Tuesday, January 27, 2015

(WEEK 74) "To me, reactivating someone in the church is just as satisfying as a baptism..."

This week was tucaso... We "rescued" the mom from the Barrientos family so now the whole family is active and attending all 3 church hours! I love changing lives! Right now we don't have many people progressing but we are working on finding nwe investigators and we've had better luck with a couple of the families that we have been working with for a while. For example, the Zambrano-Saldariaga family is now planning a marrage date for the end of Feburary. The next changes are the 22nd of Feburary so I hope I can been there, They don't have a specific date yet. And we were able to visit a lot more less-active members this week. To me, reactivating someone in the church is just as satisfying as a baptism. That's why we were super happy for the Barrientos family.

On Tuesday we had divisions with Cangahua. I went up to their sector again. It's a sector on the mountain called Roldos/Pisulí and it's always freezing cold up there haha. There's never any snow but the wind chills are insane sometimes. Plus we did divisions again on Friday with the Elders in Pusuquí (Mitad del Mundo) where it's a dry desert. This time I stayed in Condado but I got soaked because of the rain haha. We were leaving the leadership meeting without enough money to take a taxi so we just walked home in the rain like men for our cozy rain coats hahaha. It was fun though. I did the divisions with a pretty new missionary named Elder Jeffery. On both divisions we had a ton of lessons and street contacts.

We had a ton of meetings and activities too. On Friday we had a leadership meeting with all tbhe distict and zone leaders from the 6 zones in Quito and the jungle zone. It was about 4 hours long and we learned a ton. The mission president is great and the assistants right now too. On Saturday we had a "Family Home Evening night" as a ward in the chappel. We led the activity with the lesson, games and food. We played games though for like an hour or more haha. It was good though because about 45 people showed up. And 8 of them were investigators. Today we had a zone activity where we played soccer, basketball, and had kind of a waterballon fight haha. It was actully more of a surprize bombing for 2 Elder's birthdays in the zone. One was my companion. Plus we ordered $45 of pizza. We are party ZLs hahaha.

Other than that, all is well in Zion. I finished "Our Search for Happiness" and "True to the Faith" recently and now I'm continuing on "Jesus the Christ." I think I'm in chapter 22 but I can't remember. I'm reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish again too. This time I'll actually finish it haha.

Me siento tan aburrido aveces porque ya tengo 8 meses en la misma capilla jajaja. Lo bueno es que es una de las mejores en la misión según lo que he escuchado. ¡Y es mas! Ya tengo 12 semanas con Élder Gallego (por esta misión, demasiado tiempo) pero igual, me alegro mucho porque es Colombiano y bacán jaja. Aprendo mucha jergas Colombianas... Bueno no sé que más hay que decir. Así pasó la semana. ¡Espero que su semana sea buena! ¡Gracias por las cartas que me envían también! Para mí es como una navidad cada Lunes. ¡Los quiero mucho a todos!

Monday, January 19, 2015

(WEEK 73) Angels Around Us

So on Saturday we went to the Pusuquí ward (Mitad del Mundo) to do a baptismal interview for the district leader over there. We arrived there early and waited for the investigator to show up at the chappel from work. All of a sudden, this member family drives by us and starts talking to us. They were members from a ward in Northern Quito called El Eden. They interduce us to their son who was going to go to Santiago, Chile in a month and told us that they have another son serving the Salt Lake South mission in Utah. The mom told us that she was going to go buy us some fruit. We just thought, "Oh, that's really nice..." The dad and his 2 sons stayed with us just talking. The mom gets back in like 30 minutes with 6 grocery bags from el Tía (Tía is like a supermarket) filled with food!!! So there were 3 for each companionship. It had cerial, milk, eggs, oreos, and other snacks. We did the math and in total she spent about $44 on us... We didn't even know what to say but now our fridge is full haha. So that's were the title comes from.
Most of all though, it was a really eventful Sunday. Carlos Barrientos got confirmed by his dad and we participated in the confirmation as well. My companion and I gave talks in church. I gave a 15 minute talk using many parts of a talk that was given in the October 2013 general conference called: "Ye Are No More Strangers" by Gérald Caussé. I felt like the talk went really well. I also used some personal experiences from before the mission and during the mission. I thought the 2nd hour class as well that's called gospel principles. I talked about repentance for like 45 minutes with a small room filled with investigators. And after church, we had a meeting with the stake presidnecy and the mission president to discuss about problems and solutions in the stake with the other zone leaders of the stake too. After that we had on time to rest for the rest of the day with a ton of appointments. Sunday's are crazy lately.
We had a decent amount of meetings this week as well. On Friday we had a special training from the president and the assistants which took about all day long. We got so tired that we were just messing around for the last hour because we just couldn't foucs haha. But I did learn a lot from the training though. On Thursday we met all of the new missionaries that arrived in the zone. Everyone that arrived is either a new Elder or a sister missionary on her last change(6 weeks) so ending this change should be interesting haha. In fact, one of the sister missionaries that is dying (going home) this change was in my MTC district and is in my ward and opening a sector that was closed for 6 weeks. She's expecting a farewell party in 5 weeks. I'll see what tricks I have up my sleeve...
Today we went to La Mitad del Mundo again. Not the monuent but the museum right next door which is the real equator line. My camera is still acting broken so I'll have to send pictures from my companions camera. Speaking of that, a virus entered my companions camera memory last week so Carlos's baptismal pictures are probably lost forever. But we'll see what we can do to somehow fix it. I'll always have the memory though.
Oh, y sólo para que sepan, voy a cambiar la escritura abajo (en la bandera) cada semana para que mis cartas sean más interesantes. Ésta semana es 1 Nefi 19:9... ¡Búsquenlas, son buenas, les prometo! ¡Tengan una buena semana todos! ¡Los quiero mucho!

