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

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