(Get this design on a T-shirt!)
Free resources about the Guatemala City Central Mission:
- Mission address and phone number
- Mission map
- Video interviews with returned missionaries
- Missionary blogs
- Facebook groups
- LDS Mission t-shirts and gifts
- List of past mission presidents
- Cultural articles written by returned missionaries
- Survey with RMs
*Other Mission Pages: Guatemala LDS Missions.
Guatemala City Central Mission Address
Here’s a recent address for the Guatemala City Central Mission. We try to keep this information up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.
Guatemala City Central Mission
Apartado 921-A Zona 9
01009 Guatemala City, Guatemala
Phone Number: 502-2331-8609
Mission President: President Melvin G. Markham
Guatemala City Central Mission Map
Here’s a link to the mission map for the Guatemala City Central Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the Guatemala City Central Mission:
Videos with Guatemala City Central RMs
Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the Guatemala City Central Mission. We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews.
LDS-Friendly Videos about Guatemala
Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about Guatemala. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about Guatemala, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.
Guatemala City Central Missionary Blogs
Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the Guatemala City Central Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.
Guatemala City Central Mission Groups
Here are Guatemala City Central Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the Guatemala City Central Mission.
- Ciudad de Guatemala Central Mision Group (246 members)
- Guatemala City Central Mission 1992-96 Group (160 members)
- Guatemala City Central Mission Moms (LDS) Group (23 members)
- Guatemala City Central Mission- Williams 1996-99 Group (4 members)
- Guatemala City Central Mission (2000-05) Group (1 member)
Guatemala City Central Mission T-Shirts
Here are T-shirts for the Guatemala City Central Mission!
Shirt designs include Guatemala City Central Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL. The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.
*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: Guatemala City Central missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.
Guatemala City Central Mission Presidents
Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Guatemala City Central LDS Mission.
- 2017-2020, Casey B. Cluff
- 2014-2017, Melvin Gerald Markham
- 2011-2014, M. Joseph Brough
- 2008-2011, Richard Allen Baldwin Jr.
- 2005-2008, Hugo E. Martínez
- 2002-2005, David Daines
- 1999-2002, James A. Lemmon
- 1996-1999, Richard Larry Williams
- 1993-1996, Denis R. Morrill
Guatemala LDS Statistics (2015)
- Church Membership: 255,505
- Missions: 6
- Temples: 2
- Congregations: 421
- Family History Centers: 0
Helpful Articles about Guatemala
- Recipe: Guatemalan Pupusas
- Overview of languages in Guatemala by Larry Richman
- Problems of a Divided Society: The Conflicting Cultures of Guatemala, by Larry Richman
- History of Cakchiquel Translation in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
- List of Church translations into Cakchiquel
- Culture for LDS Missionaries: Guatemala Indian, pages 1-50, 51-102, 103-130, acknowledgments.
Guatemala City Central Missionary Survey
Here are survey responses from Guatemala City Central RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.
When did you serve?
- 2015-2016 (Amanda)
- 2012-2014 (Daniel)
- 2006-2008 (Stewart)
- 2011-2013 (Guiseppe)
- 2010-2012 (Brad)
- 2002-2004 (Jeff)
- 1999-2001 (Lyman)
- 2006-2008 (Adiel)
- 1995-1997 (Colby)
- 2005-2007 (Ryan)
- 2007-2009 (Anonymous)
- 2004-2006 (Michael)
- 1996-1997 (Juan)
What areas did you serve in?
