Monday, April 30, 2012

68: Sonsonate 5

Hey everyone!!

It's Elder Bailey.

This week has been another week of hard work. We have gotten so close to putting a date with D. Errg. It's just that her family is so apostate.

Well, first of all we got to go to the temple last week. We go every six months. Man, is that temple awesome. Seriously, the El Salvador Temple is so beautiful. I'll send you some pictures if I can get this stupid computer to work.

We went Thursday morning as a zone. I definitely enjoyed the trip. After, we all went and ate at Pizza Hut as a zone. Good stuff. Not that I have eaten a ton of pizza on the mission.

We also found a really cool family this week, familia V. The husband is one of the bosses in the Salud building (Salud is a brand of milk...they make cheese, milk, strawberry milk, etc.—good stuff). He's really smart and just really open. His wife is the receptionist in the same company. Not as open and Catholic, but she's still pretty positive. They're reading the BOM and everything, but couldn't make it to church because he has a broken leg and had to go in for a checkup. Oh, and when I say he broke his leg... like major broken. He has a screw going down from his knee to his ankle holding his leg together. It's pretty serious stuff. But anyways, we're going to go see them again today.

Well, I got the pictures attached, which took a while, so I don't really have much more time to write, but there they are. Zona Sonsonate at the temple.

Thanks for writing me, keep it up!

Take care,
Elder Bailey

Monday, April 23, 2012

67: Sonsonate 4

Hey there.

So first of all, I just want to let you know that W. got baptized. I'm pretty sure I told you about him a couple weeks ago. He was the guy who contacted me in Santa Ana and said he wanted to be a missionary. So we told him to come to church the next day, he came, and we put a date with him. Well, because of all the changes, he didn't get baptized, but now the missionaries in the office have finally dipped him in the water. I thought that was pretty awesome. I'm definitely counting him as my convert.

Well, this week has been busy. We've been working our butts off. We've been contacting and teaching like crazy. We found a lot of news, and a bunch said that they would go to church, but then most didn't. Well...that was a little disappointing. But I'm doing my job, and I know the Lord will recompensar [reward].

On Thursday, we had a visit from Elder Alvarado, the assistant. He came to put a date with Hermana D. We had a freakin' sweet awesome lesson. I know, that is really descriptive. Seriously, he has a gift for teaching. That lesson was so spiritual. She received a very, very strong confirmation that these things are true. But Hermana D. is scared—more than anything, of her family. You see, the thing is that her mom is the founder of an apostate evangelic church, and all of her siblings are members. Moreover, this church and her family are just across the street. So that's the biggest problem there. Well, she is really close. We are really pushing for her to get baptized this Friday. If not, we're going to have to drop her, so I'm praying hard! That really was an awesome lesson that we had with her. Man, I felt the spirit so strongly.

Man, this is tiring work. Every day we return home from working just dead tired. Planning gets hard sometimes. I really want to get some good results out of this area, so we are pushing hard to find news, bring them to church, and baptize them!

This week I also had the opportunity to have an interview with President. It was very good. President is so awesome. I really respect him a lot. And, not gonna lie, he's probably going to be one of the Seventy one day.

On Saturday, we had a service project with the stake. We got to paint and clean up an old school in the area Castaño. I got to paint. I always have fun with that, even though I'm not the greatest artist. My pants are very colorful now. Woot! I love service. I want to do it more often. It's so much fun and you feel so good.

So this week has been good. We're working hard out here in America. Studying, reading, teaching, all that. Hope everything is going well back home. Remember to always read the scriptures and pray. Joseph, if you haven't read all the BOM and the New Testament yet, you'd better do it. It will help so much.

Well the Church is true. Continue studying the scriptures. It doesn't matter how old you are or how many times you've read it, there's still more to learn, and more that God can reveal to you (I've gotten pretty good at giving advice like that). Have a lot of faith in the Lord and in his promises. Work things out if you're not happy. If you have trials, face them with a smile. It's as Elder Beaton once told me: "If you're not happy, you're doing something wrong."

Amen to that.

Elder Bailey

Monday, April 16, 2012

66: Sonsonate 3

So this week has been interesting. Monday, after writing to you, I had to go to Santa Ana because my companion needed an interview. He'd been feeling really sick. Turns out he's had a brain tumor 3x4 cm and didn't put that in his papers. He'd been having a lot of headaches, and finally confessed that he was sick. Well, Monday he had his interview with President and was told that he had to pack up his bags and return Tuesday. During his interview, I got to run a couple errands with the assistants. That was a lot of fun. Good times, good memories.

So Tuesday we arrived at the office. My companion went. As it turns out, that day a new missionary was arriving from the MTC in Colombia. Elder Perez, he's Colombiano. He's my new companion.

Seriously, though, he's an awesome guy. He only has three years of being a member, but has a very strong testimony. He is a good teacher and is learning very quickly. However, his Spanish is VERY different. I don't understand a lot of the words he uses, but have taken it upon me to teach him kaliche and how to talk like a Salvadoreanan. It's fun.

We're working very hard in our area. We're contacting a lot, teaching a lot, and sweating a lot. It's sweet. The mission is so awesome.

My ward is sweet. This Sunday we had the priesthood leaders meeting (comité ejecutivo). It was so effective. I was amazed. It was the most effective leaders meeting I have had since I got here (out of all of the wards and branches where I've been).

