Monday, March 29, 2010

Feliz Semana Santa

¡Hola familia!

This week was great and I am glad it is over.  We got to play soccer again this morning with all the sisters in the mission!  It was really fun.  President Lopez was there and his wife to cheer us on.  He was standing on the side of the cancha (field) taking pictures and I kicked the ball and his elbow was in the way and he got hit.  Oops.  Luckily his camera was fine but he hurried off the field to watch from a farther distance.  Me and Hermana Cash were on different teams and so we both are a little pushy and we were up against each other and I fell and slid across the turf and so now I have this nice raw turf burn on my legs.  It is a pretty good battle scar.

So on Friday we 4 baptisms (Kevin, Briant, Erika, and Christian)!  We were so excited and so many things went wrong on Friday.  Actually we made a list of all the bad things that happened and we should have been really stressed out but surprisingly we weren´t. Here are just some of things that happened: we went and studied in the morning at the chapel while the font was filling which takes about an hour and a half. Then when we got to the church an hour-ish before the baptisms, someone had drained the font!  Also, we gave a member money to buy a cake for the baptism and so they bought and put it in a room and locked the door with the keys inside so we had to call someone to come and unlock it. Then the person who was going to baptize the people couldn´t do it at the last minute so we had to get permission from the bishop (who didn´t come) for someone else to do it.  Then to top of the day, we were walking home and this crazy drunk man started chasing us.  He was drunk and old so he wasn´t hard to lose.  But we really did see the Lord´s hand in the work.  That was just a little sampling of what happened on Friday.  But we were happy that everything went just fine with the baptisms.  A ton of members came to give support which was good because they were four kids that got baptized.

So another thing that happened this week:  I got stung by a bee!  It was my first time being stung and all I have to say is now I know that I am not allergic to bee stings.   It was on my elbow and it did swell up and itch for a couple of days.

So this week, starting today is the Semana Santa (Holy week before Easter) and all the kids get a week off of school to celebrate.  It is a huge party and they do something different every day.  I am not really sure what they do but today people were suppose to go down to Trapiche, a local river, and symbolically wash the clothes of the Lord.  But it is fun to see flowers everywhere and parades for the Semana Santa.

Finally, Dad wants to know about the buses. The buses get pretty packed.  This morning when we went to play soccer we had to go to Santa Tecla which is near San Salvador and we had to stand up for almost the whole hour and a half.  People were squished.  Hermana Cash says that it almost feels like you are breaking the law of chasisty every time you get on the bus.  Sometimes the buses aren´t bad but this morning people were packed in the aisle of the bus and you pretty much have someone touching every part of your body.
Well, I hope that everyone had a great week.  The church is true!  The work goes on!  We are teaching a couple families and we are excited about that.  We are having success and we are definitely excited to have General Conference next week.

Hermana Bush

Monday, March 22, 2010

Heartbreaks and Laughs

This week has been a good week but we have seen some terrible things and had some great times. First off I want to let you know I got the first package with the socks and the shirts!  Thanks.  I really like the short socks that I can wear with my church shoes.  That way I don´t have to wear nylons every day.  And the new shirts fit just great, George.  I have gotten some of your letters, so thanks!

So we have this less active man, Omar, that lives in our ward that we just found because he wants to come back to church.  He told us that 2 years ago he was the director of seminary over the stake and he was sealed in the temple with his wife and then he fell.  And he fell hard.  I don´t think I have already told a little bit about him but his life has fallen even harder this week.  We taught his one lesson about the sacrament with his mistress and her son a week ago and we had a return appointment last Sunday and he told us he wanted us to teach his mistress the word of wisdom.  When we came back on Sunday he wasn´t there.  Last Monday we were walking home at night and this drunk lady was screaming in the middle of the street at us.  We ignored her especially because she had a scratch on her chin and her arms were bloody.  Then I took a better look and it was this man´s mistress!  We kept moving.  The next day we tried to visit them again but no one was there.  His landlord finally told us that Omar was in jail because he hit his mistress.  And the story goes on.  We were talking with the bishop how we can help and he said that it is difficult because his mistress is involved in a gang!  Oh man.  Every time I think of his life I get really sad to think about how his life has fallen so low.  We aren´t going to go back because we don´t want to get involved with her.

Another heartbreaker was on Sunday we went to go pick up the 3 kids to go to church, Briant, Erika and Kevin.  They were all ready to go but their mom is a beast.  They started leaving and then she called Erika back because she hadn´t washed a dish good enough.  And then she hit her twice really hard on the back and didn´t allow Erika to go to church with us because she had to wash the dish again.  Beating children is a cultural thing and a lot more common here, but she really really hit her.  We are still just praying for a miracle that her heart will some how be softened.

So, here in El Salvador they also have random giant frogs.  We see 1 about every other day.  The other day it had just gotten dark and we were walking and I was on the side walk.  Something hit my calf and we kept walking a little bit because I thought I had kicked some random, weird shaped stick.  But I looked down and there was a huge giant frog that I kicked as it was in mid jump!  I screamed and ran a little bit as my companion just laughed and laughed.

