February 24, 2014

Hey everyone! Another week in the mission come and gone! It was a pretty good one actually! We snagged 14 news which is always nice, including 11 of those in 2 days. We are working hard still and doing what we can to get a few more dates with our investigators. We dont have any huge things that happened this week, but I have received a lot of emails asking about El Salvador. This is something I havent really touched on, because this is home for me now and things that happen are just normal for me, but not for you guys. So we’ll talk about some of this stuff. 
First off, this week has been really hot! I dont know if it has been the increase of humidity or what, becuase it has been raining a little more, but man, it has been tough. This isnt just summer-type hot. No. This is the, I can only wear my shirt once before I need to bleach it, hot. I feel like I sweat and sweat and sweat. I drink water and then it comes out of every poor of my body. Gross, but it is the truth. I shower in the mornings, but I shower sometimes at night just because I dont want to destroy my bed. 
I sleep on a sheetless matress with a small bedsheet over me just to keep the mosquitos out. I sleep on the only top bunk, which makes no sense to me at all, but at least i have a beautiful view of our room. 
The rain has been coming. We dont have roof on majority of the house, and so the rain really takes a toll. It is really loud and i feel like we are really confined and cant leave. This is heavy, heavy rain. 
I dominated eating this week. Elder Bauserman has tried to push me to eat better, so I have been doing that. What were you eating before, Elder Slack? Eh, haha. I ate 15 eggs in 3 days, 12 chorizo (type of sausage) in 4 days, 2 onions and green peppers in 4 days, which is great! i downed a gallon of milk with some strawberry nesquik mix in 4 days. the only problem? Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were brutal. I hate begging the others for food, but this is what I did. oh, also ate quite a bit of rice. 
Every morning I work out with Elder Bauserman. We leave the house at 6 and get back at 7. We take about a mile run to a soccer field, run around the field about 10 times in total, with little breaks to pump out push ups and do ab work outs, then make the mile run back to the house. I am getting in pretty good shape, and it feels really good! I am not fat but nice to start seeing some more definition. Maybe I will get married when I get home. 
The animals here are… well, limited. Suposedly toucans will come soon, but all I have seen here are bats, taquazines–a type of rat, mice, yellow parokeets, lizards, iguanas, dogs, chicken, and some of the people. I figured being in Central America jungle-y areas I would see more. …..Nope. 
I am doing really good! I love the culture and the people. I love the language, more so after I have been getting better at it. I have people tell me I speak really well and it is really easy to understand me, then there are others who recognize I am an American and give me the whole ”why are you talking in english to me”  thing.  
But I love the mission and how much stronger my testimony has grown. I love this gospel and am so glad I decided to make the decision to serve the Lord and help the people of El Salvador live with their families forever. 
Love you guys and thank you for all the support and prayers!! Go Cougars.
Love, Elder Slack

February 17, 2014

 Hey everyone! So this week was pretty solid. There were some low points, but there always are. We finally put a date! It is about time. The grandma M. accepted to prepare for the 2nd of March! Her 3 grandkids want to be baptized as well, so we will try to get permission this week to baptize them as well. The only problem is that the pastor of the mom told her that before mormons baptize, they tell people to think of a dead person, and when they are baptized, supposedly we believe that they resurrect. Man, these churches here really hurt us. I dont know why people don’t catch on to the fact that the other churches focus more on neighboring churches than teaching the doctrines of Christ. 
This week out lessons really improved. We have had certifications this week and will finish next month. These are a weekly tests on how our lessons are. It is really stressful and they grade really hard. I feel like I am teaching the entire lessons sometimes and it is a little tiring. But it is good for me to learn to be a better teacher and really good to help me learn the language. 
We contacted some kid about 2 months ago who had been taught by missionaries before. He totally shut us down and was really closed. We decided he just wasn’t ready, so we dropped him. We started seeing him show up at church with his friend S. but we didnt think much of it. Now with 3 assistances, we figured we oughta talk to him again. Turns out S. has been a huge factor for him. K, the kid, now is taking lessons and preparing for baptism. We already have permission from his grandparents to baptize him next month, he just needs to tell us and then he is ready to accept the date. We want to do it the 9th of March, but I think 16 is more likely because of the presidential elections here. He is a boss. He went and visited several investigators with us yesterday, and he is ready for baptism, he just doesn’t know it yet. It has been really cool to see a ton of stories like this happen in this area. There are so many youth and the adults don’t care to help us out too much. The youth have absolutely helped this work explode in this area. The youth in Utah need to realize how big of an impact their example and everything can be, even if they don’t think so. 
I am doing really good and am enjoying the mission. I am learning stuff every day, and that has been fun as well. It is cool to know I have so much supoprt from home, especially from my family and some friends. A mission is by no means easy, but it is something I am glad I made the decison to do. I have made some sacrifices to be here obviously, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I lost a few friends by making the decision to serve a mission, but this is something I have wanted to do since I was in primary. I officially have 6 months under my belt for the mission, so I am finally starting to get in the flow of things. I love the mission and my missionary buddies I have met. A mission really hasn’t turned out to be too big of a sacrifice, save the 13 byu football games I missed, the byu basketball season, and a little jimmer fredette of course. But I love this gospel and know without a doubt that it is true. It is awesome to be able to look in the eyes of people here and tell them that in their own language, and to see their heart soften and the spirit smack them in the face. 
I hope you are all doing good!! I love you all and thank you all for everything! Letters, emails, prayers, etc. means a lot. 
Go Cougars.
Elder Slack

