Monday, December 27, 2010

Feliz Navidad

¡Feliz Navidad!

The big news this week is that I got tranferred.  I have escaped the city and am now in the roots of my youth.... in Chalchuapa!  I am happy to be back.  I am actually not in Chalchuapa but in the same zone.  I am in a an area called Ciudad Real and the ward is called Barrio Tazumal.  It is in between Chalchuapa and Santa Ana. My companion is Hermana Izaguirre.  She is my ¨hermana¨ in the mission because Hermana Cash also trained her.  But we get along really well. She is also from Honduras like all but one of my latina companions.  I tried to attach a photo but the computer USB connection isn´t working. Sorry, maybe next time.

We had a big mission activity this week where everyone (but Belize) was there.  Every zone made a video so pretty much the whole activity we spent watching movies... some were better than others.  Christmas here is a lot different and so it didn´t feel like Christmas at all.  To me Christmas is staying at home with family and having dinner and doing something special together. But here it is just a party and a good excuse for people to get drunk. We went and visited a lot of members and ate dinner with a member´s house and there were a ton of people there.  We heard that in other missions they get the day off or have to go home early but not for us, we worked the whole day and we even contacted in the night.  But here, they don´t celebrate Christmas day but only on Christmas eve and they call the 24th Christmas.  Apostacy.  Everyone knows that Christ was born in April but we have to celebrate the 25th of December and not the 24th. Then on the 25th, everyone has the day off and everyone sleeps all day and visits their family.  We had a hard time finding people in their houses. So I got to go to church in my new ward yesterday.  Being here in this ward is something really special because they just finished building the chapel and are going to dedicate it probably in January.  I think President is blessing me for the 5 transfers that I had in the city:)  I feel so happy to be back in the campo and I am really looking forward to being with my new companion.  I know that we are going to be blessed.  It is strange to be back to the area because I see people that I know.  After church Carlos from Chalchuapa drove passed us (he was the guy that got baptized after I left the area but I got to go back for his baptism). I feel blessed because I can see my converts again and it just brings back good memories.  I am enjoying my time.  Thanks for all your prayers.  It was great to talk to you guys on Christmas morning.  I feel so blessed to be here and have learned a lot recently from the scriptures and thinking about Christ during this Christmas season.  I am so grateful that I don't cry anymore when I talk on the phone.  It is wierd to think that I might not call home again.  The next time that I talk to you might be face to face.

I love you!

Hermana Bush

Friday, December 17, 2010

Almost Christmas


I can´t believe that it is almost Christmas time.  There is only one week left. It has been a pretty uneventful week. We are still struggling to get Clara to go to church.  She is so positive and wants to get baptized but she always has something happen on Sunday mornings.  It is kind of frustrating but I really love teaching her.  She understands everything.  The other problem that she has is that she is not married.  We can only put pressure but she is the one that has to talk to her partner which she does but doesn´t want to make him mad so she backs off.  We really want her to get baptized this week but I don´t know how much more we can do but be patient.

We are also teaching a man named Joaquin who is positive but he is going out of town for a week.  But he is about 55 years old and is taking care of his nieces children.  So he lives with two kids and it is so great to see how much he loves them and how much he cares for them. He has a son that lives somewhere else and is member of the church so he is interested in what we have to say, AND he is currently not going to any church.  That is the hardest part of this area is that every one is active in the Catholic church or an evangelical
church.  I have learned a lot about the evangelical churches here in El Salvador.   These are the churches that scream and speak in ¨ tongues ¨ and touch peoples foreheads and they fall to the ground.  In the 80s there was a civil war here and before there was only the Catholic church but with the war, the evanglical churches started springing up and they appealed to poor because they promised blessings of safety and riches and so they appealed to the needs of the people unlike the Catholic church which just did the normal service of Mass and didn´t appeal to the needs of the poor only the rich.  So that is why the evangelical churches have had so much success in El Salvador. Claudia was telling us that she attended a baptist church here which is part of the category of evangelical and she went to the states and went to the baptist church and it was totally different and things were calm and people didn´t scream  but just listened.  It is funny that the same church can be so different in other parts of the world.

