Thursday, May 26, 2011

Saludos El Salvador

My mom has been bugging me for three weeks to write a final email. I want to thank everyone for all the support that I received on my mission. It truly was a wonderful time in my life. The last couple of days on the mission were great days. On Monday night, an elder from the office called to tell us that I had to go to a special meeting in the office in the morning on Tuesday. So I went and met up with the 3 other gringa sisters who were going home. This was a change because we thought it was a meeting for everyone that was going home. And it turns out that it wasn't a meeting but we were there for a special surprise. We got to have a special tour of the temple that is going to be dedicated in August. One of the sisters going home's uncle is in charge of temple construction in the church and so he made a special call and we were given a very special opportunity. We were the first and last missionaries to go through the temple until the open house. And while we were there, people were putting up the crystals on the chandeliers in the celestial room and the sealing rooms and so we passed the afternoon setting up chandeliers.

Then when it was all over I went back to my area and I was able to see the baptisms of the dad (Elmer who quit smoking) and his son (Pablo). It was a very emotional day but a day that I will never forget. I could not have picked a better last day in the mission. I would have never thought that I would have been given the chance to enter the temple in El Salvador and then to be able to see Elmer's and Pablo's baptism after we had taught them for more than 3 months.

Then like icing on the cake, as I was in the airport waiting for my flight in Houston, some lady starting chatting with me and wanted to know about the church and then told me that everything we believe in is a lie. She doesn't even believe that Jesus is the Christ. And as she was talking to me, I realized more than ever that I know that Jesus is the Christ and the Savior of the world. I know that God loves us and knows us and because of this love, sent us a living day prophet. I am so grateful that I was called on a mission to El Salvador by a prophet of God. The church is true.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Two Final Pictures

Hermana Izaguirre is at the house of Hermana  Ena (2). 

Hermana Bush poses with a little girl in Guatemalan garb at the yucca festival.

The last email

This is the last email of my mission!  How weird how time has flown by.  I feel so strange because the mission has been my life for so long and now everything is going to go back to normal.  This last week has been a good week.  We had a multizone conference on Tuesday.  As part of the multizona, the missionaries that are going home have to share their testimony.  I have been surprised that I haven´t had the desire to cry because normally I am a baby. But I successfully bore testimony without crying:)  On thursday we had a yucca festival as a stake activity.  It was almost all day long.  It was suppose to start at 2 but as we are talking about an LDS activity in Latin America, the activity started at 4.  It was a fun activity because it was a missionary activity by the stake and we didn´t have to do anything besides greet people at the door.  The had special dance acts to start and that was fun because Claudia Viana (my convert from Casa Blanca about a year ago) danced with her ward and we talked and told me how happy she is.  Then after all the acts, we ate yucca!  Every ward brought a different style of yucca.  For those of you who don´t know, yucca here is like a potato but just a tad different.  But it is a root just like a potato.  Apparently Chalchuapa is famous for its yucca.

This week is the Semana Santa or Holy Week.  But I don´t really understand Latin holidays because it seems like every latin holiday is a good excuse to drink and dance.  Hermana Izaguirre doesn´t believe me that I don´t like to dance or go to discotecas and I can´t believe that she likes to do that.  But we must accept our differences:)

They announced in sunday that I was ending my mission and they asked me to share my testimony and the whole ward was telling me how much they´ll miss me and how much I´ve changed their lives and how I am the best missionary they´ve met.... well, maybe they didn´t say all of that:)  But the ward was really nice to me and they made me feel like I made a difference here.  And people have been inviting us to eat and everything but we can´t just hang out all of the time.  We have to work a little bit too.  Hermanas Enas were both crying at church. Hermana Ena (2) had invited us to make tamales and so we learned how to make tamales.  Hermana Ena (1) invited us over and surprised me with a fish dinner which was delicious.  After the dinner we went to visit a couple that we have been working with for a long time (the husband isn´t a member and the wife really wants him to be) and they had bought me a little cake that we shared and that tasted really

The familia Hernandez Amaya (the family that the dad is excommunicated) invited us over to eat toreja wich is a special bread dipped in milk and then egg and then fried with a sugar sauce.  It tasted really good and then later I realized it was almost exactly french toast.  Needless to say, we have been eating a lot of good
stuff lately:)  And I think being invited over a lot of places makes my companion happy that I am going home because she love to eat. Hermana Izaguirre is scared for the next transfer we have been together for more than 4 months and this transfer she is going to train.  So, she is really nervous and she doesn´t want things to
change.  But as I have learned in the mission, life is about changes. I am really going to miss the mission as it has been my life.  I have learned so much and the hardest part about leaving the mission isn´t
leaving the lifestyle of a missionary or fear of another change but the hardest part is definitely leaving the people I have learned to love.  But I know that when I go home, I am going to be with people I love even more.  I feel like I have been diligent in my service and now I can say that Heavenly Father is pleased with my work.  Now we just have to wrap up the next four days and I will be ¨home¨ again.

Well, I am sure that I am going to love Maryland. Really, I thought that by ending the mission I would cry everyday but that is not the case.  It sad to leave the mission but I know that I can´t be on the mission my whole life and I have to move on with my life. I know without a doubt that this is the Lord´s work.  I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ and that the church has been restored by a prophet of God.  God is our loving Heavenly Father and Christ lives. How great it is to end the mission after celebrating the most
spiritual event of all mankind.

I love you so much.
Hermana Bush

Monday, April 18, 2011



Time just keeps flying by!  I can´t believe that I only have a week and a half left.  It is very strange because my companion is more ¨baggy¨ (trunky as they say in most missions) than I am.  It has been an interesting week.  On Monday, we ate a big breakfast and since my companion made most of it, we ate it is the latin way: everything fried.  After I ate I did not feel good. But we went throughout the whole day and we went to buy everything we needed.  When we were at the grocery store, I felt terrible and all the food made me feel worse.  When we finally got home, I ran to the bathroom and threw up. I think it was from eating so much fried things.  The nurse told us to take it easy and on tuesday morning I felt just fine.  But then on Wednesday I got a cold and on Thursday I could barely talk.  But now I feel just fine again.  Many return missionaries says that it is normal to get sick before going home because of all the stress.  But I feel just fine again.

Yesterday we had 2 baptisms of Cindy and Jorge who are brothers. Cindy is 18 and Jorge 8 years old.  Hermana Ena told us that Cindy was telling the whole world that she was going to get baptized and that she is going to be a missionary.  That makes us happy.  We were going to have 4 baptisms yesterday but that is another story.

