Monday, December 26, 2011

December 26, 2011: la llamada 3

Hola Familia,

Wow, ¡Que rapido pasó el tiempo! Estoy seguro que todos tuvieron una Navidad tan especial y que todos lo van a recordar, porqúe ¡yo sí tuve una Navidad Maravillosa! It was awesome to hear from all of you and all of your experiences and stuff. It was best of all to hear your voices. Today I don´t have very much to write, cause we talked yesterday and Not much has happened in that little time. I thought most of all I would send you all  of my pictures I was able to take this week. We have been working very hard and it has been a lot of fun. I hope that I can keep being better and doing better.

It is crazy that this week we will be starting 2012. It blows my mind, but I am super excited that I still have a lot of time and that we will be starting the year that the world will end haha, jk. 2011 has gone by so so fast and I can´t even believe it. It makes me scared to think about how fast 2012 will go by. I really have to enjoy every minute here and every pupusas now.

It was really fun this last week (Just to go over) seeing Rolando and his new wife Sandra getting married and getting baptized. They are such a wonderful couple and they are so willing to work. It was also such an amazing experience being able to go back to Ahuachapan. I was able to go back and see the baptism and marriage of an old investigator and I was able to see all of my Recent Converts and Friends. I had so much fun, but it was so hard to leave them again. I can´t imagine how hard it will be to come home from the mission. It will be rough. A very bitter sweet I imagine.

But I loved the photos of the kids for christmas. They are so cute and old. I can´t even get over it. But I love you all and hope that you have a great new year. I am definitely going to be over here eating a ton of chicken. For christmas eve we ate SO MUCH CHICKEN and RICE. It was crazy.

I love you all though and think about you all a ton. I pray for you and have a good week and a good new year. Hasta Pronto.

Elder Gillette

Monday, December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011: Cena Navideña

Hola Familia!

Wow, what a crazy week. I feel like I had practically no time to work in my own area. It really sucked, but the good part is that we got to do a lot of really fun things. This week we had our cena Navideña with the mission and I am not going to lie it was a ton ton better than last year. We had a talent show and a whole bunch of food. It was a lot of fun. I also got to see a bunch of friends from the mission which was super awesome. I took some pictures, but I will have to send them next week, because my computer really sucks right now.  We also played a bunch of games. The second half  was a part much more spiritual. I got to sing in this awesome choir and it was a lot of fun.

In my area everything is doing super good. We didn´t have nearly as much success as last week, but the people we are teaching are really awesome. This family that we found last week are doing really well and are so super excited to get married and baptized this next weekend. We have already gotten all of the paperwork and we are just going to try and get some stuff ready to have a sweet wedding.
  We also have 3 other people who are getting ready to get baptized this next weekend. One of them is the wife of a guy we reactived. They are really awesome people too. The wife is a teacher and her name is Marleni. She is an aweome lady and she has been reading the Book of Mormon like crazy. Last night she read 11 chapters and said she loved it.

Well I think the most important thing coming up is the CALL. Wow, it will already be my third call. That is crazy. It has been 7 months since we have last talked. I have been thinking about what would make this call better and I was thinking that last year the call was a little crazy cause there was so many people. So I was thinking of doing a call with mom or dad whichever year it is where the kids start and calling over there. Then after calling the first I would call the other. What I will probably do is make a first call on saturday night so that we can be ready. last years christmas was really hard cause of the time difference.

I decided this time I am going to think of the stories that I want to share before hand so that I don´t forget anything. If any of you have questions or anything you should think of them before too so that we can not waste time right.

Well I figure most of the other stuff we will talk about on Christmas. I figure I will be doing the first call at about 1 and the second at like 2. But in Utah that is about an hour before so that would be 12 and 1 over there.

I love you all and am super excited to talk to you all. Feliz Navidad!

Elder Gillette

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12, 2011: Familia Hasbún


Wowowowowow, I cannot even believe how AMAZING this week has been. So like I told you all last week that I had a break through about the faith. It was amazing and it has been driving me. This week we had a meeting with all the zone and I told them about what I have been thinking a lot about. About how here in our mission the average is to baptized like 20 people per zone a month. Every zone is like 14-18 missionaries and in my zone we have 18. I told my zone that we should put the goal of baptizing 60 people in one month? They all said we should put a more realistic goal of like 25. I am loving the story right now of Peter in Acts where he is talking to a multitude of people and he ends up baptizing more than 3000 people that day. I asked them that, Why can Peter and John baptize 3,000 in one day and 18 missionaries have a hard time baptizing 25 in one month? It was a good moment of pondering for all. I think I woke up some others with that.

Me and my comp though have been making sure we show acts with our faith though. We worked our butts off, but more than anything we are trying to follow the Spirit. One of these days we were doing interchanges and one of the district leaders who is going to end his mission soon came to my area. We went to an investigators house on Friday and invited them to an activity and left. When we were walking away I heard a "chhh.. chhh." I looked around and saw nothing. We continued walking and I heard it again. Then I saw a lady in window calling us over. We went over and we asked what church we are from. I told her and she said that she wants to go to church. We were super stunned. She then told us to wait a sec. She came back and introduced us to her husband and that he wanted to go too. His Name is Orlando Hasbún and his wife is Sandra. They are both about 60 and he has never really attended any church before. They let us in and we taught an amazing lesson and the dad said that from here on out will always go to church even without ever going once he said that. They went to church Sunday and they LOVED IT. They are now planning on getting married and baptized the 24th!

We also were walking Saturday and we felt an impression to go and try and find this guy in a colony nearby. We went but couldn't find his house. We decided we had gone there for a reason and we knocked on a door. This dad answered and he told us he had a church, but we could talk for a sec if he wanted. We talked and he brought his family, a family of 5. We found out that this year has been rough and that the mom's brother died. We started sharing scriptures from the Book of Mormon without explaining it. The mom then asked what book it was that we were reading and that it was so clear in the doctrine. We explained it and we asked if we were to leave it if they would read it. She said that just after reading that little bit, that she was left wanting to read more.

Sunday was an amazing day and we were chilling in sacrament meeting and we heard a car pull up like in the middle of the meeting. We turned around and it was this family of 5. It was awesome and such a surprise. They ended up loving church too.

This week was awesome and we ended up having 14 investigators in church. That is AMAZING. They are all such special people to me also. 2 of them are preparing to be baptized the 17th of this month and 4 for the 24th. We are going to talk to the others in these up coming days.

All our zone did super good this week and the are all super motivated. I am learning so much right now and I now that all the work I am doing right now will pay off so much in the life after the mission (which is like impossible to think about) I can't believe that Christmas is already here. It blows my mind. We already have like the whole week before and after Christmas filled with breakfast, dinners and lunches. I will be smarter than last year and not plan a whole bunch of dinners for the same night haha. That was an experience.

Well it has been fun and It is good to hear about the sweet stories I guess Ozzy has been making up lately. Next week hopefully I will get to hear one or two. This week I recieved the package from Hilz. If for any reason I should need to open it now. You should let me know haha. If not I am waiting til Christmas.

Love you all and I will talk to you next week.

Elder Gillette

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011: Diciembre ya vino!!!!


Wow! I cannot even believe that it is already December. That just blows my mind. Sounds like there is still not snow up there, but just a whole lot of winds. That sounds like a lot of fun? The weather here has been a little bit chilly too. I almost feel like I might need a sweater. I believe that my belief of "cold" has changed a lot here in the mission. Before at home it was shorts all the time. Here I am used to the weather always being nice and warm. During the day here though is absolutely perfect though. It is just at night when it gets cold and the cold showers just kill me in the morning. That is one thing I will not miss after the mission.

