Monday, July 25, 2016

Turns Out I Haven't Killed Anybody

Elder Jacob Stiles 
El Salvador San Salvador/Belize Mision
Apartado Postal #81
Correos Multiplaza, S.S.
San Salvador, El Salvador, C.A.

jacob.stiles@myldsmail.net

Hey Everyone, 

Well, the 2nd to the last week of preparation is done, and one more to go before changes!  This whole change we have been working with a couple, and two kids to be baptized on the 31st of this month.  Joel is the son of a recent convert named Maria.  He's going to get married to Anna, and they will both get baptized together.  They are an amazing family, and are ready to take this step.  The next ones are Keven and Daniel.  They are the Grandkids of Sister Candelaria.  They have been taught for a while but we have finally got them to go to church and they have the desire to be baptized.  So we are hoping to leave Elder Smith with some good memories before he leaves (10 more days until changes). 

We also had some zone business we had to take care of as well.  As Zone Leaders we have to do "Interchanges" with other missionaries or the Zone Leaders to help them with things that are happening, and to help train them, and show them how things should be done by example.  It's a cool opportunity to get to know the other missionaries and their areas.  We were also able to go to the District Leaders area and sit in on their weekly planning where they plan on what they will teach their investigators, and pray about what they should do in their area.  We had to travel quite a ways out into the middle of nowhere, but it has been a very spiritual week.  

We were able to get five people to church this week who all have a very good chance of being baptized here in the near future.  We also taught a lesson to a girl that is dating a member in the church.  She is super awesome and she went up the the Bishop a couple of weeks ago and told him she wanted to be baptized.  We had an amazing lesson yesterday about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Spirit was so strong there were tears running down her face.  I'd have to say that's the best part about being a missionary, and being able to bring the Spirit to the hearts of so many people and to see the changes in their life.  

I'll leave it at that and talk to you next week!

Love, Elder Stiles

Questions:

Why do you have to go to San Salvador to get police records?  We had to go to to get police records to make sure that I haven't killed anybody (turns out I haven't!). 

What do you have to do with the records?  We just gave the records to the lawyer. 

What kind of living conditions do your investigators have? What are their families like?  Well most of them live in little shacks but there are some nicer houses.  The families we are teaching are really prepared and they are super sweet.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Back And Forth To San Salvador

Elder Jacob Stiles 
El Salvador San Salvador/Belize Mision
Apartado Postal #81
Correos Multiplaza, S.S.
San Salvador, El Salvador, C.A.

jacob.stiles@myldsmail.net

Hey Everyone,

It's definitely not as crazy here in El Salvador as it is in Belize, but I love it here!  This week we didn't get to work in our area as much as we were hoping but in the end it all turned out good! 

On Tuesday we had to go to San Salvador for a leadership meeting with President Adams.  We had to wake up really early to get there on time.  We learned a lot about the things that President Adams wants us to focus on in our zones.  Most of it included being better planners and being worthy to have the Spirit during the day.  After that we went to Wendy's to get a softy... because they are just sooo good!  

Then one day later I got a call saying we had to go back to San Salvador to get my police records taken out... And once again we set off to San Salvador, but this time we were there ALL DAY!!  The whole day I spent standing in line for papers while my companion stayed in the church office.  It was a really hard day because there was nothing to do, and we wanted to be in our area working so bad.  After spending 11 hours in San Salvador we finally made it back for dinner and got soaked by the rainstorm.

The next day we had our Zone Meeting where we talked about the leadership meeting, and the things that we're going to focus on this change.  It was a really good meeting and we had a lot of fun. 

Then the next day, Saturday, we had our interviews with President Adams.  We thought it was going to start at 9:00 and get over at 12:30.  Instead it started at 2:00 and didn't end until 8:00 for us.  As the Zone Leaders we went last and had to wait for everyone else to go.  But the interviews were so good, and I got a lot of really good advice from President Adams.  

In all that's three days taken from our area, including the most important day... Saturday... the day we use to make sure everyone comes to church.  Thanks to God we had a miracle, and we had seven investigators in church!  Three of them that should be baptized at the end of this month.  So we're hoping Elder Smith will go out with a bang his last change.

It's been a blessing serving with Elder Smith and as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!  Wish us luck this week.

Love, Elder Stiles

QUESTIONS:

What miracles happened this week?  A
 miracle was that 7 people came to church, and 3 different families.

What is something new you learned about Elder Smith? I learned that he is super smart and knows a ton about crazy doctrinal stuff about the church.

Are you feeling OK?  As of this second I'm feeling fine! We will see how I feel in a couple days...(haha)


What is the most interesting landmark in your area? The most interesting is probably the rolling green hills. They are all over and they are just beautiful!


Are there a lot of gangs where you are living?  Umm, I know there are but we don't see them much. They do run the little motor taxis that we take everyday.


Have you met President and Sister Adams yet?  Yeah, we had interviews with them 2 days ago and they are the best!

Do you get sore?  No, never really get too sore, every once and a while from doing exercises in the morning,

Do the bats fly at you?  
The bats fly at us in the street but not in the house.