Hermano Elmer has stopped smoking!  He now has a week and a half of not smoking.  We are so proud of him but he just thanks God saying that he knows that he was freed from captivity (Mosiah 7:33).  So we were so happy.  His wife said that she wasn´t ready to get baptized but Hermano Elmer and Pablito (8 years old) were good to go.  They even had their interviews.  But on Thursday night, Hermano Elmer called and thanked us for everything that we had done and that they didn´t want to continue receiving us.  That was a terrible night.  We had an appointment for the next day so we started praying and fasting to be able to know what to say and do.  The zone leaders went with us and Hermano Elmer started to say how he didn´t want his wife to be obligated to the church and that they need to be united and how he was baptized in the Catholic church as a baby (and we have talked about this about a million times) and he was just so confused.  Then his wife said that she has always been supportive and so if he wants to get baptized, then he needed to do it but the worst thing to do would to not get baptized just because she didn´t feel ready.  Then we talked about the authority, baptism by immersion, the example of Jesus Christ, the restored gospel and so on.  The spirit was so strong and at the end, Elmer said that he wanted to get baptized especially to be an example for his own family.  It was such a great experience and we were so grateful that God heard our prayers and answered them.  So we were so excited! When we went back on Saturday afternoon (they were going to get baptized on Sunday) Hermano Elmer had chicken pox! And he had a fever and felt terrible.  It has been the week of diseases.  So that is why they didn´t get baptized.  It was not because they weren´t willing or ready, but because it is chicken pox time and everyone has chicken pox.  Luckily I have already had chicken pox and so it doesn´t
affect our work.  But we are planning on having the baptisms this weekend if they feel better.

Today we went to the dentist for the last time for Hermana Izaguirre (we have been about 4 or 5 times) and while we were in Santa Tecla, we stopped by the temple.  It is absolutely gorgeous.  It was exciting to see it again and this time without scaffolding!  So I am sending you pictures of the temple as is today.  Here we are starting the ¨semana santa¨ or holy week.  People always say it is the hottest time of the year, and it really has been hot here.  Today has been a bit cloudy so we are trying to soak in this break from the son.

Yesterday we also had stake conference so I got to see a lot of people from my first area and they were all happy to see me. I will miss Chalchuapa and I have passed more than half of my mission in the stake.  I still have one more pday left!

I love you
Hermana Bush

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Crazy Life

Hello again!

Time is flying by. It has been a pretty normal week. There is a family that is in our ward and the son and mom are recent converts and the dad is an excommunicated member from 10 years back and he is trying to be able to get baptized again. We have really grown to love this family. There are two other sons but one is 6 years old and the other is a baby. This family has no money and tuesday was the birthday of the oldest son. Hermana Izaguirre and I wanted to do something special. We bought a cake and some other things and we went to their house. Douglas (the birthday boy) wasn´t there yet and so the parents told us to hide in the bedroom. When Douglas got home, they asked him to get a diaper and he opened the door and we jumped out while blowing on those annoying horn things. He almost had a heart attack but was really grateful for everything as well as the family was really happy. During Christmas time, mom sent me some of those bracelets that have shapes to them that are apparently so popular. At Christmas time I hadn´t seen them before but now they are all over the place. So we gave him some bracelets. He told us that the kids at school wanted to buy them from him the next day. We were so happy to be able to make a difference to this family. They are really something special and are passing through a really difficult situation.

Other happy news is that Elmer Barillas now has 2 days without smoking! We are so happy. He had told us that he heard that the first three days are the hardest. So he has 2 down and one more to go (today). We are praying that this family will be able to get baptized. The other problem is the wife. She is a little bit more rebellious and says that she can´t quit drinking coffee. But she follows the counsel of her husband and he says that he is going to lock the doors so she can´t leave to buy coffee in the store.

We are finding many positive investigators through are recent convert Ena. She wants everyone to go to church and that is helping us a lot. We were teaching one of her friends that went to general conference named Rosa who is 22 years old. Rosa was telling us that she has never visited churches before and has never liked any one of them but she liked conference. She said that there is an evangelical church near her house and when people are having marital problems, they pray that either the wife or the husband will die and the other will be left widowed. Crazy El Salvador!

We´ve been having to go to the dentist recently for Hermana Izaguirre and that means that we have to wake up at 4:30 some mornings to catch the bus at 5:30 which means that I am really tired. While we were in the waiting room at the dentist´s office, I completely fell asleep and Hermana Izaguirre had to wake me up saying that she was done. Yesterday was an interesting day at church. It rained in the morning and so that means that many people don´t go to church. It is funny that we can be in a country that it rains half of the year. And this half of the year, people don´t leave their houses. But also for some reason the electricity and the water were out in the church and so the bathrooms smelled terrible and so we only had sacrament meeting. It was a very strange Sunday and we felt like we were in the twilight zone.

We are working hard for the baptisms of the familia Barillas and two other people (Cindy and Jorge) this week and only time will tell. I was talking to Hermana Izaguirre about the stress of the mission and the hard part about it is that are success relies a lot on the agency of other people.We are still working hard and I know that the Lord is blessing us for our efforts. We hope that we will soon see the fruits of our labors. I can't believe how fast the time goes.

I love you all.
Hermana Bush

Monday, April 4, 2011


Hello family!

I can´t believe that it is already April! Time is flying by. We had a little activity today with 3 other zones and about 5 Elders asked me when I was going home. But it is really strange to think that in less than a month I will be sleeping on the couch in the family room. No, I am only joking about that but really it is strange. People go through their whole missions (especially me because I was with the nurse) seeing other people going home and thinking how weird is that and I never thought that my time would actually come. But I still have 3 weeks left and we are hoping to see many miracles. We have found a lot of positive people this week and yesterday for the first session of Sunday conference, we had 8 investigators. So we were happy about that.

Everyone in the ward was so excited because we were going to watch conference in our new building over the internet. Which was all fun and dandy except for the internet problems that always pop up during conference. On Saturday morning we were so excited and we went to the church at 9:20 and no one was there. We waited 20 minutes and one person showed up. So we knocked on the door of the first counselor and he was annoyed that he had to go open the church and after everything, we got to start watching the conference at 10:30. But it is sad because the thing I like most is hearing where they are going to build more temples and worst of all, I didn´t get to hear that they are going to build another temple in Colorado! But, I am not from Colorado, I am from Maryland now:) But conference was great. I watched 3 sessions in Spanish and 1 in English. Everyone was teasing me about the talks about marriage and everything. One Elder said that in the priesthood session the prophet talked about not waiting. But I guess when I like to tease others, I have to be willing to take it too.

After conference I was so tired and I think that is because I watched it in Spanish and I have to concentrate a lot harder. But I learned a lot. We especially liked the talk by President Uchtdorf because it was perfect for our investigators.

