Monday, September 30, 2013

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Well everyone it's been a great week, 
     First of I just want to say I am way excited for General Conference. We have been working like crazy to make sure that a lot of people come, it really is a great opportunity to listen to the prophets and apostles and recieve guidance in our lives. One thing we have been pushing as a mission is going to conference with a list of five written questions, I invite all of you to do the same, we read in Mosiah 2 that when King Benjamin called all of his people together he didn´t do it so that they would treat lightly his words, he did it so that they would open their hearts, ears, and apply the message into their lives. So make your list and pay close attention to get the answer in one of the talks. 
     This Sunday was awesome! We had five people in church and despite a few boring/poorly written talks they really liked it! J. and L. are pretty determined to get baptized now, they had some doubts about getting baptized two times but now they seem to be okay with it. We are hoping to set up the wedding for sometime after the 9th of october. Pretty exciting stuff. We also had this guy named R. C. and D. It is nice actually having people that want to learn and are willing to apply the teaching into their lives. For the past several months I have been trying to get people to just do the most basic commitments and they wouldn´t follow through. It makes the mission work a lot more enjoyable. One of the zone leaders, Elder G. came and did interchanges on saturday and sunday morning. It was a pretty cool way to do interchanges I am hoping to start doing that with some of the other areas in the district. With General Conference this week we are going to just be inviting people like crazy all week, but I guess thats just part of the fun. The ward is providing a pickup ride to Sonzacate to watch the conference, I will make sure to take a picture of the way overloaded sketchy El Salvador pickup ride for all of you. 
     This week Elder S. and I had a pupusa eating contest, (terrible idea) unfortunately he won, I kinda backed down at the end because after ten they just started to taste really bad and I didn´t want to repeat the Big Jud´s experience.  He got twelve in  :( we will have to try it again sometime. One of the problems was that when we told the lady we wanted 30 pupusas she told us she was almost out of frijol, we didn´t think much about it but when you are eating ten of them the cheese and corn just turns into a huge gut bomb. But we will have to try it again some other time. Our goal was to finish all 30, but it didn´t happen. next time when they actually have a few more beans, it will hopefully go down easier. 
   Today I am hoping to make some dumbells out of steel pipe, milk jugs, and concrete, should be pretty ghetto but they will work. If not it will be more pushups and situps in the morning. Sometimes the floor gets wet from all of the rain and pushups and situps get a little tricky. On saturday morning it rained like crazy. There were a bunch of streets that looked more like rivers than streets. My boots kept my socks dry for the most part, until the it got really deep and then it didn´t do much good. I need to send an update on my shoes, one pair is getting wrecked, I am probably going to get the soles replaced soon. Here in El Salvador they don´t throw away anything. They repair and make it work until there is literally nothing left, be it shoes, TV´s, microwaves, even cars. So I shouldn´t have any problem making these shoes last me the whole two years. It doesn´t help either that a lot of the streets in Izalco are really rough and tear up shoes. After nine months my shoes look like they have been through the mill. Well anyway I hope you all have a great week and that everything goes really well for you all. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Take care, 
Elder Schriever

