Monday, November 30, 2009

Estrogen Rocks!

I am so psyched today because we were able to go into San Salvador and meet with all the sisters in the mission for a special Christmas activityBoth Hermana Poteet and I have a little darker hair compared to the last picture we took together. We have both dyed our hair dark because we've gotten tired of getting so much of this "gringa" stuff. Now some people think I am latino with contact lenses...until I open my mouth.
It was so great to see Hermana Pasi again. Hermana Cash (on the right) is being trained right now by Hermana Pasi. That would make her Hermana Pasi's other "daughter" in the mission, so I think that makes me her big sister?

I love the wife of our mission president, Hermana Lopez. She is so very good to us.
I may quite possibly be with Hermana Jiminez only one more week. She has been here in Versailles for quite a while and I got a hint from President Lopez that I will be receiving someone to train most likely next Monday. I feel gigantic next to her.

First Baptisms in Versailles

On the 14th of November, Manuel Aguilera was baptized. He was baptized by Oscar (left). Bernardo (next in line) is the father of Manuel and is a convert of Hermana Schmidt. Sarah is on the right and is Manuel mother (also a convert of Hermana Schmidt). It is just me, or does Manuel look a little bit like Abraham Lincoln?
Then two weeks later on the 28th of November, Arturo Flores Parada was baptized (he's the taller one). His family (who are already members) were so happy and excited. His brother is the other man in the picture and the children are his brother's children. The boy on the right is leaving for a mission to Costa Rica next month.
I love baptism days!

Dirty Feet

Here's a picture of my feet after a typical day here. I go through a pair of nylons about every other day and sometimes every day if we walk a lot on the dirt roads. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be clean for more than five minutes again....


Transferred!

Well, after 7 months in Sensunpan, the inevitable happened. I have been transferred (as of October 26) to Versailles in the department of La Libertad on the coast. My new (tiny) companion is Hermana Jiminez from Guatemala.
On November 12th we had a multizona (big meeting with all the missionaries in different zones and President Lopez). Hermanas from left to right: Guillen (companion of Poteet in the blue), me, Castro and Marroquin (who live with us) and my companion Jimenez.
It was great to see Hermana Poteet again. She was the first person I met in the MTC in Provo who was going to El Salvador as well, and our paths have never stopped crossing since.
The flooding that has been going on down here is crazy. Mostly the eastern mission was affected, but there were some casualties here as well. We had the opportunity along with our zone and one other zone to put together relief kits of food and other necessities. I somehow ended up in a line with the elders catching boxes of supplies. As a result, I've been VERY stiff and sore this week.
It wouldn't be a Mormon service project without a snack. Here we are enjoying our refreshment of incaparina (a random drink that's a little like liquidized oatmeal).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Birthday Box

After waiting for almost an entire month after my birthday box arrived, finally today I get to open it. I won't actually be 23 until tomorrow; but since today Hermana Garcia is turning 22 and since it's P-day, today is the day we are mainly celebrating. I have to confess that I had Hermana Garcia peek inside earlier in the month and take out the nylons I needed and was hoping were inside and also the straightener since these were both things I had asked for. But other than that, I have been the picture of discipline!
New shoes, a hair straightener, pictures and birthday notes from my own family and extended family, candy and brownie mix--it was worth the wait!

Multizone Conference

(9/23/09) I love gathering with the other missionaries from around our mission. Hermana Garcia looks especially happy :o)
It's particularly nice to be around the other hermanas in the mission since Hermana Garcia and I are definitely outnumbered within our own district and zone.

Day of Cambios

(9/14/09) Whenever transfers (cambios) roll around, I feel a little nervous or anxious, but hopefully I don't let my emotions show too much....
Drumroll please...I am still in Sensunpan and with Hermana Garcia! Last week we also had another sister in our companionship for 3 days. Hermana Tax's companion was transferred to Belize, so she joined us until her new companion arrived. Hermana Garcia ended up being sick during the three days, so Hermana Tax and I were still able to go out and work while Hermana Garcia stayed with a sister in the ward. Hermana Garcia is the one in the middle.

Noche de Talentos

(9/11/09) We had a big talent night this last week, both in the ward and in the stake.
Our Primary did a dance to "Thriller."
They ended up taking second place in the stake. They loved presenting the trophy to Bishop Sanchez. It was an awesome night.

The Sonsonate Sign

(9/7/09) Sonsonate if the name of the entire zone (or country) where I am currently serving. Sensunapan is the name of the city I am in within the zone.

