Tuesday, December 30, 2014

(WEEK 70) ¡NAHH-vidad! Jajaja... Dang that was a better title...

This Christmas was la bomba! The Skype call, the countless boxes of pizza in our house now, the guys in the street that were so drunk that they couldn't even stand by themselves, everything! The Skype call especially, my Spanish is better and this time not many Spanish words left my mouth on accident. That was a problem last year haha. I love this time of the year because Christmas, new years, and my birthday are all packed in 12 days. It kind of leaves the rest of the year with nothing much to do but still, It's nice to spend it here in Ecuador.
I think it happened on the 27th, but as we were walking close to our house with the other missionaries of the ward, this drunk guy with a shaver and a 2 liter bottle of Coca-cola came close to us and then got closer to Elder Luque, and gave him this weird face and then yelled this sound, "NAHH!" Which was enough to make me fall on the floor laughing hahaha. The unexpected things are the funniest. And there's been a couple of similar esperiences like that for the past couple of days. Also there was an earthquake that we felt on the 26th around 5:00am. It was enough to wake us both up and knock the cell phone off the shelf. So that was cool for me.
We had a lot of spiritual experiences as well. We attended a baptism this week from the Cangahua elders and shared the lesson while Esteban (Steven) and the guy that baptized him got changed. It was just on the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Lesson 3) but then without even noticing, my companion and I just started sharing the most profound testimonies that we haev ever given. It was crazy. This week we visited a lot of members (actives, less-actives, and inactives) and shared many differet lessons but all based on the birth of Christ. A lot of those turned out to be pretty spiritual too. We visited the ward secretary for the first time too haha (We didn't even know that he lived in our sector) and it was great because his family, but especially he, has the kind of humor where I can't really tell if they are being sarcastic or not. And I like that kind of humor haha, sometimes it's mine... We have a progressing family now! Well, the parents are members but are just getting reactivated and their son has a baptismal date for the 10th of January. And this an almost for sure too. So we're pretty happy about that!
Bueno, en pocas palabras, esto fue mi semana navideña. Aunque tenemos que estar en la casa a las 5:00pm el 31 de Diciembre (Para evitar accidentes/problemas :) ), ¡Estoy bien animado para celebrar el Año nuevo! No sé que vamos a hacer pero somos llenos de bastantes ideas, ya saben. De igual manera, espero que disfruten el Año nuevo en donde estén y que compren muchos fuegos artificiales (Eso no puedo hacer yo jajajaja, pero el año próximo será brutal para mí)... Aparte de eso, estoy aprediendo muchas jergas colombianas gracias a mi compañero Colombiano. Me alegro ya porque me cansé de las jergas Ecuatorianas hace meses jaja. ¡Los quiero muchísimo a todos!

(WEEK 70)

Monday, December 29, 2014

(WEEK 69) The Christmas Letter

Hi family and friends! MERRY CHRISTMAS 2014! Yeah, I'm not exactly sure what to write... I haven't written for 9 days but I'm blank right now...

Quito has been crazy though! We had a zone activity today so we could spen Christmas Eve together as a zone. So we had to buy about $40 of food to make it the best. We were in line for like 30 minutes at least. I couldn't even walk through the store (Megamaxi). We were literally just running around there so we could get out of there as fast as we could. And so we others haha. We saw a couple of people tripping around haha. The first thing we bought was a giant ham haha. And as we were literally rnning around for the other stuff, I felt like I was in a football game running with the ball (ham). I made me feel good haha. But we finally got out of there alive and started the activity in the chappel. We played a ton of games (B-ball, 21, 3 on 3 soccer, signs) and we ate a ton of food too. Great way to start today. We ended super early though so everone could get to their sectors. Some live pretty far away.

On Saturday we also participated in a ward activity. It was a talent show haha. Another missionary has a videos of what we did but it was awesome. You guys can ask me tomorrow haha. And we just help and did a lot of side things to make it fun. We were the clowns of the ward. Plus a member has a band that is good enough that they play all around a couple of countries in South America. They came and played too. the lead guitarist had the same black starcaster guitar that I do. I really wanted to play it but I never got the chance haha. Awesome day though!