This week we had a daughter of a less active member go to church.  She had been to church a lot years ago.  We asked her why she didn´t get baptized years back.  She is catholic but just goes to our church to
support her mom.  She said that are so many beautiful things about our church but she has just grown up with so many different beliefs.  For instance she believes in the Virgin Mary.  That is a big problem for us down here in an area that is mainly Catholic.  Everyone believes and worships the Virgin Mary.  We can try to explain worshipping idols but people have been catholic all their lives and don´t feel the need to change because they are happy.  Where we lived before, we lived right next to a big Catholic church that was called ¨La Trinidad de la Tierra¨ or ¨The earthly trinity¨ and then it lists Joseph, Mary and Jesus.  These are just a few of the examples of things that we see on a daily basis.  In fact Hermana Salazar from Honduras says that it is different here.  Where she is from almost nobody goes to church and now she is in a country that practically everyone goes to church or at least says they do.  But I think that it is great that it is so religious. There are so many more opportunities for members to share their testimonies because everyone talks about religion and everyone knows what church you go to. Sometimes when we contact people on the street we will ask them for a reference and then they start listing off the religions of every single house on the block.

So, I have a couple more Spanish Christmas songs for you:  Campanas de Belén, Burrito Sabanero and Ven a mi Casa Esta Navidad.  I hope that you can utilize one of those for the family band.  Hermana Salazar started singing Campanas de Belén and I barely know any of it and yet it is always stuck in my head!  So like I said last week, we have transfers this coming week before Christmas.  I don´t think anything will change with us but we never know.   We have had some great experiences together and I really do love my companion.

Thanks for everything.  We are enjoying our time and working our hardest.

Hermana Bush

Friday, December 10, 2010

The days before Christmas

¡Hola Familia!

I hope that everything is going well for everyone.  We surely have had a festive week.  I cannot believe that it is almost halfway through with December!  How time flies by.  I was just thinking that it is crazy how it is already the 7th of December and I looked at my agenda and today is the 10th!  I really can´t believe it. So, we have had something to do every day this week.  On Sunday we got to watch the Christmas devotional. We watched it with Claudia.  I don´t know if Claudia is going to progress more than she has.  She wants to be a part of the church but has so many problems with the doctrine.  It is so frustrating to see some one so close but will not accept everything.  And her friends have been telling her a lot of rumors about the church.  We haven´t dropped her but we have been thinking about it.  But it is sad leaving people that you have a good relationship with and they truely are people that you love.

On Monday we had an activity with all the sisters in the mission.  We got to play soccer together which was really fun and then we went to the house of President to eat lunch and then we got to decorate their house with the Christmas decorations.  I was priviledged enough to put the star on the tree since I am the tallest.  It was a lot of fun and then Presidente and Hermana Lopez gave us hair straighteners for a Christmas present.  Sometimes it is annoying to be a sister in the mission but other times it all pays off when the mission president gives you presents.  Then on tuesday we had a multizone conference.  Then with district meeting on Wednesday.  And then on Thursday we went to the house of President Lopez again as a district.  The zone leaders wouldn´t tell us why we had to go so we went scared that something bad was going to happen but then when we got there we ate a big lunch with sausage, steak, potatoes, avocados, and other stuff.  I hadn´t eaten so well for more then a year and then the 6 of us filled 200 ziploc bags with candy in preparation for Mission Christmas party.  It was fun and something different.  And then today is pday again!  We are having a little problems in the area because people leave town and then almost all of our investigators are sick.
Mom keeps asking me to look for native Christmas songs but there aren´t really any here.  I asked my companion if she knew any from Honduras and she didn´t either.  But the other day we were sitting on the bus and some older men got on the bus to play a song.  And they played this really cute Christmas song.  Unfortunately I don´t know what they said or what the song is called but they repeated the words ¨El arblolito lindo de Navidad¨  a lot.  Maybe you can find that song.  Other than that, the Christmas preparation is pretty much the same that it is in the states.  

