Monday, December 30, 2013

La mamá de las semanas. (week 19)

Vamos a empezar con la noche del 24: Pig intestines. She fed us pig intestines, with the food still in them of coarse. But it wasn't just pig intestines, but it was pig intestine soup. What an experience. More interesting food to come...

The 25th of December was awesome! In the morning I woke up and ate a ton of snacks that I've got from members and my family from packages. We played Uno like all morning long. But it's "Mission Rules" Uno, about 1000x better than regular Uno. Ask me in 20 months and we'll play it. Then I got to talk with the fam on Skype! It was the coolest thing seeing them again for the first time since August. I'm sure I looked pretty with all the sweat dripping down my face as I was talking with them, but that's what ties are for. After that we just chilled, played games with, and watched movies in Spanish with Presidente Marco and his wife while the other Elders were talking with their families. Then we had La Cena de Navidad with them. They gave us a ton of food! If I had a mirror I could have seen the food up to my throat. Then they drove us home because the streets can be dangerous at night. That was my Christmas in the mission.

The 26th we went to Lago for a Christmas Zone meeting and had a Secret Santa gift exchange(Which I bought that morning). Elder Galvis was mine, He got me a new tie and candy. I got Elder Leong chocolate. Every missionary likes severly melted chocolate. We played Uno with them as well and then we ate at this cheap but good Chinese restaurant. They were telling us they played Uno too and Elder Hess lost like 5 times in a row so they made him chug a 3L bottle of Sprite. The video was priceless; Worth more than the Liahona, I'm sure. We had our ward Christmas/New Years party on the 27th. They had a ton of extra food(Christmas, Pt.II) and they played musically chairs & other games. We had a lot of investigators show up too so that was good.

Here's the other interesting food I promised: Mayones! They are these little orange worm things that we ate on Saturday. Look em' up. I also saw steaked, grilled Guinea Pigs for the first time. They might be adoreable while alive, but when they´re dead, grilled, and have a plank of wood jammed up their butts, not so much. I kinda wanted to try it but I didn't want to pay $20 to buy a rat with a deamon face. Look those up too! Haha.

The big news! Changes are today. Results: Elder Richimondg is leaving to Quito to be a zone leader in Ofelia, Elder Magalhaes is going to Quito as well but in Calderon to also be a zone leader. Elder Hess is leaving to be a Secretary(Dang, Right!) My new companion and the new zone leader in Coca will be Elder Black, whom is in Esmeraldes right now. He is from Utah and he has more than a year in the misson. That's all I know about my companion right now though. Elder Wright will be companions with Elder Mamani. Elder Galvis will be Elder Leong's companion and the district leader of Lago and Coca(How does that work?) and Elder Murphy will get Elder Sanchez, whom was in my group when I first got in Ecuador. Elder Richimondg and Elder Magalhaes can't leave today or tomorrow since there's like no busses right now because of New Years. So we'll party with them. Wo Hoo!!

Dang this letter was big. That was my week! I'll update you guys on the new companions next week after they get here! Everyone have a happy new year wherever you are! I'll be hinding in my appartment as roman candles and much more fly by! Feliz Año Nuevo!

(week 19)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

(week 18)

Feliz Navidad! (week 18)

How is the world doing? Joshua David Bolton is doing awesome! I love the mission!

So this week beginning on monday night Elder Richimondg gave a kid a haircut. So that was funny. The kid tried to cut his own hair while we were teaching the rest of the family about Christlike attributes and he just comes around the corner half-bald with siccors in his hands hahaha. But Elder Richimondg came to the rescue while I took pictures. Other exciting news I assisted in killing a pig. Haha, oh yeah. On Tuesday one of Hna. Jenny´s pigs was sold and they killed it right there. The guy tried to kill it by stabbing it in the heart right behind the front legs. But it took him 6 tries to hit the heart. Every stab the pig made the worst squeel you can imagine. After it died his little pigs friends gathered around him and looked all sad. Merry Christmas haha. We helped carry it and shave off the burnt bits of hair after the guy who stabbed the pig insinerated it with a flamethrower... Sounds like a party, right? This is how a Christmas letter should start.

