Monday, April 19, 2010

First Week in El Salvador

Dear Family!
Hows everything going? Turns out our P-day is on Lunes so I had to wait a week to talk to you haha. I´m doing just fine, a little bit of stomach ache from the new food every once in a while, but its pretty awesome here. Definitely super ghetto place. I guess you want to hear about when I got here, well, basically the plane ride is pretty short, only 4 hours from LA, and it was an overnight flight like you know. Its definitely prety humid here, when we stepped off the plane it was like stepping into a steamy shower room lol! But I´m allready pretty well used to it. Actually in comparison, where we live (Antioch) is actually pretty humid too. I guess I just don´t mind the heat that much. It does suck when we played basketball, because you just sweat balls all the game lol. It kinda sucks because the water isn´t clean here, so we have to use either our filter or buy bottled water, and luckily enough our house had 3 big jugs when we walked in, so were set for a while.
My companion is named Elder Quijivix, hes from Quetzaltenango Guatemala. They say that I am going to "kill him" because I´m the last companion he will have before he finishes his mission. Hes pretty cool, I´m still trying to get used to his accent though, but for the most part I can understand him. The first day that language stuff was pretty hard, its not that I don´t understand, just that its hard to hear what the people are saying lol, (also my mission president has a lisp lol) they do have an accent, and all of them have a different one lol, but I hear its not as bad as most of the other countries. There aer actually a lot of members here, but there are a ton of other churches that the people go to too, usually its not a matter of people not letting us in the door, or not even that they don´t believe our message, but they just say that they are allready accostomed to going to another church. But none-the-less, the work is actually very good here. We are opening a new area right now, but only because they are splitting an old area into 2 new ones, I guess the last missionaries here were stupid or something and they shut down the area. Basically our area is called ilopango, But in our district (Elder Gochner (DL) Elder Osla, Elder Quijivix, Me, and two hermanas that we don´t really know that well, becuase they don´t even work near us) they split it between the two elders, so We have all of Ilopango, and a little neighborhood called San Bartolo. Here all the adresses are based around what neighborhood you live it. Its really retarded, and hard to give people directions lol. But our ward is called Las Cañas.
The spanish is going good, I feel waaaaay sorry for all the other elders that came over with me on the plane, they were all in beginning spanish lol! hahaha. They are sooo hosed. I can understand probably 60-100% of what people say, depending on how wierd they talk. But I still basically only know how to say stuff about the gospel haha. I don´t really mind though, they say the beginers pick up the spanish in about 3 months, to where they can kinda follow the conversation, and understand a lot of whats being said, and then they say about 9 months they are pretty fluent. So I feel pretty lucky, because I wont have to be just sitting around trying to listen lol. Its pretty funny, basically if we are knocking on doors, we talk to them a little bit, and then strait up invite them to church, and we allways try to get an appointment or immediately teach a lesson. We have two people allready who we are hoping to baptise, but its still up in the air. I dunno, they people just let your talk to them, we rarely get shot down like people do in the states a lot at doors. I will try and send you some pictures next week (i forgot my camera, and I didn´t know you could use sd cards here lol) but out house is actually pretty big for 2 missionarries, and for El Salvador, the houses are super duper ghetto, They are mostly made of cinderblocks, some of them have plastered walls, but a lot are just strait up cinderblock walls. They are like really hodge podge put together, A lot of them have the corrugated tin roofs, some have corrugated tin walls, they are basically open to the elements, but the funny thing is that every opening in every house is totally barred up lol.
I guess missionaries get robbed every once in a while, but we usually don´t carry more then like a couple bucks on us, and the poeple that are robbing are like all excited for that hahaha. I haven´t had a problem with that yet lol. The buses cost 20 cents, and there are like a bajillion of them going every direction. Which brings me to the biggest point of culture shock here, On the roads, there are basically no rules. Ive seen like 2 or 3 intersections here that have stop lights, but literally, no speed limit, no lane rules, you can drive on the wrong side of the road if you want, Its nuuuts, the cars are just flying every which way, and nobody knows whats going on haha but I havent seen a crash so tahts cool. The busses here for the most part are really old ghettod out school buses, but there are a couple other types that cost 25 cents. During that morning when people are leaving their houses, and and night especially when they are coming home, my companion says in english "You will break the law of chastity on that bus" Which of course is a joke, but really there are like a billion people on the busses haha. Yeah he doesnt speak inglish, but he knows a couple words.
Lets see what else, We have a cocinera, we actually just switched, because our old one was like a 20 minute walk away which was super annoying lol. The food isn´t that great, I actually prefer americanized tacos and burritos much more that what we eat here. The pupusas are pretty good, and they are super cheap, only 25 cents each. But they eat a lot of fried bannanas, which I´m not super fond of yet. I still eat everything they serve me no problem, but I could definitely use more flavor in my life haha. Everything is super mild here, they hardly use any chili, and if it is, its probably tobasco stuff. The people here seem pretty poor, but they basically live for free because their houses are so cheap, so I dunno, they don´t really have any cool stuff, but nobody is starving. Actually there are a lot of fattys here. Or at least as big as americans. But yeah its pretty cool. There are actually a lot less Catholics than I thought there would be. Its mostly Evangelicals, and Otros protestants. But they are pretty much just as hard to convert lol.
Anyways I´m almost out of time, suffice to say that Its pretty ghetto here, and definitely a different lifestyle, but its cool haha. The work goes pretty well I think, WE walk a lot, and they say that pretty much everyone gets parasites a couple times while their here. I probably allready have them lol but whatever no importa. Also everyone has electricity which is cool. And a lot of the people in ghettoed out shacks have cable and satalites and stuff haha. But yeah its cool. Hope everything is cool in sunny CA. Tell sam not to party with the waterpark kids. Tell teresa cool, and tell danny sally is a goat, not a dog.
Mucha amor,
Elder Joseph DeVictoria.

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