Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22nd, 2010 "Say hello to diarea!"

¡Hola mi Familia!

Wow another crazy week in tropical wasteland. Jk. This week was a WHOLE lot better than last week. I don´t even know where to start. Well I will get this out of the way. Here is my address so you can send letters and stuff.

Misión El Salvador San Salvador Oeste/Belice
Boulevard del Hipódromo #537
Colonia San Benito
Apartado Postal #367
San Salvador, El Salvador, C.A.

K and when you send something make sure you have all of that. The Apartado part is like P.O. BOX and if you don´t put that in there they charge like 50 bucks I have to pay. So please don´t haha :)

Well onto the real stuff I will start with the bad news. That girl that we had the date with, well we have taught her everyday I have been here. She has a testimony and is the perfect investigator. But she is from North Carolina and is going back on sunday and she feels that she would feel more comfortable knowing members over their and get baptized over there. Which when she told us that my companion tried to kind of talk her out of that. He is the DL and wants numbers, so at times that is hard for me. We ended up not baptizing her but she will in the states so I am excited.

I was telling my companion about D&C 18 how it says if you just save one soul how great your reward will be. I was saying that we didn´t baptize her, but it doesn´t say, if you just baptize one soul. We helped her on her way and I think that counts. I am excited for her.

The language barrier has been hard at times. My comp has a short fuse and when I don´t know the words it kind of ticks him off. But I am trying to help him. But my spanish seriously is awesome. I do most of our contacts and my companion yesterday was kind of angry and didn´t want to really teach so he asked if I would. I ended up teaching the whole lesson and it went awesome. We are going back tuesday.

I did a split with one of the zone leaders 2 days ago and we contacted and talked and he told me at the end of the night that my spanish is good enough to be a trainer. I told him I am not even close, nor do I want to, but it was kind of uplifting.

Yesterday I got to go to our branch (cause we have a ward and a branch cause our area is 2 areas in one). It was an experience. Only 40 people came, it was all outside. It was pretty sweet, I liked it a lot. The people here are so nice and especially our Mission Leaders. This past week we have almost done a split every day. It was kind of hard the first time cause I didn´t know the area all that well, but it has gotten easier.

OH YA! so why I have that subject headline. Sorta self explanatory, but hear this. I left the MTC at 183 pounds. I checked the scale yesterday and after only 2 weeks here I am at 176 and that was in all my clothes with my shoes on. I have got to be 170 now. That is 13 lbs in one week. If you want to lose wait come here haha. But i was told by one of the missionaries here that most skinny guys lose weight then about half way through start gaining weight.

I was thoroughly happy the other day. We had to go to San Salvador for something and we went there and needed to get lunch while we were there and what did we end up getting? ¡Wendys! I was so excited it tasted so good! Everything here is so cheap. At the little tiendas everything is under a dollar. A bottle of soda is 30 cents, a bag of chips is 10 cents. Its sweet.

K I know what you need to send me... Candy. There is NO american candy here. One of the elders here got laffy taffys and ever since I have wanted some. I want laffy taffys, licorice, beef jerky, skittles, starbursts. IT is almost sad that they don´t have this stuff, but they do have other sweets that are good too.

Lets see what else. Just a lot of teaching. We have this investigator we will probably get a baptismal date with this week. He is this 60 year old man named francisco, really smart guy and really nice. He loves the book of mormon. It is cool.
OH so i got to listen to your message. It was AWESOME to hear all of you, it was a little bit long, but I really liked it. The freaking nephews are so stinking cute! i love them. OH and it is probably around Thanksgiving so happy thanksgiving! They don´t celebrate it here so It doesn´t really effect me.

Although everyone here has been putting up there christmas trees also. It has been wierd.

I also attached some pictures I thought you all would like. The pics are of me and my comp. My bathroom and how tiny it is, I actually have to duck for quite a few houses. Us in front of our ward house, our district, our house.

Well not much else. The culture shock is just about gone and that is nice. I am much more used to everything and my apartment is starting to feel more and more like home. Well I love you all and thank you all so much for the support. I love hearing about everything that is going on in your lives. Jof and kylie I can imagine your trip will be awesome, Hilz that is freaking awesome about your tv show, Kels i knew you would love the play and tell Alex and brad I say hi. Also you can give my email address to alex. I got permission from my Mission president to write other missionaries.

But I love you all so much and thank you. Love you mom and dad so much. I pray for everyone each night. I really do feel safe hear. Never thought I would think that, but I do and I want you all to know that. Talk to you next week.

Elder ¨Dano¨ Gillette

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15th, 2010

Hey Family,

Holy smoke, I don´t know where to begin. This week has been utterly the craziest week of my life. Physically, Mentally, Emotionally. It feels like forever since I talked to you. This is a whole different world out here. Lets see I will just start from where we last talked. After we talked I boarded the plane, had a nice 5 hour flight down here (which was so cool!) you could see Belize and all its islands. We were all stolked. We got off the plane had to go through customs, talked to the lady in spanish for a bit. I was way cool.

My mission president was waiting for us there with his assistants. We boarded this ghetto bus and we were off. It isnt as humid as I thought it would be actually. We landed at around 7 at night. The drive to the mission home was about an hour and this place is NOT the US. the presidents house was really nice though. We had dinner there ate papusas and they were pretty good. Stayed the night at the assistants house. Woke up in the morning and had meetings till about 2. I got my comp, his name is Elder Bonilla and he is a native from El Salvador. We had meetings on what we can eat, stuff about money, and safety of course. We then went to buy groceries and after we got on the bus and the assistance were like seeya. I was like, "I guess we are going to our areas?" thinking it would only be about an hour or less. We ended up driving 5 hours! it was crazy. My eyes were wide open the whole time. I got to see pretty much the whole mission. I didn´t think the culture shock would get to me... but it is really different here. Tin houses everywhere. Dirt floors, there is no carpet anywhere, we have to wear shoes or atleast flip flops at all times. It is definitely a really poor country.