We've had a Christmas party and our ward choir(Which is mostly made of us missionaries) carroled this week. So those were really fun and some investigators showed up and had a good time too. Another thing that helps get investigators is mine and Elder Wright's English classes that we have been having everyWednesday since two or three weeks ago. So I'll probably continue doing that until I go. Other news: since I've started my mission I've finnished the Book of Mormon again and the New Testament as well. Now I've started the D&C's. I had terrible food poisioning for only one day but now I feel totally fine. But oohhh... That one day was the worst. I woke up at like 4:00am throwing up like a snowblower. And was dizzy the rest of the day but we still made it ro all of our appointments just fine.

As far as investigators was have 6 new ones! One is a family of four and they seem really interested when we taught the Plan of Salvation. Familia Japa will have to wait a little longer for their baptisms because: They wont go to church! Oh, it's so frustrating sometimes haha. They are totally down for their baptisms but we can't do anything about it unless they go. But if they do, we should have a ton of baptisms in January. We also had a suprize baptism on Sunday! haha. She is 9 years old and she lives like 30 minutes away but she is techniqally in our zone. So her father baptized her and we made up a little baptism program right before in like 5 minutes.

That's my week! I'll talk to you guys tomorrow for real! Bros, I hope your Christmas is as White as Dirty Dan's mission right now.(Showt-out!)

Monday, December 16, 2013

(week 17) El poder de la Piña

So for the past two week all of what I've been eating are pineapples and grilled cheese sandwiches. I could almost live forever like that. The grilled cheese sandwichs I make have this really spicy but delicious cheese and I put salami on it too. My companion loves me for them. The pineapples that are yellow inside are  hawaiian and those are the ones that I usually buy but two days ago I found one from Guayaquil and those are white inside. It was huge! I ate the whole thing in one night and my mouth felt like it was on fire!

Anyways, the members here have been awesome. We´ve still been getting a ton of referals. We got 6 just this weekend(And that doesn't include their families)... Sergio, Andres, Kelly, Hendry, Miriam, and Dara. We´ve taught just about the Savior to all of them for the first lesson since Christmas is coming down the pipe. It's really easy to teach about the atonement cause the spirit is always there. We taught Miriam and her family, Kelly, and Henry about the Restauration and Book of Mormon now. They all have a lot of potential to progress but only a few of them came to church this Sunday unfortunatly. We'll get em all next week. Kevin and Bryan(Investigators of the other Elders in Coca) will be baptized this weekend and our investigators: Familia Japa and maybe Miriam too, will be baptized on the 28th of December! Oh yeah!!

I gave a talk in church this Sunday about the savior and based on Pres. Packers talk about mercy and justice called, The Mediator, I think. It went pretty well. Better than I expected at least. It's dang hard to give a talk in Spanish though. Random notes: It's not old news but people are not afraid to honk their car horns here. I hear those and car alarms all the time. And whenever I pass by a TV, The Simpsons in Spanish is always on. We had a mini zone conference this last Thursday and I got more packages. With Candy!! Thanks Familiy! The paper christmas tree is awesome too. Elder Richimong said it was, "Full Chevere!" I finnish the new testiment now which I started about 2 weeks into the mission field. I actully like to read now, is that weird?

That basically my whole week. Family: I'll try to make a skype right now and I'll send you more info about when and other stuff... I love you all! For those of you where it is snowing, send me a package of snow, please! Nos vemos.

(week 17)

Monday, December 9, 2013

¡Que Rico! (week 16)

Saludos, de la amazonas. Pretty rock solid week. After P-day last week we planned the best Tuco Tuesday ever. At the time it was only Elder Magalhaes, Elder Wright & I in Coca since my dad, Elder Richimondg was in Quito with Elder Murphy for a Zone leadership meeting. However that Tuesday morning Elder Richimondg called us and told us to come up to Quito right now for LA CENA DE NAVIDAD!! And it was a pretty awesome trip. We started the 8 hour, 8,500ft elevation change trip by watching White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen in Spanish of coarse. What? It's in Spanish so I'm learning... Awesomely. We got there around 10:00 at night and stayed in San Carlos & ordered Papa Johns.