February 10, 2014

Hey everyone! Still hanging in there, despite the really hot temperatures! I heard February, March, and parts of April are miserable. It is really hot and dry, so we’ll see how it goes. that is what i have to look forward to.
First off, my buddy Elder Bauserman had a little tumor on his arm. He ended up getting it lazered off in Santa Ana, but he was out a few days of work. Unforunately, we are in a branch becuase of the lack of melchezidek priesthood. Therefore, i had to spend a day in the house with him to recoup.   My comp did it the next day and so we missed 2 days to work in our area. This slaughtered our numbers this week so i got a little lectured. That made it a little frustrated, bummy weeek, but not much i could have done. Just going to work harder this month.
Aaaaaand my comp didnt have changes this week! No one in the house did! I was shocked! Another 6 weeks with Elder Montero. My Christlike attributes still have a little shaping to do i guess! Haha, no he is good. Just dont have anything in common with him which is a little harder than it was with Ayala. Elder Ayala, my first comp, is one of my best friends in the mission. I still call him every night and we talk about how he is going to go to the states to marry Ash.
Some of you guys have asked about my goal with Spanish. I wanted to have it down pretty solid by Valentines Day, because it would be around my 6 month mark. I can happily say that i have met my goal. I understand just about everything on the tv, investigators, etc. and i can speak well. I still dont have the perfect accent down, but i have progressed a lot faster than a lot of kids.  So i have been blessed. Just know Spanish is not a major stressor for me! I have been really blessed! Really pumped that i met my goal!
Our investigators are still progressing but not accepting baptism dates. R. needs to get married. M and her grandkids need to exercise faith. It seems like all our investigators have a tesitmony and know the church is true and everything, but they are a little nervous to accept the dates. We just need to invite better and try to make sure they understand it is easy, simple, and brings a ton of blessings.
Glad to hear my Cougars are still doing good. For those of you who thought i had forgotten or who thought i would lose a desire… haha. Nope, still loyal, strong, and true. Love my Cougars, excited for them to win the WCC this year.
Thanks for all the support. I love you all and want you all to know that i know this is the church of God!
Love, Elder Slack

February 3, 2014

Hey! I am back! Sorry i didnt have anything last week. Time was really short and i didnt want to spend a ton of time writing a letter that was long. Anyways.
For the first time in my mish, i went 2 days with NO english. it was awesome and really hard. but i did it. i felt like a champion.
We have changes coming up wednesday! We find out tomrrow for sure, but my comp has been here for 5 months, so he is probably going to head out. It has been good to see him grow and change.
I had a baptism last sunday, it was great! The stars have really aligned for this month. We have 7 inv that are really positive, and i think we will baptize all 7 this month.
J. was an investigator that was really positive. We called her to set an appointment and she said well, i dont want lessons anymore. It came out of nowhere, and it kind of hurt. They dont understand what they are doing when they do that.
R.l is still progressing. I went on divisions with Elder Draper, zone leader, who is a really big dog in the mision. i was nervous but it went really good, and he is really cool. i hope i can serve like him in a while! Reminds me of a guy like craig goff. But we found out that the wife of r really isnt even his wife. They have lived together for 42 but never got married, so we gotta get them married this month. i think we end up doin that next saturday or so. He is still progressing and still positive and all.
M. is a grandma that we contacted who has 9, 11, 7, and 13 year old grandkids. Man, they are gold! They went to church this week, and when we asked the kids questions about jesus and john the baptist and all, it was so sweet. Why was jesus baptized? to be an example. Who baptized him? JOhn the Baptist. Why did john the baptist do it? He had the priesthood. T>hese were all answers from 9 and 11 year olds!! They werent even present for the lesson, but they tore through the pamphplet. They will baptize this month, from all signs.
Thanks for all the prayers and support! I feel it daily. I love the mision and my faith and testimony continues to grow. I pray for your success! Love you all!
ELder Slack