Well everyone another week has come and gone, this week has gone by especially fast. Basically this whole week we were in interchanges, we did them from Tuesday to Saturday, so we were together in our area on Monday and Sunday. Interchanges definitely take their toll, the nights felt like they were an hour long, but I slept like a rock every night. I barely even dreamed. We have a really good zone, there are some elders that really work with all they have. But we also have some elders that need some help, badly, and that is why we are doing interchanges all the time. This upcoming week will be somewhat similar. They make me tired but at the same time they make the week go by very fast. We will end up the month with about 12-13 baptisms, depending on a couple people that are on the fence. There are also a bunch of less active families that are starting to come back to church, which is awesome. Do you guys remember C from Lourdes? Well yesterday was her baptism. I was so happy to hear that she got married and took the decision to get baptized. Her husband V, is also preparing to get baptized in March. Super exciting. I wish I could have been there but it is good to know that while I was there I laid the foundation for their success. Thats good enough for me. Elder C got to perform the baptism, and it took him three tries, aparently after the second C was about to call it, and had to be talked into doing it a third time. I gave him a hard time about that for sure! In zone meetings we always recite Doctrine and Covenants 4 in spanish as a group, and he hasn´t memorized it, out of "brotherly love" I am having him recite it solo in front of everyone until he has it memorized. He is going to learn it one way or another. This week is the baptism of C and C, this wednesday. They are both super excited! Ss are their parents. It's C's 8th birthday that day so we are going to see if we can get them a cake or something like that. I love going over to their house to teach, the lessons just go so well, and they really pay attention, they have completely quit coffee and are trying hard to live everything we have taught them. The mom needs to get divorced so that she can get married to R, her husband went off the deep end. So for now they are waiting for the papers and everything before they can move forward. The mom, C is already a member but R no. We are also working with another partial member family, the G family, he is a police officer which makes it hard to find time to teach him, but he is very positive. Loves to read, and when we have a few spare minutes I get to talk to him about guns, and stuff like that, it's refreshing. Hermano S drank some alcohol again this week, so we are going to have to work a little more closely with him. His son J, is starting to listen to us, and went to church this Sunday, so we are excited for him. We talked to a friend of a member that lives over in this colonia called La Joya. She has brain cancer and the doctors have said that she has 2-6 months to live. Super sad. Hermana M will probably adopt her two daughters after she dies because without the help of the mom, the husband won´t be able to support all of the children. It's hard to see people in such a hard situation and not be able to do much other than teach them that God has a plan, and that if we are faithful we can be together forever. It is a time for me to reflect on if this is something I really believe, and in the end I realized that I know that it is true, death is not the end, and even though it is a bitter parting, it is not the end of the story. I hope to help her, her husband, and children understand what will happen after death. That their is always hope. I can´t believe that it is almost March already, this past week I hit the one year mark of living here in El Salvador, it's sure been a wild ride. It also means that its summer right now. But the rain will come in about two months, the mangos are finally here which means mangoes breakfast, lunch and dinner, I am so excited. This week is going to be busy as well, but I look forward to working hard and knowing that I got a lot done. I feel so much better at the end of the day when I know that I gave it my all, anything less than that and I feel like it was a day unfulfilled. I hope you all are enjoying your time and happy. I look forward to talking to you all soon! Elder Schriever
Monday, February 24, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
Well the big news is that we spend all day today playing on the beach at the Puerto La Libertad, it was super hot, but very beautiful! The water was pretty blue and was really hot! Unfortunately no agates but I guess there is always time for that at the Oregon Coast. We ran into a bunch of Canadians which was pretty weird, they mostly spoke French, not much English but it was still fun to run into them. We ate some food right off the beach and a few mariache bands were playing in the background. It was heavenly. On the pier they had this crane that they would use to lower all of the little fishing boats down, right when we first got there, they were still lowering some down and lifting some up, but later in the afternoon no. It was a really cool system. There were all kinds of guys too that would throw nets off the dock, and all kinds of guys who were repairing their nets on the side of the pier it was way cool. The fish they caught was mostly barracuda, they were pretty freaky looking, very sharp teeth, and lots of eel as well. They would take the fish they caught, fillet it, and lay it out on the rocks to dry. Dried fish here is a big deal. Unfortunately we are not allowed to eat seafood, otherwise I would have gone crazy and have eaten everything. They had ceviche restaurants everywhere. Someday... The mission work is going really well, we starting working with this partial member family named the Gs this week, and they both came to church! The wife is a member and has a very strong testimony, and the husband is very positive, we have another cita with him tonight at six so we will see how that goes, but so far he doing well. C is having a hard time kicking the coffee habit, but we are working with him. We are going to buy soy or corn coffee so that he can drink that instead. But hopefully all will be ready for the 26th when he can get baptized along with his sister. They are both super funny now, every time we go over there they insist that we play a game with them. So we take like 5-10 minutes to play hot potato or something simple like that. A lot of times it is a nice break from the teaching, teaching, teaching, routine.