- Amatitlan, Villa Nueva, Naciones Unidas, Villa Canales, Santa Elena Barillas. (Amanda)
- Palin. (Daniel)
- Villa Nueva (La Union); Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa; Patzicia; Petapa (Ribera del Rio); Tiquisate; Guatemala City (Colonia Venezuela). (Stewart)
- Roosevelt, Panorama, Eterna Primavera, Boca Del Monte, Sipcate. (Brad)
- Barcenas, Parramos, La Gomera, Puerto San Jose, Villa Hermosa. (Jeff)
- Palin, Itzapa, Amatitlan, Solola, Patulul. (Lyman)
- Prados de Villa Hermosa, Santiago Atitlan, El Tejar Chimaltenango, Tiquisate Escuintla, Monte Maria, Panajachel Solola. (Adiel)
- San Miguel Petapa (Villa Nueva), Panajachel, Ciudad Real, Las Terrazas, Santa Teresa (Nueva Concepcion). (Colby)
- Villa Nueva, Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa, Rio Santiago, Joyabaj (Quiche), San Martin Jilotepeque, San Jose Villa Nueva. (Ryan)
- Mesquital, el frutal, amatilan, patzun, barcenas. (Anonymous)
- El Tejar (Chimaltenango); Tiquisate (Santa Lucia); Mezquital (Ciudad); Ciudad Vieja (Chimaltenango); Santa Elena Barillas/Villa Canales (Villa Hermosa); El Ezfuerzo (Escuintla); Amatitlan (Escuintla). (Michael)
What were some favorite foods?
- Tostadas con fijoles y perejil. Caldo de Res. Bistec con arroz. Tortillas. (Amanda)
- Pepian!! (Daniel)
- Black beans, fried plantains, and corn tortillas! (Stewart)
- Pollo en crema, chocolate con arroz. (Guiseppe)
- Choco Bananas, Tortillas, Chili Rellenos. (Brad)
- Pepian and paches. (Jeff)
- Black beans, handmade tortillas, cheese. (Lyman)
- Cuchitos pepian. Fry eggs with black bean and cheese, cream and fry plantin. (Adiel)
- Black beans and white rice with a little ketchup. Re-fried black beans. Avocados. Choco banano. (Colby)
- Fiambre, Frijoles Negros Volteados, Campero Breakfast. (Ryan)
- Black beans. Cardane asada. (Anonymous)
- Tamales (real ones made with banana leaves); Gringas (from El Tuno in Amatitlan); Pupusas; Pan Dulce: Frijoles Negros Volteados (refried black beans); Helados; Fresh Mango (the bigger, the better); Huge Avocados; The list goes on and on. (Michael)
- Pizza, chicken and salad. (Juan)
What was a funny experience?
- It rains a lot in Guatemala. But when it rains. It. RAINS. and EVERYONE is either hiding underneath what roof they can find– be it a store or the neighbors small lip over the sidewalk. But, we as missionaries were told that we cannot wait out a rain storm. Granted if it was a hurricane, obviously, we would take cover. But for a down pour? no way! 🙂 People would always look at us like we were crazy because we had these HUGE smiles on our faces, clothes completely drenched from head to toe, our scriptures in plastic bags, and we were ready to share the gospel. Rainy days were my favorite days, because no matter what door we knocked on, they would always let us in. (Amanda)
- Every Preparation day :). (Daniel)
- Get chased everywhere by stray dogs. (Brad)
- My first night, my trainer took door knocking and we got in on the first house. We started teaching the father, then they invited us to eat with them, and then they all – even the 3 yr old – started drinking beer. The oldest daughter proposed to me (wanting an anchor baby for the states) and the father told us that we would have to drink beer with the rest of them or leave. I was getting ready to leave and my trainer started to take a drink! It was the 1st Counselor of the Bishopric and his family. They like to pull that trick on all the greenies. (Jeff)
- After a lesson, my companion chasing an iguana and falling in mud. (Adiel)
- We were riding standing room only packed tightly together in the isle of the bus on Preparation Day. So tightly, in fact, that one sister was laughing as she said, “My feet aren’t touching the floor!” (Colby)
- I loved how everyone would love to give us rides, especially if there were 2 gringos asking. We would ride 2-4 hours sometimes to the capital just sticking our thumbs out and riding in the back of pickups. (Ryan)
- It had been sprinkling all day. We were wet, tired and on are way to our last lesson when it really started to rain hard. We knocked on the door with no answer. So we started the long walk down the hill to our apartment. Now it was still raining very hard and water was running down the street. When we got closer to our apartment that was down in the bottom of the draw. We found a knee to waist deep river between us and our apartment. Well it was the perfect end to a long, hard day. We did not even miss a step. We just walked right in. We could not have been any wetter. Patzun will always have special place in my heart. (Anonymous)
- My companion and I were walking on a dusty city road in Tiquisate when a very large dog barked right next to us, and my 6’2″ companion literally jumped into my arms (I’m 5’6″). (Michael)
What was a crazy experience?
