November 25, 2013

FRIENDS

Hey guys! So it was a really slow week and i dont have a ton to report. I will start by saying since thursday, i have been dominating the missionary feel finally! i have finally grown out of the, ”hey cool, i am a missionary, look at me” stage to the hey, how can i touch the heart of hector, jaime, or griselda today? it has really made the mission easier. i figured that was cool, so there ya go.

I bought christmas lights and balloons and my house is awesome now. My fam sent me some christmas songs and so we are living the life. I love the holiday season, even though it feels NOTHING like christmas. haha still fun!

I am in the process of buying a hammock. I should have it tongiht, and this is my cool christmas buy this season.

We had 12 investigators at church yesterday which is CRAZY. Most have maybe 3 or 4, and so 12 is sweet! I havent heard many people who have had more than we had yesterday. We couldve easily had 15 or so, but due to travel situations and being drunk, they werent able to attend yesterday. our zone had 21 INV in attendence yesterday, we had 12 of those. score!

We have a baptism on Wednesday and are baptizing 3 people, including a mom and her daughter. I am especially pumped because i get the opportunity to baptize the daughter, gaby!

I dont have any crazy stories this week, sorry. I am safe, healthy, and happy to be serving the Lord and the people of Ahuachapan! My testimony grows stronger day after day and a mission is really starting to get awesome. Do what you can to be a good example to all those around you, especially your non member friends! That is the best way to do missionary work. Dominate this week!

Tons of love,

Elder Nate Slack

November 18, 2013

Friends!
 
Some of you have asked about the relation with my comp. We have a ton of fun! I am teaching him to say Sweet Jimmer when something cool happens. It is going really good! I am a good teacher.
 
The past week i have had a cold for the 2nd time of my mission. Remember that i NEVER got sick at home. I dont know what i am doing wrong. At least everyone else here seems to be sick as well. Luckily it is only a runny nose and stuffy nose, nothing more. TMI?
 
This week was REALLY slow, progression wise. I really dont have a ton to share. 
 
My dad asked about tracting. We tract quite a bit still. It is probably the best way to find new investigators here. It is really interesting. I always heard terror stories of elders getting the door slammed in their face and what not. Here in Ahuachapan, people answer, and tell us to come in. we talk for 15 min and then ask if they know the church we represent. they dont even know what church we represent and they invite us into their homes to talk about the gospel. haha it is awesome! tracting is fun here.
 
Saturday morning we did a service project. We went to an investigators house to help her with chores so she could attend church sunday. unfortunately she had another thing come up and so she still couldnt attend, but we still did the service. we walked into her backyard and then snuck through a small opening between trees. we were now in a HUGE corn field. the corn looked like it had been dead for a period of a few months. then, we husked the corn while it was still on the stalk. it was funnish, but really hot. i have never seen so many freaky looking cockroaches, beetles, and spiders. haha! we bagged the corn after about 3 hours and left. they use the corn to make cafe maiz (coffee missionaries can drink) and tortillas which are consumed at EVERY meal EVERY day. Anyways, that was my cool experience for the week. 
 
I dont have a specific scripture for you guys this week, more of a friendly reminder. A lot of times, like me before last week, people think repentence is only for bad people with awful sins. This isnt the case. Members of the church always talk about how Christ suffered and died for our sins but dont do anything about it. How great of an oportunity is it that we have to remove guilt and shame and feel peace and hapiness? Repentence is more of a gift than further punishment. My invitation is to repent every night in your nightly prayers for bad thoughts or actions. You will be forgiven . I know this because Christ didnt die to turn us away from receiving forgiveness. 
 
I am grateful for this church and for the blessings i receive daily. I love sharing the message of the gospel with people who have never heard of it before. 
 
Love you all! Thanks for support. 
 
Amor, Elder Slack

November 11, 2013

 
 Friends!!
 
First off, thank you for your support for everything. You guys are awesome! I have received a lot of questions about food. My favorite part about food here is that people walk the streets to sell food. I cant tell you how many ice cream cones i have bought for 25 cents at my front door. it is like a cheap ice cream truck, but the truck is actually a small metal crate being pushed by an old man. haha it is sweet! they come around from about 5 in the morning until 8 at night. tortillas, tomales, ice cream, etc. life is good. 
 
