Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 14 Layco District, El Salvador--October 26, 2015

compromisos, milagros, empanadas, payasos, bolos, gordo, y más El Salvador!

heyo this week was crazy fast. fast until yesterday because sundays are always the busiest days. but still a great week. we have been having trouble finding new investigators and our investigators havent all been keeping their committments. we have had to drop a few people here and there so its been tough. but! a miracle happened! we had some down time before an appointment in the church so we went tracting in an area we had never been before. right before we left elder palacios said we were gonna go out to find a nuevo. the first door we got to was this lady. we were chatting and she told us how she has some differences with her husband over religion (he goes to this one called the tabernáculo). we shared about the church and stuff (restoration) and i invited her to pray to know that our message is true. while i was talking about prayer and how only our Heavenly Father can give us the knowledge of the true church she began to cry. then she told us how for years she went to the tabernáculo with her husband and went to many other churches and never felt right in any of them and left all churches altogether. she told us, though, that while we were talking to her she felt something, that this could be the true church and that she needed to learn more. elder palacios told her that that was the Spirit and now we are working to get a new appointment with her soon and to get her to church! I am now a living witness of how the Lord will specifically prepare people to hear our message. super incredible
okay so empanadas. every friday we have dinner at this member home and the food there is always good. this time we got empanadas for dessert. these are plantains filled with some cream milk thing that i cant describe at all accurately so just trust that it was good and that you should all eat some and ignore how random this is. one night, we got on a bus to go home and there in the front of the bus was a payaso. straight up full on big shoes, nose, hair, makeup, and all telling jokes or something at the front of the bus. this country is kinda crazy sometimes. then theres the bolos everywhere. also my zone leader and several members this week told me im getting fatter. my zone leader even said i need to exercise better so i am now eating less pupusas late at night and exercising accordingly. the struggle of being in a country where the main food groups are rice, beans, bread, tortillas, and pupusas. okay just some interesting things i wanted to add in there for you guys. be good! look for miracles! love each other! love you all! ¡salud!

pupusa count: 29 womp womp

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 13 Layco District, El Salvador--October 19, 2015

Gotta catch em all! Spot them all? Gain them all? Eat them all? One of those is right

First things first I saw a torogos this week. its the national bird of el salvador! actually its my second sighting of one but this time was really up close. theyre super rare so i felt like a pokemon master to see it. theyre really cool look em up! so i officially know now that i have gained weight. almost 15 pounds to be exact. but im not bigger. just my belly and face are fat so i dont know if i should actually be excited or not. i dont wanna be fat just bigger ya feel. but thats not whats important around here. so last week was cambios. elder jack is now gone and a lot of our zone (mostly from the other district) have gone away. now its like a whole new group of missionaries here! but i get at least 5 more weeks here in layco (this cambio is shorter and the next will be longer for christmas marsopas (enjoy my newest english from spanish pun)). so yeah things are goin good and stuff. ever since i found out i gained weight i have felt a lot more lethargic (is that how its spelled?) but i think its a mental thing. its been raining for days here so thats fun and stuffs. we are working hard with our investigators that we have right now. the tracting business is running dry so we are coming up with new ways to find investigators. pray for our investigators asusana, victor, alondra, and lina. theyre all good but they are having troubles keeping their commitments. its hard because if they dont have the desire we cant progress them. and we know how important this work is! okay cool beans thanks for your prayers and emails and goodness. love you all so much!

Pupusa count: official from last cambio is 126 (that means i perfectly averaged eating 3 per day)
for this cambio i am but only at 14 (which is still quite a bit in a week...not to mention how many of those were grande pupusas...)

we ran into the familia chavez while getting pupusas. sorry for the poor quality foto....

heres my bed! mosquito net! its like camping every night!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 12 Layco District, El Salvador--October 12, 2015

It's Christmas right?

