Monday, July 27, 2015

La Ponderosa

First the Questions.

What miracles or special experiences have you had this week? Well something that we did experience this week was that we found 2 new investigators on the bus. But what makes it a miracle was that both of them were looking for the missionaries to come and teach them. We got not so good directions to their house but we are going to find them tomorrow!

What is something new you learned from Elder Ochoa?  Most the stuff that we learned from Elder Ochoa was stuff that had to do with missionary work. We learned to have more success in the mission we need to have the mindset that we are going to baptize every week.

Did you eat anything weird this week?  Well yesterday we were eating pupusas and I found two really big chicken bones in them. Wasn't bad just kind of surprising. I also Drank something that one of the members made and it was lemon juice with salt and also hot peppers inside. Everyone else loved it but I'm not sure why... the combination of sour lemons and fiery peppers don't mix well for me.

What did you eat the most of?  This week we mostly ate pupusas. I'm not sure if I've sent a picture of one yet but next week I definitely will.

Who were the women that you sent the picture of last week?  One was a young girl with pink slippers and an older lady with flip-flops.  That picture was a recent convert and her mom. I took a picture because I thought I was leaving this change but I'm still here!

Now The Story

This Week we had changes!! Tuesday night I was waiting for the call that I was leaving the area of the Ponderosa. I was kind of sad because I really love this people in this area but we got the call and turns out that I'm staying here!! Which made me super happy because I've been told that this area is a sacred area and I've been blessed to spend another change here! Elder Calero is still my companion and we are going to do a lot of work this change.

Something that is interesting here is that about at 6 in the morning women start walking around with baskets of fruits, bread, and other foods on their head and yelling as loud as they can about what they have. Then the Men come out with their bicycles and horns selling more bread. Here in El Salvador you're always 1 min away from someone selling bread, a little tienda (store) or a church.  This week we learned how to make elotes or the corn that they have in Nacho Libre. It was pretty awesome. They also cook corn here by just putting the corn on the coals and cooking it but its actually super good with lemon juice and salt! I Also learned how to make tortillas here and I've gotten pretty good! Now I just need to learn how to make Pupusas!

This week we also gave one of our converts (Andy Moran) pants, shirt and a tie so that he can look fresh for church while he blesses the sacrament! Lately its been raining a lot so its been hard to get into people houses so its been kinda a slow week. That's all for this week but thanks for the questions and I love you all!

Elder Stiles

Monday, July 20, 2015

What One Question Can Do

Does the man do all of that etching by hand on the scripture covers? His son does all the sketching by hand
Did Andy and Sergio Moran get baptized?  Yes, Sergio and Andy were baptized!
Tell me some more about Elder Calero?  I don't much but I'll tell you what I do know. He Is really good at soccer and he got paid to play.  His family is mostly members.  He has 5 brothers and his dad doesn't have an eye. He is super awesome and remembers just about everything!
Did you get the bathroom finished in your new house?  The bathroom is not finished and I don't know when it will be.
Is the new house in your area or do you still have to walk to your area?  We still have to walk.
Does Presioso know what the Boston Marathon is? I mentioned it but I don't think he knows what it is but i did tell him about it and Robie.
Has Presioso traveled outside of El Salvador to run races?  He has traveled to Mexico and the surrounding countries but no more.


This week was really good! First I'll talk about our baptisms! We baptized Sergio and Andy Moran! They were super awesome.  We didn't know that Sergio wanted to be baptized until I asked him last minute and then he finally made the decision! I feel like this is why I was here because I was always super persistent! and it just shows what one question can do because before he was just saying, "Oh I'll think about it" or "in a little bit" but he finally chose! 

The day we were at his house there was a giant thunderstorm and we had to just go home. All the streets were like rivers and we just had to walk right through them because there was no other way.  We got home drenched.  The next day we had a bunch of appointments but no one was home. Basically we make appointments to teach people the lessons or to do service for them but when they aren't there and we don't have anyone to visit we have to go and contact.  That's where we just go talk to everyone and try and see if they will listen to our message. But this day nobody wanted us and we just kept asking people if they were rejecting Christ and calling everyone to repentance for being hard-hearted but we literally talked to everyone!

