NOW DRIVING IN EL SALVADOR
Buenos Días a todos!! This week was a pretty good week. I have to start out by telling a funny story. We visited an old member couple this week to see if they knew anyone we could teach. The husband is about 75 and the wife is 81. They were sealed last week in the temple here, and they were really excited about that. The funny part is that the husband asked his wife to say the prayer, and in her prayer, she said, 'Padre, no queremos morir todavía...'. Basically, 'we don't want to die yet'. She is a sweet little old lady, but that caught me a little off-guard. But I guess she is really enjoying life, and she doesn't want to see it go just yet. That made me smile. So this week something awesome happened. President Glazier had asked me to separate the taxi expenses of office elders from the rest. We found that within an 11 day period, we spent $423 dollars on taxis. Now, that was with changes week and us going to and from the hospital, but I said to President Glazier, 'President, with this amount of money we could easily make a monthly payment on a car.' He thought for about a minute, then looked at me and said, 'I want you and Elder Albrechtsen to go get drivers' licenses this week. Call the assistants and have them take you.' We were so stoked. First, we had to go get a blood test. They need to know your blood type, but you can't just tell them. So we had to go to a clinic to get a signed, stamped little paper. But the clinic was SKETCHY. The building was just like a housing complex. When we asked for a blood test, they directed us to a hallway that had a picture of a microscope. There was a doorway that had, 'laboratorio medico' written above it in Sharpie. A guy in there was sitting at a desk, and he invited us in. We sat down, wrote our names, and he pulled syringes out of a drawer. He grabbed a cotton ball, dipped it in what I hope was alcohol (it was in a glass, Nestle chocolate milk powder jar), wrung the cotton swab out so that all the liquid went back into the jar, and then sat us down one at a time to draw blood. He wiped the area first, but then he touched it with his finger to feel the vein, and just went for it. There were no gloves to be seen in the whole place. He put the needle in my arm and pulled back on the plunger of the syringe. Nothing. So he just shoved it a half inch deeper and tried again. Success. We paid 4 bucks a piece and we were out of there. We were just really surprised that he got our blood types right and that we didn't have any signs of infection the next day. Anyway, we found out that Elder Albrechtsen's residency documents are still in process of being renewed, so he can't get one just yet. Me on the other hand.....AHORA TENGO UNA LICENCIA DE CONDUCIR!! I have an El Salvador driver's license. I had to go get a million documents to get it, and I had to wait over 3 hours in the equivalent of a DMV to get it, but now, I am able to legally drive here. When I left with my license, the assitant, Elder Earl, asked me 'do you feel comfortable driving?' He didn't need to ask twice. So I drove to Wendy's to eat something real quick (we hadn't eaten and the process took all day) and then I drove back to the office. The car the assistants have is a turbocharged Toyota Hilux. Pretty sweet. Drives just like the Tundra, only WAY EASIER. And my California driving skills have somewhat prepared me to drive here. Basically anything goes. Signals mean nothing. You want to turn or merge, you stick your arm out the window to show that you are going and you go. I felt super weird driving. The feeling of having not been behind the wheel in a while plus the excitement made me feel like I was running from the cops. Anyway, my 'dad', Elder Martin, left this week. He is home now. How crazy is that? Just goes to show how fast time goes. I have learned why being an office elder is hard. We spend the majority of the day in the office, where there is absolutely no spirtual responsibility. The other missionaries have spiritual responsibilities all day, every day. We have to be able to balance both acts, with the hard part being transitioning from one to the other. But I'm learning and maybe one day Ill have it down. So the family we are teaching is doing AWESOME. We taught the Plan of Salvation to them and it just clicked. We taught the father, his 17ish year old daughter, and two sons (10 and 15 years old). The daughter was asking all sorts of great questions, and it just made sense to her. Pray for them. They still have not accepted a baptismal invitation and have not come to church. There was a huge storm night. Elder Muñoz and I were out walking when it started. Within 3 or 4 minutes, we had seen 5 transformers blow. No power in the whole city. A tree fell in the neighborhood in which this family lives, and so their power has still not been restored. But we passed by a few days ago, and the dad was reading the Book of Mormon by candlelight!! So we stopped and had a lesson in the dark, with just one little candle. Elder Muñoz and I shared some of our favorite parts of the Book of Mormon, and we sang a few hymns. It was really special. Other than that family we have been struggling a bit. We only have one other investigator, and he hasn't been progressing lately. Both of them can only meet with us once a week because of work, so we have a lot of time with not a lot to do. But we have made plans with the ward to change a few things (the ward is not at all active in missionary work) so that we will have more support from members and leaders of the ward. I think that pretty much sums up the week. I have been working on that project I told you about last week. It is much harder than I thought it would be. But I was studying the other day and I found a few scriptures that say that we are purified by our faith, or more specifically, the Lord purifies us through our faith. How can we have faith, or act according to our faith this week? What do we each need to do to increase or faith, so that we can be purified and have the constant help and guidance of the Holy Ghost? Just a few things to think about this week. I love you guys. Have a good one. See you in two!
P.S. - One of the missionaries who leftwas Elder Dolbin. He had this picture with all of his others. He knows the girl on the right, her name is Kylie or something like that. But on the right....KENZIE! Apparently they were roommates, Kenzie and Kylie. How small is the world these days!? (See pictures)