Wednesday we traveled to the church offices in Quito to buy some stuff. I needed some Spanish scriptures because they've been missing since I've arrived in Ecuador and I can't buy any in Coca unfortunatly. And the store was closed at the time so that was a bummer too haha. After that we met up with the zone from Ibarra at the president's house around 5:00 and just talked with them for a little bit while we ate chips & dip. Then 6 at a time we went up the elevator to the 7th floor(Yes, his place is heaven haha) and could smell the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, fresh baked bread, banana jello, & Tres leche cake. Yes, I have a good nose when it comes to food and could smell all of those individually. It was awesome because it was like a redemption Thanksgiving. We ate, carroled in the streets, had a white elephant, and heard spiritual messages from the president, assistants, and our zone leaders. Bacancicimo.

The next day while everyone else in our zone started the journey back, Elder Richimondg and I had to meet up with the mission nurse at the hospital so Elder Richimondg could get an MRI for his shoulder that has been killing him still. The appointment for some reason took for ever though and it was too late to travel back to Coca that night so from about 4:00-9:00 we did splits with Elder Pop and Elder Cedeña in La Luz sector and then left back home that morning. I love Quito but it's good to be back in Coca. After I'm gone from my investigators for too long it just doesn't feel right.

So I didn't really have a chance to get to my investigators this whole week other than Saturday and Sunday, so there is not much new news on them. However Joel (The oldest son from la familia Japa) Made it to church this week! I found this family with contacting so I basically love them to death. The parents weren't able to make it this week but Joel did. He's missing his left arm from his elbow down. He's the coolest 13 year old and the most humble, nicest little dude ever. He's a little shy but he made it to the young mens activity too! He really wants to be baptized and cannot wait for his date.

My Spanish is coming alone pretty well but I still need a ton of improvement. I slowly notice that I can understand people a little more easily and I'm able to talk back a little more easier. When we're teaching a lesson or when church-related things are being talked about, I can understand just about all of it. It's the random conversations that we sometimes have with the members that just leave me there clueless. So after I perfect sentence structure and Gospel-related stuff, I'm going to need to work on the random stuff like animals or something haha.

And yes Dad, I'm good for the Snow-Heat trade. Just send some snow in a package with mother Mary all over it like the package I just recieved. I'll send you a bottle of sweat or something haha. I'm glad you guys survived the trip up to SLC for the Bolton family reunion... And to make it even Grandma Richins, I'll mention you two in a discussion with my favorite investigator family tomorrow. To the Bros: KEEP DOING WORK!!

Oh yeah I just remembered this! But while in Quito with Elder Richimondg after the hospital, we met some members of the church on the street and there was a really old lady that said she needed a blessing so we walked a little bit until we found a quiet park and gave her a blessing and imeadiatly after the old lady and her daughter just broke up into tears and thanked us like crazy. The spirit was higher than the altitute of Quito. I was reminded of that because I just read Dirty Dan´s miracle-packed letter. Thanks Dirts!

Feliz Navidad.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Estoy soñando de una Navidad blanca (week 15)

Tis the season. Every week here is awesome! And it keeps getting better and better! Elder Magalhaes said that the mission flies by really fast after Christmas but it already feels like it's flying by right now. I mean, it's almost Christmas! Where did the time go?

Our new investigators are doing awesome lately! We have several new additions to the one-two punch, Elder Bolton-Elder Richimondg lesson legacy. One of them is a street contact named, Indida. She has one daughter and is married. We asked inspired questions on the street and guess what she wants, an eternal family. Lesson 2 amigos, lesson 2.

