Nick's recent convert Pedro and his family
Well this week has been pretty good, and pretty busy. We`ve been trying to get a marriage worked out and it`s been a pain. They both had been married before and their spouses both died so we have to go and take out papers for both of them proving that there spouses are dead (weird) and then renew there ID`s (both of them have been expired for four years now) and then print off their birth certificates. After all of that we can give it all to the lawyer and get them married and the wife baptized! So we`re hoping for a miracle and that it can all work out before this Saturday so we can have the marriage and the baptism the same day. It was pretty sweet yesterday in testimony meeting a lady was saying how much faith she has in missionary's giving blessings. About a month ago she asked us to give a blessing to her son because the doctors told her that he was probably going to lose his right eye. So we did the blessing and I didn`t really hear much about it after. But yesterday she said in her testimony that he didn`t lose his eye and that it is starting to heal! Pretty sweet. And then Pedro got up and was saying how sad he was cause possibly me or my companion might leave Wednesday and how`s his grateful for all we have done for him. So nice and spiritual everything good and then........ this 15 year old girl got up and dropped everybody`s jaw by saying a really bad word and confessing some of her latest sins. hahaha I`ll miss stuff like that. But yeah other than that everything is going well and we`re just waiting to see if me or my companion get`s transferred on Wednesday. We should find out tonight or Tuesday morning. I also had my last interview with President Pèrez which was good. He gave me some good advice for life and finishing out strong my mission. President Glazier get`s here on the 27th, coming up! It`ll be interesting to see what things he changes or if things stay the same and just how he goes about everything. Seems like a good guy though.
Oy! So this has been a surprising week for me. We were waiting for the calls about transfers to see who was going. I was obviously thinking that my companion would be leaving, seeing how it is his first area and he has more time than me in the area. Well when the calls came I was told I had a changes and he was staying! My companion had pretty much already packed his bags haha. Well later that night the phone rang and it was President Pèrez letting me know that he had called me to be a Zone Leader. Didn't expect that! We chatted for a while about what I needed to do and what my responsibilities would be and how I can take advantage of the opportunity to as much as possible. I was pretty sad to leave Ilobaso, I liked it a lot and had some good converts and friends there. Not to mention this week I was supposed to marry a couple and get them baptized! But oh well that`s how the mission is, at least the missionary that took my place is happy I'm sure haha. But yeah I`m a zone leader now of zone Cuscatlàn, in the area of Buena Vista. It`s a pretty sweet area but It`s right in the capital pretty much. I'm about 10 minutes away from my first area in Porvenir! I`ve been tempted a couple of times to go over there and visit some people to check up on them, haha. It is however nice to be back in an actual ward, and a pretty strong one in fact. I`m actually in a threesome companionship right now, Elder Jolley and Elder Merino, because Elder Jolley is ending his mission in two weeks for school, so they just kept him here instead of sticking him somewhere else for just two weeks. He`s from Utah and way cool, I already knew him before so it`s been way fun to be with him. Elder Merino is from here El Salvador. I`ve already had my plate full the first week dealing with quite a few problems in the zone that I was lucky enough to inherit, but we`ve finally got them all worked out. I'm definitely going to grow a lot I can tell you that much. Especially in the sense of real life application. It`ll be challenging but good, and help me finish out the mission strong.
Well this week has been really good, just getting in the swing of things with all the new stuff I have to do. It's not too different than being a district leader, just that I have a cell phone, more meetings, and in charge of a lot more Elders. It's pretty cool though! Elder Merino actually had changes on Tuesday (long story) and they sent us Elder Aguilar from Costa Rica. My first "tico" companion so that's pretty sweet. He's a cool kid, a little on the hyper side but a good worker. He also speaks English pretty well! But yeah we have just been dealing with all the stress of the end of the month coming and having to help the zone meet all the baptismal goals and that kind of stuff. This is Elder Jolley's last week in the mission! We're trying to help him not be too baggy... but it IS his last week haha. No he's great though still working way hard and going out strong, definitely one of my favorite companions. It's pretty weird "killing" a companion though, I can't imagine how I'm going to feel my last week here.
