Chad’s call on Mother’s Day, May 8th , 2016
2:54 Chad logged on to Skype…
2:55 Chad went off line and back on again (mom is jumpy)
2:56 Off again.
2:58 Back on.
Mom: Hi!!! You look great. We’re going to call Tyler.
All: Hi Tyler!
Mom: Hi! Oh, you look so great. We have some questions for you. We want to know
a little bit more about the town you are in.
Chad: It’s a little town.. very, very catholic. More catholic churches than anything.
Lots of farms, cowboys. We are on the edge of San Vicente. There are little tin huts
(houses) and we walk door to door.
Mom: Do the members treat you well?
Ch: Not a lot of members live here. The members can’t cross the ‘lines’. The gangs
will ask for your id and if they see that you belong to another area where a different
gang might be, they may kill you on the spot. The members are scared to go
anywhere outside their town. They don’t like to walk to church because it is across
those lines and they are worried they will get hurt. We believe them. That is our
biggest struggle; not many investigators or members will come to church.
M: The gangs leave the missionaries alone right?
Ch: Yeah, they ask what we are doing. Sometimes they’ll follow us around. There is
one group in particular and they’ll just walk into peoples homes and just sit in on
the lessons. It’s a different atmosphere. We don’t hide from them. We just deal
M: Is your comp there?
Ch: Yeah, but he doesn’t speak English so he doesn’t know what’s really going on.
M: Can you see Evelyn?
Ch: Yeah, She’s sleeping?
M: What’s a typical day?
Ch.: Uh… wake up.. Study. Our zone is really spread out. We usually go and visit
other districts. We don’t go to members homes for meals. So, we just work till
about 9:00 and eat papusas off the street.
M: What’s your favorite kind?
Ch: We can’t eat meat. Pig meat.. anything like that off the street. So we usually just
have the cheese and beans. If you saw the meat you wouldn’t want to eat it either.
M: Do you keep food at your house? What’s it like at the grocery store?
Ch: Yeah, usually just milk and cereal.
Tyer: I was looking at the map. You don’t have many towns right by where you are.
Ch: There is one about 15 minutes from us. That’s the other half of our zone.
Tyler: As zone leader then, you are spending most of your time traveling?
Ch: Yeah, we usually take a bus into Zacate. On Friday, we had a meeting at
President’s house. We woke up at 4:00am and got back around 4-5 in the evening to
our area. We do that about once a week. We don’t get a lot of sleep.
M: So, as zone leader you are over your district and one other?
Ch: Yeah, right now there are just the two.
M: What are your tasks as DL?
Ch: Glorified house keeper. Just making sure things are good. Check on
missionaries and make sure they are being obedient. Sometimes catch them
Kevin: You got to go to the temple right? Did you get to listen in Spanish? Isn’t it
cool when that catches on for you?
Ch: Yeah, it’s awesome when you understand and it’s just like your own language
M: What is your housing like?
(Connection really bad. He’s going to call back.)
Ch: yeah, the wifi went out on my end.
M: Okay, you are good now. I think I was asking about where you are living.
Ch: It’s pretty similar to my house I had before.
M: So it is a house?
(trying to figure out the video. We can’t see you Chad.)
Ch: Does Dad have crutches?
M: Yeah.. as a prop. Okay, so your house is like you had before?
Ch: Uh huh It’s just a house. We don’t share with other missionaries. Just me and
M: What do you do on your p-day?
Ch: We play soccer. We don’t really go anywhere, which is why I don’t send many
pictures. We can’t walk with a camera while teaching. More than once my pack has
been jacked. So, we just don’t walk with it. Some days I will, but I know which
certain places that I wouldn’t take it.
D: So, how does that work with your transfers? Do you have to watch your bags?
Ch: There is a bus that takes you there. They don’t search our luggage. We just say a
prayer and hope we find the other guys with the white shirt and tie.
M: How are the buses? Still crazy?
Tyler: have you had to hang out of the bus?
Ch: Yeah, it’s crazy. There was one time… around 5-6:00pm and everyone is coming
home. Someone comes in and yells, “We need to get more people in! Everyone sit
on the windows!” So we get up and everyone is hanging out of the bus. And it’s
crazy and fast. Someone was saying that the buses here are the scariest.
Kevin: Are they all decorated with beads?
Ch: Yeah, it’s fun.
Daddy: Did you get your arm taken care of?
Ch: More or less. I called the doctor like 6 times, no one answered. Well, so I went
to the pharmacy and they gave me something and just said to drop the liquid on it.
It’s pretty common because of bad pollution and nutrition. They will just pop up on
your skin. They eventually need to get cauterized.
M: How are your clothes?
Ch: Pretty good. My shoes and pants are good.
Tyler: Here’s Evelyn. She’s awake.
(Cute little baby is “waving”)
Ch: Hi Lexi! You look really big. Thank you for writing me on Monday. How old are
Lexi: You are welcome. I am 5!
M: Here is Kai.
Ch: I like your shirt Kai. Is he eating an apple?
M: Yes, he’s eating an apple. We’re making him wait for dinner.
Kevin: So I have to teach on the first 10 pages of PMG. These are people that will be
leaving on a mission soon. Do you have like any 15-second advice on what direction
I should take?
Ch: I feel like our teaching purposes have shifted a bit. Instead of focusing on the
resoration or something, our purpose is talk repentance, repentance, repentance. If
you do that you’ll reach both converts and less actives.
Ch: Did you cut your hair?
