That's awesome about the family reunion! Sounds like so much fun! Nathan sounds like a stud! I wish I could have seen him speak! Happy Birthday Jenny! I was going to send you a letter, but I got the schedule wrong. We can only mail out on certain days. It'll get there! Someday! I did make sure to tell everyone that it was my sister's birthday though! I also forgot to tell you that I saw Brother Holbrook on the plane to LA, that was pretty sweet! He's such a good guy. I also wanted to say that everyone loves Brother Holmes tie, and everyone wants to trade for it, but I won't trade it- sentimental reasons and all. I got offered 4 ties for it once! I'm not sure what to write about this week. We've been doing a lot- every day. My companion's name is Elder Garry. He's a stud, reminds me of myself actually! He's the typical All-American LDS kid. He's about 6'3 and super blonde. He had great hair and was pretty bummed when it got cut last week. He's from St. Louis and he's really good friends with Joe Bingham! Small world! He's very good at Spanish, we're having a ball teaching. We still teach several times a day, all in Spanish. I'm starting to get the hang of it. It's really fun. We've gotten to the point where we know what the other is thinking- which makes teaching really fun. He's going to the Honduras Tegulcigalpa mission. Most of the people here are going to Guatemala. About a third are going to Honduras, and 10 are going to El Salvador. 3 to my mission.
I love Sundays here, it's all in English except Sacrament meeting. It's really nice. We have two branches here. The first Councilor in mine, Presidente Wood, is the Chief Legal Adviser for the Church in Central America. He teaches my priesthood and district class. I really like him. The second councilor, Presidente Lynn, is the Chief Medical Advisor for all of Central America except Guatemala. (The Guatemala medical guy is in the MTC presidency). Presidente Lynn gave us the health lecture on Sunday and scared us all out of our socks- by the end we were all wishing we'd gotten called to somewhere like Utah where they have all the weird diseases under control. I was really envying Clarke that day. President Lynn had just gotten back from a trip to my mission, the stuff he was telling us was pretty frightening. All of my friends were making fun of me afterward. Apparently 1\3 of all companionships in Central America are out commission each day because of parasites. Nice. Thought I'd share that with you. They gave us all water filters, so... that's comforting I guess.
For the past 10 years I've really really really been hoping I wouldn't have to say this, but: Mom and Dad, you were right. I've played the piano on my mission. I started playing on the second day. So, there you have it kids. Practice the piano, because in the Guatemala CCM there's not many people who can. Ugh.
The weather here is nuts, absolutely crazy. It is raining really hard outside right now, the lights flickered and we were all afraid that the power would go out and that we wouldn't be able to send letters, but it seems to be doing fine. Last pday right after I wrote my letter we played volleyball outside. It started raining ridiculously hard, we stayed outside, it's the first time we'd been in Central American rain! Our room smelled awful though afterword. This week we took a break and we were playing pacman tag on the sports court. We felt a couple drops, but the sky was clear and sunny and we wanted to keep playing. The teacher made us go in immediately though, we were all a little bummed. By the time we made it to the door it was raining pretty hard and by the time we made it to our classroom it was dark and cloudy and a full blown storm. Crazy. I don't know if you remember the storm when BYU played Texas- but it's like that every other day here. We never go outside though. The running joke here: "What's the difference between the CCM and prison? Prisons get visitors!" As true as that is, I still love it here. I usually have a hard time in the mornings, but I'm always in a great mood by breakfast time. This Sunday we watched the Joseph Smith movie- and we were all crying. All the little kids running around made us homesick! I absolutely love love love love love it here though. I'm having the time of my life!
Teachers are awesome! Missionaries are awesome! The food is awesome! The gospel is awesome! The gift of tongues is so real, I've only been here 2 weeks and I already know it. Elder Garry and I are pretty good at Spanish, but we get frustrated sometimes because we know what we want to say, but we can't say it. We were teaching a menos activo the other day, and she talked so fast. She had a little 3 year old kid who was crazy. Elder Garry and I were having a really hard time hearing her and understanding her. I told her that I knew that the church brought happiness, and she replied with a tricky question. She asked if we had been members our whole lives. We both said yes. Then she asked how we knew it was the church that brought happiness, if we'd never not had the church. It was a tricky question, and we didn't really know how to respond, especially in Spanish. Elder Garry and I both just bore our testimonies, and we were finally able to get the Spirit into the room. Our Spanish when we bear our testimonies is so much better than it should be, and I know that it's Heavenly Father blessing us with the gift of tongues and with the Holy Ghost.
Love you! -Elder Goodman