This week was a great week. I learned a lot about myself. We had a meeting with President Cordon and all the Zone Leaders and it was sweet. It took like all day, but I learned something about myself. I started thinking about life and about the future and all the things that I would like to do in the mission. I was thinking about all this stuff and I realized that I have a faith barrier. I was thinking about how I really want to do a lot, but am not sure if I could do it. I have seen a lot of great miracles through faith and believing that you could do that and it hit me in that moment that that is what I needed to do. Believe better and more haha. There is a sweet saying here which is "Quierer es Poder" which translating is "Wanting is Power" or "to want is to be able". I like the both translations of it and the both are sweet. Really if we want to do something. We can! I really believe that now. So I decided to put that in practice with my area. We have so much potential, but it seemed like not a ton was working. So we started to study better and plan and we worked some sweet miracles.

Right now we are working with a guy Hernesto and his is inactive, but we have gotten him to go to church like 3 times. He finally introduced us to his wife (Marlene) and she was not very interested, but we taught her. Like 3 days later we went back and it was Saturday. We asked if she was going to go to church and she said that her mom asked her to go to church with her this week, but Marlene said ."No I am going to go to church with my husband to the Mormon church". I thought it was hilarious but she really had the desire to come and she ended up loving church. I am so thankful for the help we got from the members.

We also had another family of 3 come to church and they loved it too. We had a lot of great things happen and the ward was super excited about it.

I saw one of the old bishops this week from my first zone when I started the missions. He wasn't my bishop, but I saw him a lot when I was on interchanges. It was great to see him and he said he was shocked to see how much I have changed in this year. Like talking Spanish and more outgoing and stuff. I was a weird flashback and weird to think about how long I have been here.

So I thought I would tell you I got two packages this week. One from Krick and the other from Joff. I am going to do what I did last year, I already put these two in my suitcase and I am going to wait til christmas. It will be fun to be with a Gringo this christmas cause we get along so well. Elder Hobbs is a great comp.

Well I do love you all and thanks for all of your letter. I love hearing how everyone is doing. I can't believe Story already has 7 months. Time sure does fly by. Ozzy will be turning 4 also soon. SO crazy!

I love you all  and hope that you have great weeks and that you enjoy the snow, the christmas songs, and all the great movies for me. Talk to you next week.

Elder Gillette

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29, 2011: Templo con Zona

Hola Familia,

Wow, it feels super weird to be writing on a tuesday. I have been writing so long on monday that yesterday when we would usually write, but didn´t, it felt super super weird. There is reason to why I didn´t write. It isn´t that I forgot or anything. Today we were allowed to go to the temple as a zone. So our p-day got changed so that it was today and so we went to the temple in the morning and came back to Santa ana and we are writing now.

We this past week went really well. We worked super hard and we got a lot done. I really felt at the end we did all that we possibly could. We were teaching really great too. We had made plans one day to go with the President of the Relief Society and the Young womens to some families. Then they both brougth there husbands which was awesome. Then the Leader of the High Priests called me and asked if he could go too. It was awesome cause there was 9 of us going around visiting all these families the whole afternoon. We got in some great lessons and the best part is that 4 of the investigators that we visited came to church and a whole family of inactives. It was super sweet.

OH YEAH! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! that went by super quick. Here of course they do not celebrate thanksgiving, but they all know about it. We actually had a whole mission thing for thanksgiving though. President got 3 zones together and we had a little training thing thursday afternoon and then had a turkey dinner at night. It was the first time I have eaten mashpotatoes in so long and they were so so good. I forgot how great thanksgiving really is.

It is crazy that already one transfer has gone by. It has been really fun and really rewarding, but it has definitely been challenging. I really get along with my comp, but he doesn´t have very much time in the mission and doesn´t really enforce the rules at all. So it is a little hard to keep everyone in line by yourself. The zone is a ton of fun. I really love the guys and it is such a diverse zone. We have missionaries from Utah, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Honduras, Argentina and Idaho haha. It is a lot of fun. There are 16 Elders and 2 sisters.

Just to answer dads question. I am definitely used to the food. Everyone here eats eggs, beans and rice mix, cream and bread for just about every meal, but I have grown to absolutely love it. We eat it for breakfast every morning haha and I thought that beans for breakfast in the begining of my mission was nasty. NOW I LOVE IT haha.

Well I love you all. I am excited for another great week in the mission, but I am not sure if I am ready to start december. I little to quick I say. IT really blows my mind. I do love you all and have a great christmas time. I hope that Black friday was sweet. I actually think I missed black friday more than thanksgiving haha.

Have a great week!!!

Elder Gillette

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011: Super Rapido

Hola Familia,

Wow, I can't believe how fast time really is flying by. We are already ending another transfer. I will be staying here with Elder Hobbs again. We will both be here for christmas which is like the biggest blessing ever. We were praying that we could stay together. Although we have our upsets every once in a while. I feel like I am serving with one of my best friends. So it will be another fun change. What is crazy to me is that I will be starting my tenth transfer. Sounds like so many especially because there are only 16 in the mission. Time really does fly by.

This week was a lot of fun. We have started really finding some great and ready people. Just families keep on popping up for us to teach and it has been such a blessing. This week we have been teaching this lady named Angela and she took the lessons like a year and a half ago and something happened and she never wanted to go to church again. We started teaching her and we taught a great lesson about the Book of Mormon and really how it blesses our lives and she said she would start reading it every night. She did that for 2 weeks and finally said that she would come to church and it totally surprised us. Yesterday she went to church with us and it was really awesome. All the members were so awesome and they all said hi to her. She really liked it and said she will go next week.

I really can't remember what else we did this week. We started going to another part of our area that is super far away. We talked to a family and the dad was super positive. Then we asked how many kids he had and he had 13. I was super surprised. The best part is that one of his kids is named "Botella" which means "Bottle". There's a new baby name for Joff haha.

So really not much happened this week I feel. We just worked and had a lot of fun, but nothing super out of the ordinary. I can´t believe this week is thanksgiving. We are going to do something as a mission, but here in El Salvador they know of this holiday, but they do not celebrate it.

Oh and mom, there is this lady who wants to cook american food. So she asked me what I really miss from home and I told her French dip. She said if you send me the recipe she will make it for me. That would be so amazing if you could send me that recipe. I am dying for some great french dip. It is funny though to think about all the random food I don´t get to eat anymore. Here there are no tacos, burritos, or nachos. There is like pizza hut and burger huts, but it is not nearly as good as the states though. They do have pupusas though. haha.

Well that is just about all I got to write this week. I love you all and I didn´t get to hear this recording you sent me, but I will after I write this. I love you all and have a grea week and enjoy the snow for me!

Elder Gillette

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011: Ya quieremos pastel!

Hola Familia,

Wow this was a filled week. We really passed just hanging out with the members it felt like, but looking back at the week we did a ton. Lets start out with the mission stuff that happened this week.

One of my recent converts, Ricardo, gave us a reference this week of his friend Gerardo and he is super positive. He had some awesome questions for us and he came to church this week. He originally wasn't going to go, but we caught him as we were going to go to church and he was like why not. So he joined us the first hour.

Like I talked about also the past week that we were going to have 2 baptisms this week and they went super well. One of the people called us Wednesday and told us that they couldn't do it on the original day of Saturday and that they wanted to do it the very next day. So we had to get everything ready super fast. Not very many people showed up, but the whole family came and brought friends which was awesome and it was really spiritual. The other baptism was done the original day and went really well also. We had a ton of members come which was sweet.

So this week was my comp (Elder Hobbs) b-day. So this ward is so amazing and they invited us over to eat cake and dinner like 5 times. I really feel like I am in a ward in Utah. Everyone is willing to give food, or service, or whatever and it is just amazing. I am thoroughly enjoying it.

The first house we went to we ate the best chocolate cake I have eaten in my whole time here in El Salvador. Nothing here comes in comparison with the Sweet Tooth Fairy, but it was still really good.

