Monday, July 29, 2013

Hola Ilopango, Morgan Kid & No Email For a While

Hello,

Well I did have changes this week, I am in La Palma, Ilopango with Elder Webster from Morgan UT, cool huh? Morgan kid. Well I won`t be able to use my email for a little while. So I will from here on out resort to weekly handwritten letters, it will be fun because letters are more fun. Don`t be sad that I won`t be on email for a little bit of time, I will send you all letters on a weekly basis! I am doing FANTASTIC here and have never been better!!! This is the best thing that has happened to me on my mission. Expect letters in 10 days or so! Take care until then! :)))

Elder Vaughan :)

I love you all! :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

More on Socialized Medicine, Tying Up Loose Ends & Last Days in the Mission Office

Hello Again,
So this week was better than the last, in terms of earthquakes and dogs. So this week my adventure for finding the rabies vaccine has continued. Still so success. I went to the clinic one day do go through a consult, which I had already done beforehand, but they made me wait for hours to get a consult with a doc. The doc said that I should go get the shots, so when I went to get the shots the nurse in charge of them said they didn't have the one for rabies and that they would call me when they have it. So I have gone back a few times to check if they have it or not, and they haven't. Yay socialism.

You may ask, "Why don't you go to a private clinic or hospital for this vaccine?", great question. That would be because the government wants it to be only available in their govt clinics so that they can keep accurate statistics on when, where and how much of the vaccine they distribute. But it has taken them a week now to just get the vaccine to the clinic, and I am still waiting for it. But not to worry. I am 100 percent sure I didn't get rabies because the bite was just not even bad at all, just left me a big bruise.
So this has been the first time in my life that I have been on the receiving end of socialism, and it sucks. I have wasted hours (that I don`t have) in that clinic all for a vaccine that they haven't even been able to give me yet. The sad thing is that it isn't even available in any other private clinic, pharmacy or hospital. Dumb. I hope that I never again have to participate on either end of socialism because both ends, "rich" and poor, end up getting nothing great in the end. So yeah. Watch our for that obamacare stuff. sketchy.
Okay, so in other news, this week has been fairly uneventful. More being in the office and dealing with aftershock of the mission division. There are just a ton of loose ends to tie up and things to do to be able to help Elder Gonzalez, the financial guy in the other mission`s office. Fun stuff right.
So right now I only have about 2 weeks or so left in the office. It is exciting. I love doing the office work, there is something satisfying about getting stuff done here. The thing I don't like is having to be responsible in missionary work and the office. So once I am out in the field working as normal, I will be so happy to leave half of the stress behind and focus 100% in the missionary work. Naturally, as an office Elder, the number of lessons in a day, and baptisms and all those numbers that are typically used to measure a missionaries success, tend to be lower than other missionaries. It will be cool to kick that up into gear.
Well my comp Elder Andreasen is doing great in the office, he is ready to take on the office stuff on his own in a couple weeks. It is so weird because I feel like I just started in here. Time just goes by so fast.
So today being pday, we have a couple fun things planned like grocery shopping and eating lunch with President. So today may be fun.
Take care and we will talk next week!

