Well everyone another week has come and gone, March as well! This week we stayed pretty busy, between planning a ward missionary activity, looking for new houses, and just doing the normal mission work we didn´t have much sitting around. We finally found a house that we might possibly be able to live in, but we will find out on tuesday. Where we are living now is full of bat poop, and the other house where the elders are living is for sale. we are pretty desperate. but out two month search may finally be coming to an end. the really tricky part is finding a house for the sisters, they are a little bit more picky about where the sisters live than the elders, which makes a difficult search almost impossible. but we will keep looking! The ward activity was a movie night in the chapel, it was a success, we had about 50 people in the activity. not very many investigators, but a few less active members came. I was in charge of making popcorn, so I made a bunch in a big pot with butter and popcorn, it actually turned out really good. a lot more work than the machine that we have back home, but it worked. we watched a movie about this italian priest who found a book of mormon that didn´t have a cover, and didn´t find out what church it was from for about twenty years, and wasn´t able to get baptized for another twenty because of the world wars. It was a really cool story but most people didn´t follow it. so after we passed some mormon messages which people really liked. Our bishop wants to do a play for our next activity about the prodigal son. It should be interesting, hopefully it will turn out well. i guess if everyone gets involved it will be fun. This month in our zone almost every area baptized. there was only one who didn´t which was pretty cool. that was my main goal. if every companionship can baptize it is a success. I have never seen it done before, but we came really close. unfortunatly this week as far as investigators in church as a zone we were really bad. we had nine as a zone. which is pretty horrible. but hopefully we can bring a bunch of people to general conference. It really is one of the best times for people to get an answer to their prayers, and there are such flexible hours its perfect. I personally am super excited for conference, and its weird to thing that this is my third in the mission! that really makes me feel old! I am planning on making rice krispie treats to celebrate, and to take the place of mom´s orange rolls. its not quite the same, but it will have to do. This week we were looking to try and find more less active members to teach, because they are the best way to find investigators that will be positive. anyway we found this lady S, who was baptized when she was 16 and is now 42, she hasn´t been to church in around 26 years, but she still doesn´t drink coffee, and she told us that she has the church website linked to her facebook and she goes on there fairly often. we had a really good talk with her and have an appointment to come back on wednesday. we are having a hard time finding new investigators right now so hopefully she will be able to help us out. just knocking doors is so ineffective, even here the best way to find people to teach is through the members. and thats what we are focusing on right now. It seems like so many people here in the ward are having a really tough time right now, a lot don´t have jobs, and others are having a hard time getting along with their spouse, its hard to see so many problems, but I also know that through obedience to the Lord we can avoid so many problems. but even so just like Nephi in 1 nephi 16 sometimes our bows break. even though we are doing everything right, its times like that when we learn to trust in the lord, and work out hardest to come up with our own solution. and make our "wood bow." speaking of wood bows I have really had the urge to make one. when I get home I am going to chop down a bunch of trees and get to work! Well anyway thats mostly what´s happening over here on my end. Hope you are all happy and healthy and doing well. love you all and can´t wait to hear from you soon. Elder Schriever (P.S. J.G from Izalco told me to tell you all hello for him)
Monday, March 31, 2014
Well we are writing a little late today because we went to the beach again. we decided this week so it was a suprise for the both of us. there were four zones there, about 100 missionaries so it was crazy, but way fun. we played some American Football (real football as I call it) and a little bit of ultimate frisbee. all in all a pretty chill day. It a little bit more stress when I have to worry about still like getting back on time, transportation, and making sure noone does anything stupid, but it was still relaxing. this week we baptized Josue, I got the opportunity to actually perform the baptism and it was very cool. The Elders sang the spanish version of "I like to look for Rainbows" and he started to tear up a little bit. He as made some big changes in his life, and if he keeps strong in the gospel he will maintain that change. President Hintze came to our sacramant meeting this sunday, and out bishop asked him to put another companionship in our ward. President then asked him if Arce was safe enough for sisters and he told him that it was. So this upcoming change they are going to put sisters in Arce 3, I´m not quite sure how I feel about that. I guess it depends on the sisters. Some work really hard, and some just complain and complain and complain. Fingers crossed that we get a good set of sisters. We are still trying to figure out houses, how to divide areas, its been quite the headache. there are so few houses, and the area is so small. I might end up just working in a few small colonias. I guess it will be interesting to see how it turns out.
