March 31, 2014

Hey everybody! This was actually a pretty dang good week! We got a lot of stuff done and our numbers at the end of the week were killer. It was fun last night to kind of celebrate back to back dominate weeks. 
I forgot to mention something about changes last week. Well, we had a change in zone leaders. My new zone leader is Elder Draper.  Well, Elder Ayala, my trainer/dad is one of my 3 closest friends in the mission, so it is awesome that i get to work with him a ton now! 🙂 Some of my best friends in the mish are the zone leaders and my district leader. Kiss up? maybe, but it is working for me. 
This week we had another baptism! 17 year old S. finally got baptized!  In order to do that, we had to do the marriage as well. So, we did a marriage Saturday morning literally right before the baptism. It was my first wedding in the mission and my 2nd baptized family. She was pretty pumped and I was really lucky to have the opportunity to baptize her. Hopefully she continues to progress in the church. 
My convert in this area, M Ines, had surgery on Thursday for her breast cancer. I gave her a blessing the night before, as well as her daughter, and as far as we know, everything has gone smoothly!  It is cool to be able to use the priesthood like I have this week. Confirmation, baptism, blessings, etc. 
We met 16 news this week which is nuts!  We have been dropping a lot of investigators a lot recently, one of the hardest things to do in the mission.  You teach these people and see the potencial they have to drop bad habits, come to Christ, and be blessed as a family and everything, and they still don’t give up things they HAVE to give up to be baptized.   But, it is something that is necessary in the mish. 
Random. I see Utah Jazz jerseys everywhere, mainly Karl Malone jerseys. They are the sick old fashion purple ones. Colton Whitney would love these guys. Something else I have started to notice recently is all the Real Salt Lake gear. Tshirts, jackets, jerseys, shorts, etc. they have it all!  Real Salt Lake is probably the US soccer team I see the most of here. 
To close, I wanted to share a scripture I found this week. It is in 64:15. (I don’t know what book…he didn’t put it in) I learned that we can’t sin, because if we do, we might be called out by God in the scriptures. 
Thanks for all the suppport! I continue to feel loved and blessed to be a missionary and receive tons of support from friends and family! I know this church is true and am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, excited to focus on that this month. 
Anyways, love you guys and write next week. Go Cougars!
PS. Had to note that I still beat by dad in the March Madness NCAA bracket. 
Elder Slack

March 24, 2014

Hey everybody!
This week was awesome. We met a bunch of news and had a couple of baptisms! 
On Tuesday we baptized the hermana E! She is someone we have been teaching for some time now 🙂 I was able to baptize her and she was so happy! We played a music number before the baptism, we played and sang Army of Helaman as I played it on the uke. I dont think it was too bad 🙂 it was cool to play before the baptism. 
Wednesday we had changes! My comp Elder Montero left, and now i am with Elder Lopez. He is from Nicaragua and is pretty cool. We teach well together and have the spirit in all of our lessons. He is a little goofy but he is a good guy, and we are going to continue to do some work in the area. I remember when I came in and the area was dead. Cool to see it starting to come to life now. 
I also made a new friend at changes. His name is Elder Havili and he is from Seattle Washington. He is a running back for UCLA and so we are going to get along just well. Unfortunately we are in different zones, but I think I may see him this week at a multi zone. The kid is a stud! He is huge. 
Saturday we baptized the hermana M! She has a surgery for her breast cancer on Wednesday, and so we baptizd her a day earlier than planned so she could be confirmed in church the next day. I was able to baptize her as well, but for the first time in my mish, I had to rebaptize her. Her knee popped up and so she was pretty embarrased. But the second time worked 🙂 haha. 
It is a really cool opportunity that we have as missionaries to watch people change their lives because of a message that we as members have usually taken advantage of. This church is true, and nothing has helped me learn that better than learning more about other churches. I am grateful to belong to a church that has apostles and prophets and the power and authority of God. This church is true! 
This saturday I think we will be having another baptism. We have been teaching someone named S. She has to get married, and this is what we are going to go confirm tonight. We are planning to do a joint wedding, (her and another pareja of the other companionship) on
Saturday, and then baptize them afterwards. Really glad people are accepting the teachings and following through and keeping committments and everything!!!
Even though BYU lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the church is still true. I am grateful for the love and support I receive from my family and friends and for the chance i have to serve in this awesome country. I love you guys and hope you guys all have an awesome week. 
Elder Slack

March 17, 2014

Hey everyone! I am still doing really good! We have changes this week, and so i think i will be getting a new companion! We find out tomorrow.

This week should be pretty solid, however. We will be baptizing Elisabeth tomorrow night 🙂 it counts as a family because her husband got baptized like 25 years ago. It has been really cool to see her countenance change! She has been touched by the spirit and converted to the gospel, so i am excited to baptize her tomorrow night. Hopefully we can talk to her about baptizing her daughter soon too, she turns 8 today.
We have another baptism this Sunday with Maria. Maria is a grandma but is sweet! She is really quiet but has really changed as well. She understands the importance to be baptized by someone who holds the priesthood, and something that has really helped with her is all the support from the members in the ward. That is a huge help! She has 3 grandkids who are above 8 years old who are the cutest kids. They haven’t really shown a huge interest in being baptized until last night 🙂 we are going to invite them with a date again tomrrow and see if we can baptize them with their grandma on sunday. they have all already gone to church 3 times, so now it is just a matter of helping them obtain a desire.

