Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011: "La Familia"


Hello everyone. This week was another crazy fast week here in independencía. I can't even believe I have already had almost 2 weeks here. It sounds like everything is going good over there. I can't even believe the Final Four. That is really crazy. I was thinking about that the other day. How I am already on football season down, almost done with a March Madness, and then the NBA season. After that all I will practically be done with one year out here and I will do it all over again.

So this week was a lot of fun actually. We worked a lot with the members and they are all getting excited. I don't know if I ever told you all about the Familia Ascencio, but they are awesome and I am going to explain the story of them. We found them like 2 months ago in trebol (by a miracle). We were guided by the spirit for like 15 minutes and after that time we finally knocked on a door and it was the door of this guy named Erick Ascencio. He said he didn't know anything about our church and it was the only church he really didn't know too much about and wanted to know more.

We didn't come back for like 2 weeks cause really at the time he didn't look to positive and they were like never in there house and super hard to find, but in the end we finally went back when we felt it was right. We found them and taught him and his wife (Carolina) and their son Daniel (Who is 4 years old). We continued to teach them for a couple of weeks and they started to have a lot of questions about the book of Mormon as they were reading it.

They went to church and actually the dad accepted a baptismal date, but the mom was a bit harder and never wanted to do the prayer. Finally we found out that we were going to have changes and leave and we told them and they were super sad. They told us how grateful they were for all we did and that the day we found them they had been searching for a new religion and had felt like they had found it until we came to the door.

I told them I was going to like central part of Santa Ana and they were Like "No Way!" They told me they have a house in that area and that's why it was so hard to find them at times. They gave me there address and everything so I could teach them here still. In the end of this lesson the Mom finally prayed and it was awesome.

I went the next week with Elder Medina and a member from my ward. It was another awesome lesson and through a lot more ups and downs, finally on Saturday we went and did the baptismal interview. While the dad was getting interviewed the mom told me that they were on the edge of divorce and that this gospel has really helped them with their relationship. We had brought them to a Family home evening with this awesome family and they loved it.

This Sunday I had the privilege to baptize them both. It was the best experience. I hope to see them in the temple in a year.

Well that is really the highlight of this week. We found a lot of people and have continued to contact like crazy. I have started to actually make friends here so that has been fun.

I just got an e-mail from Alex Diaz and I can´t believe he is already in the Philippines. Also the picture of Kylie. Wow that baby must be a big baby, cause I don´t remember Kylie being that big with Basil?

I have really had to learn a LOT of patience this week with my comp, but it is all good.

Well I got to go, but I love you all so so much. I can´t believe this week we will start April. CRAZY.

Well love ya all and talk to you next week.

Elder Gillette

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21, 2011: "Work = Fruits"


Wow, crazy week this week with transfers, the new area, a new companion, and very different members. I started of this week with Elder Bonilla not wanting to do anything, but say bye to all the people. Not gonna lie the people didn't really like him all that much, but it was pretty hard for me even though I am still in the same stake. I really am just right across the highway from my first area.

Wednesday we did the huge change and everyone in my zone changed except one companionship of sisters. It was a crazy change, but a good one. I got my comp Elder Medina and he is a little shorter than me and looks like a Guatemalan, but is from the states. He has 13 months in the mission and lets see... he is exactly like Glenn. Which I love! Really he is so stinking nice and really wants to do the best for everyone and doesn't want to make anyone mad (which is a real difference from Elder Bonilla). He is just always happy which is a nice change. He kind of looks and talks like Napoleon Dynamite also. I will have to send a picture of us next week when I have one though. His Spanish though is not very good though. He really tries, but has major challenges with it. The people here are really honest about everything and tell him his Spanish sucks. It is lucky he is so humble, it is one thing I want to learn from him.

Our area is really sweet though. Everyone says it is one of the hardest in the mission, but I have always liked challenges so I thought this is a big one I could try. The bishop is one of the harder ones, but the members work. Our first day we went and did splits and everyday we have gone with the members. We have been working our butts off though. I have realized in the mission that if you want confidence or the respect of someone it doesn't do to much to talk to them and try and convince them, but it is better to just work and let it show through that. So this week we just ran and contacted every living thing. The good thing is that Elder Medina doesn't fight back at all. He just follows whatever I do. So as long as I am obedient and working, so is he.

But we came here and the bishop wasn't to happy to have us, cause I have such little time and cause my comp has some challenges, but I decided I was going to work my butt off and get his confidence by the end of this change. So the first day we went out with everything. This are has about one baptism a month or less. Last year they went like 5 months without a baptism. We went out our first day and put a baptismal date with this guy the missionaries before us tried to put the date with but couldn't (his name is Douglas and he is from Honduras. He is like 41 years old). We were so excited after and this week God has helped us so much. We have found such positive people.

That night though we bought this bottle of soda and a bunch of cookies for the bishop that we brought to him and his family. We stopped by his house that night and it went really well. He seems a lot more excited than before.

We also found these 3 brothers, Josué(18), Angel(12), and Alejandro(10), that we found Saturday. They were busy so we just invited them to church and yesterday they ended up coming. It was a CRAZY day yesterday in church. They all want to get baptized so we are going to go to talk with there parents tomorrow.

