Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Missionaries Life

Siesta Time!!

Orange Walk, Belize

 Orange Walk LDS Church

 Derek & Elder Ingersoll

  Derek & Elder Ingersoll

 Apartment in Orange Walk, Belize

Dinner for one?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Home "Stylers"

Well I definitely know how you feel being in those temperatures of 80's and 90's.  I honestly feel that we are constantly in the sun and every little bit of shade we find - we hide under it. hahah  But that's quite the difference between us and you guy; you're looking for the sun and we're hiding from it every chance that we get!! But this week we went to a house and they had a relatively nice garden and I told them I had a mother back in the states that loves to garden and be outside.  I don't think that they appreciated it as much as I did. hahah

I sure hope that someone told grandpa that I’m sorry for not being at his birthday this year; as you know I was a little..... busy........ haha.  I'm glad to hear that you had all that nice food too! And actually about that - I'm "trying" to learn how to make some special food here in Belize but it’s not any promises about it.  I'm trying though.  A lot of people here eat flour tortillas with beans.  But not the tortillas that you buy in the store - these are handmade!

Well let’s see some things that happened to me this week.  Well last Tuesday after I stayed in Corozal, we went about working and ran into some Gringos from West Virginia!  They actually were here doing some volunteer work in dental hygiene so I went in there and had them clean my teeth and I asked her if I had any cavities and she said that I’m in good shape! So I still have relatively good teeth even though I haven't seen a dentist for about 2 years!

Well yesterday P-day we didn't do anything really fun...  We ran about doing lots of little things like buying food and going to the store BUT we did manage to go and buy an ironing board from a 2nd hand store for pretty cheap because before we had a little wooden desk that we ironed on.  Then we decided to buy like a table cloth to put on the old wooden table and I think that it looks good and stylish.  I know you'd be proud of how good of home “stylers” we are!

Well as you know things are going good in my area Orange Walk (sugar city). I just thought maybe you would like to know a little about it.  So there is the name because supposedly there were oranges here in the past but now there is just sugar cane and a huge plant that they use to take out the sugar from.  But a lot of people work there!  There really isn’t anything big in the city but there are a lot of second hand stores from the states, I would compare them to the DI.  Well I’m going to send you a picture of my house which is literally a giant square block in the middle of a yard of weeds.  (Haha)  But really it suits our purpose. Really the town is really low key compared to my old area in the big city of BELIZE.  There aren't nearly as many cars or crimes at that and even there aren't half the amount of people but that is good and bad.  We live pretty much in the middle of town and it’s nice because we can go everywhere we want.

I really have run out of things to ramble about actually...  But President Cordon is coming to Belize this week and I think he is going to interview us and I hope that he can renew my temple recommend!  That would be pretty useful.  I heard that the BC Temple open house will be starting in August!!!  That’s going to be awesome!!  I hope that everyone is clearing your calendars so that they can go!  Especially the family!  Since I’ll be Belize City on Friday for my meeting, I’ll check my mail then; hopefully I’ll have my package.

Well I hope everyone is happy and has a great week.  I’m going to try and do the same!
Eat some good food for me!

Love Elder Sutton

Friday, April 20, 2012

Everything's Great

April 17, 2012

Well good afternoon my dear family and friends!!  I really am glad to hear from you and to know that everything is going crazy good!

Things here in Orange Walk are going pretty good except for the extreme heat as usual.  I think that I've just got used to having a really sweaty shirt all the time..  GROSS!!!

So BE Lacrosse is going great I assume.   I don't know what dad does to get all those boys into shape but he can definitely put me through the course when I get home.  I think I'm putting on a few pounds here in Orange Walk and not because of the tons of food that I eat but what I eat.  People here have a huge Spanish influence on the food that they eat so they love to eat lots of beans and eggs and fried bread and things with lots of grease.  But don't worry, I'm not eating a lot so that I can come back nice and slim and then I can put on the muscle later.  (hahah - you know how big I was before I left!)

Well yes it’s grandpa’s birthday!  The sad day is that I'm not going to be there for it. Make sure to let him know that we'll go out to Burger King with him to make it up to him.  I feel like this month is really flying by!  I could have sworn that it was just Christmas and now it’s Grandpa's birthday!  Crazy things.  I can see why everyone would tell me that when you get old the time flies even faster..  Implying that now I’m old too... hahah

1 – How are your scriptures holding up?  Do you have both English & Spanish that you use?

Well I'm not going to lie my scriptures are taking quite a hammering going around with me all the time.  As you can remember I'm using the scriptures that I got for seminary when I started and they are looking beat up. But for right now I usually walk around with them and not so much in Spanish. Almost everyone here speaks both English and Spanish perfectly. But you got to love it. I even use the little glue-ins that my seminary teachers had given me. So you never know when they will come in handy seminary.