I am getting colder and colder every night. Saturday night got to a balmy 73 degrees. I dont know how accurate my thermometer spelled wrong. is, but man i had some gnarly cold chills. I am goning to struggle coming home. 
 
I am officially done with my first change! Next change is 2 weeks before christmas, so i prob will have a new comp. it is a bummer, but everybody here is really cool, plus i am fun so christmas will be awesome. I have been told i will probably stay here for a while. i am happy with that because i like this area.
 
our investigator j. had been smoking and drinking for years and he has quit! he has only drank once in the past 2 weeks ish since he committed to stop. the big crazy beard he had is now gone as well! it has been absolutely incredible to watch his life change before my eyes. it has made my mission worth it already. you dont understand how much that affects you until you actually watch it. he is set to be baptized in two weeks. 
 
we have 4 baptismal dates and 2 baptismal goals for this month. so potentially 6 this month! it is sweet! we are dominated our area. our whole zone did really well this change. they split our zone though, so our numbers wont be too hot for a while.
 
We have around 10ish progressing investigators right now, and so if the 6 are baptized this month like it is looking, then we are screwed. it is hard to find people who want to progress. they here are message but they stick pretty true to their faith. there is a family we are teaching who are slowly progressing. they have a lot of doubts, for example, they believe that heavenly father is a spirit. it is hard to get them to change their beliefs but i think they come around!
 
i am grateful for my mission here in el salvador and for the awesome and fun experiences i have already had. Me and my comp are really close now and can do anything in front of each other. we have a lot of fun but get a lot done as well. it will be a bummer when we part ways, but it is what it is!
 
i know this church is true and that the book of mormon is a book that compliments the bible and contains the word of god. i know that joseph smith was a prophet and that prayers are important and necessary to receive blessings, knowledge, and comfort. but, we need to have faith in our prayers as well! why pray if we dont exercise faith in our prayers? 
 
scriptures for you guys
 
alma 32! especially verses 16-18, 21-22, and 27-30. It talks about faith! I really like it. Anyways, nos vemos!
 
les amo. 
 
elder slack
 

November 4, 2013

friends!

 
Hey everyone! Everything is going good here! I still love to be a missionary! Here we go.
 
First, references are possibly the hardest part about this mission! There are no addresses in my area, and so when people refer possible investigators to us, they say they live on this street, first left, second right, take a right at the big rock, it is the house with 4 trees. i dont know how, but we always seem to find them. haha miracle!
Second, my comp is trying to learn english. He kept joking and trying to speak english to me and so i gave a closing prayer for daily planning in english… and it sucked. i kept forgetting to use words like thee, thy, thou, and i kept pausing because i had to translate from spanish to english. the prayer was easily the worst english prayer i have ever given. 21 months more of daily spanish prayers will slaughter my english prayers. just a warning for you guys! i pray i dont have to say a prayer in sacrament soon after my mish. language is still improving though! i dont ever have time to study though, and that is suckish.
 
This week i learned the importance of EVERY worthy male to serve a mission! I have always heard different answers, but i am convinced i know why now. Each person interacts and teaches differently. For example, my comp loves to talk and try to help the investigator understand gospel principles by building on the knowledge they already have. this is good but lacks energy…. this is where i come in. i dont know if my spanish is very good all the time, but i figure if i seem pumped about what i am saying, they will like it more haha. i try to be excited about the church, about opportunities to receive blessings, and be excited about gaining a larger knowledge of things. i try to relate the blessings i have received and my family has received to how and what blessings the investigator can receive. when people say there are people who only you can touch, this is what they are talking about. it took me 3 months of my mish to learn this. take advantage of your skills! dont try to change about be what you think a missionary is. just be good.
 
