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-

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011

Hola familia,

How is everything going over there? Seems like everything is pretty normal as of right now. Looks like the midnight run was super fun and that the Utah bike marathon was great. Everything here went a lot better. After last week, we are starting to get everything back on track. All of our investigators are doing a lot better. The only problem this week was that we had to go up to Santa Ana for 2 days. The first time we went cause we had a training meeting for the new missionaries and trainers. It went super well. Our new president (president Cordón) really is super smart. I learned a lot that I have been able to apply in my teaching. We left at like 6 in the morning and we didn't get back til 5. It kind of sucked. We also had really short interviews so that we all could receive our recommendations for the temple because the El Salvador Temple is getting Dedicated THIS WEEK!!!! I can't even believe time is passing by so quick. Saturday of this next week is the cultural event and we are hearing rumors that we will be going. So I am praying we get to go.

Well this week brought a lot of good. We started out the week really wanting to overcome all that happened last week. Like I said last week we had 2 investigators come to church and one is named Gabriel. We went and talked to him and his brother this week. We went and talked to them all about how Sunday went. We started talking and they had some great questions. Gabriel is 14 and his brother Alberto is 20. SO we talked to them for a while and it all got lead to baptism and they had some good questions about baptism. We invited them to be baptized this 28 of august and they both accepted. We have been visiting them all throughout the week and in the end Alberto came to church this week which was amazing. He said he probably couldn't come because he had to work. In the end he left work for an hour to come to church cause he thought it was so important. They both are doing really good and have been keeping the commitments of reading The Book of Mormon.

One of the investigators that was suppose to get baptized named William wasn't doing to good at the end of last week. This Wednesday we went over to his house and he looked super down. We talked to him and his brother Walter about what was going on and we found out that life just wasn't going to great. We talked about The Word of Wisdom and The Book of Mormon a lot and we made a promise to the both of them that if they would read every night and not drink coffee again for the next five days til Sunday, and then on Sunday go to church, that they would have a great joy on Sunday night and from then on. So we left them that night after they accepted and I went out and bought them a big thing of hot chocolate to help them and motivate them. We came back the next day and they both started talking about the headaches they had, bought how they went the whole day without drinking coffee. I told them as a reward for that one day and for all the days they would go without drinking coffee I would bring hot chocolate. I then gave it to them and they were so like stunned and happy. We then went on to talk about the priesthood. It was an amazing lesson and by the end they both asked for blessings. It was an amazing experience. Elder Trump (my comp) was super nervous to give a blessing in Spanish but it went amazingly.

Sunday came and in the morning the both said they would come to church. In the end only William came to church. We went and talked to him last night and he is in 1 Nephi 8. He explained to us all about The Tree of Life. How Lehi wanted to share this amazing fruit. He was so happy yesterday and really had changed in such a short amount of time. We talked about that and he said just after 5 days that he can see how much the coffee really was hurting him. He said he will pray to see if he should be baptized the 20th.

We also are teaching a family and they weren't looking very positive at all. Then yesterday they came to church and LOVED it. Now they are talking that they will get married and baptized the 27th of this month. Great miracles this week.

I really do love this work and am learning so much. I am sorry I don't have a whole ton of time today. I really don't have too much more to write actually this week I feel. I am super excited for this next week. We get to have a meeting with President Eyring and Elder Christofferson. I am super excited. This should be an excellent week. LOVE YOU ALLLLLLL!

Elder Gillette

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011: Up!!! then down


Well looks like the family is all doing well. I loved all the pictures from the baby blessing. Sounds like the blessing went super good. Congrats to Joff for the new baby, the blessing, and the 7 dollar bike. Looks like basil is loving that thing. Really everyone is looking really good and healthy and stuff. I always pray for you all and I hope for the best.

So over here in El Salvador it has been going..... Good? I started off the week SUPER good and was so excited to get out for the work. We got out and all of the investigators were doing good. We were teaching great lessons and everything. The members were starting to get super excited cause We really starting trying to work with them and get them to help us. We were really having fun and all was good.

