August 26, 2015

El Salvador San Salvador West Belize Mission

San Salvador West Belize Mission LDS tshirt word cloud
(Get this design on a T-shirt)

Free resources about the El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission:

*Other Mission Pages: El Salvador LDS Missions.

San Salvador West/Belize Mission Address

Here’s a recent address for the El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission. We try to keep this info up to date, but it’s a good idea to check the address with several sources, including your mission packet or the mission office.

Pouch Mail Address:

El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize
POB 30150
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150
USA

Mission Office Address:

Apartado Postal #81
Correos Multiplaza, S. S.
CP, San Salvador

Mission President: Eric M. Adams
Phone Number: 503-2524-4800

San Salvador West/Belize Mission Map

Here’s a link to the mission map for the El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission (LDS). To access the official, up-to-date LDS.org map for the San Salvador West/Belize Mission:

  1. Log into your LDS account here.
  2. Click here.


Videos with San Salvador West/Belize RMs

Here are in-depth YouTube video interviews with returned missionaries from the San Salvador West/Belize Mission.  We interview hundreds of returned missionaries each year, so check back regularly to see new RM interviews.

mission interview  mission interview

LDS-Friendly Videos about El Salvador

Here are LDS-friendly educational videos about El Salvador. We scoured YouTube to find the best quality videos about El Salvador, that are free from inappropriate music, immodesty and profanity.

LDS Church  places  food  nature  mission calls  time lapses

San Salvador West/Belize Missionary Blogs

Here’s a list of LDS missionary blogs for the El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission. This list includes the missionary’s name, URL and when their blog was updated.

*Send your missionary a gift (mission-specific shirts, ties, Christmas stockings/ornaments, pillowcases, etc.)

Sister Esther Loli sisterloli.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Sierra Thornley hermanathornley.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Nathan Gardner eldernategardner.blogspot.com 2016
Sistere Vanessa Vega hermanavegabetterbelizeit.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Kyle Gee eldergee.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Jacob Davis elderjacobdavis.wordpress.com 2016
Elder Parker Freeman elderparkerfreeman.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Brandon Austin brandonaustinmission.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Bryce Abilez elderbryceabilez.blogspot.com 2016
Elder Jacob Stiles elderjacobstiles.blogspot.com 2016
Sister Tori Patterson hermanapatterson.wordpress.com 2015
Sister Sabrina Savage sistersabrinasavage.weebly.com 2015
Elder Matthew Vierkant mvmission.blogspot.com 2015
Elder Preston Ferrin missionsite.net/elderprestonferrin 2011

San Salvador West/Belize Mission Groups

Here are El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission Groups- for LDS missionary moms, returned missionaries, mission presidents and other alumni of the San Salvador West/Belize Mission.

  1. El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission Group (277 members)
  2. Hermanas – San Salvador West/Belize Mission! Group (8 members)

San Salvador West/Belize Mission T-Shirts

Here are T-shirts for the El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission!

Shirt designs include El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission logo/emblem shirts and Called to Serve shirts. The shirts make great gifts for pre-missionaries, returned missionaries and missionaries currently serving. LDS Mission shirts come in all sizes: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, up to 4XL.  The mission designs are printed on white shirts and are shipped to you.

*Simply click on a shirt design to view the details and submit an order. The designs on mission t-shirts may also be printed on other LDS mission gifts, including: El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize missionary aprons, Christmas stockings, ties, pillow cases, teddy bears and Christmas ornaments.

*Click here to browse San Salvador West/Belize Mission gifts

San Salvador West/Belize Mission Presidents

Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the San Salvador West/Belize LDS Mission.

  1. 2016-2019, Eric M. Adams
  2. 2013-2016, Kai Day Hintze
  3. 2008-2011, Alejandro Lopez

El Salvador/Belize LDS Statistics (2016)

  • Church Membership: 122,799 (El Salvador) 5,152 (Belize)
  • Missions: 3 (El Salvador)
  • Temples: 1 (El Salvador)
  • Congregations: 163 (El Salvador) 11 (Belize)
  • Family History Centers: 20 (El Salvador) 2 (Belize)

Helpful Articles about El Salvador

Coming soon..