Well right now we are working with 4 complete families which is awesome. la familia Echeverria, Acosta, Colorado, Parrilla, and then a couple other people. All of them have to get married but that's cake. I'm pretty sure we're going to baptize a ton this coming month! On Tuesday we had the farewell meeting with President Pérez. It was really good and he gave us a lot of good advice. He gave us five points of how to be successful financially and then five points how to be successful spiritually. I haven't really had a way close relationship with him, but it really is going to be sad to have them leave. They had their whole family in the meeting and all their daughters got up and bore their testimonies about there experience here and all of that. Most of all I'll miss Sister Pérez, she's a pretty incredible lady. So in exactly a week from now President Glazier will get here and then a couple days later there will be a meeting with all the zone leaders and him. I'm sure he's going to need a lot of help and support the first couple of months to help and get things going and help the transition be smooth. I'm excited though, change is a good thing once and a while! I'm also getting really excited about the open house and dedication for the temple coming up, ahh I can't wait. That's pretty much been the main focus in sacrament meeting for the last couple of months and there is a huge focus on bringing investigators to the open house. I think tonight some members are going to take us to see it and eat afterwards :) That has definitely been one of the things I've missed most on the mission, being able to go to the temple. I didn't get to go a ton of times before the mission, but enough to know that it's unlike anything I had experienced before. Hopefully they will let us go once and a while! I also hope that the members here take advantage of it and go regularly. Elder Aguilar was telling us that the temple in Costa Rica has a hard time, mainly people willing to be temple workers and people going on regular bases.
Well I lot to tell you this week! I've got some great news, remember how I said that we weren't going to able to participate in the open house for the temple as missionaries? Well On Thursday I got a call from the assistants saying that all of the sisters missionaries in the mission are going to be helping in the open house and 24 Elders.... out of the 180. And me and my comp are gonna be there! I was so excited I can't even tell you. So we had a special meeting yesterday in the church right next to the temple that they have built. It was sooooo nice I felt like I was in Utah again! haha. Nice seats, air conditioning, good sound system, nice lighting, everything. Some representatives from Utah came along with Elder Rivas from the area seventy to explain to us what it is that we are going to do and how we need to do it. Pretty much there are going to be three assignments for us. One of them is in a room where all the people are going to pass through as pretty much a "welcome to temple" type thing. I'll talk for a bit explaining a few things and then show a video of the temple, which is incredible. Then there is obviously the part of being a guide in the temple, taking the people through. Then after there is a refreshments room and a place to ask questions and write down comments and say if you want the missionaries to come visit your house, that kind of thing. We will all pretty much be rotating through these different assignments. It starts on the 1st of July and goes until the 21st. Between those dates I will be there 7 times pretty much all day long. I can't tell you how excited I am it's going be so awesome! Well they wrapped up teaching and showing us what we needed to do and all of that and then somebody made the comment of if we could go through the temple.. well the guy in charge went around talking for a few minutes to some people trying to pull some strings, and then asked my president and his wife if they had gone through together yet, which they hadn't. Well long story short, they let us go through!!!
We were one of the firsts to be able to go through the temple being totally finished. It is absolutely incredibly I can't even explain to you. When you first walk in, there is about a 10 foot painting of Christ with two little girls at his side. One a Nephite, and the other a Lamanite. They are holding onto his white robes and he has a bit of a serious look on his face. It is one of the sweetest paintings I've ever seen, and it was made especially for the El Salvador Temple. The temple isn't super big, but it is so nice. It is very personalized to El Salvador. In the session room the walls are painted with scenes of El Salvador and all over the temple is the national flower of El Salvador, the Izote. I could explain it to you all day but I don't have that much time haha. Anyways it was an experience I'll never forget. My first day of working there is this Saturday. I'll give you plenty details! It was so cool how it's not even dedicated yet and how strongly you can fill the spirit.
Well Elder Jolley went home this morning, he is probably in the air right now in fact. I really enjoyed being with him and I learned a ton, he's a great guy. He definitely ended the mission well going to the temple yesterday haha. Also this morning, we had a surprise farewell for President Pérez and his family. It was pretty sad but pretty cool. They are an exemplar family and we'll all miss them. The new President arrives tomorrow and will officially be the new president at 7 pm.
This week is going to be crazy. Thursday we have a Zone Leader council for the first time with President Glazier. Friday we have a multi zone meeting with about 5 zones. Saturday I'll be working in the temple. Time is going to start to fly more than it already has!
Well sounds like everybody is doing well at home, I'm glad. Just stay busy everybody! I feel like everybody is going to be so different when I get home it's going to be crazy.