As the time for Colin's mission nears it's end, his letters are getting shorter. Here is an update on what he had to say this week.
When asked about his new mission president: He is super cool, very spiritual, and super loving. I am sad I am not going to be albe to serve with him longer.
About being at the temple open house: The temple was awesome! The day I went was the same day that the branch in Chalatenngo went and I saw the Herrera family, they are the family we baptized, and Hermano Pastor who smoked and then was baptized. It was so great to see them. The temple is sooo beautiful. Oh sabe que???? I mean, know what????? I saw Hermana Beatriz and Katherine from Custçcatancingo, my last area, who were my neighbors that were baptized, at the temple. I was their tour guide and it was sooooooo AWESOME TO SEE THEM THERE!!!!! And also the barrio of Cuscatancingo! I also saw a few members from Gojuteppeque too. It was just soooo awesome.
When told about Grandpa's fishing trip: Oh man grandma, you always have to tell me about all the things that are so delicious that you are eating and it just makes me so hungry! I have not eaten anything other than fried rice, refried beans, fried eggs, fried tortillas, and fried everything else for the last 2 years. I feel so malnourished it is a miracle that I haven´t had a heart attack. The only fresh vegetables that I can eat are on my hamburgers from Burger King. I want to go to Souplantation! That would be the best thing, just a nice big salad.
The work: Well, everything is going well. We had another baptism yesterday. Heavenly Father really has been blessing me this last change. It is such a blessing and a wonder.
This week we were blessed with 3 baptisms! That was a blessing for sure. And we have a few more planned for before I go home, so that will keep me busy until then.
In my area there is a bridge that goes over the freeway and you can see the temple. It is super tiny and super far away but you can see it. It is sooo cool!
They changed my comp this week. It was weird, there were emergency changes and so now I have a new comp again, my fourth comp in 4 weeks. This elder actually came with me when I got here, but because he was only in the mtc for 3 weeks, he is going to be here one transfer longer then I am, and the funny thing is is that we both slept in the same room in the hotel our first night in El Salvador. So it is fun, he is really nice. His name is Elder Yanes and he is from Guatemala. I think that President is doing this because he knows I am leaving soon and doesn´t want to mess with other people's schedules, but I am fine with it.
Oh, this week we had a multi-zone meeting and I got to give my final testimony in front of all the other missionaries. It was weird. I never thought that this time would come, but there you go, now I only have 4 Sundays left, then my life will be dramatically different.
I am in a new area. I am in Illopango in a city called San Bartolo. It is hot here and the town is poor, but not super poor, just regular poor. I am with Elder Coy. He is from Guatemala. We are good friends, so we are working hard. We got 8 people to church yestrday so that was a great blessing! This is a photo of Hermana Beatriz and her daughter at their baptism.
Well, what a wonderful week it has been. I have some wonderful news! First off, remember when I wrote you about Alejandra and how her dad would not let her or her sister go to church? They are our next door neighbors. Well, last week we all fasted, and yesterday we asked - are you going to go to church today? She told me she didn´t know, ask her dad. So I said "Hey, can she come to church today for a little bit?" Their dad asked them if they really wanted to go to church, and Alejandra said yes, and her younger sister said yes, too. So their father said, "OK, but only for an hour". So we were super excited. Then at the testimony meeting I went up to bear my testimony, and then Alejandra came up, too. I let her go in front of me and it was amazing. She said that the moment that she entered the church, she just felt at peace, and that she now knows that the Church is true. It was great, all the ladies where crying. So that is one great thing that happened.
Now for number two, and even better. Hermana Beatriz, and Hermana Katherine where baptized on Saturday. It was not without its fair share of trials, but it happened! Then Sunday, when we where about to go to church (they are our neighbors too) we went to knock on their door, and they were all dressed up and everything but said that they might not go to church. We wherethinking OH NOOOOO, because they had to be confirmed. So I left my scriptures and my jacket in their house and asked them to bring my things to church for me because we had to go for other people. They said "But what if we don't go?" Then my comp said "We will see you there", and we left. So, we went to church and left Alejandra and her sister with someone in the church to be with them, and we ran as fast as we could back to Hermana Beatriz's and right as we got to the parking lot, there they were in the car with my jacket and scriptures. It was great. Then they gave us a ride to church. It was so awesome, and everything was just great. I love them so much, they help us out, and invite us to eat all the time. They really are a wonderful family and I am so happy to have been able to share this time with them. There are changes this week and I really hope that I don´t get changed. I want to end my mission here.
