Elder Colton West

Elder Colton West


Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 100: Just Dunk It!

Wow, this is the second to last time I'm going to be doing this.  How strange.

Baggy moment aside, we had a pretty good week this week.  The absolute best part was getting to baptize one last time.  That's right, we had a baptism!  Rafael was baptized on Saturday September 26th.  I am super grateful for the chance to baptize one last time in the mission field.

Other than that...  Well, we're working with Rodolfo and his family to help them proggress enough to get baptized.  Really, they are already ready, but we just have to help them understand that.  I'm hoping that Elder McDaniel will baptize them shortly after I leave.  We just have to have a grown-ups only talk with Rodolfo and Julia and get them to decide if they're going to get married or if Rodolfo is going to move out.  That will be for sometime this week.

Well, that's all for now.

Til next week!


Elder Colton West

El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

We took a goofy picture after doing some boxing traning with former
Central American boxing champion, Tony Portillo. The hats were his idea.

There was  a cow chowing down on the church lawn a few days ago!

And then a few days later we found a tarantula on the wall of the church

Best for last: Rafael's baptism photo!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Week 99: Happy Independence Day!

So this week we celebrated Salvadorean Independence Day.  It was pretty awesome.  We celebrated by going out and doing a contacting activity close to the parade route. We gave out free water and took pictures of people with the Salvadorean flag as a backdrop.  We're going to print out the photos and take them to the people this week.

We have a baptism for this weekend!  He's a 15 year old kid named Rafael.  He's the son of a recent convert who was baptised about 4 months ago.  When his mom got baptized, he didn't want anything to do with the church.  But she didn't give up on him.  She has been trying to share the gospel with him as much as possible since her baptism.  And the hard work has paid off.  Rafael wants to be baptized!  We're planning the baptismal service for 8:00 on Saturday Morning.  A bit early, but the whole ward is going to be a bit busy in the afternoon, celebrating a wedding.  So the baptism will be in the morning.  But the important thing is that Rafael is going to be baptized!

Things are going very well with training Elder McDaniel.  He is on fire!  Always finding scriptures to share in the lessons, helping with the lessons as much as his language skills allow, contacting, everything!  I know that the area is going to be in good hands when I leave.

Well, I'm out of things to write about.  Til next week!


Elder Colton West
El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

Elder Vasquez & I

Elder McDaniel & I. Those are legit sombreros!

Elder McDaniel and I at our Independence Day activity

Elder McD in a torrential downpour.

The street turned into a river.  So I decided to go stand in the middle 
on a chunk of pavement.  The rest of the pavement has been 
washed away by the awesome tropical rain storms.

My area.  Pretty awesome.

Distrito Usulutan Sur. 
Left to right: Elder McDaniel, Elder Eve, Elder Dunkle,
Elder Slighting, Elder Fernandez, and Elder West.

Pizza with the Bishop and his family.

The bishop's niece got married on Saturday. 
The happy couple will be sealed in the San Salvador temple this
Thursday, and the reception will be Saturday afternoon

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 98: P-day? What P-day?

Yeah, we kinda didn't have much of a P-day today.  A sudden trip to immigration in San Salvador kinda took it all up.  It was fun though.  We woke up at 3:30 in the morning to catch the 4:00 bus to San Salvador.  But we kinda missed it and had to get on the 4:30 bus instead.  And by the time we got there there were no seats left.  So we kinda went all the way from Usulutan to San Salvador standing up, or bus surfing as I affectionately call it.  Really, I don't like it at all, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Anyways, we left so early because last time I went to San Salvador we got stuck in horrible rush hour traffic and were like an hour late getting to where we needed to.  We actually made record time on the trip to the bus terminal: an hour and 40 minutes.  Typically it takes 2 1/2 - 3 hours.  But I'm not complaining.  Quite the opposite, my feet and knees appreciate the rapid journey.  And today, the terrible rush hour traffic wasn't quite so terrible.  We made it to downtown San Salvador by aroud 7:15.  But that's where things got interesting.  I knew that the bus that we were on wouldn't take us directly to our stop, but I didn't know where exactly to get off, nor what bus to take.  So we got slightly lost for a while.  Thankfully I recognized some street names and we were able to get where we needed to go.  With a bit of help from some friendly people who gave directions.

