Monday, June 30, 2014

(WEEK 44) No tango tiempo para nada

Well I'm writing earlier becuase this will be the busiest week of my mission thus far. I'm seriously not going to have any time to even work in our sector this week haha it's nuts. Today we have a zone BBQ in our chappel and then we have a meeting with the stake president later today. We have the zone leaders council tomorrow at we'll literally spend all day in the Iñaquito chapel. On Thursday we have a ward activity, and on Friday we have a zone conference, and on Friday we have another leadership meeting and another ward activity. Sacrificios.

So last Monday we played basketball with some Venesuelans. Murph and I destroyed them. But then they called their friend over and he was a baller. He was like Shaq but just a little shorter. He pounded me haha. On Tuesday we did divisions with the district leader and his companion. Elder Murphy brought Elder Del Aguila( Of the Eagle) with him in San Carlos and I when to Santa Anita with Elder Castro (We call him the bishop, porque tiene full sacerdocio!). Santa Anita is pretty sweet but it is just pure hills. It goes up the side of the mountain. Our sector does that too but at least we can take a bus to la Pulida. We did 24 hour splits. Which are great but I just don't like sleeping in another bed for some reason. This week Elder Murphy had to play the piano for the homecoming of a missionary in our ward. The missionary talked for only like 5 - 8 minutes and then Elder Murphy played a pretty sweet song. The only bad thing was, he drew all of the attention. From my point of view it was hilarious but Elder Murphy felt kinda bad because all of the members told him how great of a song that was but said almost nothing to the return missionary. Haha oh well...

Well, I don't have that much time to write but that was my week! Oh yeah, and I just finnished the Old Testament for the first time. I rule. I'll start to read the New Testament again and just keep going in order. Voy a enviar mas historias la próxima semana, fotos también 

(WEEK 43) Loving life!

So I'm just loving life right now. My sector isn't even in the coast but we have the best lunches in the mission. Half of our momitas are chefs, 2 are from the coast(Which means they cook amazing), and 2 others cook food super similar to the United States. My sector is kinda small because the ward was recently split into two sectors. So I only have a week here but I'm already starting to get it down. The other 2 missionaries in our ward are sister missionaries from the United States as well. Their names are Sister Deveraux and Sister Fernelius. When I born my testimony in church yesterday I said, "Ya somos 4 gringos en el barrio... No sé que hicieron ustedes..." Got a couple laughs out of that. Pilas. Elder Murphy and I are getting along super well too. I knew him in the jungle when I first started the mission and now we are just the best of companions. We both love basketball and football and we have the same type of humor. We crack jokes together constantly. So I'll be bummed when he goes home in 5 weeks.
So one of our recent converts is a total gringo from Los Angeles named Bill Yard. He has like 8 months in Ecuador (About as much as I do) and he's like 55 years old. He's here alone just to teach English and tour Ecuador. His Spanish kinda sucks hahaha so we always teach him in English and we took turns translating for him in church yesterday. But he's super solid and has all of the lesson and a ton more. For example, Baptisms for the dead,, family history, the 12 tribes of Israel, the milenium, just everything haha. He only has like 4 months as a member but he's so solid he doesn't even count as a recent convert according to the assistants haha.
So being a District leader is like being a bishop, and being a zone leader is like being a stake president. In other words, It's easier in some ways. For example on Thursdays, you don't have to train. You just kinda meet together as a zone after and just talk about important stuff that we're going to do as a zone. But that's it. Plus we have to sent informs about the missionaries in the zone  on Saturdays so I get so see me Email on Saturday and Mondays. I dig. Elder Murphy is nearly done witht his mission but he's training me really good in these past 7 days I've been with him. On Friday we spent all day in the chappel. We first had a leadership meeting with all the district leaders and zone leaders in the 4 Quito zones from 9:00 until 12:00, then we ate, then we had a zone conference with the 2 zones in the Quito stake from1:00 to 7:00. It's super hard sitting down that long but it was all pretty good. President Richardson went to a powerhouse meeting with all of the mission presidents in Ecuador, some area 70's, and Elder Oaks. And he shared some of that information from the counsil of prophets with us. So I was dang good.
Lo siento, creo que esta carta era un poco más grande que lo normal, pero yo estoy seguro que no les molesta para nada, ¿cierto mamá? ¡Les quiero! ¡Nos vemos la próxima semana!

