Tuesday, June 26, 2012

76: Sonsonate 13


How are you family?

This week has been very busy. We've been working really hard to reach
our goals. We've taught a ton of lessons.

On Wednesday we had changes. We went to Santa Ana to the changes
meeting (this is something new). My new companion is Elder Govea. I
lost Elder Perez from Colombia and got Elder Govea from even lower,
Ecuador. He talks funny. Elder Govea is from my group, we came
together, he's a good companion. It's cool to be with someone old

I'm also the new district leader. Our district is small though, just
2 areas, us and Sonsonate. But we're district America. We sing a lot
of American hymns. The missionaries in the area Sonsonate are both
really new, so they honestly have no idea what's going on or how to

This week was hard. We worked really hard and committed six
investigators to come to church. They all said that they WOULD be
there, but then only one showed up. That was a bummer. But we did
have 101 attendance. But it's cool. I love being a missionary. It's
hard at times, but it is so worth it. Working as a missionary is one
of the best things that you can do.

On Saturday, Elder Govea and I had an awesome lesson. It was with a
family that we were going to teach, but when we got there they had a
whole bunch of friends over as well, so we ended up teaching about 15
people. It was a way sweet lesson. Everyone felt the spirit, and
when we explained the BOM, some of them were asking what they had to
do to get one. It was way cool, one of the best lessons that I have
taught. Shame that most of them didn't live in the area.

Well, I hope everything is going well out there.

Elder Bailey

Monday, June 18, 2012

75: Sonsonate 12

Well, I'm writing you a little late this week. We had a zone
activity, and went to see a waterfall. It's been a good week and
we've worked way hard. We started doing a thing in our ward called
Nunca Voy Solo (I never go alone). The idea is that everyone invites
someone to church: a less active, or an investigator. It worked,
because we raised our attendance from 91 last week to 111. It was way
cool. We had 9 people in the church who weren't members.

We've been working very hard with B and M. They know the Church is
true and want to get baptized and married. M is all in, but B feels
like this Saturday is a little fast. They are a way cool family. I
honestly believe that they're going to do it and that they're going to
get baptized. I'm stoked.

We just got changes, and my companion is leaving already, so Wednesday
I'm going to have a new companion. It's kind of weird because many of
my good friends are going home this change.

On Wednesday this week we had a special meeting in San Salvador with
the other mission. Elder Maynes from the Seventies presidency came and
spoke to us. It was very good, I enjoyed it a lot.

Today, we had a zone activity and went to a waterfall in the area of
Castaño. It was way sweet; I'm just trying to figure out a way to get
the pictures uploaded because this computer is not really working.
Okay, well, the computer doesn't want to read my camera. Sorry. I'll
send them next week.

Well, I'm going to miss my companion. He's been excellent. He has a
strong testimony.

In all, it's been a very good week, we've worked our butts off and
have had success. I feel now like this is what a missionary should
feel like, it's sweet.

Hope everything is well back there in wherever you are.

Take care,
Elder Bailey

Monday, June 11, 2012

74: Sonsonate 11

This week in America [an area in Sonsonate]

Hello family!

How's it all goin' out there?

It's really hot (as always) and really rainy here.

I remember last Monday (yep, I still remember it).  We went to play soccer with the youth in our ward at about 3:30 on P-day.  After about 10 minutes, it just started to rain.  And rain hard.  And there was lightning.  All the guys went and hid under the roof of the house.  They didn't want to leave until the rain stopped, but we made them leave anyway.  Apparently, they'll get sick.  Actually everyone here believes that—that getting rained on makes people sick.  If you get rained on, you're supposed to go take a shower to get the rain water off before it makes you sick.  Well, that sounds a little ridiculous to me.  But then again, they have a lot of weird beliefs.  Let's take a moment to examine some of them.

Ojos fuerte (strong eyes).  One belief that they have here is that some people have "strong eyes" and that when these people look at children and little babies, it can make them sick.  I'm serious.  The people do believe this.  That's why they always put a red bracelet with a rock on their babies, because that apparently protects them against "strong eyes."  The cure for strong eyes is that the person with the strong eyes has to cradle the baby or child tightly for an awkwardly long amount of time until they start to feel better.  I remember that in the beginning of my mission I was accused of making a little kid sick.  They made me hold him for like 15 minutes which was really awkward because I'm a missionary and we don't do that.

Sweating baby.  This one is not as common as ojos fuerte, but I have heard of it a couple times.  If you are sweating, and a baby sees you and also starts sweating, you have to hold and cradle it, or it will get sick.

