Tuesday, August 4, 2015

(remaining days: 7) "Well, this will probably be my last letter..."

Dang. I don't even know what to say haha...

This week we had a special training about the 3 key things that a missionary needs to know. 1. What the investigator needs to feel. 2. What we need to feel as missionaries. 3. And what the members need to feel. But we learned more about it in a really cool way. It was like a "search your feelings" kind of thing. Also we learned the importance of using visual references to teach (Because sometimes the indigenous people don't understand Spanish), and how to testify with power. I love how I continuously learn new things in the mission even though I have time here.

This week we have been working in the boonies of our sector. There's a place called San Roque that has a lot of potencial, the only thing is that we have to travel 30 minutes in bus to get there and get back. So we only go there every once and a while but maybe my son will go there more often when I'm gone. We are still rescuing the Campos family. They attended church this week again! They've been inactive for so long and now that they're coming, the members are working more with us. In fact, we had a really good week as far as less-actives go.

We aslo had the zone council where we talk about our achievement and goals of the month that passed, and the next month. We also had like a mini testimony meeting a zone about the miracles that we've seen this month. Super cool... President Richardson gave me permision to go to Ibarra today. So now I know the whole mission! Yeah! But it was great though. We went with an 18-year-old member that is getting his papers ready.

Well, this will probably be my last letter... If you what to know what happened the last week of my mission, just ask me haha. Voy a empezar de escribir en Español porque no quiero olvidar este idioma tan bello jaja. Estoy sin palabras ahora y tengo sentimientos mezcladas, pero voy a extrañar este país y las personas que he conocido aquí. Sé que los veré en la vida venidera. Pero hasta ese entonces, quiero verles a todos ustedes muchísimo. Jaja. ¡Pero no estoy trunky! Hasta ver.

Monday, July 27, 2015

(Remaining days: 15) It's a Fight

I love the members here. The only bad thing about them is that they love my companion and I so much, that all they what to do is make me trunky by saying things about the states. It's a fight! But they're seriously willing to help us out in any way that they can. They buy us food, go with us on appointments, pay for taxis to take us somewhere. They're already starting to invite us to have "family home evenings" for next week. I can't bare it haha.

This week we had a lot of success with several different investigators and less-actives. We gave a couple tours of the chappel (And while we did it we found a spider the size of the palm of my hand in the baptismal font hahaha, oh Ecuador...) They turned out pretty well. Plus a lot of people that we could never get to church are starting to come now. We're still working on the attendnce though. But the good news is that it's making us better at finding the "iceburgs" in peoples lives and also helping us help them to find solutions.

In ward council we planned an activity that's called "Viaje a Mexico" I think that the activity "Trip to Hawaii" has been over-used so we're going to Mexico! We're going to have it on the 8th of August so I know that the members are going to do something for me. It's a fight!

What else happened... Today we went as a district to Cuicocha (Volcanic crater lake with and island in the middle) and it was sweet. We were really creative with the pictures too. I saw my step-son Elder Risco for the first time in 6 months. He's still the same haha. On Monday night, a member called a taxi to take us home but got impatient and called a 2nd one. They both arrived at the same time and the 2nd one was pretty mad haha... And as a service, I helped a family trap their chicken on the loose. I've never caught a chicken before. I probably looked like a child doing that haha but I do not care. Service is service!

¡Hasta ver!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

(remaining days: 21) To the rescue!!

It wasn't planned, but this week was one of the best weeks ever as far as less-active members go. We taught 10 lessons to less-actives and got a inactive family (Flia. Campos) to go after over 12 years of not going even once! We were super happy! They also came to the activity we had on Thursday and we have another appointment with them tomorrow. I'll let you know how things go.

This week was filled with divisions. First the other sector in Rumiñahui (The district leader) did splits with us on Tuesday. Then the ZLs did surprize divisions with us on Friday. It was great though because I learned a lot from both divisions. Especially on Friday with the divisions with the ZLs when I was with Elder Gallardo from Argentina. He was an awesome teacher and the lessons we had were completly guided by the spirit. We also had the mini zone conference and learned a lot about the Atonement. The training was mostly videos and they were all great.

The Thursday ward activity was a movie night. At first not many people came but then the chappel just filled. I don't know why everyone in South America has to always show up late haha. Seriously, sacrament meeting starts at 8:00am, and right and 8:00am there's like 20 people in the church. After 8:15am, there's like 40. And after the sacrament, there's around 130 people that come in haha.

My socks all have holes in them now haha. I have to wear two pairs almost everyday and turn one pair almost backwards so that the holes don't line up. I'm planning on burning them soon haha. Today we had my last zone activity and we played soccer, volleyball, and basketball as a zone. Plus we bought 8 giant boxes of pizza haha...So that was cool. And other than that, my package came! I was starting to lose faith. I already downed the beef jerky.

