Wednesday, June 3, 2015

First Email from El Salvador

Hey Familia!
I'm glad you got those pictures! That was a long first day! We left the CCM (training center) early in the morning, and drove 5 hours south into El Salvador. Then we were at the President's home for the rest of the day. The first night opened my eyes! We stayed at the office elders home and their house is disgusting. Nasty bathrooms dirty everything. I didn't really feel like I was on a mission until that first night.
Anyways, El Salvador is really awesome! The houses are really different here. Everybody has metal doors and barb wire around their houses. But the houses are really random. They are back to back side to side. No yards or grass. There is just a ton of concrete and metal everywhere! And there aren't rules or a specific way to build a house. They are all really different.

There are a ton of dogs here. They just roam the streets. Most of them are pretty chill. We haven't had a big conflict with them. But I've been preparing myself. I wield a mighty weapon. My bug spray! Bahahaha.  I haven't had to use it yet on a dog but I feel sorry for the first chucho (dog) that tries anything. Oh and I was worried about the gangs and stuff before, but in this area there really isn't any gangs that I've seen. My companion has been here for 6 months in the same area and he hasn't had an encounter. The people are just pretty tranquilo.  Its really different.

The people here are really nice, too. We talk to a lot of strangers and probably 80 percent let us come back. We just say that we want to talk about Jesus Christ and God and they say "okay!".  Because of this we have a lot of investigators, which is really good, but at the same time a lot of them aren't solid. They won't read, pray, or go to church. Everyday we are trying to find the escogidos - or the people who are ready to change. 
I didn't take my camera with me these first days, but I will try to send some pictures next week of the streets, the city, my house, and my companion. His name is Elder Lauro from Mexico. He doesn't know very much English! Wooohoo! So I get to practice more. But he also wants to learn English, so we try to help each other out. We are in San Marcus, area colonial.  Its in a big valley, and we walk up and down the valley every day. It's always kinda hot here. Supposedly its the rainy season, but it has only rained a little bit during the night. I've learned that I'm a whole lot happier when I'm working hard, focused on others, and talking with the people. Another thing I need to work on is really making friends with the people here. If you are friends with them they listen better, they let you in their house, and they will help you out. There have been times when we pass a member's store and they give us drinks, food, and most important - references. Some of the best investigators come from references.
Our house is on this big hill. We have this big back deck which has guacamole trees (we assume this means Avocado trees), and this other fruit - I have no idea what it is. We have 4 rooms in our house not including the two bathrooms! Its definitely one of the biggest houses in the mission, I think. We have a good amount or ants in our house, but we also have a bunch of geckos. They are pretty cool. They eat a lot of the bugs in our house. I really haven't had to cook. We always eat at a member's house for lunch. The same members. We pay them - I think 15 dollars for the whole month. And for dinner each day we eat Papusas! haha. Everyone talks about them. I think they are okay. Not as good as all the people say they are. I have felt okay! Sometimes my stomach is a little weird, but it's not too bad. I love getting out there. Sometimes I wish we could skip studying a just go teach people. But over these past few days I've realized how much I need to learn.
I love you guys! Hey - I got a letter from the people in the singles ward - the Witts. I want to reply to them but I don't know if I can send a letter. Just tell them I love them! haha. Maybe I could get their email. Tell me about whats happening at home! It's summer already!?

I love you guys.
Elder Neifert

A snippet from an email he sent his sister -

It's a hard work, being a missionary, but man there's some cool stuff that happens, too. Like inviting Wilber and his cousin to be baptized! That was way cool. We taught them lesson 3 about faith, repentance and baptism. I was feeling the spirit really strong as I asked them if they would follow Jesus Christ and be baptized. They didn't come to church yesterday, but I can tell they both felt something different. We've just got to work with them and people like them more. I love you guys! keep sending me pictures! I love them! Maybe next week I will have some to send you. I love you guys!

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