Well, I don't really have a lot of time left, but I'm good out here.  I'm actually getting a LITTLE color in my skin.

Elder Bailey

Thursday, April 12, 2012

65: Sonsonate 2

¡Buenos días!

Wow, this was a cool week. So I started writing in my journal again. That is something good, because I never really had time in the office...we usually got to bed at like 12. But look at me, I'm repenting.

Wednesday after writing, we went to eat Mexican food at the purple place with the donkey. It was way good. We went with the zone leaders, and then later the zone leaders of Sonzacate also showed up, so we all ate burritos. Then we went to this ice cream place that was way good and had a lot of rare flavors of ice cream—avocado, corn, rice pudding, chang, and a whole bunch of weird fruits that only exist here. I ate one of those rare fruits ice creams (in addition to tasting almost ALL of them). I don't really remember what it was called, but it was pretty dang good.

After that I went and played soccer with all the Latin boys in our neighborhood. Then I pulled out a frisbee and taught them how to play. It was pretty sweet. It was the first time I've played an actual game of frisbee in forever.

Later that day, at about 6:30, my stomach just started burning. Cramping, imploding. Seriously, it killed. I was dying. And we were in a lesson with this Catholic guy who didn't want to stop talking. After that, we ran to our other appointment and I told the member that I was dying and that we'd have to come back the next day.

That was a really painful night. I ate something wrong, and I was dehydrated. I was basically just laying on my bed in pain until about 2 in the morning—which I suppose is a good thing because the nurse told me it should have been about 24 hours. So yeah, let's just say Sonsonate is not nearly as clean as Santa Ana, and that Santa Ana is not nearly, nearly as clean as any city in the States.

This week we've been focusing our efforts on two people: F. and D. We've had some really cool lessons with them.

On Thursday, we had a special multi-zone conference. We talked a lot about the atonement. It was really good. One thing that I always did as secretary was collect pictures of every family who was baptized and print them off and put them in a frame, and we would then give it to the missionaries as a gift and as recognition for baptizing a family. Well, the new secretary didn't do so well, and President mentioned at the beginning that not everything was correct because he was learning.

Friday, we had a special activity as a mission. President planned a trip to the temple that we could take with our investigators. There was a bus that left from each stake. I was able to bring D. and F. and their families. D. is the wife of J., a member, and a really awesome guy. Seriously, he's a stud. They got married when he was inactive. Her brother is a pastor of the church on the other corner from D.'s house. So that is kind of the biggest challenge with her. So we brought her and her husband and their three little children to the temple. F. is a slower guy and is married to another member named K. We brought them both to the temple.

It was way cool. They started with a meeting where President Cordon talked about the temple, then proceeded to a tour around the temple. To end, they all gathered back in the room and President talked to them, giving them the baptismal invitation. It was pretty sweet. I think there were about 700 investigators there in all.

So after that, we visited D.'s house, and she admitted that she felt something. Man, we were so close to putting a date. She knows the Church is true and that she has to get baptized, she just is afraid. I think she'll get baptized soon.

Saturday I went on interchanges with Elder Gillette, our zone leader. They were good. We got a lot done. We didn't put any dates, but we did find a lot of news, and brought one of them, E., to church the next day. It was cool.

Well, that's all I've got for now. Thanks for tuning in.

Elder Bailey

Monday, April 2, 2012

64: Sonsonate 1

Hello family.

I have news. I am officially out of the office and back in the dirt. This happened last week. After the last Friday when I wrote you (like a week and a half), I was busy getting everything ready for the new office secretary. That night, President called me and told me who my replacement was—Elder Ward. This isn't my companion; this is a different Elder Ward. Then President also told me that my companion, Elder Ward, from the office was also leaving, and that his new companion would be Elder Cano, a Mexican. I was way excited for this change, but my companion was a little sad. He had only had two changes in the office, and felt like he had done something wrong. But, what happens happens.

So Saturday morning the new Elder Ward came and I got to train him for a couple hours. Then we went and said our goodbyes Saturday afternoon. Sunday, Elder Ward and Elder Cano came for good, so we picked them up and taught them the area. I'm not gonna lie, I'm really going to miss this ward. I have 7 1/2 months of being with them. It is a way awesome ward, seriously.

Well, I packed up. I have a ton of books.

Monday morning I found out where I was going. AMERICA—it's in Sonsonate. And I'm training. Also Monday I saw Alex Anderson. He took a pic and said he'd send it to me, but never did. But you'll probably get it. It was cool.

I'm training a kid named Elder Vargas. He's from Chalchuapa, and is actually assigned to Monterey, Mexico, but is waiting for his visa, so he's with me now. He's a good guy. I don't really like training because he never says anything, but I do like the extra study time. I've missed a lot of studying in the office, but now I am back on track.

My area is very dusty. And hot. Wow, it is so hot and humid here. Seriously. I am downing water like crazy. The ward is good. There's a RM who just got back from Nicaragua who is way sweet. He was an assistant in his mission and is way powerful. We've been contacting a lot. The last missionaries in this area didn't leave anything, so we've been finding and looking a lot. But it's cool. I really like the humidity here, even though it is very hot. But all is going well.

General Conference was sweet! I learned a lot. Take the time to read back through the talks, because they were all really good (I especially liked the one who talked about writing better letters to the missionaries).

Well, hope all is good, love you,

Elder Bailey