We went to eat right after and the family was so awesome. They feel like family and it was a lot of fun. We all got around to take a picture and right before they took the picture I decided to shove the face of my comp in the cake. As I shoved with one of my hands he was like resisting and I put my other hand on and gave him a huge shove into the cake and the cake was splattered. It was so Hilarious. we all busted up laughing and we took the picture and I sent that one to you all. It was so much fun. He had like fruit and everything on his face. He went to wash his face off and he came back and we were all eating. We all had our piece of cake and we went to take another pic just me and him and he slammed his cake in my face. He got me super good and then I got the dad of the fam a little. It was a lot of fun and this fam is really awesome. I sent the picture of the whole fam.

Then we went over for one last one with this awesome family that does a ton for us. The kid is 18 and his name is Jairo and he comes to teach with us everyday. So we are super tight with them. We went over and we went to take another picture with the fam and the cake and Elder Hobbs was like, hey don't push my head into the cake. I was like ok. Right before we took the picture Jairo slammed his face in the cake. It was awesome.

Really it was quite a fun week and I am excited for more. I really like this area.

Krick that is my address for the mission. and Dad there are 18 zone leaders so not all of them are there and there are about 190 missionaries. The mission office is in a stake center. There is like a side part for the offices.

Well got to go. Love you all.

Hasta pronto,

Elder Gillette

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011: Templo!!!


Wow, this week was a wonderful week. Last week was one of the hardest of my life, but this week I saw how much hard work pays off.

This week we did an activity with the zone and we played soccer against another zone and it was a lot of fun. I sent a picture of the zone. It is a really fun zone. After we got done and we got all ready to work on Monday and we left and taught a lesson and in the middle of the lesson I received a call from president cordon and he told me to get everything ready cause we were going to go through the temple the next day. So we finished the lesson and started running around to find clean white pants and get white socks and all. We were super excited though cause I haven´t gone to the temple in about one year and it is a brand new temple so I was so super excited. We got everything all ready and the next morning we had to be up at 4:30 in the morning and be out soon after. It was so sweet. Only the zone leaders got to go and so I got super lucky on that. But it was a lot of fun to just go and relax and enjoy. It was awesome cause the session was in Spanish and the gospel to me has just a higher meaning to me now in Spanish. I really don´t know if I could preach in English or anything. I would be disabled haha.

Tuesday was a super awesome day. Then on Wednesday I received a different call about how I needed to go back to san Salvador the next day, because I have been here a year and so I had to get my immigration papers renewed. It was so crazy cause I saw the three other missionaries that I came with from the MTC and it is crazy how everything has changed so much. IT is a lot of fun though.

In our area we are having a ton of success. We figured out how to get new investigators through the members. We have been contacting a lot of old investigators and we have received a ton of references. We are teaching this 18 year old kid named Samuel and he is sweet. He is an awesome guy and he went to the young single adults activity last week and loved it. He will be getting baptized this month.

The guy who got baptized this past week (Ricardo) has been awesome lately. He brought some of his friends to the activities this week and they loved it and he invited us to his house to teach them and we had some awesome lessons. We have been super blessed by the members we have had lately.

We worked with all we could this week and we were set to have like 15 investigators come to church. Then Sunday morning came and all of the sudden nobody could go. We were super bummed and it was pretty hard. We got to church empty handed and that always feels pretty sucky, especially after working so hard all week. We were sitting and all of the sudden this family we have been teaching walked in and right after a part family where the dad isn't a member came in also. It was awesome.

We also had 2 little miracles where 2 kids who aren't baptized came up to us and told us they want to be baptized this next weekend. I was so surprised. Just people came TO us and wanted to talk to us. It was awesome.

Well the pictures of Halloween are just awesome. I love love LOVE the costumes. The costume of Kc definitely wins. It is so awesome. It looked like a lot of fun.

So I was trying to figure out this week what it is that I need for Christmas. I thought of socks, I need a one new belt cause the 2 that I came with are just torn. I could use a good pen maybe. Ties are always sweet. Pringles I miss actually and zingers too. The dill pickle sunflower seeds are great too. Other than that whatever you send me I know that I will be super happy with anything haha.

I love you all and take care. I hope you like the photos too. Talk to  you all next week.

Monday, October 31, 2011

October 31, 2011: Happy Halloween

Wow I am now onto my first last holiday in the mission. Me and my comp have been joking around that we are going to dress up today like business men with name plaques and all and knocking on the doors here.... Oh wait... We do that everyday haha. It sounds like your party went super well for Halloween. I always love the Halloween party. You all should send some pictures. I still carry around a picture of basil as a pumpkin from last year. i love that picture.

This week was super crazy. Probably one of the hardest physically and mentally of my mission. I am now with Elder Hobbs and he is a great missionary, but he doesn't have a ton of time in the mission and so he doesn't really know how to run a zone. I have been having to do everything. All the complaining and problems by myself when I really don't know what I am doing at all either. But it is all alright. I am happy cause I feel that I  am doing as good as I can. I have gotten better already at doing a lot of things.

This week I went to 3 different areas to do splits. It was crazy. I went to a whole bunch of different places and got to meet a whole bunch of new people and work with new missionaries. It was a lot of fun actually, but super tiring. In one of the houses we were woken up by all these birds chirping. It was terrible. They were so loud. So when we went to leave and we were waiting for the bus stop I was looking at the tree and decided to throw a rock at the tree to try and quiet the birds (bad idea). I chucked the rock and it was way early in the morning and it went way lower than I had wanted and went inside a house. I looked over and saw that there was a person inside that house. I ran over and this old lady just stared at me holding her right shoulder. I asked what happened and she just whispered while turning around entering into her house and with a small voice said, "you hit me". I felt so bad, but my comp couldn't help but laugh.

That was just one of the many things that happened. I really had a great time, but I hope I can stay in my area a bit more this next week.

This week though was the baptism of this kid named Ricardo. He is 20 and is such an awesome kid. He went to church as a little kid but never got baptized. His whole family are members, but him. We had put the baptism for 12, but it got moved to 2 cause of a meeting we had at 11 with all of the bishops and stake presidency. Then we had to move it again that day to 5 because water wasn't falling. It was so hard, but he just wanted to get baptized and brought a whole bunch of his friends. It was such an awesome baptism and he is so powerful. He bore his testimony after and it was amazing.

 Then this morning me and my comp went to get pupusas for breakfast and we started talking to this family that owns the pupuseria. Then this lady ran how and she ran to me and hugged me. I saw who it was and it was a lady that I had taught in Independencia. She told me she had gotten baptized like a month after I had left, and that she had asked for my to come to the baptism, but I was in ahuchapan. It was so awesome to see her and how good she is doing.

It was a good month and I am excited for November. Crazy I will be completing one year of being here. Well I love you all and I am sorry, but President Cordon cut on our time to write so we have a lot less time. But I love you all and hope this next week is great. And don't worry mom I got your e-mail this time haha.

 Elder Gillette

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011: The Hurricane


I am going to start out by saying the computer that I am on doesn't really work. The part of the keyboard where the numbers are and most of the punctuations are don't work. So if I put one of these ] today that means it is a question mark and if I put one of these * it is an exclamation. Cool] It may be hard at first, but you'll get the just of our new code thing cause this week will involve a lot of them.