Oh and mom this week the package came, broken into, but it came. someone really had gone through it and taken out some stuff. but I got the clif bars, fun dip, popcorn, and the freeze dried meals. thank you so much. it was awesome my companion really enjoyed the beef stroganough (sp?) the cliff bars are always a hit so thank you very much for them. Because of time I haven´t been able to read all of your emails but I am printing them out to read them later. It sound to me like you all are ejoying the spring break, and the time to check out BYU. remember that the breakfast sandwiches that they sell in the vending machines are the best thing ever. just saying. also the cookies and creme milk. for the most part things here are pretty normal, trying to get people in this ward to do their home teaching, trying to find people to bring to church and teach. and working hard to teach the people we have. I am happy healthy, and having the time of my life. Thank you all for writing me and I´ll talk to you next week! Elder Schriever
Monday, March 10, 2014
Another week come and gone, not a whole lot to say. As far as changes go nothing changed! our whole district stayed exactly the same. One exciting thing that happened is that Izalco got made into its own zone! My district when I started my mission has now grown into a zone. It's pretty cool to see. There are now three sets of missionaries in that one ward, and they are working on expanding the chapel to make it larger. I am pretty psyched about it! Hopefully someday I can come back to see it. In our zone there were a few changes but they were all in the other district. I was glad that I didn´t change, and that Elder A didn´t leave either. We get along really well, and work well together. He is getting pretty baggy because he only has three months left, but I guess that´s just how it goes, I´m sure I´ll be the same way around October. We had a fairly relaxed week because of changes, we stayed in our own area to give everyone a chance to get to know theirs, but this week we are going to do exchanges like normal again. On Saturday one of the new assistants is going to come and work in the zone, his name is Elder R, and super tall, super goofy guy, whose brother is the lead singer of Imagine Dragons. He is super chill and it should be fun to work with him. This week was the second round of the presdiential elections. It was weird to see a presidential election going on and not know anything or being involved in any way. But some of the members that we visited were pretty mad about what was going on. We got all kinds of lectures on why ARENA is horrible, or why FMLN is going to destroy the country. It felt somewhat like family reunions, I felt right at home. But because of the elections the church attendance was horrible, everyone was voting. But M (the woman that has brain cancer) came to church for the first time. She can´t read so I think it was a little boring for her, but I think that she liked it. We are trying to organize classes to teach people how to read, because we have quite a few members and investigators that can´t read and it is super debilitating. But hopefully with the help of some of the ward missionaries we will teach them how to read. On Tuesday we helped M and her children move to a diferent house. They were living in a corrugated metal shack, and the owner didn´t want us coming there to teach, but they moved to another house in the colonia so we are all good. We had to carry all of their stuff about 500 yards to their new house. It still amazes me how people who have almost nothing have a big screen tv and a nice sound system. Their life I guess. J has been learning a bunch too, he has been really good about reading, and has even started to go to scouts! The ward has started to get a scout program running here, but they don´t have their own troop yet. So this Sunday they were all helping out with the elections and couldn´t come to church. It was unfortunate but I guess it´s good that he´s making friends and getting involved. He is going to be baptized on the 22nd of March, he is pretty shy so he doesn´t want to invite anyone, but that's okay, we can make that happen. We have to work hard to try to get people to come so it'll be easier for us! This week our cocinera made pizza for us and it was awesome, but we got there a little late because we were helping the A family (C and K) move to a new house as well. So the pizza wasn´t super warm and she said Jamàs voy a hacer pizza porque llegaron trade! It remended me lots of Dad's pizza fiasco of 2005 " I will never make Pizza AGAIN!" but I really hope she does because it was way good. They have pizza here but it´s nothing compared to the bacon-artichoke pizza that dad makes. I can´t wait to be able to eat that again. This week I am thinking that I am going to go crazy and drop $7 on a jar of peanut butter. I haven´t had a good PPYJ sandwich for a long time. It should last me for a few weeks as well. Well that mostly what going on for the week, love you all and wish you the best! Paz! Elder Schriever
Monday, March 3, 2014
Hey everyone sound like from you emails you all had a great week. Big shoutout to Anna for getting into BYU WAHOO!!! This week was pretty crazy for me, I guess not anything too out of the normal but I was pretty tired. Good thing its p-day and I can kinda relax a little bit. The biggest news of the day would be the baptism of C and K A, they were both super excited,along with their parents. It was Karla´s 8th birthday so I bought her a birthday cake that we all ate afterwards. It was a fun day for sure, and a great way to finish the month of Febrary.