This is a picture of our zone. My mom (who is writing this) is assuming my companion is taking the picture--a boy/girl ratio of 22 to 2 is definitely better than 22 to 1 in the mission field.
Our district is called "District America." What an awesome group!
Hermana Garcia and I are definitely the best looking members of our zone.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

(8/3/09) Okay, I have to admit, I like ruts--even when I know I can't stay in one. Saying goodbye to Hermana Pasi was incredibly hard as she was transferred to a new area today. We have shared so much together and she will always have a special place in my heart as my "trainer." I love her and all I have learned from her.
In the short time, Hermana Pasi and I were with Hermana Ixcoy, we learned to work together like a well-oiled machine. I will miss Hermana Ixcoy as well as she also has been transferred to a different area.
Here is our entire zone before cambios (transfers). With only 3 sisters in the zone, it's easy to see why we have bonded so tightly. My new companion is Hermana Garcia who is from Honduras. She speaks English (which is nice) as she attended UVU in Provo prior to her mission. I look forward to showing her the ropes in Sensunapan.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly?

The Good: (7/31/09) Baptisms are always the best! This picture is of Marlon and Fernando`s baptism as well most of the jovenes (youth) and the leaders of the jovenes.
The Bad: Getting a bad case of bronchitis two days before the baptism. I was able to get permission to go but had to wear this mask (and everyone would yell at me H1N1!! which is the name of the swine flu that`s been going around here). I even had to miss church on Sunday--probably the first time I have missed church due to illness since junior high.
...And the Ugly?: Absolutely nothing (except maybe the bathrooms). In reality, though, there is nothing ugly about the people down here in El Salvador (or about the missionaries either)--they are warm, caring and open. By the way, the bishop is the man in the white shirt in the middle of the picture and the others are random members of our ward.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Working Hard

I perhaps expected my shoes to wear out near the end of my mission, but not after just a few months. Thanks to the Missionary Mall's guarantee, I should have a new pair soon (or at last as soon as I get packages here which isn't very often).
The baptism of Vanessa and Yosselin Tiznado took place on July 10, 2009. Vanessa is on the left, then Rufy (joven [youth] in the ward who baptized them), Yosselin on the right.
(Left to right): Here are Yosselin, Hna Artero (my companion) , Karen (who we never did get permission for, but who still comes to church and loves listening to us), and Vanessa.
And now, the whole group. Sorry the picture is blurry but my camera is not the best. I'm hoping to buy a new one when I perhaps get back together with Hermana Pasi since it not only doesn't always take clear pictures, but also the flash broke. It's difficult to buy one with a native companion since only the very rich are able to afford cameras down here

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Life in General

Baptisms are probably one of my very favorite things out here in the "mission field." This is Maximiliano Marinero, an 86-year-old ex-evangelical preacher, who has really had a miracle unfold in his heart and in his life as he has embraced the Gospel. The key to his change of heart was the Book of Mormon. It was truly wonderful when he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost and expressed the peace and joy that came over him when hands were laid upon his head so he could receive this gift.
Another thing I really love about life here are the pupusas. I'm not sure how many I've eaten so far, but suffice it to say, I've quit counting!
Our bishop (obispo) is a wonderful man. He is so excited about the work that Hermana Pasi and I are accomplishing here that he has entreated our mission president to leave us together for awhile yet.
These two jovenes (youth) posed with us the day before they left for the CCM in Guatemala to begin their missions. Erick Moreno is on the left and Victor is on the right.

A Service Opportunity

Hermana Pasi and I were able to do some service for a school for handicapped children early in June.
This picture is of the schoolyard where the children play.
Because the school was down near the coast, I was finally able to actually see the ocean. It is beautiful! This may be my only opportunity to get near the water, so I'm enjoying the beauty and serenity of being here.
Hard to believe that I took this with my little camera from Walmart--it's so pretty here that it's hard not to take a great picture.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More Baptisms

(5/17/09) Here we are at the "Bautismo de Santiago Garcia." He has such a powerful testimony and will be able to be a real leader here. (To his right is Erick Morena, one of our good friends here. He speaks English and is leaving on his mission in about 3 weeks for Guatemala City. He accompanies us all the time with our lessons and wére going to miss him a ton).
(5/24/09) Baptism of Henry! Since we first met with him a couple of months ago, we have seen a mighty change take place in his life as the Spirit has touched his heart.This family is like my family here--Hayzell (Henrýs sister) is 19, then Henry turns 17 in about 2 weeks, and Hna Toyita (Henry's abuela) is like my mom here. They always feed us and I love them more than anything.
Here is Henry and his family. (His mom and stepdad are on the right, and wére actually going to start teaching them today. Everyone else is a member).
Hna Pasi, Ana Gloria (behind her), and Estefani (behind me) are enjoying a delicious meal together. They're not exactly investigators (theýre devout evangelicos), but they feed us pupusas all the time. Another thing I love about the mission is even if people don't accept our message, we still learn from each other and love each other. That's how it should be!
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