Monday, November 25, 2013

La décima semana!

Hola mis amigos en Cristo!

I am going to get right into it because I have a lot to write today. This week at church we started seeing the fruits of labor. We are opening this area and we haven't really had a lot, but this week we finally had our first investigator at church. He is friends with one of the families in our ward. We had taught him once with his friends in a family home evening. During church we taught him about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration.

I had a lot of other good things happen this week. We met a lot of people in the street that were really excited to talk with us. Most of them had talked to missionaries before. We ended up getting a lot of food and setting up two dinner dates. One lady said we could come back Wednesday and make pupusas with her. I am stoked for that. An interesting side note; I have only had pupusas three times so far.

I have a great story about the lady who said we could eat pupusas at her house. So, after we had chatted with her for about a half hour, we started teaching the Plan of Salvation. We took an hour and a half on accident. Then the lady made us eat at her house. We ended up spending almost three hours there. But the best part was when we had our closing prayer before we left. We asked them to pray and the house keeper volunteered. That was the funniest mistake we have made yet. She started, and it was pretty tame, not a prayer I was use to, but not bad. About a minute in she sounded like she was finishing her prayer, BUT that was when it got nuts! She went crazy! Clapping dancing and thrashing around while she rapped here prayer out. Needless to say I was dying! I meant no disrespect, but I had never seen anything like it and it was all I could do to not burst out laughing. About 5 minutes in my companion, Elder paulson from Sandy, he went to Brighton, we were doing splits, started kicking me. I almost lost it! Finally after 10 minutes she finished and we rushed out. I laughed til' I cried . I didn't mean any disrespect, but it was just so out of this world!

Hasta la próxima semana amigos!

Elder Vierkant

There were no descriptions. I will guess based on previous blogs and the time stamps of the pics. A labor of love :)

Arrival in El Salvador 
Based on the the time stamp, I think this is the Mexico City airport. I think Matthew is in it but...

Day 1.
From AP's house mentioned in previous blog. Day 1.

Temple and nearby Church owned buildings. 
Day 1.

Day 2 in El Salvador. 
Travelling to Versailles to meet first mission companion.

Meeting first companion: Elder Maldonado

The Apartment

Shared sink?

Shared bathroom/shower?

View outside front door.

Another view from apartment.


From the past two weeks.
11/16 at 8:40p

The National Festival Of Pupusa had ended on Wed. 11/13 but maybe the celebration of this national treasure went into the weekend ;)

P-Day 11/18

Sunday 11/24

Monday, November 18, 2013

La novena semana!


I only have a half hour to write today but I am trying to use every ounce of time as well as I can. This week has been pretty cool. We did three cambios, an extra one because my companion went to district leader meeting and I went and worked out in Amontepec with Elder Lee. The country side is so beautiful. I love being out there. I guess I was put in Central to learn to be a city person. The work is slow here because we are opening the area. Our ward has 30ish members. We are trying to get investigators through members but that is hard with so few members. But I am excited to make an improvement to the ward.

My Spanish has gotten a ton better. I can actually understand people and I can make converstaion. A couple times during cambios I have had to be senior companion in our area so I had to learn fast. I can get by pretty well when I have to take the lead but I am definatley not as smooth as my companion. He is a very smooth teacher and knows his stuff. It is pretty cool. After he finishes training me he will have one transfer left.

I am starting to miss Utah. People are breaking out there Christmas  stuff here, which is just wrong because it is 80 degrees outside. I just want a white Christmas. Oh, I guess I will have to live with a tropical climate for two years. Permanent summer. Bummer.

Send me any questions that you have and you want me to answer. I will do my best to satisfy your thirst for knowledge. Peace out and say your prayers.

Elder Vierkant

*It appears there were no pictures this week.

Monday, November 11, 2013

La octava semana!


Sorry about my lame letter last week. It was a lame way to start an adventure. I am not going to lie, I got distracted and didn't use my time that wisely. But here we go, I will try to satisfy your thirst for knowledge.

I will begin by talking a little about El Salvador. The first thing that I would like to say is that the wilderness- the mountains, plants, and other landscape- is very beautiful. There are a lot of small mountains and some inactive volcanoes. I haven't had the opportunity to see a lot of the wilderness, but I would like the opportunity to check it out. Next up is the city. I am in the very center of San Salvador right now. The Palacio National is a few blocks away from my house. My house is a football field away from where the San Estaban cathedral was before it burned down like a year ago. The City is crazy. Defensive driving doesn't exist. Neither does yielding to pedestrians. Crazily enough, I have yet to see an accident though. All the houses here are small. Space is a luxury. It is pretty dirty and stinky. There are all types of people here, selling all types of stuff. There are lots of very humble people. You have to see it to understand it and it is hard to accept it at first. It definitely takes some getting use to.