Other than that, we're just working super hard this week and now we have a ton of new investigators with baptismal dates. So we're pretty happy with that too. We also did divisions with the elders in Pusuquí (Middle of the World). And those were sweet. I got to know Elder Yañez more. The members in the ward are still doing great and we also have a couple of less-actives that are finally progressing now! All is well in El Condado.

Well, I can't believe how fast this year went by. I hope you all have a great Christmas and a lot of you who I'm writing to are also missionaries and bros. So I hope all of you will have an awesome experience talking with your families and that your Christmas is white wherever you are in the world! I memorized "The Living Christ" in Spanish in just 10 days and every time I share a part of it my testimony, it grows. I know that "He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New...He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead... He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind... He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him... He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world." The church is true, Jesus is our savior. 

John 3:16, 3 Nephi 11:11, Isaiah 9:6-7.

Love you all!

(WEEK 69)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

(WEEK 68) El Cristo Viviente

I know I've written a couple of times in the past and said, "This week was super busy!"... I ask you that you take those past comments as a lie, just becasue they do not even compare to the busyness of this week haha. Now it really fels like Christmas... This Tuesday we had the mission council all day long in the Iñaquito chappel. It was sweet! Since it was Christmas we had an awesome breakfast and the presidents training had a lot to do with "He Is the Gift". I was kind of hoping that President Richardson would show up as Santa Claus but that didn't happen haha. But still, it was a good council. So on Tuesday we just had time for one lesson at 8:00pm. On top of that, on Monday after our P-day, we had to wait for this lady to show up at her dry cleaning place to give my companion's suit back to him. We were able to contact a little but we had to stay by the shop to flag her down haha. So that's about 2 whole hours of working in 2 whole days to start out the week.

On Wednesday and Thursday we had to meet with the other Ofelia zone to prepare a skit for the Christmas Lunch (I know, Christmas dinner sounds a lot better, but this year it was a Christmas lunch) that we had this Friday. We had to spend like 3 hours on Wednesday and 3 more hours on Thursday to make it the best Christmas skit ever. And it was!! Haha. But there went a lot of working hours on those 2 days. Plus on Thursday we had the mini zone conference to train on what we learning in the mission council. And i alwasy love the zone conferences but that took some times too.

On Friday we had the Christmas Lunch! We met in the stake center at 10:00am and first had a little zone conference with president and the assistants and then around 1:00pm we walked to the mission home... It's a really nice home haha. I don't feel like I'm in Ecuador in the mission home at all haha. But it was sweet! Almost the exact same as las year but we just started earlier this year. We at a sweet Christmas lunch that was a redemtion for the Thanksgiving dinner that I didn't have. We ate turkey, mashed potatoes, and a bunch of other stuff. I had like 5 plates haha. I t's amazing when you feel full in the mission. Because that rarely happens to me haha. We had a White Elephant party, we did our skit (Which made president laugh and cry, so that's a win!...), and we had a really spiritual lesson from president. After that we took a lot of pictures and they gave us some presents! (Roster of the missionaries in the mission, a study journal with our name on it, and candy!). So it was a pretty sweet day. We got back in our sector around 7:00pm. So again, just a little bit of time to work.

We ended the busy week with the leadership meeting on Saturday morning. Plus we had a goodbye to a sister in the zone beacuse she was going to be leaving home this week about 10 weeks early for health problems. We played games (Like signs) and watched small church videos and the video of the skit we did on Friday. We just helped the sister missionary move her lugage out of the house this morning. As a zone just because of wierd changes, we've shrunk from 18 to 13 missionaries! I thought we were improving! Hahaha! On Saturday we had a little bit more time to work, but still only like 5 hours haha. Oh well... On Sunday we had an appointment in the morning and then church at 2:00pm and ward council at 5:00pm. So on Sunday we never really have a lot of time either. I imagine that in theis week we had about a total of 12 hours to work and the rest of the time was spend on meetings or preparing for meetings haha. But it's Christmas. And even though we didn't work in our sector as much, we had a Christmas miracle. A lot of investigators and less actives chowed up to church even though we didn't have to time to pas by all of them... This week that's coming we'll have a lot more time to work in our sector. So we're going to work like beasts! I'm sure you don't really mind mom but, sorry for the longer letter! haha

