Monday, June 25, 2012

Guatemala CCM WOW!

All I can say is this place is the bomb.  So I called you in LAX and
that was awesome.  I loved hearing your voices.  Its been awhile.
After I called you I called AJ and talked to him and his friends for a
minute or two till I ran out of quarters.  We went back to the gate
where we were going to board our flight and i already felt like i was
in a different country.  I talked to some of the locals headed to
Guatemala and I could communicate with them.  It was awesome.  We
boarded the plane and filled out some paper work and headed off.  This
is when it became so real for me.  We landed in Guatemala, grabbed our
bags, went through customs and I soon found myself walking out of the
airport into a crowd of Guatemalans poaching on and around a little
fence.  There were security guards everywhere.  A little old man asked
if wanted a 1$ shoe shine and I politely said no.  I heard some one
say in a soft voice, "ELDERS".  I looked to my right and there was
this little sister calling us over.  My first thoughts were, this must
be some sort of trap, I dont trust her, but then she started speaking
fluent English and we realized she was from the CCM.  She guided us to
our bus that we would be taking all the way to the CCM and I soon
handed my bags to a random Guatemalan who stuffed them in the back of
the bus.  I hurried and jumped on the bus just incase they tried to
take off with all of our bags.  At least I would go down with my bags
haha.  Turns out these people worked for the CCM and we all boarded
safely.  The bus drive over was so gnarly.  The streets here are super
busy and the way to merge is simply by nudging out inch by inch.  We
almost hit 4 motorcyclist and two pedestrians.  Pedestrians dont have
the right away here haha.  We passed a Dominos, a burger King and many
more American Restraunts but what we saw standing outside these places
was even more exciting.  On our way to the CCM, every 2 blocks is a
police officer holding an M16, yes Cade, just like call of duty.  I
even saw random people on motorcycles with shotguns placed on the back
of their seat.  I loved the drive over here, it instantly made me feel
that i needed to be here.  We pulled into the CCM and unloaded and
walked up to our room.  If you have seen pictures of this CCM, you
know it is one simple building with 2 wings and 3 stories.  It is
literally right next to the temple.  The temple is beautiful.  We get
to do sessions every Tuesday.  Back to the story though, I walked up
to my room, opened my door and our room was huge and way nicer than my
provo room.  All glazed wood furnishings with super nice bunk beds and
a sweet view.  Everything was going perfect.  Then they let us take a
two hour nap for our jet lag.  We woke up and went to a little
orientation thing (everything here is so laid back. It was all 15 or
so new north american missionaries and a couple of teachers from
Guatemala, Honduras, Peru).  We got a temporary
schedule and then ate lunch.  The food here is honestly probably the
best food i have eaten.  No joke.  It is the bomb.  They make a
special juice every day with the freshest fruit, whether it be
watermelon juice, pineapple starfruit juice, we even had rose bulb
juice or something like that.  It smelt like a beatiful rose and
tasted delicious, i cant even explain it.  We have the best eggs,
fried bananas, and bread for breakfast.  The bread here is always
fresh and so tasty.  Ill talk more about the food later.
My companion is from Provo.  He is a really cool guy but the best part
about him is trying very hard to learn Spanish so he is always trying
to speak it to me.  I help him out because he has good vocabulary he
just never conjugates his verbs.  Its hilarious.  He speaks way better
than my last companion though.  We taught a lesson and it went so
well.  Back in Provo i would take in a little notecard with some tips.
 Here I dont use anything because when he talks I can be thinking of
what to say.  You might think im joking but when i say i have learned
more here in 3 days than i have in 3 weeks back in Provo, i am being
serious.  My teacher is the best, he served in Peru and his English is
bomb.  He told us the first day he will teach us the best spanish as
long as we help him here and there with his english.  He is soooo
funny though.  The Latinos here are the best.  At first i thought they
would be judgemental of our Spanish but they are not.  We all play
soccer with them and they are good but i can keep up.  They love how i
juggle, because thats the only thing im good at.  I love it here.  I
got to go.  I have alot more to tell you.  Ask me questions. Love you
so much.      Con Amor,   Elder Gubernick