We have seen a lot of miracles and we are seeing a lot of progress. Hermana Ena (2) is a really great missionary and is inviting a lot of people to church. On Tuesday morning we had a lesson with 5 investigators with her. And she really knows that the work must go on! We are working hard with the Familia Barillas. The dad went to the conference (the mom couldn´t because the son has chicken pox. Luckily I have already had that). The dad says that there is a lot of hope and that the spirit is illuminating their minds. Keep on praying for them.

I love you all so much!

Thanks for everything.

Hermana Bush

Monday, March 28, 2011

The US in El Salvador

This week has been good and bad. It started off with a very interesting visit to El Salvador from Barak Obama. He came to visit for 2 days and the whole world was telling me that my President was here to change the world. So I just replied and told them about how we ate lunch with him and then I showed Obama around San Salvador:) There were advertisements everywhere and none of us missionaries were allowed to take a bus to San Salvador for two days. We weren´t going to go any way. A little old lady that is an inactive member was showing us the newspaper and the back of every page had an advertisement for Obama. Then the little old lady started to talk
about how she remembers when the US went to the moon and how now the moon belongs to the earth and that the moon is about 5 times bigger than the earth. We tried to correct her crazy ideas but she has a lot of reason: she is older and has more life experience.

On Friday we had to go to San Salvador for Hermana Izaguirre to go to a dentist. The nurse put the appointment and the only time they had open was at 3:30 in the afternoon so we spent the whole day doing nothing. When we finally got back to Ciudad Real we had two quick appointments and that was a day. But she is happy because she doesn´t have to get her root canal redone but only has to go to another dentist to be able to fix the fake tooth that they made.

We had two baptisms this week: André and Ena. It was a not very well attended baptism because there was a temple trip to Guatemala the same day and most of the ward went. But enough people went that we were happy and we are determined to pay more attention to the announcements on Sunday mornings to be aware of activities that go on. André was happy to get baptized and his great grandpa came from San Salvador to do the baptism. Hermana Ena was also really happy. She is such a blessing for us. They both were actually. But Hermana Ena went to church alone with her little granddaughter and then started inviting all of her neighbors and friends to go to church. We hope that she can always be faithful. One thing about being in El Salvador is that I can´t guess the age of any one because they are so sun burned and so they look a lot older than they really are. I thought Hermana Ena was about 70 years old but she is 54! She is younger than mom and I couldn´t tell!

We have been working hard. The Familia Barillas is facing doubts. Even though they accepted a baptismal date, the dad continues with the same doubts about why he has to get baptised again. We have taught about the authority many times. One morning when I was studying, I thought, why don´t we stress baptism by immersion instead of authority. So we taught a good lesson about that and we asked the dad if he had more doubts. He said ¨no, it´s true. We need to follow the example of Jesus Christ in everything.¨ But then they say they will get baptised ¨si Dios quiere¨ or if God wants it. Of course he does! But we are struggling to get them to really commit to baptism but not feel too much pressure because I think they are feeling too much pressure.

We will continue to pray for them. I hope that everything is good on the home front.

I love you all!

Hermana Bush

Monday, March 21, 2011


So much has happened this week!  It has been a really great week. Last week at church a señora named Ena (not the one that got baptized in January) randomly showed up that isn´t a member.  We asked her who invited her and she said, ¨nobody, only God.¨  On tuesday we had a real adventure finding her house.  We have never been to that part of the area where she lives and so we were waiting at a bus stop where Ena and another member were going to meet with us to go to the house of Ena.  We waited for a half an hour and no one showed up.  And finally the member showed up (but the member was just going to accompany us and doesn´t know where Ena lived).  So we decided to go exploring.  We found a little colonia where a lot of people live but nobody knew Ena.  We only knew one thing about the house: that it was made of wood.  So we searched for about an hour and we finally found a house made of wood.  There was a lady bathing and we could just see her head and she said that her mom left looking for us and went to the bus stop.  So we go back to the bus stop and they said that a lady went there looking for us so we go back to the house and right before reaching the house, we run into Hermana Ena.  We were just going in circles with her.  She lives in a really beautiful area. There are fields all around and there are cows grazing in the fields and it was so beautiful.  And on top of that Ena loves the church and wants to get baptized.

We had another adventure.  We had to go the Santa Tecla on tuesday morning and we were coming back to Ciudad Real.  The bus stopped right in front of the church building which normally doesn´t happen and we were discussing if we should get off then or if we should wait till the real bus stop about a quarter of a mile ahead of us.  The bus was stopped for a long time and Hermana Izaguirre said, ¨well, let´s get off.¨ So I had one foot in the air getting off the bus and it starts moving.  I didn´t want to be in two places at once (the bus and the ground) so I jumped off of the bus and the bus went on with my companion.  I was completely alone for three minutes!  It was a strange sensation but we had a really good laugh.

Then we had another adventure.  One night when we came home, we planned and ate pupusas and then I went to put my plate in the sink. And as I did that, an animal jump from the sink and landed on the wall.  I was a frog about the size of a palm!  We screamed for a while and then we had to call some member children that live close to get the frog out and they were happy to do so.  Then they have been teasing us ever since because we are woosies and we didn´t want to touch the frog.

We are really happy because we are still teaching the Familia Barillas and they accepted a goal.  We told them to put a date for their baptism themselves and gave them a pen and their calender.  Then the mom said¨well then we have to do it before Hermana Bush leaves!¨ So they chose the 16th of April.  We are excited and animated to see them progress more now that they have put a baptismal date.  The dad is still smoking but before he was smoking 8 a day and now it is 3 or 2.  But he does want to stop and we have been trying to help him make a plan to stop.

We went to the dentist this morning in Santa Tecla for Hermana Izaguirre and in order to do it, we only had to wake up at 4:30.  And now we have to go back on Tuesday or Thursday.  We can´t wait.

We are really happy with the progress of our investigators.  I hope everything is going well on the home front.

I love you
Hermana Bush

Monday, March 14, 2011

I don´t like making up titles

I can´t believe that it is pday again! Time sure flies by. And the big news is... we don´t have transfers. I was kind of surprised because we thought for sure Hermana Izaguirre would be changed but no. I have never been with a companion for 3 transfers but I guess there is a first thing for everything. I kind of like having transfers but I realized that I am happy to not have any change because we already have a good relationship and we know how each other works and we can just work really hard this transfer without having to adjust to anything. So many things have happened this week and one of the was not the baptism of Karla. We were sad about that but I had already had the feeling that her dad was not going to give her permission. But we are still going to work on it. Her dad is nice to us even though everyone says that he is a bomb ready to explode. So, maybe we will be able to see her baptism someday.