After all of this the ward is starting to look a lot better. The best part is every night we have been here so far we have gotten fed by one of the members. Last night we had a family home evening with this family that has a super nice house. We brought some less actives and they made the best food I have had here. It was a good time.

But it has been hard. The best is every night I go back and for a half an hour I lay in our hammock and read Jesus the Christ like as my reward. It is fun, but takes a lot to do everything. My comp has a harder time, so I just do everything, which I am fine with. He is a good guy though.

Great that BYU is in the Sweet 16. it would be cool to hear that they got to the final four.
Hey when you send packages, send them to the same address. It sends it to the mission offices and they send them from there.

Thanks for the letters and the support. I am going to continue to work as hard as I can and I know we will continue to see the fruits of our labors. It has been a good lesson in Hope. Love you all though and talk to you next week.

Elder Gillette

Monday, March 14, 2011

March 14, 2011: "Independence"


How are you all doing back in UT? Good? good, well this week was crazy, crazy, CRAZY! My comp decided to go a little wacko this week and that was a little sucky so we had a couple bumpy roads this week. He still isn't the most obedient person para nada. But in the end we ended this week really really well.

Saturday of this week after a whole bunch of troubles and all and E. Bonilla knew he was leaving this area(because we have transfers this week) he wasn't working as hard as he could and was kind of slacking. So Saturday I sat him down in the morning and tried to pump him up for the work. Cause really I was going to give it all and I wanted him too also. We decided to do divisions all day. So he promised me he would give it his all and I promised him if he did he would be happy.

So we left and I went with this kid José Romagoza who was a ton of help. We saved 2 baptizmal dates and put 3 more. 2 of which we are going to marry. We found this sweet family and ran our butts off. I gave it my ALL Saturday. In the end of the night we met back up and E. Bonilla looked depressed and I was like shoot, he didn´t give it his all. So they start saying that they didn't find anything and it wasn't that good but they gave it their all. I told them what we did and really how it was my all. I ended up buying the two kids who helped us pupusas for all they did and they loved that.

We got back to the house and talked about the day. It was hard cause really I didn't feel he gave it his all, but he said he did although he is known by everyone as a liar.

Yesterday at church I saw a miracle. There is this family of Recent converts named the Polanco family. They got baptized in august of last year and are awesome. But the mom (Amelia) has been going to church with them since they started going. She has come to church for the past 7 months and even bore her testimony last week in church and everyone said it was powerful, but she still doesn't want to be baptized. Everyone is trying with her.

Friday and Saturday of this week the ward took a trip to the Temple in Guatemala and the bishop paid for Amelia to go also cause she wanted to (Although she can´t do anything). And WOW you really can put your trust in the power of the temple. She went and talked to someone there and felt that finally she received her answer. She is going to be baptized the Saturday!!!
We are also teaching this family(Acencio Family) and we found them by pure spirit about a month ago. We have been teaching them and yesterday they came to church with us. We have worked so hard with them and at the end of church they told us how much they liked it. We put a date with them for the 27th of march and they accepted and are way excited.

K, So now onto the big news. Our zone is having transfers like crazy this change. Both me and E. Bonilla are leaving trebol and Las Aradas and they are putting in Hermanas. I heard I was leaving and I was like thinking I would go somewhere far, but then they told me Independencia, Modelo. I am staying in my same zone. i just move like 3 miles down the road. My area is Santa Ana central. A whole bunch of stores. It will be an interesting change. My comps name is Elder Medina. I don´t really know anything about him, but everyone has been telling me I have better spanish then him and he is a gringo. This area has been known to be really hard and I have actually done a zone activity to contact there. But I am not scared. I am excited to get started. We actually have a chapel too which is a first. We meet in the Stake Center.

But that is pretty much my week. Kind of crazy ya. This week I will be switching everything. But thank you all for the letters and I pray for you all and love you all. Hasta pronto

Elder Gillette

Monday, March 7, 2011

March 7, 2011 "Contacting"


Hello family, how are you all doing up there in the states? I know the answer is great. Sounds like everything is going good from all the emails unlike last week and its craziness. It is nice to here now that I have a famous sister that was on TLC. Congrats Hilz! Sounds like all that hard work is really paying off. I loved the pictures that you sent of you. HEY ALSO! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BASIL (in 2 days)!!! I cannot believe he is going to turn 4 this week. It blows my mind. I love those stinking kids. Siempre yo digo a personas que yo los amo a mis sobrinos con toda mi corazon.

But this week was full of a bunch of crazy crazy contacting. We did hours and hours of it and we found the most interesting people ever. Last night we went with a member named marvin and we were over in Los sentimientos where it is is all tin houses and stuff. We found this guy who is a less active member, but his whole family isn't members. We start talking to him and we come to find out quickly that this guy has a big testimony of Joseph smith. Like HUGE. He starts telling us how in order to talk to God we must go through José Smith and all. Then he says "Gracias por llegando a mia casa y compartiendo esta mensaje. José smith esta viendo ahorita a nosotros" which means thanks for coming and sharing this message. Joseph smith is watch us right now. Me and Elder Bonilla looked at each other and were like... uh this is wrong haha. He was a really nice guy just needs help knowing whats what.

