Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24th, 2011

Hey Fam,

This week was crazy. Fun, but crazy. We have been running around all week trying to keep all of our investigators excited for their baptisms and even more the members. Our Branch(Las Aradas) has had a lot of success in the past year. All of our baptisms thus far have been in the branch, but the ward (trebol) hasn't had a baptism in about 6 months. So They were starting to get pretty upset. People in the mission and members want baptisms and really it shows success. Trebol is definitely a hard area, but we are working our butts off to keep everyone happy.

But this week we had a baptism again, but this time it was in Trebol. So to prepare we decided to invite EVERYONE! we wanted everyone to come to get all excited and stuff. Especially because it is the sister of the young men's president who is a recent convert from a year ago and he was going to baptize her. We talked to her everyday and she has come to church for the past month because she went to EFY here(ya they had the first EFY in El Salvador this year like my second week here) and she said it changed all her beliefs about the church.

So we invited everyone and while doing that taught all of our investigators and while doing that had to find new investigators. But Thursday we had Elder Jay Jensen from the Presidency of the 70 come and talk to us. He gave great spiritual stuff and a lot of things I can work on. It was a lot of fun and a great experience. I got to shake his hand and all.

After we had to do divisions with the ZL's because one of them was going to go with me and we were going to go to Sonzacate(which is a stake like an hour and half away from mine) cause he was going to go and baptize someone from his old area. Then after we were going to go back to my area and do the Interview for Karina(the girl who was going to get baptized). We left from San Salvador at 4 and didn't get to Sonzacate til 6 and we found out the last bus to Santa Ana left at 5. So we were stuck in Sonzacate. So we did the baptism then went around with the missionaries there and that night ate the best pupusas ever! they were huge and delicious but pricey.

Sonzacate though is known for how hot it is, so i didn't sleep at all. I was sweating the whole night and if felt like when I used to take a nap at the house next to the giant window in the front room and wake up all sweaty and more tired then when I went to sleep. Ya felt like that.
We left the next morning at 5 and got back and did the interview and all was good.

Saturday we had the baptism and it was a headache. Started an hour and a half late, no one showed up for a while, lots of stuff. Finally at like 5:30 we decided to start and like everyone showed up. The place was filled and was awesome. Her bro baptized her and like everyone was crying. She bared her testimony after and how EFY changed her life and how she wants to serve a mission(she is 18). It was awesome.

But that is like the highlight of my week. All was worth it. This week we have more baptisms,but we have to work really hard to get them excited. Especially with the family that is going to get married. And one of them is this investigator Fransisco who was the first person I ever contacted her my second day. He is a special person and I am excited for him.
The good thing is through all of this the members have really started to help us. We had a ton of help this week and everyone isn't mad at us anymore. It really is amazing how 1 baptism changed this place and the moral.

Lets see other than that I was thinking this week how when we talked for Christmas how dad asked is the best way to send money and the answer is, NOT THROUGH MAIL! it will get stolen, happened to Elder Stone. He got a letter this week that DID have money in it, but it had been opened like 5 times through the mail process. So probably just put it in my bank account cause I can still use my card here.

Well sorry this letter was a bit bigger. I attached some photos of the baptisms last week and the one this week. Also the other one is this place that we walk through everyday in like the middle of the jungle that i think is super sweet. So i decided to take a picture to show you.

But love you all and thanks for all the support. i am gonna try to get better to answer questions, just this week was crazy. OH and Kelsy! holy smokes you aren't you anymore. The pictures with you without braces is absolutely crazy!!! I was literally stunned seeing them. And I can´t believe Porter got to play with Gordon Hayward. I am so SO jealous. I guess Porter is the next chosen one, the Next Lebron.

Love you all and talk to you next week!

Elder Gillette

Monday, January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011

Hey family,

Another good week here in EL SAL. I feel super blessed to be here. Although we have definitely had difficulties also. But overall not much to complain about. For some reason I feel like I don´t have a super ton to write about, then I think about the week and realize how much we really have done.

The big news for this week is we worked super hard with these three girls. They are younger, 2 are 10 years old and the other is 13, and we talked to them everyday and worked really hard and on Saturday they were baptized. It was awesome and there families came and everything. It was good that they are all around the same age cause they had a blast. 2 of them are sisters so that was really cool for them. They are really sweet and 2 of them asked me to baptize them and it really was awesome.

Kind of crazy though cause the day we baptized them was Saturday and that night there house got robbed. They live in one of those tin houses and not very protected. The next day the 2 girls were back in church though and all smiles. They weren't like phased by it. We past by later and the mom and the other sister were really having troubles. We gave the mom a blessing and it was awesome. The sister wants to be baptized, she just has to come to church now. The two I think really helped the mom and the sister.