Despite that, we had a really good Sunday. I have already written about the familia Barillas. They are so wonderful and are still progressing. They told us this week that they weren´t going to be able to go to church because they were going to go visit family. But on Sunday we passed their house early in the morning and they said that they didn´t go to see their family and they were already getting ready to go to church. The dad smokes and this week he said, I am trying, but I can´t quit smoking. He continued to tell us that when he goes to church, he doesn´t want to smoke at all on Sunday but he gets really antsy and his nerves start shaking. Even though he feels like he can´t do it, I saw a lot of hope because he has a sincere desire to quit smoking and that is the first step. And he knows that the church is something special and he feels peace when he goes. We love this family and we are going to do everything we can so that they can be faithful members. Yesterday at church, Jaime blessed the sacrament and we were so happy. He is the wierdo that got baptized in February. We know that he is strange but we love him so much. We feel like he is our baby and that he is growing up. On Saturday he went to the single adult activity and he helped the cook make enchiladas. So we feel like the ward is friendshipping him and making him feel needed. He said that from blessing the sacrament he felt. Our little baby is growing up so fast:) and now he is not so wierd.

Dad asked about Roberto. Well, there is not much to say about him. He disappeared this week and then showed up Saturday night ready to go to church on Sunday. He is so strange. In district meeting we were telling them about him and the zone leaders didn´t believe that we had an investigator stranger than Jaime but yes, we do. But Ciudad Real is really full of strange people. There are tons of good people and tons of wierd people.

Yesterday we had another blessing. The bishop interviewed a member who was inactive but now always goes to church who had a 10 year old son. He randomly asked ¨And your son is baptized right?¨ And she said.... ¨No¨. So, we have a new investigator! And he is going to get baptized the 26th of March! We felt blessed. And the best thing about it is that he is already an active member and just didn´t get baptized when he turned 8. So we visited them and they are really excited about his baptism and his great grandpa is going to come from San Salvador to do the baptism. So, that is about it with the investigators.

We are starting into the hottest months of the year and recently insects called ¨langostas¨ having started appearing everywhere. If anyone knows, I am terrified of almost every creepy crawly thing. And these langostas aren´t an exception because they are gigantic grass hoppers! Just thinking about them makes me cringe. When we were talking with the familia Barillas, the dad was telling us that one landed on him when he was working. I get shivers thinking about it. I love El Salvador but it would be a better country with out langostas. And this week I also got to try a new delicousy.... Tongue. I knew that people ate tongue but vaguely. So Hermana Ena (that got baptized in January) cooked us up some toungue. I also got cringes thinking about eating toungue. I don´t know why but I am not terribly adventurous with my food. But it did taste really good. She said that the next time she is going to cook us pig ears. Mmm, I can´t wait.

So now I only have one transfer left. I have been thinking about what I have learned on the mission. Yesterday we visited a member and she is really opinionated. The home teachers knocked on the door but she told them to come back when her family was home. So naturally we asked who were her home teachers and then she started to talk about one of them saying that he was the ugliest person she had ever seen and it is obvious why he isn´t married because no one wants to marry someone is so ugly and went on and on and on. She says things like this all the time. But when I thought about it, I realized that this is one thing that I have learned on the mission: the love God has for everyone. I doesn´t matter what we look like, God loves each and every one of us unconditionally and that is how we should love too. Mandy also wrote about that in her letter. That God loves us and that everyone needs the opportunity to hear the gospel in order to have true happiness. And even then, if we don´t change our lives, the gospel is in vain. Jesus Christ suffered for us but we have our agency to choose between eternal life or captivity. When we know the gospel and don´t change our own lives, we are not applying the atonement of Jesus Christ in our lives and we don´t really know Him. I know I am not perfect but I know that we are all children of God.

I am so happy to be a missionary. I know that I am called of God to bring about this marvelous work. And I am even more happy because we are going to play kickball today!

I love you so much.

Hermana Bush

Today I almost left the house without my nametag. How embarrassing. I don´t want to be like every other pedestrian.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Keep on trucking


First off I want to tell Isaac that I am excited for him especially because he wants to go there (Hong Kong-Mandarin speaking)!  When I got my mission call, someone in the ward told me to choose a place that I wanted to go.  I wanted to learn another language but I didn´t think that I would.  So I thought, I want to go out of the country but probably to a place that speaks English.  So I thought about all my options and I decided to go to Australia.   And look, here I am in El Salvador.  But I am happier here than I would have been in Australia.

I am sending you a photo of Jaime´s baptism.  He is in the middle of his parents. Well, life keeps going on.  I can´t believe that it is already March. This is the last week of the transfer and like always, every one is talking about all the gossip.  I am pretty sure that I will be staying here for my last transfer but like always, you never know.  We have had a really good week.  We put 2 baptismal dates with our investigators.  One is named Karla.  She is 15 years old.  She lives here in Ciudad Real but all of her aunts and uncles and grandparents live in Santa Ana and all her family on her dad´s side are recent converts from last year.  We have been teaching Karla off and on.  She has always wanted to get baptized but had never gotten permission. But the other day, we went and her mom said, ¨I have been thinking a lot about Karla´s baptism and if she wants to get baptized, she should get baptized.¨ So she is going to get baptized on Saturday!  Really we only need permission from one parent but we need to talk to the dad and everyone is scared of him because he is always mad.  We´ll see how things turn out this week.  We also set a baptismal date with Roberto.

He is crazy too.  Really I think that everyone in Ciudad Real is a bit crazy.  But Roberto has such a desire to learn.  No one likes to visit him with us because he talks non stop, but I can see that he has a good heart under it all.  He is a bit doubtful and really not sure what he wants but he accepted and we are praying that he can have a strong conviction.

This week Elder Falabella from the seventy came to visit us.  He is in the area presidency here so he has strong ties to the missionary work here and really helped us understand our purpose. I got my package this week and that was exciting.  I had an epiphany. Here in El Salvador it is mango season.  Last year I tried mangos and I didn´t really like them but then mom sent me the dried mangos that I love from Costco, and I realized that I like dried mangos, why shouldn´t I like eating mangos?  So, it still isn´t mature mango season and sound the mangos are going to be ripe and I will have to try them again.