our investigators are still progressing. in the papers i have 2 baptisms, and so i am counting those as mine. we have 3 sure dates for this month next friday and i am baptizing a 12 year old girl named g.! I am really excited! we may have another 2 baptisms this month as well. J. went to church with us again yesterday and didnt drink all of last week until yesterday after church. it sucks he drank, but he said it was only a little and it is really good he went 6 days with no alcohol! he hasnt smoked in a week. hopefully he never does again. crazy how some people can quit cold turkey. the goal is to baptize him the 23rd of this month. j., my first lesson, returned to her home and said she wants to be baptized. we plan to baptize her this month as well. so probably 5 baptisms this month.
 
we met a family last week, the something g. family. 3 kids and parents are glued to our lessons. they are progressing fast and i think we baptize all 5 next month. we show a movie about joseph smith tomorrow, and so i hope it goes good! i am pumped! we are having so much successs in this area. 
 
thank you for all your support! i pray for all my friends and family every day. i hope you guys continue to do well! the church is true!!
 
last thing, there is a scriputre we seem to use EVERY lesson that touches EVERY person. in john 3= 13 through 17 talks about the trinity and baptism by submersion. often times people argue with us about the godhead. we use this scripture and they dont believe us. we use their bible and they finally understand. but it is really cool! check it out. 
 
love you guys! hope halloween was good! tear it up this week.
 
love, elder slack.

October 28, 2013

friends”””
 
Hey guys! I am doing good still! Livin’ the dream! My companion is still a stud. He actually surprised me this morning by buying a ukulele of his own. Cant wait for jam sessions every night after planning. Missions are rough.
 
The weather here is slowly getting more and more wet, which is weird because i think the dry season is right around the corner. The rain has been really heavy and if there is the slightest glimpse of ´lightning, the thunder is the loudest thunder i have ever heard in my life! it is so sweet!! i love storms, always have!
 
I also got my haircut this past week. In the MTC, they did not know how to cut my hair the way i liked and so it has been my secret annoyance for the past 2 and a half months. Now i can finally say i am actually happy. I have short hair again!
 
My spanish is still coming along! It gets better every day it seems. For example, I had a full conversation with my comp and 2 hermana members for about 90 minutes and i understood what was going on! haha it was a nice change. it is coming. i am excited to not have to think so hard though, by the end of the night, my brain is fried and i usually talk 50 percent in english from 9 oclock on to help my comp with language practice…. my excuse.
 
In the house of E.(next paragraph), there was a moth about the size of a football. It was all fun and games until his older brother grabs a broom and hits it so it spreads it’s wings and takes off to collect it’s prey with it’s talons. I have never left a house so fast. I still dont know what happened to the moth.
 
E.! He is a 16 year old kid and is being baptized on Wednesday! I cant wait! My first baptism. My comp told me we already have one, so i guess he will be my second baptism here. J. is a man about 40 to 45 and was baptized last week! We have a semi big ward (Ausoles 2 in ahuachapan) and so we have 2 sets of missionaries. they got his baptism but i think my comp is counting it as ours as well because it is in our ward. i dont know. i dont count him. I am excited though! one of the other missionaries in the ward will baptize him. i will probably be a witness like i was with j. baptism. fun stuff.
 
we are slowly gaining investigators! it is hard because elder ayala and i were thrown into a new area!   it is so cool to see the lives of people changing right before my eyes. I understand everything in lessons and bear my testimony and teach different parts of the lessons! it is cool. my spanish is better than a lot of newer north american gringo missionaries here, so that is going for me. but anyways, back to j. he attended church with us yesterday and really seemed to like it. hopefully he can get over his smoking and drinking addictions and be baptized. we will keep working with him!
We met 3 new investigators yesterday, 18 year old j, 16 d, and 12 al. They are sibilings and their mom was sleeping during our lesson. they had a lot of questions and really accepted everything we said. it was really cool. we left and my comp said he predicts they all get baptized next month because they will progres so fast. let’s hope he is right!! he said he has 20 baptisms in 6  months. crazy. he is a champ! good sign for me! haha.
 
thank you for all your support! i feel your prayers every day! i am really glad to be serving here and changing the lives of many, including my own. I know this church is true and am grateful for all the blessings it has brough my family and i! a mission has already really strengthened my love for families, especially my own! i am beginning to have a strong love for the people of el salvador already.
 
love you all!
 
elder slack