Monday, July 4, 2011

25: Refugio 4

¡Buenos Días todos!

So I guess it's been an eventful week.  First of all, we got our new president, President Cordon.  To start out, this guy is tall.  I'm pretty sure he is the tallest Latin that I have ever seen.  Secondly, he's awesome.  There is so much love flowing from that guy.  I think pretty much every missionary immediately felt close to they were already friends...within the first 10 minutes of meeting him (except my companion--he was drawing).   He is absolutely awesome, and I'm excited to work with him.  His wife is a lot of fun.  She was a convert and told us her conversion story.  Then she told us how she was able to look up the missionaries who converted her 20 years later and talk with them.  She then talked about how we need to convert, not just baptize, then always be worthy after.  If we're not worthy after, what are our converts going to think?  President Cordon talked to us about love, and that we can love everyone, and about the doctrine of Christ.  It was a really cool lecture.  In all, the meeting was pretty awesome and I'm way excited to work with this president.  Oh, and also, he speaks English—not that I need that anymore.

So Spanish is a lot better.  I understand and communicate, but still need to refine and learn a lot more.  But at least I'm not always out in the dark.  I think it has to do part with the fact that I'm basically in charge of my whole area, my branch, and my companion. I'm learning so much from this experience, even though it is hard. I'm learning a lot of Spanish; I'm learning little by little how to get things going.

Also, I'm learning a lot of patience from my companion.  He's so baggy right now that he doesn't really believe he's a missionary and he doesn't act like one either.  It is so difficult to get him out of the house, and then he just grumps along behind me.  Many times he'll just take off in another direction just to bug me and never really helps me teach.  I'm basically his babysitter and just have to make sure that he doesn't do anything stupid in the next 16 days.  But I'm kind of worried because I'm pretty sure he's planning something.  I've learned a lot a bad words from him too, poor kid.  But now that I've said that, I would like to say how grateful I am for him.  He frustrates me like crazy, but has helped me get closer to God more than ever.  Like it says in Mosiah 23:21-22, it's the trials that make us grow.  To be honest, I feel really sorry for him.  He's going to have a hard time when he gets back to his house and doesn't have a companion there to help him.  I'm trying to help him...but it's really difficult.  Really difficult.

Wednesday we had a baptism.  La Maritsa.  She's the daughter of a member, and her sister is a member too, but she was never baptized. She already had had 3 baptism dates before and had been interviewed and all, but kept disappearing on her baptism date.  We taught her and she still understood and remembered everything and wanted to be baptized, but said that she hadn't yet because she didn't like the other missionaries.  So we set a date with her and got to know her well.  Well, the date finally came, her birthday, and wow, that was stressful.  The baptism was supposed to start at 7, but didn't start until about 8:30 because she was in her house changing for an hour and a half.  We finally got her into the baptismal font, and to be honest, she looked like she was about to run away.  Finally, my companion dunked her, but her feet went up, so he had to dunk her again.  It was pretty suspenseful for me.  But we finally baptized her and she was really happy, and I bought them pupusas the next day in celebration. She really was ready to be baptized but she just needed a lot of push because she's...well...I don't know.  But she's keeping the commandments and even went to the temple on Friday.  So it was good. Here's a picture of her.  She was really nervous, so we couldn't really get her to smile.  We took about 10 of these pictures.  I got bored after about 5, and this was number 7, I believe.

Friday I got to go to the temple open house.  Wow, I miss the temple. The temple here is so amazing.  It is absolutely chulo [cool].  I got to go with the rama [branch] to write down all of the references. There were tons.  Of course, a lot of them weren't so positive, but they all enjoyed the temple.  There was definitely a spirit there way different from any other place.  But I have to say, I do miss the temple.  If you haven't gone to the temple lately, you should go because it really is different from any other place on earth.  The El Salvador Temple is so sweet.  I can't wait to go there and do an actual endowment or something.  Also, I got to eat a chocolate chip cookie after, which is good because I have been craving those things for weeks.  I really am dying for some chocolate chip cookies.  That's something that they really haven't mastered here in El Salvador.

Also, the familia Herrera are finally making up their minds to be married.  I think we're going to get to baptize them the first of August when they have vacation from their work.  They are so awesome, and all their neighborhood loves them.  They're taking a trip to the temple this Saturday and are basically going to fill up a bus with people.  I can't go again because missionaries can only go once, but my companion will go with them (we did divisions on Friday).  I really wish I could go with them, but maybe in one year when they get sealed. They're so great though.  I'm so excited for them.

So it's hard, and there are not as many baptisms as I'd prefer, but it's good.  I'm so excited for the familia Herrera.  Today we're going to have FHE with them and eat Chuco.  I have no idea what that is, but they say it's really good.  I'm a little iffy though because the other definition for chuco here is "dirty."

Also, I found a post office yesterday, so I might actually start replying to letters if I can find time.  But I do like getting letters, so write me if you can...just know that I'm not really good at replying.  I hope all's well in the land of the free.  Happy Fourth of July.  I'm going to go to the stake center in about 30 minutes to celebrate.  I just changed a car tire today.  I am getting so good at that.  People are always getting flats.  It rains a lot here.


Elder Bailey

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