This week we are going to make a few benches for some members in this colonia called La Joya. ("hoya") We are going to give them to two member families to keep at their houses on the condition that we will be able to use them for family home evenings whenever we need them. Basically they will stay at their house always but when seating is short when we do FHE in that colonia we will bring those benches. Sometimes like twenty people come and there is no where to sit other than to pull up a rock, or a bucket. It makes things sometimes uncomfortable to that is what has caused the bench making. It is also a great excuse to do some wood working, whcih is never a bad thing. They are going to be super-simple and low budget but it should satisfy the building itch. This week is also going to mean lots of exchanges, basically every day, the asistants to president want us to get to know almost every investigator in the zone so we are going to be running around like crazy this week, but exchanges are always way fun. I guess I´ll just have to take it as it comes. Do you guys remember the S family that got baptized a little bit ago? They are going strong, they both are probably going to go do baptisms for the dead on March 1st and they are both super excited. We are also trying to get a less active member R F to the temple. He has been coming for the past six weeks and has stopped smoking, he is a great example of being humble enough to let the Lord change us. He was sealed in the Guatemala temple about 8 years ago went inactive and started drinking, and about two months ago decided to stop drinking and come back to church. Now is is one of the biggest helps in the ward as far as visiting and referrals go. He is a stud. We are trying to get him to the temple this 1st of march as well. His wife has a coffee problem as well, and is struggling trying to kick it, but we just need to be patient and work with her a little bit more. Well sounds like everyone is doing really well, having fun and being productive. That is what I like to see. I hope you all enjoy the pictures love you all and pray for you always. Have a great week,
Monday, February 10, 2014
This week was a pretty good week. I had a meeting in San Salvador on Tuesday for all of the zone leaders, where we talk about the problems we are having in the zone and what we can do to solve them. It was an interesting meeting, there are some clown ZL's, but the message that president gave was really good, about becoming the hands of the lord. He quoted the talk by Pres. Uchtdorf about the statue of Christ during WWII that got bombed. It was a great reminder that we need to be disciples of Christ, and really represent him, and through us, the Lord will bless the lives of many. The food was way good too! Which makes everything more enjoyable. We didn´t end up going to the Ruins, maybe another week. What we are going to do next week is go to the beach!! I am super excited, it's about an hour in bus but totally worth it, we are hoping to play beach volleyball, or posibly beach soccer. I am going to push for beach volleyball but most likely we will end up playing soccer. We haven't really done a zone activity so I feel really bad, but this should be a good one. They also sell all kinds of touristy stuff at the beach so maybe I´ll pick up a few things there. Another big highlight was the sealing of the V family, we basically spent all day in the temple, and it was awesome. They were so happy, and I was too. I got to participate as well, for their son O who had died many years before. It was a very special moment and thus far one of the highlights of the mission. I went to bed that night content with the world. I had never been to a sealing before, but it was a very beautiful thing, super simple, but beautiful. I didn't want to leave the room. We also have a new baptism planned for the 26th of February, for O, the 11 year old son of a member woman that we are working with. Their other daughter is also going to get baptized that day because it is her 8th birthday but she is a baptism of the ward. There are a few other people we are teaching and we found a ton of new people to teach this past week. So we will see what happens there! I was thinking about this the other day that I am so grateful to be serving in a country that believes in Chirst, and that has a firm faith in him. It presents different challenges but really it is quite a blessing. I have come to love this country and the people here. They are very unique and different but they are awesome. It sounds like things are going well. February has always been a weird month, it's super cold, and it's when you are getting sick of winter, Christmas is over and now you just have to wait till its summer again. Or that's how it always seemed to me. Here its starting to get really dry and hot, there is sometimes a slight breeze to cool us down but we still sweat a ton. I feel awkward when we walk into someones house and we are just soaking wet, but normally they are too so its okay. Okay everyone have a great week and I will write you all on Monday next week!
