Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25, 2011: Training Day

Hola familia,
Another fast week. It was a good week in all though. I had a lot of fun. I didn't even realize that it was pioneer weekend until just now when you all wrote me. Sounds like getting ready for the marathon has been crazy work. I hope to hear some good results.

So this week started out by me going to get my new comp from Santa Ana. I had to wake up at like 4 in the morning so we could leave to get there by like 8 in the morning. It was a crazy day. Monday night I got super sick and I was up all night with stomach problems. So it made the trip Tuesday morning that much harder. It was terrible. We got there and a couple of my other friends are training too, so that was pretty sweet. The best was when all the new missionaries walked in and they were all like super shy and wondering what was going on. I went and talked to a couple and they started asking a ton of questions. I thought mom would like to know that 6 sister missionaries came and I saw Hermana Campbell. She was super excited I could tell to see some she at least at heard about. She looks like she is doing pretty well though. I am pretty sure her trainer is a Latina.

We went through the first half of the meeting and I was SO TIRED. I could barely keep my eyes open luckily the nurses of the mission were there and they gave me something to help my stomach and after I felt a lot better. I feel super lucky though because President Cordon is new and I was able to be one of his first trainers in his time. So it was cool to see how he works and he is such a good teacher. He taught the trainers just for a bit and he gave us a lot of great hints on what we can do to be better.

I finally received the new missionary and his name is Elder Trump. He is from Connecticut and I asked him if he had been to Springfield and he says he knows the place and that it is pretty close. It is funny to be with a white kid. It is my first time. He actually knows quite a bit of Spanish (more than I knew when I came) and he has been adjusting well.

It was so much fun though to go through the whole starting process and like to feel and see all this all over again, but from a different perspective. It really made me feel how far I have come in the mission. Just that now I am the one answering all the million questions he has about El Salvador and helping with his Spanish and translating stuff. It has been really fun.

We got back that day and I had given my keys to Elder Romero so he could move out all of his stuff, but we were going to meet up at 6 or he was going to bring the keys to a members house. We ended up getting back with all this luggage and we couldn't find the keys. Finally we left his luggage with a member. I was thinking that was such a good first experience for him in our area haha, but he was super chill about it. We then left and got out to work and we taught one lesson and it all went really well.

But the work here is doing really well. We have a lot of great people right now that I am excited for. We are teaching this one guy Julio Cesar. He had a date for this past Sunday and was all ready, but decided that he needed to find a job spur of the moment and left for the whole weekend and we haven't been able to find him. He should be alright for this weekend though. He is hilarious though. The other day we found him and he is this like 55 year guy who still lives with his mom and he was wearing these sweet bright orange converse that a friend had given him with sky blue pants on. It was so funny.

This past Friday night also It rained so stinking hard. It rained for a good 3 hours and the lights went out at about 7:30 and they didn't come back on til after we had gone to sleep. It was crazy stuff. We got stuck in the house of a member for a while cause we didn't want to get caught up in it, but when it finally reached like 9:20 we realized we just had to book it home. It was crazy.

It has been fun showing the area around though. There is this part where you can just see hills and hills of corn fields and all types of vegetables and I absolutely love to see it and when my comp saw it for the first time it really was a jaw dropper. There are some extremely beautiful places here.

Let's see what else is going on... I feel like not that much more. We have done really well at working with our member and we just barely changed our cook. The new cook cooks amazing food. She made us pupusas Sunday for lunch. It was absolutely wonder full.

There is also a new training program right now where we study 4 hours every morning and I am absolutely loving it. I have been able to really get down and study a ton. I am reading the gospels right now. So amazing the work of Christ and all the stuff he did. I am also reading in Jacob and just got done with the Parable of the Vineyard. Not gonna lie it is still hard to understand parables and much harder in Spanish.

Well I love you all and I will talk to you next week!
Elder Gillette

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011: Cambios...otra vez


Well, this week went super well. This was probably the week I have gotten the most done in my mission I feel like. Last I wrote I believe I told you all that we were going to have interviews with our new Mission President (President Cordòn). We went and had interviews with him on Tuesday. He is from Guatemala, but served his mission in El Salvador and served in my area. He knows a lot of the leaders here and a lot of them he baptized. It was cool to have him come and talk to him. He really knows a lot and I had a really good conversation with him. I learned a lot from the time I had and I applied what he said this week and I feel that is why I had so much success.