Our new family of the week, Familia Japa, I´m sure will be baptized. We've only had a couple lessons with them but the family felt the spirit very strong and they're very interested. The first lesson the father wasn't there but the second lesson he was and he was questioning us like, "Want do you want from my family?" and asking a bunch more questions about religion but after we explained our purpose and everything he ended up being the coolest guy and now he's really interested. We didn't feel like we should ask them to be baptized yet but we will drop the Baptizm-bomb next time. The only two problems are that they aren't married (Like a lot of people here) and Elder Richimondg is gone right now to his Zone leader meeting in Quito with Elder Murphy. So that lesson might have to wait a little longer. I'm with the other Elders in Coca right now, Elder Magalhaes and Elder Wright. We're staying in my appartment right now because it's a ton better than theirs. And I could visit familia Japa with them but they can't this Tuesday and after that I might be in Quito for a couple more days...

Why would Elder Bolton be in Quito again might you ask? Because we might have our Christmas dinner with the mission Pres and his wife this week! That's why! It's not for sure but maybe. Since Elder RIchimondg is there right now I'd probably just bring a few more of his things up to Quito and we'd meet him there. If not this week, sometime this month. Either way I'm excited. During our zone meeting with Lago Agrio last week we planned to have a ton of baptisms for the 21st of December. Right before Christmas is the best time. White Christmas because of the baptisms, aww yeah!!

Answering questions: I'm pretty sure as far as packages go, I'll probably get it whenever I go up to Quito, which would be probably this week for Christmas. Or whenever the Zone leaders come back from their Zone leaders conferences they send the packages down with them. That's how we get our boxes of Book of Mormons and pamplets I'm pretty sure. That's how I got my Visa back as well. And the new Elders name is Ryker Wright and his mom's name is Colleen. So if ya wanna look him up, feel as free as a bird. Oh and also, It's kind of obvious but they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here. So there were no special dinners haha. But that awesome you guys got to spend do time with other missionaries at our house! I hope you helped them gain wait. Because of the sweat, smaller quantites of food, running in the morning, and running in the toilet... That's a thing that I'm losing haha.

Les quiero bastante! Don't type that in google translate family, I'm sure it wont work haha. And all you bros our there, keep serving like Alma and Amulek but better! Represent around the world!

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Jungles latest (week 14)

¡Chuta amigos! How is the rest of the world as far as weather? In Coca it's still as hot and sweaty as a sauna. It may not ever snow here but were still going to have a white Christmas here in Coca, get it? Picture a missionary... Ah yeah, now you understand. Bien hecho.

So this last week was "The Hunt." We need more new families and investigators. Plus we needed at least one new appartment for the new missionaries coming in 5 weeks(I'll get to that later) Our last wave of investigators is basically done. We set up new baptismal appointments with Diana and Patricio for pretty soon but we have to work on more people now. We had lunch with Diana think Saturday and we had shrimp. It soooooo good. We found a family of 6 two days ago that has a lot of potential. We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Chirst first as the spirit directed. Next time will be about the restauration because they had questions about the Book of Mormon and Prophets.

We found 3 different appartments but they aree kind of expensive so we'll see if we can find more. We think we have a mouse in our house(Nice rhyme, Dr. Seuss...) So if he comes back I'll kill him, or give him a Book of Mormon. Tal vez, los dos. For the next change in 5 weeks, we're going to have 6 missionaries in Coca and 6 in Lago Agrio. So instead of 7 total missionaries in the two cities, we're going to have 12. (There's an answered prayer for ya. The work is moving forward.) And we have already been separated into 2 districts now because of the expenses and time it takes to travel back and forth every 2 weeks. Elder Hess is the new district leader in Lago, and Elder Magalhaes is still the district leader here.

Right now there are 4 missionaries in Coca. Elder Magalhaes picked up his new companion from Quito yesterday. His name is Elder Wright from Riverton, Utah. Like me, He didn't know any Spanish before his mission. He took French for 3 years in high school. He's a pretty cool guy, he's like my heighth but he weighs probably about 30 lbs more. I 'll send a picture of the fella. I saw monkeys today by the way! 4 or 5 of them. I want one as a mission pet. Elder Richimondg was telling me of this place in Ecuagor where they are on every street and people have to be careful because they steal things. The mosquitos here are smarter than the mosquitos in the US. They're like blood-sucking ninjas. Elder Wright said he has like 14 bites on his legs. Hahaha oh it's fun. Sometimes you get like a one-day-bug and you feel sick just for that day and then you're fine again.

