Elder Colton West

Elder Colton West


Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 16: Gone swimming, or, They put WHAT in the soup?!

Good morning everyone!  

This last week has been an amazing one for us here in Ilobasco.  I happened to get the best Valentine's Day present that a missionary can get, a baptism!  And even better, I got to baptize!

The woman who I baptized is named Mariela.  She was an investigator of another set of elders about a year ago.  She progressed well, had a baptism date, and then disappeared.  Moved to a different city, changed her phone number, everything.  Nobody could find her for months.  But the Lord knew that she still was prepared.  Not long after I got here, my companion found her teaching record in our Area Book, and felt like we needed to go contact her.  The next day our zone leaders came to Ilobasco for a baptism interview.  One of them taught Mariela way back when, and he happened to see her on the same bus.  He went and talked to her, and set an appointment for myself and Elder Hood to go teach her.

We started teaching her about two months ago.  From the start, we knew that she would be baptized.  She was so engaged in the lessons, and always kept her commitments.  After teaching her all of the lessons, she was interviewed for her baptism, and didn't pass.  I was so worried, because last time an investigator didn't pass their baptism interview, they ended up losing interest in the church.  That didn't happen with Mariela though.  She just got more motivated, and continued strong in her faith, taking care of those last little things that needed taken care of before her baptism.

This last Saturday, Valentine's Day, I had the privilege of baptizing Mariela.  I am glad to say that she was truly ready to make the covenant of baptism, and I know that she will be a faithful member of the church for the rest of her life.

Both of the events that inspired the title of this email happened this Saturday, the day of the baptism of Mariela.  She invited us to lunch to try something called "sopa de pata".  Sopa de pata is the Salvadorean equivalent of the Mexican dish menudo.  The list of ingredients include corn, plantain, some other Central American veggies that I can't remember the names of, cow foot (cleaned thoroughly, don't worry), tripe, and nerve.  The nerve was the only ingredient that I didn't know about, until Mariela told me what it was.  The title was my reaction: "¡¿ellas pusieron QUE en la sopa?!"  Turns out that tripe and nerve are actually pretty tasty.  The texture is kinda gelatiny though.

I also had to go swimming a little bit after the baptism.  The baptism font here has a push-button drain plug.  Whoever installed it didn't use one with a strong enough spring, so the weight of all of the water holds it closed when you try to drain the font.  We found that out when we went back by the church an hour after the baptism to get our backpacks (we have pupusas after a baptism, and the pupusería we go to is right by the church, so we left our stuff there).  Since leaving water in the baptism font is frowned upon, I had to change back into my wet clothes and go swimming to pull the plug out. Very fun.

Thanks for all of your love and support!  As always, if you want to know more, write me and ask questions!  That doesn't just go for my family, all of you friends can do that too!  Also, tell me what's going on back home!  I'm kinda living in a news bubble here on the mission.  And if you do anything cool, send me a picture!

I can't wait to hear from all of you!

Elder Colton West
El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

Me, Mariela, and Elder Hood

The infamous "sopa de pata".  Actually delicious. 
Who would have guessed?!

Some ward members got baby parakeets. 
This one really liked my camera.

Part of my area, as seen from the top of a rather large hill.

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