(Editors Note: We did not receive a "Week 6" email last week from Elder West. He was traveling from Guatemala to El Salvador, having orientation, and being transported to his first area. Below is his first letter from the field...ENJOY!!! I've also put up some pictures of the town at the bottom of this post).
Hola everyone from scenic Ilobasco, El Salvador!
I´m about an hour away from the capital, San Salvador. And we are definitely in the jungle here. I would send pictures of what the landscape looks like, if I had remembered to take any.
My trainer/companion (who is also the district leader) is Elder Hood of Mapleton, Utah. He´s only been out for 4 months and is already a trainer, so he´s doing something right.
We have the biggest area in Ilobasco, a couple of huge neighborhoods that are right next to each other, and another new area that was just opened this week. This week we got 24 references and have 14 new investigators!
Church here is way different than at home. For one, there is only one branch in all of Ilobasco. There are around 65 active members in the branch. Not all of them can stay for the full 3 hours of church, so we had maybe 15 in Priesthood meeting this week. Having church meetings in another language is... different. I have to pay attention a lot better to get what they´re saying.
Now to answer a few questions. We got to see the El Salvador temple for about 30 minutes when we stopped to help the ES West/Belize mission unpack their bus. We spent afternoon and evening at the mission home having an in-field orientation. Tuesday night was spent at one of the missionary casas in San Salvador. We came to Ilobasco on a Coaster bus Wednesday morning
We live in the nice part of Ilobasco. By nice, I mean that there is a paved road in front of the house, and we have concrete floors. There is no air conditioning, and we have running water two days a week. On those days, we leave the tap on for an hour or two to fill up the "pila" (reservoir) in the house. My comp has a small water heater that makes the water somewhat warm if you leave it on all night. Since we don´t have running water, we take bucket showers. It´s way different from life in the States, but I love it. We are doing so much good work out here!
I feel like I can speak Spanish rather well. My comp says that he´s never known any other gringo who can speak as well as I do straight out of the CCM. I wouldn´t go that far. The only challenge with the language down here is understanding the locals. Their accent is very different from the accent in Guatemala. The CCM teachers kinda turn off their accent for us poor nortes so that we can understand something. That doesn´t happen here. I´m already understanding better than I was my first week, but it´s still difficult.
Photos this week:
1) Elder Hood with a flag his father sent for Christmas
|1st companion, Elder Wood from Mapleton, Utah|
I can't send any more photos this week. They take forever to upload.
That's all that I have time for this week! Send me any questions that you have!
Elder Colton West
El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission
|Ilobasco is known in El Salvador, and internationally, |
for its clay dolls and pottery
|Dirt road in Ilobasco|