Then Thursday we were going to do interchanges. I went to another area for a day, the area is called Tacuba, and the district leader was going to go to my area and do the interviews of all my investigators for baptism. I left and really that day in Tacuba was a whole lot of fun. It is so amazingly beautiful. We took some pictures and I will try to send them to you. We got some pretty good lessons in and all, but nothing spectacular. We ate some super delicious pupusas there though which I always love. We got back to the house and the district leader called me that night. He told me that only 2 of the 4 passed their interviews. Oh, it sucked so bad. I asked him what happened and I guess with one of the girls he went in to interview here and right as they started she said "I don't want to be baptized". So I don't really know what happened after that, but she ended up not getting baptized. The other, his name is William and is 21 years old and really a great guy, told us that he has quit drinking coffee, but I guess he really hadn't. It was a real bummer.

So I came back on Friday and we got out to work again and we were teaching some really good lessons and we went to go to this couple and they are 2 of our most positive investigators. We went to their house and started talking to them and they just looked spiritually dead. They didn't even really want to look at our faces and just the room was empty. It was one of the worst and hardest lessons that I have ever seen just because they looked like... I don't even know, but they didn't really want to hear from us anymore. It was kind of a hard hit.

But luckily we still had two with baptismal dates for this past weekend. Rita and Katarin are their names. Really good people and the mom really wants to do good stuff for her children. The only trial is that they are extremely poor. They have a house that a charity built for them, but it is tiny and they all sleep on the floor. It really is sometimes hard to go over there, but they are really ready for this gospel. They passed there interviews and they really wanted to get baptized.

Well everything came down to yesterday. We had to have all these investigators come to church or they couldn't get baptized and to meet our goal we needed some miracles. We went in the morning and everyone said they were all good to go and that they were going to go to church. Rita and Katarin had to go just one more time to church and then after they could get baptized after church. We brought to church with us Iris (who got baptized last week) so that she could get confirmed and another new investigator Gabriel. We got in and started talking to everyone and actually a lot of in-actives we had talked to in the week had come, but all the investigators didn't show up. We had 2 investigators come in all, but aren't super positive, but we will work with them. Rita and Katarin... they didn't come to church... so they didn't get baptized yesterday. Everyone came up to us all day asking what happened, cause like I said we had been trying to get the members excited for this work and in doing so excited for the baptisms. So when they don't happen they get pretty bummed too.

Yesterday we went with a member and she gave us a bunch of references which were good. After we went to talk with the investigators that didn't go to church. Rita didn't go cause one of her family members said if she went to her house at 8, right when our church starts, that she would give her some money. So she went for the money instead of church, which I can't completely blame but it was still hard.

With a group of really good investigators, they now have a friend who is telling them all bad stuff about the church and really getting them down about going to church.

This week I saw a lot of trials. It was pretty hard. I read in Mosiah 4:27 after church though in my personal reading though and it really helped me. It talks how everything is done in order. How if we work diligently then we will receive our reward. I really like that cause last night we did our numbers and I saw that we completed almost all of our weekly goals we had set and that we at least helped our assistance go up a lot.

I pray and fast that this week will go a bit better and that we can get the testimony after the test of our faith like it says in Ether 12:6. I love the Gospel and especially the scriptures. If someone needs help the scriptures (and especially Christ) has the comforting words. I read a lot and studied the parables of Christ. Good stuff.

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

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1, 2011: Metas

Buenas Días Familia,

Wow, this week went by super fast, but was filled with a whole lot of great stuff. I really feel like I learned a whole lot too. Sounds like a lot happened up there in Utah also. Marathon being ran, Birthdays, and vacations. All sounds super sweet. I do have a couple things to say.

1. CONGRATS GEN AND KRICK ON THE MARATHON!!!! wow that is so stinking amazing. I am thoroughly impressed. 4 hours and 59 min. Crazy!
2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND JOFF!!!! I can´t believe how old you are joff. 35! Crazy. Hope the parties were a blast.
3. Dad, I have been wondering where you all would go for the famous 4th of July trip. Swimming in the St. George house sounds like the best and just super chill.
4. KC, I really have been praying that the bar went well. Best of luck!