We are working on trying to find new people to teach but this can be a very difficult task when you have to talk through an intercom or contact people by yelling through their ¨garage door¨.  We contacted an inactive lady who hasn´t gone to church for 15 years and we found out that she has now been baptized in 5 other churches and she is now receiving Bible study by the Jehovah´s witnesses.  If you get baptized in every church I guess you will be sure to have gotten a true baptism at one time or another.
In case anybody is worrying about my foot, it feels a lot better.  On saturday it really bad and when I looked at it, it was just a giant blister on the bottom of my foot.  But it felt good enough on Monday to play soccer:)

We are doing just fine.  Please pray for us.  We want to have baptisms this month and little by little time is just flying by.  We are working hard.  We have transfers in a week and a half right before Christmas, but I am pretty sure that we are both going to pass Christmas together in this area.
I love you so much.


I want to give a special thanks to Sister Lewis who sent me a nice package.  It was very nice and we enjoyed opening it.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Well this has been a very interesting week. I never told you guys but about a month ago something appeared on the bottom of my foot.  For a long time I was looking for a rock in my shoe and never found one. Then I found it on the bottom of my foot.  So I asked Hermana Clark when we were together and she said that she thought it was a planters wart.  So I told the nurse and then things got busy but I was finally able to go to the doctor today.  And he said that it wasn´t a wart but it was just dead skin underneath my skin that was just a ball and so it feels like a little rock.  He said that he could cut it out and so he did but then he said that it would just grow back and so he froze it too.  And now I am free of my little rock but now I have a whole in my foot and it hurts!  But he said that it shouldn´t hurt too much after the week end.  And I can still walk fine with a little limp. But I will adjust. Hermana Salazar said that I finally went to the ¨patologo¨ (for those of you who remember my story the other week). So that is what we did this morning.  It was a very thrilling morning out and about.  But it was enjoyable.

Our cook is named Jenny and she is also a recent convert from August decided that she wanted to go out with us and so she got a taxi and we went to my appointment and then we ate lunch at Burger King. Mom asked me about the Christmas decorations here.  Some people do decorate and it is really pretty but not nearly as elaborate as in the states.  But every time we walk past a house with Christmas lights or a tree, Hermana Salazar and I look at it longingly. So, today we also went to a store that is the same idea of a dollar store or really a place that sells cheap junk and we bought a little Christmas tree and some cheap lights that might break before we get home.  But now we can have a little bit of Christmas in our house.  Weather wise, it is still hot. I am surprised it is still hot too.  People had always said that December and January are cold months but I don´t know what they were talking about.  Sometimes it feels slightly brisk but normally it is just hot.

We have had some really great experiences this week.  I think I have told you about Clara.  She is an investigator that we have been teaching for a while that still hasn´t been able to go to church.  On Saturday we taught her and she accepted a baptismal date in December. She told us that she was talking to her mom about the church and invited her to go.  She said that she wanted to tell her mom that her church wasn´t true but didn´t have the heart to do it. Clara has only one problem....she isn´t married to her companion.  We told her that she has to get married first but she has really put her mind of getting baptized the 18th of December and I know that she can do it. And she was going to go to church on Sunday but then she had a fight with her boyfriend so she was going to leave him but then came back the next day.

So, things are coming right along.  We had a second meeting for the new missionaries and then we had a multizone conference and so I feel like we have been in meetings all week long but it is not true. We are excited for the holiday season.  Now we can decorate our little house.  Oh, that´s the other thing that happened this week is we changed houses.  We finally found a little apartment and we went to see it with the zone leaders and they signed for it.  So we are now in a cute little apartment that is a lot nicer.  We still don´t have a big mirror but we are surviving with little make up mirrors.  Well, I love you all so much!

¡Feliz Diciembre!

Hermana Bush