San Salvador West/Belize Missionary Survey

Here are survey responses from El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize RMs, to give you a snapshot into what it’s like to live in the mission.

When did you serve?

  • 2013-2014 (Jordan)
  • 2005-2007 (Jeremy)
  • 2007- 2009 (Cory)
  • 2005-2007 (Rob)
  • 2007-2008 (Randall)

What cities/areas did you serve in?

  • Arce, Ahuachapan, Juayua, Sonsonate. (Jeremy)
  • Zaragoza, Santa Ana, Atiquizaya, Nahuizalco, Sonsonate, San Lorenzo, San Salvador. (Rob)
  • Juayua, Lourdes, Acajutla, El Paraiso, Quezalte, Belize city, Corozal, Quezalte. (Randall)

What were some favorite foods?

  • Rice and beans, fry jacks, garnachas. (Jordan)
  • Pupusas, Salvadoran Quesadillas, Pan Dulce, Kolachampan, Red Beans (refried), Fried Plantains with cream. (Jeremy)
  • Breakfast… Eggs, beans, bread, cream, plattanos. (Cory)
  • Pupusas and breakfast consisting of platanos fritos, frijoles, queso fresco, y crema. If you don’t know what that is yet, you will! (Rob)
  • Pupusas, y casi toda comida vendida de la calle. (Randall)

What was a funny experience?

  • Every day was a funny experience. Belize is a crazy place with very unique people. As white sisters in Belize, there was never more than an hour that would pass without an awkward/weird/totally hilarious thing that would happen. Lots of conversations where we are speaking Spanish and the other person is speaking English. Lots of superstitions, lots of dogs chasing you, lots of jokes at your expense. (Jordan)
  • In El Salvador, you travel by bus or on foot. The buses can often be so crowded that there are no seats left and people have to crowd in the aisle. Once, I tried to fight my way through the crowd to get off at my stop, but I was too late. The bus doors closed and started driving away with me still in the bus and with my companion at the curb. I didn’t know what to do. I shouted at the bus driver to let me off, but he couldn’t hear me over all the noise (the exit is at the back of the bus). I thought that I had lost my companion! The next stop was a couple of blocks away. As soon as the exit doors opened, I jumped off and discovered that my companion was outside the door with his hands on his knees, gasping for breath. He had chased the bus the whole way–dodging food carts and pedestrians in the narrow, crowded sidewalks. Once he caught his breath he told me, “Don’t forget to anticipate your stop next time” and he never brought it up again. (Jeremy)
  • A chicken chasing a boy down the road…very random 🙂 (Cory)
  • The people have great senses of humor and your companions and other missionaries will be a constant source of funny experiences. (Rob)
  • Our umbrellas both broke, my companion and I, Galleguillos, walked to all our appointments in down pouring rain. But many people let us in their house because of sadness of seeing people walk drenched by the rain. (Randall)

What was a crazy/dangerous experience?

  • There were a whole lot of these too. Drunk men on late night bus rides verbally harassing and threatening to sexually assault us. Drunk men trying to break into our apartment late at night. Rabid dogs chasing us all the time. A few murders in our area. Several suicides in our area, riots/fights breaking out while we are contacting in the street. (Jordan)
  • We were watching General Conference at the stake center and were told that we were not allowed to return to our house in our own area because the volcano had erupted and there was a chance some ash could fall on our city in Arce. We stayed the night at our Zone Leader’s tiny apartment (about 12 missionaries were there on 3 air mattresses). The zone leaders shared all their food with us, but it wasn’t enough to go around. No one (except the zone leaders) had any change of clothes. There was water rationing in Merliot at the time, so we didn’t have any running water to shower with. The next morning, we got a message from the mission president that we were cleared to go home once Conference was over. (Jeremy)
  • Walking in alligator infested swamp waters. (Cory)
  • I think there’s more of these in Central America than in most places. I saw two homeless men fighting. One pulled out a machete and let’s just say I’m not sure if the other one lived to tell his side of the story. I was once chased for a few blocks by an angry drunk wielding, you guessed it, a machete. These are the most extreme experiences I had and can remember happening to anyone I served with so don’t worry too much. I felt safe and protected my whole mission. Honestly the worst things were the enormous bugs and spiders. (Rob)
  • In my first area, I was nipped on the leg by a dog that looked rabid. I was understandably very worried. My trainer/companion, Sotelo, seemed unfazed and unworried for me, which puzzled me. We followed the rules to verify all was okay and it was. (Randall)

What was a spiritual experience?

