Monday, April 27, 2015

Ants For Breakfast


This week was pretty cool! We got to go to the beach for P-day and it was tons of fun! We ate at this restaurant that was kind of expensive for here but I took some pictures of the beach and I got some sand from it! The beach was super soft and we had to walk through the water because we were stuck in a little part of the beach that we couldn't get out of. So it was really great! Then we went and played soccer with the whole zone and another zone that was there in a really nice soccer arena. We came back from that and we had our FHE where we gave away crabs and potatoes from "Idaho"... not really but they thought it was funny! We got a couple new investigators this week that seem pretty positive but we took one of them to our soccer tournament on Saturday and within the first couple min he slipped and broke his head open and had to go get stitches. This week went by really fast but nothing really happened, just P-day and Saturday was super fun.

That's super cool! that you met her grandpa! (Jake is referring to a patient of mine who's granddaughter is serving in the same mission named Sister Kramer). I don't know her but everyone else does but I'll make sure to let her know!  Sorry I don't have a ton of pictures because here we can't use our camera much or it will make us a target and we will get robbed. And plus we can't take pictures of much things because if someone sees them and it's from a gang or something then we could get thrown in jail... I sent all the pictures I was able to take but yeah the water was super blue. Not like Belize but still super cool! Elder Gonzalez was in San Pedro for a super long time in Belize and we know a couple of the same people! In one email next week could you send some of the pictures from the first part of my Belize trip to show Gonzalez and see if he recognizes any of the pics? Just from the first ones because that's when we were in San Pedro.

Were going to the store to buy our food for the week and were going to a place that's like the DI but a lot cheaper and has everything! It's called Megaboutique and everything is insanely cheap. I'm going to try and get a hammock because that's one of the big things is to get a hammock and take it with you. 

This morning I ate cereal with these tiny ant things in it because I'm out of money and had nothing else to eat but we get money today and I think those ants had lots of protein in them so its alright! haha 

Love Elder Stiles

(click on the photos to make them larger ;)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Chicken Raffle

Hey everyone!

This week went by super slow because we had to drop a bunch of baptism dates which was disappointing but its ok because we found two families that are super positive! This week we focused a lot on building our relationship with the members and we found a lot of people that are ready to listen to the gospel! We do this raffle that helps us get references and every family night we give a prize.  This last week was Chickens! named Elder Gonzales and Elder Stiles. Sorry I cant send many pictures because we can't take many. Today we are going to the beach so next week I should have a better email! Sorry this weeks was short but I'll make sure next weeks is good.

The following is a list of questions Jeff asked Jake & his responses:

Is the pile of trash outside and/or a permanent fixture at your apartment? Well We "accidentally" burnt it all in our house so now most of its gone.

How is the Spanish coming? It's going good. I'm starting to understand a lot more but still need work!

Has the food gotten any better? Yeah the food is pretty good we just have to choose wisely what we eat.

How has the weather been? Well it's been kinda rainy which sucks cause every time it rains it's super hot after.

What is the coolest thing you've seen so far? Well we see lots of foresty areas. We had to go to this one place and we had to cross a river on a tiny bridge. Super pretty here.

Do you realize what a great work you're doing? Yeah the work here is amazing and I'm so glad I've gotten this opportunity! Thanks soo much.

Love, Elder Stiles

Monday, April 13, 2015

Enjoy the Music

Here is Jake's letter he sent today.  The second and third paragraphs are him answering all of our questions so that is why it sounds so random.  

You can mail letters to him at:
Elder Jacob Tyler Stiles
MisiÓn El Salvador San Salvador Oeste/Belice
Postal #81, Correos Multiplaza

San Salvador, El Salvador, C.A.

or email him at:

Hey Everyone,

This week we went to San Salvador for a training meeting for my companion and it was pretty cool.  They always show movies on the bus.  The first one was some dumb movie and the second one was American Sniper (we may or may not have watched them) but our Mission prez said if there is a movie on the buses or music to just enjoy it while it lasts haha. We went and ate Wendy's again and to keep myself from getting sick again I only got a half pound burger instead of a 3/4 pound.. I still ended up getting sick but that's OK cause it was delicious. We have a ton of people progressing getting ready for baptism and another kid that wants to serve a mission. I got the post card from mom this week from the Utah trip. Gonzalez stood up on the bus and said our message and we handed out over 35 pamphlets so now we just have to hope that they get baptized haha. Our laundry lady washed my comps clothes with his red towel and turned all his shirts pink.