Bean: No, just up braided.
Ch: I don’t recognize any of you. You all look different.
M: I remember Tyler saying that. We are getting her ready to leave on Wednesday.
Ch: All the questions go out of my mind when I see you guys.
M: Tell us more details.
Ch: The town is a little boring.. in the middle of nowhere. It’s hidden unless you go
there. It’s actually pretty chill here compared to where I was before.
Tyler: What is it known for? Like job-wise. Where do people work?
Ch: IF they work.. most are just really, really poor. They work in a sugar factory.
Most hardly have houses. A lot of people go into San Salvador to work. A lot of
M: Our wards are doing this thing where they take the pre-missionary YM and they
take them to go to the member’s homes and have them practice teaching. It’s
actually a little hard because we are trying to respond as investigators. Afterwards
they ask what they can do better.
Ch: the youth in this ward.. there are very few active. None of the priests are active.
There is one active teacher. That is the hot age for gang members. Some of them
can’t even cross the street in front of their house. It’s hard to include them in
lessons because they can’t leave their street. Our ward just got denied from being
made into a stake. We have about 120 people that come to the ward on Sunday. No
one does their home teaching/visiting teaching which is why they got denied. The
church is so simple. People don’t come to church because someone “looked at me
weird” but they’ll come back if they someone is nice to them.
M: How is Antonio?
Ch: He is in my other area. It all (investigators) changes week to week.
Tyler: Is the volcano active where you are?
Ch: Yeah ,technically. It’s not as active as San Miguel.
Ch: My mission has been extremely difficult. As far as success, when it comes to
numbers I have very few baptisms. I can count more than 10 people who have
committed to baptism but who can’t because they can’t get past the #4 interview
Jessie: How have you changed after a year of being a missionary?
Ch: I’ve learned that I tend to stress my self out that I need to develop Christ-like
attributes. I’ve seen a lot of pridefulness and I’ve been working on that. Stuff like
that has helped me. I’m not going to say it’s been easy. It’s been hard, really hard. I
know the success isn’t in the baptisms, but I had really high expectations. I know
that there are successes.. For example, our mission has progressed a lot. When I
came here a year ago we were 16 th as a mission in central America. Now we are
number 8. An average good missionary that works hard usually leaves the mission
between 25-40 baptisms. I know I shouldn’t compare myself, but sometimes I have
to ask myself what I’m not doing right.
Jessie: I’m sure you can see relationships that have developed and are strong. You
can recognize those right?
Ch: I do. Yes. I see that I can get a long with people really well. I cry and they cry. I
don’t usually have terrible numbers, but I want converts. I have to teach people how
to baptize. But, it’s hard that I’m not able to get there. But, I get a lot of compliments
and leaders that want me to progress.
Ch: It truly is hard. I don’t want to be a downer. I really am doing well. But, it is
really hard. We actually have a lot of missionaries going home right now—being
sent home. Just it’s hard to handle and we have some disobedience.
M: I know you can handle it. It’s one of the reasons you were sent there.
Ch: Thanks. I am doing well. These last few changes have been fun. They have
M: So do you have anything big coming up soon?
Ch: Not really. Just normal stuff.
M: Do you get to meet with your mission president often?
Ch: He comes by a lot. He is in charge of this district. Even today, one of his
counselors was here. My President is awesome. We had a general authority come
and say that he is one of the best presidents here in Central America. I’m happy to
have him here. He goes home in July after I leave.
Ch: We are in the dry season right now. We are moving into the wet season though.
Tyler: Do the streets flood?
Ch: Yeah, sometimes.
M: Did you ever get new running shoes?
Ch: No. I don’t really care.
Jessie: What kind of cereal do you buy?
Ch: I buy plain corn flakes. When I go to the store I just usually buy milk and fruit. I
usually get served other fattening stuff other places. I try to avoid that stuff when I
buy my own food. I’ve been buying the milk in jugs. The carton goes too fast. The
powder stuff just takes longer to make. It’s not too bad.
Kevin: On my mission, I would buy a bag of cookies in a pack and pour them into the
milk. That would be my breakfast.
Bean: Are you wearing sunscreen? Wear your sun screen!!
Jessie: Are there tourists?
Ch: One time I saw a big bus full of white people. A long time ago when I first got
here and only that one time. There’s not a lot of touristy places here. I’ve never
been to the beaches. I guess they are really pretty, but I wouldn’t know.
M: Do you hear from Hunter at all?
CH: Yeah, he’s doing great!
Dad: Something you said about not wanting to be an AP. Something to think about..
there might be a reason you need to be an AP. You have a great work ethic. There
may be something you need to teach other missionaries.
Tyler: You seem really converted. Your conversion is more and more towards the
Gospel, I can tell. That is probably something you are teaching your zone.
Dad: A good leader does more missionary work than a missionary. You have great
M: I have more people comment on your testimony. We can feel it and it blesses
those that read.
Ch: Okay, I have to finish up here and start saying goodbye.
M: The hard one. You are doing great. We’re really proud of you. I don’t want you
getting down on yourself.
Ch: Thank you. Okay, bye Lexi and Kai and everyone.
M: So you are doing okay?
Ch: Yeah, I’m good.
M: We sure love you!
Ch: Happy Mother’s day! I love you too. Bye everyone! Thank you for being here.
M: We are very proud of you. We love you.
Ch: Thank you. I’ll be fine.
M: You are doing so much good work there.
Ch: I hope so. Thank you. Okay, I’m going to go now. Love you!