Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27th

Hey fam!

Well I have so incredibly much to say this week and not enough time to say it! Sorry about that. But I am gonna send you lots of good videos and pictures so hopefully that will make up for it.

I cant believe all the news that going on over there in the states! There are so many fires! That is just crazy to be because it never stops raining here. Its hard to imagine it differently. It has been beautiful weather lately. And well I say beautiful, I mean it is still the hottest place on earth but at least Im not dead from heat stroke. Have the fires calmed down at all? Hows the cabin?

I will start off by telling you the most exciting news. Kimberly and Jose got baptised! It was soo wonderful and they were all smiles. The whole baptism was a little stressful. We started an hour and 15 minutes late. That is pretty normal for Guatemala. But there were 2 other sets of Elders that also had baptisms so all together there were 7 people that got baptised. Also, Samuel got the Priesthood this week and passed us the sacrament in church. I was so happy! It was so precious. He was soooooo excited!

Something else that happened that was pretty exciting was a few weeks ago, an inactive couple came back to church after soooo many years of being inactive. They got offended by someone in the church and both just decided to stop going. So we went and visited them about a month ago and invited them to come back to church and just like that they came back and haven{t missed a sunday since. When we went to visit them this week, they said that members from the ward had tried visiting them for a very long time and they never wanted to go to church. But they said that when we came, we brought the spirit with us and they just felt it so strong and that they wanted to go back to church so they could feel the spirit like that every week. Cute! We love them.

Yesterday we found out that Esduardo (the son of Migdalia - the one that lives on the river and their roof flew off) has Leukemia! So sad! We went to the hospital to visit him yesterday. I dont think they fully understand how serious that is. That poor family has a hard life. But they seem to still be very cheerful. That was the first time that I had been to a hospital here. It was INSANE! It was soooo dirty and there were a gagillion little babiest shoved in this big room. And it was sooooooooo hot and just awful!

Lets see....what happened that was entertaining this week.....We have a new best friend! His name is Oscar and he is a tuc tuc driver. And he gives us free rides all the time. It is WONDERFUL! He will just pull up next to us walking on the side of the road and say "Going to the house? Jump in!" Its actually kinda creepy because I have noticed that most of the tuc tuc drivers know where we live. We pretty much dont have to tell them directions anymore, they just all go take us to our house automatically.

Oh also, my companion set off the fire alarm in our house 3 times while making food. She would. I swear when we get separated, she is going to kill herself some way or another. Speaking of food...guess what I ate this week? Cow liver. Our cook is very very sneaky! She cooked us this delicious meal. And I noticed that the meat tasted a little funny. It was like chalky. Like flaking off in my mouth kinda thing and it tasted a little like dog food. Finally I asked Hna Parada what kind of meat it was and sure enough. LIVER! Gross. Dirty dirty trick....

Well Ive gotta go but I heart you all soooo incredibly much! I hope you have a fantastic week. And thank you as always for your emails and letters! I am in HEAVEN when I get them! ADIOS!!!!!

- Hermana Kami Alyse Alston

Yes, this is very realistic. These are just dogs lining the streets. THERE ARE SOOOO MANY!!!!

Strange but yummy fruit. Its the new mango around here. Very popular.

Our cook Hna Cony hehe She is like our mommy here. I love her.


Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20th

Hello all! Well first, thank you all sooooo much for the birthday wishes and packages. Yes, I got your package mom. As well as one from Sarah and Theresa. You are the best! I got them the day before my birthday and wanted to open them right away but Hna Nelson made me wait till my birthday. So I woke up and opened them right away! Everything was perfect and fits perfect. Thank you soo much! Did I ever tell you that I wanted a step-mile counter? Cause I have wanted one for a long time. I used it yesterday and I took 11,500 steps and walked 8 miles. And that was yesterday! We were sitting in church for 3 hours, then we had appointments literally all day and were just sitting in houses. I would love to see what it is on a normal day. Ill let you know.

But yes mom, dont you worry, Hna Nelson told absolutely everyone that it was my birthday. So we would be walking down the street and random people would be saying "happy birthday!" or "where{s my cake?" And apparently it is tradition here to give the birthday girl a hug on her birthday. So everyone was coming up and giving me hugs. Cute! And it just so happens that one of our friends just happens to be a cake maker. So she made me my favorite cake and decorated it and everything. It was delish! Then my zone got me a cake and a piƱata. It was precious. THEN, my favorite part. So last week, we set a goal with Samuel and a few other investigators that if they read the book of mormon every day for 10 minutes for a week, we would make pizza with them. And it just so happens that we made the night that we were gonna make pizza my birthday! So we went over there to make pizza with them and they decorated the house and had birthday songs playing and everyone was treating me like a queen. It was so cute. And the best part was that they are my investigators! We had a blast. And they wrote me notes that said "thank you for teaching me about God, you are a great example" haha I love them.

