How many missionaries does it take to kill a tarantula?
Or one (an ex-golfer zone leader with a big broom) and five others standing around watching. I placed myself safely outside, looking in through the window with the very excited three-year-old daughter of the woman whose house it was. (Candy Alvarez, who I wrote about a while ago, who cooks us lunch every day.)
It was a very big spider. The size of my hand, no lie. And when it was killed, it shriveled up and shrunk. Kind of cool.
I thought, after a cockroach jumped and landed on the back of my hand, that I could handle anything. But a real live tarantula was another story.
We are in Guatemala, folks.
For further proof of this, today we went to a waterfall! It's awesome and I will send pictures next week. It rained a lot while we were there and, climbing down the slippery path with a rock wall and jungle on either side, I felt a little like Indiana Jones.
Oh, and speaking of Indiana Jones (which is what people who have heard of him say when I tell them I'm from Indiana) I should probably apologize to my home state. Sometimes, because I answer this question a million times a day and it gets redundant after a while, I just tell people I'm from Chicago. But I should probably stop, because it doesn't actually help; most people have only heard of New York, California, Florida and Texas. Though a very sassy Seventh-day Adventist once honestly asked me if I'm from Alaska....
The title of this email is just because it's week 11 in the mission field and it feels like home, more or less, except all the puppies belong to other people and there's no one that gives very good hugs. I will probably get transferred when we have changes in two weeks.
One of our investigators, Juan, is awesome, and this week we got to really see him grow. He decided to be baptized next weekend, and felt the Spirit super strongly during one of our meetings, and last week during a hymn during church. He's super humble and diligent, and it is an absolute treasure to see the way the gospel is and will continue to bless his life.
It's also cool because he works in a panaderia (bakery) on a main street we walk everyday. He's met with a million missionaries during his time here, always watched them pass, even went to church a few times years ago. But there was something about this time, when we stopped to talk to him... he was ready.
Also he gives us free delicious bread. I might be slightly addicted to the bread here. And I'm fulfilling every white person stereotype about milk by drinking lots of it.
On Thursday (or Friday?) it rained a whole bunch. I mean, a WHOLE bunch. Like when you see videos of hurricanes hitting a city, except with less wind. There was a river in the street. In Indiana, this would be a flash flood. We took shelter beneath a tin roof in a concrete workshop and sang 'Nearer, My God to Thee' to three 18-year-old boys who are apprentices there. You could hardly hear our voices over the noise of the storm, but the Spirit came anyway.
A while later, a drunk guy who was also sheltering there wandered off. I will never forget that vision: watching him walk away, too drunk to talk, like they say he gets every day. Wandering a wiggly line, barefoot, through five inches of rainwater running the other way. Going who knows where, his mind who knows how far from remembering his divine worth as a child of God. Another precious day of his only earthly life... lived to be forgotten.
He's got two kids.
Don't do drugs.
But I'm over internet time.
Lots of love to tide you over - until next week,
Hermana Ison :)
Oh, and the girl who lives in (next to) our house has to make a Rube Goldberg machine for school, and then five of her classmates and her all have to connect theirs, and they've been working on it in the house for the past few days. Call me a nerd, but it's SO COOL.