2 – What kind of wildlife/bugs/critters have you seen in your new area?

Well to talk about little animals here in my area I'm going to tell you all a story. One day my companion decided to take out the garbage from our house and sadly it’s not like the states where you can just go and take it out side in a big can that you have, but what we have to do is we have to go and put it into our neighbors with their permission of course. So as he was going to take it out he noticed that a whole bunch of ants were on his hand and he dropped it and started screaming as these nasty red ants bit up his hand. It was really funny to be there and I imagine that the people in the street thought so too seeing a white kid in a shirt and tie jump up and down. But other than that there are a lot of insects here and rats the size of small cats etc... Something random here is that they have little ants that climb up and down your walls. They are really so small that they almost aren't worth killing but if you leave your food out they somehow always find it and you end up with some extra protein in your cereal. hahah
3 – How big is the branch in Orange Walk, and do they have a piano for you to play there?

Well the branch here isn't too huge - last week there were like 78 people in church. And yes I actually do play the piano here. They had been without a piano player in the branch for at least 6 months. Can you imagine church without piano? But actually a nice lady came up to me and thanked me for all the time that I put in to learn the piano. Then at the end she told me to thank my parents for all they did so that I learned to play the piano. SO like I said it’s one of the best things here in the mission. Especially here in Belize - THANK YOU PARENTS!!!!!

4 – We know you don’t overlook the ocean anymore, but what is your new apartment like (now that it’s clean and all….)?

Well actually my companion and I do clean our apartment often. We actually got up early on Monday so that we could clean and not have to do it in the heat of the day (I’m becoming more of a morning person.... kind of).  But my apartment is....... ok....  It’s exactly what we need. We have a shower and rooms with beds in them, and like Bryant said we are living out of our suit cases so that was a great investment!!! But really it’s a nice house, I can't complain much because we never really are in it-hahah

Well funny story of the day!  So my companion and I decided to make some purchases this Monday and what I needed to buy were some new sandals..... Yes, my trusty sandals that have lasted me soooooooo long have died!  I remember having those sandals for sooo long.  Remember the Speedo ones?  They have officially died!!   But my companion decided to get something to help him work out.  He bought himself a Vibro Belt!!  It’s pretty much the coolest thing ever.  It’s a belt that you put on and it just shakes your stomach and supposedly it makes you skinnier (doubt that).  But it’s definitely the purchase of the month in our house!  If anything - it’s funny.

Well the baptism of Marcos and Jeffery went really well this last week! With the help of a lot of the members things came together and we managed to get some refreshments and stuff. But the most important thing is that they were happy with it, and from what I could see they were definitely happy.

Well things are great and hot here in Belize!  But I’m definitely enjoying myself and working really hard.  Maybe I'll bring one of my shirts home so that you can see them. The necks are all torn up from so many times of being washed and they are slowly turning the color yellow.  It’s part of the experience though and that’s why I love it. The people are great!  My companion and I are great!  And we're working hard to help as many people as possible.

Well, I love you all and have a happy birthday Grandpa!

Elder Sutton

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Old People Shoes"

Dear Family and Friends,

Good afternoon from here in Corozal! Yes, today I'm in Corozal just coming up here to help the elders out for a few hours then I'm going back to my area! But yeah, Corozal is quite beautiful too; it’s right near the coast so it gets the beautiful breeze that I had back in Belize City. But just so you know it’s a 3 hour bus ride from the city to here.. I think I'm sick enough of buses for at least a while.

It sounds like the family also has had the successful week with Mom and Megan going to party in California and Dad with all the lacrosse things! And I'm sorry to hear that you got sick, mom. I'm glad you didn't pass that gene on to me. Haha

The shoes are going to be the best! I don't think you all realize how much I needed new shoes... That is a huge breath of relief. But I did manage to buy me some shoes for the meantime, and I got me some slip on ones with “tassels” in the front. Sadly, I don't have any pictures of them or I’d show you. Remind me next week and I'll send you some because I call them my "old people shoes". My companion and I got a good laugh out of them when we saw them. But they were only $6 American dollars so it’s all good to throw them out when I get my new ones.

1 – Is the weather just as hot in-land as it was on the coast?

Well, let me tell you a common day here in Orange Walk. So usually we get in at night around 9’ish and my comp usually goes into the room where we sleep and turns on the fan to "cool the room down" and at that time he looks at the thermometer that he has on his watch and for the last few nights it’s been 90-92 degrees at like 9:30 at night so you can really imagine how it is during the day there. I think sweating has just become part of my life now. And don't even mention A.C. because that practically doesn't exist here only in the giant super store and in the rich mansions (which are few). But I can assure you mom, that you would live quite happy here and wouldn't ever have to worry about being cold ever in your life again!