(WEEK 73) Angels around us

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

(WEEK 72) ¡Me quedo!

Round 3 in El Condado! These changes were so wierd. None of the leaders in the zone changed (2 zone leaders, 3 district leaders, and 1 sister leader) but just about everyone else did. I thought for sure I was going to be changed to Otavalo just cause my companion has about the same time as me here (Just 2 weeks less). But I'm pretty happy though! The Colombian and I get along really well. I'm expecting intermediate changes in 3 weeks but we'll see what happens. This is the first time I've ever had a companion for more than 2 changes (12 weeks).

Carlitos Barrientos got baptized last Saturday! His dad baptized him and then he bought us a ton of food after. It was sweet... Really spiritual too when they shared their testimonies after. He didn't get confirmed because this week was stake conference but he'll be ready to be confirmed on the 18th of January. Speaking of the stake conference, that was awesome too! The stake president got an area 70, my mission president and his wife, and the Guayaquil temple president and his wife to come and speak. So it was just packed with inspiration haha. All of the talks were really good.

This week we also had the mission council and sone conference. The main theme for the mission council was "obedience" and the mission president used some talks from general conference to make it kind of deeper and it was pretty sweet. This week I also did divisions with Elder Madsen in La Mena de Hierro. Which is a sector that is basically nothing more than a giant hill. The house is probably the highest house in the mission haha. But the divisions were pretty sweet. We had a good time and had a lot of success that day. I'm mad though because he had changes and is in Otavalo now.

This week on Friday I lost my agenda with all the numbers of all the members in the 3 sectors in the ward, with names and addresses and everything. My companion was freaking out because he had almost no numbers in his agenda. I though I was going to get changed and leave him without a ton of the information about the sector (Some of the information is in the Area Book but the agenda had everything). I lost it in a phone booth when I had to use one to call my companion to end the divisions on Friday. Luckly, we passed by yesterday and it was still sitting there... And I didn't get changed anyways.

Un misionero me llamó por cabina hace como 20 minutos. Está yendo a nuestra zona (Ofelia) desde Coca en la Oriente (Mi primer sector en la misión). Él justo llegó al terminal de Quitumbe (Un terminal que se queda bien por el sur de Quito) y tiene que viajar como una hora y media todavía para llegar al terminal de Carcelén (Un terminal que se queda bien por el norte de Quito). Estaba un poco perdido y me recordé que yo tuve que pasar por el mismo sufrimiento hace 11 meses cuando hice el mismo viaje pero de Coca a Quito a Quinindé jajaja. Yo tuve que explicarle a él bien como viajar en Quito para que no se perdiera. Tal como asistente Elder Thomas me lo explicó a mi hace 11 meses. El tiempo está pasando demasiado rápido jaja.

¡Espero que tengan una semana buena! Y que no se pierdan donde sea que estén. Sólo digo eso por mis experiencias propias en la misión jajaja. Me he perdido como 3 veces. Es bueno que yo ya conozca Quito bien. ¡Y espero que todo está bien donde sea que estén! ¡Que el señor les bendiga! ¡Saludos a todos! ¡Los quiero muchísimo!

Find someone that knows Spanish hahaha!

(WEEK 72)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

(WEEK 71) 20¡15!

For the net couple of days the streets were completely dead. Either there were no people, or there were drunk men. I remember passing by one park with like 10 stoned guys haha, there were all knocked out. It was great... Starting today the streets are finally normal and everyone started working or going to school again. On Saturday these members invited us to a barbaque for the new year and because my companions birthday and my birthday are in this month. I haven't eaten that much meat for a long time haha. We had like 3 full plates of pure meat. I'm sure I broke the Word of Wisdom haha, oops. Also one of the assistants did divisions with us (Elder Miranda). Or at least he worked with us on Friday. It was a fun day. We always find new people with them. We were giving him a hard time too because he's leaving the offices to be a ZL again in one week and we were bothering him that he'd get banished to Coca in the jungle haha. He'd hate that.

We are really happy with the progress in our sector now! We are going to rescue (reactivate) a less-active family this week. And the dad that is getting reactivated is going to baptize his son that we've been teaching. And the kid just passed his baptismal interview yesterday so it should be a "for-sure" baptism! Plus a less-active lady (Sister Tabango) that the ward has always said is really difficult gave up working on Sunday to go to church for the first time in years! And her 3 kids aren't baptized yet but are preparing to get baptized too. That also pumped us up! And also we found another solid lady named Meiser Lousia that accepted a baptismal date. We have a couple other investigators with potential but those are the big ones.

For the district/zone meeting on Thursday there were almost no busses running. we had to wait about 40 minutes for a bus that normally passes by every 10 minutes. And on Friday for the leadership meeting we saw the same bus passing by the corner and had to sprint as fast as we could to catch it. We were spriting for our lives for like 1 strait minute which is too much for me haha. I haven't ran that hard since I was home... Or since I was a teenager haha (I'm jsut about 20 now...). But like I said, things are starting to get normal again. But it was a sweet new years! Not exactly the same without the family but my companion and I made it count.

Espero que hayan tenido un prospero año y mucha felicidad en el 2014 y que tengan un año aún mejor éste año. Yo ya tengo la meta que éste año para mí sea el año que va a definir mi misión. O sea que voy a trabajar a lo loco jaja. ¡Los quiero mucho a todos! ¡Nos vemos pronto!

(WEEK 71)