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

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