  • Every day was filled with spiritual experiences. The people of Belize are being prepared for the Gospel. So many are desperate for help changing and getting rid of their vices. I helped a drug lord get married and get baptized. It was a long road to get them there, but they were prepared, and willing to make the changes. He just baptized his 8 year old daughter a few months ago. (Jordan)
  • I have too many to count. El Salvador is a place where there are many families that are waiting to hear the gospel, but they just don’t know it yet. There were so many times that we would teach a new family about the Book of Mormon and everyone could feel the Holy Spirit so strongly. The week after I came home from my mission then we got a phone call from someone who was speaking Spanish. I’m the only one who speaks Spanish at my house, so my mom handed me the phone to see who it was. It was the mother of one of the families that I had prepared for baptism about a year earlier. She was calling to tell me that her poor family saved enough money to travel to the Guatemala temple to be sealed. She said that her husband was just called to serve in the Bishopric. It was a very tender moment that I will never forget. (Jeremy)
  • Giving a blessing to those who would pass on seconds later. (Cory)
  • I had been teaching a woman early in my mission and she slipped back into some old habits. The juxtaposition of love and pain and hope I felt for her was something that astounded me and I didn’t think I was capable of. I had many of these experiences and others, not just with the people of El Salvador or Belize but with other missionaries. You will too! (Rob)

What are some interesting facts about the San Salvador West/Belize Mission?

  • Belize is the only country in Central America where missionaries have bikes. Belize is more like Jamaica than El Salvador. Our mission includes a little part of El Salvador, and all of Belize, but you must take a plane to get from El Salvador to Belize. There’s an island off of Belize where missionaries serve, and it requires an hour and a half to two hour boat ride to get there. (Jordan)
  • During the 80s, there was a Civil War in El Salvador. During most of the war, there were no full-time missionaries, although the wards and branches continued to operate. In the late 80s, the violence was subdued enough that the church reorganized the mission but with a catch–only Salvadoran citizens were allowed to be assigned to the El Salvador Mission. The result was that the young Salvadoran missionaries were called to serve in their own tiny country during a time of war. They were often assigned to cities that were only a 30 minute bus ride from their homes. Returned missionaries from that era love to tell stories about how they dodged gunfire to arrive at appointments and how their apartments were narrowly saved from air bombs. (Jeremy)
  • It’s a British colony with ties to Jamaica on the Belizian side. It has a few Mayan ruins and is a beautiful mission. (Cory)
  • El Salvador was home to a very violent civil war a few decades ago. The strife and poverty there has had ripple effects, including spawning one of the most dangerous violent gangs in the world, the MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha. (Rob)
  • It’s coast is on the Pacific Ocean, but is nearly facing completely south as the curve of Central American goes that way. (Randall)

What was the weather like?

  • Belize: HOT. HUMID. SUNNY. RAINY. Those are the only options. El Salvador: varies by area. Some areas are “cool” (still pretty warm, it’s Central America), while others are nicknamed the city of fire, due to the excruciating heat. (Jordan)
  • Cool and dry in the “summer” (November to April) and hot and wet in the “winter” (May to October). (Jeremy)
  • Hot with BIG rain in the summer. (Cory)
  • In the winter (United States summer) it pours. In the summer, it is hot and sweltering. Whether it is raining from every conceivable angle or you are just sweating profusely, plan on being wet for 18-24 months! Joking aside, it is tropics but there are higher elevation areas with significantly cooler weather. It is a beautiful climate and I miss it. (Rob)
  • Great for 9 months out of the year, then gray and rainy for about 3 months of the year. It is wonderfully hot, but nothing compared to Belize. (Randall)

Any things you really like about the area/people?