(WEEK 42) Dumbstruck

So I'll start with the big news first and why the title is called "Dumbstruck."... I'm a zone leader now. Crazy, right!? And I'm with Elder Murphy. Elder Murphy was my first zone leader in the jungle and now I'm his companion. So for that, dumbstruck. I'm in San Carlos with a ward filled with just gringo missionaries (Us and 2 sisters) which just never happens. It's closer to downtown Quito but still decently close to my old sector. I have the assistants and secretaries of the president in my zone too but they are never there. Other than that there's only 6 elders in the zone, the rest are sister missionaries. Plus, Elder Murphy only has one change left (6 weeks). So I get to kill him hahaha I'm pumped. This week they were going to open a new sector (Comité Del Pueblo 2) But they didn't. Elder Black is taking my spot and is going to re-open the sector I was just in.

This week we did a lot of fun little things. We chopped down an orange tree for a service project. Then the lady we helped made two giant cakes for us for our activity: Noche de Cine. For the Theater night we watched Madagascar 3. Only like 20 members showed up, but that just meant more cake and popcorn for us. And then the bishop slashed the ward for not coming after we gave talks on missionary work, so that made me smile. This week we also did splits with Collaloma and did what is called an invasion or stampede, which is when the whole district works in one sector all at the same time for a couple hours. It's actully pretty effective but it's also pretty tiering to contact for hours strait.

This week I learned really well that it doesn´t matter how well you can convince or prove someone wrong in a gospel topic, they will not accept you unless you teach with the spirit. There is an investigator that doesn't have a testimony in the Book of Mormon at all just because he can't believe that the spirit would tell Nephi to kill Laban (1 Nephi 4). But I proved him wrong that it could by using stories in the old testament about whenm Moses and Joshua lead the children of Israel into battles killing men, women, and children which God delivered into their hands. Plus the story of Samson. Plus I brought in the law of Moses and other stuff, but still nothing. He didn't buy it at all. The next day we just read 3 Nephi 18 with him and he believed it was true. It's sometimes weird how it works but that's really all it takes.

Other news: We had the last supper with the whole district in familia Pazmiño's house. We were prettyt tight, I called her when I got the changes and told her I was going and she started to cry. Hope I see them again. I've been just getting over really bad throat problems where I couldn't even talk this week. So Elder Obando just had to give like 90% of the lessons haha. Little vacation. I'm in Daniel right now in the old testament. So I'm only short like 80 pages to finnish the old testament. Pilas.

Well I only had half the time to write but I finnished the letter. I'm a champ. I'll be more organized next week. Wish me luck.

(WEEK 42)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

(WEEK 41) La paciencia me traerá éxito

Silvia finally will be baptized! I have infinate patience! We had a power lesson on Saturday with Hno. Duque there too. We taught her the law of Chastity finally and we also check up on her as far as the other commandments go just cause she had a problem with coffee. The second part of the lesson was a "How to overcome trials lesson." I shared D&C 121:7-10 and D&C 122 7-8. She's being going through a lot of trials lately since her 25 year old daughter left her again and now she lives alone. She'll also need help moving houses ( a little closer to the church) soon, so there's a service project. We also set up a baptismal interview date for Tuesday (tomorrow) and her baptismal date in for June 7th. Happy, are we.