We were passing by our mission leaders house and he had the TV on and we just passed by to tell him about the baptisms when I looked up and saw the bulls playing the bobcats. It felt so weird to see that. It has just been such a long long time. I had to turn the other way so I wouldn't get my like eyes glued to the TV.

But this week we are preparing for another baptism and so that is our main focus. This Sunday kind of sucked, cause everyone that has a baptismal date didn't come to church. So we had to postpone some of the people. Yesterday we got kind of hit with a lot. One of our most faithful and positive investigator that had a date for the 22 of January has a boyfriend that was at her house this week and told us he will not allow her to be baptized. So that kind of sucks. They have a kid together, but don´t live together and I thought ended things a while ago. And she might be moving too.

But over all everything is really good. I have gotten better at making pupusas. I have been helping people a lot with them and it is a good way to meet people actually haha.

I can´t believe it is cold over there though. I realized this week how tan I actually am. Oh and hey! how did Alex´s farewell go? Kelsy never wrote me to tell me. Just to busy now with boys i guess. haha

Well other than that we had like a meeting this week in San Salvador and the head architect of the temple here came. He is actually like called on a mission and his name is Elder Fenn. He showed us all these pictures of the temple, like the digital ones that they made first and how it has looked through the process and looks now. It was so cool! like he told us all these stories and stuff. They are going to dedicate it in June or July and the whole first presidency is coming. We are all so super excited. It will be awesome.

That is pretty much it from this week. It flew by, like way fast. We are almost done with another change which is just crazy. Exciting news about Brandon too. Finally getting changed. Well love you all and pray for you. I had a dream the other night that we all went scuba diving in Hawaii, but we didn't need like gear, we could just breath under water. We ended up losing Jonathan though. Haha well have another good week and talk to you all real soon.

Elder Gillette

Ps Sorry sometimes I get stuck with the sucky computers and they can't send pictures. But i will send the pictures of the baptism next week.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 10th, 2011

Hola familia,

Wow, another week gone. Has felt like nothing this week. Pretty crazy. We worked super super hard this week. I can tell all of you weren´t ready for me to write this early cause I only got letters from Mom, kels and krik, but its alright. I know it has been a busy week for all.

So this week we decided to really make work of the 11 people who came to church and just go everywhere. One of our areas really has 3 different areas. It is gigantic! it takes 30 minutes to walk to one of the areas and 30 minutes in bus to the other and 45 minutes in the back of a pickup to it. It is crazy and I had never been to the farther two til this week. We decided to just go, feeling that it was a good idea, and it definitely was. We found a ton of great positive people and got a lot of help from the members.

We also have worked like crazy in the closer area called Los Sentimientos, which translated is the Feelings haha. We have been eating like in a faster time and leaving earlier to try and get more work time in. We set dates this week with 9 people to be baptized and 2 to get married at the end of January. We are working like crazy and teaching a lot. It has been fun though to really get to know these people.

There are these two girls who have gone to church for forever and we thought they were members, but we are helping reactivate this lady and she told us that they aren't. So we have been teaching those two and there older sis and mom and have dates with them.

We are hoping to have 15 baptisms in January which would tie the record here for baptisms in one month. Which we aren't like trying for numbers or anything, but my ZL just told me that. Things have been working out lately.

My comp found out this week he is on the list for the people to go to Belize. Which is really cool and really sucky. These are the reasons why

1. Really beautiful
2. They send the like best missionaries there cause they pretty much have their own little mission. The president is in a whole different country and for 2 missionaries they are on an island 2 hours by boat away from land.
3. You get bicycles.

1. It is HOT HOT HOT. He would go for the hottest part too. So if you want to lose wait you go there.
2. Really hard to get baptism or accepted into houses.
3. Once you get sent there you will usually be there at least a year. So in his case finish his mission there.

I think it is freaking sweet and have seen a lot of stuff from there and I want to serve there. He is worried also because of the language. Not only does he not really speak English, but they speak Creole. Which is like Jamaican I hear. I want to go so I can learn it. We will just see what happens I guess.

It is crazy to think that I am already done with one NFL season. Its to bad the Jags didn't make it, but I would rather have them not make it than them like winning the Superbowl haha.

I was wondering if you ever got the letter I sent also? I am going to try and send more handwritten letters cause really they are just better and I figured out how to use the post office here.

Really just working a lot. I will be writing in my journal one night and the next thing I am doing is writing in it again the next day. Yesterday I brought this guy who hasn't come to church in a while to church and while in the Gospel Principles class, while talking about repentance, he just started to ball. I never at home realized how going to church really is impactful. It was awesome to see and seriously feel the spirit.