But now I have my area. It is two areas in one. Its called Trebol/Las Aradalas. I am like in the outer part of Santa Ana. It is a really good place though. The Members are so so increbly nice, well everyone is. We teach in tin houses all the time. I wish you could see our house. It is one of the nicest in the area, but you would never see something like in the US. Cold showers(which I really don´t mind, wakes me up haha), but we have a pretty cool view of the city.

The first day out proselyting went so great. A miracle happened. We went to a recent converts house and were talking to them. A white lady walked in and I was actually suprised to see a white person. We started talking to her and she was answering really slowly. Said she was married to one of the members and was baptist. She said she was from North Carolina and so I asked if it would be easier if we talked in english. She said ya so i talked to her. We talked about our beliefs and she was talking about how angry she has been lately. I read her some of my favorite scriptures and she started to ball. Said she didn´t have any order in her life. I taught her how to pray and asked that she would. She accepted. I gave her a book of mormon and she said she would read it. Asked if she prayed, read and knew it was true if she would get baptized and she said yes. I will be baptizing her on saturday!

We have taught her everyday I have been here and she is ready. She is like the Golden Investigator. We have taught a bunch of good people though. We have 5 progressing investigators. But yesterday we had church and only 3 showed up.

OH man church is so different here. Seriously everyone just gets up, walks out. Talks, the microphone sucks. It is crazy. But we have the coolest member ever. His name is Juan Carlos and he is the mission leader. He is like a 5 foot 6 stalky guy but is my favorite person. He is also our cook, he makes the best stuff ever. We pay him 20 dollars a week to make the best lunches ever. I am like eating better here, for lunch, better than at home.

It is really hard at times having a native comp. There definitely is a language barrier and we both come from two different worlds. We are really trying to work on patience.
I do really stick out here, I have already had a family ask to take a picture with me because I am so tall. It was pretty funny. But standing out really helps. Everyone here thinks the english language is so so interesting. It is a nice way to start conversations.

I have already gotten like a bigillion misquito bites all over my arms and stuff. and there are stray dogs everywhere.

As far as E-mail and mail. I would stick to email. I get to do it every monday. Mail is confusing and takes a while, But i only get to email family. so my friends I have to do mail. I do get a lot more time here though which is good.

Well sorry this letter was so long lots to tell. Ugh it has been difficult though not gonna lie. LIving in this different country is a struggle. The language hasn´t been a problem with me at all, I contact a lot of people and that is fun. This has probably been the hardest week of my life.

I love you all so much and thank you for all the support. Kels I hope the play is a blast. I think that your last show should be tonight. Break a leg! I can´t wait to hear from you all.

Sending love from El Salvador,
Elder Gillette

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Elder Dano Is In El Salvador

Daniel left yesterday morning for El Salvador. He called the family during his layover at the Dallas Airport. He is traveling with 3 other missionaries who are all going to his same mission. He said the first thing they did when they got to Dallas was run to McDonald's for a Big Mac. He said they got up that morning and left SLC around 5am. He was hoping to see snow before he left because it will be awhile. Sadly it didn't snow for him, but was snowing when we were talking to him.

They received a letter from their mission president a little while back telling them he would be waiting for them at the airport. He sounds just like he should sound excited, nervous, anxious, mature, positive...He's glad to be moving on to his final destination.

Here is the letter he sent last Friday:

Hey everybody,
So I got some news for you all. Today I went in to the travel office and one of the guys looked at me and said, "Elder Gillette, you have been really patient and have been great to work with about all your visa stuff. I know you really want to go, but sometimes things just don't work out. But your going to El Salvador on monday". I freaked out. I just went up and gave him a hug. I am so excited. I decided to E-mail til I knew for sure what was going on. I am so stinking excited though! I am going to a whole different country in 3 days!!! I will be able to call around 11 I think it was so make sure you keep your phones on you on monday. I will probably just call like mom or the home phone and then dad. So if you want to talk to me let them know or be there!

Well that is my really big news. Lets see this week though has been crazy. We just teach and have no classes. Me and my comp went and talked to some native speakers from Mexico all in spanish for 2 hours then taught them. it was awesome and they said they were impressed with our spanish. We will see how I do in El Salvador.

It was awesome this week. We had M. Russel Ballard come and speak to us on tuesday. that is 3 apostles in a row. It was so amazing. All about communication. I absolutely loved it.

We are making a fort tonight in our room to celebrate our 8 and a half weeks done. We are gonna eat all of our food and junk. Probably won't feel to good in the morning, but the Orange Juice will do that to you anyways. I will send my memory card home this week so you can see all my MTC adventures. It has been a blast.

I have started doing a thing this week which has been a lot of fun. When Russel M. Nelson came and talked to us he talked about how we need to get to know Christ. So he told us to go to the Topical Guide and read all the things under Christ. I bought a Journal this week and started doing that and it has been amazing. I just go through and I am just in the summary right now but it is a blast. I just write down a summary of what the passage is about and my thoughts. It is actually really fun.

But I love everyone letters and I am trying to write, but this week i have been so busy. So I don't think I will get any letters for a while outside of email cause now they will have to be sent to El Salvador.

I did start packing up though which is lucky so I don't have to pack up as much, but that is where I am headed after this. But I love you all and thank you for all the support over the past couple months. Keep praying for me cause I know these next couple weeks are the times when I will need them the most. I will talk to you over the phone though in a couple days which is exciting! And mom I hope you sent my drivers license cause I think I may need that haha. Well talk to you soon and sorry this letter is so out of order and random. That is how my mind is right now haha.

Love ya all!