First off sorry to everyone going back to school, thats always a bummer, you are going to be in my thoughts and prayers for sure. I remember the worst days ever were the last day of summer vacation. Just know that it won´t last too long, and if you take to time to enjoy it, it can actually be a lot of fun! Life is never easy, and if we don´t learn to smile even when its difficult, when will we learn? For example, this week brought its fair share of how shall I put this, Hershey Squirts, for Elder S and I. We just laughed and laughed about it and in the end it wasn´t that bad. I am sorry about always sending repetitive letters, I feel like alot of times there isn´t a whole lot of new stuff to say. But I know that If I think really hard I can think of interesting stuff for you guys.This week was the peak of Elote season (corn on the cob) just when its new and soft. The difference between elote and maiz is that elote isn´t quite ripe and maiz is mature corn. They make all kinds of tamales, atols, and drinks with the sweet, young, corn. But it only lasts a few weeks so you gotta enjoy it while it lasts. Yesterday it seemed like everyone was giving us food, we went and contacted a few people in the streets so Elder S. could get some practice, and every person that we contacted gave us some food, tamales and fruit. And in two lessons they gave us stuff to eat. Best. Sunday. Ever. We also had Ward conference which was really good. There were 130 people in church with is a little under double what there was last week. It was really powerful and I felt the spirit and learned alot.
Monday, August 26, 2013
What up family?
I was reading in the Book of Mormon and came accross Alma 26:27 where it talks about bearing afflictions with patience and the Lord will give us success. I have been feeling guilty because I haven´t baptized anyone in about three months. And at times I have trying to think about what I am doing wrong, and why I can´t fulfill my purpose. But the more I think about it the mission is more than just baptizing lots of people. It's also helping people strengthen their testimony and come closer to Christ. The favorite lesson that we taught this week was to the C. family. A less active member and his wife. He went blind about 8 years ago but has been a member for over 20 years, was Elder´s quorum president, and almost got called as Bishop. But right now is going to another church with his inactive wife. He expressed to us that he is confused over which church is true and that he really doesn´t have a strong testimony about where he´s at, his wife as well. My companion and I both shared our testimonies of the church and there was a sweet spirit there. It was the first time that the wife had really talked to us, she always had gone into another room when we came to the house. But today she was ironing in the same room but paying close attention because she made comments and asked for some of the references to the scriptures that we were talking about. It was a great lesson and we both left feeling great. I don´t know what will come out of it but at the very least they felt the spirit and we are planting that seed.Today what we are going to do is go to the woodshop of M. G., J. G.´s brother and woodcarve. I am so excited. I am going to carve the temple of El Salvador with ¨familia Alas¨ below and give it to them. R got called as the ward mission leader and is doing a great job. I think that he will be ready to go get sealed in about seven months so I am way excited for them and want to make sure they keep the temple as a goal. I'll be sure to send you guys a picture when its finished. I´m gonna try and go work on it for about an hour every P-day, and M. G. is going to give me the wood and let me borrow his chisels. Hopefully it will turn out well. I´ll be sure to keep you guys updated. My comp is a great sport for letting me go do it.I was so happy to hear that the missionaries came over and that you all liked them a lot. It's hard at times and I bet Eagle Idaho is probably a very difficult area. Could you guys invite them over for dinner some time? I'm sure they would love it. Give them some of the ¨Rod's famous sourdough rye cranberry buns.¨ There's nothing like having support of the members as a missionary it really makes a world of difference.I'll try to send you guys some pictures now. I sent one of my SD cards home with Elder Ward. He is going to BYU so maybe he and Eli can meet up at the WILK and give it to you guys. It's got some 150 pictures on it. Anyway hope everything goes well for you guys and that school is a blast. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Well family, it's the 19th of September. Exactly eight months ago I was just about to leave on the plane, scared, excited, and well mostly excited. It's been the craziest time of my life for sure. But it's also been by far the most rewarding. This week Elder S. was pretty sick, I felt really bad for him, he had all kinds of headaches, sneezing, and all kinds of fun stuff, on Thursday we stayed home and he slept all day. It helped him a lot but I was going crazy. I feel like maybe I have developed ADD or something, I just could not sit still. I watched all of the districts 1 and 2, read my scriptures for a couple hours. It was somewhat gratifying to realize that I am used to the mission life, and working. But I couldn´t stand just sitting there and doing nothing. But luckily Elder S. is feeling better and his Spanish is getting a lot better too. He is understanding more and more every day. Because he was sick we weren´t able to work as hard as I would have liked to but it's been a good lesson in patience for me. Hopefully this week we can kick it up another notch. Most of the investigators that we had have stopped progressing/aren't interested. So right now we are going to start over from scratch. It will be kinda nice for me because after six months here I have gotten into kinda a routine with looking for people to teach, but we need to try doing things differently if we want to get results. I feel like there are places where I have talked to everybody but then when I really get down to thinking there are places I have never really been too.