Appendixes.  Okay.  Obviously, this one is real.  I had my appendix taken out.  But here, the people fervently believe that this problem comes from eating a lot of seeds.  Don't quite understand that one, but if you don't want to have an appendicitis attack, don't eat seeds.

Well, those are a couple from El Salvador.  Let's now move over to Colombia, and see some of my companion's superstitions. 

Showering with hot blood is bad for you.  Well, if this one's true, I haven't heard of it yet.  My companion believes that it is really bad to shower after working out because we have hot blood.  He says it will make you really sick.  I don't really know how that works.  I find it kind of refreshing to take a nice cool shower after working out.  I tried to explain to him how I had swam for 8 years in cool water and nothing really happened, but he didn't want to accept it.

Food coloring is very bad.  My companion avoids drinks with food coloring at all costs.  He says that because it makes your saliva red (or whatever color), it also does that to your stomach.  And that's really bad.  Of course, I pointed out that after 5 minutes my saliva would return to its regular color, so my stomach would probably do it even faster, but he didn't believe me.  I also tried to explain that Coca Cola was way worse than food coloring because he took it a lot before the mission, but he didn't accept that either.

Well, those are just a couple of the strange beliefs I've heard of here.

On Friday, we had a multi-zone with President.  It was excellent.  Honestly, one of my favorites.  I learned so much, and my teaching quality has improved a ton just from that.  He talked a lot about making baptismal commitments and going to church.  It was really good.  The meeting finished with the testimonies of the missionaries who are leaving this change.  A lot of my friends are going.  There are a lot of powerful missionaries who are returning home now:  Elder Astin, Elder Arbon, Elder Hardy, Elder Arrington, and Elder Beaton.  Yep, Elder Beaton, the assistant, is leaving.  I've learned a lot from him.  He is a very talented and happy person, one of the missionaries who I've learned the most from.  He gave a very powerful testimony that day.  I respect that man a lot.

So the next day, Saturday, we had a lot of powerful lessons.  One of these was with B and M V, a couple who we have been working with for some time now.  They know the church is true and love it.  We had a very good lesson with them and talked about baptism.  We're shooting for the 23rd, and we're trying to solidify the date this week.  They went to church yesterday.  They loved it.  B gave the closing prayer in the Gospel Principles class, and said in his prayer, "and we hope that we will soon be able to be a part of thy church."  It was so AWESOME.  They've accepted everything we've taught them…we're going to baptize them this month.

On Sunday I got to give a talk.  It was pretty cool because everyone said it was a really good talk, and the only preparation I did was write five sentences.  Cool.

Well, that's my story for this week.  Take care!

Elder Bailey

Monday, June 4, 2012

73: Sonsonate 10

Hello family!

I'm sitting right now in the internet place with six other missionaries. We are the survivors. So far. There are 7 missionaries in our zone right now who are confined to their houses. There are six houses in all the mission. There's been an epidemic in the mission. It all started with Elder Rosas, a missionary in our zone. About two weeks ago he got a bad case of chicken pox, which was a little weird because he'd already had chicken pox before. A week later, our zone leader, Elder Tuck, started getting a whole bunch of dots on his hands and feet. Then the next person was the records secretary. Then it just exploded. Last Monday, the President sent out a letter to all the missionaries saying that we are not allowed to shake hands or touch any other missionaries. Apparently, the sickness that is going around is the cousin of chicken pox. It's called hand, feet, and mouth disease (or something like that). It's like chicken pox, but only affects the hands, the feet, and the mouth (sore throat). And it doesn't matter if you've had chicken pox or not.

On Tuesday, I got called up to go to Santa Ana with Elder Gillette the zone leader to fill out baptismal records. It was the due date for all the records, and the records secretary was sick. So I had to do records again...that was exciting.

It was interesting being back there again. I talked to the nurse. On Tuesday, there were 21 missionaries affected, 2 in my zone. Today, there are 7 in my zone (I don't know how many in the mission). THIS IS SO AWESOME. I'm living in an epidemic. I'd imagine this is kind of what it would feel like to be in a zombie apocalypse, all your friends getting eaten, and you just left trying to survive for yourself. It's pretty sweet. Luckily, we don't really see a lot of missionaries. But it's cool. Apparently, the disease isn't that bad.

Other than that, we've been working really hard in our area. We've been having a ton of lessons. A lot of our investigators are just not progressing really fast. It's frustrating, but it does feel good to just work. We have like 8 or 9 lessons a day. We have tons of contacts and are finding a lot of news, we just need to get them to CHURCH. But everything is good here. I love missionary work. It's dang hard, but it is awesome.

Hope that everything is awesome back home.

Take care,
Elder Bailey