It's a beautiful city, by Salvadorean standards. I'm still getting used to being here. It's way different. You can't walk from one end of town to the other in the same day. There's traffic here. Lots of traffic. I'm 20 minutes by bus away from Plaza Mundo, the largest shopping center in El Salvador (or one of the largest...I'm not entirely sure). And the bus drivers are crazy. There are two kinds of buses here: school buses and microbuses. The microbuses cost 5 cents more to ride, but are usually a bit faster. But to try to get more customers, some of the bus drivers will race to the next bus stop. It's a wild ride if you're on one of those buses, to say the least.
And I have run out of email time again. Sorry everyone!
Elder Colton West
El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission
Editor's Note: Okay folks, I'm so sorry. I hijacked our missionary today! We caught each other in real time today and had many emails back and forth catching up on some things with family and friends. I PROMISE I will tell him (as only a mom can do) to do a nice LONG group email with LOTS of details next week BEFORE doing any personal emails. He has been very focused on personal emails the last couple of weeks but I'm sure he will give us a huge update worth waiting for next week. In the meantime I will share some snippets from my personal emails as well as a line or two from his email to his sister.
Tomorrow is SIX MONTHS in the mission for our sweet missionary. He says: "I can't believe that the 6 month mark is here already. Time has been flying by for my entire mission (except for the CCM. That was an eternity)." His time in the CCM seemed that way for him because the Mission HQ in Utah made a little goof. Before he left, they gave him a language assessment over the phone and said they were putting him straight into an intermediate Spanish class in the MTC (CCM in Spanish). Well, low and behold, he gets to the Guatemala CCM only to find out they do not have intermediate classes there! So he had to go through the same language classes as missionaries who arrived not knowing a lick of Spanish! He probably needed to be sent to Mexico or Provo MTC but for some reason was not. So having to do beginner's Spanish in the CCM after 2 years in high school and 2 semesters in college before his mission made things a little boring for him there as he was not super challenged with the language. Nonetheless, he loved that CCM and knows he was sent there for a reason.
I asked Melissa, the mission presidents daughter, her opinion of how our Elder is doing with the language. She said he speaks very fast and has a great accent and that she thinks he's one with the most fluent Spanish! I told him that and he said "Wow! Coming from a native speaker, that's very high praise. A member here told me last week that I am the most fluidly-speaking gringo he's ever met!! A lot of gringos get a bit choppy when they use unfamiliar words."
Elder West writes to his sister: "I'm loving Ilopango so far. It's super chill, the people are really really nice. The members invite us over for dinner. We actually eat dinner with a family in the ward every night. It's really awesome!" (missionaries LOVE food because they work so hard!)
I don't want to edit his email titles, but this one seriously should've been "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round & Round!"
|Elder West LOVES old classic cars!|
|Living quarters in Ilopango|
|Not sure! Elder West forgot picture descriptions this week.|
Guessing a neighbors dog who likes to visit through the wall.
Elder West LOVES Husky's. We had one when he was a young boy.