- One night, my new companion and I were walking down a rather secluded street planning on visiting a very positive investigator. But, I just felt like we should probably just stop by a convert’s house first and then go. So, the trainer and I lead my daughter to the convert’s house with which we built a stronger relationship with them and quickly used the restroom. As we returned with the investigator, I felt better about the route we decided to take. We finished the night and went home. The following day, the same converts we visited the night before were assigned our lunch. They had told us that a co pilot from one of the major buses in the small town was killed last night. He was shot and hung by members of a rival bus company. We were sad for the news until we realized where it was that he was attacked. The man who had been attacked, was literally around the corner of where our lesson was the night before with our investigator. Surely, had we not taken that detour we would have run into a very sad scene. (Amanda)
- Many but not too much to handle. (Daniel)
- I had a gun pointed to my head for being a maldito gringo which I simply walked away from. (Guiseppe)
- Have a gun pulled on recent converts and stopping it from happening. (Brad)
- Luckily, I never had anything dangerous come across my path in that beautiful country. (Jeff)
- I saw a large group of young men fight with machetes less than 50 feet from me. (Lyman)
- Going into an area new to us and having a stranger telling us to get out. He knew the danger and said it wasn’t safe for us. He was a drug dealer. We didn’t know the area but as part of our region, we tried finding an inactive member that lived there. The stranger was nice enough to warn us. (Adiel)
- My companion and I were returning home after leaving quite late from a dinner/family home evening appointment with an inactive family in the machete slaying capital of the country. We knew we were way over curfew, but felt it was such an important opportunity with the family. As we left, we both asked if the other had prayed and was impressed to return home by any particular way. We opted to go down the main street with the most light. It was empty and we were walking quickly just under a trot. My companion was a pace or two behind until I noticed that he wasn’t there any more. I turned around to see him struggling for his backpack with a criminal who had emerged from the shadows to take it. In an instant, I gave way to the Spirit as my arm went to the square and in English in the Name of Him Who is Mighty to deliver commanded that the darkness let my companion go. Upon doing so, the criminal released my companion and scurried off into the shadows. My Honduran companion quickly came to me saying “Gracias” and we straight away returned to our apartment, entered and fell to our knees to give thanks to the Father for His protection. (Colby)
- My first night I had a gun pulled on me from a drunk gangster. He later apologized and protected us from any harm. Also, there was an elder in our mission who had his watch stolen (a $5 watch in Antigua). One of the gang members asked him about it and tracked down the person. The elder later found out that guy was killed. The gang members love the missionaries and protect them. Don’t be intimidated, unless you are not in a shirt and tie. (Ryan)
- Well I don’t know that it was much more dangerous than any other. If you serve your mission in Guatemala, there is a good chance that you be around violence. In Mesqutal, we were in a tin house teaching a lesson when all of a sudden there were flashing lights and bullets flying all around us and the family. We all hit the floor as bullet holes starting appearing in the house. Finally, it all stopped and we went home as fast as we could. This was a military raid. They were trying to catch a bunch of gang members. (Anonymous)
- I was so focused on not tripping in a new area that I didn’t notice the guy in front of me pulled out a gun, and when I didn’t stop walking towards him, he got spooked and ran off. I was also confronted by a female gangster who said “give me your body” since I didn’t have any money on me. I thought I might get molested, but she was drunk enough that she forgot what she was doing and walked away. My companion had seen her coming and knew who she was, so he booked it and left me to deal with her alone though. (Michael)
What was a spiritual experience?