WWWWWWWWWWWWW***************************************************** This has been a crazy week. Craziest of my whole mission. Let's start from the beginning.
Monday- I was doing super good. I was pretty excited about the six more week in my area and about the three baptisms we had for this past weekend. Everything was going pretty good. We got out to work and it was a normal day.
Tuesday- I don't know why Tuesday, but I woke up a little bit bummed that I was going to be in my area again. Such a long time and it has been fun, but I was getting a little bored or something. So we went out and it was going good. We visited this family that is super awesome. I baptized one of the kids , Diego, about five months ago and he is an awesome kid and we are teaching his dad. We had an awesome lesson with the dad. The grandma has just barely gone to the temple and she is awesome. We invited him to be baptized and he accepted and it was such a spiritual moment. The grandma then looked at me with tears in her eyes and told me that the very first time I came to help Diego get baptized that she could see the authority that I held and knew I was suppose to help the dad, David, get baptized too. It was inspiring. I then realized why I was suppose to be in my area for more time. 
The whole rest of the day went well after that. We ended up buying pupusas and going to the house super happy with all that had happened and with the dates that we had. We entered in the house and the phone rang. I went and picked it up and it was my Zone Leader. He then told me that President had just called. I was super confused and asked why. He then told me that we were going to have Emergency Changes. I was like WHHHHHAATTTTT]]]]]]*****. He then told me that I would be leaving my area the next day. I asked where and he told me to a place called Molino. It is in Santa Ana north. I was so confused. I didn't know what to think, than he told me that I was going to be a Zone Leader. I thought he was joking. Sounds like a joke, but it wasn't.
I hung up the phone and started calling everyone. All my recent converts, the members, my bishop. It was so sad. I wasn't going to have any time to say goodbye to anyone cause the next day I was to leave at eight in the morning. I got all packed up too. That was super difficult. I finally got to bed at one thirty.
Wednesday- We got up at five so that I could go and say bye to some recent converts. I knocked on the door of Mama Iris and she was confused why were there so early. I told her I was leaving and she started to ball. It was so difficult. 
I finally got on the bus though at eight and got to my area. My new comps name is Elder Palma. He is from here in Apopa, El Salvador. He is a super great missionary and knows a lot. We went around my area. It looks like a super sweet area. The ward usually has an attendence of one hundred and forty, which is amazing, and the best part is is that the members have a schedule of when they feed the missionaries. Every night we get fed dinner. I was super excited about that. 
The rest of the week has been just like the other days. Being a zone leader is a lot different than I thought. Everyone is always calling and needing something. ON Friday I went on interchanges to this one area named Rio Zarco. I did my first bapismal interview. It was a crazy experience. I had a lot of fun though. I am not gonna lie though it has been a lot of fun getting to know my zone.
Here in El Salvador it has been crazy though. All of this week it has been raining like crazy. When I was in Ahuachapan it was flooding like crazy and got up to like my knees. Here it hasn't been flooding, but it hasn't stopped raining since I got here. A lot of people have suffered a lot of damages. It has been crazy. They say it from a hurricane and that it will keep going til like Wednesday.  We went on Saturday and did service for a family that two of the walls in the house crashed in from the flooding. We got the whole zone together to do it. I can tell it will be a lot of fun, but super hard, to learn how to work well with other missionaries and how to lead. I have been reading in Doctrine and Covenants section one hundred and twenty one a lot this week. I really hope I can be a good leader.
I am not gonna lie though..... I am super tired though. it has been such a crazy week. This next week should be more chill... I hope haha.
Sounds like all is well at home. Wow the World Series is already here again. This is already my second world series. Time flies by. Also I can't believe you asked dad about Christmas. IT is already only two months away. That is crazy. I will think about what I will need for Christmas.
I love you all and hope everything goes well for you all this week. I am always praying for you. I am going to go home and take a nap now I believe :]
Love you and talk to you all next week,

Elder Gillette

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 10, 2011: Transfers!!!

Hola Familia!

  Well this past week was a little bit longer. I am not gonna lie it was probably one of the longest and I have no clue why. I blame it on the fact that we were going to find out about transfers and after so much time I was pretty much secure that I was going to be leaving this area and so I was just waiting to see where I would be going. It was a depressing thought thinking that I might be leaving. I really really like this area and I have a lot of fun with my comp and I get along super super well with all the members. We are having a lot of success too.

  On Thursday of last week we went and had interviews with president. He said he was really impressed with how I trained and that Elder Trump recommended me to train again. I would love to train again. I thought it was a blast!

   Last night though I was laying in my hammock and I fell asleep (which that happens every night. My comp always makes fun of me that I always write in my journal and then pass out in my hammock from being so tired and at about 11 I will wonder my way onto my bed. Melt down has come back.) and at 11 I got a call. I picked it up and it was my district leader. He told me that he had the changes. I was super out of it at the time and he then told me that we would both be staying in the area for another 6 weeks. I was like so confused, but it turns out I will be here in el arco for another month and a half. I will have been here for over 7 months at the end of this next change.

   I am super excited cause we have had a ton of blessings in this week. There is this inactive guy we have been working with named Manuel and he really has a super strong testimony, but drives buses so he can't go to church. We visited him this week and it came about that he got a new job where he won't be working Sundays so he told us he can help us Sundays in the morning to bring people to church in the back of his pickup. Here it is totally legal to ride in the back of pickups. So everyone just piles in to the back and go around. I always am walking and see this pickups just filled with people. They have bars around so everyone is standing, but it is crazy. I have to ride them to get to Los horcones and back every week. So this Sunday we went around with him just piling people in the back of his truck. IT was awesome. We felt like we should have been playing music and stuff cause it looked like a party just passing by and picking up people. Some random guy almost hopped in and just went to church with us. It was fun and we are going to start doing that every Sunday.

   Me and my comp this week were asked by the stake president to give 20 minute talks each in our sacrament meeting. I had never given a sacrament talk so long. I felt like we were going to give sermons. I studied and got it all ready and thought it was an excellent talk. I started out telling the story about when mom came into my room and gave me the envelope full of money and told me it was because "I had been such a good kid", but how after she took it away. Everyone loved it and thought it was such a funny story (cause it really is) and I compared that joy I had when I had that money in my hand with the salvation we could one day have. I really really like the quote from President Uchtdorf from conference that he said.
  "You could pile up all the money in the world and you could still not buy a loaf of bread in the economy of God". Everything was going good in the talk until I looked down to my notes and realized that I had left them in my back pack. At least I had looked over my talk a couple times and I know the scriptures really well by now so it all went really well.

   Other than all that I am super excited to be here longer. I love my bishop here so much. He is such a great guy and he made me call him last night after we found out about changes cause he wanted to know if one of us was going to leave. He is a good guy and his family is awesome. All of the members are great. I was telling my comp that I am super glad I will at least be in an area this long that I really like.

     It sounds like it is starting to get cold there again. It is opposite here. It is definitely getting hotter it feels. I am not excited for the rain to stop. I actually really like it.

      Well I think that is everything. I hope you all have a great week! Love you all and dad say hi to Grandma and Grandpa. I am glad to hear that they are doing better.

  Elder Gillette

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 3, 2011: General Conference 3