This week we have met a lot of interesting people but none are quite as interesting as our neighbor that lives in front of us.  She is 67 years old and seems very nice and very loving and then she started to tell about 6 months ago, she was living in Apopa (in San Salvador) where all of her family lives and her nephew tried to kill her.  Poor thing.  She is diabetic and walks with a cane and she recounted a grousome (I don´t remember how to spell that) about how she made breakfast for her nephew one morning and then he went mad and started hitting her in the head with a meat hammer.  But luckily for her, she started to pray during the attack and all of a sudden he let go of her and she ran outside where her neighbors helped her.  I am so glad that I am not in San Salvador.  The part of San Salvador that is in our mission is safe but the other side sounds really scary.  But even despite all the things that happen to people here, they still have great faith.  A lot of people think that their trials are punishments from God but this lady is so grateful to be alive and is so grateful to be able to keep on trucking in this life. There is another member that have a disease and we were talking with her the other day and she said ¨I don´t know what I did but I must have sinned a lot so that God is punishing me with this disease.¨  But I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have.  God is a loving God
and a just God, and we need to learn from our trials.  And sometimes bad things happen to good people.  That is life.

We are still working with our family that we have.  This week the mom didn´t go to church but only the the dad and the kids.  And they haven´t accepted a baptism date because the dad honors his catholic baptism as a baby.  But we are hoping to have a breakthrough this week. I am really struggling to think of things to tell you this week.  It feels like time have flown by but nothing has happened!

Sounds like everyone is doing fine.  The work goes on everyday.  I love El Salvador and I love being a missionary!

Hermana Bush

Monday, February 28, 2011

Ups and Downs

Another week has just flown by!  It really has been a great week.  But it started off terrible.  A week ago there was a huge bus accident here in El Salvador.  For those who don´t know, the buses here are crazy and they pack as many people on the buses as they can especially monday mornings.  So last Monday, There was an accident involving 2 big buses and a big trailer or something.  But people have been pretty worried.  As of today, I think that 15 people died and 180 (or something) injured.  All I know is that it was a terrible accident. And one of the buses is one that we always take to go to San Salvador.

Then this same day, we had a zone activity in our new church building and while we were there, an elder sat on the counter top in the kitchen, and the countertop fell off from the wall.  So, now it is being help up by chairs and there was nothing we could do but tell the bishop.  So that is what made Monday a bad day.  But that has passed and the bishop didn´t get mad at us.  He is very nice:)

On tuesday we had interviews with President!  While he was teaching us he made something official.  I have known about this but it wasn´t ever official.  In June, they are going to change the boundaries of the mission.  Right now, we have one stake in San Salvador and the Department of La Libertad (where Santa Tecla is) which has 2 zones. As of June, these are going to be moved to the East mission and this mission is going to get a new name: El Salvador Santa Ana/Belice Mission and will only consist of the following departments in El Salvador: Santa Ana, Sonsonate, and Ahuachapán.  So two of my areas are going to be part of the other mission:  Palmeras and Miramonte. It is very strange that they are changing the boundaries because that is going to leave our mission even smaller.  President Lopez finishes his mission in June also so the new mission president will be the one making all the changes.  The new mission President is named Cordon and is also from Guatemala and is friends with President Lopez.  What are the odds?

We were blessed to finally have the baptism of Jaime!  After pushing back his baptism date 2 weeks, he finally did it.  It was really exciting.  Normally on baptisms days we are really stressed out but this time we weren´t (but that was a sign of stress to come!).  In the morning we went to the chapel to fill up the font.  We waited there and it took a little longer than normal.  But finally filled up.  When we turned of the water, we heard that water was leaking so we thought, that´s why it took longer to fill up because it wasn´t plugged.  It has a stopper where you just have to step on the stopper to plug and unplug it.  So we poked the stopper with a broom and the sound went away.  So we happily went to buy lunch and refreshment for the baptism. We returned at 1 (and the baptism was at 2) and the font had completely drained!  I looked at the stopper and there was the problem.  There is a plastic that makes the suction but had been maneuvered so the it was always pointed up instead of down to make the suction and stop the water.  So I fixed it and we hurriedly turned the water on again.  But then, the water went out.  That is a thing of the country. Sometimes there is no water in the tap or when there is no water in the tank you can´t get water in the church building.  So we called the zone leaders and they started filling up the font in Chalchuapa and we were running around with our heads cut off.  And we called the Elders quorum president who was going to perform the baptism and he ran to the church and was looking at the water system. The water tank of the church was almost fill but there was no pressure to get the water to the church.  So we called the bishop and he told him what to do.  He pushed a button that said ¨reset¨ and that put pressure in the water system and we started filling up the font and it filled in 25 minutes.  And that is what happened before Jaime´s baptism.  We had to sit down to relax for 5 minutes and be grateful that the problem was solved and that members came to support Jaime and his baptism was great.  We got to meet Jaime´s parents who are recent converts from December and January and are really great people.  The mom wanted to stay to see the confirmation but his dad was worried because his bishop said that he was going to receive the Aaronic Priesthood that same day and he had to go to church to get the priesthood.  We told him to call the bishop and push it back to next week and the mom was really supportive of this.  And so they did and they got to see the confirmation of their son.  It was fun to see the family growing in the church and see how happy Jaime´s parents were because they said that they had been praying for him every day before that he would meet the missionaries and accept the gospel.  And their prayers were answered.

Yesterday we had 6 investigators in sacrament meeting and that made us really happy.  We had a family go to church!  We love the Familia Barillas Nerio and they have been progressing and it is so beautiful to see.  There are 4 members of the family:  Elmer, Roxana (the parents), Pablo (8 years), and Diego (5 years).  We found them contacting but last week they told us that Pablo´s best friend at school is Franco, the son of our ward mission leader.  So finally the family went to church and after church Pablo and Diego were jumping up and down saying ¨I want to come next week!¨ And Bishop was happy that we had a family there and he gave them a nice welcome into the ward. Tonight we are going to have a Family Home Evening with them and we
are excited to see what they say about church!

It has been a good week and we are really excited.  Right now we have a lot of positive investigators and so we are really excited about the month of March to be able to see what kind of miracles we will see!

I love you
Hermana Bush

Monday, February 21, 2011

Emergency transfers

So we have big news! Last Monday at 10 o´clock at night the zone leaders called and said that we had emergency transfers and that Hermana Santos was leaving us to go to Miramonte in San Salvador.  So, we had to take her to San Salvador on tuesday morning.  That was a shock.  The missionary in Miramonte was also training but her new companion went home from depression.  That is sad that the mission can give people depression or that the first 3 months can feel really lonely and stuff.  But that is how things turned out and because there were an even number of missionaries in the mission, there was no need for a trio anymore.  So we are back to two: Hermana Izaguirre and me. We felt a little like Timon and Pumba.  Like we had been deserted but now we had readjusted and are happy.  And really it is better and a lot easier to not be in a trio.

