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 16, 2017

Week 24 (Campestre, Atiquizaya)

This week was another difficult week. We focused a lot this week on trying to save the ward. We had a lot of lessons visiting with the bishopric individually and then all together. 

Family photo: (My name is really similar to planchar which is to iron. So everyone here makes that joke.)

On Saturday we had meeting with all of them to have purposes and help encourage all of us and help us understand the importance of leadership and unity.. and the bishop was more than an hour late. But the meeting was good. 

This week also we convinced the bishop to have ward council meeting and he agreed. There hasn’t been ward council meeting or correlation for more than the time I’ve been here. I think for basically almost a year, so this is a great victory. He made the announcement about it in church yesterday, so we are going to have our first one this Sunday. 

It is really nice to see that all of this progress is happening cause I took the initiative to change things instead of keep feeling bad for myself with how crappy this ward is. And it’s nice seeing somewhat of the fruits of my labor. Now for everything apart from that was a struggle.

We had extremely low numbers this week. Right now me and my comp are having a lot of trouble because he has a very short temper and the smallest things will make him angry. And he becomes a new person when he is angry. He will straight up ignore me and acts like he is five years old. 

Saturday he went the whole day without talking to me nor the investigators, nor the people we contacted that day. Basically every other day he talks about wanting to return home. We have a lot of long talks and this usually helps him regain his focus, and I feel like so far I’ve done really good with keeping calm and patient, but I’m not going to lie, it is one of the hardest things having someone just sit there and stare off angrily while you are trying to help them and they refuse to answer you like a two year old does. he really struggles with studying too. Hopefully things improve a little.

The old man from the story last week told us he didn’t have time to meet with us right now and for us to come back in a couple of months. That was hard to hear, because the story of him I thought he was for sure a baptism. Also we started teaching a guy who has met with tons of missionaries before, including me and Elder Rosales. He is best friends with the second councilor in the bishopric. He has come to church more than a thousand times. Basically everyone in the ward knows him. 

The only problem is he hates the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, but likes everything else. So we have been focusing on helping him get rid of his doubts. I am almost positive that this is his time. He just needs to read the Book of Mormon, which he has not read a single page in all those years of meeting with the missionaries. He has had about a thousand dates for baptisms and even one time he had the interview but didn’t pass cause he didn’t believe in Joseph Smith.

There was an activity for the priesthood in the ward. They were all supposed to bring 2 inactive men from the ward. Well after about an hour for waiting for people only 6 showed up. No one brought people. Me and my comp left before the activity started because we had only planned to stay at the activity for an hour and everyone showed up an hour late.   

Four other people showed up after that. We had an investigator who was going to try and come to the activity, but good thing he didn’t haha. Right now everyone in the ward hates each other and the bishop. I guess last year the ward had about a constant 150 people in assistance, sometimes up to 200. Now we have about an average of 73 people. That’s smaller than some of the branches here. For this reason we have been trying to save the ward, because I don’t think the work will progress very well if the ward continues in the direction it is heading.

In other news changes are in 3 weeks. That means Elder Hernandez finishes his training and that I will have about six months. I still feel like I only have like 2 weeks in the mission.

Nothing much new here though. I tried to make the tortillas with the recipe and they turned out alright. I put too much oil in so they kind of looked really ugly but tasted pretty good.

Hope everything is good at home

Elder Blanchard

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