- A woman I had contacted had told us she used to be a member of our church. We wanted to simply invited her to church and hear the message of the gospel but she cut us off. She began to preach to us about her new beliefs. She did not once say the name Jesus Christ. She used another name, and told us that we were wrong in our actions. My companion and I both having the same amount of time in the mission field ( 4 months.) so, we didn’t exactly know how to cut someone off. But, it was going on and on. And I felt the Spirit telling me that I had to speak. (Amanda)
- Every second of every day. (Daniel)
- There was a sister that was having trouble with her testimony and was making life at home very difficult. We were able to provide such an experience through a hymn that it began her path back. (Guiseppe)
- Praying in La Jolla of Boca de Monte with the Morales family and all of them receiving an answer. (Brad)
- Spending an hour with an eternal investigator in Parramos with a greenie who barely spoke the language and finally getting him to commit to baptism. His wife had been baptized for years, and it took a lot to get him to finally decide to do it. (Jeff)
- There where many spiritual experiences but I may say the most fulfilling is knowing those I taught also served a missions after mine was over. (Adiel)
- We taught a family where the mother and father were not married due to the necessary paperwork being costly to retrieve from the mother’s homeland. As is with the Spirit, a sister in the ward who happened to be from the same remote town was returning and could retrieve the necessary paperwork. She did so and we had a perfect marriage ceremony at the Chapel well attended by the ward. The family was baptized, is sealed in the temple and their son served a mission in Mexico. (Colby)
- Some of the greatest experiences came during helping those with drug addictions. We helped an old man be baptized after smoking for 30 years. He stopped buying cigarettes and we worked little by little to help him stop. (Ryan)
- There are to many, and all very good. (Anonymous)
- We had one more appointment to go to, and it had been a long day of getting lost in a relatively new area for both of us. On our way there, we briefly spoke with a guy sitting in his front doorway, and he said we could stop by on our way back. He was baptized a few weeks later, and we got reports from coworkers that he would read his Book of Mormon on his lunch breaks. (Michael)
What are some interesting facts about the Guatemala City Central Mission?
- Nosotros Bautizamos Familias. This was a norma for my mission. We always focused on the family. We strove to find couples or families where not every one was a member and we invited each of them to learn of the Gospel. We stressed the importance of family and the blessings specifically tailored for them. (Amanda)
- Teaching the descendants of those in the Book of Mormon. (Daniel)
- I was on the most disobedient missions in the Americas, but with the guidance of President Joseph M. Brough, it was turned around and we became the most obedient and breaking records that had stood for years on nearly a monthly basis. The one goal that we weren’t able to achieve while I was in the field was every companionship have a baptism in one months. (Guiseppe)
- My feet were always wet. (Brad)
- Guatemala has several active volcanoes. Pacaya erupted within my first few weeks in country. (Lyman)
- While there is much discussion about exactly where everything took place between Central and North America, there is no controversy that the land of Guatemala is inhabited by direct descendants of the Lamanites and will most certainly continue to increase in righteousness as their ancestors. (Colby)
- Panjachel was in the mission at the time. Many think that is where the Waters of Mormon are, and the breath taking views will probably make you feel like it is that exact area described in the Book of Mormon. (Ryan)
- There are a lot of different languages spoken in a small area. (Anonymous)
- Lake Atitlan is thought by some to be the Waters of Mormon.The most active volcano in Central America is El Volcan de Pacaya, near Escuintla. When I was there, Spanish was one of 4 different languages you could be assigned to. There were several areas in which Mayan dialects were exclusively spoken. Ciudad Vieja was once completely buried by a landslide, and now all that is visible above the current ground level is the top of the old Catholic cathedral. (Michael)
What was the weather like?