We did a service project with missionaries from another district. We made a cement house haha. It was pretty fun but I got super dirty. We had to fling shovel-fulls of cement at the cement walls. After that we had a cement fight. I came out grey. We also did a "stampede" in La Bota (A super tini sector in my district.) Which is when every companionship in the district invades one sector and just gathers up like more than 100 contacts. We did it for like 3 hours. But I swear if we did it all day long, I'm sure we could have contacted every single house in La Bota. Next time we'll do it in Collaloma. I only have 9 months in the mission but I have the most time in the mission out of everyone in our district. We have a super young mission since they split from the south mission. In the next change (2 weeks) a ton of North Americans are coming in. I hope I get to train one.

As far as the other investigators go, they are about the same. We have been working with a ton of less actives lately (Or at least trying to, they deny us sometimes haha). Juan and Cathorine just aren't showing up to church. They gotta go soon or we'll have to drop them. We're finally getting ward missionaries. So now we'll finally get more lessons with member present. They really make a big difference here.

Eso es todo mis queridos. ¡Estoy amando la misión! Si quieren enviarme un paquete, me gusta Beef Jerky y Kool-Aid, gracias hah

(WEEK 41)

(WEEK 40)

(WEEK 40) Waddell Week

So this we just had a thousand more meetings than the last. On top of ward council, the district meeting, and the leadership meeting, we also had 2 giant meetings with a 70, Elder Waddell. On Thursday night we had the biggest church meeting ever in the Iñaquito chappel. All of the leaders of every ward in Quito attended, as well as most of the missonaries in our entire mission(Other than Otavalo and Ibarra). And this guy speaks with power and authority. He threw in jokes, doctrine, and machettied the members on the few things they are doing wrong(Little apostacies). So I loved it. I also got to see almost every missionary I've ever know in the mission, o sea, estuve feliz, muy feliz.

On Friday, round two. From 8:00 to about 4:30pm, we had another giant meeting, but this time it was just 2 zones, Ofelia and Calderón. Again, power and authority. He interviewed three random missionaries, a leader, an elder, and a sister. I was not chosen. However, 3 random missionaries were called to give talks in the middle of the meeting, and I was on of them. I talked on chapters 2 and 8 of preach my gospel. They had to be 5 minutes long, and a strict 5 minutes. My companion timed me. I got 4:59. Praise the man.

Elder Meriles(My awesome zone leader) is going home tomorrow. As well as my dad, Elder Richimondg. I haven't been able to see him since he left Coca when I only had 4 months in the mission. But we passed by the offices today and he was there! So I got to see both of my dads the day before they left home (Elder Agapito in February). On Thursday Elder Meriles gave his last will and testament to the zone. He gave everyone a gift in the zone. I got the best one, a green lightsaber! May the force/spirit be with me." Speaking of them going, the normal changes are in 3 weeks, but since 4 zone leaders will leave tomorrow, there were emergency changes, and a ton...

So 3 missionaries in my district left. Elder Espinoza is going to my old sector in the orient, Elder Santos is going to La Luz with the zone leaders hahaha, My companion, Elder Risco is going just down the mountain but in the same zone and he'll be companions with Elder Cabezas while I get him companion, Elder Obando. Also, Elder Williams is getting Elder (I can't remember his name), I just know that he's latino and he only has 3 weeks in Ecuador, so that's interesting. (I wonder if you guys ever skip the part of my letters where I talk about the changes, like the book of numbers... "And Asa begat Josaphat", or something like that haha.)

Since I didn't really get to work a ton in my sector or and any sector this week, the investigators are about in the same state haha. The only difference is that we found 3 new families! So that's kinda cool. One family has their baptismal date already so we'll see what happenes with them. Once again, were planning on getting a ton of lesson with less-active again this week. Pilas. Also we finally had ou missoin correlation meeting with our new ward mission leader... He doesn't know anything hahaha, so we'll have to train him. But he has a good spirit and is excited to help us.

Bueno queridos, esa es toda la semana. Espero que se disfruten este verano! Cuídense! Hasta luego!