One of the funnier things we did this week was eat sopa de pata (cow foot soup) I didn´t tell Elder S. what it was until the end, I had to do it and in the end we laughed about it. This lady wanted to make us limeade. She ran to her tree and grabbed some limes, squeezed them into the water and dumped in a bunch of sugar with ants in it. There were probably 50 ants swimming around, it was somewhat dark so she didn´t notice. I just had to close my eyes and drink it. I was worried that Elder S. wouldn´t do it and she would get offended, but he was a champ and struggled through it.
We went to contact a reference from a recent convert and it turned out really well. The next visit we will probably invite them to be baptized. It is so refreshing to actually have people that want to progress instead of feeling like you are trying to drag people by the ear to the gospel. I want to find more people like her and her family. They are few and far between but I know that if I am patient and obedient, the Lord will guide me to them. This week we have a multi-zone with the area presidency. Elder D. should be way good.
Sounds like you all had a fun time at the McGregor´s house and had a nice summer break, but now are getting ready for school, I wish you all the best of luck! You will do great I´m sure. Try to enjoy it as much as possible, it really is a great opportunity that most people don´t have. Love you all and wish you the best!
Monday, August 12, 2013
Well family another week has passed. Before I get started I want to give a big shoutout to Bailey (future Elder Stark) for getting his mission call. There were a few elders from the Dominican Republic here in Sonzacate and they were really cool elders. Bailey, welcome to the Spanish speaking crew. you´re gonna love it. Start studying Preach My Gospel right now, especially chapter 3 and 6. It'll help you out a lot once you get in the field. If I remember right the food from there sounded way good. You´ll love it.
Well a little bit about my first child, He´s a gringo, his name is Elder S, and he´s from Mesa, Arizona. Super cool guy. He comes from a family of 8, and has a sister in the mission, His parents are also mission presidents (that freaked me out when I first heard) in the New Hampshire manchester mission. They got there the first of July along with all of the new mission presidents. Haha no pressure or anything. We get along really well and we won´t have any problems with obedience or laziness. It's always interesting to have a gringo companion for several reasons. 1. all the kids tell their parents "the gringos are here" whenever we knock on a door, 2. all the drunk people think we have tons of money so they always come up and talk to us. (more to come on this later) 3. sometimes it's nice to take a break and speak in English at night which always makes things feel a little more familiar. Right now we are working most on his Spanish, he got a little frustrated with not being able to understand people, and having people say that he can´t speak spanish, but we'll work on it and get better. He knows the scriptures pretty well which is probably the most important thing.
So this Sunday we were walking to some of our citas, and it seems like every drunk on the street came up to talk to us. One shook our hands like five times and on the last time he grabbed my hand and kissed it. I wasn´t sure whether I should laugh or scream, but I held it in and once we were about a block away we both burst out laughing. That's one thing I can check off my bucket list.