If you could send another email cause I still have to scroll up over all the pictures.. I guess I'll forgive you this time for only sending 2 pictures mom!! What the heck your supposed to be the good example haha. Gonzalez spoke no Spanish before the mish. Yes I could watch a video if you could send it. I can only send 2 pics at a time, sorry. The only thing that I really need from home is stuff I can't get here.  It would be better to just have money here because it would cost more to send it when I could just buy it. I would like mostly just memorabilia stuff. Now the thing I miss most is pictures of everyone so maybe a flashcard with a bunch of pictures that I could look at on my camera. We get the Ensign. I don't know if the storm we had was worse then the one at Warr's cabin.  It was pretty bad. The only thing is that the place we're at is kind of run down so it's really messy when it storms and gets insanely hot. I'm not sure if Elder G. is used to the guns but nobody seemed to mind so I don't think its a prob. Haha, no bugs in the walls cause its all cement. Well I'm not sure what the investigators are really like cause I cant understand them.... I'll be taking a picture of a family tonight so I'll send a pic of the people. No, I haven't received the Dear Elders yet.  I haven't used any personal money yet but its always nice to have money to get something like a tie or just something like snacks for the week.  My diet consists of bread, cereal, quesadillas, tuna and juice. Haha you would sound like an angel if you sang in the choir here;) I need to see if I can find a smaller backpack because my black one is really big. I love my other bag and wear it every other day. I should of brought my camels back because those are really good to have here. And yes I have pictures. 

We go to the gym everyday here and workout for an hour before study time. Spanish is still really hard because all the people that talk in our area have hard Spanish because its super run down. Time usually goes by fast but yesterday just seemed to drag on.  People don't grow gardens because they barely have houses so they cant grow much. They eat a lot of chicken. There are not really any cool animals but crazy looking werewolf dogs that are dying, and lots of chickens just run around the street. We were fed papusas last night but they were good cause they just had cheese in them. Well the thing is that every area you go to you will get sick because you have to get accustomed to the food and nobody really washes their hands so who knows... My companion loves plantains but he says you have to eat a lot of them. Oh and grandpa told me to watch out for chupacabras and told me how to know if one is around and what to do if I see one so I think I'm going to be safe haha. We are going to go buy some chickens soon for a raffle we're doing to get investigators.  Sorry I cant take more pics. We can only take pictures on P day cause we don't want to get robbed and get our camera stolen. And if we take pictures of stuff we have to move them to a different card because if someone sees them (and if it's of a gang place or like one of the MS13 buses) we could be put in jail. So we cant take a bunch of pics.
Oh, and a Spanish word that they use here is Chucho for dog instead of perro so there is a new name for Max haha.

Love Elder Stiles  

(Click on the photos to enlarge them)

Jake's House.
 I'm hoping this pic is when they first moved in and they aren't living like this.
 Elder Gonzalez taking a nap.
 Bus to San Salvador.
 Houses of investigators.
 Church building.
 Elder McCleery.

Monday, April 6, 2015


On Monday after I wrote we had to go teach a lesson and they decided that they were going to feed us.. and they gave us soo much food! One of the biggest things here is plantains and they  gave us 4. The most anyone eats is 2.  Once we left their house my companion threw up all the way to our next appt.  Then once we got there we had to eat chocobananos which is terrible because the culture here it is disrespectful to not eat everything on the plate or not eat something they give you.  We both just had to go home after and we felt sick all the next day. It was just too much food.

There were two crazy storms this week.  The first one happened right when we had to leave the ward mission leaders house. Then we started hearing gunshots from a couple houses down but nobody freaked out so maybe it's just normal here...  The second one there was lightning a mile away. It was so close. We ended up having to leave our backpacks at the house and just get soaked.

This week was Semana Santa which all the Catholics would block all the streets and have their parades.

It's funny that you mention the grasshopper because this week we saw one dead and we couldn't believe what we saw... Then like an hour later we saw another one and it flew into this giant metal sign and about knocked it off! It was literally the size of a banana! They're probably in the walls of our house.

We got to take investigators to the temple and it was super cool. The work has been super slow because we are opening an area. But if everything goes as planned we will have a baptism next week!

Our church building is really nice and big and we have around 130 people that attend our ward. I understand a lot about the gospel in Spanish. It's just hard to completely understand everything.

Some of the homes that we visit are just little brick houses with tin stuff around it. We try to get referrals because it's hard to get into people's houses but they all believe in God. Here we basically ask them if they want to go to heaven or hell because that's the only way they will take it seriously.  We got to listen to conference in English for the missionaries. My favorite talk was from Wilford W. Anderson talking about the music and how we need to feel the music! We had to watch it in the chapel because most people don't have money for cable.

Haha, something I've learned here is that the mission gives you enough money to get by not to be happy. So the simple stuff is really the best!

Thanks mom! I would send a pic of my pants but I already patched them up. The stitching in these pants are not very good. They are falling apart some places and you can see the whiteness of my garments haha.  Good thing I don't have anybody to impress here... Oh and I thought you would enjoy this.. Literally nobody can sing here.. NOBODY! Including Me but sometimes its funny to listen to. Sacrament is like a bunch of dying cats! I can use an ATM and I have my code.

Love, Elder Stiles 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Quick Note From Sister Hintze

We received this FaceBook message & picture from Sister Hintze (Mission President's wife).  It was short but so exciting to hear from her.

Interviews Today...... Elder Stiles is doing so great and is very happy.  He is a blessing to the mission.