- Rain. Hot all day — SUPER cold at night Perfect weather, with slight humidity. (Amanda)
- Raining all the time. (Daniel)
- Varied a lot depending on where you were. Near the coast it was hot and humid. Like crazy humid! In the capital the temperatures were more temperate. And in the mountains, it got quite cold! Surprisingly so! (Stewart)
- Depends on the location and time of year. Cold and rainy to waking up with the water in your sink frozen to baking. All of it humid. (Guiseppe)
- It was either Sunny or Raining. (Brad)
- Hot on the coast, cold in the mountains, and a lot of rain for half the year. (Jeff)
- Hot in the coastal areas and cool in the mountains. (Lyman)
- I served in various climates. The city area is cold in the months of November to February. The coast is very hot from February to July. The mountainous area it can be cold too. All depends on the time if the year. (Adiel)
- The capital is higher than Salt Lake City so it was cold. Rain of Biblical proportions. (Colby)
- Hot most the time. The mountains were cold at night but in our mission, there were only about 5-6 areas where it was cold. It’s smart to pack sweaters and in case you go there. (Ryan)
- I served about half of my mission in the capital and the other half in the mountains. The capital is always around 80 degrees. The mountains are cooler and get very misty. (Anonymous)
- Beautiful. In my coldest area, I was still wearing a short sleeve shirts in December. In my next area, it was over 100 degrees in January. The climate is almost always warm, and the humidity is great for the skin. I did come from Wisconsin, so almost anything is better. (Michael)
Any things you really like about the area/people?
- They understood instantly that we were sent from God. They knew of Christ and had a love for Him and His sacrifice. Once you get to know the members and less actives, they become like family. And it makes leaving the area that much harder. (Amanda)
- The most friendly loving people you will ever meet. (Daniel)
- They are so humble and loving. Some of the nicest people you will ever meet! The country is gorgeous! Sure, it needs help, but it’s so pretty. (Stewart)
- What was there not to like, okay in some places there was extreme gossip that shames any I have seen in the states. But overall I loved everything about the people. (Guiseppe)
- How friendly and nice the people of Guatemala were. (Brad)
- Their honest and sincere humility. (Jeff)
- The scenery was nice. (Lyman)
- Very humble people and would give you all they have. (Adiel)
- Simple, humble, hospitable. (Colby)
- Guatemalans are some of the most humble people you will ever meet. They have nothing but will give everything. (Ryan)
- The place is beautiful. The people are all very caring and open to your message. Even when you can just barely communicate. (Anonymous)
- They were the most friendly, unselfish, humble people I have ever known. (Michael)
Any packing/clothing advice?
- Advice for leaving to the mission field for Sisters: Get good shoes. Get things with pockets (skirts/dresses/sweaters) –Pockets are very helpful. Don’t worry about clothes. You will soon find out what a ¨paca¨ is and you will love it. You’ll find clothes. Every sister’s house has extra clothes. So leave clothes in that house so you don’t hoard clothes. (Amanda)
- Shot sleeve shirts and an amazing rain jacket. No umbrella just a rain jacket because your umbrella will break in the first couple hours of a hard rain storm. (Daniel)
- Take extra shoes because you will walk through flooded streets. You need at least two pairs of shoes so one pair can dry when you get the others soaked. A jacket would also be helpful if you go to the mountains. You can always buy another if you need it. (Stewart)
- The best kind of umbrella is the double fabric kind. Pack ziploc bags because no matter what you have in the water protection department, it is not enough in the rainy season. Rain boots are not needed and in some cases harmful. Simply wear shoes and stick them under the fan overnight and you will be fine. (Guiseppe)
- Bring Extra Dress Shoes because they will get destroyed quickly. Don’t bring an umbrella from the United States unless it’s strong. (Brad)
- Make sure you can fit EVERYTHING in one bag, it makes things easier. Always carry a razor on changes, you never know when you’ll need a shave (President got me bad one day.). (Jeff)
- Shoes should be comfortable and strong. (Adiel)
- Comfortable, rugged shoes, yet respectably dressy. Short sleeve shirts, but don’t forget a light sweater. Don’t bring anything fancy. Travel light. (Colby)
- Dress for hot weather. It’s humid so you want breathable material. You will never feel ‘dry’ in the heat. It’s always sticky, even after you get out of the shower. For those from the dry heat (Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, etc.) it’s a different heat. Find a backpack that allows for water storage. Camelbacks are great but not necessary. They will have to be replaced at least once in the mission because there is no clean water. Learn to buy bags of water (yes, coolest concept) and shop at the tiendas to stay hydrated. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes. I wore 2 pairs of Eccos my whole mission and switched out the inserts every 2 to 3 days. (Ryan)
- I would not worry to much about rain gear. You are going to get very wet. You will dry pretty fast, and there really is no way around getting wet. (Anonymous)
- Don’t bring more than a few ties, as you can find some real gems in the pacas (thrift stores). The heavy raincoat wasn’t at all useful, as it was too heavy to be functional. Some good, waterproof dress boots will come in very handy. I never really got a sunburn there, but if you burn easily, use sunscreen every day. Drilux garments are the best. (Michael)
What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?