We met two news yesterday who will be baptized in april. Ruth and Abigail are a mom and daughter who have been prepared by the Lord. We contacted them as a reference, and man, they were sharp! They talked about not liking any churches except for the Mormon church and some other one. She asked what is required of her to be baptized and when we could do it. We taught her the first lesson, but werent able to put a date with her yet, just because she hasnt gone to church yet. Hopefully next week when i write you guys, we will have them with a date, as well as 2 others and would have baptized 5 the previous (this) week.
We are finally seeing all of our work pay off. It is so exciting to see people make decisions to better their lives. For example, Maria had been drinking coffee multiple times, daily for years and when we taught the word of wisdom, she totally dropped it. She is now 3 weeks coffee free 🙂 We cant feel more freedom or love from Christ than when we obey and do the things we are supposed to do. This means go to seminary, church, temple, etc. Something easy to think is that when we have these ”rules” that they are restrictions, not ways to help us have more freedom. There are people who smoke and break a commandment, well, it sucks for their health. There are people that disobey their parents because they dont want to go to church or seminary. Well? It’s the same exact thing. When we obey and do the things we are supposed to do, we feel more free, not only spiritual, but temporally as well.
Love you all! Excited to spend another week living the life here in Llano Doña Maria, El Salvador.
Elder Slack

March 10, 2014

This week was so solid! It was probably the best week of my mission so far. I had some sweet experiences with my zone leader and while on divisions a couple difference days this week, so i’ll give a little update about how that went. 
Thursday, my zone leader, Elder Draper, came to our area. I ended up working with him all day, just us two. We had some really good lessons! We taught the inv named E. and had a really powerful lesson about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We prayed with her on our knees and by the time the prayer was over, tears filled our eyes and E. started to cry. She commited to be baptized this 18th of March so I am really excited 🙂 We’ll be doing a musical number for her baptism as missionaries! I will be jamming on the uke. 
Saturday Elder Lopez came. Elder Lopez came and worked with us as well. Man this guy was dominate! I felt invincible just walking with him in the streets. We put a date with M. the grandma again for the 23rd, but this time it is set in stone. We also put a date to baptize a girl named S. the 30th! The problem with her is that we need to get her married. She is 17 and so it is a little tougher, but her parents support her and all 🙂 So we will be having a wedding the 29th of March as well. }
Thanks for all the support and emails. Sorry i don’t have a ton of time, but hope you guys know i love you! 
It was a sweet week! Really felt like an effective missionary, something every missionary needs once in a while. Hopefully this good karma can transfer onto the court as well! I am being obediente and diligent here, so blessings will come. Go Cougars. 
Elder Slack

March 3, 2014

Hey everybody! I am doing really good! We’ll start out with the events that happened this week. 
I had a dinner cita finally on wednesday. We had some cheese pupusas, and they were easily the best ones i have had here! Oh man. Usually i am not nuts about pupusas, but these were special. 
Another set of members gave me some type of flower to cook with eggs. Man, those were not very good. I cant even explain how it was. It wasnt like a bad taste, but it wasnt good at all. Haha. 
It is getting hotter and hotter here! I feel like every day it gets hotter. I drip sweat and it grosses me out. 
We were waiting to have someone answer a door we were knocking and they never came. I saw a bees hive and pretend to thorw a rock at it. My comp said i wasnt man enough to do it. Well…. yeah. I threw it and my comp got stung. It was so funny, he asked for it. 
February was the first month of my mission that i didnt baptize. It was really hard and I felt  like a bummy missionary. We have potential to put 6 dates this week, so hopefully we can do it. I am doing interchanges with one of the zone leaders to try and get these dates on thursday, so hopefully get those set. I love teaching with the zone leaders! 
I live with 4 missionaries, one of which is the district leader. I just hang out with him and learn as he takes numbers and all. I feel like I’m going to be district leader soon, and think i will adjust pretty easily. I am like the assistant district leader right now, learning a ton. 
On to the lessons. We met 20 news in 6 days which is nuts. We were doing work! Unfortunately, we dont have a ton of people who are really positive right now. R. almost had a date at one point until we found out he isnt married to the girl he has lived with for 45 years. What are they thinking? He has kind of dropped of our charts, strictly because his wife isnt taking the steps to get married. M. and her grandkids are mas o menos right now. One of the grand daughters went to church withus yesterday, but the grandma NEVER can. We had to drop a bautismal date with her, and that is TERRIBLE. Hopefully we can reestablish something this week. We are always teaching somebody named E. E. LOVES to talk. I am too nice and dont know how to stop her and tell her we need to teach her. Maybe someday i will learn. She is 25 years old and has 2 kids and a 40 year old husband. She is really nice though, and we are planning to set a date for her and her kid for the 18 of march. Her husband was baptized about 25 years ago but is inactive. He has gone to church 2 of the past 3 weeks and loves it though! He will be reactivated soon enough. 
She has a lot of stress with money right now. Her husband had a previous marriage and she is stealing all the money or something like that. E. has a really hard time with that and she ended up asking us why we were in her home. We told her the truth. We were going to contact her neighbors but we saw her sweeping outside and then she called us into her house. We were caught offguard but we went in anyways. She said she though one of her friends had sent us to her, or she wouldnt have invited us in. Turns out the message of the gospel is just what her and her family has needed.   She loves the lessons and what we teach her, and also loves how she feels in church. It has really strengthened my testimony that the Lord gives us people who are prepared. It is never how we expect, but it always works out. I am grateful for the spirit i have felt as i was guided to her, it has been incredible. I love this gospel and thank the Lord every day for the chance i have to share it with people here in Llaño Doña Maria. 
Love, Elder Slack