We didn´t have our baptism of Jaime yet either.  He now needs to have an interview with President Lopez.  We don´t know what he did because that is private information but we do know that it was a long time ago and that he will probably pass and we will probably have his baptism this Saturday.  The funny thing about it is that there was an open house at the church and we were going to do his baptism afterwards. And apparently, after we left, the parents of Jaime showed up from San Salvador to see his baptism.  And guess what, they are recent converts from last month!!  Jaime never told us that his parents were members. He did tell us that a long time ago they had listened to the missionaries but they were really Catholic.  So when we saw him again
he said ¨Oh yeah, my parents are members.¨ Jaime is a very strange guy but yet we still love him.  He is 31 years old, attending school and sells bracelets and earrings on street corners as a side job.  The other day, we passed him and he was selling on the street corner and all of a sudden, he whipped out a broom and a bright orange sweatshirt. Then he wrapped the sweatshirt around his head and covered everything except a little slit for his eyes.  And then he began sweeping the sidewalk.  Other days we passed his and he is dressed all in black with a beanie on his head and he says that he is a ninja.  We know he is a strange guy, but he is our strange guy.

One funny thing is that when I am in a state of panic, I speak English.  The other day we were walking through a field and Hermana Izaguirre saw a snake.  She stopped suddenly and said ¨Culebra.¨ I didn´t hear what she said, only that it was something urgent and so I began saying ¨What?! What?!¨ And backing up quickly.  But then she has made fun of me since.  Months ago when I was with Hermana Salazar, I woke up one Saturday morning at 6.  But I thought it was Sunday and on Sunday we have to wake up at 5 so I went in to panic mode saying ¨What day is it?!  Today is Sunday?!¨ And I kept talking to her and she never answered me and I got annoyed and then I realized I was talking in English.

Not much else has happened.  The ward had an open house activity which was a bomb.  Almost nobody showed up.  Hermana Izaguirre was really annoyed but I was fine knowing that it wasn´t our activity and they
basically just invited us to go.

Well I love you all so much.  I can´t believe that it will soon be
March!  Time really flies by.

Hermana Bush

Monday, February 14, 2011

Feliz Día del amor y la amistad

Feliz Día del amor y la amistad (o para mí solamete de la amistad).

Another Valentine´s Day without someone special to share it with:(  No I am just joking.  It is funny because I didn´t even realize it was Valentine´s day till about an hour ago.  This week has been an interesting one.  And I am glad that it is over:)  We had so many meetings and things that we barely got to work till the weekend.  We had to go to immigration for me and for Hermana Santos.  I am officially a resident again.  Hermana Izaguirre wants be to tell you that we have a wonderful ¨love triangle¨ but she said ¨triangulo amoroso¨ in our companionship.  I had no idea that that was translatable into english.  But we do have a good time.  This week we are still working with Jaime Climaco.  He is an odd ball.  The bishop talked with him and we moved his baptism till this Saturday.  So we are going to have his baptism and we are excited.  I feel like with this week we can really help his so that his testimony grows and has the burning desire to be baptized.

We are also working with a guy named Fransisco who is 22 years old. He is the boyfriend of a member.  He is really nice but will only go to church if his girlfriend goes and she is less active.  But we are working with her too and she is sharing the gospel with her other friend named Oscar.  So on Thursday the Elders quorum had an activity playing soccer and we were walking past the church.  We passed his house and he was outside.  So we said, ¨Let´s go to church!  And you can play ball!¨ We had to persuade him into it but he went.  And when we got there his girlfriend and Oscar were sitting down and chatting!  We thought that we had done something really bad and that we got her in trouble.  But things turned out fine and we talked to her later and she said that it was normal.

On Sunday we had a terrible morning.  As a mission rule, we have to wake up at 5 and leave the house early to go knock on doors of members and investigators.  So we left the house and almost everyone told us they weren´t going to go to church!  We felt worthless.  And then as we were walking up to the church, 2 teenage girls were entering that were old investigators that we had dropped.  And they said that they went to church because we never passed their house again and if they wanted us to teach them, they had to go to church to talk to us.  So that was a miracle that we saw on Sunday and the rest of the day wasn´t so bad.

This morning we got to go to a baptism in Chalchuapa of a muchacha that Hermana Cash and I taught a year ago but she didn´t progress and started working and was never at home.  But a year later she returned to church and got baptized!  That was so exciting.  Her name is Erika Retana and it was a great experience.  I don´t have any more time.

But I love you all and we are working hard every day.  This is the work of the Lord and I love it.  It is great to be a missionary because the hand of the Lord is so prevalent in His work.

Hermana Bush

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Big News

The big news this week is we finally know when the temple will be dedicated! The dedication is the 21st of August! Well, now we know. This week has been kind of uneventful. We are now a trio. We got our new companion straight from the package. Her name is Hermana Santos and she is from....Honduras. It is strange that the majority of the Latin sisters are from Honduras and they just keep coming. She has got a lot of spunk but definitely misses Honduras. But we are going to change that. It is better here.

We are teaching a very interesting investigator. His name is Jaime Climaco. He has gone to church twice and we put a baptismal date with him for the 12th of February but the problem with Jaime Climaco is the typical evangelical church goer. ¨Everything is good¨ and ¨It is all one God¨. He believes everything which is good but he would also believe me if I said that I saw a vision that he should jump off a cliff. The day after we put a date with him we passed an evangelical cult near his house and there he was. So we are really confused about Jaime. Our district leader went with us one day and he too said that Jaime is very strange because has such a evangelical base and normally people like that don´t want to get baptized. We are going to see. We don´t want to go on if he is just ¨collecting¨ baptisms but we don´t know if his intentions are sincere or not. We are hoping for the best.

I am sending you a picture of Zona Chalchuapa this time. The best thing about this transfer is that there are 3 of us from Colorado! I have never been in a zone with another person from Colorado. We are truly a select group:) A while ago someone told me that I was from Maryland now but I still can´t claim it. I am sitting next to our new
companion Hermana Santos. I just can´t think of anything to write. How boring. I spent a lot of my free time this week reading Our Heritage which I finished and it was a very interesting book.

We are also teaching another guy named Giovanni who is the husband of a member. He has a lot of doubts but I think that we are closer than ever. He has talked to a ton of missionaries. But the difference this time is that they just had a baby and his wife wants them to be an eternal family. We went yesterday with the Elders quorum President and we had such a good lesson about the plan of salvation and we tied in the importance of the restoration and talked about his own desires and why he thinks it is important to find out for himself. He really is a powerful guy and will make a powerful convert. It is kind of fun being around new missionaries. They have their own trials and ajustments to make in order to put their whole heart in the work and I always feel really grateful to be a missionary. Really there is no greater calling. Right now it is really strange because there are other gringos in the cyber café and I am wondering out of all the places in El Salvador what are they doing in Chalchuapa? They actually kind of have a European vibe to them.

Well, I love you all so much. I love the gospel and I love being in El Salvador even though we sweat like pigs every day. The hot season is coming and I am realizing that I forgot how hot it does get here because it is only going to get worse! Oh no!