So we finally got up to Immigration, my companion got fingerprinted, and he's now legal.  We'll be getting his green card in a few weeks.  We also made an unplanned stop by the national artisan market to pick up a few things for the family.

Well, time's up right now...  We don't have a ton of email time because we have to go work.  Anyways, I'll send pictures next week, because I forgot the cable for my camera.

Hasta la proxima!


Elder Colton West
El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

Editor's Note: since our missionary forgot his camera cable this week I thought I'd post a batch of some of my fave pics of his mission. There are SO many to choose from! I'm going to have a book made for him of all of the best pics!!!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 97: Temples, pupusas, birth certificates, and other such things

So you're probably wondering what those things have in common.  Well, they're some of the cool and important things that have been going on in my week.  We'll start with temples...

So this last week we got to go to the temple!  Finally!  It feels like an eternity in between our temple trips where we actually can enter the temple.  For us missionaries, that is our spiritual recharge.  I remember that before the mission going to church felt like a huge spiritual recharge every week.  The sacrament is still a huge important part of every week, but being immersed in the gospel 24/7 the gospel learning in Gospel Principles class and Elders Quorum feels so... Normal.  Going to the temple is where we missionaries can feel that obviously more powerful presence of the Holy Spirit.  And getting to enter the temple is a stark contrast to working in whatever area of the mission.  The temple is an island of peace in the middle of the crazy chaotic hurricane that is this country.  Sometimes I wish I could just stay there.  But the whole reason we are here is to help other people get there.  So it's back to work.

Attached are photos of me with my two "sons" in the temple.  First off Elder McDaniel and I.

Elder West & Elder McDaniel
San Salvador Temple

and one of Elder Socop and I.  He got sent to San Miguel.

Elder Socop & Elder West
San Salvador Temple

On our way home from the temple we made a stop for lunch in a very famous (at least in El Salvador) place called Olocuilta.  Everyone here knows it as the birthplace of the Pupusa, and the site of the most delicious pupusas in the country.  I can confirm that the hype is true.  Those pupusas are the bomb!


The pupusas are the bomb!

In other news, that family of four that we are teaching are still progressing.  That's where the birth certificates come in.  Here in El Salvador one of the required documents for a wedding is the birth certificate.  The interesting thing is that down here anyone can request a birth certificate for anyone.  We just go down to the city office (birth records are kept by the city, not by the state down here) and give them the full name and birthday of the person, and they print out the certificate.  The whole process takes about fifteen minutes and costs $2.10.  We already got one from the city office of Usulutan, and we have to go get the other from another town in our area this week.  Hopefully this time we don't get stuck in the city office for an hour waiting on a huge awesome tropical rainstorm to pass.  As fun as that is, it takes up valuable work time.

And yeah, the weather this week has been crazy.   Tons of rain!  We were on our way to dinner last night when it started to rain.  We have plastic ponchos that we bought, but they only protect you so much.  We were totally soaked from the knees down.  I was wearing boots, but my feet still got wet. Boots don't really keep water out when the water is pouring in from above.

So I only have a month left in the mission....  I really don't know how to feel about it.  On the one hand, I am super excited to go home and see my friends and family again.  On the other hand, I feel like things are passing by too fast.  Very conflicting feelings...  I'll just have to enjoy the time I have left.

Well, that's all for this week.  Talk to you all next week!  Have an awesome week!


Elder Colton West

El Salvador, San Salvador East Mission

That is called a lycha.  
They are delicious, and to top it off it looks like a 
crazy alien fruit from a sci-fi movie.

Zona Usulutan, minus Elder Quintana.