Do you ever get scared in the area your in?  
No I've never gotten scared here. It's pretty low key here.

(click on photos to enlarge)

Jake w/ Elder Smith

House


Care package from Home





Monday, July 11, 2016

English Classes

Elder Jacob Stiles 
El Salvador San Salvador/Belize Mision
Apartado Postal #81
Correos Multiplaza, S.S.
San Salvador, El Salvador, C.A.

jacob.stiles@myldsmail.net

Hey Everyone,

We started the week off by doing a Family Home Evening at Sister Maria's house who is a recent convert of two months, and she is the best!  She does her FHE's, visiting teaching, and goes with us to visit our investigators.  We did a FHE of talents, and had everyone show a talent.  Elder Smith sung, and I showed  them some magic tricks.  They thought it was the best!  

We have been focusing so much on our investigators these past couple weeks because this area has so much potential.  We have quite a few people that are preparing to be baptized in a couple weeks and actually a new family we are hoping to get baptized before Elder Smith leaves.  

President Adams is really going to be focusing on planning and really using our time wisely so I'm happy to be able to put what he says into practice.  This next Tuesday we should be having a meeting with him.  The Assistants to the President have been telling us that we are becoming the hardest working zone, and that we are doing awesome.  So we are going to do even better this week!

Every Tuesday and Friday we teach English class, and we have been working with our students a lot.  We even visit a couple of them and have some lessons in English a couple times a week.  We have had some really spiritual experiences - Some of the most spiritual ones I've had in my mission.  As missionaries we rely on the Spirit so much.  Really nothing gets done without the Spirit.

Some cool things that have happened was when we were teaching a lady, and while explaining the Great Apostasy, Elder Smith thought he needs to have her read the first paragraph... two seconds later I had the impression to have her read the first paragraph also.  Things like that happen, and then we have so many people committed to coming to church, but then the devil has his hands in our area... Lots of people didn't come to church due to small little things... But we had four people come to church which was super cool... And we had 30 more members in church than we usually do!  Super excited for this week!

Love, Elder Stiles

QUESTIONS:

Are you feeling better? I am feeling a lot better! Gracias a Dios

What kind of treatment did you get for your infection? Well I couldn't drink anything for 6 hours, and then couldn't eat for 24 hours. I had to take a medicine for 2 times a day for 5 days, and now I feel so much better!

Did you move to a new house? We haven't found a new house... the only houses are to expensive or too crappy.


What is something new you learned this week? Well this week me and my comp were talking about all the missing books in the Bible and how in the Bible it talks about the book of Enoch and it's not even found... what a blessing it is too have modern revelation and actually have the words of Enoch!

(click on photos to enlarge)


Pizza Hut


Playing Chubby Bunny with our District





Monday, July 4, 2016

Chicken & Bat Poop

Elder Jacob Stiles 
El Salvador San Salvador/Belize Mision
Apartado Postal #81
Correos Multiplaza, S.S.
San Salvador, El Salvador, C.A.

jacob.stiles@myldsmail.net

Hey Everyone,

Wow, what an interesting week!  We spent Monday getting to know the area. We got ice cream, and had a family home evening with a lady from Indiana named Becky.  She was super funny, and we had an awesome lesson.  On Tuesdays we teach an English class.  For the advanced class we have about 6-8 kids show up to practice.  This week we practiced how to do a job interview.  In our ward we have members that feed us lunch and dinner just about every single day and it's the best because all of their food tastes so good.

Now the sad part about this story is that... I got sick... Yes! Again!  Sometimes I think to myself that I've been sick my whole mission.  I got sick with an intestinal infection due to something not because of the food... but to Chickens and Bats!!  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have chickens and bats that live at our house and poop everywhere!  But it's all good because I am feeling better and we get to look for a new house!  Woo Hoo!  

Now to the bright side, well sad too, but I'm sad because President and Sister Hintze are gone :(  But the good news is that President and Sister Adams are here!  They are so awesome and we had a multi-zone conference with them in San Salvador!  Super amazing couple and we can feel they have a love for the Gospel.  They talked to us a lot about the Book of Mormon and the importance of it.  In Preach my gospel I've learned so much about the Book of Mormon it's crazy. 

This week we worked really hard and really used our time wisely.  We don't have any baptisms for this weekend but next week we should have at least two.  We were able to bring six people to church, and our zone brought 33 investigators which is spectacular!  The miracle this week was a friend of a member came to us and wants to be baptized ASAP.  So we will be working with her this week!

With Love, 
Elder Stiles

QUESTIONS:

What are other towns near you?  Well I don't really know the towns really but we live in Ciudad Arce. La esperanza is just the name of our ward. Santa Lucia is kinda close

Do you have hot water, showers, air conditioning (I'm guessing no a/c)?  We do have showers but nothing else :(

What is something new you learned about Elder Smith?  He can say, "Have you already eaten your rice?" in Cantonese, and he is the best singer I have heard in the mission.

(click on photos to enlarge)

The view from our house 

Chinese good luck cat that I got from Belize in a Chinese shop

video