I love you
Hermana Bush

Monday, January 31, 2011

Transfers again

We are now ending a new transfer. And I have big news! I am not getting transferred! Okay that wasn´t really big news but it is so funny how much the missionaries gossip about transfers and so everything is big news. But it is big news because we are now going to be a trio. We are going to train a new missionary. I am excited but training takes so much patience and that is something that will be hard with Hermana Izaguirre. So we´ll get to meet our new companion tomorrow morning. And this transfer President is going to make Casa Blanca and Chalchuapa two separate areas again. For what I have to say, it´s about time. This week so much has happened. Today we are changing houses. We are still going to live in the same area but a different house. We are going to rent a house that Hermana Ena has but for cheaper. So we are busy packing everything up and not looking forward to the afternoon when we have to move. This week we had the baptism of Kenia. She is an almost 12 year old girl (her birthday is in February) and her brother is an active member. Kenia is really cute and so innocent and she was so excited for her baptism. We taught her everything in a week and a half and she studied to be able to remember everything. She had already been going to church before but we didn´t know she wasn´t a member. It is hard teaching kids because normally you have to take them to church and drop them off and then when you don´t go around to pick them up Sunday morning the become inactive members. But this is the great thing about Kenia is that she goes to church with her brother because she wants to go. She really is someone special and told us that she wants to serve a mission in Mexico. Now she only has to wait 10 years. I am sending pictures of the baptism. I want you to see how beautiful our baptismal font is. There is an inlayed mirror above the font. On Saturday when we went to fill up the font, we discovered that they didn´t give us the keys to open the door to the font so I (being the bigger companion) had to jump over the glass of the font to be able to start filling it up. We will

never make that mistake again. But it was necessary to fill the font. Hermana Lopez (President´s wife) told the mission that she was going to start doing cleaning checks. Every Friday morning she is going to go to a zone and look at 2 or 3 houses. She started last week and we cleaned like crazy Thursday night but then she didn´t come. So this week I wasn´t very anxious to make the house look spotless and then Friday morning the Elders called and said ¨She´s coming!¨ So we started cleaning like crazy, still not knowing which houses she was going to go to. Turns out that she took a trip to see our house and said it was really beautiful and then gave us a Snickers bar as a prize. Needless to say, we were really happy. Well, we are having a great time in Tazumal. We are excited for all the experiences we are going to have this new transfer and we know that Holy Ghost has guided us in this work. I am so grateful to be here. Oh, other news. Hermana Karl wanted to go home in June and emailed President to ask when she had to go home. He said that it is already

scheduled for April and she has to go home. I think it is because he goes home in June and it will be easier for him to get people home in April. So, looks like I am going home in April no matter what! So, now I only have two transfers left and that seems surreal. How strange. Still, there is no news about the temple dedication so we are still in limbo.

I love you!

Hermana Bush

Monday, January 24, 2011

No more trips to the city!

This week has been a great week. It has been a very busy week too. This week, we went to San Salvador three times and it is always a miserable 6 trips in bus. But don´t worry, I survived! On Thursday we had a special conference with Elder Jensen of the Presidency of the 70. It was really fun because the whole mission went (even Belice got to be there through Skype). I was really excited to see Hermana Salazar and the first thing she told me is that they had a baptism! She said Roxana got baptized. I don´t think that I told you about her because we had just found her when I left Miramonte. But when I was in Miramonte, we were desperately looking for people and I decided that there had to be someone in the area book that was ready to hear our message again. So one morning I was looking in the area book at all the old investigators for the past 2 years and on of the papers fell on the floor. And it was the paper of Roxana. I took that as a sign because I had looked in the area book how many times and never read about Roxana. So Hermana Salazar and I went looking for the house. And it took us a week to find the house. Over all I think we searched for the house for 6 hours just contacting on the street and asking people. And finally we found it. When we knocked on the door, her dad answered and we introduced ourselves and he said that Roxana was sleeping. He aked if she was expecting us which she wasn´t and he said ¨Oh well, I´ll wake he up.¨ Now that was strange in the first place because almost nobody wakes others up. They think it is disrespectful. She is about 30 years old and we taught her and she understood everything. She couldn´t go to church the week the last Sunday I was in Miramonte, but Hermana Salazar gave me the good news that she got baptized. I felt so happy. It really was a blessing to me to know that the Lord always provides a way and though I wasn´t there to be able to enjoy the baptism of Roxana, I know that she accepted our message and had the desire to be baptized and that God answered my prayers in Miramonte even when I didn´t know it till this week.

The conference with Elder Jensen was very good and I was ¨given¨ the opportunity to give the opening prayer. I am always chosen to say the prayer in front of the General Authority because I also had to do it when Elder Martino from the seventy (who is in the area presidency of Central America). But we learned a lot and we were inspired. We are happy to be in our area. The new church building is a real blessing for the ward and for us:) the missionaries. Yesterday at church we had 9 investigators! We are having a baptism on Saturday and we really have a ton of work to do. The are is huge and half of the area gets neglected because we can only do so much as two people.

So this week I asked President Lopez if he had any plans for Barrio Tazumal and he said, ¨Like what?¨ Hermana Izaguirre and I had been talking about the situation and that the ward would really benefit from another set of missionaries. So, we told him that and he said that it sounded like a really good idea and he was going to think about it more. We find out about transfers next Monday and transfers are on Wednesday. We are excited to see what will happen. Next week there might be 4 missionaries in Tazumal or maybe just 2 still. We both want to stay here in the ward so I hope that we can.

We have so many positive investigators right now and they are all eager to learn. We are excited to see where they will go and who else we will find this week.

I love ou all very much!

Hermana Bush

Monday, January 17, 2011


Hi family!

We are really happy because we had a baptism on Saturday and we got to have it in the new chapel. Hermana Ena got baptized and she is so great. I can imagine her being Relief Society President or something. I had such a sweet experience with her. And I mean sweet as in special and not meaning cool. Right after she was baptized, I took her her towel. I asked her how she felt and she looked at me and said, ¨I feel like crying¨ and then started sobbing. She said that she felt pure joy. It was such a tender moment. The whole baptism was just a special experience (beside the fact that the man who was going to baptize her showed up 45 minutes late). But the members said that it was extra special also and not just for being in the chapel but because of the person that got baptized. It was really beautiful.

At the baptism we met a young woman who said that she went to church last week with her older brother who is member and wants to baptized. That was a miracle. She went to church yesterday too. She is small but knows what she wants and talks like an adult. Every day we are counting our blessings from being here in this ward especially with the opening of the church building.