  • Belizeans are super blunt and straight to the point. They are loud, feisty, and not afraid of anything. They are loyal beyond belief and will do anything for those they love. They are super incredible people. (Jordan)
  • Beautiful, colorful culture. The houses are painted with bright colors. The country is surrounded in artwork that is cheerful and bright. It’s a country that suffered so much in the past 40 years. The people there are searching for the truth. (Jeremy)
  • The people were always willing to listen to the gospel, beautiful people. (Cory)
  • I loved the humility and humor of the people. I loved the freedom of the children and the work ethic of the adults. I loved that these are people who can’t even understand some of the luxuries we enjoy in more developed parts of the world and yet they seem to be weighed down less and more quick to lift another’s spirit than we are in the United States. (Rob)
  • The people of El Salvador seemed happy, honest, and like they treated each other like family. Less like a whole bunch of strangers as we see in the United States. They are proud of the little country. Because of how the people act and interact, I would rather live in El Salvador than in the United States.

Any packing/clothing advice?

  • Do not spend lots of money on brand new clothes… They will all end up distroyed the second you end up in Belize. Bikes, tons of mud, sweating like you wouldn’t believe, scrubbing everything by hand each week… Things get bad pretty quickly. Also, don’t even worry about being “cute”. You will never be cute in Belize. It’s all sunscreen, bug spray, sunburns, acne, helmet hair, mud splatters up your back and onto your face, and ripped clothes. Go for practicality. Also, you can only bring 75 lbs with you to Belize, which is hardly anything. Pack light, or you’ll have to leave it all behind when you get sent to Belize. (Jordan)
  • If you mission call letter says to bring ankle-high, waterproof boots–don’t ignore it. You will definitely need tough waterproof boots to keep your feet dry in the streets because they flood often. (Jeremy)
  • Get something durable and tough, its a lot of walking, but make it expendable. (Cory)
  • Buy light but durable suits. Buy quality rubber soled shoes. Have lots of socks. Don’t wear awful ugly ties because I promise you will look back on them and be embarrassed. Have lots of handkerchiefs handy. Don’t worry about your possessions too much though. You don’t need a fancy CD player or electric shaver. Most of your companions will never have had anything like that and you’ll most likely end up giving them away. Regardless, you’ll get home and go to school and get a good job and have everything you need later. Let your mission be about what you can bring home, not what you can take with you. (Rob)
  • Take clothing, books, toiletries. Nothing else. Ignore any other lists of “needs” anyone gives you. (Randall)

What blessings did you receive from serving a mission?

  • Came home with a great direction in life. After having helped so many young couples get married in El Salvador, I was blessed to marry my wife after I returned from my mission. I have a treasure trove of experiences to look back on from my mission as I raise my five children. (Jeremy)
  • I would not be married or have a kid coming had I not gone. (Cory)
  • Too many to count. A strong enough testimony to withstand the hard, cold world outside, with friends falling away and other friends and family dying. I have a family now, and I wouldn’t have my wife or my children, at least not the precious and perfect ones I have, had I not prepared myself to make the decisions to earn them. (Rob)
  • I learned to care about others. I clarified for myself my spiritual beliefs. I learned Spanish very well. I made it my goal to speak as well as native speakers. (Randall)

What are some skills you gained?

  • Being straight forward, confident, talking to strangers, being comfortable being very different from those around me. Eating nasty food (haha). How to listen to the Spirit and listen to the needs of those around you. (Jordan)
  • Learned the Spanish language. Learned about leadership. Learned how to plant and harvest corn and how to make it into tortillas. (Jeremy)
  • Perseverance is a huge blessing, don’t be discouraged. (Cory)
  • I am a better leader, speaker, teacher, learner, and worker because of my mission and it has served me well in college and my career. I learned to be bolder and most importantly, it taught me how to look at the world through eyes other than those of the spoiled, ignorant, American I must have been before. (Rob)
  • Spanish. Self-sufficiency. Skills to maintain a household budget. (Randall)

What do you wish you knew/did at the beginning of your mission?

