Well, This is very interesting. I don´t know where to start. Not much happened at the CCM (mission training center) and we left for an hour and a half bus ride to El Salvador and then we had to turn around after an hour and a half and head back due to demonstrations in the streets. They then bought us all airplane tickets and payed for all our luggage and flew us out there.
It is so crazy humid here it is ridiculous. We all slept in a huge house that day with a bunch of other missionaries and it was crazy dirty and we shared 4 people to a mattress, despite that I slept pretty well. Then the next day we all went to a church (churches are so different down here) and got assigned areas and companions. The area and ward I´m in, well not sure on area but the name is America ward (ward is a local congregation which is organized geographically and members attend a ward or branch near their home) . The ward area I´m living in is extremely poor, people have chickens and ducks walking through their dirt floor house, some don´t have roofs, kids just pee in the middle of houses, and no fans or AC. Well the church has fans. I will send my mom pictures slowly but surely so check her blog for pictures. Don´t have time to explain them all but email me if you have any questions about any.
It is so crazy hot here and although I´m living in a pretty nice house for down here, it will take some getting used to. And please pray every night that I will be safe from all bugs and animals. Part of my house doesn´t have a roof so bugs and stuff can always get in. But sleeping isn´t that bad because I have a fan right by my bed :) I saw a tarantula and gave my first blessing yesterday, but it was in English so only I understood it but it went really well.
Also I found out this mission isn´t one of the highest baptizing missions for Central America. The record for most baptisms in a month for last transfer was 5 so that´s pretty good just my mission president had us all expecting a lot more, but I will work hard!! I miss English so much, never thought I would. I don´t understand a thing usually and it is pretty hard. I did play soccer with some Latinos though and I scored the most goals??? I guess being the tallest person here has it´s perks :)
My companion is Elder Herrera, but I still can´t roll my R´s to pronounce it. Sorry for being all over the place but I have so much to say but probably will forget most of it so just saying it while I can. I have 2 members that feed me and my companion, just I´m not sure if it is safe. Also fast Sunday was so hard, this mission is very hard but it is going to completely change me and I will feel like I´m in the Celestial Kingdom (The highest of the three kingdoms of glory. Those in this kingdom will dwell forever in the presence of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.) when I get back to America.
I played this little electric piano for church yesterday and they were all so happy because most people have never heard a piano before. Also I have drinking out of the faucet 4 times which I know you aren´t supposed to do that but I couldn´t really help it. But good news is I haven´t felt sick this whole time except for home sick :) Tender mercies all around!
Also this family with nothing fed me and my companion and I´m not sure if that was healthy either but it was seriously all they had. There was no way I could say no. But I´m being somewhat careful with what I eat like no pork or fish. Haven´t had a Papusa yet even though everyone else here has...I really want to try one haha! But the food here has all tasted amazing and all the drinks are amazing too!! I have running water in my house too except the first day I had to repent because I had to use a Friend magazine (monthly magazine published by the church for primary age children 3 to 12) to wipe...hehe. I´m about to go to the store though and buy lots of stuff however!!
If I could have one thing from you all I would love a long motivational letter that is too long to memorize so I can read it when I´m feeling down..which is kinda a lot at the beginning. But despite everything I´m doing good :) Also walked around El Salvador with 220 dollars in my pockets because every time you take money out is is 5 dollars so it is best to do it all at once. Everything is crazy cheap here!
And we have two halfway baptismal dates, one from the only guy here who speaks English and I challenged him in English :) Bus rides are crazy I will have to explain a lot when I get home as well! But it is so hot here!! And my shoulders got sun-burnt but not my arms or neck which I´m still trying to figure out how that happened. I have gone to a sit down Pizza Hut which was amazing though and I got to hear American music!!!!
But anyways...I hope all is well back at home, I miss you all and U.S. like crazy but I don´t wanna be home because this is the Lord´s time. I hope all is well. Also I see over 100 stray dogs and chickens and a couple horses and dogs a day. I probably missed so much but if you have any questions about anything please ask!! And I´ll try and make next weeks email more positive! A cool quote from a guy in the CCM who is in Honduras right now, Embrace the Suck :) That´s his families motto haha and I thought it was pretty funny and helpful. But I hope you all are doing well! I pray for you all every night!! Please keep me in your prayers as well!! -Elder Austin
Thought of other stuff as well!! I am gaining weight definately here and from the CCM, that might change but idk, but for now I´m gaining weight. Also I am a 15 minute walk from a huge super nice city, but my area is the complete opposite. I don´t have any pictures of my area but I will surely take some soon!! Also the "Snakes" (Girls down here who supposedly flock around U.S. boys) I haven´t had any problems with because I can´t understand Spanish so mom you don´t have to worry :P Also I have a mosquito net and I was going to use it for Spiders and stuff, but I don´t fit in it haha!
But people here are unbelievably nice! And you can get in any house thing you want and talk about the gospel and they will tell you they will get baptized and come to church, but none do. But I´m still working! Also J walking on a highway is kinda fun! But I´m being safe! I know I will be protected! Already have been many times! But really the people here are some of the nicest, most humble people I know. And Iĺl send you a poem soon that is a lot better! I have a ton!! If I think of anything else I´ll send it next week!! Have a fantastic week guys!!! I love you all!