- I know I have a testimony that I cannot not deny. With everything I experienced, every spiritual guidance, every spiritual feeling, everything I know, is because of my mission. I know the worth of this Gospel from an eternal perspective. I want to continue sharing this Gospel. I have a gift of tongues with which I can use to communicate with my converts. I have many witnesses that testify to me that this church is true, that Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the restoration, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. (Amanda)
- Amazing people skills and to many other blessings to name. (Daniel)
- Emotional control, an appreciation and testimony of priesthood blessings. (Guiseppe)
- Having a beautiful wife now and being able to speak Spanish. (Brad)
- I’m blessed to be independent and to follow the inspiration of the Spirit. (Adiel)
- It is a pillar of my existence. (Colby)
- It was a huge foundation for my entire life. It’s helped me learn how to study, set goals, be a good husband, friend and most of all, taught me the value of service. (Ryan)
- Well, speaking Spanish has been huge. I now live in New Mexico and use it almost every day. When I first got back from my mission, I worked on a construction crew were I was the only gringo. (Anonymous)
- A strong testimony. Fluency in a language that comes in handy frequently. Confidence in myself and my abilities. The ability to think critically. Friendships that will last forever. (Michael)
What are some skills you gained?
- Confidence. Speaking to strangers. Establishing a relationship with someone I don’t know. Being able to learn when the Spirit is speaking to me. Organizing my time. Discipline. OBEDIENCE WITH EXACTNESS. (Amanda)
- People skills. Discipline. Leadership. So many more. (Daniel)
- Talking to people, speaking Spanish, walking a lot, a good desire to do service. (Brad)
- Leadership skills in general, and still use my Spanish. (Jeff)
- Critical thinking, Spanish fluency, and independence. (Lyman)
- I learned to cook!!! (Adiel)
- Fluent Spanish. Dynamics. Fill your spiritual tool box, rely on the Spirit. (Colby)
- I never knew how to study. In high school, I floated by and I went to school before my mission. My college grades suffered. When I came back, I knew how to study and my grades improved dramatically. (Ryan)
- The biggest one for me was people skills. Learning how to live and work with someone even when you were not getting along. (Anonymous)
- Fluency in Spanish (keep working on it after you get home!); Getting in the door (a great sales skill I used afterwards); Solving problems using what is available; Budgeting, Accountability, and Orientation to where you are. (Michael)
What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?
- I wish I knew how much it was going to hurt walking all day. I was very discouraged physically because I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my trainer and I wasn’t walking fast enough. BUT. The pain we feel on the mission, is nothing compared to the pain of the Savior in Gethsemane. It helped to think, that as a I suffered, I was walking shoulder to shoulder with the Savior. I did as he would; I taught and was disrespected, I shared the gospel and was rejected, I invited people to listen and I was yelled at and called names; Walking with my companion I was cat-called by men and drunk men on the streets daily. But everything brought me closer to my own conversion. The only convert that you can get weekly is from you. You are your most valuable convert. (Amanda)
- Always heeding every prompting of the Spirit no matter how crazy you thought it was or nervous it made me. (Daniel)
- Not being afraid to speak the language. (Brad)
- Have more confidence with the language. It took me 5 months in the country to really decide I could speak well. (Jeff)
- Be patient, loving and understanding of your companions. They are at all levels of testimony and come from all walks of life. Perhaps the greatest conversions you will have other than your own will be some of your companions. (Colby)
- Keep failing at the language. Spanish takes a while to feel comfortable but the more you try, the easier it will come. Be a good listener and try to avoid speaking English where possible. If you can live out of your house between high school and the mission, do it. Companions will be your challenge, especially if you come from different backgrounds. Some you will gel with better than others. Unlike marriage/college, you can’t pick your companions. Learn to live with people you don’t like and learn how to love them. (Ryan)
- Just do your best to be in tune with the Spirit. Without it, you will never be happy or successful. (Anonymous)
- That the gospel is true. My testimony wasn’t my own when I left the States, and if it had been, I know I would have been more effective. At the same time, I’m grateful I received my own confirmation there. I wish I had a more realistic view of missionaries as well. There were many times missionaries let me down because I thought they were all perfect and had unreasonable expectations. No missionary is perfect. Get used to it. (Michael)
Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to Guatemala City Central?