That night though we were asking Marvin who he knew that we could contact and he said he knew this girl so we went there. We knock on the door and there is this old man and he is just staring at the tv and right as we knock he glares right at us. He is like 6 feet tall and big and probably was in the wars here from how he was. He comes over and starts to talk to us and seriously doesn't blink at all. He just is staring with his eyes gigantic. I say my name and he says in english "Nice to meet you", I then joke around and am like "Hey you can speak english too!" we laugh for about 2 seconds then he stops laughing and glares at me and says "No mas de esto." Which means "No more of this" with a total straight face. We were all shut up real quick. He definitely gave me a little fear haha.

Ya those were just 2 of the many many interesting ones we had. There were a lot, but I don't have much time to write all of them. This week though we have been working our butts off though. I cannot believe we are already into March. It blows my mind. WOW I will complete 6 months tomorrow. That is crazy.

Well I hope you all liked the recording. Sounds like it, but it is nothing to be sad about. That day was a little harder, but I am glad you all liked when Elder Bonilla talked. He is really trying with English right now, but really struggling though. We all laughed about when Elder Stone talks and how retarded he sounds haha. But I am really glad you all got it cause I thought it wasn't going to work.

I thought I would tell you Dad and Debbie that I got the calender and you are right. I LOVE IT! seriously you both know how much I loved it at your house. I look at it like everyday and it has already been really useful. We had the ZLs over one night and it was the night I received it so everyone was looking through it and we were all laughing at the pic that we are making pupusas and Elder Stone looks retarded in that also. He was like "Great your fam thinks i am like way retarded haha".

Also Joff I received the Hand towel and the letter and all. Loved that too thanks. My comp absolutely loved the little candy and stuff from basil. They don't do that stuff here for valentines day so he thought that was way neat.

Mom you should tell Sister Yaggi thank you, thank you, Thank you! She sent me a little package with the ward newsletter and a pack of licorice and a letter and it almost made me cry. It was so stinking sweet of her.

What else? oh I was thinking this week of the things I liked the most in the packages thus far as of thing you could buy and that I need. Hilz I loved the Dill pickle sunflower seeds. I still have them and like savor them for when I need something good. More would be sweet. Also when Joff, you sent me some pens and it was like the highlight. I need good pens.

Well I am still hammering through El Libro de Mormón and am in 3 nefi 4 as of right now. So I am pretty close to done. I also picked back up this week Jesus the Christ and wow Has that opened my eyes. So many things have just been popping up in that book and I am only 100 pages in but it has already helped my testimony so much. I encourage all to read it, although it is a little more difficult.

Well that is really all. The next time I wrute you, We will know about changes again. I can't even believe another change has already passed. I have to give it all this week cause I could go, but I really doubt it. We will see.

LOVE YOU ALL and I am always praying for you. I hope this week is amazing. Talk to you next week!

Elder Dano Gillette

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February 28, 2011 "WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!"


I feel like I can't even breath right now. Deron Williams is gone, BYU is doing amazing, and kelsy is going to high school dances. I feel like you are all living in an alternative universe. I don't even know what to think right now. Everyone who has asked yes I get your letters. And I love them, but I am amazed.

Well here in El Salvador was another quick week. I am not gonna write all to much cause I am going to try and send a voice recording and I don't have a whole bunch of time today.

So we did a lot of splits this week again. Almost half the week. We had to do baptismal interviews so that was good. What sucked is that only 1 of the 3 passed. So yesterday we were to have one baptism, but after a giant fiasco, she ended up not getting baptized (well this week, she has a date now for this next Sunday). Ya yesterday was crazy.

This week has been cool though cause the rain has been starting here. Friday was crazy. It went from normal day to flooded streets that became rivers in about 10 minutes. We ran to a members house cause we were getting hammered from the rain. It was really awesome and a lot how I imagined it in the first place.

This week we have also tried a lot of different fruit. It is sweet to walk through the jungles here and see trees of bananas and avocados and mangoes. I tried a red banana this week that was absolutely delicious. I loved it.

We are teaching this family right now named the Family Acencio and they are awesome. It is a miracle we found them one day. And they are reading everything that we have given them. We watched the Restoration yesterday and they told us it solved all there doubts. They are going to go to church with us this week.

I have been telling everyone here this week also how awesome it is that There will be 6 Elder Gillettes out (well one Elder Apsley, but it is like the same) and It just shows how great this work is.

Lets see what else. OH i got a letter this week that was hilarious. I received this week the Christmas card from Scott and Kristin. It was only like 2 months late, but it just shows the mailing system here. Made me wonder if you have gotten my letters that I have sent. Dad I haven´t gotten the calender yet, but I just got an email saying I received a package. So maybe that is it.

Well That is about all, but I love you all a ton and really the more I am out here the easier it is to see miracles. I know God lives and is watching me. I feel great comfort in that. I love you all and will talk to you next week.

Elder Gillette

Ps. my comp like shoved the recording thing in my face and I really didn't know what to say haha.