I´m taking this opportunity to start a new leaf here in Izalco. Looking for brand new people and trying to teach a little differently than I was before. Hopefully it will help us have a little more success. President Hintze really wants us to work with the less active members here and try and strengthen the wards. So that's what we are going to try to do. This week is going to be difficult though because it's the August festival here which is one of the two biggest celebations here, there are some pretty cool authentic food and crafts stuff to buy but almost no one is home. Should make for an interesting week. R A gave me this stone that supposedly the indiginous people used to sharpen/make arrowheads, and as a hammer. He found it buried in the back yard of his grandparents house, along with a broken mill stone. I think it really could be authentic, its a volcanic looking rock and is super round and smooth. I'll try to send a picture next week and maybe jim could help out to know if that's what it was used for.
Anyway sounds like you guys are all getting ready for school and the grind. Sorry it had to come to an end. But there´s always next summer. It's crazy to me to think that this next week I will hit the one third mark. I´m trying not to keep track of time, but its really hard not to be aware, and jake hits a year on the 26th, craziness. Time flies. Best of luck you you all and have a great week. I'll be on for another half hour or so, so if you are free shoot me an email. Alright take it easy everyone!
Monday, August 5, 2013
Changes have come, the big news is that Elder U is leaving for Belize, along with four other elders in the zone, which is really weird. And (wait for it) I'M TRAINING. It's still kinda hard to wrap my mind around but I´m gonna get a greenie on Wednesday. Don´t know if he will be Latin or Gringo, but we´ll find out soon. There are 30 missionaries coming so I think it really could go either way. I think they normally like to pair Latins with gringoes for language concerns but with so many coming they might not have a choice. I am pretty excited to train, I anticipate a few challenges and a lot more work on my part with teaching, but I also think I will learn a lot. it also means I will be in Izalco for most likely two more changes which will bring me to about 9 months here, Craziness. It seems like a long time but it will fly by. There is an elder in the district that has been in his area for 9 months and is going to train as well. Poor guy, a whole year in one area. That's a really long time. But I am going to have another couple months to work with my converts and hopefully baptize a few more people. It's gonna be really hard to leave. I can´t believe Bailey is getting his mission call this week, Tell him congrats for me and let me know where he goes! My current predicting is stateside: Miami Florida, Foreign: Guatemala Retaluehu (sp?)
This week there is another huge celebration here. The Augustine fiestas is what it's called. And there are all kinds of parades and stuff, it's kinda hard for the mission work because literally no one is in their house, and the people in the streets don´t really want to talk to us. But we´ll try our best to take advantage of whole families being together. On Friday I went to San Salv for the trainer´s meeting, when we got back there was this huge parade in front of our house and it took us like half an hour just to get in. It was crazy and it's going to be going on until the 15th and 16th.
Elder U will be leaving for San Salvador here in a couple hours so I will be in Trio with the Izalco 1 elders for a couple days. Elder W is going home so it should be really laid back. I am gonna try and put together a little bag for him to take home and give to Eli at BYU including the SD card with all of my pictures. Mom asked me if there was anything I would like in the next package, if you guys could send me a USB drive and more photos that would be way sweet. I want to backup my photos but for a 16 gig USB its like $20 a little expensive and they are cheaply made. I´ll keep trying to think of things but right now nothing is coming to mind.
It sounds like you guys all have a fun week ahead, enjoy yourself before school starts and try to make the most of these last few weeks. Hey could you guys give me Shih-Ping's email? I would like to start including her in the weekly email. I was reading the Liahona from August and there is an awesome promise from one of the apostles that if we pray to know who to share the gospel, names and faces will come to our mind, and the spirit will guide us to what we need to say and when we need to say it. I would like to invite you guys to participate in the ward missionary work, invite the elders over for dinner and invite friends/neighbors over as well. Help the Elders out, I can imagine that Eagle is a hard place to be. I and they would appreciate it. Love you all and hope that you have a great week, remember to read your scriptures, pray, and have family home evening.
Take care all,