So this week felt suuuuuuuuper long. Mostly just these past two days have felt really long. but a lot happened this week so that may be the reason. also this week i realized that we are already like halfway into october and i didnt even notice. that means all the stores over there in america are already putting up the valentines day candy right? i know christmas trees must be in everyones house at least. crazy americans. okay so this week we had a multizone conference. we only have em every other cambio so it was cool to have one in my first cambio. it was super good and i learned a lot about how i can improve the work that im doing here. on friday we had intercambios again and elder jack came with me to layco once more. it was actually his last intercambio because he goes home this week! its crazy because i can still perfectly remember talking with him the whole ride here on my first day. only 6 weeks ago. but we had a super good time and did a lot of stuff. and we got caught in a crazy big storm too while in the fosa. (the fosa is an area here thats kinda in the trees and stuff and all the houses are close together and its nothing but callejones and therefore the water pours down from the houses and the roads turn into rivers.) but it was super fun! we finished off the night with a celebratory pizza for his last intercambio of course. we have a couple of investigators here that are excited for baptism. one guy came to us conference weekend and said he wanted to be baptized that day! we are teaching him now and he has a goal for the end of this month. also we have a lot of positive investigators that we are trying to get to church so they can progress. always something to do here! okay love you all! i wish i could say more but my mind is a little blurry right now. miracles happen! be good and stuff!

elder abilez

Pupusa Count: 123 (because this cambio ends tomorrow this could potentially be the final count for this first cambio. i will begin anew with the next cambio) also you know whats better than a queso y loroco pupusa? a frijol con queso y loroco pupusa! and i had a grande arroz one this week and three de maiz too! i just cant decide which one is my favorite!

I hope all of you guys took the time to ponderize a scripture this week! I did and it was a huge help in our work. My scripture was Mosiah 28:3 "now they were desirous that salvation be declared unto every creature; for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble". i applied this scripture along with the admonitions of elder renlund, that we must view everyone as our Heavenly Father sees them. it really changed some of our lessons and how we taught this week. there were a few investigators that, this week, were unwilling to accept baptism or complete their commitments. i thought immediately of this scripture and began to feel terrible at the thought of becoming lost when i was there, capable of leading back home. i would share my testimony to them of this and how much we loved them and wanted them to be able to live with us, our Father in Heaven, and with our Lord forever in happiness. and i only cried for 20 minutes! (if you get the reference you are the best and are a master of all the yugos (if you get this spanish to english pun you are legendary)). ponderizing is a powerful tool for us and i exhort all of you to do it and look for the changes in your life because of it.

 outside the temple after our multizone meeting. zona layco!

el templo de san salvador! (actually my 3rd time being here but my first time having my camera)

the biggest pizza from pizza hut (it was the promotion of the night okay) elder jack y yo at the end of his last intercambio!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 11 Layco District, El Salvador--October 5, 2015

I don't even know what to say to sum up this week

dang this week was quick. i was so excited for conference this weekend so i was just sure it would drag on. like how the night before disneyland or christmas just drags on you know. but it was not so i suppose. okay this past week we had exchanges again but this time with barbarena where elder mio and elder harris serve. elder mio came here with me so again i was in charge of the area. having done this last week i was a little more prepared to take charge. unfortunately, every single appointment that we had fell through. every single one, including the back up plans. and so we spent about 8 hours doing straight contacting. but it was a really fun day and we found this one guy that we went back to teach yesterday and he is really positive! saturday morning we had our baptism for Merly! the branch president baptized her and it was super great. this next weekend we look to confirm her and gerson. while at conference this weekend a lady in our ward brought her non member husband. and he told us when he met us that he wanted to get baptized. that day! we called president to see if we actually could but he counciled to teach him first and all that. we have already had a lesson with him and have many more planned. he should be baptized the end of this month so im praying i will make it through this change next week to see it! now how great was conference? so cool to see elder rasband, stevenson, and renlund be called. truly inspired. and the talks of course were fantastic. i especially enjoyed elder hollands and elder martinos talks. however, i think my overall favorite were the comments of elder renlund. his talk was literally an answer to a prayer and question that i had going in to conference so it was so powerful to see how directly the Lord answers our prayers through the prophets and apostles that He directly calls. i hope that all of you were able to have a similar experience in conference. if not, i invite you to think of something you want to learn about the gospel, a doubt, or a question, and go back and watch or read the talks to find the answer. or, with this recipe, do it the next conference. i promise you that the Lord will answer you with his inspired servants. stuff is cool here and its hard to believe im coming on to 3 months out just in this next week. love you all!
-elder abilez

pupusa count: 105
on saturday i got to my 100th pupusa! to celebrate, i made a giant pupusa!

Merly! Ft Presidente Alex

Making my 100th pupusa!

About to enjoy my GIANT 100th pupusa

comparison to my hand...maybe it doesnt look that big here. but it was at least the size of 5 pupusas. (and i ate numbers 98 and 99 before this one)