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