All packages are to be sent through the U.S. Postal Service. They do seem to arrive intact within 2-4 weeks.
Elder Daniel Blanchard

Mision El Salvador Santa Ana

Apartado Postal #142

Santa Ana, El Salvador, C.A.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 23 (Campestre, Atiquizaya)

This week was a little bit difficult. To start off we left a bunch of our investigators and set off to find more. We only found one new guy who is willing to progress which I will tell his story later on in the email.

Yes last night was cold enough to put a sweater on.  It was super windy and I could have gone without it, but hey this is probably the only time I will be able to wear a sweater here.

First sucky thing that happened is we had interchanges. I usually love interchanges because it gives me a chance to be with a missionary who actually teaches with me. But this new district leader is a bit different. At the beginning of the change everything was fine, we were getting a long and everything, he was giving me advice and we were telling stories. We had a couple of lessons and everything seemed normal until we got to a members house. 

The member is a returned missionary of 3 years. And he started asking why she wasn’t married yet. Which that wasn’t bad, but with all her answers it was obvious that she had recently been dumped by someone she was planning on marrying and that she was struggling with finding someone. But he didn’t really understand that, and he kept pushing until finally with a little bit of frustration she told us about how she had something but then he didn’t want anything. 

After that I thought it was a little bit strange but nothing else, until we got to our next investigators house, the two that had dates to be baptized the 14th. Well we went there and the second we started to talk it started going downhill. He started being super direct with her and was being really insensitive with her and the whole lesson was them arguing back and forth but it was getting continually worse. They were basically shouting at each other and it got to the point where she kicked us out of her house. 

The whole lesson I couldn’t say anything because I was in shock that that was actually happening. I was heartbroken. After the lesson he acted like nothing out of the ordinary happened, and just said, yeah sometimes you have to be direct to see if they really wanted this. Well they wanted it until he came. It was really hard for me. We are going to go back this week to apologize to her, because it was really bad, I felt like he was a preacher from another church. 

She even said that to him while they were arguing, she said when that brother comes with his other companion and he speaks I am filled with the spirit, and every time he teaches I am almost to the point of weeping, but when you are here it is the opposite. I almost laughed when she said that. 

But yeah with leaving all of our investigators and then losing them, we were left with nothing. So we began searching for new people with almost 0 success. The only good thing that happened was finding A......

He is a man who is about 60 years old. He’s super nice and we found him knocking doors. We had our first lesson with him on Tuesday and it was a really great lesson. We started off talking and he was just really nice, he didn’t really know anything about Mormons but he had met some missionaries about 10 years ago and he only remembered the name Joseph Smith. 

Well we started teaching him about the restoration and started asking him a bunch of questions like why do you think there are so many churches if there is only One God? Stuff like that, and he started thinking a lot and stuff just started clicking in his mind. To this question he answered, that is a very good question and to be honest I have no idea, but I think you guys have the answer to that. 

So we started talking about how Jesus established his church with the apostles and the authority to guide it, and how they were killed and the authority was lost, and the man was like, oh my gosh, that’s true and he was accepting everything we were saying. But at this point was when Satan, I mean his friend, entered. I am certain this man was sent by Satan, and he even had all the characteristics that I imagine Satan to have. Just a sly cunning, and just like whispers in your ear stuff like (oh nobody will know if you do that) or (drinking just a sip of alcohol won’t kill you) or (oh that eggnog doesn’t have alcohol) Like this was literally Satan in the form of a man and the second he sat down he started to try to convince the man that we were wrong in everything we said. 

It made it super difficult to teach and he would say stuff like, oh there are so many churches because the people want to worship in different ways, but they are all worshiping the same god and god will save people by actions not by church. Just stupid sly things that the carnal mind wants to agree with. Finally I had enough and said stop for second. I think we can all agree on one thing, that all the churches are different and teach different things, but the bible says there is only one. And Satan said, yeah all of the churches have some of the truths but none of them are completely correct. And the old mad agreed. And I felt the spirit super strong and I said, well brethren I have some good news for you, and started to tell the story of Joseph Smith and the restoration how Joseph thought the same.  

The spirit was so strong and I felt like I was punching Satan in the face with the spirit that I felt, I was determined not to let him interrupt and it was so crazy, and when I got to the first vision, oh my gosh, the old man was sitting forward in his chair with his mouth agape listening intently, In this moment I felt so strong the power and authority that comes from being set apart as a missionary. And after I told the first vision I just sat there and let the silence work. They were both speechless. I then broke the silence a bit later and bore my testimony of this church. 

Then Satan, trying to keep his cool but knowing he lost tried changing the subject. But the old man stopped him, and kept correcting all the things Satan was saying and kept shushing him.  Then the old man was like, lets finish with a prayer and continue this discussion later, but I wasn’t done haha. I said, wait, let me finish with this one thing, and I pulled out the Book of Mormon and said that this was the evidence of everything. 

The old man was amazed once again, but Satan thought this was his chance and slyly said that maybe the book was good but it’s not the word of god, because only the Bible is the word of god, and the old man got mad at him and said, Well we have to read it to find out if it’s the word of god or not. After the lesson I was so full of adrenaline. It was a crazy experience. 

Also I got stung by a bee two days ago. My hand is basically a red pumpkin. I had lasagna last night and it was really good.

Nothing new other than that. Have a good week.

Love Elder Blanchard

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