No estoy seguro si es que debo decir a mi compañero esta frase, "A mí me falta menos días, que a ti meses"... Porque la tentación está presente, es verdad, y quiero decirlo muchísimo jajaja. ¡Pero créanme que no estoy trunky!

            Élder Bolton              
Misión Ecuador Quito Norte
              2013 - 2015              
            Philippians 3:8            

Sunday, July 19, 2015

(remaining days: 23) "Quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword"

This Thurswe had a training from our ZLs about the power of the Book of Mormon in conversion. And how we shoud use every "member present" in the Book. Now we walk everywhere with the Book of Mormon in our hand. I feel more the power of it as I testify of it's divinity to whatever person when I have it in my hand rather than in my bag. It's really has proved to be "sharper that a 2-egded sword." WE've had some pretty cool experiences.

I don't know why but every week for the last couple of weeks, we've had 1 crazy day, just 1, where we have like 8 lessons. Which I love. This week it was Saturday. That day we found a new family too (The Andrade family). We're now working with them and have another appointment with them today. We've also contacted a lot of referals and have found new investigators like that. Freddy Santana and Jorge Cortéz are a few. Jorge Cortéz is a divored man from Guayaquil that know more about the bible that any other man that I've ever taught. I was literally quoting scriptures that we commonly use haha. He had a hard time with Joseph Smith at first but then with the power of testimony and inspired questions, we won him over! Thanks Spirit!

This week we had a ward activity that we set up. I was the Tree of Life activity where you blindfold them and make them try to get to a certain part of the chappel by listening to the Spirit (I was the Spirit haha) or worldly voices. Then we had a few videos and games at the end. I went well, but it wasn't announced the Sunday before so now many people showed up. We're going to have another activity this week. This week we also helped the 1st counselor move to the other isde of our sector. And the young bishop move to the other side of his house haha. Service!

What else happened... The pope came to Ecuador and we here from Sunday to Tuesday I think so the work was a little different. The people that we taught that were not Catholic were actully more willing to here us haha so that was cool. But the people that were Catholic were just watching tv the whole 3 days. So it was double-sided. Here in Otavalo there are many people from many different religions. Sometimes it's like a mini "bible-belt". The cool thing is that there are many members of the church here too even though it's a small town (I think it's about the size of Cedar City... Maybe). Another name for it is Utavalo.

¡Gracias por todo el apoyo! Nos vemos pronto.

            Élder Bolton              
              Misión Ecuador Quito Norte
              2013 - 2015              
             Romans 1:16             

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

(remaining days: 34) D&C 98:14

I gotta start with what happened Monday night becuase of the changes. So since Elder Bell was coming from the jungle (Like 10 hours away from Otavalo), Elder Herrera was with us all day long. We were expecting him to arrive around like8:30pm but he never came. We called the ZLs and they told us that he had to take a detour because of construction. He seriously took a tour through the other mission. They also told us that he'd arrive "with luck" around 10:00pm. So he never showed up that day. We stayed us until 12:30pm waiting for his call like we were told to do, until we finally decided tocall the ZLs again, wake them up, and ask where Elder Bell was. They didn't know. We seriously thought he was sleeping on his luggage outside haha. So Elder Herrera selpt on the floor in our house and studied with us in the morning. We call the ZLs one more time and ask where Elder Bell was and they said, "Oh, I think he should probably be in the bus terminal by now". So we left and found him there. I though he'd be dead haha. He told us that he arrived in Quito around 9:00pm and that they slept in the secretaries house... The secretaries have a phone and they never called us... Who do I kill? Haha

This week was covenant week. The ZLs gave us a training on making and keeping covenants with the Lord in missionary work. It was a really spiritual experience and it made us realized the importance of his guidance in missionary work. It's essencial! So we kneeled and Thursday 

night after the training and set goals. And this week was great because of it! Especially Sunday. we had a lesson with member present every single hour of the day after church. Everything just worked out. We're going to continue applying it for the rest of the month of July.

Like I said this week has been really successful with investigators. As far as lessons to investigators, It's been my companion and I's best week together. The cool this is that many come from our own efforts, and many come from referals too. So we'll be hoping to bring some to the baptismal font before the transfer ends.

In other news... I almost gave a goat a heart attack when I threw a banana peel at it from above haha. The pope arrived in Quito on Sunday and will be here for a couple of days so maybe missionary work will be a little different. And I think you already know but I met the Sorensen family on Sunday when they arrived at our ward haha. So that was crazy. I'm sure it's the first time I've met anyone from Cedar City during my whole mission. I guess they'll be in the states again on the 20th of August again, I think. So I'll beat them to the land of the free haha.

Monday, June 29, 2015

(remaining days: 43) ¡Me quedo!

