Welcome to the Mission Life

Warning: This email contains some images and some statements that caused me to hyperventilate just a little bit….. Consider yourself warned. Oh, and I am just using first initials of the names of people she is naming by name.
“Hola familia y amigos! I hope you are all doing amazing wherever you may be! So let me just start with if I stay in Ayutuxtepeque the rest of my mission, there will NEVER be a dull email. I have some insane stories to share this week! So lets get started!

Food first because food is the best. I eat pupusas like nobody’s business! I count pupusas not calories. You can get three for a dollar! I love how everything in El Salvador is so cheap! Whenever we go to Canada it’s so expensive and then when we go to the States it’s like “everything’s so cheap!” So I think I am going to struggle when I come back home to the states! Like if something is four dollars that’s too expensive now. Haha! Anyways, pupusas. I have permanently burnt fingers from them, but it’s worth it. The people here like eating with their hands, and I’m not complaining. Thank goodness for the million bottles of hand sanitizer my mother made me pack. #ILoveBathAndBodyWorks. I have a story about pupusas. This week our mission leader took Hermana O and I out for pupusas. I was starving that day! So anyways, we waited for the pupusas, and when we finally got them I just dug in. So I remember picking up a piece and putting it towards my mouth. I noticed a bug on the pupusa but I don’t know I guess my mind didn’t process fast enough? And I just ate it. I ate the bug. And I lived to tell the tale. Haha! I live on the edge. There is a restaurant here called El Camaron Loco (The Crazy Shrimp). Camaron sounds like Cameron so everytime we pass by it I think of my giant brother Cameron who is definitely not a shrimp. Haha! I was told Wendys delivered here. So you can only imagine the happiness I felt. And they also sell two crispy chicken sandwiches for a dollar. Is this heaven? We finally called them only to find out they did not deliver in our area… Big girls don’t cry (unless they are denied Wendy’s.) Seriously, the worst, people! I have been loving trying all the Salvadorean food. I had these french fry things made out of ayucka or something? No say. And I had my first empanada! I just love food a lot. I have started to take photos of food, so one week I will show you all the stuff I eat!

Like I said last week, there are first for everythings. I am getting more and more used to to how everyone has a machete on their belt… are we pirates people? #makesmefeelsafe

The heat here is insane. HOT TAMALES it’s hot. Everyone’s house is like a sauna! And it is custom here to kiss everyone’s cheeks. Nothing like a good sweaty cheek kiss. Haha!

I have spotted a trend here in old El Salvador. A lot of woman have stuffed cats that look like they are sleeping all over their houses. On top of the TV, above their bed, you know where ever you would like a sleeping, stuffed cat to be. Maybe I’ll bring that trend home… Who’s with me?

