Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rats in the roof

So today has been a good week. So much has happened and we are always really busy.  This week I have been noticing how religious this country is and I took note of some of the funny names of companies.  Every day when we ride the bus we get to pass the Farmacia de Dios (God´s pharmacy).  If I get sick, I know where to go.  Then the other day a car from the Jesus Driving School passed by us.  I was about to write something sacreligious right now but I repented and now I won´t.

So just to answer some questions: I don´t play the piano in the church anymore.  There are 2 people who can play.  They both aren´t very good and they mess up a lot but if they never play for sacrament, they will never get better and so I enjoy sitting in the congregation and just sing a long.  It is a little easier this way too because the members don´t really know how all the songs go and so it was hard to play the piano with the congregation because sometimes it was almost impossible to follow the ward.  Something that is really exciting is that we went to the church yesterday and there was a member playing the viola!  I was so excited and I got to play a little bit and then he said I could borrow it till Sunday.  Woohoo!  I got to play some before bed last night.  Hermana Schmidt can play the flute and so she wants to do a musical number for a multizone conference.  I was shocked that it was a viola and not a violin.  What are the odds.

So in the missionary world we found a really positive guy named Josué.  He is so positive that it scares us.  We contacted him last week on the street and invited him to go to an appointment with us and he went and the investigator thought that Josué was a member because he wanted to say the prayer and talk in the lesson.  We were teaching about the Book of Mormon.  The next day we went and taught Josué and he said, ¨I want to know about prophets¨ and so were excited.  Then yesterday he said that if Christ established his church with prophets and 12 apostles the true church of Christ also needs prophets and 12 apostles.  After the first day we thought that he just wanted to be flirty with us because he is 21 too and he is a tall and beautiful latin guy.  So were putting up cautions but he really does want to learn.  He is out of town for a couple of days but we gave him an Ensign of General Conference from a few years ago that we had in our house.  I hope he reads it.

This week we also got to help in English classes.  We went and we taught the advanced group I Am A Child of God (of course in English).  It was fun but a little difficult because they wanted to learn what the line ¨if I but learn to do his will¨ meant.  It makes sense but no one would say it that way in real life.
Finally we had some interesting experiences in our house this last week too.  There was this bad smell that grew slowly until it was a really bad smell.  We called the owner and they said that they were coming the same night but then they didn´t come for 3 days!  And we kept calling them till they came.  They smell was from the ceiling and in the other sisters´ room, rat poop was falling from the ceiling. So when the landlords came they found and removed 2 dead rats from the ceiling and now our house smells back to normal.  It was not such a great experience.

We have a missionary activity tonight in the ward.  We invited all the recent converts of the last 3 years to eat dinner and to invite their friends to the church to eat and then we are going to watch a movie about Christ.  I think that it will be fine but my companion is really stressed out.  The ward gave us 40 dollars because my comp said she would donate 20 dollars. So in all, we have 60 dollars for dinner for 60 people.  It was really stretching our ability to be stingy with money.  I think that everything will be fine.
Thanks for all your prayers. We are excited about the work and working hard.
Hermana Bush

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sweet relief

Hello family!

So just to answer some questions: The nursing world is coming on slowly but surely.  I can now tell you what to do if someone calls and says they have diarrhea.  I would tell them to get a stool sample and take it to the lab.  But I also learned what to do if they have pain on one side of their stomach because it could be appendicitis and so there are some simple tests to do to check that out.  So there is a new nurse coming in August and so she should have entered the MTC last wednesday. Hopefully she can handle the MTC.  There was a nurse that came to the mission with my trainer but sadly she had depression and kind of went crazy and so she had to go home.  But I will be with the new nurse for a time and then I will be a normal missionary again.

So the news in the nursing world is always problems with going number 2 (I like to use the technical terms). An Elder called us last week and said that he hadn´t gone number 2 for 5 days!  He was really uncomfortable and bloated.  So my companion gave him an oral enema and she thought that it would work pretty fast but nothing happened.  So, she had to have him have an enema from the other direction.  I don´t want to get too detailed.  He was desperate and finally he was able to go.  He had weighed himself before he went to the bathroom and after and after the bathroom the first time, he lost 6 pounds!  Over all that night he ¨lost¨ 8 pounds.  Needless to say, he felt relieved.

