Friday, July 30, 2010

The New Girl

So there are a couple of big newsy things this week.

First of all, the last week we have had 3 baptisms and 4 confirmations! We were so excited.  I am going to send you pictures of the people that got baptized. Here is a picture of Hermana Schmidt and I with our District leader and his companion who came to our baptism with us.  Then is a picture of us with Victor and his wife and their member friends. And then David and Alejandro and familia  and finally a picture of Nestor with us and his family.

But last Saturday, Nestor (married to a member) and David and Alejandro (Brothers and friends of members) got baptized and it was just so great to see them get baptized one right after another.  It was a great day.  The friend of David and Alejandro is a Priest and so he was able to do the baptisms and then our district leader baptized Nestor.   Last pday we bought all 4 of our baptism ties.  Alejandro and David wear tight pants and so it was fun to look for ties and to decide with ones they would like and so naturally we got them the ties with a bit of purple and pink in them.  But last Friday we went around to each one by one and gave them the ties we had picked out for them and they were all so appreciative and they all loved them.  We wrapped them up like a present and all 4 of them didn´t want to rip the wrapping paper because they said they wanted to keep it as a memory.   But Alejandro jumped up and down and ran and gave us hugs.  We aren´t allowed to hug boys and so it was a little awkward.  But it made us so happy.  Victor opened his and almost cried.  The great thing about the people here is that they are always so grateful.  They are also so giving.  When they offer food or something to drink, they expect us to take it and they get offended if we say no.  But the baptisms turned out great.
They other news this week, the new nurse came!  It all came by surprise.  President called us on Sunday morning during church and said that the new nurse would be arriving from the MTC in Guatemala on Monday.  And that is exactly what happened so now we are in a trio.  Her name is Hermana Woods and she is from Arizona.  She has worked as a nurse for a year so it is good that she has some experience.  Her Spanish is already pretty good for her first couple of days here.  She talks really choppy but it is a great start.   We have a baptism tomorrow of Sharon.  She is the 12 year old daughter of inactive members and so we have been working with the family and the mom loves church.   We are excited that our new companion can have her first baptism during her first week of the mission.  We felt a little bad because we just had a big baptizing fest before she came but luckily we still have Sharon.  Sharon is a great girl and we always end up helping her with her English homework.

So the other fun thing that happened this week was that Hermana Cash´s (my trainer) companion got dengue and so they came to our house for a couple days while Hermana Schmidt helped nurse her back to health.  So Hermana Cash and I got to do divisions for 2 days.  I loved being with her again especially when she said my Spanish was great:)  But the strangest thing happened.  When we were together we saw Mauricio (our recent convert from Casa Blanca that went totally inactive and  ran away from us twice).  It was so strange that out of all the times that Mauricio would be in Santa Tecla in our area, I happened to be with Hermana Cash because her comp was sick.  Coincidence?  I think not. We had a great time together and we tried to give Mauricio a pep talk to go back to church.  I don´t know what happened to him but it is hard to give in to the fact that he has his own agency.

So, we have some really positive people that we are teaching and really the members are helping us a ton. I have learned on my mission that missionary work is nearly impossible without the help of the members.  Remember that every member has a reference for the missionaries.

I love it here in El Salvador.  Really, every day I think of how much I love the people here.  There is no where I would rather be.

I love you all!
Hermana Bush

Friday, July 23, 2010

Loving the work and the people?


This week has flown by and dragged along at the same time. It has really been an interesting week. We had a baptism last Sunday night! We were really excited that it actually happened because there were a ton of bumps along the road. We were planning on having the baptism on Saturday and but that morning a member called us and said that there was some youth activity in the church the whole day and that there would be youth running around hooting and hollering. We thought about it for a long time and decided it was best to change the baptism. So Sunday we went to church and we were so excited to have a baptism that day and we showed up and there was no water in the church. El Salvador is strange because the water will go out for days or a week and there is nothing that we can do about it. The church does have a cistern that hasn´t been used for ever so it wasn´t a shock when we tried to use it that it was broken. So, we decided to go to another capilla in Merliot (neighboring city). And luckily Victor Molina was cool with whatever we said. And he got baptized and bore his testimony and it was so powerful. He is a good convert. The next time we talked to him he said that when everything was happening to change the time of his baptism he thought that maybe he just wouldn´t do it. I am so grateful that he went through with it and he said that he is glad too. He has a wife and two children that do not want to hear anything about the church but Victor says that he prays that one day they will change and want to go to church with him.

So last week I wrote you about Walter. We have been teaching him for more that a month and we thought he was so close. But let me just say, things have changed. This week we went to visit him and we shook hands and the moment my companion turned around he handed me a note. I didn´t read it and at the end of the lesson he told me that the note was just for me and not for my companion and then my stomach dropped. So when we were out of sight of his house, naturally Hermana Schmidt and I read the note together. And Walter wrote me a little love note! I am still disturbed by this because he probably just goes up to my shoulder. But the note just said that he has liked me since we met and he is always thinking about me and he wanted to tell me in person but never had the opportunity because my companion is always around. Then it ended with he wanted to know what I thought. This happened on Tuesday and so we haven´t gone back. I still get a little barfy feeling when I think about it. Well, we decided that he probably just wants a green card. But it makes things really awkward because he lives on the ways to everything and he lives in his car shop and so he is always fixing cars when we pass. So, that has been really annoying.

