Sunday, May 30, 2010

Latest word -

The Guatemala City North Mission President's wife, Hermana Torres wrote the following today on facebook, "The 1st hurricane of the season decided to visit us along with the volcano. As a result we are expecting heavy rains, strong winds, power outages, road closures, etc. No meetings today in church. Missionaries staying indoors....con su mochila de emergencia! (with their emergency backpacks) Oh esta....todo bien" (everything is fine.)

I'm sure this is similar instructions for the Guat City Central Mission. We are waiting for news, please keep them all in your prayers. Thanks!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Missionaries ... All is well

Missionary Department: The latest report from Guatemala from the Area Presidency is that EVERY missionary has been accounted for. They are ALL safe, and those serving in Guatemala City - especially those to the south - have been instructed to stay inside their apartments until the area have been cleared as safe by their priesthood leaders.

Just thought I better add this since Guatemala has been hit with an earthquake, volcanic eruptions, and a tropical storm with lots of rain attached to it in the last 48 hours.

Guatemala hit by first 2010 tropical storm - News Update

A man carries a child under heavy rains from Tropical Storm Agatha in Patulul, Guatemala, on Saturday - notice how high the water is and Sam's last letter telling about how high the water was in the streets after the rains.

GUATEMALA CITY - The first tropical storm of the 2010 season hit the Pacific coastline of Guatemala and Mexico on Saturday, killing 12 people under landslides and rockfall triggered by torrential rains.

Agatha's rains caused a landslide in a precarious hillside settlement of Guatemala City that killed four people and left 11 missing, Guatemalan disaster relief spokesman David de Leon said. Most of the city was without electricity at nightfall, complicating search efforts.

Four children were killed by another mudslide in the town of Santa Catarina Pinula about six miles outside the Guatemalan capital. And in the department of Quetzaltenango, 125 miles west of Guatemala City, a boulder loosened by rains crushed a house, killing two children and two adults, de Leon said.

Agatha formed as a tropical storm early Saturday in the East Pacific and moved over land in the evening along the Guatemala-Mexico border, said the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The hurricane center said Agatha had weakened into a tropical depression by late Saturday evening with winds of 35 mph, and was expected to weaken even further as it pushed inland. Forecasters warned, however, that heavy rains could continue to fall, bringing 10 to 20 inches.

"The storm will start to weaken and we hope that on Sunday it will be just a tropical depression," said Romero Garcia of Guatemala's Meteorological Institute. "That is not to say that there won't be heavy rains."

The center of the storm was located 25 miles east-northeast of Tapachula on Saturday night, moving north-northeast at 5 mph and packing winds of 40 mph.

More than 850 people were evacuated from their homes because of flooding affecting much of central and southern Guatemala.

Before the rains, Guatemala already was contending with heavy eruptions from its Pacaya volcano that have blanketed the capital in ash and destroyed 800 homes. Officials expressed concerns that Agatha's rains could exacerbate the damages.

The Pacaya volcano, which is just south of the capital, started spewing lava and rocks Thursday afternoon, forcing the closure of Guatemala City's international airport. A TV reporter was killed by a shower of burning rocks.

Airport official Felipe Castaneda told reporters Saturday that the airport would be closed for the next five days while ash is removed. "The work to remove the ash was going forward, but the rain has complicated it," Castaneda said.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pacaya volcano erupts - News Update

This is Randy and Cathy in their trip to Guatemala at the rim of Pacaya volcano in 2004.

The Pacaya volcano started erupting lava and rocks on Thursday afternoon, blanketing Guatemala City with ash and forcing the closure of the international airport. President Alvaro Colom declared a "state of calamity."

Three children between the ages of seven and 12 were missing and at least 1,600 people from villages closest to the volcano have been evacuated to shelters.

Two to three inches (Five to 7.5 centimeters) of ash accumulated on streets in some southern parts of the city, and officials imposed limits on trucks and motorcycles to help speed up traffic slowed by the ash. The government urged residents not to leave their homes unless there was an urgent need.

The most active of Guatemala's 32 volcanos, Pacaya has been intermittently erupting since 1966, and tourists frequently visit areas near three lava flows formed in eruptions between 1989 and 1991.

In 1998, the 8,373-foot (2,552-meter) volcano twice spewed plumes of ash, forcing evacuations and shutting down the airport in Guatemala City.

You can see video at:,0,4455438.story

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Here comes the rain ...

