Friday, March 23, 2012

63: Independencia 30

Okay.  So let’s start.

I’m leaving the office next week.  That’s for sure.  I’m probably going to go train, and I’m probably going to Sonsonate.

Now this week has been very busy.  Way busy.  But awesome.  Let’s start with Saturday.

Elder Ward and I have been working very hard to find new investigators in March.  We put on activities, looked for referrals, and contacted a ton, but honestly, we hadn’t really found many people to teach who would progress. 

So, it was long.  Well, Saturday, after a long day of looking and contacting, something cool happened.  We had been up in the Colonia los Santos, which is up above Pizza Hut and the mall.  We had had no success up there.  We were walking back, passed Pizza Hut, passed the mall, then passed the bus station.  To add to it, some random woman was throwing her dirty water onto the street, and threw it just as Elder Ward passed by, and got his pants and shoes soaked.  So not so great. 

Then, as we continued walking, someone called me, saying, "Hey, hey."  So I turned around.  There was a man running after us.  When he reached me, he said, "Hey, I want to be an elder.  What do I have to do to be an elder."  I was a little caught off guard.  "Huh?"  "I want to be a missionary and help people.  What do I need to do?"  So we explained that first of all, he had to keep the Sabbath day holy, and come to church with us the next day.  "I’ll be there, I promise."  We took his address, and went our ways.  We were going to visit him even if he didn’t show up.  But he did.  That Sunday was a special conference with Central America, broadcasted from Salt Lake.  William was attentive the whole time.  Elder Clayton, Elder Packer, and some other people taught, it was way cool.

After, we invited William to come eat with us.  So we went to our cook, Hermana Estela’s house, and ate some awesome chicken, then sat down and taught William about baptism, and he accepted a date.  IT WAS AWESOME.  I was so happy.  So turns out Independencia IS going to baptize this month.  William is going to get baptized the 31st, right after Saturday General Conference.  I am so stoked, even though I am not going to be here.  He counts as my convert.

Man, so that was that.

Monday, the week got really busy.  The doctor for all the missionaries in Central America, Doctor Drake (yeah, that’s his name), came and the mission nurse was using my computer most the day, so I didn’t get a lot done then.

Tuesday, I had to go to San Salvador to renew my immigration card thingy.  Man, that was an adventure.  I ended up going with our bus driver (President Vargas, 2nd counselor in the Chalchuapa Stake) to the office of the other mission, to Walmart and Office Depot (that’s right, I went to Walmart, it was so awesome!), and to the temple as well.  It was a busy day.  Then I had to go with Elder Maradiaga to a whole bunch of random places.  It was pretty crazy.  I’ve pretty much been in all corners of San Salvador now.  Well, that adventure ended with a nice lunch at 5:00 of Wendy’s chicken sandwiches and a CHOCOLATE frosty.  Good stuff.

Well, Wednesday was another adventure.  It was my last week of giving my convert speech.  I went with the ZL’s to Modelo first, then we booked it to Sonsonate.  Man, it’s a beautiful drive.  El Salvador is so pretty.  Well, then president decided to show up too, so that kind of made me a little nervous, but that was actually the best speech about retention that I gave.  It was cool.  After that, I got to the office and ate really quickly, then left with Elder Ward to teach William again.  Man, he’s stoked for his baptism.  Another crazy day.

Thursday, I finally had some time to work in the office, but not enough.  I’m trying to get everything ready for the new records secretary who’s going to come in.  That’s why I’m here in the office today, working like crazy.  But yeah, I’m going to get some changes, finally.  I’m pretty stoked.  My next letter will be interesting.

Hope it’s all going well out there in the states, or wherever you guys are now.  It’s great here in El Salvador.

Love you all,
Elder Bailey

Friday, March 16, 2012

62: Independencia 29

Dear family!

Hey, whatsup?

It's all good here in El Salvador. We've been doing a lot of finding lately. It's been hard, but cool. The office has been busy, as always. This change President asked me to go from zone to zone each Wednesday to talk about retention. So I've been going with the assistants every Wednesday to different zones. It's been so much fun.

I've learned a ton from the assistants. We always talk about what was good, what was bad, what the mission needs, etc. It's been way cool.

I've gone to Molino, Chalchuapa, Ahauchapán, Sonzacate, and Juayúa.

I've learned lots being able to see how each zone and district functions.

Also, we get to see all the beautiful scenery in El Salvador. It is a beautiful country, seriously. I absolutely love it. Especially Sonsonate, it's way cool out there.

Sunday morning the assistants had a baptism. It was cool.

That Sunday was also voting day here in El Salvador. Apparently, it can get pretty sketchy on voting day, so all the mission had to be in their houses at 5, and weren't allowed to contact. Well, in my area there was seriously no one on the streets. No one. Our attendance in church was half of what it usually is. 60. Wow.

