Friday, May 31, 2013

Downhill From Here, The Kowloon of El Salvador & Praying in Sign Language

Hello Family,
Yes, one year down! I guess I am not so green anymore! It will all be downhill from here!
So like I said last week, I had changes once again! I am now in a place called Los Lencas. It is located in the southern area of the capital. So yes this change does mean that I am going to stay in President Glazier´s mission. There are good and bad things about being in either of the missions, so I am content for whatever happens!
So this week has been very interesting for me. My new area is very different than the last ones. Just in case you lost count I am now in my fourth area! This area in very interesting in many ways. One of the neighborhoods that we work a lot in is called "El Modelo", ironic, because it is not a good model of how people should be living. Let me explain. They are some 6 story apartment buildings made out of cinder blocks and cement. In 2001 there was a huge earthquake and the government declared El Modelo to be uninhabitable. So after that all the people abandoned the apartments and the govt took out all the water and electricity lines so that people wouldn´t be tempted to live there. But, people who wanted a home decided to enter these abandoned homes. They set up a scrambled network of illegal water and light lines so that they could live there. So now El Modelo is a place where a couple hundred people call home.
It gets better, El Modelo is located in a bunch of trees and the buildings are all close together, so it is very easy to get lost in there. We refer to it as The Labyrinth. It is one of the most unreal things I have seen here. Have you heard of or seen pictures of Kowloon Hong Kong?? It reminds me of that a little bit.
Right now we have a couple investigators who live in El Modelo, and the best part is that they are deaf! So that means I am learning some sign language to teach them! My companion Elder Muñoz knows a little bit, and in my one week here I have learned enough to get around. Each Saturday the investigator teaches a free sign language class in the church so that all can learn, and be able to better communicate with him and his wife, as they are both deaf. Last night after teaching them about prophets, they asked me to say the prayer, or better said, do a prayer with my hands. Probably the coolest thing ever, even though it was super short and basic. I knew enough to do a decent prayer.
Well as I was starting this letter the power suddenly went out so we decided to go to TGI fridays and eat real fast. Then all of the sudden we had to take care of a few missionaries who have visas that expire today (Elder Muñoz is the migration/travel secretary) so we ran around for a while taking care of stuff. Fun day. But here I am now!
Oh.. the flying ants. The other day we woke up to find a ton of huge ant like creatures with wings everywhere! We later figured out that they are called "Sonpopos de Mayo", they only come out in may. really freaky things. Every step we walked on the street we crunched a couple of them.
Well that has been my week. Sounds like all is normal back at home. And by normal I mean, not. I hope that you have a fantastic weekend! Can´t wait to talk to you next week!!

Love Elder Vaughan

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