- Give your all. Truly forget yourself and in doing so, you will find the person God knew you could be. Never forget the spiritual experiences you will have. Keep a study journal your whole mission. Take time to act upon the Spirit – don’t get caught up with your agenda because you’ll be tempted to become a “robot missionary” (working and working but never truly listening and acting on the Spirit. Doing lessons just to check them off the list.) (Amanda)
- Prepare to have your life changed and to see miracles. (Daniel)
- Ask for all latino companions. (Guiseppe)
- Love the People and be Obedient. (Brad)
- Think of them first, that will make every day easier. (Jeff)
- Go with an open mind and just follow the guidance of the Spirit. (Adiel)
- Everyone says their mission is the best, but you are going to the best of the best. I love Guatemala with all my heart. Beg the Lord to help you be exactly who you need to be, exactly where you need to be, exactly when you need to be. (Colby)
- Be prepared to love it. Hope to go to the coast. I thought I would dread it, and it was hot, but I loved that time more than anything. I was only there for 3 months of my mission. Guatemalans, at least the majority, love the missionaries. You are celebrities to them. Treat them well and be sensitive to their feelings. Avoid sarcasm, it doesn’t translate well into Spanish. They are very literal. If they call you fat, skinny etc. don’t take it personal, it’s their culture. (Ryan)
- This is missionary WORK. You are not going to be having fun all the time. That is okay…just keep working hard and before you know it, you will be having fun again. (Anonymous)
- Go for the right reasons, which are that you truly and sincerely want to share the gospel with others, you love God, and you believe fully that the gospel is the only way to return and live with him and your family forever. (Michael)
What was a funny language mistake?
- Learning how to speak Tzutujil lol ( Santiago Attilan ). (Daniel)
- Embarazada means pregnant not embarrassed. (Guiseppe)
- In the experience above, I tried to tell the daughter that I could not be her boyfriend because of mission rules. The Spanish word for rule is “Regla” and I used the word “Regalo” which is present or gift. She just looked at me and said, “Yes, you being my boyfriend is a present.” Once she repeated it, and my trainer laughed, I realized what I had said. (Jeff)
- Two of them. First, you can’t always translate everything one for one. If asked what your favorite food is and you want to answer Hot Dog, it is not Perro Caliente which would be more of a dog in heat (that could probably be arranged as a meal so watch it :-)). Hot Dog has it’s own word. Salchicha. Second, one letter can make a big difference. When bearing testimony an Elder proclaimed he knew Jesus died for his “pescados”. Pescado is a dead fish that you eat (Pez being a live fish). “Pecado” is sin. Bonus: the tilde ~ can be important. I translated Happy New Year as Prospero Ano. This wishes someone a prosperous anus which given the right meal or glass of water could be readily obtained. The tilde ~ over the n would make it Happy New Year. (Colby)
- I learned quickly that coche in Guatemala is not car, it is PIG. Carro is car. I did the typical mess ups between embarrassed and pregnant. IN my first area, I said that I have “pregnated” my companion instead of embarrassed. That’s pretty common. Also I learned a lot of slang problems. Jota, the letter J, means a totally different thing if expressed as Joto. (Ryan)
- I was trying to say that I was hot, but instead I said I was horny. Not good. My companion corrected it, thank goodness. (Anonymous)
- A sister missionary tried to say she was embarrassed, but said “Soy tan embarazada!” which means pregnant. (Michael)