Throughout the last year we have exchanged customary foods with Rosy and Jaime's family. One of the things Rosy wanted to do before we left the mission was to have me teach her how to make chocolate chip cookies. The primary ingredient to do this is my laptop, which is open to Spanishdict.com. If it is on the counter, we can communicate better as we're making the dough. Unlike many families in Xela, they have an oven, but it must not have a glass door. Candi watched every batch bake from this position with much fascination.
This was also the month of Elder Menendez's birthday. We celebrated in the office with the other office missionaries. He is one of the assistants to the president and he's about to say goodbye to his companion, Elder Hansen, who leaves in July.
Xela is well known for amazing glimpses of the moon, known as "Xela luna". Songs are even written about it. This was a pretty gorgeous night for skywatching.
Yesterday was Elder Bench's last day in the mission, so we had Jaime drive us up to Olintepeque on the other side of Xela, to an area where he had served. He wanted to say good-bye to a favorite family. The view was especially green and lush, as it is the rainy season. The mountains to the naked eye were a gorgeous, deep green. Stray dogs as well as neighborhood dogs were everywhere in the deep grasses around this soccer field and many flea bites accompanied this outing.
This sweet Guatemalan family lived in Arizona for eight years, then returned to open a woodworking shop, which is next to their home. The little children had gone out with their dad and were likely devastated to know they had missed saying good-bye to Elder Bench.
Heading to the bus depot this morning in a typical state of no-wheels-left-on-my-suitcase-at-the-end-of-my-mission, so it is carried, Guate-style.
Elders Marriott and Lemus help with the Alamo chaos.
It is rare that missionaries leave alone, but such is the case this time. It's always bittersweet to see one of our fine missionaries head home. Watch out, Nevada...here he comes!