Hola Familia!
  Wow, what a great weekend. It was great, but also sort of weird. Just because whenever now that I have a constant schedule, but the schedule gets changed for like a day or two, I feel super weird. This week was super good mainly because of General Conference, but I will touch on that later.
  This week we were off and running trying to get everything ready for our recents converts Mama Iris and Little Iris to go to the temple. My ward went this past week for the first time to the temple and we had been hoping we could get our converts to go with them. The ward was going to go on Thursday and so we decided we would get everything ready on Wednesday. Tuesday in the night though we recieved a call saying we were going to go to Santa Ana the next morning til like 6. So we left super early and didn't get back til about 6 and then we ran the whole day to try and get everything ready. I really am super blessed to have such a great bishop (Obispo Zambrano) and get along so well with him. I went to his house and told him about Iris and he said it was almost all ready. That he had done most of the stuff. I felt so relieved. It is so much easier when you have the help of the leaders. 
   We went and saw Iris and her husband was there. They were in a bit of a shock. What happened was that they went to San Salvador on Wednesday and there bus crashed and like 3 people in the front of the bus died. Luckily she said she had felt inspired to sit in the back with her 1 year old kid. She said nothing happened to them. I then asked why they had gone to San Salvador and she said that on Tuesday she had won a brand new phone. I was so surprised. Her husband then told us that he believes it is for the path that she is taking right now. That she had gotten baptized. He isn't even a member and hearing that from him was amazing. I could see in her the gratitude she had in that moment for the Gospel.
   The next night we passed by. I entered in the house of theirs and felt super good. I then asked her what they did that was so different in the house. She told me nothing. We sat down and starting talking. She then told us about how her day was great and then it occured to me that they had gone to the temple. They had done baptisms for the dead and they had loved it! I was so excited. They said the feeling that they got was amazing and the best part was the members were so good to them. They all had bought hymn books and triples. I am so excited for them. The dad wants to get baptized, but just has to find a new job.
   We have been working like crazy and we have seen some great results from our work and much better lessons. I have been able to understand a lot better and just ask better questions. I can tell we are working a lot harder, because we have been starting to do weird things in the night. I, almost every night, fall asleep in my hammock and then at one o'clock in the morning wake up and go to bed. I got up at 1 thirty one night in my hammock and got up and right as I got up Elder Trump yelled at me in an english spanish jibberish and it super scared me. I was scared to look at him cause I was half asleep and I was scared he would be there waiting to like kill me, but when I looked he was out on his bed. I got him back a couple days later cause He told me he woke up to me speaking in the middle of the night  saying, "¿Que dice la hermana de ir a la iglesia? ¡SÍ! " Which means "What says the sister about going to church? YES!" I was cracking up when he told me. I have been working so hard that I am trying to help people in my sleep go to church also. haha
    The multizone that we had on Wednesday was super good. It is fun to go back to old areas in Santa Ana and pass the places I have been to. I like actually being able to know most of the people here. I saw two of my old comps (Elder Romero and Elder Bonilla). I don't talk too much to elder Bonilla (my trainer), but Elder Romero is like one of my best friends now. 
    This weekend was just amazing though. I think its funny how I never watched conference before at all, but now I die to see it. All 5 sessions just fly by so fast. I love what they all talk about and see how usually there is like a topic a lot touch. I decided before that I would write down 5 questions. The conference started and my first 2 questions got answered in the first 2 talks it was amazing. I had other questions that I had not even written down answered too. 
   I especially love the Priesthood Session. I still always miss training table before, but I decided after to get the Training Table of El Salvador... Pupusas haha. Really the stuff they talked about in Preisthood was amazing. I wish I would have heard the talk of Elder Holland before my mission. I believe that every 14- 19 year old kid should hear it. I also loved President Packer. Not gonna lie I feel like he knows he is going to pass away soon, but before he does he is going to tell everything the way it should be. 
   I thought that Neil L. Andersons talk was interesting about why we shouldn't wait to have kids. 
   I really love, like always, the talks of the prophet Thomas S. Monson. The talk from Priesthood was awesome and I invite all of you to read it rather on the internet or when the Ensign comes out. It really helped me. 
   I liked that most of the talks were based on service it seems like. Service rather it be missionary work or service we can do for our neighbor. One of the General Authorities opened saying the 2 Great commandments are Love God and Love your neighbor and that everything else is a break off of that. I heard a lot of wise words today and I hope I can apply them. Thats one thing I have become a lot better at in the mission. That we can read or hear something, but if we don't put it into practice we will never really learn it. 
   I am excited, like always for this next week. It is good to hear that Sweet Tooth Fairy is doing good and opened a new store. I know that they couldn't do it without Hilary. I am sorry about what happened with the house. I was like cringing the whole time that I was reading the message from mom. Jeez mom! When I read about how you slipped I almost died. Be careful, but it will be a hilarious story after this is all over haha. I do hope you all keep enjoying the wheather for me also, because the weather here is just getting hotter and hotter. We will start the dry season at the end of this month. 
   Can't believe I only have one more General Conference in the mission. That is crazy.
   Well I love you all a lot and I hope you have a great day and week.
Elder Gillette

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011: Here and there and everywhere

Hola Familia!
  Well this week I really have no idea what to put as the subject. It's usually super easy to choose, but for some reason this week it is hard. It was a super good week. I did spend a lot of it outside of my area which was cool to meet new people and get to work with other missionaries. Sounds like for you all it went well. Thanks for all the photos you all sent. It is always interesting to see the kids and also the new hairstyles everyone is rocking haha. 
  Like I said I got to spend a couple of days in other areas. On Wednesday  I got to go and work with one of my Zone Leaders. It was fun working with him, but no one was home and when you aren't in your area time goes by a lot slower at least for me, but it is even worse when no one is home. We got invited into one house, but right as we sat down the lady started flipping out about the Sabbath Day and how it should really be Saturday. So we ended really quick and got out of there. We ended up that night having to go to this place called Apaneca. It is about an hour in bus, but has like perfect weather and is super beautiful. I have grown to love riding in buses. I may when I get back buy a bus pass and just always take buses, becuase they are just so chill and once you know the route it is so nice. So we got to take some sweet bus rides through the mountains and it was a super beautiful ride.
  The very next day I went to this place called Tacuba. It is also a ways away and I just went straight from one area to another. In Tacuba it was pretty fun, but we had to go all over. We went to this place called San Rafeal and it took half an hour in bus then an hour walking. Crazy long! It was good though. On the way back though we got on the bus and I entered and in the buses they are made for little people so I always have to scrunch my legs up into the seat if it is packed, But I got on to this bus and there was one part where one seat was missing. So I thought how sweet is that cause it makes more leg room. So I sat down and looked next to me and there was this white girl and I was super surprised (Cause there aren't many white people here). I asked her if she was a Gringa (American girl) and she was like "No..." I ended up talking to her for a bit and we started talking about the U.S. and then about the church. She said that missionaries had passed by before in this same year and that she had gone to church. I invited her to go again and she said we would. She asked me if we could come over to her house and teach her another night and I told her that I wasn't from that area, but that I would send the others over. I had noticed that everyone was staring at me (although that is not very unusual either cause I am a giant American), but it still felt weird. I got off the bus and the missionary I was with asked me, "How did that go?". I was like, "Really good, she is super positive and says she wants to go to church". He started laughing and then said, "Everyone here calls her Chicka Porno, she's a pornstar". I felt so weird, but we both busted up laughing because she had said she was so interested in the church. I then told him that they have an appointment with her that next night haha. But that pretty much explains the experience in Tacuba. 
   Here though by El Arco, everything has been going super good. This week we worked a TON with the members and we got to see the baptism of "Mama" Iris. It was sweet. We did a Family Home Evening in the house of the bishop and brought her and it went really well. She was super happy and is planning this week, with her daughter and the ward, to go to the temple and do baptisms for her grandparents. I am super excited for her. They are an awesome family and the night before she got baptized we went to there house late to try and find her husband to ask permission and when we got there he was so happy to see us. We started talking and we asked if it was alright and he was super supportive. I Love this family!
   Some othe investigators came to church and I can already see that October will be a great month for us. Although I will probably be leaving this area cause I already have 6 months. The bishop Sunday night invited us over for dinner and it was super sweet. I love this ward and it has a lot of members. 
   So I figured I should get a lot better at answering your questions. I am terrible at it, but I remember some of them.
Dad - The salsa here is a lot different. There is no salsa and chips type of salsa. The only type of salsa is like the salsa you put on to spaghetti. The salsa you put on to pupusas I think is a lot like that, but more watered down and spicy. 
Hilary - What do I think about all the time? This week I found out that my comp Elder Trump used to play Madden all the time. I realized in that moment he could become one of my best friends haha. So we got talking about that for a bit. We also got this week the Ensign and I was so super excited to get it and then I remembered that I think it was Kristin that once said that about a year through the mission I would start becoming excited for the Ensigns and start saying how much I LOVE the MoTab. That Revelation came true. The other day I listened to the MoTab come on and sing "Come thy fount" and I was like, "I LOVE THIS SONG". My comp totally laughed at me haha.
Mom - In the next package you send me you should send socks. Everything I have is good, but every single one of my socks have gigantic wholes. I bought new ones here, but they weren't very good. I ripped a whole in them in 3 weeks haha. So that would be sweet. I will also give that lady a call today. I will see if I can take her to a good pupusas place by my house. haha.
   But those are some of the questions that I remember for right now. I hope that this next week will be good and enjoy that weather. Sounds GREAT. Most of all though, ENJOY THOSE DOUGHNUTS!!!! I miss them. I ate a donut this week and the donuts here are terrible. I am super excited to see General Conference though. I invite you all to go and bring questions. I did that last time and it really is amazing how all of my questions got answered. I love you all and I will talk to you next week.
Elder Gillette
Ps I finally decided on a title.