So you know that I really don´t like bugs and so naturally I would be sent to El Salvador when the bugs are bigger and more plentiful.  After one long day of work we came home and Hermana Cash was at the sink thing that is outside of our house and she said there was a giant cockroach there so I naturally wanted to see it.  She sprayed the cockroach with Raid to kill it and it went wild.  It ran somewhere and we were trying to find it.  Then she point at my leg and I jumped like 50 feet high and as I jumped I felt the cockroach land on my foot and then it squirmed on the floor and died.  I was so scared and I screamed!!!  Again Hermana Cash laughed and laughed.   You would have screamed too if there was a cockroach on your leg.

Today for pday we went to a soccer field in Santa Ana with 3 other zones and we got to play soccer for the first time.  We aren´t allowed to play soccer with the elders so it was fun to play with the 8 other sisters there.  It was great.

Just a quick answer to your question mom: we live in a two floor apartment and I don´t know if it is earthquake safe.
I hope that every one has a great week.  I love hearing from you and seeing your pictures.


Hermana Bush

Monday, March 15, 2010

The day without rest

Pdays are not really all that relaxing and sometimes they are more stressful than any other day.

This week was full of emotions! And I am glad that it is over. We had one of the most stressful days on Saturday. We were planning for 4 baptisms (all of little kids). But 3 of the kids are being raised by the most difficult lady I have ever met. If I wasn´t a missionary and if I didn´t have love for every person here in El Salvador, I would have kicked her in the knee. She gave permission for the kids to be baptized but she is paranoid and so she wouldn´t sign for permission. There were four missionaries there and so the zone leader said maybe we can just be witnesses. So on Saturday morning the Elders came to us the day of the baptism date and said that she has to sign. So we pleaded for her to sign and she still refused. The Elders left and and Hermana Cash and I felt like we needed to go back. We went to teach a lesson and we started to sing I Am A Child of God. We both started bawling. I felt so much love for these kids and yet they don´t feel any love at their house. The mom is not really interested in their needs or wants. So we cried the whole lesson. At the end, the mom walked in and sat down. We asked her to sign the papers and she said okay! It was so strange. But then we found out that the kids have been drinking coffee so they can´t get baptized now anyway. We have to wait another week. It was a really stressful day. But we did have the other baptism for a nonrelated kid. His whole family is members but not active. He went to church a lot two years ago with his grandma. His mom now goes to the Catholic church and someone asked him there a year ago if he was going to be baptized in that church and he said ¨I am not Catholic, I am Mormon.¨ He makes me proud.

So for those of you who forgot, Friday the 12th was my half birthday. We had a little celebration. At the grocery store we bought a cookie dough mix and then ate cookie dough. I tried to toast the dough over the stove on a frying pan and it did work a little bit. But it was good to eat cookie dough but we realized later it probably wasn´t a great idea because of the raw egg.

So this morning we were looking forward to a nice relaxing pday. At 8 in the morning the elders called and said that since every companionship in the zone had a baptism last month, we get to have a lunch with President sometime and we have 4 options to eat. So we picked what we wanted. Half an hour later the elders called and said that we were having lunch today and we had to meet at the bus stop at 10 to go to San Salvador. So that is what we did all day today. We went to San Salvador which is 2 hours by bus and ate at a fancy Chinese restaurant. It was pretty fun but we just didn´t have time to do anything today.

So, answers to some questions. We write from a cyber café. The computers work just fine. They are a little slow but I guess I can´t be too picky but they are cheap. It is about 50 cents per hour at a cheap one. We don´t eat ice cream too often but it tastes just like ice cream. When it is really hot, I would rather buy a cold drink than ice cream. My spanish is still not fluent and I can´t say everything that I want to say but I can get by. It is bad to be with a gringa because sometimes it is just a lot easy to talk in English. I don´t have the self control to talk Spanish all day long. But little by little I think my spanish is improving.

So this last week has been a lot hotter than ever before! People told us March and April were the hottest months. The thing is that it got humid this last week and before it wasn´t really that humid. I am sitting in the Internet café sweating like a pig and I am not even out in the sun. I think that I might buy a huge refrigerator and put my bed in it so that when I get home I can find some relief from the heat.

On Thursday I reach my four months on the mission mark! Time does fly by!

I love you all.

Thanks for writing me. I love receiving your blog updates and seeing all the pictures.

One last thing that I thought about this week: If a black widow bites you then you get poisoned but what happens if you swallow a black widow? Is that poisonous? We both decided that it wouldn´t poison you but I don´t really know.

Love, Crystal

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Food, Fun, Friends Pictures

I am sending a picture of watch tan (although it looks better in person), my pupusas, our jerseys and my companion with Bryan and Kevin (who have a baptism date for March 20).


Monday, March 8, 2010

Month of Miracles

¡Hola Familia y amigos!

