Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012: Levantar la barra

Hola Familia,

Wow, this was a really great week actually. Sounds like everyone is doing well. Congratulations mom on your job! That is super sweet and I knew it would work out and that you are going to do great. You deserve it. Although about your email and the cat... That may change when I come home. Being here in El Salvador has made me dislike animals a lot more just for how many dogs and cats there are in the streets EVERYWHERE. But enjoy it Kelsy for the next 4 months haha. jk

This week was a really fun week. We had the chance to go to the temple and that was an awesome experience that I really needed. I can tell that I am starting to come to somewhat close the end of my mission and with me about to complete 20 months it has been some crazy thoughts. So I went with the prayer in my heart that this time going to the temple I would leave super filled with the spirit and very focused on the mission. It was one of my favorite times going through the temple and just very peaceful. I left and I feel that I have seen a lot of miracles since.

On Thursday we got a call from one of the areas in my zone that some of the people that were planning on getting baptized were scared and said they didn't want to do it anymore. So me and my comp went with the missionaries out there to talk to the family. We went and I feel like from the temple we brought spiritual power to that lesson. In the end we left and they were super excited for their baptisms for this past Saturday. One of them asked that I would baptize them too. That's the picture that I sent. 8 people were baptized. An older couple, a younger couple that the mom was already a member and another family that the dad was already a member. It was an awesome experience seeing so many people in white.

Here they do something really cool where they die the color of the chickens when they are little. It is super awesome cause you will see little chicks that are purple and green and blue. I went to one of my recent converts houses and he had a bunch so I took a picture and sent it to you all. It was sweet.

It has been really fun here lately. Me and my comp have been getting along really really well lately. We are teaching a lot and teaching well. The other day we were sitting doing some planning and we were trying to decide what we should do to get the ward more excited and the stake also. Then I decided that we should do something I have wanted to do my whole mission.... A ROAD SHOW. We decided that we are going to get all of the wards to do a little play and that at the end of may we are going to all get together to do a little competition. We went to the stake presidents house that night after writing out a plan and we showed it to him and he loved it. Yesterday we went around to all the wards and talked to the bishops and presented them the idea and they all loved it. I really hope we can get this stake more focused and unified. This week we are going to go to all of the wards for their mutuals and we are going to have a cap with a bunch of bible and Book of Mormon stories that they will choose randomly and we are going to film it and the day we present the plays we are going to show the videos like how they do in American idol and stuff. All the members are super excited and so am I haha. If you all have any ideas of how to make it better let me know!

Well that is the exciting news of the week. This next month I am going to be very very involved in that and many other activities we are planning with our ward to get everyone pumped up. It will be fun. I love you all and hope you enjoy the great weather cause it is SUPER HOT here. I sweat every night when I sleep. Love you all and talk to you next week!

Elder Gillette

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012: El Fiebre

Hola Familia,

Wow, what a crazy week. Sounds like for you all it was a great week. Also, FELIZ CUMPLEAƑOS HILARY!!!!! Sounds like Hilary's birthday was a hit like always. I am super happy you decided to watch The Sandlot. That movie is so great. Also that you all made the house into a giant fort is pretty sweet also.

This week was super Ironic after what we had talked about last week and the hospital. Cause right after I wrote last week I started to fell sick and Tuesday morning when I woke up I woke up with a fever. So for three days this week I had to rest. IT WAS TERRIBLE! Not because I was sick and had a fever, but just because I couldn't do anything. All I could do was sleep and watch movies from the church. At least I wasn't like super, super sick or anything  (so don't worry to much mom).

After those terrible days of doing nothing we got out and worked and it felt good to get out and work. We have found some pretty sweet families and we have had to look for a lot of new people cause all the people we were teaching all got baptized or we dropped cause they weren't progressing. SO we have gone back to knocking doors. We had some pretty good experiences.

