Friday, March 29, 2013

Changes, Tower Climb & Old Cash


Sorry for not sending a legit full email for the blog, I am almost out of time. This week was cool, this coming week is changes, so Elder Earl who is training me to be the financial secretary will be leaving. So yeah. Here is a picture from when I was in San Vicente, we climbed the tower as a half zone on my last P-Day there. It was fun.
Also I managed to get my hands on some old Slavadoreño cash. They are called Colones (Cristobál Colón) The Colónes were put out of use in 2002 when they made the official change to the US dollar. Enjoy! We will talk more next week!





Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cars, Long Bus Rides & Fat is Good


Hello World,

So yet again, another week has passed by here in the office, it really is crazy how fast the time is passing by here, I know I said that before I got to the office, but now that we are twice as busy as before time just flies.

So almost everyone who wrote me this week asked me if I know what mission I will be going to, the answer is... I haven't the slightest clue! President Glazier really  is a goofball and likes to surprise people. I think my preference would be the "new" mission which will be called the San Salvador West Mission. In the West one we will be getting a new mission prez and Belize will be included in our mission. That would be a cool opportunity to go to Belize, but we will see. I really see a ton of benefits of being in whatever mission. I do know that I will be working in the office for a long time, Elder Earl (my comp who is training me now) has been here for longer than I have been in the mission. So we will see. The offices of the east and west missions will both be in the capital, so in terms of my area of proselyting I will be in the same general location.

My preference is to go to the West mission, because there is a possibility that I will get a car! From what I know, it is standard that the financial secretaries have cars, but President's wife doesn't want us to have a car, why? Because she is using the car that technically would be in my use. So If I go to the West mission it is possible that I will get a car, which would be so nice, we spend about two hours in buses every day. When we make the trip from our area to the office in bus, its an hour, in a car or taxi its only 6 minutes. Its crazy.

So yesterday I really noticed that there are some serious cultural differences here in this country (DUH). Yesterday we were at a member's home teaching another family, and someone said to the father "Wow, your daughter (5 yrs) is pretty fat!", then the dad said, "I know, isn't she so beautiful?", then the man said "If only my kids were like that, I would be so happy!"  That conversation blew my mind!!!!!!!!!!! After all this time I have learned that being fat is a cool thing here!!. Anyways, just an interesting culture difference I noticed. Elder Glenn (my comp) and I were really laughing about that one!

I feel like dad just started being the bishop there in the singles branch (ward). That's so crazy that his time there is already at an end. It's too bad that I won't be able to see him as bishop when I come back. But no worries, I know that he will have some great future callings! 

Well that's all I have to say this week! I hope that everything goes great for you at home! Have a great week.

Love Elder Vaughan

Friday, March 15, 2013

Living on the Edge of a Volcano, President's Birthday & Chinese Food


Hello World!
So another week has passed by yet again, the weeks just don´t stop flying! I feel like I only have a couple weeks left to finish learning all of the stuff that I have to do here in the office. Here I attached some photos from last week. One is with Elder Cifuentes who was in the hospital with some kidney issues. He will be the new records secretary here, but not to worry he is back on his feet and working now!

In the other picture we went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch on President Glazier´s birthday. The two elders that are right by president at the table are my two comps, it's actually pretty cool being in a trio here. We always get to go on divisions with the youth getting ready for the mission and we get a ton of stuff done! Anyways, that was by far the best meal I have had since Ruth's Chris Steak House before the mission, not better than RC steaks, but pretty darn good. Speaking of Ruth's Chris steaks there is one here in El Salvador, although I know we will never get to go there, it's cool knowing that there are people who like to eat good food here. This place where the office is, is actually  the rich part of the country and there are so many people driving around in BMW's and all types of sweet cars here. We just go around in a 1980 Toyota taxi, or a bus.


In the other picture we are in the office about to eat some cake with president. Behind the president you can see the remote control for the air conditioning, I love that part of the office. In San Vicente nobody had air conditioning, and it was always a whole lot hotter there as well.


We also have one of the best houses in the mission, there are 2 others that are better than ours. We have a full stove with oven (not just a tiny two burner plug-in stove), a brand new washing machine(we still dry the clothes on a clothes line), a microwave and air conditioning in the bedrooms and the best of all is the hot water in the shower! The hot water here is heated by electricity, you will never see that in the USA because of obvious safety hazards. I have already shocked myself a few times in the shower because the wires are on the shower head and that is where the switch is to turn on the heated water, its weird but funny when I shock myself.
Anyways... this week was just a bunch of work. This week I have been mainly working on making house contracts and calling all the owners and bugging them to get it signed and to us. The work in the area is great. The area in which we work is in San Salvador - Mejicanos - San Ramón, its really odd how cities (municipios) are laid out here. We really live in those three cities at the same time. I don´t understand! But the area is on the north side of San Salvador, pretty much at the edge of the capital by the volcano! Its pretty cool. Next week we are planning on having a baptism of a young man named Elmer, so lets hope that everything comes out okay!
Love Elder Vaughan

Friday, March 8, 2013

Eating Healthy, Hospital for a Day and Stolen Car


Hello,

So this week was seriously one of the most crazy weeks of my mission. So much happens in a week here and the weeks are going by so fast, its just crazy. So lets start with the happy, that is, I ate some real Chinese food two days ago, it was amazing!! So you may or may not be concerned with my unhealthy diet here in the office, but the truth is... pizza hut, china wok and wendy´s is a whole lot healthier than the garbage we would eat every day in San Vicente. The problem with the food in the country is that everybody cooks with a TON of oil, it is just unhealthy. People here always get so sick all of the time just because their diet is terrible! But not to worry, I have recently started working out a little bit lately to try and counter the effects of unhealthy food!