On sunday we had our the meeting in the new chapel. Normally our attendance is 120 but yesterday we had 210 people in sacrament. But most were from the stake. The chapel is really pretty and it is not just because I had been in El Salvador for a year. Although I can say how cool it is to have a pulpit that moves up and down. But all the members are in love with the chapel. And since all the stake was there, it was like having a family reunion for me because I saw all my old friends from Chalchuapa.

This week we have been really stretched for time. There is so much to do and too little time to do it. We had a meeting last week in Santa Tecla and this week we have two. Today, my companion had an appointment to go to the doctor and so we went to San Salvador (an hour and a half in bus) got there, found out at the office we had to take two buses to get there, went there and then they said that they couldn´t do the exam without a doctor´s referral. First of all, I have never heard of a doctor´s referral in El Salvador. To buy drugs you don´t even need a prescription. So, we got back on the bus to come home. We were both annoyed because it was our whole pday wasted away. But I am over it. Right now we are going to a recent convert´s house to eat pupusas so all our problems will be forgotten soon. But while we were in San Salvador we took the opportunity to take pictures of the temple. Nobody knows when the temple will be dedicated. Recently people are saying June. I´ll keep you posted on the latest temple gossip.

I love you all very much and I am so happy to be here.

Hermana Bush

Monday, January 10, 2011

Volcan El Chingo

This week has been really great! I don´t have much time so I will write fast. This week we put a baptism date with our investigator named Ena for the 15th (next Saturday). She is really great and she is really prepared and we are really excited because we haven´t been able to use the new church yet but the Bishop got permission and we can have the baptism there this saturday. It is the small things in life that make me happy. Also this week we had a fun experience making pupusas. The idea of making pupusas is really easy and preparing the ingredients is really easy but I just don´t understand how they put the cheese and beans in between the tortilla dough and make them so fast. I tried and after making 3 I got a little better. But it took me 5 minutes to make each one. Maybe in another life I will be able to gain that skill.

I forgot to tell you what we did for New Years: absolutely nothing! Well, the zone leaders called us and told us we had to go to Casa Blanca to eat dinner with an Hermana. So we went and it was fun. The Hermana that invited us washed our clothes back in the day and so she invited us over. But that was all that we did. And we were woken up at midnight to the sounds of fireworks making big booms. But one thing that hasn´t changed in the mission is that I love to sleep and so naturally I fell right back to sleep.

One great experience we had was last Sunday. It was 7 o´clock in the morning and we had just finished a lesson and we were going to go contact. We passed a little street and I felt like we should contact there so I asked my companion if she had contacted there and she said no. So we went. The first house that we knocked on wasn´t too great but then we knocked on the second door. And they opened it and this woman and her 19 year old son answered the door and the son says ¨We are members¨ but they had moved a year ago from a ward in the stake and he was preparing for the mission. But they stopped going to church because they didn´t know where the house was that the meeting were in. They were busy but we left an appointment to return. The next day we told Bishop about them and he said that he knew about the family but didn´t know where they lived and he had gone to the neighborhood before asking people on the street if they knew this family. It was just another testimony knowing that Heavenly Father knows everything, and with the Spirit we can be guided.

Today for pday we went to el Volcán El Chingo. It is on the border of El Salvador and Guatemala. That is why I am writing so late. We had such an adventure. We left here with 2 police men to accompany us and we were almost there when an elder said ¨We forgot the guide!¨ But we were all in agreement that that wasn´t too necessary because really, how can you get lost hiking a volcano. But as things go, we got lost. We spent 2 hours hiking up the volcano in thick bushes and dust instead of taking the path. But we finally made it to the top and took the path down. But it wasn´t a very beautiful volcano because it is covered in brush so you can´t even see the crater. But it was an experience.

I love you all! I have to go now but I just want to say Happy Birthday to Mandy!

Love you!

Hermana Bush

Monday, January 3, 2011

Prospero Año y Felicidad

Happy New Year!
I have been thinking of the year of 2010 and it is the only year that I will have been on my mission for the whole year. And it has been a good year. I am so grateful to be a missionary and I am so grateful for all the blessing and opportunities I have been given and all the miracles I have seen. It is strange that it is now January. It has been a really good week. On Tuesday we got to travel to Santa Tecla and visit Las Palmeras to see the baptism of Natali. She is a young women and all her family are members and she was not. We taught her a lot and she started reading her scriptures and she started praying. And when I was there she said that she received her answer and knew that she had to get baptized but just didn´t know when. Turns out she

wanted to get baptized on a specific date and she chose the day that her dad got baptized a year ago on the 28th of December. So it was a great experience. Natali and I had a special bond and I felt so special because they were trying to get permission for 3 other missionaries to go to the baptism but President only gave me permission. But the baptism was special in other ways. Natali told me that if I hadn´t come she wouldn´t have gotten baptized. As a mission the goal this year was to have 2000 baptisms and Natali was 
number 2000! As a mission, we ended the year with 2001 baptisms. We just barely made it! 

Other great things that happened: We were able to have the ward Christmas party in the new chapel even though it hasn´t been dedicated yet. So the first thing that Hermana Izaguirre and I did was go to the baptismal font. And it was so beautiful. This isn´t just the missionary talking in me. I have never seen (here or in the states) a font as beautiful as the one in this chapel. When we go in the building again I will be sure to take a photo. When we were in the new chapel there was this really big guy and I had never seen him before. So I asked if he was a member. He said ¨Yes, I got baptized about 3 years ago. Elder Stevens baptized me.¨ Now that I am back in Zona Chalchuapa I am meeting people again that know Eli. Well, his name is Hans Peter. He is the biggest Salvadoranian I have ever seen. But he was nice. And he played Santa for the ward Christmas party. So, we continued having church in the house until the dedication of the church which might take place on sunday. As a culture, the Salvadoranians like to listen to really loud music so that the whole neighborhood can feel the base beating. When we were at church and they were passing the sacrament, a car drove up with the music ¨I Walk by Faith¨ from the young women playing at full blast. It was hard not to laugh. Apparently it doesn´t matter what kind fo music it is, as long as it is full blast.

I am enjoying being in my first zone because I get to see my old converts. When we went to district meeting, they were also having a primary activity for Chalchuapa and I saw Gabriel. He was a boy that He was a boy that we baptized and we were nervous if he would be active because his mom was inactive. But his mom now has a calling in the primary and they go to church every week. It was such a great experience. I am so grateful to be here. I have really loved all my areas but I am glad to not be in the city still. The people here are more humble and I feel really lucky to be where they are going to dedicate the chapel because I know that we are going to see so many blessings.

Hermana Bush

The pictures are of me and my companion at a lookout sight, me and Natali, and Santa (baptized by my very own cousin).