Monday, February 3, 2014
Well everyone this week was a pretty good week, lots to talk about. First off, we had the baptism of the R family, it was super sweet, they got married friday morning and then were baptized that night. I didn't see it but the husband lost almost everything they had due to an alcohol problem, but now turned his life around. It was a pretty special moment. President Hintze and his wife even came to see it! We were super happy that day. They had to get married in this place called Cuatepeque which is actually outside of our mission limits, but President gave us permission to go. While we were waiting for the lawyer we got to walk around a little bit. When I come back to El Salvador I want to pass through that town. It has a world class lake, and has all kinds of colonial era adobe houses and Catholic churches way cool place. I have a picture or two from there that I´m going to send. I really want to focus on helping them stay active in the church, there are so many people that get baptized and then go inactive several weeks later, I would rather have baptized five people and have them stay, than baptize five hundred and have them all go inactive. We are going to have to work more with the members to make sure they get home taught, and visited every once in a while. It is something that doesn´t quite function here in El Salvador. So please DO YOUR VISITS! For February we are going to work with C and his dad. His dad isn´t a member, but his mom is, but she needs to get divorced and remarried before he can get baptized. So for now C is the only one who can get baptized. we are going to start working more in this colonia called Las Cruces, it is quite the walk to get there, but there are tons of less active members, and the missionaries haven´t really worked there before. We are going to focus on finding more people. We are going to try working by sectores, staying in one colonia all day, so that we save walking time. We will see how that goes. It should also help save me from walking all over the place, I have started to lose some weight from all of these hills,(which isn´t necessarily a bad thing) but it does waste a lot of time.
In other news the V family is getting sealed on Saturday!!!! They called me yesterday and let me know. I already asked president for permission to go and he gave it to me! So I get to go to the temple at 4pm on Saturday and watch them get endowed and sealed. I am so excited for that I can´t even explain it. It will be the first sealing I will ever have gone to. I am going to confirm that I will be able to go but its pretty much set in stone. Can´t wait for that.
Yesterday was the Presidential elections, so basically no one was home, and we had a rule that we could only visit members that day, so as far as missionary work goes that was pretty bad. There were just people everywhere and we weren´t allowed to contact any of them. But most people were somewhat frustrated and really loud, maybe it was a good thing we couldn´t talk to them. I am not sure who won but I think it was FMLN which is the communist party. Interesting... this next week we are planning on going to some ruins finally.... a place called San Andres that is inside the zone limits, it is closed on Mondays so we will have to change our Pday to Tuesday, so if you don´t get an email from me on monday its not because I died or anything its just because I´m going to write on Tuesday. The ruins here aren´t huge but they are pyramids and from what I have heard they are pretty cool. They will really be the first thing like that that I have ever been to, so I´m pretty psyched. Also a member here is going to show us how to sew our own ties. I am pretty excited for that I will be able to make the most ghetto looking ties of all time! I am thinking some really old looking paisly ties or something like that. I guess we will see. Other than that things are pretty normal here, just walking around, talking to people and preaching about Christ. I finished reading exodus in the old testament, and am now trying to work my way through leviticus its rough but I have started to see Christ more in the old testament than I could before. But my favorite part that I read today was in Mosiah 15, and 16 where it talks about who will be redeemed through the atonement of Christ. It is a good chapter to make one think about how you are living your life and then change. Well my times basically up love you all and hope you are doing well!