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011: Dìa de independencía

   Well, sounds like this week was a fun one. I am glad to hear all of the kids are doing good. Story looks like such a happy baby. I am glad that Basil is a good brother cause all of the kids here are super crazy. One time a lady asked me why the kids she sees that are from the states are so relaxed all the time. I was thinking that was a lie cause I feel that the kids from the states are super crazy, but then I watched and there really is a bit of a difference. I learned this week that it is the way you raise your kids though. It was a funny lesson I learned this week. 
   That was kind of a random thought, but hey... CONGRATS TO KC! I am super stoked that he passed the BAR. I hear it is super hard. Now I bet finding a job will be super easy. It also sounds like the 10k that Gen and Krick did was fun. I don't know how you always find the most random runs ever. I just remember when you did the one where you all ran in like business clothes. What was it called again?
   WOW and I can't believe football already started again and even more that BYU got totally dominated. Poor BYU, but good luck to U of U. Are they officially part of the PAC-12 now?
   This week was a fun week. We got to do a lot of stuff and we really worked our tails off though. I was super happy cause we were with members almost the whole week and why I liked that so much also is cause they offered us dinner a lot too haha. I have been having fun in this ward, because I think after all the time I have been here which is over 5 months, I have been able to get to know some really great people and build some sweet friendships. The bishop invited us over for dinner and he knows how much I love pupusas and we went over and made pupusas locas with him. He did it cause he knew I had completed a year. It was super nice and super fun. His family is super fun. He has a little 2 year old girl named Sophia and she is super adorable. I was trying to get her to say ¨Elder Gillette¨, but she would just say "no, no, no". Finally I realized I had a sucker and I said (While holding the sucker in my hand), "What's my name?" She looked at the sucker like in a trans and said in a total monotone voice "Su nombre es Elder Gillette". and she said it exactly. It was the funniest thing ever. Most people say my name a little different, but she said it so exactly that we all busted up laughing. 
    We also were invited by one of our members (Hermano Dueñas) to go and eat some hot dogs with him. He used to live in the states and loves talking to us in English. He teaches an English class and sometimes we get to talk with his students. But we made them in the house of one of our Recent converts Iris, because him and her mom are super good friends. So we got to eat some hot dogs and chat for a bit. After we had a lesson and it went amazing. Iris's mom (mama Iris) accepted a baptizmal date and she really wants to go back to the temple and will probably go the next time our ward goes cause she wants to do the work of her grandma. It was sweet.
    Here though it has been raining a TON! One day we were out with a returned missionary named Elvis, and at about 6 it started to pour while we were out in the middle of no where. I had lost my umbrella that week and my comps broke that day and we were left out in the hurricane. The streets were flooded to my ankles. It was crazy. We were soaked completely. We finally got to the house of the investigator we were going to visit and they were stunned at how wet we were. I had them take a picture after we had dried off a bit. Luckily I had my camera and my books in a plastic bag and they didn't get soaked. 
    It was a good week and in the end a lot of great stuff is happening. We found out that the couple we are helping to get married (Kevin who is 19 and Irnilda who is 18) are going to have a baby. We went over there and started helping them make tortillas and they told us. It was a bit suprising, but not super... It's El Salvador.
   It was a bit sad this week cause We have been teaching an investigator named William for about 2 and a half months. He has been a great friend and super cool, but this week we went and he had just super changed. His brother Walter also kind of went off the deep end. We told them that we aren't going to visit anymore, cause it isn't helping them anymore and we can't make them do anything. It was a humbling experience and I will still pray for them.
   Mom, you should send me the name of the lady that is coming and what part of Ahuchapan she is from. I know a lot of Ahuchapan and maybe I know family. Also I can't believe Bishop Wadsworth was changed. That seemed quick. Was his time already up? Also... Who is Ron Hunt? I am so bad right now with names. I guess I will get to know him when I get home. You will also have to let me know about all the bishop and stake president and all that stuff when you move, cause the mission needs all that stuff. 
  Other than that it is good to hear that Porter is playing flag football and doing good at it. I hope everyone else is doing great and I love you all. I hope all goes well in your weeks and know I pray for each one of you individually every night.
   Tell Grandma and Grandpa Gillette thanks for the letter. It was an amazing story and I have read those points before and they are great. 
    One question before I go. Have you all recieved any of the hand written letters I have sent?
    Well that is it and I will talk to you next week. Love you all.
 Elder Gillette

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 12, 2011: Dìa de los Farolitos

Hola Familia!
   So I thought I would start out by first saying... yes I have officially completed a year. SWEET! It went by super super quick and I am a little worried that the second will go by even quicker. No offense I want to see all you, but I still have a lot to learn. There was definitely a LOT of extremely hard parts in the first year, but there were parts so much better that compensate for the bad.  
   This week though was a lot of fun and I feel like we did a ton! I am really starting to enjoy the mission a lot. This month of September is the month of the independence of El Salvador. So we every day there are marching bands from the various schools playing. Here if you play in the school band it is like someone playing on the football team in the U.S. I love it though cause we will always be walking and just see some marching band walking down the street playing some sweet song. My comp is always super confused, but I absolutely enjoy it. 
   This past Wednesday was this day called El Día de los Farolitos. That just mean day of the Little Lanterns. So everyone puts these little lanterns everywhere and a lot of people will make like towers and stuff out of the lanterns and some will make sculptures. This day originally was started by the Catholics, but has just turned into the most popular festival here in Ahuachapan. There were tourists everywhere and the streets were filled. We had to avoid all of the partying going on, but we got to see a couple of the sculptures that the had put up. I took a picture of one, but it is a terrible picture cause I tried to hide my camera as I took it. It is the police station and they put up a lot of lights and they had a little stage with some guy singing on it. It was weird cause all the houses had these lights up and in the end I realized that it looked a lot like Christmas. haha. 
    Thursday of course was a crazy day too. We went to one of my converts houses (Iris) and we ate some tomales with her and her family. (Her mom is actually a really postive investigator and knows everything and this week finally went to church.). It was fun and they told me they would make me them cause I was completing one year in the mission. So we had a fun time over there and took some pictures with them also. After we had finished working we had decided we were going to keep going with me tradition. I don't if I have told you all that everyone month that I complete in the mission I buy that many pupusas. So when I completed 3 months I ate 3 pupusas. When I completed 9, I ate 9 pupusas. Thursday I ate 12 pupusas. It was glorious. I loved it. We then ended the night by doing what every missionary does when they complete a year. I burnt a shirt, but don't worry dad it was one of the shirts that had a hole int the bottom part and was super dirty and missing 2 buttons. So I thought it was alright. That night reminded me of when we got the letter from Kristin when she completed a year. I still for some reason have that picture burnt in my head of her with the shirt she was going to burn, but something happened where she couldn't burn it. It was a lot of fun though.
   On Saturday we had a stake mission activity. I am not going to lie the activities that the Salvadoreans put on aren't very good... unless you tell everyone that there is going to be a piñata involved, but unfortunately there wasn´t a piñata involved so not many people came. We had a contest to see who could make the coolest temple out of a bunch of random stuff. It actually turned out to be pretty fun. I atleast brought one of my recent converts (Rosa) to the activity and her son Victor and they both loved it. They actually ended up winning. haha.
    Other than Those thing just keeping up with work as usual. I have finally started working out in the mornings again and that has actually helped me to feel a little better. I finally weighed myself again this week. I have gained 5 pounds since I last checked about 6 months ago. At least I am not going down anymore!
    As far as our investigators go, we are going with the same people and this week we had to start really getting on them, cause a couple were startin to really slack off and the commitments. One of our investigators that I spoke about last week (Roberto) is doing amazing. Like I said last week that the 3 months or so that I have known him he has been a drunk, but he went this whole past week without drinking. It was a miracle. Our lessons right now are so much better and he really is progressing and reading. He is a great guy and we are hoping to do a family home evening with him and his whole family and bringing the bishop too.
    Also like I said "Mama" Iris (the mom of the recent convert, we just call her "mama" to not get her confused) she also went to church which was such a big step. It was awesome to see that after all this time of going over there to see her finally take this step and go to church. She loved it and everyone after went up and talked to her. She said she wants to go back next week also. 
   Well I love you all so much. Now it is less than a year til I will see you all again. i am going to send a different email with all the pictures that I have from this week cause there are a lot. Love you all and talk to you soon.
  Elder Gillette