Éste carta se llama, "El Cristo Viviente" porque el presidente de la misión nos asignó una nueva asignación. Tal como el año pasado, éste año vamos a memorizar la carta de la primera presidencia y el Quórum de los doce apóstoles que llegó el 1 de Enero, 2000. Ya memoricé como 5 oraciones y lo hemos tenido por sólo 3 días. Y lo he mirado como sólo una vez. Es mucho mas fácil éste año! jaja... Además, terminé el nuevo testamento otra vez y voy a seguir trabajando con El Cristo Viviente y Predicad Mi Evangelio hasta Marzo. De allí, voy a poner un enfoque en el Libro de Mormón otra vez. En otras palabras, soy brutal! jaja!

Los quiero a todos!

(WEEK 68)

(WEEK 67) Está comenzando a parecer mucho a la Navidad!

Parceros! In Quito it feels a lot more like Christmas than the jungle does haha. But the home land (Good ol´ USA) destroys Ecuador in decorating for Christmas. But even knowing that, I've seen a couple of decorations up for Christmas in houses. I was just i a mall today (Condado Shopping) and in there there's a ton of stuff set up. The Christmas devotional from the 1st presidency got me excited for Christmas too... It won't snow but we have 2 things that'll happen to make this Christsmas a white one, (1.) We have like 10 baptismal dates set up in the zone for the 27th of December, and a couple more of for sure baptisms set up for the 13th and the 20th! (2.) We haven't asked for permission yet, but we're planing on going to Cayambe this month (The volcando, snow-capped mountain to the East of Quito. Most of the snow over there is actully just ice haha, but it's good enough for me.
This week we did divisions with the Elders that are opening a sector in Cangahua. It's the highest sector in the mission, called Pisulí. I was with Elder Nielson and he's like over 6´8 and big. Just a huge guy. So it was nice to have a security guard with me even though I tower over like 99% of the people that live here hahaha. But it was a fun 24 division. This week we have been trying new methods to look for new investigators. We were looking for 20 unknown directions of less-actives and found a couple of people to teach and found some new investigators while asking people around for the horrible directions haha. Seriously, some unknown directions just had like a first name, and the names of big streets that go on for miles haha. So that's fun. We also worked with some old investigators in the area book and found 2 girls that want to get baptize. One is 15 and the other is 10. The 15 year old is the biggest flirt ever but wants to get baptized... But she's such a flirt that it just annoys me like crazy haha. So that'd be nice to send in sister missionaries here to see if she really has the desires. We'll figure out what to do with her.
In the zone meeting we are trying to be super fun haha. For example we did a couple of interactive activities like a blindfold activity and an activity where we taught complete lessons like the restauration, but we had to pass around a ball to change the time and we couldn't say transition words like: exactly, yup, ah-huh, or "like my companion said". We tryed to teach like it says in Prech My Gospel, in one voice, and as a zone. So those were pretty fun. Really the whole week has been pretty fun, On Saturday we walked into a house to teach a less-active family and the dad was watching Evan Almightly (Like Bruce Almighty but with Steve Carrol turing into Noah) And it was right at the end when they're in the ark, so we walk in and said, "Dang, brother Amagua, we were going to just teach about Noah's ark, but I guess now we don't have to... Who wants to sa the closing prayer?" And we gained their trust right away like that haha. I'm learning that some Quito slang is sticking to me. And most of the slang here makes no sense. For example: Se fue a volver, ya mismo, siga no más... Look them up on Google translate and see if they make sense, because I don't knowif they really do haha.
En Colombia hacen algo cada año que se llama: "El Día de las Velitas" Donde ponen velas por todos lados del país. Alrededor de todas las calles! Creo que pasa el 7 y el 8 de Diciembre cada año. Mi compañero Colombiano, Elder Gallego, extrañaba esto, entonces para que él pueda estar feliz, juntos compramos 8 velas y hicimos como un mini "Día de las Velitas" sobre el techo de la casa. Fue bacanazo! Creo que tomé como 12 fotos. Sé que vamos a pasar la navidad muy bien en Condado! Gracias por todo su apoyo familia y amigos! Espero que su Navidad sea llena de felicidad!...Él es la Dádiva.

(WEEK 67)