Another annoying thing that happened is they said that the new nurse won´t come till transfers week in 3 weeks. I was really excited to have the new nurse come early so that Hermana Schmidt and her could have nurse to nurse talks and I would just sit on the outside like a spectator. But doesn't seem like that will be happening anymore. Now I am scared for the welfare of the missionJ

So we have three baptisms tomorrow! Two are teenagers and brother (Alejandro and David) and the other is the husband of a member. We are really excited. Baptisms are great but they also bring a lot of stress having to plan everything and making sure that every one comes. It is harder too because our Ward Mission Leader doesn´t do anything. But the great thing about this ward is that there are a ton of people and so we have ward missionaries and they are really helping us in the work.

Thanks for all your prayers. We are working hard and loving it here. Hermana Schmidt and I are having a great time together.

Con Amor

Hermana Bush

Friday, July 16, 2010


¡Hola familia y amigos.

It has been a good week. A bit stressful but good. We are having one baptism tomorrow and maybe a second one. The hardest problem about the city is that no one is ever home! There are more things for people to do in the city and more work so it is hard to find people besides at night. We have three people with baptism dates and all five of them can only meet at night so that presents a problem. But we are really excited for the baptism that is for sure going to happen tomorrow. His name is Alejandro Ortiz and he is 18 and his good friends are members. He has had problems with the Word of wisdom and the Law of Chastity but he was so willing to change and has a deep desire to know the truth and have a good life. We are really excited and are crossing our fingers that everything turns out good. The people in El Salvador tend to be a little flaky so we are just praying that everything can happen so that he can get baptized tomorrow.

We are also teaching this really cool guy named Walter and he is a big joker. Well, he lies to us a lot. For instance he said that he was 22 years old and that he has 10 kids. He loves to mess with our minds. Sometimes it presents a problem because we don´t know if he is being serious or lying to us. But no importa. He went to church and he loved it and wants to get baptized. He was living with a girl but she moved out yesterday. So we are on our way with him too. I love seeing people change and have a real desire to do what's right.

So we gave President his piñata on Monday and we really liked it. We didn´t want to just give him the piñata so we made up a holiday for President Lopez. We made up el día de los Presidentes or really just President´s day and we made a card and had all the office Elders sign it and they were all excited about it. We also gave him another really special present for President´s Day: the extra family band CD mom send me (the poor sucker, now he is stuck with it). But really we tried to have a good time with it and it was better because the Elders were in on it too.

So, mom said that Maryland had an earthquake and guess what we had an earthquake yesterday! I was really excited because it was my first earthquake! We were in a lesson and the person was about to read a scripture all of a sudden my companion was saying ¨Espere, Espere¨. And so we had a moment of silence to experience the earthquake. It wasn´t very big but just a bit wobbly.

So, just one last cultural thing. When someone wants to go to the bathroom but doesn´t want to say that they need to go to the bathroom they say ´Voy a hablar con el chele¨. It is funny because here, chele means the white person. So they are saying they are going to talk to the white person.

Also, I met a guy about a month ago and he asked me where I was from and I said Colorado. Then he said, ¨Really, I had a mission companion from Colorado named Elder Stevens.¨ How weird. His name was Oscar Mejía (I think) but it is very strange to meet people that know Eli.

Well, I hope that everyone had a good week. We are going to seguir trabajando (I just thought I would throw that in for mom). We are enjoying our time. The office said that they don´t know if the nurse is going to come early anymore and she might just come at the beginning of the transfer. So, I am going to pray harder so that she comes sooner.


Hermana Bush

Friday, July 9, 2010



President changed our pdays to Friday.  So here I am writing a day early!  So many things have happened this week!  So, this last Sunday was Fast Sunday.  We got up early on Sundays like always and then ran around to gather all of our investigators.  We were happy that 5 investigators came to church this last week.  And it was also testimony meeting.  At the very end one of our investigators got up to bear his testimony and at first we were really excited and then I got nervous about what he was going to say (since it was his second time going to church). In his testimony he said how great Hermana Schmidt and I are and how we were angels sent to work here in El Salvador.  Then he told a story about how when he was young he got sick and everyone thought he was dead and how a man dressed in white came and healed him and at that moment he told the person that he would preach the word of God. But he said he hadn´t done so till that moment in church.  And then very fittingly he raised his Bible and with more strength in his voice said ¨This is the word of God!¨ and ended with ¨Amen and Amen¨.  All of the evangelical churches like the screaming and the very powerful Amen and Amen.  But we were proud of Victor.  He is still learning little by little and it took a lot of guts to get up in front of every one.  Later on that week he told us that he was talking religion with a friend and his friend asked what church Victor goes to.  And he said ¨I go to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a Mormon¨.  We are happy with his progress:)  But really, we are happy with him and he accepted to get baptized next Saturday the 17th of July.  We have 3 very positive investigators that are going to get baptized next Saturday.  Another one is a 12 year old named Sharon.  Her family is inactive but she went to church 4 weeks ago with her grandma who was visiting from the states.   We started visiting the family but it was so hard because the dad likes to talk too much and so we could never teach Sharon because he had so many questions.  But a miracle happened! The dad got sent to work in the states for 5 months and now we can talk Sharon.  The mom is really excited about returning to church and went this last week with Sharon. But Sharon is so cute and has this really big smile whenever we talk about baptism.

