there with my mouth open in shock!
I don’t remember how long it lasted but I remember that the member was standing with her mouth open as well.. but not from the Dog she was wondering why I hadn’t moved an inch and my companion as well was looking at me like I was crazy.. meanwhile the Dog is doing its best to eat my legs but when it looks up to see all our faces it stops and shrinks in shame and then leaves the house.. The poor dog didn’t even break a tread of my pant leg and the worst I got was a small bruise on my leg.
Moral of the story is that Even Hercules cant rip the pants of Elder Clark Superman!
Another Story? Okay!
Let’s go back in time.. This is a story I didn’t think I’d share just so that I wouldn’t scare Mom.. but because it’s already been months and I’ve told all my closest friends I’ll let you all know the story.. It begins in Sayaxché!
It was my first change in the field and I was with my “Papi” Elder Bonilla just walking along the road.. in the night.. like usual! We were doing visits with President Lazaro from the Sayaxché Branch in the San Benito District.. My Branch that is. Anyways to shorten the boring parts we walked to a house far away and they weren’t there so we headed back home to end our night..
We’re just walking along a dark road in the night minding our business (BTW this is the road that we found a cow foot on) and we were in the process of passing a small family with the usual Maza de tortilla on each of their heads preparing for the next day’s tortillando (To tortilla.. it’s a profession here don’t laugh!) when along comes a cattle truck (one of the big ones with like 40 cows in back) going (To say the least) just a LITTLE over the speed limit.
We all push ourselves to the very edge of the road.. basically in the weeds that grow as tall as I am. And try to avoid the truck who we all know wont even take his foot off the gas to pass by us.
He passes so close that I can feel the air pushing me off the road.. and then I feel it scraping on my elbow!! What?! Okay so I’m smart so I turn my body to avoid my elbow getting knocked completely off!.. but I’m not that smart cause when I turn my body my backpack gets caught on the truck and next thing I know I’m on top of a poor old lady in the weeds about 5 ft from the street where all my belongings are strewn across the road.
It ripped my backpack completely apart but luckily my camera and scriptures were fine.. and I live in Guatemala where it costs less than $2 to have my backpack completely resewn!
So yeah.. I was hit by a cattle truck and lived to tell the tale with only a small cut on my elbow and a dent in my first aid kit!
Anyways I gotta go now! I know God lives and that he is our Heavenly Father, I know his son, our older brother is the savior and redeemer of the world, the Holy Ghost is a spirit that testifies and strengthens us when we are weak and that all three together are the trinity, our saving grace, The Eternal Godhead. I know that the gospel has been restored and that (Of course) it is found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know we have a living prophet who loves and guides us and by following his council we will never find ourselves going astray.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you all enjoy a very merry New Year!
Elder Hyrum J. Clark
y Elder Roger Zavala También