Letter 22: "A Golden Investigator"

Sonsonate, El Salvador
June 27, 2011

Ups and downs
Wow...every week has its ups and downs... this week definitely had an up....

Last week I just wrote that he, Alexis, had a baptismal date and asked you all to pray that it didn’t fall... well, your prayers worked!!!

So about three weeks ago we run into Alexis. He is the cousin of a recent convert and we were walking by his house and felt that we should talk to him... So we did.

He invited us in and we started teaching when our district leader walked by looking for Marlon (the recent convert), thinking that Alexis was Marlon he started asking how long he had been baptized.

When we said that he wasn’t a member he asked when he was going to get baptized. When we told Elder Ballard (our district leader) that this was the first time we were teaching him he quickly excused himself and went on his way to find Marlon.

Alexis then started asking about baptism, what it meant to us and what he needed to do to be baptized.

At the end of the lesson we invited him to be baptized and he accepted! For the following two weeks we met with him everyday to teach the lessons and the commandments.

He was praying and reading everyday. He read the pamphlets before each of our lessons... he was golden...

Alexis+"a thirst for trust"
I didn’t write [about him before] because sometimes we have investigators like that but the only reason they are golden at first is because its new and exciting and different, but within a week they get bored, quit reading, and don't pray for an answer...

But Alexis was the opposite, every day he had a million questions and the more he knew the more he wanted to know more.

Not only that, but he wanted to follow Christ.

He wanted to change everything in his life to live according to the commandments. He quit drinking coffee before we taught the word of wisdom because even though he didn't know why we didn't drink coffee, he knew we didn't, so he stopped.

Then, the other day, he was asking about keeping the Sabbath day holy. He loves skateboarding and there is a big competition this Sunday at El Salvador del Mundo, he really wanted to go and mostly just wanted us to say it was okay, but we explained that really all the Sunday activities are between him and God and there aren’t rules specifically, but he knows what will bring him closer to God and what won't, then he said...alright, I’ll just go on Saturday!

Hna Bermudez says that this is the first convert in her mission that she isn't constantly worried about.

I can't tell you how happy and thankful I am to have had the opportunity to teach him. [I say this] because I know that any missionary could have knocked on his door and he would have been baptized, but I’m thankful I got to be that missionary!

Life is good, the mission is hard... I know this might surprise some of you, but the mission is really hard. But then you meet someone like Alexis and EVERYTHING is worth it... more than worth it.

"Seed sower"
I think I’ve said before that our Bishop told Hna. Bermudez and I that we are seed sowers... that is still proving to be true... and I am still coming to terms with it. But each day I am forgetting more and more about numbers and focusing on finding people.

I am forgetting more and more about numbers and focusing on finding people! People who need help to come closer to Christ.

We are visiting a lot of less active families and little by little they are coming back. That is wonderful to see.

Temple open house (Update)
The Temple open house is coming up in July and I am WAY excited, even if I don't get to help with the open house (because at that time it will be part of the mission Este) I will still get to bring investigators and their families, that is going to be awesome.

Life is good, there is so much to look forward to!...

If you are feeling down look for someone who has it harder than you and find a way to serve him or her! I love you all and so does God.

Letter 21: "I threw up"

Sonsonate, El Salvador
June 21, 2011

Crazy Week
Every week is crazy, but this week [is especially crazy]... so much to report and so little time.

The basics of the last two weeks...
So here I am, with very little time to write!

We went today to play futbol (soccer) with all the hermanas in the mission and had lunch with President and his wife.

It was exactly what we needed. It was nice to see other sisters. Hna Bermudez and I are the only ones in Sonsonate and although we get along really well, when you are with the same person 24 hours a day for four months... well, you can imagine...


Pray for…
Alexis, I didn't write about him last week cause I didn't want to jinx his baptism and I won't write much about him now to save the really cool story for next week, but he is AWESOME!!!... Everyone’s dream investigator and getting baptized this Saturday.

Please pray for him & that everything will go well, and he will be able to get baptized.