This last week for Tuco Tuesday,(The day after P-day when we preach the gospel like Paul or more) we didn't think it was Tuco enough. So we had a Tuco Mircoles to make up for it. This next week we still need more people to teach so tomorrow we'll do work again. In fact, this next week will be our Tuco Semana. Bring it on. Elder Richimondg always asks me if I know certain songs in English. Whenever I do I just start belting it and he sings along and asks what the lyrics are and mean. He knows like almost as many English songs as I do.

Dearest parents, no I didn't get any mail yet haha. I'm not in Quito so it'll take quite a bit longer I think. We'll see. But thinks are going awesome down here and they keep getting better and better each week. I finally have a good amount of confidence to openly talk with the ward members. Sometimes I can't understand them or I don't know a certain word in Spanish that I want to say, But I'm starting to get a lot better at still finding ways to express what I wanna say. And if now, we just laugh about it. Or maybe they are just laughing at me. Aah dang...

I love you all! keep sending your stories, updates, and whatever else happens. Paz fuera!

(week 14)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Semana Verificación (week 13)

So this week I spent mostly in Quito. It was my 6 week verification. So I traveled back up to Quito from Thursday to Saturday. It takes about 8 hours by bus to get there. But it's all good cause Elder Richimondg and I joke around the whole time. I tried to teach him some English toungue twisters like; "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" and when he tries to say it it{s just like, "Wud chuck wud chuck chuck wud chuck" and I'm just like, "Ooh! Perfecto Elder Richimondg! Su Ingles esta perfecto!" haha. We finally got there around almost 10:30. We always stay at La Luz when we travel to Quito. It holds like 12 missionaries. There's just beds everywhere.

On the verification day we first traveled to the church and listened to a bunch of lessons and other messages pertaining to the 12 semana program. Basically it prepares us to train a new missionary after 12 weeks. However that doesn't mean that we all will. Then we went up to Panecillo hill which is a huge hill in the center of Quito that overlooks almost the whole city. It's where President Kimball offered a prayer and dedicated missionary work in South America after David O. Mckay authorized it. There's a huge angel statue on top too. I have some sweet pictures of it. After that we had to go to the hospital with the mission nurse because Elder RIchimondg's shoulder has been hurting him for a while. It turns out he had nerve damage in his shoulder and neck. So that's a ton of fun.

I got to see some friends from the MTC like Elder Guild again. So it was sweet to heat there stories. Elder Guild is on the coast in Esmeraldas and they have to be in there apartments by 8:00 cause it's so dangerous there. We were laughing about the fact that our Spanish still isn't good haha. After that we had La Luz to ourselves cause everyone else could travel home that night cause they don't live 8 hours away. So that was fun. We traveled back on Saturday and were welcomed my a dinner fiesta with steaks and awesome food at Presidente Marco's house. Now it's time to start working in Coca again.

Yesterday was the beginning of the new change. My companions and I are all staying. Elder Magalhaes gets his new companion finally. I think his new companion will also be a new missionary. Elder Richimondg will continue to train me and I'll share Christmas with these guys. (To answer the Christmas question: By Skype) The weather will continut to be hot through Christmas haha. The weather is basically the same year-round where ever you are in Ecuador. Quito weather is perfect but I'm not there haha.

This week we continue to work with our new investigators and hopefully Patricio and Diana will finally be ready for this week. I haven't been able to teach Antonio yet because of the Verification trip but this week we'll teach him a bunch. We{re also working with a lot of menos activos right now. Members that regularly attend church are very antious to have more members there. I think we'll need a bigger chappel though. It's crowded as it is.

Les quiero! My family is the best! And keep doin' work my fellow missionary bros!

P.S. That candle didn't just look like a firework dad, it was one. Haha yolo, Ecuador!

Pictures (week 13)