Very unfortunate looking dog and puppy

Papusa: 1 Elder: 0

San Salvador Temple

Monday, September 23, 2013


       Not much news as far as changes go. The whole district didn´t have changes. I am gonna get another change here in good old Izalco. I was talking to one of the new missionaries that came this week about how long missionaries normally stay in their areas. He said that President told him normally 5-7 months but there is one missionary that will have nine months after this next change, and that he was probably going to get moved after that change. I think he was talking about me. It's crazy to think that I will have had nine months here, it really has flown by faster than I could have ever Imagined.
    This week went really well. Elder S. and I were commenting on how we felt like we worked pretty hard this week. At the end of the day my head would hit the pillow and I would be out. I have never slept so deeply in my whole life, barely any dreams and it feels like the minute I close my eyes I am opening them again. Even if there are rainstorms during the night I didn´t wake up. Yesterday morning we woke up and left the house at about 7:15, we spent a little under two hours running around inviting everyone to church. All of our investigators weren´t home or said they were sick, one was in the hospital so I guess it's an okay excuse. We passed by J. C.´s house and he wasn´t there, and so we were a little frustrated. There were also a bunch of less active members that had promised to go to church and never showed up as well. We made our way slowly to the chapel and went up to bless the sacrament. The whole time I was feeling rejected and a little disappointed. But after they passed the sacrament J. walked in, and he brought his girlfriend as well! It litterally made my whole week. They have been coming to seminary on Tuesdays and Fridays and then they finally came on Sunday as well. It was an awesome moment. We are going to teach both of them about the Law of Chastity on Tuesday and hopefully start to get their marriage planned. Should be way exciting. We have a few other people we are working with but J. is by far the most positive and progressing the fastest.
    Other than that not much happened this week. We didn´t run into any crazy drunk people, see any dogs fighting,which was maybe the strangest thing of all. We had to go to San Salvador for Elder S.´s immigration stuff and we had to go to the main mall to get some pictures taken. I felt so out of place. It was so clean and so nice. There were stores like North Face, Nike, Starbucks, just like a normal mall in the states. But after being on the dirt and rock roads and in the jungle it felt really weird. We both felt really baggy after going through it wasn´t very good. We also have to go back to San Salv again today to finish the papers, it's gonna take a bunch of our p-day but its gonna be nice to get to sit on the bus and read.
   Elder S. and I ordered some scripture covers a few weeks ago and we are hoping they will come in the next couple weeks. Normally the people here carve the leather with chisels. These ones are burnt. They are more expensive but look exactly like the pictures. We saw a few examples and they were amazing. Hopefully before conference they will get here. I will be sure to send photos when they come. The guy lives in some place called Soyapango, I think it's in the other mission, but he is going to make bank.
   I just went to megabotique, and I bought a bag of ties for 50 cents. There were a few gems, a donald trump tie, a wembly, and some Jos A. Bank ties as well. But by far the best of them all was the peruvian style llama tie. Pictures sure to follow next week. I also bought this really cool woven blanket from Guatemala. I forgot to take a picture of it but it is also really cool. Very colorful and has pandas on it! 
   Well sorry it's a shorter letter this week but there really wasn´t a whole lot that went on. I'll try to have a more exciting email next week. See y´all later. (Texan accent)
Elder Schriever

lemon from the Garrizano family!

Monday, September 16, 2013


Well fam sounds like you all had a good week.
    The big news with changes is........I don´t know yet. They normally tell us Sunday night but the assistants were in Belize so hopefully we will find out tonight. I am predicting staying for another change at least. The chambres that have been going around (rumors) is that they are going to split the zone into zona Sonzacate and zona Izalco. That would be craziness but at the same time kinda cool. I guess we´ll (when I say we´ll I mean I´ll) find out in a couple days. The big news in the area is that we almost have a baptismal date, set for the 19th of October,  J. C. He agreed to the date but he will need to get married so we are a little hesitant to get to hopeful. We are going to talk to him about it later today. So if you guys could keep him in your thoughts and prayers that would be great. Elder S. did the baptismal invitation and did great, super direct and it was the perfect moment. We had gone into the lesson planning on teaching the plan of salvation. But he asked us a question about when Christ came to the Americas. So we read 3 nephi 11 with him. It's when Christ first comes down, and gives the priesthood to Nephi, and gives the commandment to be baptized. The spirit was to thick you could have cut it from a knife. We hadn´t really planned it but Elder S. just invited him and he said yes. After months of trying and trying and having no one say yes it was a huge moment for both of us. I was super happy, Elder S. as well. I am actually hoping that I stay here another change, I have really gotten close to the investigators and members here and it would be hard to say goodbye. I know this place so well, and at times I feel like I have talked with everyone. But I have only seen a small percentage of all the people here. So we will keep looking, teaching, and hopefully baptizing.
     Yesterday was the independence day for El Salvador, along with most other Latin counties. We only had sacrament meeting and only 52 people showed up (about half as many as usual) It was kinda frustrating, but that's how it goes. Literally no one was at their house because they all left to go watch the parades that they do, it was a little rough but we managed to find a few investiagors to teach inside their houses. We wanted to stay as far away from the parades as possible. In sacrament meeting we sang the national anthem of El Salv. It was pretty sweet but I really just wanted to sing the star spangled banner, oh well.
     This week we had a ward activity. It was a lunch of sopa de pata (cow foot soup) but they also threw in a couple more exciting parts as well. Mainly tripe (not actually bad) and the actually cow foot. Along with cow nerve (great taste weird texture) I got a bunch of pictures so I´m sure you guys will all enjoy my Eli-style food photography. The food that we have been making at home has gotten interesting as well. We have started making our own hamburgers once we realized that we can make them for about a dollar apiece. When the bread ran out to make our famous bean and egg sandwiches, we turned to pancakes. So that became a refried bean, egg, pancake taco. Surprisingly good. Try it sometime. Elder S. is a really good cook, and likes to cook so we don´t eat out anymore and we save alot of money that way. I have always been a fan of making my own food, cleaner and cheaper, but most of the Latins don´t like cooking themselves so they prefer to eat out. It's all good. 
    This week Elder S. broke our faucet (well it was already broken but he finished the job) so the pipe was just spewing water so we had to shut off the valve into our house until we could fix it. It turns out the pipe had broken just outside of a joint, and that it was threaded. we chipped away a tile and found out that the pipe went strait back into the cinder block wall. so there was no way to cut it and throw on an elbow like we hoped. So in true BriCon fashon I cut out the broken pipe from the fitting, filed down the threads and applied excessive amounts of PVC cement to seal the new joint. If I remember right it's a trick i learned from Mark, make sure to tell him thanks for me that.  It turned out okay, and then I threw some cement around the whole thing to finish it off. It felt great to have a little project and apply my construction skills. I took some pictures of before and after. The best part was when I could actually take a real shower this morning. It felt wonderful after taking a bowl shower for two days.
    Make sure to tell everyone hi for me. I love you all and hope you have a great week. I'll let you know how changes go as soon as I find out.