Because our house is right next to the big police station, we figured that would probably be one of the first places an uprising would happen, so we all went up to the assistants' house. Also, the zone leaders were there because they were doing interchanges. So it was fun. First of all, we made a list of all the normal questions and doubts we get in our mission, with the answers (a lot of missionaries don't know how to answer the common questions). It was cool. Then we made baleadas, which is a famous Honduranean meal. Basically, it's a breakfast burrito. So we made those, and they were way good.  Then we made a cake because the assistants have an oven. When it finished baking, I got to decorate it, so we had a baptizing theme!

It was great! It's a black person baptizing a dark Latin in a muddy lake. I have to admit, it was pretty cool. I was really impressed with my cake decorating abilities. I'm going to keep that open as a career possibility when I get back. Anyway, it was just fun to hang out, eat, and talk with the other missionaries. It was cool.

So I've been good. I'm reading the Bible and Jesus the Christ, and it is helping immensely with my teaching. If you haven't read the New Testament yet, you'd better do it before your mission. Seriously, it's awesome. Especially here. The Book of Mormon is the way that the investigators can feel and know the Church is true, but the Bible is the way we can prove it. If you can't teach with the Bible, it'll be hard. Anyway, it's been great. I've enjoyed it a lot these last couple of weeks.

Yesterday, I went to Trebol with Elder Madsen. We taught their clown (they're going to baptize a clown...he's kind of weird), and some members who have big problems, then after we found a guy who spoke English, but with a British accent. It was really weird...a Latin/British accent. But we taught him all in English, so it was really interesting.

I'm really trying to take advantage of this time I have left in the office. There is a lot I can learn from President and the assistants, and so I'm spending as much time as I can with them, and am learning a lot.

Well, I hope everything is awesome back home. Be happy. Remember that if you're not happy, you're doing something wrong. Change it, and be happy.

See ya,

Elder Bailey

Friday, March 9, 2012

61: Independencia 28

Dear family,

I'm writing you today from the stake center in Modelo. This week has been busy. We've been working hard in our area to find news, as most of our investigators were just not progressing, so we dropped 'em.

Yesterday we put on a ward missionary activity. I have pictures, but they're out in the car. Elder Beaton is on divisions today, so I'm driving because I'm the only other person who has his license.

The activity was called "Vive el Libro de Mormón" (BOM Live). We had each organization put on a special act from the Book of Mormon. It was good, everyone enjoyed it. The primary definitely was the most prepared...they had about a 30-minute act. Everyone really enjoyed it, but they were so busy trying to put all their acts together that they didn't actually bring any investigators. There were just three flirty girls who we're not actually going to teach, and a teenager who just wanted to play soccer. But it was a lot of fun, and I hope that we're going to be able to receive more referrals. The activity was sweet though.

Also, we found a scorpion in the house. My companion got kind of freaked out. He still checks his bed every time he goes to bed. But it was a big scorpion, and it was in his suitcase. Pretty intense.

I'll be leaving the office soon. It'll be good to get back in the thicket again.

This morning we played volleyball. Good times.

Alright, well, I hope I'll have more news for you next week.

Take care,

Elder Bailey

Friday, March 2, 2012

60: Independencia 27

Hey family,

So I haven't seen any more zombies, but I am kind of getting sick of having to dodge handcars on the freeway.

Good, busy week.

The assistants baptized, and I did the interview.  Elder Beaton was really excited because the girl they baptized was a chemical engineer (like him).  I got to do her interview.  It was very cool.  Carla was studying to be a chemical engineer, and felt like she was missing God.  So she prayed to Him, and asked him to show her the way.  When the missionaries got to their house (they were actually just looking for a house to rent), they didn't really want anything.  But Elder Beaton and Elder Molina returned and taught them.  They were very open people, and started reading the BOM and going to church.  So, with the interview—we started out and she didn't feel ready to get baptized. After like 40 minutes of interviews, I told her to just say a prayer right then and there and ask God if she should get baptized.  So she did it, and we just sat there in silence for about 3 minutes, then she came up crying and told me that she had received her answer.  It was super powerful.  Carla commented that she had never imagined that God would have answered her in that way.  It was a really cool interview.

So the following Wednesday, she and her mom got baptized, and now they are changed people.  Happier, and even cooler.  Yeah, this church is definitely true.  It's awesome.  It was an awesome baptism.  We saw the movie about John Moyle for the intermedio.  I got to see my mountains.  So awesome.  Send me some more pictures.

On Tuesday, I went on the Fat Ivan.  That guy's a member, he's awesome.  It was a cool night.
Also, president asked me to go from zone to zone each Wednesday to talk a little bit about retention.  So this week I went with the assistants to Juayúa and Sonzacate.  I got to give a talk in front of
them, and it was really cool.  I learned a lot from them, and it was a very fun trip.  We took a little longer road back that was just beautiful.  We passed by the Volcano Izalco, and the Lake Coatepeque. We took pictures, but Elder Alvarado has them.  But man, it was breathtaking.

So that's this week.  Hope y'all take care.

Elder Bailey