Love Elder Vaughan

Monday, July 15, 2013

Balancing Act, Officially Divided & Gangland

Hello!
Happy 4th of July! I hope you all ate a ton of food and blew some stuff up for me! Yesterday was a normal day here. Here the Independence Day in most of Central America is the 15th of September, so maybe that day will be slightly more interesting for me!
As an office missionary a big challenge is balancing the time in between the office work and the missionary work in our areas. I think finally this change we are starting to work super effectively. In the past week we have received a ton of new references and new investigators. It is difficult balancing the time between the two places because the work is never done in the office, and it is definitely never done in our area either. So we are excited to be working with all of these new investigators we are finding.
So we were going to have a baptism this Saturday, but we decided that they are not quite ready. Maybe in the future weeks they will be ready to be baptized.
Right now the mission is officially divided and we are working as two separate offices. Now we are looking for a new office location for our mission. We are still in the same office, but the problem is that it is outside of our mission, so to get here everyday we have to leave our mission boundaries. The challenge is that all the safe areas are located in the other mission, so we haven't been able to find any good, safe places for the new offices.
Unfortunately the East mission (that I am in) has some of the most dangerous parts of the country such as Soyapango, Ilopango and Apopa. Those places are sketchy. My area is about medium on the dangerous scale. Some areas we don´t even go because they are infested with members of the 18 gang. They are rivals to the famous MS. I feel super strange talking about them now, its like Voldemort, you just don´t talk about the gang names here. Anyways, our ward mission leader lives in the heart of MS territory and he can't come to appointments with us because our side of the area is pure 18. So yeah, for that, it can be hard finding members to come to appointments and such.
But don´t worry, my area is super safe compared to others. Just hope I don´t go to Soyapango. There is an area in that zone called "La Campanera", the Elder´s house in that area is covered in MS13 graffiti on all the walls, super sketchy. I never want to go there!
Other than the dangerous areas that my mission has, I think it is a sweet mission because we have all of the east zones like San Vicente, Usulutan, San Miguel and La Union, over there are some of the best wards and staked in the country, it is where everyone wants to be! Other than the fact that San Miguel is the hottest city in the whole country. It would be cool to go there!

Well, that´s all for now. I hope that you all have a great weekend, Talk to you next time!

Elder Vaughan

Friday, July 12, 2013

San Marcos Earthquake, Dog Bite & Socialized Medicine

Hello people!
Well, its Friday again. Time is kind of passing by fast here. It is so weird to me that my time in the mission office is already closing to an end. It feels like last week when I first got to the mission office and all that. But I am ready to move on! I have until August 7th to train Elder Andreasen in the office and all that, then from there I will be a normal missionary in some other part! This change is short (only 4 weeks) which is weird, but I will be here training for 6 weeks with Elder Andreasen. So I will have changes two weeks into the other change!
Well, last Sunday there was an earthquake here in El Salv., a 5.6 on the scale, and the epicenter was in San Marcos, like a 5 minute walk from my house here. We were probably in the worst place possible for the earthquake, in those 6 story tall cinder block apartments that are falling apart. But nothing happened. Just a good shake that gave us all a good scare! It was really crazy because I heard all of the buildings shaking before I could even feel the movements. crazy stuff.
So this week has really been a crazy mix of unfortunate events. First was that small quake. Then two nights ago a dang dog bit my leg. We were in this neighborhood on the side of a big hill, that has a ton of small passageways going up and sideways and wherever. Me and my comp were climbing up a solid stretch of 300 stairs and then 6 wild dogs appeared in the middle of our path and started barking. In my mission I really just don´t get scared by dogs because in my experience they have never bothered me, until now. So I ignored them and kept walking upwards. Once I passed them one of them snuck up behind me and bit the back of my thigh. I immediately turned around and almost punted the pooch down the stairs, but it just ran off.
Yes, now you are wondering if the dog has rabies. I doubt it. But just to be precautious and all that, I went this morning to the local clinic to have a consult with the doc and maybe get a rabies shot. So we went. The government in this country is highly socialist. The service was terrible. terrible. terrible. There were about 200 people waiting in the clinic to be attended to, and in the one hour I waited, 2 people were attended to. So, do the math. The medical services are free there (socialism remember?) so that is why I was instructed to go there. But after I write we are going to find another place that will do it whatever the cost may be.
But yeah. It is really almost 100% positive I don´t have rabies because a doctor checked me up yesterday and the fact that my pants nor my garments were punctured, and that the bite is small, it really is not possible. But I will go for the shot just to be sure right?
I hope that doesn´t freak you out. I am fine, I´m not foaming at the mouth or hallucinating either. I am great! :) Umm.. so yesterday we had interviews with President Glazier, which I always look forward to. At the start of my mission I used to be nervous for them, but now I kinda look forward to them because he always teaches me great stuff to help me out!
Well that's my week! It has been crazy but exciting as usual. I am happy for pday. I don´t know exactly what we are going to do yet. but we will see.

Love Elder Vaughan