  • Be yourself the whole time. Don’t get too worried about being the “perfect missionary”, or doing everything the way that your trainer or companions do. You were called to this specific mission because of your specific abilities. Don’t lose your personality, there are people waiting for YOU to bring them to Christ. (Jordan)
  • I wish that I hadn’t been so arrogant. I used to think that I was so patient and self-less, only to realize that when I really stressed then I’m just as imperfect as everyone else. Since then (and after raising 5 children), I’ve learned so much about controlling my anger when people make mistakes. (Jeremy)
  • Whine less, work more. (Cory)
  • I wish I knew not to take it so seriously! I was so afraid of breaking a rule (or witnessing a broken rule) that I was sometimes too hard on other missionaries which made me not very fun to be around because I became a cause of contention. I learned to tone it down quick and while I didn’t tolerate rule breaking, I also didn’t let myself look beyond the mark by removing myself from the real world and inventing my own rules. You’ll hear “worldly” music. If Taylor Swift or The Killers or The Beatles are playing in the grocery store on Preparation Day or the bus, listen and enjoy and then get back to your work. If another missionary is just a diehard jokester, a few pranks around the house never hurt anyone as long as they are good natured. Make friends. You don’t have to avoid conversations about past or future life as long as they don’t distract you from your goal. (Rob)
  • I wish that at any time in the Mission Training Center someone mentioned that people you teach have their agency, no matter how well you do in having the Spirit, teaching with the Spirit, be prayerful, and living worthy/be obedient with exactness. People choosing to not progress/not accept baptism does not mean necessarily that you must have not done enough or that you did something wrong. Investigators will sometimes simply choose that they are not interested or that changes to their lifestyle are not worth making in order to be baptized. Knowing this would prevent many problems of depression that elders and sisters inevitably feel when they did all their part, and it seems like the Lord and the Spirit did not then fulfill their promise and witness to the investigators to convert them; and so obviously, “well, the Lord doesn’t lie, and He would not just choose to not send the Spirit to testify if I did everything I should have… So… I must have not done enough or did something wrong.” This lead to confusion and “beating -one’s-self-up”, and eventually depression. (Randall)

Any advice/testimony for pre-missionaries going to El Salvador/Belize?

  • It’s the best mission in the world. Definitely hard, definitely grueling, but worth it. There will be days, weeks, months when you are like “I did not sign up for this”, but it is all worth it in the end. There are special people in this mission, and special people are called to help them learn the truth. (Jordan)
  • Try to learn to stop criticizing people. Try to learn to forgive people, which means to not complain or talk about their mistakes anymore. Try to learn to set realistic expectations for yourself and not to compare yourself to other people. It’s too easy to compare your worst to everyone else’s best. (Jeremy)
  • RetentionRetention RetentionRetention RetentionRetention. (Cory)
  • The gospel is true. Jesus is our Savior. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and Joseph Smith was not perfect but he was the chosen Prophet of the Restoration. Make sure you know or want to know for yourself before you go. Practice Spanish! It’s important. Get good at it. Don’t mail it in. Listen to your leaders but let the spirit and your heart guide you. Love and help people. (Rob)
  • Enjoy yourselves. (Randall)

What was a funny language mistake?

  • Not understanding Kriol for the first month of being in Belize. (Jordan)
  • Once, just a few month after leaving the MTC, I called our mission nurse to tell her that I had some symptoms of a gastrointestinal infection. She recommended that I go to a clinic and perform a fecal exam. When I got off the phone, I tried to tell my companion and the other two missionaries in our house that I needed a fecal exam, but instead I said, “Necesito probar mis heces”, which means “I need to taste my feces”. They never let me down on that one. (Jeremy)
  • There are lots. My favorite was when my companion and I showed up to check on a missionary companionship unexpectedly, the American missionary said “Que Ustedes Estan Aqui Por?” Which is a horribly direct translation from the English “what are you guys here for?” Unless you speak Spanish already you won’t get that but it was funny. (Rob)
  • I said, “Usted es muy *madera*”. Instead of ” Madura”, so I said “you are very wood” instead of “you are very mature.” (Randall)