The best part of this week was that Friday night I was laying down to go to bed when our phone rang and I picked it up. It was Armando (the guy who said he was going to get baptized after going to the temple activity 2 weeks ago, but last Sunday decided he didn't want to anymore and didn't get baptized). He called and I couldn't hear what he was saying then he yelled to me that he was ready to be baptized and he wanted to do it Sunday. I was so shocked and we went over the next day and he was serious about it. Yesterday he got baptized! It was sweet, but when I went to baptize him I forgot my tie so I felt super weird without it and after I did the baptismal prayer while we were in the font, after he just went straight back as fast as he could and shot water all around. I had never gotten so wet in a baptism. He really wanted to get clean.

It really was amazing that he got baptized cause we barely worked at all this past week cause we had both gone this week sick, but God really came through and gave us success. IT was a sweet blessing and they are now a sweet family in the church and have there goals on the temple in a year.

Well the good news is that I feel better and we are working. I have got to start buckling down and using these last months to the best. Love you all and thanks mom for the packages they were awesome. I also loved your letter Jonathan. IT was hilarious.
Love you all,
Elder Gillette

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 2012: Quick Week

Hola Familia,

How is everyone doing? Sounds like Hilary is still the big superstar. I get letters all about her now haha. It's super sweet though! Also it sounds like everyone is vacationing right now. Joff and Kylie, Randy and KC, Hilz going to Arizona, Brandon going to Puerto Rico. Sweet stuff. I have been doing a bit of traveling too, but within the same city of Sonsonate.

This week was a good week. I was able to go to a couple areas and work with a bunch of good missionaries and that was a lot of fun. It is fun being able to get to know so many missionaries and work with all different types and learn a lot.

The bad news of this week was that guy I told you all about last week that went to the temple and received his answer and all, decided not to get baptized in the end. It was sad, but he knows what he has to do. WE told him pretty straight out and he said that he will get baptized, but is scared for after. I have faith that he will take this step soon.

We did have a really cool experience this week that one of the members asked us to go to the hospital and give someone a blessing. So we went to the hospital and when we entered in it was like big and had white walls, but like no lights and was really empty. I felt like I was in a horror movie. We walked down the stuffy halls and got to the entrance of the clinic we had to go to for this girl. It was cool cause the security let us in cause they consider us clergy and most people can only get like 1 or 2 visits at a time and 2 were already up there, but they let us go. We went up to the 4th floor (which I believe it was my first time going up a flight of stairs in like 19 months). We found the member and we gave her a blessing and it was really cool. After the blessing we started talking to her and when we were about to leave we said hi to the lady next to her. We started talking to this family and the mom was having problems with her kidneys. We asked if there was anything we could do and  she started to cry. She explained to us that she is a member of the church and was inactive for a very long time, but 2 weeks ago she went to church for the first time again. She asked if we could give her a blessing. So we gave her one and it was an amazing experience. The whole family was so happy and we were really sent there and she knew it too. It was also a crazy experience going to a hospital. The good news was that it was my first time going to one my whole mission and hopefully my last haha.

Other than that we received some great blessings and found some really great investigators that are chosen from God. It is really a blast out here and my birthday was super sweet. We ate cake with some members and they shoved my face in the cake. Also some members made us pupusas for my birthday. It was sweet.

Love ya all though and take care!!!
Elder Gillette

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012: 21.......


Wow, what an exciting bunch of events that occurred in this week. It was a super fun week and it was very very eventful. for one today is my BIRTHDAY! That is so crazy. It is also the b-day of ASHER! TIGHT. Happy b-day. I LOVED the pictures of him and his awesome recording you sent me. I love seeing him. I actually loved all of the pictures I got this week though. Hearing about Hilz and how awesome she was on cake wars. CONGRATS HILZ. Also with Ozzy and Basil playing was super sweet. The pic you all took together with all of my stuff though was SO AWESOME. I absolutely loved it. I showed all of the zone it and they were like, "you weren't kidding, you really do like the jaguars". It was sweet.

Editor's Note: Here is the picture Daniel is referring to:

Also a week ago we had a very sweet wedding and baptism happen. The Family Escalante all got baptized. IT was super awesome and we had such great support from the ward. IT was such a sweet baptism and the whole family got confirmed members yesterday. It was sweet and they are an awesome family.