The bugs. The bugs. The bugs. Shoutout to the bugs eating me ALIVE. This is a reason I love Las Vegas, no mosquitoes! So I am sure lots of you will cringe when you see the photo of the TARANTULA I almost stepped on. I had to sit down and remember how to breath again when I saw that thing. I was just… eww. Don’t want to talk about it. Hermana O was like, “Sorry to say, but that’s a small one.” No. Stop. Gag. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised one day if I woke up with a gecko on me too, those little guys live in our apartment too. So lets just say Deet is my favorite and we have a electronic bug swatter that looks just like a tennis racket. Today I shocked a giant bee and it got stuck in the shocker thing and then it started on fire… Ya. It smelt wonderful.
Can I just say how much fun the mission life is? Its hard and tiring work, don’t get me wrong, but wow. I love it! El Salavdor is gorgeous! I live right beside Volcan (The Volcano)! And so please pray everyday it doesn’t errupt because if it does I am the first to go… Haha! It’s beautiful though! We have the best view! El Salvador is so green! I live in a jungle!
A lot of the moms, aunts, grandmas, etc. here always ask, “Do you have a boyfriend?” And other questiopns like that and then try to convince me to marry one of their sons, nephews, or grandsons. Haha! Oh my. I had a lady this week we didn’t know come up to me and say, “You will marry my son.” Okay, great! Haha, what in the world? Ya. Quite interesting.
I also had an old lady this week come up to me, slap me, and said, “I BLESS YOU WITH WISDOM.” Thank you, thank you very much. So, that was great. Hahaha!
Supercalafragalisticexpialidocious in spanish is parangaricutirimicuaro.
All the other churches here are constantly doing karoke. Its tempting to join in! Hey yáll!
We visit this cute old lady every other day, she’s a less active member. Anyways, this past week after we had shared a little message she said, “Thank you so much. I just love you Baptist missionaries.” “Hermana, we aren’t baptists… and neither are you.” “We’re not?” Haha!
In the ward that we are at there are 300 something members, 80 active. And our area is tiny. So we do a lot of visiting members and so on. The thing is the people tend to get lazy, and so it’s hard to get them motivated, but we are working on it. We had 6 investigators come to church with us this week, and a good ten less actives come too that we had visited that week! It was a good Sunday!
So here’s the craziest story of the week… You’re going to be shocked. So we went to visit our good friend A. We were in her house, teaching the good word of God, when all of a sudden she gets a phone call. Her face just dropped and changed to this terrified look. She hung up and said, “I have to pay a man 500 dollars and I can’t. So someone is coming to kill me right now.” “Wait, homegirl say what?” Umm… Ya, haven’t been in this situation before… She started frantically packing a bag. We were like, “What can we do to help? Should we leave?” She said, “NO.” And locked the door, and shut the blinds… Ya, I would like to leave now. Then she left and she left the door locked, so we were confused. Are we the bait now? Haha! It was insane! She came back though and we helped her pack all her stuff in a trashbag. I made sure she had her Bible and Book of Mormon. And I tossed in a picture of Christ while I was at it. She got a taxi and she was gone. That’s a real thing here. People are terrified of not paying their bills because they will kill you. So if you are wondering, that day Hermana O and I paid for our casa. #WeWouldLikeToLiveThanks
We had two great mission experiences this week. Well we always have more than two, but we had two that really impacted me. The first was our new friends J and R. So we had met this girl who spoke English and wanted to be taught, so I packed all my English books and what not. And she wasn’t home. Hate when that happens. But we pressed on. We went to visit someone we had got a contact for, but couldn’t remember the exact house, so we picked one, and turned out it wasn’t that house. But this is how we met J and R. Get this, J (the son) is from New York and he speaks English! The lesson went great! They had a lot of confusion about the church so we were able to clear that up, and they became really interested! The Spirit felt in that hour was incredible. And yes, an hour, they had so much to say! It was amazing! The Lord prepared them and the Lord prepared us for them. It was a sweet and tender mercy for sure. After we walked out of their house we got up the street and I literally fell on my knees. I was so overwhelmed with that experience! Haha! And Hermana O said, “Hermana Patterson. Welcome to the mission life.”
Also this week one cool experience was with one of the guards we pass by everyday. He said to us, “Why don’t you ever want to teach me? I see you walk and teach everyone in the streets, but not me!” Wow! That hit me. It’s crazy how much people notice us walking around. I mean, I’m not hard to spot, I glow in the dark, but still. So we have been teaching him and he has been studying and just feels that this is exactly what he needs and wants to get baptized! He’s a cool guy! It was also a sweet and tender mercy and a good reminder to talk to everyone!
So this week I have been thinking a lot about the word “patience” and how it applies to me. It’s hard being the only person in El Salvador that doesn’t speak Spainsh fluently, but I know with continued patience, positivity, and full faith and trust in the Lord, it will come. But with patience, it’s not just my ability to sit patiently until Spanish magically appears. It also requires hard work and dilligence. Little by little. I love this quote by Joyce Meyer, “Patience is not the ability to wait, but to keep a good attitude while waiting.” Just a good reminder for me! And hopefully for you!
Love you all!! Have a fabulous week!
Hermana P”
So ya, that is what is up in El Salvador. This week, I met 2 people who are originally from El Salvador and I mentioned the name of the area she is in. They both hesitated the same way and said, “Really?” So ya. Mind you both of these people left El Salvador during the civil unrest in the 1980’s so I am sure lots has changed since then. Lots of prayers people, lots of prayers! But that being said, I have to tell you that I am continually reminded of the experience I had when she opened her call up in April. I secretly was hoping for a mission call to Calgary, Alberta, or Vancouver, British Columbia or somewhere similar. But when she opened the letter, I had a profound and tangible feeling of peace overcome me and the feeling like, “of course that is where she is supposed to be!” And ever since then anytime I feel a little panicky (and trust me pictures of tarantulas make me panicky), I remember that feeling of peace. It is all going to be okay. This experience will bless her life forever. It will bless our family’s life forever. It will bless the people she meets in El Salvador forever. When and where else do you get experiences like that?
Tori also mentioned that she has a short amount of time to email each week, so if you are sending her emails, she is reading them, but may not have time every week to respond. She also mentioned that they are in a postal strike right now, but she thinks it has ended, so she has not yet received anything that I have sent to her…. I sent letters and a package to be waiting for her when she arrived in El Salvador, but nothing has arrived yet….. We did cover it in Virgin Mary Stickers because apparently packages don’t get searched as often if they have religious stickers on them… So hopefully it will arrive soon!
So have a great week and thanks for your prayers on her behalf!
Momma P

2 thoughts on “Welcome to the Mission Life

  1. Debbie Wood

    How exciting! Of course anywhere you are is exciting! I love reading your emails, just wondering if you SLEEP??!! Just asking, since you glow in the dark and are such a high energy person! Ha ha. What is the time difference there?
    I have a tarantula story for you, When we lived in Texas, we had a great garden! I was out taking care of it, down on my knees, probably praying for no more weeds, I look over on the ground and see a HUGE tarantula! I jumped up, don’t know if I screamed, I was by my selfie. I waited maybe a hour and went back to the same spot to be sure it was gone and could finish my gardening, looked down and it was still there, YIKES! But it was in the very same place, looked at it again and realized it was DEAD! I almost had a heart attack running to the house from it!
    It is wonderful that you are able to do the Lord’s work and I know you are in tune with the spirit of missionary work! Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. You have been taught by fantastic parents and you are such an example for your brothers! Love you, Hermana Patterson. Please don’t respond, use your time for something else, maybe eat some more delish food!! Don’t drink the water!

  2. Pingback: New Soul | "Ye Are The Light…"

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