Wednesday and Thursday we just spent running around inviting people to come to the temple on Friday. We invited everyone and their dogs to the temple open house. We finally went Friday to the temple and we had a bunch of people come again. It wasn't as many, but it was close. I went around just talking to people the whole time. One of the members in our ward is an English teacher and he brought a lot of his students and a couple fellow teachers. I was in the bus with them and just talked with them. It was a lot of fun and I had some good lessons in the bus. We got to the temple and I met this guy named Julio Cesar that lives in our area. He is this old guy who is really funny. I went through the temple with him and he absolutely loved it. We got to the Baptismal font and he was in awe. We started talking about baptism and he was saying how important it is. I invited him to be baptized and he accepted to be baptized the 24th of July. It was sweet.

2 of our really powerful investigators came also. They loved it also. It was fun to talk to so many people after the temple and see how different they are from talking before the temple to after. It was a lot better this time cause they took there time explaining each room. It was a lot more relaxed. It was an awesome experience.

That night we had a soccer tournament in the back of our chapel. After contacting so much on the bus I was just on a contacting rush and contacted the whole time there too. I could do some soccer tricks and in between games I would do some tricks and they all thought it was so cool. The court has soccer goals and basketball hoops. They all asked me to touch the rim and I touched it and they were all in amazement. For them it is so outrageously high. It was a lot of fun.

Saturday was just about the craziest day of my life (I think I say that every week). We started out in the morning running around trying to get a Identification thing for this lady we were going to marry Saturday. We finally got everything ready and that afternoon we married another couple. There names are Mario Lopez and Glenda. I explained a little about them last week. Glenda is super sweet, but really really shy. She really wants to be part of the church too. Mario was inactive when I came, but after this time he is now active and he gave us the reference of his girlfriend and like I said last week she is pregnant. Mario is super weird though. He told us that he didn't want anybody from his family to be at the wedding. Like he got a lot of the stuff ready for the wedding, but all he asked us is that they aren't there. We had the funniest wedding ever though. The lawyer asked me where I was from in the middle of the marriage and I told him Utah. He then went off for like 10 minutes on why Mormons have such stable marriages and why they have so much money. It was hilarious and He said it is all because they don't drink coffee. It was awesome.

After we went to the church and Glenda got baptized. It was really cool, but it was crazy. Nobody knew about it cause this week we were focused so much on the temple and forgot about the baptism. We ended up bringing about 20 people to the baptism. It went well though.
Yesterday we started the day hoping like 15 investigators would come to church after all the work we had done. We woke up in the morning and went to all of our investigators to bring them and they told us they couldn't go. I was pretty bummed. We got to church and to my surprise Julio Cesar (from the temple) was sitting in one of the banks. He just came all by himself. It was awesome. We ended up having 4 investigators in church and 118 in Sacrament meeting which is amazing. I was super happy yesterday. We went after and taught all these people and one of them is an awesome guy. He kind of reminds me of Casey Spradling a little. He went to the temple and also to church and really wants to change his life. We talked to him, his brother and his friend, who all went to the temple, with there other friend who is a member and invited them to all these things. It was such a spiritual lesson and in the end they really understood the purpose of why we pray. I left feeling like we really taught to what the needed to hear.

We were walking in the street yesterday and we saw a couple people standing around and one was a member so we talked to him. He told us they had just seen a snake and then killed it. I thought they were talking about some small snake or something. We went and saw it and it was a stinking Python. I was freaked out for a sec. We ended up taking out our cameras and taking a couple pictures with it. I sent one in this email. It made me a little nervous to walk in that route after.

Every Sunday night we go and eat with our bishop. His name is Obispo Zambrano. He is a great guy and the best bishop I have seen in the mission. He is a really nice guy, but knows how to work and run the ward. I love Sundays cause his family is super sweet. His Mother-in-law always make us a really good dinner and we talk about the work we did for the week and stuff. It was a lot of fun last night and I am super grateful to be in this area.

This week was super fun and I love my area and all that is going on. We have a ton of great investigators that are progressing and I am super happy. What sucks is that this Wednesday is transfers.... We found out about the transfer last night and it is pretty crazy.................................................................... take a guess................................haha.........................I am going to TRAIN!!!!! I was so stoked to hear the news. Not gonna lie I have really wanted to train, but I didn't think it would happen so soon. Tomorrow I will go to pick him up and take him to his new area. I will be staying here in my area which is nice, but it will be sad to see Elder Romero leave he has been my favorite comp I have had and we have had a lot of fun.

The other two in the house leave also and so it will just be me and the greenie in the house. It will be interesting. I wonder if I will train a Latin or a gringo?