This past week was the Semana Santa (the holy week) and so everyone was super crazy about making this giant carpets and carrying around giant images and all that jazz. This week is actually the biggest here in Sonsonate than in any other part of El Salvador and many other parts of Central America. They carry around a big float looking thing of Christ that weighs 2 tons. Their are 60 men at a time that carry it. IT was crazy. Everybody here is a little radical.

We also did a tour of the temple this week with the whole mission and we were able to bring as many investigators as we wanted. We were able to bring a family that have been sort of eternal investigators. They went to the temple and after we talked to them and the dad said he had never felt such a spiritual experience in his life and he needs to be married eternally. It was sweet. He then accepted a baptismal date for the 15th. So we are helping him now for that date. It was awesome.

Today has been fun. We went and bought pupusas for breakfast and one of the elders I live with, elder brown, made me a big pancake with oreos and fudge inside and said it was my birthday cake. It was super sweet. We made a quick movie and I sent it. It has been a good birthday.

I really cant believe I am already 21. It is super crazy and the fact that I already have 19 months in the mission is even crazier. I am enjoying it and I feel like a much better person and like I am really following the spirit a lot better. The General Conference really helped me. I am going to use the rest of this time to the maximum.

I love all of you very much and thank you all for your letters and your pictures. They really were amazing. Happy birthday Gennie tomorrow. Take care everyone.

Elder Gillette

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 2012: General Conference 4

Hola Familia!

Well, well, well. Another General Conference has come and gone. How crazy is that! I couldn't believe it the whole time, especially when it finished that it would be my last General Conference. The Good news is that in 6 months I will be eating moms super good donuts. haha, but that was super funny mom about David Archuleta and how he is going on a mission. I bet that will get Kelsy to watch conference haha.

So this was a GREAT conference in every aspect. I absolutely loved the talks. Some of the seventy had great talks. I really like what President Monson said about the rush of life and how most of our daily decisions are so trivial and how the important stuff isn't important til tragedy or darkness comes. I also really really like what Elder Bednar talked about with respect to the authority that we have in the church. How if we have this authority then we should act like it. One of the 70 (Larry Wilson) also talked about the right way to help your kids make the right decisions and I really liked that. I will definitely apply that one day. A lot of the talks were on families and how real joy comes from the family and how can we have more unified families. That has always been and interesting topic for me.

This week in all has been great as far as the work though. The miracle family that I explained to you will be getting married... TODAY! ya today at 5 we have the wedding and then the family of 4 will be getting baptized. It has not been easy to get them to this point. I almost tore out my hair trying to get there paperwork ready. Not gonna lie the government system isn't very good here. In the end though it will be an amazing experience and I am very excited. We owe a lot to the members here.

We got a lot of help from the members here this weekend and a lot of them brought our investigators to the Conference and a Family brought a new investigator also. We had 10 investigators that went to the conference and we were able to visit all of them yesterday and they all left very impacted with what they saw. They have been helping us a lot and we have been able to work together with them well. Everyone is really excited for the baptism and marriage we will be having today also. I am most certainly super excited.

I really do love conference very much and as I was sitting there watching the Priesthood meeting it made me realize that although I never put to much thought into it or very much importance to it either I always left feeling really good. When I used to go with dad and we would go to training table, when I went with Kent and we watched it in the Joseph smith building and when I went one time with Jonathan and we watched the movie "signs" after and freaked me out a ton. Although I was super bored or didn't put very much attention to it I remembered Saturday night how I felt those nights and why I would always go back.

I told all of my investigators to go with questions and one after told me that she went with 3 questions that have been bothering her for a long time. She said the President Monson answered 2 of them and that his words penetrated her heart (as direct translation as I could get). It was awesome. She is now preparing to be baptized the 15th of this month. I too had questions answered. I hope you all did too.

Love you all and the next time I write you I will be a full on adult. ¡21! Talk to you next week.

Elder Gillette