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 5, 2011: 1 Year


   Well this week was a super week. We got in a ton of great work and best of all I feel like I am becoming a more intelligent worker. I am getting better at working with the members and with my comp and especially how to work the area.

    First of all I would like to say Happy B-day to Kels! Crazy she is already 17. BLOWS MY MIND. I can't even imagine how much she has changed. Sounds like from the e-mail kels sent me that it was quite a crazy week for her. That is a lot better than my 17th birthday. Let's see what happened.... OH YEAH! EVERYONE FORGOT MY 17TH BIRTHDAY! haha that was the year that Asher was born. I didn't realize it at the time, but it was a great birthday present haha. I am glad though that Kels had a better 17th birthday than mine.

     This week though we got to do a lot of great stuff. We put our goals at the beginning of the week and we worked super hard to achieve them. In my mission I have had a harder time getting members out and working with us. I think it was my fault though cause it was always a lot easier not to try as hard, but the results never went as well and so it has been one of my goals to really get better at working with the members.

     Right now we are still working with the same investigators, but we did have a break through with one of them. I have explained I believe many times about Walter. We are teaching him and his brother and they both went to the temple and have both been going to church, but something hadn't clicked. We had been praying a lot and trying to teach everything and this week we decided to start over and teach the first lesson and emphasize on prayer and daily scripture reading. We found out that he hadn't really read The Book of Mormon and also hadn't really prayed. We left the commitment to do them both and for the next two days he forget, so he said. Finally Friday we went by and we prayed and we started talking about his progress and he said that he had finally read. That he read and really liked it and ended up reading 12 chapters in The Book of Mormon and after prayed. He said he knows it is true. We talked and in the end we started talking about goals with him and we all put daily goals and weekly goals. He said he wants to read 2 chapters everyday and stop drinking coffee. He also wants to do service 3 times a week. At the end we asked where does he want this to lead to and he said, "Baptism". So we put the goal with him and his brother for the 25th of this month. It was a great lesson and the spirit was so strong.

     There is another investigator named Roberto who is about 50 and lived in The United States for like 15 years. He is always drunk and his wife makes pupusas and whenever we pass they give us free pupusas. So we started talking to him and he was quite the interesting guy and we invited him to church this week. Yesterday during church in the middle of sacrament he strolled on in. Not drunk and I believe it was the first time I had not seem him drunk. He said he really enjoyed it and after sacrament meeting like 4 members came up and already knew him. We talked to him after and he said he won't drink again and that he wants to come back next week. It was such a miracle.

     This week though we got asked by the Relief Society to go and show them some recent converts so they could know and visit them also. So we brought them around and it went super SUPER well. There is just something different to an investigator when someone who is living in the exact same situations bares testimony than when some nicely dressed whiteboy bares testimony. It was sweet.

     One of the ladies we visited had her husband pass away about a month ago and he had planted a lot of corn and she is about 60 and now has all this corn and it takes a lot to take care of it all. We invited to go and help her and Thursday in the morning we went out to the "Milpa". They gave us machetes and we did what is called "Doblando". Where you cut off all the leaves and then cut the stock to prepare to seed the beans. My comp was loving all of this cause he is still pretty new to all of this and it was his first time working out in the field with a machete so it was an experience for him We did that for about 4 hours in the morning and it was sweet, but I was sweating so bad. There is also this stuff in the corn leaves that if you are sweating it causes you to itch a ton, so I got a nice rash that night, but it has already gone away luckily.

      Well it was a super fun week and I really learned a lot, but this weekend we had to plan for this next week and I realized that this week.... I complete a year in the mission. I can't even believe it. The mission has already gone by so fast. At times I will catch my self thinking, "Where was I a year ago?", but this week I will reply, "Oh ya, in the mission". It is really awesome to look back on all that I have done though and all that I have learned. WOW, When I think about the change in a year ago til now it is.... GRANDÍSIMO! The good thing is though is that I still have another year. It will be good to see all of you in a year, but I still have a lot I need to do.

      Well enough with that thought. I love you all a ton and I hope everything keeps on going great. It has been getting hotter here and in Elders Qourum yesterday all I could think about was going for a swim. Then Jof and Kylie sent those pictures of them swimming. It looks super nice haha. I would love to go for a swim at about 2 in the afternoon when it is super hot and humid.

     I always pray for you all and I have been reading a bit in doctrine in covenants and I really am liking a scripture in Doctrine and Covanents 130:20-21. That whenever we recieve a blessing it is through our obedience. I love that and it is true. Doesn't mean we wont have trials, but we will have the help of God getting through them all. I really like that and I thought I would share that thought.

    Love you all and Have a great week.

  Elder Gillette

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29, 2011: Los Horcones

Hola Familia!

   Wow, this week was a tiring week. We rode like 5 million buses this week. Our zone leaders weren't too organized this week so we went everywhere. I got to know just about all of the department of Ahuachapan. For over there in Utah it sounds like a lot of great stuff is happening. I cannot believe Kels is already back in school and already is a junior. I still feel like I am a junior in high school.

   So this week started out and we had a lot of great great investigators that are progressing. There are these 2 brothers (William and Walter) that have been progressing now for about a month, but don't really want to take the decision to be baptized. One just started into second Nephi in The Book of Mormon and has gone 2 weeks without drinking coffee. They are super sweet guys and a lot of fun and really have a desire to repent. Last night we had a great lesson where Walter told us that about 2 weeks ago he actually started praying and this week he started asking God for forgiveness of his sins and that this week he feels that he is starting to feel the light of Christ again. It was a great lesson and a great spirit in the room.

    We are also teaching these two counsins. One is named Gabriel and his is 14 and his cousin is Alberto and is 20. We met them both through a soccer tournament that our ward held at our church. They both are really great and have been reading what we leave and praying. They just feel they haven't gotten any answers yet. On Monday we went to the bishop's house and brought Gabriel with us. It was such a great time and the bishop invited Gabriel to go to the EFY they will be having here in December and he looked excited.

   The both of them had baptizmal dates for this past Sunday the 28th. On Friday we went to do the interviews for the both of them and only Gabriel passed. Alberto needs an interview from my mission president. Gabriel after started to get super nervous and he told us he didn't want to get baptized anymore. We talked to him a lot and in the end we told him to keep on praying and he will get his answer. Saturday he still wasn't feeling good and he told us he didn't want to get baptized anymore. We said we would pass by later and we did, but we brought our president of the young mens. It ended up being the best lesson ever. The young mens leader (Dennis) opened the heart of Gabriel so much. They just started talking as friends and Gabriel told Dennis all of his doubts. It went well and both Gabriel and Alberto went to church, but they are going to wait a little longer before getting baptized.

