Friday, October 28, 2011

42: Independencia 9


Well, first off, I'm on youtube!  Ivan Retana (el Líder misional) put up a video of our service project on youtube.  It's called "acto de servicio barrio independencia estaca modelo el salvador".  I'm in it, working hard as always.

Okay.  So it's been good.  This has really been a good week.  We'll start with Friday night.

Friday night we were running around from house to house teaching.  We have these 2 investigators (they're this older couple of about 55 years) who...are so nice.  We're going to see if they're really going to progress this weekend, but they are sweet.  And not sweet as in cool, but sweet as in…sweet.  They are so nice.  Probably some of the most fun people I've met in this country.  After, we went and had dinner with some members and shared a message.  They were all crying.  Man, I wish I could do THAT with every investigator. 

After that, the bishop called me because it was 8:05 and we had an appointment with him at 8.  He's very punctual, probably the only person in this country like that.  But it's good.  So we literally took off booking it through the city to get to his house.  Elder Christner kept losing his shoe.  Well, I got there, and there were all my favorite members there.  And a cake!  It was my first surprise birthday party!  Good times.  They sang to me and all.  Then, as tradition goes, I had to take a bite of the cake, and my companion pushed my face into the cake.  Got frosting all over.  At least the bishop didn't do it, because he would have thrown my whole head into it.  I realized that that's why they didn't use candles after.  If there had been candles, they probably would have scarred my face.

Saturday we woke up and had a good companion study, talking about service, then, as it turns out, the assistants were getting ready to do a service project up in San Jorge, so we went with them.  Wow, how weird was it to return to San Jorge, but at least a bunch of my converts are still active.  It was cool.  We fixed the roof of the house of Jeronimo, my last convert in San Jorge.  One of my converts told me I was getting fat.  Dang it.  During this time, I was coming down from the ladder to move it over, and ran right up into a barbed wire fence.  Yep, punctured right through my pants and...yeah.  It hurt.  Then in the night it kind of looked infected so I had to call the nurse.  Well, Elder Beaton, the assistant, thought it was so funny that he called her.  It was a pretty funny conversation that night.  Then, of course, the next Monday when she came in again was just as funny.  But hey, it's the mish.

So I couldn't really sit down Sunday.  We had the Primary program that day.  Wow, was it hard to sit down.  It was a good day, we got a lot accomplished. 

Monday we went and talked to William, a teenager of 17 years.  Wow, he is so positive.  We've been reading the Book of Mormon with him, and he has been very open.  It's kind of interesting because I was getting a little frustrated that week from not teaching well.  Then I went on interchanges with Elder Maradiaga (secretario de migracion, es de Honduras) yesterday, and we taught some amazing lessons.  He's awesome, Elder Maradiaga, probably one of the most fun people I've known here.  Wow.  I'm really talking in extremes today.

So we had a lesson with William and taught him the gospel of Christ, then when it came to baptism, I just asked the perfect questions.  It was awesome. We put a date with him for the 18th of November.  I am so excited, this guy's awesome.  He absolutely wants to be baptized and knows the Church is true.  His only doubt is that him mom is very active in another church, and he's a little timid about talking to her.  But then we even got him to ask for help with that specifically in his prayer.  He is so sweet.  I'm way excited, praying for him every night.

Also, we basically reactivated a less active family that day too.  We were out with Ivan Retana looking up references, and there was one where the directions were messed up.  We were looking for house #25, but it wasn't on the right street.  So we decided to just go down the street until we got to house #25.  Well, when we finally found it, it wasn't the person we were looking for, but instead an inactive abuelita and her son lived there.  Well, we got talking, and she told us that she wanted to come back to church and stop smoking.  It was so cool.

So really, yesterday was just an awesome day.  Elder Maradiaga is way sweet, I'd have so much fun with him as my companion.  We also taught one of the funniest lessons ever.  It was to this other grandma who was a little crazy, and we were all laughing the whole time...but that's what she needed.  She enjoyed it a lot, and now wants the missionaries to come see her again.  Also, a couple days before that I taught some other good lessons with Elder Christner and Ivan el Gordo.  He's this other member who's way powerful.  We taught a sweet lesson about the Plan of Salvation, then tied it into the Book of Mormon, and prophets, and Joseph Smith.  Way powerful.  After that, we reactivated another family, family Blanco.

Well, so I've just been playing more ping pong this morning.  We've been doing a lot of that.  Thanks for all the support back home, and thanks for the birthday cards.  This has really been a sweet birthday for me.  I absolutely loved it!  Today is Elder Molina's birthday, so we'll probably go do some sweet stuff today as well.  Well, thanks for everything! 


Elder Bailey

Sunday, October 23, 2011

41: Independencia 8

Wow. It has been raining so much here. Seriously. They say this is one of the hardest and longest times it has rained here for a long time. I didn't see the sun for so long. In fact, Sunday we just had sacrament meeting, then they cancelled the other meetings to go gather stuff for the people in need whose houses were flooded.

Yesterday was my birthday (for those of you who don't know). I'm not gonna lie, it was really good. First, we had a multizone conference with the president about the effects of what happened. It was a very, very good conference, the best I have had in the mission. He talked about rules, why they are important, and things like that. It was excellent. The president is so awesome.