Changes are this Wednesday and I think I might leave this change but who knows! I'll miss Elder Calero a lot!  We also got a new guy this week and he spent a year in Mexico and he speaks perfect Spanish. He's super cool and he got a baptism his first week here! And to end I'm really sad because Elder McCleery is leaving for his house... Definitely the best and I'll always remember him!

Love, Elder Stiles!

(click on photos to enlarge)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Elder Ochoa Visits

I LOVE this kid!  His email is:


Do El Salvadorians do any fireworks for the 4th of July?  El Salvadors basically light fireworks off all the time but they are just random. Mostly just like m80's.
Do you still have to take bucket showers in your new house? 
No our new house has water pressure now which is good.
Do you show pictures of your family to the members or investigators there? 
I show photos a lot of times to people.
Is it hard to show them pictures of the U.S. and where you live when they have so little? 
No.  They love seeing these kinds of photos.

This week we were able to go to San Salvador to listen to Elder Ochoa speak. We had a whole day just with him and got to hear a bunch of cool things. He talked about how since we are missionaries here we can look into the eyes of our investigators and tell what they need in their life and how we can help. He also talked about the importance of teaching the investigators to read the scriptures EVERYDAY and also pray because there is no other way to get them to find their answer and bring happiness to their life and it really is true. We teach the people here that there is a key to happiness and it's the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Endure to the End. And really if you do these steps then it is how you have a good life. I encourage anybody that is looking for something in their life, This is it!  There is no other way people will find something like this in their life. And really people don't understand untill they put it into practice. Here in the mission the happiest I've been is when someone takes the steps to make a difference in their life and chooses to follow these steps. But I know it works!  We worked really hard this week and one of our investigators that we have been teaching since I got here is going to get baptized this weekend! Most of his family is a member and we are going to try and get his brother to be baptized with him! Their names are Andy and Sergio Moran and they are super awesome!

I think that I have gotten rid of most of the parasites because I feel a lot better!

We also started to count the amount of churches in our area. In the square mile of our area we counted 22 churches. Just about one on every corner...

We also met a member that is 59 and runs marathons! 3 years ago he ran a 3 hour marathon time! I dont even think he works because he just uses the money he wins from races to live! His name is Precioso and he is super funny! I'll try and take a pic of him this week!

I love you all and hope you have a good week!

Love Elder Stiles :)

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)


Elder Calero, Sergio Moran, Elder Stiles

Handmade Leather Covers for Jake's Book of Mormon, Bible, Hymn Book & Agenda

Monday, July 6, 2015


Hey Everyone,

Answers to questions:
Yes, I'm finally starting to feel better!  I got my Medicine the 4th.  We didn't do anything in San Salvador.  Just went to the doctor and then went back to work because we had a ton of stuff to do. 

The family that is going to go to the temple is our ward mission leader and I think that they are going to go to the temple in a couple of weeks so I don't think I will be here. Sad but I'll get over it.
The new house will have air conditioning but for right now we don't have it. The guy is still working on finishing the bathroom.
Haha, no we don't take our shoes off to cool off in a river because then our feet would get wet and then we would have to walk around in wet shoes.
The picture of the turtle was of our ward mission leader's and they have two.. we don't know why but they do.

This week was really good! I don't have much time to write today because we also went to the waterfalls today! Our Fourth of July was really good!  We had our two weddings and baptisms which were really cool and then after these we went to Buffalo Wings to Celebrate the birth of our amazing country! This week was kinda slow again just because I've been really sick but thanks to Sister Hintze I was able to get my medicine and start to get better! She is the BEST!! But we worked really hard to find new investigators to teach this week and we found another couple that wants to get married and they are super cool.  They are 18 and 17 and they believe in the restoration and everything which is really cool after our first lesson with them! We also found another kid that is 18 years old that we are working with to help him get baptized because all of his family is baptized too!

We Went to The Waterfalls this Monday and it took us about an hour to get there. We had to cram ourselves in a bus for the whole ride but after it was a walk right next to a river the whole way! It was about 2 miles but it was pretty flat so not to bad. We saw lots of big spiders which was kind of freaky but they weren't spiders that bite or that were dangerous so it wasn't really that bad. The waterfall was really cool also because it was super tall! I took a picture of me kneeling and everyone said that it looked like the first vision!

That's all for now if anybody has more questions make sure to let me know!

Love you all!! Jake

(Click on photos to enlarge)