I think that is all the big things. I really hope for everyone it went well all your weeks. I suppose that Hilz is still working like crazy and it sounds like Malia is doing good in the new house.

For me here in EL SAL everything has been super super great. This week like always went a little crazy, but I feel like I am getting better at being organized. At the beginning of this last week I started to read Preach my Gospel (which is like the guide for missionaries) and I was reading about goals and I really started to think about my life before the mission. Then I realized something that kind of hurt. I realized that I really feel that I never had any REAL goals before the mission. Sure I wanted to go to college or when I wanted to graduate, but those were things that I just had to do. I realized this week that I need to put goals for myself. Like I feel like the mission was the first real goal I had, but I still haven't been to good at putting goals and fulfilling them.

So me and my comp started to talk about goals and what we really wanted to do for this last week of July, but more so what we want to do for August. We talked about all the great investigators we had and in the end we prayed and we feel like we can baptize 10 people this month and we want to work a lot harder to reach this goal. We even put goal of what we can do on a weekly basis better to try and reach this goal.

We got talking and all of the sudden we starting making an analogy of our investigators. How they are like a sports team. We have our starters (those who are the most positive 10) then the bench-warmers (those who aren't super positive, but have potential), the Hall of Famers( the Recent Converts) and the Injury Reserved (The Inactives). It was actually a lot of fun and we figured out a way to keep track of how we are doing with our goals through this. I sent a picture of our white board that we did and the ¨Depth Chart¨we made.

So we got out to work and really put it all in this week. We went to this area that is 40 minutes away in bus with a member who lives out there. He gave us 5 references of families out there and we got to talk to them all. It went super well and we found some great people.

I think I have told you all about this family we have been teaching for about 2 months now. The dads name is Oscar and he is a great guy. He listens to us and is really nice, but can't go to church cause he always works. The mom's name is Iris and she is like such a nice lady. We have made pupusas, tortillas and these things called pastelitos with her and she loves The Book of Mormon, but has a problem praying. She also went to the temple. Then they have a daughter who is also named Iris. She is so positive and reads and has prayed and knows its true. She even went to church once. About 3 weeks ago something happened and I don't know why, but they just stopped progressing. They wouldn't read or pray or anything. This week we decided we would give them one last chance or we would leave them. We went and talked with the daughter and really prayed to find the words of what we should do. We asked her if she would get baptized the 31st of July and she thought.... then said she really knows these things are true. We found out that she was scared of being separated from her family, cause they are all Catholic, but that she knows these things are true and if the parents gave permission that she would do it. We talked to the dad and he was actually super happy to hear she wanted to do this and said yes. This Sunday she got baptized. It was probably one of the best baptisms I have been too. The whole ward pretty much came.

We worked super hard this week in hope that week could complete our goal to bring 10 investigators to church. We did all we could and really tried to get everyone to come. We woke up early Sunday and called everyone and then we went to everyone's houses and tried to help them come. In the end we got to church and only 3 of our investigators were there. I ended up giving a talk and while I was giving a talk a couple we have been teaching came in and I was so happy to see them. Then after 2 other really powerful investigators walked in. We ended up having 7 investigators come to church. It isn't ten, but I am super grateful for 7. That is a lot.

Last night we worked super hard to visit all of these people. We ended up getting to all of them and teaching them great lessons. 4 of the people who went to church we put baptismal dates for the 7 of august and 2 others we put goals that they will pray about the 13th of august. Last night I laid in my bed super amazed at all that got done this week, just because I figured out how to work with goals.

It has been a tiring week, but totally worth it. I think everyone feels the same. It is like Gen and Kristin. You both had the goal to run the marathon. You worked little by little to get there and in the end you achieved it. Heroes right there. I hope I can really learn this here in my mission.

Thank you all for everything and I hope this week goes great for you all too. Love you all and talk to you next week.

Elder Gillette