Dear family

So this past week the rainy season has really started in full fury. Last week we were in a lesson and it started raining really, really hard. We left the lesson and found all of the streets flooded and as we started to walk down the road and just on the sidewalks the water was above our ankles, but in the street it was above our knees. The current of the water was very strong as well. We had heard that a little girl had fallen in the street and drowned. Almost everybody was cleaning their houses out of water with buckets very late into the night. Even the next day there was quite an aftermath because there were giant rocks and gravel in the roads as well as in the little streams. But what was really silly is in our little housing community, we have stairs that go down a cliff a little ways. Well, the next day we went to run to the well and we found that the stairs had fallen off the cliff.

This last week we went to Chichicastenango in department Quiche. It was just the office elders and we had a good time. We had a few kids following us around because it wasn’t market day and we were the only white people there, so they focused on us. There was a small five year old who really, really wanted to shine our shoes. He first did mine and started working on another missionary when another boy came up and said he would give a shine for five quetzales. Well, the other smaller boy said he would do it for 2, then the other said fine I’ll do it for 2.
I bought a side bag to last me this next year. I didn’t want to mess up the old one I have because I want to use that after the mission. I needed a new one because my old one had a hole and mixed with the rain it isn’t good.

Well this change has been really different because we don’t have to open a single house which is really nice, but I really don’t like being in the office all the time so it isn’t that much fun - more boring. But we are preparing to have the conference in Sololá where we will be losing a good number of missionaries to the Xela mission. But I hope all is well with you guys and I would love to hear how Katie’s talk went. I love you all.

Elder Musick
Secretario de la Mision
Misión Guatemala Central

Friday, May 14, 2010

So, I really enjoyed talking to you guys - I thought it was better than Christmas. But I am sorry I don’t write as much or very well. I really enjoyed talking to Brody in Spanish. He is very cute and it is weird to hear him speaking some much. I find it hard to write because I just don’t set time aside to do so. But I will make a bigger push to do so. This past week has been somewhat crazy. I have learned though that a day in the office is never a normal day but rather a new day everyday.

Yesterday we had our interviews and also our staff meeting. I talked to President Baldwin about stress and also how not to analysis myself so much; because, like my father, I tend to find myself stressed out in the office. And if I don’t accomplish what is asked of me, I feel pretty bad and take it pretty hard. But I felt President Baldwin helped me to analysis my work better. He also told me that I will be out this next change so I am pretty excited to be a real missionary again and not have late nights or crazy things to do. I will just have the blessing to teach and preach the gospel - I am pretty excited. And I know that will help out with my stress. I am also looking at what is going on in the mission to see where I could go.

Things have been really crazy - setting everything up for the change in the mission; it will be happening in this change and the next so it will be an interesting couple of weeks. The blessing is that we don’t have to open any houses this next change so that will help out a lot. But when I will leave the office, I will have 11 months left!

In the ward we are planning an activity; it will be like a musical devotional and we are going to cover the first lesson and also are going to have narrators that will share scriptures and then at the very end President Baldwin will talk a little bit about the restoration. But I won’t be here for the activity, which is kind of sad.

I love you guys and hope all is well and hope this is better. Mom, I am not sure what to do - my backpack is breaking and I am not sure if I should get a new one or not. Also could you send some pictures of me and the family at the mud run or football or track. Just some fun ones. I love you guys and hope you enjoyed the chat. I was glad that almost all the family was there.
Love you guys, Elder Musick.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

View From the Top of the Hill Looking Out (or Ode to Sam, the Man)

On the thirteenth of May, two thousand and nine,
We dropped off our Sam, he was feeling quite fine.

That one day, then two, and then a few more
Turned into 6 weeks and then out that door.

Out of the MTC, heading far south
Uttering strange words straight out of his mouth.

To CCM training, gladly he goes
Three weeks quickly pass, still light on his toes.

But out in the field - say, what did you say?
He did not ‘comprendo’ a word that first day!

But slowly he learns, he speaks and he sings,
He loves and he works, does mission’ry things.

And now at the midpoint, center, half-way
He wonders where have gone all of those days.

A’top of the hill he can see where it started
How much he’s grown from the boy he departed

Into a man, someone we have not met
Until at the end; yet we’ll have no regret.

He’ll be someone bold, courageous and good,
Loving and faithful, serving all as he should.

Three sixty five gone, the same left to go,
We pray they continue to so quickly flow.

But our missionary is less eager to leave,
Keeps working hard, no time left to grieve

So keep up the service, don’t slow it down now,
The Lord needs your shoulder still on the plow.

There are many still waiting to hear what you sow
So harvest them now before time to go.

We love you, dear Sam, let’s be perfectly clear
We can’t wait to meet you this time - next year!

- Cathy Musick,
Missionary Mom
May 2010