Then the Hma. Cordòn's family made me brownies and gave me a huge bag of candy. It was pretty awesome. I ended up working in the office very late (Elder Christner had a lot to do), then we left, taught a little, then went out to eat pupusas and celebrate with some members. It was so much fun.

Pupusas are a big thing here. It doesn't matter what they're celebrating, if the El Salvadoranos have to celebrate something, they go eat pupusas. Well, we went to this restaurant that was supposed to be very good (way expensive...50 or 60 cents per pupusa!). Then they also brought some candles, and we ended up putting them in the pupusas because we didn't have a cake, and really it was just fun. They also had some pretty strange pupusas there: pepperoni, chicken, jalapeño. A little different, but way good. I was with my companion, Ivan Retana (the leader misional, one of the coolest people I've ever met), Ivan el Gordo (he is really fat, but a way cool person), and Kevin Salazar (another member in my ward who's going to start his mission in December). We had a good time.

Then Ivan Retana gave me a sweet mug for my birthday. I can't explain it, I'll just have to show you a picture. I really want to send pictures, but can't because I don't have my camera. I left it in my backpack, and my backpack is in the car, and the car is not here because the assistants ran off with it. Oh, by the way, I just took out my license today. Yeah!

So yeah. But to be honest, we didn't get to work too much this week. Next week we're going to be able to get back in the work, which is nice. To be honest, the office has its perks, but man, last week was just not a good time to be in the office. It was a rough week, and I definitely learned a lot. The work goes forward. Nothing's going to stop that stone cut out from the mountain. It just keeps rolling.

Thanks for all you guys do and your support. I appreciate it.

Elder Bailey

Sunday, October 16, 2011

40: Independencia 7

Wow. This week has been changes week, so it's been hectic. It's been really long, but let's start with Saturday.
Saturday we had a ward service project. We went and cleaned up the street in front of the bishop's. We went and weeded it, dug a trench for the water, and things like that. It was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed just going out and getting my hands dirty, getting some blisters, etc. It was a good service project. I wanted to take pictures, but let's just say I don't trust leaving my camera around on that street. It's kind of iffy. But it looked really good after.
In the afternoon we had a ward missionary activity. We all went to a house and played games, had a spiritual thought, etc. Not many people came, and no one brought investigators but us, but it was really good for our investigators. We brought Julio, who came and did his fire show. It was sweet. He lit some chains on fire...and it was pure awesome. I'd show you some pictures, but I don't have my camera with me right now. Just know it was sweet. Julio is awesome. He really can do just about anything. He paints, hackeysacks, programs computers, plays guitar, tricks with fire, everything. Really, he reminds me of my brother.
Then after that, we went and contacted this girl named Diana and taught her and her mom. They are way positive, especially her. She works with a member, and has now been to some FHEs with that family. We taught her Wednesday too. Way positive. I think we can put a date with her soon. So it was a very good day. It feels like forever ago, but from what I remember, it was awesome.
Sunday was awesome. To be honest, I don't remember what happened.
Then we had changes. So I've been running around doing a lot all week. It's kind of interesting, because Monday we get the news [new elders]. Sweet, innocent, can't speak Spanish, high hopes. Then the next day those who go to Belize. Excited. After them, those who are leaving. They are always the most interesting group. They don't know what to do. They just kind of act like they're losing their identities. Some of them continue being missionaries like nothing is going to happen. Some of them realize they're going home the next day, and don't know what to do. They want to stay in the mission, but at the same time want to go home. It's very interesting. I don't like it. Make's me baggy.
Tuesday we had dinner with the president's family as his "thanks" to the office. It was excellent. We had pastel tres leche for dessert. That is probably one of the best desserts ever. Mom. You have to learn how to make it. It is so good. The president's family is awesome. At first, I was kind of afraid to talk to them and joke around... because they're the president's family. But they are actually really cool. Very chill.
Well, it's been busy. The office is rough. Keep busy. Not too much time in the field. It's kind of frustrating to not be able to help people. That's what I want. I have learned a ton from the president, and I've learned a lot about myself and having this responsibility. Being responsible, working with the president, living with 5 other crazy guys, ping pong on Pdays. It's good. I see it has something that was necessary for me. There were certain things I needed to learn there, and still need to learn. But that still doesn't change the fact that I can't work in the field as much. I just need to work more efficiently. Well, I'll learn.
My new zone is awesome. I have Elder Arbon as my zone leader again (he was my zone leader in Chalchuapa. And I have a lot of friends that I've made in other zones.
Well, go skiing. I saw there was snow. ¡Estoy celoso! [I'm jealous.] AYYYY.
Elder Bailey

Friday, October 7, 2011

39: Independencia 6

Hello United States!

So conference, wow. ¡Que chivo! I liked it a lot. Hope ya'll did as well.

A couple excerpts from my conference notes:

Richard G Scott: "We need to memorize scriptures. It helps a lot."
President Monson: "Yeah! We're gonna have two temples in Provo!"
Dieter F. Uchtdorf: This talk I enjoyed a lot. Probably one of my favorite talks this conference. It was very interesting.
Bednar: "Joseph, go do some family history."
Holland: Go on missions. Also, couples should plan to go on missions now.
Monson: Gifts come from responsibility. So just do it.