We got the changes and I'm staying! It'll be fun finishing my companion's training for my last change. He's learned a ton and we get along well. By the way I'm a potential prophet because I predicted the transfers in the district with exactness (Just kidding, but really I did). The new DL that'll be coming is Elder Bell. He was "born" when I was his ZL in Quito West (San Carlos) and I haveb't seen his since then (like 9 months) so it'll be good to see him. Right now I'm in a trio with his Colombian companion waiting for his becuase he gets here around 8:00pm from Coca (Whoo hoo! Jungle!)
This week we traveled to Quito for Elder Arrieta's verification with the rest of the missionaries from his group. I got to sleep in San Carlos again so that was cool being there for the first time since October. I saw Elder Guild too. He was asking me what we could do during to layover between Miami and Dallas hahaha. I'm not trunky, he is. We found some really solid new investigators this week. All of them have their fellowshippers and should be progressing soon. I feel really comfortable with the sector and I hope to baptize with Elder Arrieta this change. We definatly have the potential.
The weather has drastically changed from last week to this week. The sun is pounding us and the winds are insane. I've seen so many dust devils and been attacked by a couple. The members are saying that it¡ll be windy like that until August. By the way! Check out the July Liahona. The talk about the pioneers talks about Otavalo. Kind of cool. At least for me since I'm here.
¡Les quiero mucho! Oh and Elder Wright says hi

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners" - (Ephesians 2:19)

I've been thinking for like 10 minutes where I should start... On Wednesday we had a 7 hour zone conference with the other zone in Otavalo too. It was my son's first big zone conference so he loved seeing over 30 missionaries at a time haha. It was great though. We learned a lot of good things. President talked a lot about using family history to find new investigators and the assistants taught us an effective way to recieve referals from members.

The week was really weird as far as lessons go. On Tuesday we had an awesome day filled with great lessons every hour.Thursday and Friday we just had a ton of fallen appointments but a lot of street contacts. Saturday a ton of forigners contacted us. Like 8 in total. I've never spoke so much English in my mission to someone that's not a member or missionary. One was from Austria and I got to re-practice my German... I've forgotten a ton hahaha. It's crazy how many different cultures you can find in this small indigenous city though.

Hmm. What else... I got sunburnt from the zone activity we had last Monday. After the activity I got a haircut and by my ears I'm super white so I looked like a fool haha. The wind has been randomly crazy here too. Especially on Friday. I was seriouly waiting for a tornado.

No sé que mas a pasado esta semana jaja... Pero amo la misión. Sé que el señor sabe hacer las cosas y sigo aprendiendo cosas nuevas diariamente. Aveces veo mucha oposición aquí en la misión pero sólo me da un testimonio mas completo de esta gran obra. Nunca caeré. ¡Gracias a todos, les quiero mucho!

Monday, June 15, 2015

(remaining days: 57) Craziest week with my son so far

I'll start with the work and then I'll get to the crazy things so if you're not interested, skip to the 3rd paragraph haha. But right now Silvio and Jessica Torres still have a date but now for the 4th of July (´Merica!) because this weekend they went to Intag (A town that's super far away) to see his mom of the first time in months. Other than that, we're working with a ton of new investigators and other investigators that have had baptism dates before. Like the Moreno-Blanco family. They were the new family of 8 that we found this week. I seriously haven't found so many new investigators in one week for a long time. Other than them we found many more.  So this next week we'll try to keep up the pase.

On Tuesday we had divisions with our district leader. Elder Arrieta (My only begotten) was with the DL Elder Quiroz, and I was with his companion, Elder Andonaire, In my sector. They we fun divisions but the only terrible thing is that they were 24 hour divisions and Elder Andonaire snores like none other... I was about to shove one of my dirty socks down his throat but his snoring sounded like a bear so I decided not to. But that was the day when we found the new family so it was worth it.

On sunday night we witnessed an assult. We were contacting a guy that works at a small store with a return missionary in the ward around 8:45pm. In the street corner about 30ft away we see this girl screeming and a guy near her behind a parked car. We though they were just playing for a second but then we saw him beating her in the head with something. We almost ran over to help but then we saw that she was being beat with a pistol so we didn't. The car drove away and we ran over to the girl that was bleeding and crying. Felipe (the return missionary) calls the police and we're trying to calm down the girl. Then other neighbors come out. Another member that was just a block away saw the license plate so we got them... Crazy though.

To change the mood (haha), Friday night we had the most successful activity that I've ever seen in all my mission. We had a "talent show". In between every talent, us 4 missionaries had a mini 1 minute skit. I've never made so many people laugh before. I can talk more about it later but I have a ton of pictures thanks to a member and I'm going to try to get the videos from Elder Herrera. Around 250 people showed up! We have a ton of new people to contact.

Today we had a zone activity. We played vollyball and basketball for like 3 hours in the stake center as a zone. I'm terrible at volleyball but I love it. Over all it's been a really calm P-day... We played a lot of 21 as well. The rim was bent a little bit on the left side so I could dunk it haha.

¡Feliz cumple años papá! te quiero mucho y espero que disfrutas este día. Ya eres viejo jaja. Gracias por las cartas semanales que me han dado. Espero que estén disfrutando el verano. Como lo dirían aquí, ¡Pónganse pilas!