We had a great time talking to Eric on SKYPE on Christmas day. He looked great and was happy. He told us some startling details that made me want to follow up with a few questions. Later that day he also sent some pictures. He said that most families do not celebrate Christmas with gift giving and that his companion was one of the few missionaries in the whole mission that did not receive a Christmas letter from his Guatemalan family, that were distributed at a multi-zone Christmas party held on Christmas Eve. That was sad news. He said that he does not email a lot because his companions have not been interested in emailing, so they are just waiting for him. Also the Internet café that he emails from has computers that are old and that have worn keys with no letters on them. He said he has eaten almost everything imaginable from goat head to pig and chicken feet. Surprisingly he has not gotten sick. Right now he is living in the only missionary house that has hot water and is considered one of the better missionary homes. But, that the area is dangerous. Most missionary housing have no refrigerators or no way to cook food. So the missionaries eat the prepared food by a hired lunch person and then they are on the own. Mostly they eat beans and rice. Elder Hironaka was upbeat and happy! We all loved talking to him.
This week after I talked to you we worked a lot but nothing big happened. I want to say I loved talking to everyone, it really made my day; it was the best! I hope I haven’t changed too much. This report is really short, you can expect a better one this next week.
Here are questions I asked Eric:
You mentioned that the police try to take you in and that you give them $20 and they let you go.
1) How often does that happen? Never really
2) Does the mission President know this? Yep
3) What does he say about it? It’s normal
4) Do they target you as an American or as a missionary? No
5) Do they want to take your companion in or just you? Me
6) Has this only happened in the city or did it happen in the jungle too? Both
I thought you said previously that you never even saw the police.
Now let's talk about the people who hold you up.
7) Do they hold you up and threaten you with a weapon or just verbally? No weapon
8) How often does this happen? Almost never
9) What if you just gave them nothing and said, No? I don’t want to know
10) How many missionaries are in your mission? IDK
11) How many are girls? IDK
12) What is the mission goal as a whole for monthly baptisms? 1600
13) How do you travel to zone conference? By bus or taxi? Taxi
14) What are your shoes like that you brought? Are they holding up? Great
15) Are you writing in a journal and recording all your experiences? Yep
I felt bad hearing that you companion gets no mail from his family. That is sad! He is good
16) Should I write him? Can he write in English? No
17) Tell me what you did Christmas day please. Talked to you guys and worked. Haha
Elder Hironaka & Elder Bennett Friends since the MCT and who are happily now in the same District