This week we also committed J to a baptismal date, the 22nd. Which was super exciting. He is the older son of the R family, and when we were teaching them, he didn´t want anything, and would always leave. His mom always asked us what we could do to help him become interested. We told her to be faithful and always keep him in her prayers. About two weeks ago he decided to go to church, with his friend C (who was baptized about 3 months ago) and now he is loving it! He went with the ward to the temple trip and said that he really enjoyed it a lot, and can´t wait to go inside. I think thats possibly what made the difference. Our mission president always says that the best missionary in all of El Salvador is the temple, and it is so true. Right now we are working on getting all of the members and recent converts, and investigators to go to the temple, the ward does a trip every month, and it is so important, in every aspect of our conversion. Right now the members need to work on temple attendance, normally the buses go pretty empty. The zone this week had 23 investigators in church, and 11 new investigators, which means that this upcoming week we will be doing exchanges basically all week. I really like interchanges, it is nice to work with someone different,and to get to work in a different area. Sometimes they are tiring, but I guess thats just how it goes! We honestly have a great group of missionaries. I am really going to miss any of the elders that move out. There are quite a few that I plan on hanging out with after the mission at college. So we have changes this upcoming week, not sure who has changes yet but they have said who is training new missionaries and who is going to Belize. Elder Coates, along with one other elder in the zone are going to Belize, they should be leaving later today. There are three other elders training in our zone, so basically everyone but the zone leaders will be training, which always makes things very exciting. I can´t imagine that me or my companion wil have changes but you never know. Crazier things have happened. I talked to Elder Stoker in a multi-zone that we had, and he is going to be training, which means that I will have another "grandson" I am way excited. I just hope for his sakes that he leaves his area, He is still in Izalco, and now has a little over 8 months there. Just like I did. That's a long time to be in any area! But he has really whipped that ward into shape. Rumor has it that they are going to split Sonzacate zone and make Zona Izalco, which would be really sweet. If anything crazy happens with changes I will let you all know next week. Oh just so you all know last monday I finished making my white shirt, I am wearing it right now! It isn´t even that ugly! I don´t know if I will every make my own dress shirts but a flannel shirt for sure. and the principle is basically the same. The hardest part was the collar, but it was all pretty tricky. I had no idea how many details there are in making a shirt! It gave me an apreciation for all of the people here that work in clothing factories. They make Under Armour, Nike, Puma, Columbia, and all sorts of brands like that, it has got to be so hard, and they make at the very most, about 8 dollars a day. I can´t imagine what it would be like to be sewing hundreds of articles of clothes each day with the tag that says $50 dollars for a pair of shorts, when that is your weekly salary. It still makes me sad how injust the world is, I
don´t think I will ever get over that. I was reading this week in the scriptures in Jacob 3:9, it was a personal machete, and that's probably why it stood out to me so much. I sometimes make the mistake of judging people here for not wanting to listen or for making incorrect desicions. This verse was a reminder not to judge, and to remember that these people are doing what they were taught by their parents to do, and that I have been blessed with the light of the restored gospel. I should always act like it, and if I don´t it will be worse off for me, for having greater knowledge and not following it. So lets do what we are supposed to do, and if we are doing something we know we shouldn´t lets change it! It's not that hard to do! Okay everyone have a great week and I can´t wait to hear from you all soon! Elder Schriever