I hope that all is going well back there in Gringolandia. We have been working like crazy down here, and it's really paid off. We've been finding families to teach! Any returned missionary can tell you that families are what we pray to find. We've got a couple right now that are absolutely golden. One is a part-member family. The husband is an inactive member. The wife is, to use her own words, a typical Salvadorean christian, which means that she was raised to believe in God and Christ, but never did anything with that belief. They have a 6-month old baby, and she's been asking him a lot of questions about the church. We've been helping a lot to answer her questions, and are encouraging them to go to church. What really helps is that the husband already has a ton of friends who are members, and want to go with us to visit him.
The other family... Well, we got the reference for them in a very unorthodox way. I got sick, and the nurse told me to go to the nearest clinic for some exams to find out exactly what I had, rather than try to diagnose me over the phone. While we were in the clinic the doctor kept staring at our name tags, so while I was filling out my patient information my companion contacted her. Turns out that the people who own the clinic are all family, and they have received missionaries before. We talked for a bit, wrote down their direction, and went on our way. On Saturday we went to try to contact them, but we couldn't find their house. So we went and asked some members, who happen to be a returned mission president and his wife. They took us to the house, and helped us teach a little bit of the gospel to this family. When we invited them to attend Sacrament Meeting with us the next day, everyone in the family said yes! And the next day they showed up 10 minutes early! Presidente Hernandez was very surprised, but very happy about all of this, because he and his family have tried inviting them to church before, but they haven't been super positive.
Yesterday we had a meeting called Ward Council. For those of you not familiar with Ward Council, it's a meeting where the leaders of the auxiliary organizations meet with the bishop and the missionaries to coordinate missionary efforts in the ward. After an opening spiritual thought by one of the other elders and some words of encouragement from the bishop my companion and I started to tell them about our most positive investigators. The members of the council were rather astonished to find out that some of their close friends and neighbors are our most positive investigators. The bishop was also very excited to hear that, and he started giving out assignments to members to help us to teach. We're going to be reaping the rewards of this for a good while.
We also had a baptism last Friday! Gabriel, our new convert, is 9 years old, and his family has been less active for a while (I'm not sure how long.) He lives with his grandparents. I didn't get the opportunity to teach him much because the last set of missionaries here did most of the teaching, but he's a wonderful kid who is a great example for his family. His mother, an inactive member, actually came for his baptism, and she felt the Holy Spirit there. It was a wonderful service, and I think it will help the family a lot.
Today we went and climbed a mountain in our zone. Though by Salvadorean standards, it's more of a large hill. But the view from the top is amazing! There are some photos attached to this email, and the next one.
All for now!
Elder Colton West
El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission
Pupusas Locas! Yes, they are the size of a dinner plate,
and about half an inch thick, and absolutely delicious.
I ate two of them, and didn't feel hungry until lunch the next day
(16 hours later...that's a long time to not feel hungry for me!)
|Someone in Valle Nuevo has a pet monkey!|
Gabriel and family the night of his baptism.
|Panoramic photo from the top of the mountain|
|In the background you can see some of my area!
It's on the right side of the picture.|
To the left is the outskirts of the capital city, San Salvador.
Even Elders have to have fun sometimes!