Monday, December 31, 2012

Making Papusas, Holiday Lull & Too Hot


Hello World!

I know that I said we were going to have P-Day on Wednesday, but they changed plans on us again, I guess our zone leaders couldn't make up their mind on that! Anyways I am here as normal! I was afraid that I would see an empty inbox because I said I wouldn't write until Wednesday, but fortunately many of you still wrote me!

Here is a random picture of how the pupusas are made! A family invited us over for a FHE with pupusas! It was great! Here is an action shot of Hermana Adela making one, then below is some flipping action on the flat iron grill!!



Sooo... not much has happened here since we last talked. These holidays it has been hard teaching our investigators, because who really wants to talk to the missionaries about the gospel on Christmas? So we really just spent a lot of time with the members around here on Christmas, and I imagine it will be the same today since its New Years Eve! This year has really gone by fast, so much has happened in what seems like such little time. Here in El Salvador it is strange because I feel like I am still in Summer, because it just keeps getting hotter and hotter every single month, until April when it hits the hottest point of the year! Mom, you sent me those snowshoeing pictures, that makes me so jealous because it's December and it just gets hotter every day, I showed my companion those pictures and told him that here in El Salv there is no such thing as cold, pointing to the picture and showing him what cold really is! When people say it is cold here, I just tell them that that is how the weather is at the peak of summer in Washington... if we are lucky! So after this whole mission thing I would love to live somewhere cold for the rest of my life, because I really miss the cold!

So  this week we have the temple trip in a few days!! Finally! It has been a while since we have been to the temple, it will be great to be there since it is something we only get to do twice a year now. I really feel bad for those missionaries who serve in places where there is no temple in the mission! I like how we have the temple here, since the country is tiny and everybody knows the new Mormon "castle" that was recently built, it is a great teaching opportunity for them!

Anyways, I really don´t have much else to report! I hope that you all have a great New Years! I miss you all and look forward to talking to you next year!!

Love Elder Joshua Vaughan!

Monday, December 17, 2012

U.S. Steaks, Sock War & a One Dollar Haircut

Hello Family!

Well this past week was a ton of fun at the Christmas party at President´s house! We ate a ton of food (yes, real food). He has some US steaks shipped in (because good meat just doesn't exist here) and we enjoyed a sock war in the house and lots of other fun games. In the other picture there we had to take pictures of "every-day events" that happen to us missionaries in the mission. So here I am being chased by a bunch of dogs! Its dumb but funny. Me and the guy in the green shirt (from Mexico!!) are the missionaries running from the dogs!  Another Photo from the Christmas party, the whole group that day (2 zones), my new companion, Elder Omontes is the Elder with the shiny name tag from the flash on the camera! And I am the Gringo with glasses! We had a lot of fun that day! More than anything it was a sweet break from this never ending job we have as missionaries, everything has been such a sprint since I entered the MTC in May 30th. 

 



A few weeks ago when I was still with Elder Tenecora, we were talking about how the life of a missionary has to be the hardest job in the world, other than fighting in the army of course. Because our job is literally non stop for two years, and we have to live "higher-than-temple-recommend-standards", which is so true, for example, a regular temple recommend holding member can go to the movie theater to see a nice film, but for us, that's just rebellious! But its a cool job being a missionary, there are things to experience that you just can't do anywhere else, its cool.

So next Monday (December 24) at 4 in the afternoon we are planning on calling on Skype. There´s a member in our branch that owns a cyber cafe thing, and will only charge us 50 cents for the hours, man I love how cheap things are here, especially for us all the members give us good deals. For example I get my hair cut for one dollar. Before at the USU barbershop I spent 13 or 14 dollars for a haircut! I might just die when I come back. 

So this month we are hoping for a baptism, German, the 15 year old "niƱo pastor". If he comes to church this week he will be baptized on the 31st, new years eve! We are excited for him, as he is excited too. The only challenge with him is that he works selling candy on the buses that run between here and San Miguel. So sometimes on Sunday he gets called in to work super early in the morning, so he just needs to come to church a little more and he will be good for his baptism! He is super excited, this kid always is "Machetting" (criticizing) all of the other churches around, but he likes the LDS church because he can´t find anything to criticize it, and the Bible completely supports the church. So hopefully it comes out well!! 

As of right now we are looking forward to the 24th to Skype home and all that. On January 2nd we will be going to do a session in the temple here, I am super excited!