2 – Is it more like a jungle or a big city in your new area?

Well it’s not a big city at all. Actually it’s like a town. But it’s not jungle either... How do I explain it..... Well it’s really dusty at this time of the year also because there are few paved roads and things tend to dry up when there is no water. But it is big enough for there to be like a Big store like K-mart (mini) and things that make it all good. Defiantly my most favorite part is what my companion and I call "Chucho Burgers". I think I told you what those were already but it’s all cool and cheap. All in all things are good. We have 2 baptisms this weekend so pray for us!

3 – Do you now eat and enjoy avocados (Amanda’s question)?

Right now you don't see many of them but there are avocados here. The few that I have had were huge and you just rub salt on them and eat them like a fruit which was different because before I didn't used to mind them but now I eat them as much as I can. I think my tastes have changed a little here because now I really like coleslaw and potato salad.

4 – Do you ride bikes in Orange Walk – or just W A L K (hahaha) ????

Well luckily everywhere in the country of Belize has bikes so I’m riding good on my nice green bike. Man but this bike is wayyyyyy too small for me because my knees hit the handle bars. I can just imagine how it would be for someone taller than me like dad. Now that would be a funny sight.

5 – What size is the average family (how many children do they usually have)?

Well the average family here is quite big - like 6 I’d say. But the thing is like this, the families are not normally together. It’s pretty common to find a mother and children and single men here. That's the challenge actually, to find people that are together and that love one another and want to change their lives.

Well things really are going good. I honestly can't complain that much because at the end of the day as I sit down and plan with my companion - we really are blessed. There is so much that I do have that so many others don't have (just even shoes that are nice and decent). When you talk about even air conditioners in all the houses like it was back home, the people drop with their mouth open and they just plain don't believe it. My eyes are definitely opened and like a lot of missionaries have said, I do have a love for those people that I'm serving even if they don't want to hear from us. I still have this love for them and I want them to have what I have which is happiness that no amount of money can buy.

I really am enjoying my life and I'm cringing about when I have to come home and worry about college and money etc.... (Let’s just hope the mission can prepare me well for that stuff too - one day though.) Until then, I'm going to work my tail off. But even though the sun is hot and we're tired - I'm not going to give up just yet. I still have a long time to go and I'm going to work until the very last day so that we can have success. If there is one thing that you taught me, it’s that if I work hard I can be successful.

I love you all and I hope that everything still is as good as ever!

Love Elder Sutton

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cleaning Time...

April 3, 2012

Well this week was quite the great and exciting week! I started the process of getting to know all the members and the investigators here in my new area and even though I’m sad that I had to leave Belize City I'm really glad that I came to an area with great members and a good companion Elder Ingersoll who is from Taylorsville, Utah what???? Crazy small world we are living in right? The best part I think is how we can make funny jokes together and he knows what I’m talking about. Usually to my Latin companions I have to explain them and they aren't as funny. But as you know he is my third "gringo" companion.

Well, let me help you get to know Orange Walk. First of all we have asked just about everyone why it’s called Orange Walk but no one really knows why because there are no oranges. The thing is that its nicknamed “sugar city” because they grow A LOT of sugar cane. Part of the way in which they harvest the cane is that they have to burn the cane to get rid of the other weeds and all the garbage. So when they do that, in my area everything gets covered in black stuff and the smoke sits around for days. But the good part is like all areas in Belize, we have the whole town to work with and it’s big too.

Well right now things really are going good, the only problem is our house. MAN, I don't know how elders can live in a house sooooooo dirty so the first thing that we did on our p-day is we went and bought cleaning supplies. I don't know how but somehow I learned to clean and I think that was from my dear parents.

OH story time:

So we found a Chinese Book of Mormon in the house and what happens here is there is a place (owned by some Chinese) and we often go there to eat some really nasty hamburgers. We go there often because it’s cheap (just so you know). BUT, we decided that we should make an attempt on giving this book to them. So when we got up the words - we went and tried to give it to them. After a lot of simple words and actions, they understood that it was a gift for them but they just looked at the book then back at us, then at the book and then at us. Talk about one of the most awkward moments ever but I think they understood. Who knows? We told them to read it so we'll check back the next time we go there.

Well as you can see things are going pretty good but not a whole lot. We do have two people that are going to be baptized on the 14th - Marcos and Jeffery. So make sure to be praying for them.

I love you all and I hope that things are going fantastic for all of you and that you all sincerely loved the conference as much as I did here in Belize. Remember to feast on the words of Christ and they will teach us all things we need to know.


Elder Sutton