This was the first week of March and me and my companion decided that we were going to see miracles this month so we made up a slogan: <>. We thought we were really clever because the all start with an m. But whenever anything bad happened this week we had to repeat our slogan to ourselves. That is the new theme for this companionship is that we are expecting miracles. As long as we put in the work, God with help us. Maybe we won´t see success now but we will feel proud of our efforts. We actually do have a lot of success because we have 10 baptism dates. The hard part is that they fall easily. Everyone wants to talk to us because we are gringas but the hard part is getting them to keep their commitments and go to church.

This week we had some great experiences. Last Monday night we had FHE with Maria and Julio. They are inactive, especially Julio who has big problems with alcohol. But they love us to come visit. They are really poor and they don´t have any running water or electricity. So, we had FHE in the dark. It was pretty fun. They did have one candle and a fire that they were using to boil water so we could eat hot chocolate. They are super humble and we had a great time trying to read by candle light. For refreshments, we had hot chocolate and pan dulce. You probably wouldn´t like the hot chocolate here because it is pretty much just hot water. Well, I don´t know, I can´t tell the difference but it tastes really good to dip the pan dulce (sweet bread) in the hot water.

This week my companion and I also wanted to see how many pupusas we could eat. So, after we were done with the day, we bought 20 pupusas and had a feast. I finished my 10 pupusas but my companion could only get down 9. I win! It was hard though. I felt stuffed. We also bought soccer jerseys and we got on the back ¨Bush Cash¨. When we introduce ourselves as Hermana Bush and Hermana Cash everyone repeats back BushCash. I guess it is kind of funny that only 2 letters in our last names are different.

I don´t remember if I already told you this but oh well. One of our past investigators (the drunk that we had to drop) always had really interesting prayers and one time he said ¨Te doy gracias por mi Bush y mi Cash¨. I had such a hard time holding it in. We had a good laugh about it afterwards. Mauricio, who was baptized 2 weeks ago, also has good prayers because he says ¨Señor¨ a lot. You don´t understand though. Last time I started counting in the middle of his prayer and I got 45. He makes us so happy though because I know that he was truly converted and now he is telling us people we could visit.

I finished reading the Book of Mormon again this morning which was really exciting. My desire to read the scriptures has really changed in the last 4 months. Now, I wish that I could have one free day that I could read all day.

Thank you for all your support! The church is true and the work goes on! Everyday we have spiritual experiences and everday I get another confirmation that this is the Lord´s work.

I love you

Hermana Bush

Monday, March 1, 2010


Here are some pictures! This is us with machetes and us on our way to the volcano as a zone. Also this is a pictures of us at the baptism of Mauricio (he is the one standing next to Hermana Cash). I like that picture because my true spirit comes through. I have a nice angelic glow that reflects off the church wall. We are going to take this pday easy because last week was really hard. The volcano is huge!

I love you all! I loved to see your pictures of the house. It looks gorgeous. I just wish I could experience it all in person. Hermana Cash and I are excited about this cambio and we want to have an Easter Egg hunt for Easter with investigators. Have a good week. And go Nuggets!

Hola Familia!

This week was good.  Today is the first day of the new transfer.  It is really relaxing not to have to change at all and to stay with the same companion.  This past week went by really fast and really slow. On Tuesday I got a cold and so I felt really out of it this last week. It is not really all that fun to be sick and to sweating and walking in the sun.  I felt like a walking zombie. But, on Wednesday there was a miracle!  The weather was strangely mild and there was a nice breeze almost all day long.  I feel fine now, just a little congested.  It
was funny though because I sound like a man.  Hermana Cash has a hard time not laughing when we were singing hymns because my voice is so rough.

Yesterday there was a country conference.  It was at our church and they showed the conference over satellite.  We were excited because we only had to go to one church yesterday.  We had 8 investigators at church yesterday.  We were so excited but we had to laugh because 7 are under the age of 13 and the other one is 17.  Maybe we should start looking for people with life experience too.

Three of our investigators are siblings and they are super poor.  They don´t have any runing water or light.  We feel bad for them because a member that goes to school with them told us that they have to no
friends because they have lice and they always wear the same thing everyday.  When I heard this my heart broke.  These kids are so special and bright and they truly want to know more about the gospel.
Here in El Salvador everyone throws there trash on the ground and in the mornings, women rake up all the trash and they burn it on the side of the road.  I love the smell of the burning trash.  Every morning I wake up and I feel like we are camping because it smells like campfire.  I think that the smell of campfire will forever remind me of my mission.

Also, people here love music from the US.  I remember the first day I was here in El Salvador I was walking down the street and a store was blasting ABC from the Jackson 5.  I have come to realize that people here love Michael Jackson and Phil Collins.  Those are the singers that I here the most.  It is hard for me not to sing along. Oh!  And this week we saw a ton of gringos at the ruins.  They were really funny looking and then I realized, ¨Hey, that´s what I look like!¨ We were so excited to see them and then we said hello to them
and they just looked at us.  Then I asked if they speak english and one of them stared at me for a second and said ¨yes¨.  We had a good laugh at how awkward they were.  We just wanted to talk to them but oh
well.  They were from Canada.

I am going to send pictures!

And I haven´t got a package yet but I heard that the mail comes and then they sit it the mission office for months before you get them.

Hopefully I will get something soon.

I love you!
Hermana Bush