Week 2

This week was even better.  I have adapted to the MTC lifestyle and 
have grown to love it even more.  Every second of my day is scheduled 
and everysecond of the day is refining me into a better missionary.  We 
have been taught over and over that we are on the Lords errand so 
wasting time is not an option.  As I said there are 11 Kids in our 
distric which makes up our classroom.  Me Elder Nelson, Elder Hagemer, 
and Elder Larsen are the Spanish experts (basically tutors).  Our job 
is to help the rest of the class while our two teachers are not there 
during language study and additional study.  There are 3 other kids 
that are in charge of organizing our meetings and 3 more that are in 
charge of maintaining the spirit.  My companion is the lone elder with 
the job of making anyone happy when they are feeling down.  He also 
gets to choose the Hymns we sing.  This extra task has challenged me to 
learn spanish even better so i can teach it right to the rest of our 
district.  My pronunciation is alot better Dad.  I can write almost 
anything i want in any tense but it is speaking it and thinking of it 
fast enough to say that is the hard part. I got so many packages, one 
 from Heidi, and more from you guys.  Thanks Hiedi i loved the Dr. 
Peppr, so did all my fellow Elders.  Keep the DearElders coming,  I got 
one from AMAC, Bergen, Marissa,Cade and AJ and others.  keep them 
coming i love hearing from you guys.  And i did get the cinamon rolls, 
but i havent opened them yet.  Today i went through the temple and it 
was awesome.  Not quite as cool as Newport but Provo is pretty sweet.  
Doing sessions with 40 other young worthy missionaries is awesome. 
    I am pretty sure the first presidency is going to be here next week 
and they are going to talk to us the Sunday before i leave.  An Elder 
in my zone whose grandparents used to be the MTC mission Presidents has 
the opportunity to pass them and their guests the sacrament.  I cant 
wait to hear the talks they have for us because we hear from members of 
the 70 and people i have never heard of and their talks always are 
bomb.  The MTC is full of spiritualy growing opportunities.  I cant 
wait, however i cant wait to go to... el CCM de Guatamala. 
I love all of you guys and love hearing from you.  I miss you so much.  
Keep up the good work.  If i could give you any advice, it would be 
pray whenever you need to.  I have recieved more answers to prayer here 
than i ever have.  I know you guys will be blessed while i am serving.  
Even though El Salvador is very dangerous i have a sense of peace and 
protection.  Time is running out Love you guys again and all the family 
that i have heard from.
Love all you guys,
Jacob 4:6    (i like it because it mentions waves)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

First Email

Dear Family,
This has been quite the experience so far.  Tuesdays are my P days obviously and I am currently doing my laundry.  This place is seriously like a prison but an awesome one.  I cant believe how organized we all are now.  I dont even know where to start.  My companion, Elder Clonts, is about my height but is built like a horse and he is built like a horse because he is from Thatcher AZ.  He works on a ranch in the summers and plays football.  I never thought i would get along with a farm boy but he is literally just like me.  I know that we are meant for each other and I know it was Gods plan for me to teach him and for him to teach me.  Our district is awesome and our zone is even better.  There are four of us going to El Salvador Santa Ana/ Belize and 7 other Elders going to VinA Del Mar Chile.  All of us took Spanish in highschool except for my companion of course.  It was meant to be right?? My three years at Northwood has helped me learn the basics. Elder Clonts started off really frustrated and was thinking he was in the wrong place when we first started Spanish classes.  Our teacher only speaks spanish to us so i could see why he felt lost.  On the other hand i was suprised at how much i could understand.  At this point in time its not a matter of HOW much i understand its a matter of HOW fast i recognize everything.  My teacher Hermana Gwynn is awesome and i can understand her perfectly.  We try to speack spanish wherever and whenever.  i have replaced words in my mind because i say them so much like el evangelio and mi companero (without the accents).  As of right now me and the 3 other Elders called to El Salvador will be leaving the Provo MTC on June 19th...2 and a half weeks!  Heading to Guatamala is going to be super exciting. We get our travel info this friday so i will be sure to write you if everything is on schedule.  I have recieved three packages and a couple of letters.  I got the OGIO backpack and it will be perfect, thanks padre.  I recieved a beautiful letter with advice from Aunt Debbie and flashcards that have helped me with my vocabulary.  Thank you so much Auntie Debbie, your advice is already helping me.  I wrote you a handwritten letter and hope you got that as well.  I recieved a DearElder from Marissa and that made my day too.  I hope she got my letter, can you guys make sure, mom i am pretty sure you have her number.  DearElder is the best way to communicate with me because every letter you send me they print out for me and deliver everyday that way i can read them during the week and have more time to email.  Keep sending the love and tell them to send it through Dear Elder.  If you could also post my mailing address on my facebook i think Alex would like that. 
       I see my friends here all the time and have gotten used to calling them Elder Reese, Elder Congleton, Elder Tempest, Elder Lavering, Elder King.  It is so awesome to see all of them and to see how their Spanish is progressing.  By far my favorite Elder here besides my companion is my neighbor, 12 week allstar, and spanish master, elder Lebaron.  He is one of the veterans in my zone and he helps me with everything.  He is the man (Elder).  Im sure AJ and Brooke would get a kick out of that.  Another one of my favorite elders is Elder Fuimaono who is sitting right next to me.  Originally from Samoa but moved to Hawaii, he loves BJ Penn, is huge, and started as a true freshman for UofA.  He is a beast and has the softest heart.  He is hilarious though and he thinks i am one of him because of how dark my skin was when i went in.  Every Elder and Sister here is awesome and i love them all.  This place in general has made me a nicer person.  It has tested my testimony and my knowledge of the restoration of this gospel.  I teach the 1st discussion in spanish almost everyday and it tests my Spanish because we sit in a room with an investigator and i speak 90% of the time.  hAha Elder Clonts is learning fast though and i have to be the example. 
I love you guys so much but for some odd reason its not that i miss you its that i know you are being blessed and that i am serving the Lord and making him proud which is what is making you proud.  I love it here so much and just want to get into the field but i know i have much to learn.  I cant wait to flow in spanish and i cant wait to love the people of el salvador.
I would write my testimony in spanish but i need accents i will work on that next time. 
Alma 26:12 Love you
Elder Gubernick

The Drop Off