So this is random, but there has been a change of rules here in the mission. That is, we are now allowed to write to our friends and whatever other non family member through email! So yeah, friends can write me through email now if they really want to!

So all  day yesterday I was in the hospital, all day. It was terrible. Ok, you are probably so freaked out right now, I am fine. The thing is another elder who works here in the office has some problems with his kidney, so I was his companion yesterday in the hospital all day long. Not going to lie, it was actually nice not doing anything all day long, I don´t do nothing very often! So this poor Elder Cifuentes has probably the worst luck and the worst day of his life on Wednesday. After being in the office he started feeling sick and started vomiting and all that lovely stuff. So they took a taxi to the house and rested a while. Later on at about 8 PM they decided he needed to go to the hospital since he was just getting worse. So our ward mission leader, Benji, an 18 year old guy came in his mom´s car to pick him up and take him to the hospital. Then they were waiting at a lonely stoplight, when all of the sudden two armed men robbed their car, so they were stuck without a car. and after walking a half hour back to benji´s house they finally took another car that belongs to his father, and finally went to the hospital. That poor elder had the worst of luck that day. But fortunately the police found the stolen car and he is being treated in the hospital as we speak. It was just crazy.

So as far as the new mission goes, we do not know which mission we will be in, and I personally would like to be in the West mission, which is really the central mission here in the capital. If I am in that mission I will be having a new mission president and the possibility of serving in Belize. That would be so cool to serve in Belize!! That´s really the main reason I would love to be in that mission! But, who knows, we will see soon enough. Today is President Glazier´s birthday, so in a couple hours he will be taking us (but I will pay since I´m the money guy here now!) to the best Chinese Restaurant in the whole country! I can´t wait! After that we will be going to a few possible locations in search of the potential new office for the other mission. So yep.

That´s about all I have got to say for now! This has been a crazy but good week. I hope that you all had a great week as well.

Love Elder Vaughan

Friday, March 1, 2013

So Much to Learn, So Much to Do & Speaking Financial Spanish


Hello World!

So this week has definitely been a great week for me! So much has been going on, its really crazy! Firstly, I have a TON of responsibilities as the financial secretary. But firstly, I am now in a trio companionship, let me explain why. Since there will be another mission we will be needing another financial sec, so now Elder Earl (my companion) is training me and Elder Glenn at the same time. So one of us will be in the East mission and the other of us will be in the West mission. So now we are in a trio, which I thought I would not enjoy, but I am actually loving it so much! I still don't know what mission I will be in, but I hear that Belize will be part of the West mission, I don´t know why. If I am going to be in the West mission it is very possible that I could go to Belize for part of my mission, that would be soooooooo awesome! But, we will see what happens in the future!

So like I said before, we hang out with the assistants on P-Day here because they are the only other missionaries that have P-Day on Friday  and now we are in the temple offices using the computers to write home, and there is a sweet view of the temple right outside. It is great. One advantage of being here is that we pass by the temple all the time, and it is just so nice to be able to see it, since I only saw it twice in my whole time in San Vicente.

So about my new job, I have a ton of responsibilities as the Financial Secretary. First off, I have a cell phone. That means that all the missionaries and all our vendors (who sell stuff to the mission) can contact me all day every day. So when I leave the office in the afternoon I am almost always taking phone calls on the buses or even when we are walking in the street. There are just so much things to do. The general tasks include: making house rental contracts, paying contracts and writing the security deposit checks, giving the missionaries their monthly money on their credit cards, paying all the phone-light-water bills for every house in the mission, and making purchases for whatever other expenses or needs there are in the mission. So far after one week I have learned a lot about these things, but Elder Earl tells me that there is so much more to learn. I really like having all of this stuff to do because I like the feeling of getting the stuff done.

So the food, I am no longer eating garbage for lunch every day. I am so happy about that. What we eat most of the time is delivery food that is local style foods or whatever, and when we feel like eating better than that we can call Pizza Hut, Papa John´s, Wendy´s, Subway and much more stuff. And it is all delivery which is interesting. All the food here people just put it on a motorcycle and deliver it to us. I know its not the healthiest food, but dang it is such a great change for once. I decided to start working out more in the mornings to avoid gaining too much weight!

Anyways, This has been a great experience so far. I am loving how I am so busy, time is flying so much faster. Most missionaries dread the thought of being an office missionary, but I love it. There is so much here to learn that will help me in the future, not to mention how much my Spanish skills will grow because I am learning how to talk office-financial Spanish. So, who knows how that will help me in my future!
Well that is about all that I have got to say for now! I am really enjoying this new assignment that I have here! I hope that you all have a great week.

Love,

Elder Joshua Vaughan