Dear Family. (Get ready for a novel, cause there is much to say)
But first, I wanted to say Happy Father's Day! I had a picture I wanted to send, but the USB-SD adapter has been doing the thing where it put the lines on select photos, so I am gonna have to find and buy a new SD adapter with a USB slot. Next week I will make sure to send it! We have our final Interviews with President Glazier this week (He leaves on the 27th), so I will probably receive my package there. I am looking forward to receiving it! :)
We had a very good week. At first we were a little disappointed with the numbers, but we had some VERY good things happen also. We had 3 investigators at church, as well as 8 less actives. We have really been working with the less actives and having much success with them! Hugo, a former less active has been leaving with us to visit almost every day and he has a desire to serve a mission. He found a job so he can start making money and saving up to pay for his mission. Only problem is that he works every day in the week, so we lost our number one person to accompany us with our investigators. But he is getting ready for his mission, so we are very happy for him!
Elder Bustillo finally overcame his fever! He can finally work 100%! Only thing is well…I ended up with the fever and stomach virus. It wasn’t as bad as my companion´s, so I am very grateful for that. I am not sick anymore but we had to stay home a couple of days when I was, since Hugo was working and President Estrada works on the week days...It is quite demotivating and boring to have to stay home, especially when much of the day is spent in the bathroom, and the nights are spent not being able to sleep until 6 in the morning. It is quite awful, I never want to get sick again. To be anything lower than 100% efficient stinks, but this P Day should help me rest and be ready to work this last full week of transfers.
So, the World Cup has officially started. It is like having the Super Bowl here in El Salvador, and the thing that stinks. It´s EVERYDAY for the next few weeks. People are all in their homes watching it. The streets are actually a lot more vacant, and to have people wanting us to come in to their homes is rather difficult. We haven’t had success finding many new investigators to teach, so we have been trying to focus on the ones that we have, especially the 5 that had baptism dates. As of now, we only have 3.
Demaris was given back to the Sister Missionaries, because they returned early this week. Maritza (The one that we have been playing baseball with) hasn’t come the last few weeks and we are trying to figure out what we need to do to get her to come. She knows that baptism is the way to go, but she has a sister that was baptized after knowing the church 3 weeks, and she ended up going inactive right after, so that example hasn’t been good for Maritza. She has her church attendances, but hasn’t gone once this transfer, so she wont be baptized this Saturday, but we will keep working on her.
Rene has his moved to July 12th. He is MORE than prepared to be baptized. One would think that he is a member given his knowledge, his attendance, his class participation, his friendship with the members, but he feels like he isn’t that prepared, that he needed to know more of the doctrine to be baptized. We have tried to reassure him that faith and repentance were the two basic principles that one needs to be baptized, but at the same time we didn’t try to pressure him at all. It is on his timeline, not ours and the last thing we want to do is force him, so we pushed the date back to give him some more time. Other than that, he is a very good friend of ours, and has been very kind to us. He is great!
Ana and Naomi have their baptism set for this Saturday still, but to call it 100% percent would not be wise. Crazy things have often happened in the week leading up to baptisms, so we are crossing our fingers and praying hard for everything to work out. But I have a good feeling, and they have completely dropped coffee, so that is a great sign. They are very positive in the lessons, and the progression that they have made has been pretty amazing to see. The gospel has changed the lives of them, as well as many more of our investigators. It is so amazing to be a part of that change in their lives.
Speaking of changing lives, there is the possibility that we could have a third baptism this Saturday! Mary, who has a very catholic background, has expressed desires to be baptized! And as soon as possible as well! She got her attendances, is finishing 2 Nephi, has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, read Our Search for Happiness, Our Heritage, and is just super positive and wants to change her life, no matter what happens with her family. She wants to follow the example of Christ, but at the same time we were not able to put the baptism date quite yet. We will have our answer tonight in a lesson, so we are praying like crazy for this! 3 baptisms in Ilobasco this Saturday! That would be AMAZING! We are working to make sure they happen! The best is yet to come!
We have Enrique, an investigator that was not anything positive when we met him. He was a rebel in his family, and at first wasn’t too keen on visiting with us, but he said he felt something different when talking with us, and out of nowhere, he asked for a priesthood blessing. He knows something about blessings because his Aunt is a member and is the one that gave us the reference. We gave him the blessing and he was almost crying. He said that he felt good. We lost contact with him for a bit, so we figured that we didn’t want anything with us. But then one night he calls us, and tells us that he wants to change his life, that some things were happening that were bringing unhappiness to his life as a result of some of his choices, that he wants to learn about the plan of redemption that Jesus Christ has for us, so we are scheduled to meet with him early this week! The gospel changes lives!!!
I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants this week, and I really liked something I read in section 6, verses 33-36. “Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward. Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you. Look unto me in every thought: Doubt not. Fear not”. I love this phrase, as long as we are doing what we should be doing, we have absolute not reason to doubt or fear the things of the world. We already know that good will prevail over evil and if we are simply on the good team, then we don’t have to be afraid of anything! Even though we are not perfect and we make mistakes every day of our lives, we are ALWAYS given the change to repent and to change our lives for the better! “Go your way and sin no more”.
With Transfers coming up on the 25th, Elder Bustillo and I are trying to get as much done as we can. We both would like the opportunity to stay as companions here in Ilobasco 2, for a couple more transfers. We have been able to completely turn around this area, we have some very good potential with the investigators the next transfer. We have been able to forge a priceless relationship with the members here, we have much more support now than we did before, things are just going great here! It is amazing what the Lord can do for the children of men, and I can testify that the Lord loves each and every one of us, that it does not matter who we are, how imperfect we may be, whatever part of the world that we are in, HE LOVES US. More than we could ever imagine! I know that this is the one and true church, that Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Redeemer. I know that through Him, we can feel the peace and the happiness that God has to offer us!
Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Daniel B.Haynie
El Salvador San Salvador East Mission
"I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I will be until the day that I die"
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