It was very cool. Unfortunately, we only had one investigator who went. This area is kind of struggling today. The thing is that we just really don't have time to find. It's hard being in the office, and a little frustrating to not be able to work in the area that much. We don't even have any dates for this month (we do for November, though). But it is a little frustrating. Also, I got sick yesterday. I feel really tired always and have a sore throat. But I did beat Elder Christner in ping pong one time, so it's all good.

So Wednesday was an interesting day. Very rainy. I was very thankful I brought my poncho with me that day. I ended up going with Elder Morgan (another elder who was staying in the house because his companion had appendicitis and was recuperating) because Elder Christner had a headache or something. I don't really remember why. But anyway, I had the poncho, he had the umbrella.

It started raining. Really hard. Like, the hardest I have ever seen it here. We ran to our last appointment, Julio Cesar, the artist who is going to do a show with fire for us tomorrow for our activity. He is so close to getting baptized, he just has to stop working Sundays. He's praying for it. I really hope he will be able to do it, because he understands everything. He is way cool. Reminds me of my brother a lot. Artist, does cool stuff, a little radical with his beliefs about the government, and likes to play with fire. You can probably guess which brother it is.

Anyway, so we got to our house and he started showing us some of his art, and the rain was pounding, I could barely hear a thing. Then, as soon as we started singing (yes, we usually like to sing to start out the lessons. It's pretty cool, invites the spirit a lot) the rain stopped, and we ended up having a very cool, spiritual lesson. It was in that lesson when he finally started considering dropping work Sunday. Finally, as we were finishing up the lesson, it started raining again. Could be just a coincidence, but if it was, God is very good at making coincidences work out well for us. I really hope he'll get baptized. He's way awesome.

So then as we got outside, it really started raining. Then pouring. Whatever part of me that was not covered by the poncho got soaked. Elder Morgan's umbrella basically broke from the weight of the falling water and he gave up. Man, I have never seen so much water coming from the sky ever. It was insane. Then we got to our street and found a river there. Literally, we were hiking up a river. It felt like we weren't getting anywhere. When we finally got to the house, the water was up over the side walk, and practically to our door. There was a huge current there. You could river raft it. It was so fast. So we got in and Elder Morgan changed his clothes. I wasn't as wet because I had the poncho, thank goodness. Then we looked in the garage and saw a whole bunch of water gushing out from the patio on the other side of the wall. (There's kind of a hole there. It was built in, don't worry.) Well, that patio is next to the mattress room where we store all the mattresses for when new people come, etc. We (me and Elder Christner) worked our way through the mattresses and got to the door, only to find that the patio was almost flooding into the mattress room. We looked for the clogged plug, and when we couldn't find it, started draining water out through the hole to the garage (maybe I'll take pictures this week so you can understand it better. But suffice it to say, we were bent over draining water out of the patio to the garage (from the garage, it just drains out to the street) so that the patio wouldn't flood into the mattress room. It was an adventure.

Then Elder Guirola and Huaman got back from Trebol. Let's just say the water wasn't so nice on the car either. It was totally soaked. There were huge pools of water down by our feet, and the electrical system was screwed, so the lights and horn kept going off. Seriously, I have never seen so much rain. It was insane.

Don't worry. We got the car fixed. Everything is okay.

So that's the mission life. It's cool. Take care back home.

Elder Bailey

Saturday, October 1, 2011

38: Independencia 5


It's kind of interesting being able to see all that happens in the mission. I've definitely learned a lot. We had multizones this week. Man, it was a feast. The president taught us some pretty awesome, inspired stuff—WOG, as my companion calls it (word of God). We got some pretty sweet WOG. It's kind of cool—the more I serve, the more I come to understand the power that I have as a missionary.

We had a pretty cool appointment with Julio Cesar. He's one of our investigators, and is an artist. He is pure awesome. He reminds me a lot of Mike--my brother, Mike. He draws, paints, makes gadgets, and lights chains on fire and dances with them. It's so tight. He gave us a little show in his house, and it was awesome. My companion has a video of it, but we can't get it loaded onto the computer. We're going to have him do a performance in a couple weeks, so I'll get pictures, but it's pretty cool. He's been an investigator for a long time because he always has things he has to do on Sunday. It stinks, because he really wants to go to church and follow Christ, but because of his work, it's hard. I hope we can get a date with him soon.

It's going well in the office. I keep busy. To be honest, I've never really done something like this before, so I am learning a lot, especially about leadership. The assistants are awesome. Elder Hosman is probably one of the most gifted people I've seen in the mission. While he's not so inspiring in front of big crowds (sorry, it's true), he is amazing at reading people and inspiring them one on one. He can just tell what people need. He's a way good missionary, I've learned a whole bunch from him. Elder Molina's the other one. Pure stud. Good missionary. Inspiring. But he has gotten a bit of a belly from the mission.

Well, I honestly don't have as much to write this week, but thanks for everything! Hope all is well back home!

Elder Bailey