Monday, November 26, 2012

Top Ramen Thanksgiving, Multi-Zone Conference & Six Months

Hello Family!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving time for me (since I didn´t!)!! :)  So the zone leaders know a man named Romel, the only man in this city who actually knows how to cook, and made arrangements to eat a Thanksgiving dinner! All four of us were going to go and enjoy a nice meal for once! But in the afternoon on Thanksgiving I came down with an insane fever, so we went to the house and rested some. I woke up a few hours before the planned dinner only to have some fun vomit diarrhea combinations! Soooo for that we didn´t go to dinner, we ended up eating Top ramen for Thanksgiving!

As far as health goes, I am doing great! When I get sick, I just say whatever, let stuff come out that needs to leave my body and in the blink of an eye (or a day or two) I am back on my feet! Its just one of the sad facts of life here that one needs to accept!

So on Wednesday we went to San Salvador for a multizone conference with the Prez, it was cool. Here is a picture of my zone with the Prezi and his wife! After the meeting there they handed out letters and packages, I got my ballot about a month late :( and some other letters which was all super awesome!

So this week I am about to complete 6 months of being a missionary. I think it went by fairly fast! A lot has happened! I remember sitting in Provo(lone) in my first week just wishing I could get to this 6 month point in the mission, being able to understand the language and communicate and all that. And... here I am! almost at that 6 month mark! I really have gotten to a point where the speaking comes without thinking, only sometimes I have to think when it is a word I haven´t learned or used much!

So this week we have been working hard with a few investigators and a great family. Its hard to tell who is going to be able to progress or not, but this one family we are working with really has the desire to be baptized and they love the church and all that. This family of course has a lot of challenges to overcome, but we can help them and hopefully in December we will see a baptism with them!

Other than all that, I don´t have much else to report since a couple days were spent sick and all. Right now I am doing great and I am excited to continue working 18 more months in this great work! Good luck to Spencer who is going in to the MTC this week, he will do a great job! I have missed you all over this holiday week and hope that all goes well the coming week!

Love Elder Vaughan

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mute Kisser, Broken Chair & a Drumstick Sandwich

Hello world!

Well, another week down here, This week went much better than the last. First funny thing that happened, last Monday night a mute guy found us in the street tried communicating with us, but failed, and out of nowhere the man dove in and kissed my companion on the cheek. Soooooo hilarious!!!! We were just standing in the street when it happened and many people saw it, and right after he kissed him I started to walk away at a brisk pace in fear that the same would happen to me. But I made it out fine :) We were laughing all night about that! Then Saturday we were in the house of an investigator teaching and my comp was sitting on a plastic lawn char, and the two back legs snapped and he fell right off, funniest thing ever!! Lots of funny things have happened to my companion this past week!

 So this week we started teaching a cousin of Hermano Alberto (the brother of the guy who died), his cousin is named Luis and we are teaching his family now which is super exciting!! They already came to church twice which is sweet! Wow, really nothing else happened this week. It went by too fast with too few significant things happening!

Hmm.. well Thanksgiving is coming up soon, nobody here does anything for that holiday, just another good ol' Thursday here!

So here I attached a photo of me and my companion hitchhiking one day which is always super fun! Then I attached a picture of some sandwich that we eat a ton here! As you see there is a before and an after picture. The bread is filled with all sorts of junk and in the second image you can see that there were two whole drumsticks inside. Very interesting, but I like it! Lots of missionaries don´t like it!

Anyways, That was our week! I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving week!

Love Elder Vaughan

Monday, November 12, 2012

Funeral for a Friend, Election Thoughts & Earthquakes

Hello World!

This week was really more sad than anything else. So much happened that I didn´t want to happen. I guess I will start with the sad stuff. First off, remember that young kid I baptized a while ago? Well two Sundays ago in the night his dad´s brother (that would be his uncle, duh) was killed. His name was Fransisco, he had some ties to gangs and was drunk in the street (this guy is NOT a member) and a rival gang member killed him in a very gruesome manner with a machete. So their family has been devastated this week, the family was recently baptized less than a year ago and they are really struggling now. We were in their house almost every day this past week helping them with a million and one problems because the guy that died, he has a 4 year old son named Steven and they had to take care of all the funeral arrangements and take care of Steven. It was nuts. And when the funeral came, well we went to his burial and it was probably the saddest thing that I ever witnessed. I knew Fransisco a little bit, a couple times he would come help us with service projects, but never wanted to hear anything from us about the church. And at his burial it was terribly sad seeing his son crying as they buried him. It was so sad because he was a good guy, but just made some bad decisions. The family that are members tried helping him change by inviting him to church and all those things, but I guess it's too late now.