Things are going great here. We are working hard, but the people here are a little more hard in the head and grumpy than in La Union. There is definitely a difference. This last week 4 people from my last area that we where teaching got baptized! Again, I swear I have the biggest record of people getting baptized the week after I leave. Oh well, it is fine, I am happy that they are making the wonderful decision to make this commitment!
My comp and I are actually working really hard. This area is intense! I love it because there are a ton of houses that we are able to knock at, but not a lot of them are ready, but we are still trying.
I am so excited for the temple to be here. There is going to be the open house starting in July so I will be able to go and see it before I go home, but the dedication is in August and I want to come back with one of my friend from the mission who actually wrote me this week. He was in an accident in the desert. He is fine but a girl that he was with died in his arms after she asked him for a blessing. He was able to give it, but please keep him in your prayers, too. I am sure that would help him out and his family and the others, too.
I love it here. It is going to be sad when I have to leave this place.
Hello everyone! Everything is good here. Working hard, still trying to find people. We have a few, but the people here are a little stiff necked.
We went to get one of our investigators Sunday morning, When we got to her door, the evil aunt came and yelled at her "why do you even talk to them!!!!!!" and then slammed the door closed. So, she didn't come to church. We will just have to go back and teach her when her aunt is not there, muahhaha.
Wow! What a conference. I was thinking during the conference that our lives are really made out of chapters. It is like being in the MTC: In the beginning you are super excited, but at the end of your 2 months of being there you are ready to go out and serve and do the next thing. Now getting close to the end of the mission ( now I am not saying that I want it to end at all, I love it too much) and after this conference, it helped me to see all the things that I have learned and how many things I have to keep learning. Now when I get back, I realize how much better I will be able to serve the Lord in my calling and stuff, because being here has really helped me to see how really important it all is. Just doing the work is the biggest blessing in itself. Yeah, sometimes it is hard or it takes time from doing what you want, but really, that doesn't matter. The Lord is first. I think back on before my mission and how little I did. Seeing how I could have done better and should have just worked instead of being a couch potato. Something that has helped me is that there is a returned missionary in our ward. He was a robot missionary. You can tell the difference between a robot missionary and a normal missionary. Robot missionaries don't really know why they are on their mission, they went because their parents told them,or they are there because they will get a car. They don't enjoy their time and experiences or the people, they are super strict to the point that they don't let the rules help them and guide them. It is like the difference between the the Sadducee and Pharisees and the Gospel of Christ. Robot missionaries don't like learning the language, when they can just about speak it, that is when they stop learning. They don't try their best. They might say they are, but they know deep down they are not. Robot missionaries are exactly the same if not worse when they get back. They are lazy and don't want to help with anything, and they usually go inactive. As members, we can be robot members, too. We need to be careful. But the worst thing about the robot missionary is that they have no personality, they let the outside world control how they feel. Some of the best advice that was given to me by one of my comps was that Heavenly Father has called me to be here so that I can be me. I don't have to try to be another person, I just have to find me, and be my best self. It doesn't matter if I baptize 0, 1, 5, 10, or 100- if I can learn to be my celestial self then I have gained all that I needed in the mission. Because once I have become my celestial self, once we all have become our celestial selves, that is when we can serve the Lord how he wants and needs us to, and we don't fear anything, We become disciples of Christ and nothing can stop us from being what we truly are.
Everything is going great! I am back in San Salvador, in Cuscatancingo.
It is nice and cool here- at least to me! Everyone says it is hot, but I am just as happy as a clam. I have a new comp- Elder Marinero. He is really awesome, I have been waiting my whole mission to have comp like him. He is a good teacher and is just a good person. We get along super well. So, it is going to be a great change. I hope President will let us be together for 2 changes. I am really happy here.
We are working super hard to find new people because of some struggles with the last missionary. So we are totally changing that around and working double hard to make up for the lost time.
Oh, I got my second Christmas package and it was like it was Christmas all over again, it was so awesome! I love all the candy and everything,. I think I am going to make the pancakes for a district meeting. [Colin is still the District Leader] Something funny- my district is me, my comp, and a companionship of sisters. That is all. I have never had sisters in my district before so this is going to be a new experience. But I am happy because I already know them, and they are good hardworking sisters, but mom, I think I am going to need more money to buy refreshments for my district meetings, so they won't get mad at me for not having refreshments.
Things are going great, working hard and being happy. Pray for us to find new, good investigators. I love you.