June 19, 2000 I boarded a plane and headed to El Salvador after spending 2 months at the Missionary Training Center learning Spanish and how to be a missionary. It was a crazy adventure and helped shape me into the person I am today. While in El Salvador there were 2 earthquakes (7.6 & 6.6 magnitude plus all of the aftershocks), rumors of starting another war, 9/11 happened, and all the other crazy things that happen when you live in a 3rd world country.
Aftermath of the January 13, 2001 earthquake
When I left the country on October 11, 2001 I didn’t really have any plans to ever return. Then we traveled to Matt’s mission in France and that was fun to see his areas and the people he taught. I kind of wanted to return to my mission, but it had to be for a good reason. When the prophet announced that a temple would be built there…that was the reason to return. I got in contact with a couple of my mission companions and we made the return trip happen. And of course there were many adventures.
135 operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Flor de Izote is the national flower of El Salvador and is seen in the decor throughout the temple
Youth Cultural Celebration
After 10 years it was nice to see that the country has made some progress. They now have a beautiful temple of the Lord in their own country. But, there were things that were also still the same…the food, people riding on the back of cars, animals on the side of the roads, beggars, friendliness of the people, etc.
Fit as many people you can, however you can is the rule in El Salvador
Salvador del Mundo is still there...drove around it a few times
Koloshanpan...the flavor of El Salvador
FAB...the laundry detergent we used as missionaries
We ate at this McDonalds every Monday before we did our shopping...It was called Hiper Pais, but Walmart took it over 3 months ago
El Salvadorean enchalada
Typical breakfast...eggs, beans and tortillas
PUPUSAS ... so yummy!
The roads aren't well kept...I drove around that big crack
I had a bad day driving...left the headlights on, needed to ask for a jump in Spanish, something needed to be replaced around the battery and the windshield wipers started to go off.
It was a great adventure and I am so happy that I was able to return to my mission with my mission companions. And if anyone wants to go to El Salvador (don’t know why you would unless you served a mission there and want to go back now) you should stay at the Hotel La Posada del Rey Primero. Super friendly staff, clean, near the city and temple and close to a yummy/inexpensive restaurant called Tipico Margoth.
A couple of the staff members "Here to serve us"
More photos of El Salvador