Also please pray for Natalia, Jorge, Ruben, and Renaldo (I'm pretty sure Renaldo is a long lost little brother... a story for another letter... don't worry Anthony...he couldn't replace you :)

Cool side note
I got sick this week, thanks to a delicious tamale made by our Relief Society president. I was incapacitated pretty much all day Saturday.

And I threw up for the first time in over 10 years!!!!!! (But don't worry, I got a blessing and all is well)

Hermanas + Temple Open House
What else, what else... We are going to get four hermanas the next transfer here in Sensunapan.


And we are starting to plan the temple open house... our wards goal is to bring 500 people through the temple open house this July.

We passed by the temple today and it is soooooo beautiful! I know every temple is beautiful, but this one is especially beautiful...

Time is up...until next week. Remember...

God loves you,

I love you...

Letter 20: "By funny I don't exactly mean funny"

Jun 13, 2011
San Salvador, El Salvador

"(Not true)... (True)"
Funny Story that can only happen in the mission (and by funny I don't exactly mean funny):The other day was a day that everyone just wanted to preach to us! We were contacting and we found a girl, Christina.

She was mas o menos [kind of] interested and we were about to close the lesson with a prayer when her parents got home and started ripping into us about how they respect all religions, but our religion is wrong and screwed up!

We bore our testimonies to leave and they started laughing at us. Because just as easily as we say, "We know that this church is true and that Joseph Smith really was a prophet" they too could say the same things about their church...

[So they said that] we profess that we know the truth, but we drink (not true) and dance (true)... and don't believe in the Judgement (not true)... and worship Joseph Smith (not true)

"I was fine... until..."
I have to confess I did get mad... I was fine and laughing inside until she said we worship Joseph Smith.... my blood turned cold and I got so irritated. I didn't say anything I'd regret though.

Just that if she took anything from what we were saying it was that we. do. not. worship. Joseph. Smith. (ugh)

"Turned off my Spanish button"
but the way I felt was is so hard to describe, because it was [frustrating] but at the same time it was a testimony to me that I know that the things we teach are true...

Anyway. we left to go to another appointment of a less active whose father was offended by the church and is now anti... well, he was there when we showed up.

He preached to us for exactly 30 minutes... I honestly turned off my Spanish button and didn't listen after 2 minutes of him talking because every time we opened our mouths to answer [his questions] he would put his hand up and say..."mire, escuchame..." ("Look, Listen")... UGH!

Some days are awesome... and some days just do not work in our favor :)...

but life is good...

The gospel is true!

be smart, don't make stupid decisions... mostly because God is watching :)

Letter 19: "Mother's Day"

Sonsonate, El Salvador
June 06, 2011

"Their voices"
Best news of the week is that i got to talk to my family. I had no idea how much i missed them until I heard their voices and promptly started to cry. :)

I Love my family more than anything on this Earth. that said....

This week was...a week in the mission: Preaching, teaching, serving. its my life and I LOVE IT!!!!!!

"Suck it up"
Hermana Bermudez hit her 1 year mark on Thursday! We ate pupusas in celebration ;P she only has six months left!!!! I have decided that I never want to get to that point...

As far as the work goes, it's as crazy as ever. the part that i love is that it is never finished. We are never bored. sometimes it's hard at 8:30 at night when nobody wants to talk to us, but even then we just have to suck it up and start contacting. we find some of the coolest people at 8:30 at night :)

"Cattle Herder"
Russell told me that i need to quit focusing on numbers and focus more on going on the journey with the people we teach. He was right. this life is a journey and I have the opportunity to show people the map to make it through.

Sometimes i feel like a cattle herder, not gonna lie, but our example really is Jesus Christ, and he wasn't a Cattle Herder... he was a Shepard. People followed him because of the way he lived, not because he pushed them to go where they did not want to go.

So yesterday I started putting into practice showing our investigators love and concern for their problems and not just focusing on baptismal dates...

It has only been one day, but i felt a big difference in the lessons, we didn't necessarily teach everything in the lesson, but we adapted to their needs and I think they understood more. not only that, but we understood more about how to help them.

All in all...good advice.

Also we had two baptisimal dates fall through... I think we have been pushing buttons that haven't been ready to push.

Anyway. i'm learning something new everyday and that's all I can handle right now.

Life is great!

God lives.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!