Anyways, enough about me. We have two baptisms for this Saturday so I am very excited about that. Samuels twin brother Jose is getting baptised and is very excited. We are also teaching their dad but he is not so eager to jump in the water. But he is not completely close minded either. We went to go pick Samuel up for church on Sunday like 45 minutes early and he was all ready. And we have no idea how he got ahold of them but he was wearing black pants, and a white shirt and a tie. He felt like a million bucks. He reads the Book of Mormon for like an hour every day and is already at the end of Alma. And he has I swear half of the hymns memorized and sings sooooo loud. Its great.

Our other baptism is Kimberly. You know, the one that was sooo hard to get because her mom thought she needed more time? Well that one is kind of iffy because we passed by with her this week to teach and her mom answered the door bawling because she says her husband doesnt love her and she wants to leave him and such. Oh dear. Something else sad that we saw this week was that we went to visit one of the ward members and we asked her how she was and she just broke down and started bawling. She just told us about how her husband lost his job and cant find more work and how they literally dont have any money. And her kids keep on asking her for bread and she cant give them anything. She said she literally has nothing to her name,and she cant do anything. She said she cant clean because she doenst have a broom or anything. She cant wash clothes because she doesnt have soap. She cant eat cause they dont have food. It was completely heart breaking. And even worse because I couldnt do anything to help her. We are going to talk to the Bishop though to see if the church can help her out. It is so interesting being a missionary. And going into random peoples houses and them confiding in you completely. It is something that would only happen as a missionary. Such a unique experience.

In answer to your questions, yes, I am still traveling to different zones to talk about health. We usually go every Thursday. Its fun because I get to see a bunch of different areas but at the same time, I dont like it because I have to chew people out a little bit for not taking care of themselves and getting parasites. They are usually very nice and respectful though. The doctor asked me to PLEASE not help missionaries that are just sick with a cold or flu. He said that half the reason that they are on a mission is to help them be prepared for the big world. So he told me to start telling them to figure it out and such it up. Uh oh....We{ll see how that goes.

Well I gotta go, sorry if I bored you. But I love you al tons and tons! Hopefully all the pictures that I sent you will make up for the lack of excitement in my letters. Have a great week!! Until next Monday...

Samuel all ready for church.

Our friend Fide who made me my FAVORITE cake (tres leches). She may or may not have written Felicidades, Alton. Close...

Making pizza on my bday

More of the bday party

June 13th

Hello Fam!

Well two very exciting things happened this week! First, we had changes! And.......I DIDNT CHANGE! AGAIN! haha I really do think Im gonna be in Concepcion with Hna Nelson forever! I will officially be together with my trainer on my half way mark. What? Everyone is shocked. But Presidente told our cook that we are going to be together forever in Concepcion. haha We are also still with Hna Parada. I think Im also going to be in a trio forever too! It was cute though cause none of the people in this area wanted us to leave. Everyone kept on saying "we{ll be praying that you stay!" And kept on hugging us and such. And then when we saw them later and told them that we werent getting changed. They would squeal and give us hugs and stuff. Precious! I LOOOOOVE the people here soooo much! It{s going to be hard to leave. If that ever happens.

The other exciting thing that happened was....SAMUEL GOT BAPTISED! He was really cute and excited. When we went to go pick him up for his baptism, he was all ready a half an hour early. And his twin brother and alllll the neighborhood kids were ready. And as we were walking through the neighborhood, more kids kept on running out of there house to walk with us to the church until we had quite a large crew! It was very happy and Samuel is TOTALLY dedicated and serious about this baptism thing. I love it! We{re trying to get in to teach his family but his dad works ALLL the time. Its a bit of a problem. Bummer because he really likes us and would totally listen to us but he is just so busy. Samuels twin Jose went to church with us though. He{s a bit of a little rebel so I was surprised and he said he really liked it! So we{ll see what happens with that.

Something else sort of horrible happened. A girl got murdered in our ward. She was only 19. She had a baby and rumor is, she was pregnant too. I guess she was walking down the street and 5 guys jumped out of the car and shot her! How horrible! She was one of the girls in the picture of the family I sent last week. In front of all the trees and flowers. It got me kind of scared but dont worry cause we are protected by angels! And we are very very careful. I guess all of Guatemala is fasting in July for safety and protection of all the people in the country cause its super dangerous and stuff keeps on happening. So foreign to me. Im used to being tucked away in my sheltered home in the states.

Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes! I LOVED the video of the whole fam and my whole district here watched it and were cracking up! You are the best family ever! Several of our friends here know its my birthday and there are a few little parties planned. Have I mentioned that I love them? haha Well sorry that this email was shorter than usual but I ran out of things to say. I hope you have a fantastic week!

Love, Hermana Kami Alyse Alston

p.s. I have been HORRIBLE about writing letters lately. I have been crazy busy, but I will repent and send some soon. Thanks for still being super supportive and writing even if sometimes you dont get anything in return!! LOVE YA!