I am just going to do an email answering everyone’s questions in one today. To start, you asked how things are going in El Salvador. They are going great as far as how my Spanish is and getting to know the people! I didn’t get changes and am with my same companion until the 9th of next month. [Transfers were this week]. I got to listen to conference on Saturday and Sunday, we actually pretty much got the days off to do nothing but conference until after it ended on Sunday. I learned quite a lot from it though and have lots of notes from the talks. I don´t think I have ever learned so much from conference before. We got to watch it in English too. I still haven´t eaten anything super weird, but I am sure that it will happen sometime soon. The food here is really good for the most part. My favorite part about conference was how much they focused on families. I don´t really have a favorite talk, but I really liked the way it was all about families. I haven´t seen any monkeys yet. I am in the middle of a huge city. I´m not really sure if there are that many here anyways. I think the reference to my scripture [from last week’s experience] was D&C 124:1, but I don´t remember for sure. I have it written down though.
This week has been pretty wild, but we still have a little bit of success. We have two scheduled baptisms and one of them came to conference. Veronica (one of our scheduled baptisms) also brought her sister, who told us that she wants to learn more about the gospel too. We are going to try to set up an appointment to start teaching her sometime soon. We also have two others, a married couple, that are almost ready for baptism also. We are going to try to baptize them this month.
We had a lesson this week with one of our investigators named Silvia this week also. We were trying to commit her to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true, because she hadn’t been doing it. We also committed her to come to church. She told us that she would read and pray, but she wouldn’t ask to know if it is true and she wouldn’t go to church. I bore my testimony to her that she would only find out if it is true if she sincerely asked. The spirit was really strong and I know she felt it too, but I felt like she was trying to ignore it. I kept bearing my testimony about the Book of Mormon and about how Heavenly Father wants us to go to church and she finally agreed to read and pray to know if it is true. She still said no on going to church, but I know that she will want to come to church if she really reads and asks if the Book of Mormon is true. I felt impressed to promise her that if she would ask that God would answer her and tell her that the Book of Mormon is his true book written by true prophets of God. I also promised her that he would help her feel a desire to go to church. I really hope she does it, because I know she will be answered.
Semana Santa (holy week) is starting this week, but I really don´t know a whole lot about it yet. I will write more about what it is on next Monday when I know more.
I am getting super comfortable with my Spanish and sometimes it comes to my mouth easier than English. I have started thinking a lot in Spanish too. I already have trouble praying in English. In the English class I am teaching, I help people say the prayers in English and sometimes I´ll start whispering the words to them in Spanish instead of English. Haha. The English class is a little bit of a struggle though. We don´t really have the same people show up, and the people that say they will come, don´t. Sometimes people will even schedule other things activities in the church during it after they said they would come. It is a little bit frustrating to never have people do what they say they will.
We had a pretty funny thing happen the other day. We had been out knocking doors during the day and we had a guy tell us that he would come to church. We saw him that night walking in the street again, but this time…. He was wasted!! He was so drunk that he could barely stand up. He came over to talk to us and asked me for money for more alcohol and some coffee. I told him that I wasn’t going to give him any money for that and that he would just get more drunk with it anyways. He insisted that he was fine…… so I decided to have a little fun with it and test him to prove him wrong. I told him to walk in a straight line, so he tried it. He tripped over a garbage bag [on the] sidewalk and about crashed to the ground. I told him that that proved that he was drunk, but he still insisted that he wasn’t. Next, he tried standing on one foot. He could do it, but only by holding onto a pole. He laughed and told us that that proved he wasn’t drunk. I told him to move his hand. He about fell over again. Haha it was super funny having an extremely drunk person trying to prove to us that he was sober!
Well there is a little bit about my week. I hope you all had a great week and have yet another great one to come! Os amo!
Learning to make Papusas
Excerpts from a few hand written letters:
Thank you all for your letters. I love getting letters from people!
A mission is a lot different than normal life, but I have never been closer to Christ than I am now. My mission has taught me to rely on Him. He is someone that is always [there] for us to turn to and he understands us. Look up Alma 37:37 for that. It is one of my favorites.
Lots of people get baptized down here. The hard part is knowing if they are really ready for baptism or if they are just saying yes. A lot of people here have no problem making commitments, it’s just that they almost never keep them. It makes me have kind of a hard time trusting a lot of the people here. It does make it feel really awesome when someone actually does do what they say they are going to do! We have a couple other investigators that are about ready for baptism too. But they will be next month.
I have learned a lot of really good study habits out here on my mission… Whenever I am having trouble keeping my mind on task, I read from the Book of Mormon and it always helps me focus a lot better… I love studying now and look forward to reading my scriptures every day. I also read my scriptures in Spanish mostly now. My ability to speak the language and remember the words that I studied has improved greatly because of it. I still make mistakes in my speech, but I can say just about anything that I want to now. I can also understand most of what people are saying when they talk to me. I want to learn other languages when I get home now. It is a lot of fun learning a new language.
Aaron’s testimony in Spanish as he wrote it March 5, 2012:
Yo tengo un testimonio que nuestra iglesia es una iglesia verdalera y se que esta iglesia es la unica iglesia con el poder para actuar en el nombre de Dios. Se que Dios nos ama que el envio su hijo Jesucristo para mono por nuestros pecados y a traves la expiacion de Cristo, podermos vivir con nuestras familias para siempre. Estoy tan agredicido que tenemos las oportunidad a vivir con nuestras familias por la eternidad. Eso es una gran benedicion. Se que con todo mi corazon que el Libro de Mormon fue escrito por profetas inspirado por Dios y es una guia para nosotros y que podemes encontrar respuestas por cualquier pregunta que tenemos. Yo se con todo mi corazon que Jose Smith fue un profeta de Dios y que el tradujo el Libro de Mormon con la ayuda de Dios. Se que estoy aca en El Salvador para hacer la obra de Dios y que hay personas que estan esperando a oir el mensaje que estamos compartiendo y nosotros tenemos el poder para cambiar sus vidas. Se que Jesucristo es nuestro Salvador y redentor y un ejemplo perfecto. Se que si seguimos el ejemplo de Cristo el mejor que podermos, podermos vivir con Dios y nuestros familias para siempre. Yo comparto estas cosus en el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.
Wow that is a lot harder to write in Spanish than say it and I’m pretty sure I spelled a lot of words wrong too. I am a lot more comfortable with Spanish now. The Spanish words just come to my head super easily and even when I am talking in English I mix Spanish words in with the English words that I am saying. I usually don’t even really notice it either.