Well sounds like everything there is good. Sounds like Harry Potter was really good. I feel old out here, cause I haven't even seen the first part. That feels weird to me. Well we are going to play soccer right now. SO I am excited for that. I love you all and good luck to KC. I will pray for him. also Gennie and Krick. Love you all and take care!

Elder Gillette

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 11, 2011: El Templo

Hello Family,

Wow, so this week was so stinking crazy. I did a TON of stuff it feels like. I don't even know were to start. I guess I will start from the beginning (it is always a good place to start). So like I told you last week we were going to celebrate fourth of July with a couple members from our ward and also a couple other missionaries. It ended up being a lot of fun. We ate a bunch of hot dogs and lit off these super ghetto fireworks. We took a whole bunch of photos and it was a good way to spend fourth of July. One of the missionaries brought a giant American flag, so of course we took a picture with it.

The next morning, on Tuesday, we went to the temple. We go to the chapel at 6 in the morning and it was crazy with everyone. My bishop didn't think many people would come and wants to save money so he only bought 2 buses for the day. We started loading people on the buses and we filled up the first bus super quick and I was thinking we weren't going to fit everyone. We then start packing the second one and we really packed it. We had the whole middle of the bus filled with people. It was crazy. It took an hour and a half squished into this bus to get to San Salvador. We finally got there and the temple is so stinking beautiful. I hadn't seen the temple in a good 5 months so it was sweet to finally see it again. We got off and counted how many people were in the two buses and we counted that 2 buses that should fit 65 maximum each. Fit about 90 each. It was crazy.

We got off and we watched this video first that they showed us. Then we got to go through the temple. This was actually my first temple open house ( I didn't go to the Draper and I don't understand why). It is SO beautiful inside. It is gigantic from the outside, but the inside is a bit smaller. I loved it though. Someone told me that on you can see pictures of it. The baptismal font is so amazing. I loved the whole place (obvious). It was fun to see the people who went. A couple of our investigators and my 2 recent converts in this area went. I also got to see the wife of my old bishop which was super weird. I am super excited cause we are going again this Friday. I hope that this time our bishop gets more buses.

This guy Giovanni was there and he had a baptismal date for that day after we went to the temple. Before we went he was a little unsure about getting baptized. We went to the temple and I talked to him after and he couldn't stop talking about how good he felt. We ended up getting back to the chapel and got everything ready and he got baptized after. He is a super funny guy and he would not smile at all for the pictures. I sent a picture of the baptism and he looks like he wants to kill the camera man. He is a good guy. Yesterday he came to church and got confirmed. I printed out this picture and gave it to him during the last hour of church and he was just looking at it the whole time. He came up to me after church super excited and he wants to start working with us. He is super great guy and I am excited to see him in the church.

Wednesday I went on interchanges for the first time since coming in this area. I went to this area called Tacuba. It is an hour bus ride away from Ahuachapan. It is really far, but super cool. I loved my time there and it was fun to see another area and help out there. I met this girl who has a baptismal date named Carla and she is the smartest, most super genius, 13 year old girl. We were teaching about The Plan of Salvation and I asked her what she had heard of about Adam and Eve (thinking she would say like, "oh they are the first people here on the earth" or something like that). She then goes off on this 15 minute explanation on Adam and Eve and The Fall and what she read in the Bible. I swear I learned more in this lesson than she did. At the end we were like in aww and she then asked us some crazy question about Cain and his wife or something like that. She was crazy smart, but she really understands the gospel.

We lately have been teaching this family in my area. We first met them about a month ago and we helped them bring all these fruits to there house and ended up talking to them for a while. The dad's name is Oscar and his wife is Iris. They have these 2 kids (Iris who is 16 and also a little 2 year old who is so stinking cute). We have just been going over there teaching about the Book of Mormon and reading passages from it. Every time though it is always the most spiritual experience. They really understand and they always answer all the questions and listen. The girl Iris was the only one though that would read though when we would leave something for them to read. Finally this week we came by and the dad starting talking that he actually read and prayed and knows The Book of Mormon is true. The daughter already knew it was true and the mom still hasn't prayed. They were super Catholic, but the dad let the daughter go with us this week to church. She ended up loving it. What is the trial here is that the dad drives buses and works ALL THE TIME. So he never has time to come to church, but says that he may be coming with us to the temple this week.

Last night they invited us to come and make pupusas with them, cause I told them I am trying to learn to make them. They taught me how to make some super good ones and I ended up eating 11 of them. It was a lot of fun with them.

