Monday, April 27, 2015

(remaining days: 106)

Stake conference this weekend was no disappointment. First of all, another black dog got in again. One of the high priests tryed to get it out for like 10 minutes but couldn't. Finally Elder Hagemeyer took out bread from his bag and lured it out with everyone watching, then I closed the door. Teamwork. By the way, there were more than 1500 members in a medium sized chappel. They had to add chairs in hte isles just so everyone could get in. So once you got in, you couldn't get out. President and Sister Richardson were there and also gave talks. President used the same scripture that I used just before conference (Alma 23:3) to explain the faithfulness of the Lamanites, which they were. Revelation!

We did a service on Wednesday for a recent convert family. we had to move like 5,000 cement bricks and like 1000 pounds of sand up to the next story. We had a line going but them Elder Smith just decided to throw the bricks up to me from the ground floor haha. Then we had to fill bag of sand and carry them up one by one. It was hard but fun. Right before that we ate at a western-american themed grill called Tío Jesse. It's super expensive but it was worth it. I got this huge bacon burger and almost cryed. 

The missionaries in our zone are awesome but we still have the same problems. So on Thursday we had a training about finding solutions and it turned out pretty sweet. We played games about finding solutions and workind as a team and then we had like a zone counsil and found solutions as a zone. And this week we did a ton better so I'm happy! We also had divisions with Companía (Elder Leal and Elder Castro). During those divisions my companion got bit by a dog that just gave birth haha. They are devils. I've learned to hate dogs from South America. I haven't been bitten yet but there's been like hundreds of close calls. Plus on that day Elder Smith missed out on shrimp. So I rubbed it in his face haha.

The bishop took us out again on Sunday and now we have a ton of less-active members to work with. The husband of one of them has a baptismal date for the 16th of May! He's a drinker but we'll keep trying to help them out. His name is Segundo Iza. Other than that this week has been really interesting with investigators. We're teaching a guy that killed someone like 10 years ago. He's awesome though. I know he'll progress. I've learned to become more firm and brave under difficult situations because I know that the Lord is protecting me.

Monday, April 20, 2015

(remaining days: 113)

I haven't felt this cold since winter of 2013 hahaha. It's really nothing compared to Utah's winter but because of the rain and wind that we've been having all week long, I gotta get used to it again. I'm going to die when I get back to Utah haha. But sometimes I really like the rain though. The only thing that really bothers me about the rain is that it's a lot harder to contact in the street and when we knock on door they don't want to let us in haha. But we're working hard. We look for solutions, not excuses.

On Tuesday we had a training that lasted from 10 am to 7pm.. Basically all day long. For the most part of the day, there were 3 other zones there with us too. We have great trainings from presidnet and a pretty sweet training from the assistants about inspired questions too. I got everyone excited to ask more inspired questions. The only bed thing about the training is that it was raining super hard for like 2 hours and I almost couldn't hear a thing haha. It was almost as bad as the jungle rain. But through the Spirit, we were al able to get the messages.

This week we did quite a few divisions as well. We worked with our district leader, Elder Richardson, and his new companion, Elder Vargas. I love doing interchanges with new missionaries just because they are so pure and innocent haha. One of the assistants stayed with us for a day and a night as well. And while my companion did the monthly meeting with the missiona dnstake presidnet, I was doing divisions with Hno. Guevara, a recent convert of the ward. I got to know a lot about other this week because of divisions.

Saturday we just contacted in a far away part of our sector and then waited for like 2 hours for an investigator of the other district leader to arrive. While we waited I contacted some local Otavaleños and we played soccer and basketball haha. They beat me in soccer, I won in basketball. Plus while we were waited there at the house of the investigator, his step parents casturated a pig. I've never seen that before. The squeeling almost made my ears bleed. But, while the others were doing divisions and working somewhere else, the investigator finally showed up and passed his interview. So it was worth the wait. Many people don't have phones here so it so hard to contact them.

The bishop took us this week to a lot of inactive members houses that are really far away. I learned yesterday that my sector is insanely huge. It goes out almost all the way to the coast and i techniqually have the providences in my sector (Pichncha, Imbabura, and Esmeraldas). Our ward, along with Rumiñahui, are in charge of all the Latinos within the Otavalo area, the rest of the wards have indiginous people. But it was great teaching with the bishop all day long as he took us around in his truck to rescue the lost sheep.

Today we went to Lake Mojanda, which is this beautiful lake that's in our sector but really high in altitude and about 10 miles away from the city but up a steep rocky road. We took a truck tazi to get up there. We were thinking about hiking to the peak of Fuya Fuya, where you can see all the way to Quito, but we didn't have time. We just hiked up about 1/3 way and took a lot of pictures. One of the missionaries was having a hard time with the elevation but we were cheering her on and we all made it up... Well, not to the top, but pretty high haha.

Chuta, esta carta fue aún más grande... De nada, o quizá disculpa, o no sé jaja... Estamos trabajando con muchas parte familias y nuevas familias que hemos contactado. No hemos visto mucho éxito con ellos hasta ahora, ¡pero seremos persistentes con ellos hasta que se bauticen todos! ¡Gracias por todo el apoyo que me dan cada uno de ustedes! Digo de nuevo que amo la misión. Espero que tengan todos una semana buenísima dondequiera que se encuentren.

(remaining days: 113)

Friday, April 17, 2015

(remaining days as of August 13th: 120)

So since I'm with my first American companion since I had 11 months in the mission, I'm speaking more English and I realized that I'm going to struggle at times with the language when I get back haha. I'll never forget English, but I'll studder at times haha. In fact, from Monday to Wednesday, I was in a trio with a missionary from California that was going to train and had to stay with us and wait until Thursday morning to get his companion. So we've also beeen working in 2 sectors. But I'm adjusting now.

Right now we are working super hard, I love it. On Thursday we had like a million contacts and walked around all the sector. I got really sunburnt haha but after harder days I feel really satisfyed when I arrive at home each night. And even when we work hard and we don't instantly see many things out of it, I know that the Lord is always there. In fact, I was just reading Mosiah 24 this morning, which is one of my favorite chapters, and I know with certanty that we're being heard and guided. I love the mission.

The members are waking up more and giving us a lot of referals. Even though most of them are for othert wards like Rumiñahui, It's great to see them more active. We're still trying really hard to work with the home teachers since that's basically a problem in the whole stake, and hopefully we'll get success out of that. On Tuesday we were contacting up on a giant hill where you can see like half on the providence Imbabura in a place called Yambiru and we founf some new less-actice members that live up there (Renato Días y Meida Sepeda). They have desires to come back and we just started working with them.

Today we went to a place called El Lechero where we tooka ton of pictures, kind of fun. Next week we will be able to do more activities so we're going to Lago Cuicocha, which is like a volcanic crater lake with an island in the middle of it, should be cool. Tomorrow President and the assistants will be coming here to Otavalo to be training us about teaching skills. The first meeting is from 10:00am to 1:00pm, and the second from 2:00pm to 8:00pm. So we'll be in the chappel all day long, but I'm still excited.

Mi compañero compró una pintura grade de Quito por $20. Es chevere porque tiene Panecillo y el volcán Cotapaxi. Realmente costaba $35 pero el preciso se bajó porque él solo tenía un billete de $20. Creo que voy a hacer lo mismo jaja. Ya tengo planes para comprar recuerdos en Mayo cuando yo termine el cambio. Y sí, mamá, recibí el paquete y las cosas de Pascua. ¡Gracias! ¡Les quiero muchísimo y deseo que tengan una buena semana!

(remaining days: 120)