A couple of different things have happened this week.  One night we returned to the house and we were happy to be home and someone knocked on our door.  When we answered it, who was outside but the Catholic missionaries with our neighbor.  They asked if they could share a message with us and we didn´t know what to say.  So they read us some scriptures.  They were really nice and said can we end with a prayer.  So he started to pray and there was this long pause and he said we had to repeat after him.  Then it was really awkward because I felt it was like that prayer to save someone´s soul.  Because it was saying that we accept Jesus and so on.  I didn´t know what to do so I just kept saying it.  So, luckily now my soul is saved.

This week was also different because we went to district meeting and then we were ready to go and at the last minute the elders said that we were going on divisions.  I went out with Hermana Muñoz in my area. We were really confused because we are both junior companions but the elders said that we were going out and they got permission from President.  So, we went out and it was like a party.  We had a good time together and I learned some new words in Spanish too.  Hermana Muñoz came to El Salvador the same day I did.  Those sisters are in the same ward as us and we share a house so it was fun to go out with her.
We have a new investigator that is really great. Her name is Suli and she understands everything and accepts everything and the best part of all is that she doesn´t already have a church.  Almost everyone in El Salvador congregates somewhere and so it is a lot harder to have them change religions than to begin one!  We have a lot of hope for her.

Another answer to a question: here in the city they still eat pupusas. But the annoying thing is that they are more expensive.  In Chualchuapa you could buy one pupusa for 20 cents but here they are 50 cents.  There is a pupusería up the street from our house and so some nights we just call them and they will deliver them to our house.  The only thing now is that I feel a lot more stingy with my money because things cost more here and we have to pay for buses to get around the area.  My comp doesn´t like to walk places but I am making her do it more and more because I don´t like wasting money on buses that aren´t necessary.

Well I think that is all from this week.  I hope that everyone has a great week and a Happy Father´s Day.  Here Father´s Day is always the 17th so they celebrated it on Thursday.

Oh and by the way, yesterday I completed 7 months on the mission.
Hermana Bush

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Hermana Bush saves the day!

¡HOLA familia y amigos!

This has been a good week.  So many things have happened in the nursing world of the mission and in the work. First off, I told you that we are in a ward with two other sister missionaries.  They had a baptism last Saturday so we got to it to support them.  Everything was ready: the person was there dressed in white, the font was full, the did the welcoming to the baptism. Then the tried to walk into the font and the door to the font was locked!  It was really funny because only the bishop has the keys to the font and he had left.  So, they called and called and tried to open the font with every method they had and nothing worked.  Finally one of the sister missionaries thought of my bobby pin that I had in my hair.  They fiddled with the bobby pin for another 5 minutes and the door opened!  So pretty much, I single handedly and literally brought a soul into the waters of baptism.  I knew that it is always a good idea to have a bobby pin with you at all times and in all places. 

So we are teaching the familia Escobar and on Sunday night we put baptisms dates with them! We were so happy and they are all reading in the Book of Mormon and they have questions.  The dad has some doubts but he is praying and reading and feels good about this decision.  It is really exciting to have a good family to teach that wants to accept the gospel.  Unlike most people in Santa Tecla, this family doesn´t have much money.  The dad works all day long at a dangerous construction job.
So, the nursing world is really busy.  It seems like half of the mission has diarrhea and they call us like it is an emergency.  Three days ago an elder called at 3 in the morning and he said, "I don´t know if this is an emergency but I have diarrhea."  He couldn´t just wait 3 hours?  Luckily I didn´t answer the phone and my companion was very patient and explained what medicine to take.  One funny story is that an elder fell on his wrist 3 weeks ago and it hurt but then he called back (3 weeks after it happened) and said that his wrist still hurt. So Hermana Schmidt sent him to get an x ray but he had to bring the x ray back to Hermana Schmidt with the results so she could tell them if something was wrong and what they had to do. But we were teaching a less active couple so the Elders had to go to the house of the family.  The Elder had fractured his wrist so we had to call the doctor and so we went into another room to do it.  Meanwhile, the less active wife started making us something to drink and she comes and asks us if we want some.  We asked what it was and she said iced tea and so we said what type (because here most tea isn´t bad) and she said Lipton.  So we kindly declined.  We knew that she offered some to the elders and I was wondering how they got out of that.  And so later we walked into the other room and there were the elders slurping down the iced tea.  We just couldn´t help but laugh at their ignorance.  They had no idea what they were drinking.  I guess that they trusted her because she was a member but we had told them that they hadn´t gone to church for a year and they are recent converts.  So I guess the word of wisdom didn´t stick with them.  But I think the elders learned their lesson.  Ask, before you drink.

