Monday, July 8, 2013

Hello everyone!

This week was pretty crazy. We had to finalize the split of the mission, set up new financial systems here for our new mission, stuff like that. It's pretty cool because when we need money in the office, the check is written in MY NAME and I go pick it up. Super crazy. Also, we did all sorts of random stuff like reimburse the bolsas of the zone leaders, went to a mall to reconnect the ipad 3g connection to Hermana Glazier's ipad and some other stuff...literally running around like little animals. But things are starting to calm down in that sense. In the sense of the changes in missionary work, things are definitely NOT calming down, and I don't think they ever will. We have all heard about how missionaries are going to have ipads and such (there is even a rumor running around here that the church just bought ipads and iphones for missionaries in MASSIVE quantities), but we do not yet know how these changes are going to be implemented here. We had a meeting with President Glazier (just us office elders) to discuss it, and he said that there is a chance that us and the zone leaders and assistants will get smartphones in the future, and that they might send us ipads to do some testing. We can't take ipads with us around or anything like that, but President Glazier says that if we can keep the ipads safely and securely kept in the house, we might get them at some point in the future. That would be nice so that we would have the addresses and such to all of the members so that we could ask them if we can teach lessons in their homes. Right now that is our problem; we don't know where members live, and we aren't having any lessons with members present or in member homes in our area. So I am definitely very excited to see what happens with missionary work in the future. OK, now about the stuff happening in our area. Our area is dangerous, even more dangerous than Apopa. But it is gang related danger, so we don't really have any issues with it. But our ward has parts that are hugely populated by one gang, and other parts that are hugely occupied by the other rival gang. Again, not a huge problem for us. But we do have to be careful and keep track of where we are, especially as it starts to get dark at night. But it doesn't worry us too much. Right now our primary investigators are.....different. They are deaf. And one of them is mute. They are a couple, husband and wife. The wife can talk, but it is really hard to understand her. Because they can't hear, we teach them in a combination of sign language and using a whiteboard. We have classes on saturdays with them, they teach sign language at the church. So if they keep that up, I will be learning sign language while I am here. But it is super difficult because we don't know a ton of sign, and they are not super literate (for example, when we taught the plan of salvation, they didn't know what 'plan' meant, or what the word mostrar-to show- meant). They were going to be baptized tomorrow (saturday), but we learned this week that their understanding of baptism and repentance is not super solid, and so we are going to keep working with them to resolve that. Last night there was an activity in our ward. We had a meeting with the ward mission leader, so we were at the church when it was happening. None of the people we invited showed up (we would have brought them ourselves, but the ward mission leader couldn't meet with us any other time...). But we helped with a few things for the activity, and in return we got pupusas. SO GOOD. A few of the hermanas in our ward can make them really well, and they had a little setup there and they made at least a hundred pupusas. I'm going to miss pupusas after the mission. I am going to try to learn how to make them, and Mom, you can try to learn how to make them too I guess, so that you guys can try them at home. Going to the mexican market to buy stuff will help you with your Spanish! This week hasn't been all fun and games though, for two reasons. 1. Mosquitos. The mosquitos here in Los Lencas are different. They bite through stuff, and they hurt. The first few nights here I hadn't gotten out my mosquito net (because I hadn't unpacked) and I got wrecked. I woke up in the night because the bites itched so bad, and I couldn't go back to sleep because they itched! And 2. Last Friday was P-day, but we ended up having a million things to do anyway, so we didn't have time to go shopping for the week, so we haven't had food here in the office or at home (here we can order whatever we want, so it doesn't matter too much). And because we don't have a fixed hour that we come back to the area, we don't have a dinner cocinera. So most nights we don't eat dinner. Hopefully today we will go shopping and stock up on a few things so that doesn't have to keep happening. Anyway, I am going to ask that you guys write me letters, but I know many times that request falls on deaf ears. But now that we do teach to people with deaf ears, and they keep our commitments, no one has any excuse. I did get letters from the Lums and from Granny this week, so that was really nice. I will be writing reply letters today. My thought for this week is that we need to be bold. This morning, I was thinking about what we can do to increase the efficiency of the work in our area because we don't have a ton of time. My answer was that because we have different circumstances, we have to do things differently. We have to be even more bold in our in our invitations, so that we can quickly discern who is going to accept the gospel and who is not. That way we can focus our time and attention on finding and teaching those who are looking for something to fill the emptiness in their lives, perhaps the emptiness that they don't yet know is there. This applies to all of you members of the church at home because you work too, and you have little time to share the gospel. But you can be bold. You can invite. You can ALWAYS invite. Whether it is an invitation to a Family Home Evening, or to church on Sunday, you can share the gospel in the time that you have free. And when you are working or doing other things, you can be bold in the way you show your testimony through your example. These are exciting times to be missionaries and to be members of the church. So lets be bold. Have a great week everyone. See you in two!

Elder Andreasen

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