So on Tuesday night one of our investigators was so nice to feed us refried beans and bread and cheese.  That is the typical meal here.  I enjoyed myself all the way till Wednesday in the morning when I woke up at 4 in the morning with tons of diarrhea and a huge urge to throw up.  I felt terrible and couldn´t go back to sleep.  I didn´t want to wake up my comp but promptly at 6:30, she woke up and ran to the bathroom with the same symptoms.  So we did a poo exam and turns out that we just go food poisoning and we were well on our way to recovery but the time day was over.  But that was a terrible experience.  I always forget how awful it feels to be sick till I get sick.
Another thing that is great!  The new nurse is going to come in the middle of this transfer.  I don´t know why she is coming early but I don´t mind at all. She might be coming this next week or in two weeks.  I am really excited so that the nurse can train the nurse and then when Hermana Schmidt leaves I can just help out.  Woohoo!  That relieves a lot of stress.

I hope that everyone had a good Fourth of July.  I forgot all about it.  I had planned on wearing my shirt that is red, white and blue but I didn´t remember.  Oh well.  Maybe I would have gotten shot.

I am sending you some photos! One is of me and Hermana Muñoz.  She lives in our house and is one of the other missionaries in our ward.  We are good buddies even though she is probably more than a foot shorter than me.  It was funny because we took these pictures a week ago and we were looking at the pictures this morning and we were both wearing the same thing!  This last week we also paid someone to make a piñata of President Lopez.  We are going to give it to him on Monday but we have had a good time taking pictures with him.  And finally, I am sending you my only attempt so far for an artsy picture.  It really is just a bug on a leaf.
I love you all!  I hope that everything is going well.  We are working hard and seeing some success in the ward! We are really excited!

Hermana Bush

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Preparing for cambios

So this coming Monday are changes and so things are lively here as the nurse.  It is a bit different because we have a very busy schedule.  We have to house the sister missionaries that are going to Belize, coming back from Belize, ending their mission and just beginning the mission.  Luckily they come in waves.  So far we have only had the Sisters goin to Belize.  They came yesterday in the afternoon and left our house at 5 this morning.  It would be a lot more fun if I didn´t prize my sleep time.  But I had a good time because Hermana Stout from the MTC and another sister from zona Chalchuapa came over and so last night was just like a big party.

This week has flown by just like every week and it is also the start of a new month.  My companion is depressed because we haven´t baptized but we are very optimistic for July. We have a ton of references from members that are progressing. When my companion came here, President told her that Las Palmeras is the hardest area in the mission.  I can´t believe that it is the hardest but since it is in the city, it is harder.  We realized that knocking on doors does not work.  The only new investigators we can really get are references.  Many times we knock on doors and we can see in the house and the people see us and they walk away.  Sometimes they look out their windows and walk away and it is so obvious.  I think that if people are going to open their door to us they should at least try to hide themselves so we can´t see them.  Just a little common courtesy:)

So I told you about the really cute Latin guy that we taught last week and he was super positive but then he didn´t go to work for week but finally he came back last night and so we taught him.  And we found out that he is marries.  He is 21 and his wife is 34 years old.  I was a little creeped out about by that and he just wasn´t as positive last night.  We´ll see but I don´t think that we will go back a lot.

I have a hard time remembering what happened during the week.  I am learning new words every day.  Some of the interesting words I learned this week were: secuestro (kidnap), tiroteo (shootout, I won´t tell you why I learned these words), amígdolas (glands) and subasta (auction). No but really, Latins here are very careful and worried about everything.  There was a gang shootout 2 weeks ago at night in our area but not where we live.  A ward from El Salvador was going to the temple in Guatemala the other day and after they crossed the border to go to the temple, a truck followed them and finally pulled them over and tied up all the members and robbed everything they had.  Hours later, a farmer found them and says that he finds people there but they have always been dead before.  He said it is a miracle that the people didn´t kill them.  It seems like everywhere we go someone tells us a bad story and they are all worried for the future of their country.  Last week we went to a souvenir shop and a key chain said ¨El Salvador: Mi tierra.¨  And when I read that I teared up a lot and I realized that I love it here and that I can´t imagine going home again. 

Well, we are still working:)  Every day is an adventure because you never know what will happen.  Just know that the work is true and that we have really been guided by the Spirit.  We have asked some members for references because we felt strongly that they had some and so we are excited to go out this week contacting references.

I love you all and pray for you.

Hermana Bush