Elder Schriever

We were contacting this guy and he had a gazelle horn or something, made into a horn we had to take a picture with it. my goal was angel moroni but ill let you guys be the judge of how it turned out.

cow foot soup
cow nerves

Monday, September 9, 2013

Last Week Before Changes

Well fam another week has come and gone,
   It was good to hear from all of you and to find out that you are doing well. Starting to get into the reality of the school year but doing well. As for here things are going as usual. Running around trying to find new people to teach and trying not to yell at people when they don´t want to keep commitments. The usual. It's super strange to me that this change is almost over. It has passed by super fast. This past week I was on interchanges with this area called San Julian, and president had left his suit coat at an activity there. He swung by at like 9 o'clock and knocked on the door. We were super sketched out until we opened the door. Needless to say it was a huge surprise. We also had interviews with president on Friday. It is always a great chance to get to talk to him. He is a super nice guy, very patient but at the same time a little quirky. He always makes all kinds of sports analogies. I never thought my mission president would say ¨what's up¨to me but he does.
   Today we was the zone activity. We were going to go paintballing in Izalco (I couldn´t believe it existed here either) but unfortunately it was closed, because the local government was charging them too much to run it. Bummer but the crazy thing is that President Hintze gave us permission. Needless to say he is basically the best mission president ever. So instead we played soccer as a zone. Gringoes vs. Latinoes. Surprisingly we killed them in the end. It was 9-5 and I scored a goal and had two assists. It was way fun but I didn´t realize how out of shape I am. I haven´t run like that in forever. During lacrosse season I could just run and run and barely get tired but here after half an hour I was tired. We actually have been running in the mornings but it's not quite the same. I guess there will be time for stuff like that after the mission.
    Today we are hoping to buy these things called truncos. They are these wooden tops with a metal point. But the really cool part is how you spin them. You wind them up with string and throw them overhand if you can get them going they spin like crazy. They will spin for minutes even on a dirt road, you can pick them up with your hand and pass them from hand to hand. They are super cool and cost about $.50 or $.75. I'll be sure to let you guys know how it goes. We are also trying to look for a new house. The one we are at is pretty small, and when it rains water leaks from the roof and makes a huge puddle in our bedroom. It's kind of a pain. We found one that we are going to go look at today, supposedly it has like 6 rooms and was recently refurbished and the location is sweet. Hopefully it goes okay. Hopefully we will make the move this week.
    This past week there were a few earthquakes, they were small ones but it was still kinda cool to feel the earth shake. Apparently it was like a 6.7 from Guatemala. Who knows. Elder S. didn´t notice either of them it was pretty funny. We were contacting and everyone ran out of their house screaming, you could see the telephone poles swaying too. But nothing was damaged. So that was good. There has been a weird absence of rain this week, supposedly September is the rainiest month of the year but I haven´t seen it. It has barely rained at all. But actually as I´m saying this the thunder and rain are closing in here in Sonsonate. I will most likely get a little wet.
    This week we went kinda far away to look for a street contact that we had made a few days before. We mixed up two roads and ended up knocking on another person's door. It turns out it was a member who left the church almost 15 years ago. It was a small miracle to me that we found her because it's a place I don´t usually go. We talked to her and we are going to try and bring her back to activity. Just a small story that the Lord never forgets about his people and will guide missionaries to them in one way or another. I really want you guys to invite the elders over for dinner this week. I´m sure they would appreciate the food and a chance to talk to you guys again. I was on looking at our ward page and I can see who they are, I felt a little like dad stalking on me in college. I could also see some of the missionaries that we have out as a ward right now. We gotta get some more out there! Anyway hope you all are doing well! And that this coming week is going great for all of you. Love you all!
Elder Schriever