I am in Alma 30 in my Spanish Book of Mormon and starting Mosiah in English. I hope to finish them both soon. It will feel like a great accomplishment finishing the BOM in Spanish.

Well I think that is all I got this week. Love you all and think about you every night. Hope everything is going good and talk to you soon.

Elder Gillette

PS I am also sending a picture of the church/plaza in the center of town. Its pretty cool and also a picture HNO Barriento and his family. He is our cook and his name Juan Carlos. I have told you a bit about him. They are like my favorite. The best part is this pic is from Christmas eve and a tradition here is on Christmas eve you wear new clothes. So his shirt is his new clothes and I love it. Plus in Latin American countries they don´t smile for pictures. haha

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3rd, 2011

Happy New Years FAMILY!

Wow this week was an AMAZING week. We had miracles happen. We just worked and worked and worked. We set a new record for our zone for most new investigators found in a week and almost for most investigators in church. We found 30 new investigators and had 11 investigators in church which is crazy good. Everyone keeps telling us the whole mission has their eyes on us.

Seriously this week has been so good only because me and Elder Bonilla finally get along. I realized this week kind of what Joff told me so much before I left. He has given up a lot too. I cant change him in one day. I have started to be a little easier and more happier this week. but kind of show through example and it has made the difference. Yesterday we actually talked a lot and he has really opened up. He just barely past the year mark and his two year anniversary with his girlfriend(who is serving a mission also, she gets home one month before he does) and he found out in the call on Christmas that his inactive parents are preparing to be sealed in the El Salvador temple when he gets home. Freaking amazing news. It really has changed his view on things also, but has been really homesick also.

This week has been great though and we have gotten a lot of help from the branch. We reviewed the attendance of our branch and ward for the past year and it is crazy to see how much it has risen in the past 2 months. I know that the missionaries before us were pretty disobedient too, but the attendance for them in the ward was 50 or 60´s. For us we had last week 97 and this week 88. Which they say these two weekends are the hardest to get people to come because of the holidays. Really the secret to getting things done, is just to get out there and work.

So you all wrote and wanted to hear about new years. Well I am sorry to tell you I didn't see anything way way crazy. But we did have 3 dinners again, but these went worse. First all we had was a giant plate of rice(And mom i thought you would be excited to hear that the rice aunt vicki makes they make hear all the time. I love it!) and rice will fill you up so so quick. After We had some chicken and after the second dinner I totally threw up from so much food. But wait! We had another dinner to go to! and this we couldn't cancel. She gets super super offended easily.

So we go to her house and I feel crappy, but she brings out this thing of rice and chicken and this weird salsa salad thing. I ate it all almost. I got pretty good at eating a bite then putting a bite in my napkin. My pockets were full of food. I got done with the plate and I couldn't eat any more. She then brought out this giant thing of chocolate cake. I almost threw up just seeing it. But she cut me a giant slice and i had to eat it. I ate half of it and couldn't eat more. I put some in my last napkin and told her I couldn't eat more.

We started to watch this show on the channel BYU and all the sudden I couldn't hold it in more and my mouth filled with throw up, but I held it in. I walked out side like I was getting air and sneakily threw up haha(ya its possible, years of practice). I asked for the bathroom and as I was walking back the bathroom was full and more throw up filled my mouth. I tried to hold it back and it then just burst out my nose all over there kitchen. It was terrible. Although I felt like crap after.

Ya, but other than that I just went home and went right to sleep at 9. I got woken up at 12 by the bombs of fireworks outside our window. The house was shaking there were so many fireworks.

Sounds like new years over there was a success. Hotels and good food and fun games. Kinda miss that stuff but sincerely right now i am to busy too. Although this week I realized the thing I miss like the most...... Tortinos pizzas. I want one so stinking bad. We don't have ovens or microwaves even in our houses. Just a little like camping stove and a thing to make grilled cheeses.

Well I attached some photos. Of our zone Christmas party, We actually found a Christmas tree so we were excited and took some pictures with it. one is of Christmas morning when i put the tree on our window and the others are the baptism.

Well I really love hearing from you all and sorry I don´t have the time to write all of you personally,but know I read all of them and love them all. The pictures are great, but the best is Basil's rap. Best thing I have ever heard!!!! Is he saying grammy's in the car? I don´t know but it is awesome. I can´t believe how old the kids are getting. That's crazy.

Love you all and hope the new year will be great. I am excited to start as they say here ¨the black year¨ cause this whole year I will be in the mission. Its crazy, but it will go by so fast. Love you all and keep safe! Hope you all get back to work and home safe and the groove normally. Talk to you all next week!

Elder Gillette

PS I got permission this week to write my friends also. So you can give them my email if you want mom