We are also teaching this family. The dad is the guy named Mario who was an Inactive member when I came, but he has come back to church. I think I already explained a little bit about them. We are teaching the mom right now (Glenda). She is pregnant right now and we are working to get them married. They both said yes this week to get married the 16th of July. That should be a lot of fun. Glenda will be getting baptized that same day.

Saturday we spent the whole day making Tamales with the Relief society. They are doing a fundraiser for the temple trip and they needed help. It was a lot of fun, but a bit hard to do. I don't think I could do them again.

Let's see... I think that is all that has happened for this week. This next week should be pretty sweet also. I love all of you and hope that your weeks go good. The GOSPEL IS TRUE!

Elder Gillette

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, 2011: La Jungla


Wow, it feels weird to celebrate a birthday of a country you don't live in haha. I actually live with the most patriotic missionary in our mission. He has like a giant flag and he plays the star spangled banner every night. I think he will probably cry tonight as he looks at his flag while listening to the anthem, but it is all fun haha. I thought I would get a little patriotic and I found a shop that makes soccer jerseys. So I had them make me a USA one. It is super sweet.

This week went by super fast like always. I can't believe this week I will be completing 10 months in this mission. 8 months here in el salvador. Time really flies by.

So the good stories of this week are all shown in the pictures pretty much. We have been going to this new area that we really haven't visited to much because we have gotten some references for over there. We realized this week how much of the jungle it really is. It rained one night when we were out there and it started to flood. It was pretty fun and lucky that I have my water proof boots that we bought (ps that was the best buy we made before my mission). In this area though we have some really positive investigators and we are hoping to see them come to church and the temple.

Speaking of the temple. Tomorrow I get to go to the El Salvador San Salvador Temple!!!!! wahoo! I am super excited. We have been working so hard to invite EVERYONE to the temple. We will be bringing like 3 large buses of people. I probably won´t even have much time to enjoy the temple. I will probably just be contacting people the whole time. It should be a blast and I am super excited to see these investigators see the temple.

As I said it has kept raining (luckily). about 2 weeks ago we had someone break our water pipes and steal water. So we came home one night and water was running down the hill from the pipes. We got it turned off and we called the water department, but of course... we are in El Salvador and they told us they would come... they never came. We called again about 1 week later (luckily in our house we have a big like tub or font of water, I really don´t know how you would call it in English but it is a pila, and it is pretty big and our roof is a little broken and so the rain water runs right into the pool of water. Lucky for us in this week span it rained a lot and kept giving us water to shower with). and the said that "it is in process". so we called the owner of the house and he came and fixed it and we finally had water again.

That night we came home and we saw a giant fountain bursting from the pipe. Someone broke it AGAIN! so that was super sweet. The owner came over again but couldn't fix it then. So we have gone another week without water. Saturday we ran out of water, cause it hadn't rained, and we started trying to get the water out of the pipe in front. It actually worked. I sent a picture of my getting the water out. So that has been fun. Especially bathing with a bucket full of freezing cold rain water.

But in the work aspect everything is going super well. We have one baptism lined up for tomorrow. His name is Giovanni and I have explained him before. He passed his interview yesterday and all looks good for tomorrow.

We are teaching this less active guy named Mario and his girlfriend that he lives with named Glenda. She is like 4 months pregnant, but looks like she should have the baby at any moment. Her stomach is big. She came to church with us yesterday and she wants to get married and baptized. We just have to talk with Mario and help him.

Really I am just super excited to get to the temple and see what I have been waiting for after all this time. I have already heard stories in the little time it has been open and how magnificent it is.

Yesterday we got invited to a little family get together with our President of the Elders Quorum. We got there at 5:30 and we just ate and hung out with there family for a little. It hit me that the fam was probably all together at that moment also. It felt really good to be in that spirit of family even though it is like thousands of miles away, but it is the same love.

Other than that not much. I loved the pictures you all sent me. Kelsy keeps changing and growing up. It scares me. Hilz and Gen are really rocking the whole bangs thing. You both look like the Zoey Deschanel(or however you spell her name from yes man).

The fam looks good and Happy Birthday Dad. I hope this week goes great.

Oh and this Friday I got to meet my new mission President and his family. President Polonski Cordon. He was one of the 70 and just got released. Cosas Serias este hombre. He will be a great president. The story of the conversion of his wife was amazing. I love the spirit.

But I love you all and I will talk to you next week

Elder Gillette