22 missionaries in a 15 passenger van

Monday, September 2, 2013

What's good fam?

Well family,

 Another week has come and gone, its crazy to me to see how the time flies. This week went by especially quick, it felt like it was Sunday before I knew it. After I hit six months in the mission it feels like time got put into fifth gear and the weeks just fly by. It also helps that I´m still in my first area. I think I´ll probably be here till the end of October, which I´m okay with it´ll give me time to work with some of my recent converts and hopefully get a couple people baptized before I go. I kept all of you in my prayers starting school, hopefully it made a difference, it's weird to think that you are all in class right now. Strange. Anyway it sounds like everyone is doing great as far as school goes. I still can´t believe that Anna is starting her Senior year, and Maddie is a Sophomore. They will always be my little baby sisters and it´s hard for me to imagine them moving on in high school. Fun and exciting times. 
    This morning we went into cleaning mode on the house. It is actually a huge relief, no more grime on the shower walls, and the whole house smells like Lysol, I enjoy having the house clean. I think Mom would be really proud. Anyway as far as the mission work goes this week was pretty good, we had a new family that came to church and we hope they liked it. Its the son of the first counselor and his wife, the P. family. They are super awesome. When we read 2 Nephi 31 with them I asked the husband how he felt about it. He said he felt it was written by a prophet and he should repent and get baptized. It was like taking a huge drink of ice cold water after coming home from church on fast Sunday (it was glorious) The wife is a little more stubborn but we´ll see what happens with them. 
    I am hoping to get to work a little bit more on my temple carving today, I hope to send some of the pictures I took of it last week. It was way fun to get to work on it, and make something with my hands. Today I want to make some dumbbells out of concrete and some steel tubing. I´ll let you know how it goes. We are going to try and go running every morning this week and work out a little more. I think I will be a lot happier and healthier if I do, but its hard to get the motivation at six in the morning. We were going to go running today but it didn´t happen. Another thing that is getting me excited is we are buying another plastic tub to do laundry in. I know that sounds really dumb but with two tubs we will be able to wash a lot more clothes. (You don´t want to wash socks, pants, and white shirts at the same time trust me) Doing laundry by hand is kind of a pain but also its kinda fun, it cool scrubbing away the dirt stains. We also are going to put up another clothes line in the house to help speed up our drying capacity. We both have those CTR socks, which are awesome, but they take about 2 days to dry all the way through and so they suck up time on the drying line. It also doesn´t help that the clothes line gets a little bit rained on, September is the peak of rainy season (It's hard to believe that we are just getting to the peak of rainy season) So hopefully we will be able to wash our clothes despite the hurricane that comes through every night. 
    We are also are trying to eat a little more healthy, buying fruit, less pupusas, veggies, and whole wheat bread. I had gained a few pounds in the past couple months but I´m starting to lose most of it but I want to keep that trend going for a little bit. The last change I remember I got pretty stressed but this change I have tried to make sure that I don´t get to worked up about the little things that happen every day. It has helped me alot to take things a little bit slower and not worry so much. Reading the scriptures in my spare time has also helped a lot, the Liahona, patriarchal blessing, etc... I am super excited for conference in October I can´t even describe it, I am almost counting down the days, I just am not quite sure what day during October it will be. September 15th here is independence day, so I am going to imagine that the whole country is celebrating Anna´s birthday, and Esme´s the next week. Anyway sounds like you all are doing really well. Love and miss you all, have a great week! 

Elder Schriever