Not much else happened this week.  I can´t believe that it is June.  Time has flown by so far.  I feel a lot more comfortable with Spanish.  There are still a ton of words that I don´t know but with out a Latin companion I can ask what words mean in the middle of a lesson because it is important that we understand.  City life is just great.  I don´t really feel like I am in a city because where we are there are no skyscrapers and there are no places in our area that we have to ring a buzzer and talk through an intercom.  The area is just the normal city folk and not the really wealthy city folk.

I am so grateful that I can be here in El Salvador.  I have been extremely blessed.
Con Amor, Hermana Bush

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tropical storms


This week has been quite interesting.  I am getting use to the city life.  It feels like I am in a different country.  In Chalchuapa it was hard to find members who had DVD players and here it is a given that everyone has a DVD player.  That is a small difference but I am coming to realize that some people in El Salvador actually do have money.  Who would have thought.  Right now we don´t really have many investigators and we don´t have any baptism dates.  But we found a family that we are working hard with.  We found them on Sunday last week and we have visited them everyday.  The first day none of the kids wanted to listen to us but we ended with a game and then the 13 year old boy said ¨Can you come tomorrow?¨ So we have a lot of hope for them because the dad is praying and reading in the Book of Mormon.  They are named Familia Escobar.  So the goal of us in this area is divide the ward and if we can divide the ward, the stake can be divided so pretty much everything is up to us.  I feel like a super hero here to save the day.  But, really it will be hard.  It is kind of hard to work in a religious country because everyone thinks that everything is good and we will have great lessons and the people will say things like ¨Yes, I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet.¨ And then we get all excited and we say come to church with us and get baptized and then they say ¨No, I am happy at my church and it is all the same God.¨  We get a lot of that.  People will listen to us but they don´t really want to listen to what we have to say.

So this week started with a rain storm.  The people said it was a tropical storm and that the weather wasn´t that normal.  It rained all day for about 3 days. It rained all of Saturday and Sunday and Monday.  The attendance is supposedly usually around 180 but this week a wopping 65 people came to church.  Apparently the El Salvadorean government told the whole country that they should stay in their houses.  I thought that the rain would be a great excuse for people to let us in their house but that is not the case here in the city.  On Monday we were absolutely soaking wet and we knocked on the door of a less active member and she just screamed at us from inside the house that she couldn´t let us in the house because we were wet.  We figured that it didn´t really matter anyway because our clothes were already saturated with water.  We couldn´t get any more wet.  I think it is fun to work in the rain.  It makes me feel like I am really ¨suffering¨ on the mission.  But secretly I enjoy it.  But because of all the rain it has been kind of cold this last week and I am enjoying the lack of sweat.

So I told you that we are working in this ward with other Hermanas.  This week they had a little scare.  They contacted a man in their area and he said some bad things to them and said that he knew exactly what houses they visited in the area.  So, they told President the story.  The next day President said we had cambios (transfers) and that we were going to another area called Merliot.  So we packed up all our stuff and we were ready to go and then President called and said that we were going to stay.  President Duarte (our stake president) called and told President (of the mission) that he wanted us to stay in our area.  So we stayed.  This is just fine for me because I feel perfectly safe in the area.  So we are staying where we are.
Another adventure that we are still having is that our house hasn´t gotten water for one week.  We started off bathing in purified water that we had to drink but we quickly ran out of that and so we had to borrow a whole bunch of water from our house owners.  We don´t know when we will get water but some people have told us that a pipe broke during the tropical storm and so a whole bunch of people are out of water. So we are crossing our fingers that we will get water soon so that we can have a real bath.

The life in the city is way different.  It is crazy because they even have malls here and we buy our food in a place that is just like Walmart. Ahh, the luxuries of city life.  But don´t worry because I am still working.  I talked to President a little bit (he still scares me).  Before he said that a new nurse wouldn´t come till January but he said that someone told him that they were sending a nurse in August.  I am hoping that a nurse comes in August because I am slowly learning that I really don´t know anything about nursing.  I would be just fine with sending my companion home in August and then training the new nurse and have her tell me what medicines people needed.  I would be good at that.  I wouldn´t be good at being on my own.

Well, even though I am with a gringa again, I still feel like my Spanish is improving because people can´t really understand my companion very much and so I have to talk a lot more and translate for them.  It is kind of funny.

We are working hard and I hope that everyone is having a good time in the States.
Hermana Bush