I got here Monday night, the 29th. We went to the AP's house and stayed the night. The next day we traveled to the temple grounds and ate breakfast in the distribution center. We then had different orientation things and an interview with the president as his wife. It was kind of hard sitting through all of that when all you want is to know who your companion is and where your area and what it is like.

The next day we woke up early and went to Versailles to find out who our companions would be. We sat through a long meeting where they reminded us to be patient through our failures . It was more intended for the trainers who were in there. It was long and I was tired because I had only gotten like 5 hours or less of sleep. Next, we went to the chapel with all the missionaries in the mission who weren't already in Belize or hadn't been transferred there. We had a bunch of different slide shows about different things that didn't have a whole lot of value to me because they were about the achievements in the past month and I didn't really understand the significance of them.

Finally, they started the slide show for cambios. My companion and I were about half way through. I didn't see which area we were in because as soon as I saw who my companion was I started looking for him.

His name is Elder Maldonado. He has 20 months here in El Salvador. He has been a trainer for most of his mission, so he is pretty good at it. He has also opened 4 new areas here. He kinda looks like an Indian Chris Rock.He likes soccer, he is really good at chatting and he is pretty cool but we don't really share the same sense of humor. He is from Honduras, which is one of the fastest speaking countries in central and south America. I guess you could say it has been out of the skillet into the fire. I speak Spanish all day 6 days a week, although I don't say a whole lot because I am still learning. I try though.

My area is interesting. We are opening it, it has been closed for 5 years. We have to walk a lot to get to our area and our other people because they are at the other end of our area. Everyone is pretty poor, outside one area which is a gated area. We go there to teach a lot because that is where a lot of our investigators are. There are a lot of stores. There is also a Burger King that we eat at a lot, especially during changes because the other people want burgers.

Our members are really cool. We have 30 members in our ward, but they are really strong. Our bishop is awesome. He showed us a lot of the people that we talk to now and has spent a lot of time with us. We also have a great member who loves to share the gospel with her friends, so she shows a lot of people.

It has been a hard first two weeks. There are times that I get really homesick, especially when I don't have the opportunity to be working. But I wouldn't trade this opportunity for anything. My testimony won't let me go home. I also know that only through these trials can I achieve what I want from my mission. My last story for today.I decided that I wanted to make a list of things that I wanted to change about myself while I was out on my mission. I spent about an hour thinking and writing things down. The next day I was studying Preach My Gospel and I decided to study chapter 6 "Attributes of Christ."  As I read this chapter, I realized that everything I had written down, everything that I wanted to be, fit into one of the categories of the attributes. It was incredible. I want to invite you, if you have the opportunity, to read this chapter and think of the blessings that come from living these principles. You will realize that it is worth everything you put into living these principles.

Elder Vierkant

Matthew forgot his camera at his home, so we will have to wait til next week for his fun mission pics. Here are some El Salvador Temple pics to tide you over:

Here is some map information from the places he mentioned being near his residence:

'The Palacio National is a few blocks away from my house. My house is a football field away from where the San Estaban cathedral.' (notice the burger palace next to Palacio National :) )

Click to enlarge.

Click here for the above map on Google Maps.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Letter From The Mission President

Boulevard del Hipódromo No. 537
Colonia San Benito
San Salvador, El Salvador C.A.

Tel.: (503) 2524-4800, Fax: (503) 2524-4800
Apartado Postal #81 Correos Multiplaza, S.S.

November 6, 2013

Dear Vierkant Family,

We are pleased to inform you that Elder Vierkant has arrived safely in the El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission.  We are excited to have him, join our mission family, and can see that he is well prepared to start serving.

He is serving in the Layco Zone, in the Barrio Central Area, with his trainer Elder Maldonado from Honduras.
Elder Viekant will be able to e-mail or write to you every Monday.  Letters from home are a very important part of missionary life.  Please write weekly and focus on positive and uplifting things to help him maintain a healthy attitude.  The mail system in El Salvador is reliable.  If you wish to send packages they can be sent to the mission office.  Address them to:

Elder Vierkant
Misión El Salvador San Salvador Oeste/Belice
Apartado Postal #81, Correos de El Salvador Multiplaza
San Salvador, El Salvador C.A.

We know the Lord will bless you and him as he faithfully dedicates this time to teaching others to follow the Savior Jesus Christ.
Very cordially,

President & Sister Hintze

Monday, November 4, 2013

La séptima semana!

Hola! Monday is my P day now. I don´t have much time. I have a Honduran as a companion. I am in the Central ward, which is the area we are opening. My companion is district leader. I have a split tomorrow and I am in a one room apartment with a bathroom outside. Pictures next week.

Elder Vierkant

P.S. from Dad V. There are 97 more weeks!! I tried putting 'only' in front of the number, but that doesn't seem to help! Missing my son! If anyone knows of a surrogate that likes to wrestle, let me know ;)