Love Elder Vaughan

Monday, December 10, 2012

Trainer Transferred, New Companion & a Guy Named Kevin


Hello World,

Well this past week we had some changes here! I am still here in San Vicente, but now I have a new companion, Elder Omontes, from Lima Peru. Ok, not going to lie, this week with changes was VERY hard! First of all when Elder Tenecora left that was pretty sad because we are really good friends, he was sad to leave here! And, ok, I don´t want to talk bad about other people, but my new companion is not the same. It's hard because my trainer was really great, not perfect, but a really good missionary, and for that this change has been super tough so far.

Ok, good news. We found a member here in the ward who owns a cyber cafe, and he has cameras and everything for using skype. So I think that on the 24th we will be calling home (because in Latin America Christmas eve is more special than Christmas.), I am still not completely sure if we will do it that day or not. I would rather call on the 25th because on the 24th we are already going to be writing home in email and all. This week we will get things figured out for sure. I think my Skype account I made before the mission is "joshua.vaughan4". I think, The Jenni Domski could confirm that for you. If I can´t access that account, I will make a new one. No worries.

Tomorrow is a very exciting day for us, we are going to the President´s house in SanSa for a Christmas party, I am super excited. We are going to be there pretty much all day! I can´t wait! Then in January we get to go to the temple! Woooo!

So in the Liahona magazine from December of this year, there are 2 stories regarding the SanSa temple, and one of the stories in there is about a family with a young guy named Kevin (his story also is on a video in Mormon messages online). Anyways, I met Kevin this week on Wednesday at the changes meeting, he is a super cool kid. Well he is leaving on a mission to Mexico in 2 months, but he is serving here in SanSa for two months as a mini-missionary! I just had a short chance to greet him, but hes a really cool guy.

So that´s about all interesting this week! I am excited to talk to you all soon, I will let you know next week what day and time we will call! also, do you have a skype account, what is the username?

Ok, well it sounds like all is going very well back at home, Have a wonderful week!

Love, Elder Joshua Vaughan

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dull Week, Trio & Rolling with the Punches


Hello World,

So this week, not going to lie, was kind of dull. Nothing really stuck out to me. On the 30th of November, that was the 6 month mark for me since I entered the MTC. I am a quarter way done! It goes by so slow, but so fast at the same time! I think the thing that makes it seem slow is that I am still with my trainer, for such a long time, that it feels like I am still brand new in the mission and all. Well this Wednesday are the changes, I will probably find out in a couple hours who is going where and who is staying. I would guess that Elder Tenecora is leaving and I will be staying, with the slight possibility of me training a new guy. I really don´t like the Idea of ever having a big leadership position, because for many people they like it to have more recognition among the other missionaries, I really don´t care for that. But what I would like to do is train, I think everyone wants to train at some point in the mission, I think it would be fun! So that could be a possibility with the huge wave of new missionaries that are coming in this week!

So, for now we are going to be in a trio with one of the zone leaders until Wednesday, the changes, because the companion of this zone leader left this morning to go be the new assistant to the president, so for now we are stuck in a trio, which everyone who was ever a missionary knows that trios are super awkward!!

Right now the biggest challenge that we are having as a branch here is church attendance! Our investigators and the members really don´t recognize that church attendance is important, and it is such a struggle to get people to understand that. Everyone here always says "the church is us, in our hearts", biggest load of garbage in the world. Right now we have a good handful of people whom we are teaching, but the challenge with just about all of them is church attendance! So this week we will be teaching the importance of church attendance like crazy!

So.. As of now I am really looking forward to what happens with these changes, we were looking forward to them dividing our area in two, but yesterday the president changed his mind and we will Not be dividing our area this change, hopefully in the future we will see it happen! I guess the big thing this month is the Christmas phone call I get home, I am really excited for that! It really shouldn't be too hard to do the phone call, because here you can buy 30 minutes of talking time to the USA for 50 cents, super cheap! I just hope all the ads I see for that are true! What number do you want me to call when the time comes? let me know so I can have it ready!

Well it sounds like everything is going very well at home. I am excited to see and hear from Riley and Spencer on their missions! Although Riley has a few months to go until he leaves,  he will be out there soon enough! The mission is really tough, lots of hard things to deal with, but all you need to do is roll with the punches! Some things happen that are just out of our control and there is nothing much we can do about it. I have really come to love the phrase "it is what it is"! Because lots of times people freak out and complain a ton, when you just need to be patient and let the hard things pass by. Wow, these past sentences make it look like my life is terrible, I promise it is NOT! :) I mean, stuff happens like getting sick, people dying.. OK, maybe that one isn't too normal, but it is what it is! :) Things are really going here, tough... yes, doable... yes. Although I am only 6 months in, I would not trade this time for anything. I have learned so many things here that will help me on later in my life, in ways that I can´t even see.

I hope that you all have a great week back at home and good luck with all that you do!

Love,

Elder Joshua Vaughan