Then what makes all this worse is two of our investigators (drunks as well) knew Fransisco and one day told us they will get revenge on the murderer and all this garbage, so we had to drop them for obvious safety reasons. This is all just so complicated that we didn't have time or even brain capacity to think about finding new investigators by talking to people in the street and all that. Finding new people to teach was the last thing on our minds this week. Then what made it all worse was Wednesday night when a drunk guy (yeah everyone here is always drunk) let me know that Obama won again. I really can´t believe that people still vote for the man, I don´t even think he's man enough for me to call him a man. Then this drunk guy was rambling on about how Romney is terrible and he threw a million insults at the republican party, insults that I won´t repeat, I wouldn't even say them if I wasn't a missionary! And I hear marijuana AND gay marriage is legal in Washington now??? Wow did I ever pick a good time to leave the country!! Really the people here don´t like Romney (or any Republicans) for two reasons: one, Republicans have tons of money, and two, Republicans don´t want to open the US border. REALLY?? When the drunk was rambling on about how evil and rich Romney is, I asked him if he knew how much money Obama has, then the drunk... stopped ... thought about it for a bit... and that really just made all his arguments invalid. It's sad knowing that people look at a successful businessman as a bad option for Prez. Business owners are not evil, they are intelligent and provide jobs for many people, I think that's a pretty nice characteristic for a man to have right? Anyways, I could continue for hours on how ridiculous this whole Obama thing is.. but I will say one more thing: I am ashamed of the American people.

Okay, so recently there was an earthquake in Guatemala this week, I didn´t feel it because I think it happened at night and I was asleep. But I have felt like about 8 tiny earthquakes now since I have been here. Who knows how many more have happened without me knowing, its normal here to feel short ones that last 4 or 5 seconds.

 So right now we have about 170 or 180 missionaries in this mission, but it really isn't enough. Elder Tenecora and I are so spread thin here. If you look on Google Maps at the city of San Vicente there's a main road that crosses the river Achuapa, the road running north and south, well we are responsible for everything on the East side of that street and the town called Tecoluca (a 20 min bus ride to the south). So we really do cover a ton of area. The other missionaries in this city cover the West side of that main road and including the town Apastapeque (to the North\NorthEast I think). Also the leadership in the church here is really broken, the leaders don´t follow up on their responsibilities. Three months ago we asked the branch prez to call a ward mission leader to help us, and we are still waiting for him to call one. So lots of times we are always trying to do what the leaders don´t do, and we also have to cover for the priesthood responsibilities such as bringing the sacrament to the people who are incapable of coming to church. Its really stressful, so that is why we want more missionaries here!!

Well... that's all I have got to share this week. I hope that you all have a great week!

Elder Vaughan!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day of the Dead, 80 New Missionaries & a Family Tomb

Hello World!

While the 31st of October was Halloween the people here don´t really do much. They like to pretend that they celebrate it, but they don´t. They call it the day of the witch, which is super lame!!! Who dresses up as a witch these days???? Anyways, we had the "Day of the Dead" which they supposedly honor all their family members who have passed away, I already am not a fan of the holiday. I found it very disrespectful and irreverent. The whole city was in the cemetery to paint all the grave stones and tombs bright obnoxious Easter colors, and we went to help a sister paint some graves. When we were in the cemetery the place was more crazy than Wal Mart on Black Friday. People walking around selling stuff yelling and screaming, climbing on tombs and trashing the cemetery. I really found it to be disrespectful, but whatever, not my family members who are buried there.

So this week... really uneventful. Here in the area "La Espiga" we are looking forward to lots of changes in the near future. My companion and I think we figured out why we both stayed here for another change. Last night we found out that in the first week in December we are going to have 80 new missionaries (already knew that), and the mission is going to open 26 new areas in December!!!!!! That is crazy. So what we think is going to happen, they are going to divide "La Espiga" area in two because it is really big (one and a half towns big). And both me and my companion are going to stay here when they divide the area to train the noobs!! I really lost some sleep last night thinking about all that stuff! Super exciting! It will be great because there are so many places we never have time to go to to work because we spend all day walking. So that´s exciting!!

Well... nothing else exciting to report. This may or may not be the shortest email yet! Oh yesterday our investigator "niƱo pastor" (his actual name is German) came to church and it was great! He knows more about the Bible than all the members combined, and all the young men in the branch are super slackers and he whipped them into shape! He is a really disciplined guy. He works selling candy on buses everyday to help feed his family (remember he is only 15 years old)! If and when he gets baptized he will be a super sweet missionary!! I attached a picture with him here. And yes, we have to wear suits every Sunday, its terribly hot! Anyways we are excited for him, we set a baptismal date for the end of this month!

So that´s about all we have got for this week! Also I attached a picture of the "Vaughan Family Tomb"! I wish that My name tag said "Elder Van" because that is the only way that they understand it! Anyways.. I hope you all have a great week. Love you!

Love Elder Vaughan!