   We are also teahcing some really great families also. This family Kevin and Hirnilda are progressing. They are sweet and it is just fun to talk with them. We have a lot of great investigators that I just feel super comfortable with.

    About 3 days this week though the zone leaders called us and made us go to some random place to help. It was tiring. One day we didn't even get to work in our area til 5 because we had to go to Tacuba and some other random place. It sucked.

    So we had thought that after all the planning and hard work we were going to end this month without baptizing anyone, but luckily if we always do our best God will provide. We went to this place this week called Los Horcones which is a 40 min bus ride away and close to the frontier of Guatemala. We went out there cause there are some really strong members that live out there. We went and we talked to the family and just through talking to them we found out that this girl named Enma who is 14 loves church and has gone 6 times. She knew everything, besides a little about tithing. We went Wednesday and talked to her and that same visit we put a date with her for this past Sunday. The next day we did the interview and on Sunday she got baptized. I sent a picture, but she looks super angry in it and after we were laughing about it. She is just super super shy. She is a 14 year old girl who lives out in the middle of no where. Really nice though.
    That was the miracle of the week. September should be a good month. We just got news about changes and I am going to be in El Arco again for 6 weeks and with Elder Trump. These passed 6 weeks have been awesome and I have really liked training. I am excited cause I will have 6 months in this area. I don't want to leave. It is to great here.

    Well I got to get going, but I can't believe we start September this week...... Crazy stuff. I still got a lot of time to get all the work done that I want to. Love you all and talk to you later.

Elder Gillette

Ps I just went to the market this morning. It is like what you see on tv. Mom and krick would absolutely love it. I sat trying to lower a price of a Real Madrid jersey for like 10 minutes. It was a sweet jersey, but he wanted ten. After a while I got it down to 5. I am getting much better at this whole bargening thing. It was like a HUGE garage sale. It was awesome.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 22, 2011: Dedicacion del templo

Hola familia,

WOW, this past week was such a crazy week. I have been so used to doing the same schedule over and over. In the end this week we barely passed any time in our area. It was a lot of fun.

We started out doing some interchanges and I went with our district leader one day and the next with a different missionary. My comp didn't even teach at all in our area this week. He was only here for one day and that day we had planned to go and make pupusas with some investigators and we were to buy the cheese. SO we bought this giant thing of cheese, but it was super expensive, which kind of sucked, but we got to the investigators house and they had already left. So that night we put the cheese to good use and made some of our own.

Now I will get to the good stuff. THE DEDICATION CRAZINESS!!! So on Friday we went to the other mission to a stake called Lyco. It took a 2 and a half hour bus ride to get there. Forever. We got there and all the missionaries from both of the missions in El Salvador were there. We waited for a long time, but it was fun to see all my friends out in the mission. We got to talk and all, but at 5 we entered and we got a little talk from Elder Martino (a seventy that is in the area presidency).

Finally at 6 President Eyring and Elder Christofferson got to the stake center. It was so cool to see them and hear from them. It was super late and there was a storm and so they didn't get to talk much. President Eyring talked on how we should always have a smile. I loved it. That we should always remember through all the difficulties that President Hinckley always said to him "it will all work out" and did it with a smile. I loved it. It fun to hear from them. We got back from that super late. It was an amazing experience though.

Saturday, we got to go see the cultural event. We didn't get to go to the stadium and see it but in the stake center they were playing them. It started out super boring. The dancing was amazing at all. I started to realize that maybe El Salvador doesn't have too much dancing culture. I was pretty cool and about half way through the dances started to get a lot better. I started to really like them and there were a couple end ones that were sweet because of the culture behind it and also the dancing. They made in the stadium with a whole bunch of colored papers a giant temple that you could see from above. All of the youth dancing absolutely loved it. It looked like a lot of fun. I told my comp after that all that maybe the dancing wasn't super sweet and the sound wasn't very good and that it cut out a couple times, but I could really feel the spirit and the love the people here have towards the Lord and this new house here. I loved it.

Sunday was the big day though. There were 3 sessions of the dedication. We got to go to all three, but only in the stake center. We weren't allowed into the temple, which was hard. It was still awesome though. The talks of all three were great and the dedication prayer was amazing. Elder Christofferson in the second one went through and described the growth of the church here in El Salvador. It was cool to hear that at one point during the war here in the 80s that there were only 10 missionaries in all of El Salvador cause it was so bad, but those ten still baptized over 100 each month. He said he wasn't trying to show how good these missionaries or how great a number, but how great is the need of this gospel in this country and how great is the faith of these people to receive it.

In the third one was were I really felt touched. I absolutely loved what President Eyring said. He started out talking about all the young people here and a little about missionary work. He talked about dedication. That we need to have dedication to what we do and that when we put our minds to something we can do anything. But he started to talk about The Plan of Salvation. He said that we find ourselves the most unhappy when we are separated from the ones we love. That the unity is what brings true happiness. That is why we don't like addictive things, its because it draws us away from the ones we really love. That this is why we love the plan of happiness. It provides a way for all of us to live together forever and that there is no other place in the world to connect us beyond this life other than a temple. That is why we search for God. Is cause we want to be happy.

This really hit me. I remembered the times in my life and how empty I really felt when I wasn't in connection as well with the family. We have the most joy also with our family. My favorite memories are things like the food fight, the piñata, the family vacations. These are what really last.

President Eyring went on to talk about when Joseph Smith lost his brother Alvin who died. That he had always been there to help him. But he went on to quote in Doctrine and Covenants where Joseph Smith saw a vision of everyone in heaven... That the person he saw was Alvin also and how happy he was. He heard a voice also. I invite you all to read that section. I can't remember which section it is, but I bet mom or dad would know or joff and krick. It was so powerful.

This all made me think a whole lot. That really we receive the greatest joy with the family and that for me is just a fact. If we look at the hard times and the crappy times, they all dealt with separation of some sort. I have started to really realize joy here and how I felt in that stake center, which acted at that moment as an extension of the temple, was joy. I really thought how I would love to see everyone in our family... in heaven. That I know with certainty it is The House of God and all though we sometimes have hard times or bad experiences. We grow and become better. We forgive... I come home in about a year. That is plenty of time to change. I plan my first full day of coming home and going to the temple. I would like to invite everyone to do the same. That next year around this time. WE can all have our differences made up and go to the temple. United. That is what brings true happiness.

I know a lot of you will say, "well, I don't think so" or "It would be to hard", but I PROMISE you it will be worth it. Like he talked about dedication he will take some of our personal parts, But I invite you first to do the thing that will really help and that is actually go and kneel and say a prayer. I like the hymn that says ¨a prayer can change the night to day¨. I truly believe that. If you ask god sincerely. Like James says, "Ask with faith, without doubt" (I only really know the Spanish version so I don't know if that is the correct English version haha) but that God will always answer. He has helped me more than I could express. I am living here in El Salvador. I have seen people get married in 2 weeks and quit smoking in the same time. Stuff big. In one year we can all change and have more blessings. I love Mosiah 2:41. If we are obedient we will be blessed here and in the world to come. Read The Book of Mormon too. It solves problems.

I don't know if any of you will take me actually serious. But I will over here and I will prepare myself. Like I said, I am working better for goals and this is my year goal - Go to the temple with my family. I hope it is yours too. I just tell you all of this cause I really just love all of you so much and that I know the family is really what matters. The family Ascencio that I baptized just wrote me there are still preparing to go to the temple next year. It got me pumped. They sound happy.

Well sorry this was a bit too long, but I love you all and I know we can be happy and blessed forever and that God will always forgive us. That is why Christ atoned. I Love the gospel. Thanks for everything. Especially Debbie for the wonderful package. It is already gone. I shared it with everyone cause all the missionaries already know your rice crispy treats. They love them too. Thanks for everything and I will pray for all of you (like always) and I hope you will all pray too.

Love you all and talk to you next week

Elder Gillette

-Go to the temple with my family-