I am adjusting to Guyana pretty well. Berbice (our Zone/Eastern Guyana) is the poorest region of the entire mission. Elder Cook told me kind of jokingly that the conditions that I'll serve in can only go up hill from here haha. Definitely an adjustment though. What drives me crazy here is the garbage. They throw their garbage off to the side of the road. Then eventually someone comes by, puts the garbage in a pile, and burns it. So literally everywhere you go it smells like fireworks (burning garbage). I'm getting use to it though haha. I love my budget here I can actually afford to bake stuff now haha.
Tuesday was an interesting day. It was Deepavali, a Hindu holiday that's pretty much like the 4th of July. Everyone (mainly the Indians) celebrates Indian/Hindu culture by baking Indian food and desserts. I remember we tracked this one family's house (who were Hindu) and the lady there gave us some Indian pastries, and we had only been there for 2 minutes haha. The people here are awesome!
On Wednesday we got 12 new investigators in one day! We'll obviously sort through them but people kept coming to our lessons we had planned. I remember we had a lesson planned with a girl. She asked that we teach at her friend's grandmas house which was down the street. We went over and she got her friend to sit in on the lesson. Her friend then got her grandma and her 3 cousins to sit in on the lesson as well. So we had this awesome restoration lesson with these kids that were no older than 14 with their grandma. Everyone was very accepting. We asked her friend to give the closing prayer . That prayer we sat in on was probably the most precious thing I can say I've been apart of here. These two sweet girls who had never uttered a prayer out loud in their lives were helping each other say this closing prayer. Their grandma helped them out too which was cool. They're the coolest bunch every!
On Friday we had zone conference and I finally got to meet President and Sister Egbert. They are such an awesome couple. We got up at 4:30 in the morning to make it to Demerera (next to Georgetown) by 8. We had an awesome conference on the importance of Branch council and working with the members. Very informative. President Egbert was so excited to tell everyone about his story and operation he had with his eye (his career is in the Medical field). He talks very fast. After the conference he interviewed me for about 10 to 15 minutes. Apparently the interview was really short. Apparently President Egbert's interviews go anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour with each individual missionary. He loves talking to missionaries and he loves to talk his Dutch with the Dutch ones haha. Probably half the interview was in Dutch.
I will tell you right now one of the reasons I was called to work in the Trinidad Port of Spain Mission was to have President Egbert as my mission president. We have a lot in common and I can tell it will be an awesome time serving with him. He speaks fluent Dutch and speaks some Spanish as well. On top of that he is learning Papiamento. He's an awesome leader.
Well to the fun part of the week. I started getting stomach cramps after lunch at Zone Conference. I got some pep-dough on the way home which helped me that night. On Saturday I called Sister Clawson, our mission doctor, who said to stay in for the day. I was feeling pretty good and I got a lot of sleep/scripture study/cleaning done. At the end of the day Elder Horsley (my Zone leader), asked if I'd go with him to drop some missionaries off. I went with him and was feeling fine on the way there. We got there and dropped the missionaries off. Then it hit me like a brick wall. I started getting severe stomach cramps that got so bad I couldn't stand up straight. I started getting light headed and my arms and legs started going numb. By the time I got to the apartment I was starting to shake. President Egbert (thankfully and conveniently) was in the area doing some work in Berbice. He was able to come over and give me a priesthood blessing and gave some instructions to my companions on how to help me. He diagnosed my condition as food poisoning. DO NOT GET FOOD POISON IN THE AMAZON JUNGLE IN A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY! It isn't exactly a pleasant experience.
I was allowed to go to church the next day but then had to stay in the whole day. So I pretty much spent my weekend in bed. It's been fun :) I'm doing SOOOOOO much better now. I don't think I've been in that much pain in my life. Sacrament was good we had a lot more come than what we had last week. I was able to play piano since the power was on this week haha. Elder and Sister Rasmussen, who are based in Georgetown, came and spoke in sacrament and gave beautiful talks on the importance of Tithing and maintaining good administration.
It's definitely been a weird/cool/ adjustment to Guyana life. Everyone perceives things here very differently. Guyana is the one and only English speaking country on the South American continent and very much so has a Caribbean culture. A very cool and unique country with a very vibrant and passionate people.
Guyana's awesome and I'm loving it here. I'll be back next week with more to come!
Ik hou van jullie!