HOLA FAMILIA!!!! COMO ESTAAAAAN!??!!?! Wow! This week flew by SOOO FAST. Holy smokes. Okay so today I am in a suuuuper good mood because…welll….i am always in a good mood on Pdays. hahaha Today we went to San Antonio (where i am emailing right now) and bought cool trinkets. haha This town is suuuper cool and really artsy buuut they are prettttty obsessed with sculptures and paintings of naked people doing…well innappropriate things. So that’s great. But oh my gosh! I don’t know where to start!!! Hm. Okay. So first off, I GOT INTO BYU!!! Woohoooooooooo! Second. Tuesday i don’t know what I ate but the food made me suuuuper sick so that wasn’t the best experience. It is seriously the hardest thing having to walk and focus energy on making other people happy when you don’t feel good. Like…I don’t want to smile …i want to throw up. But hey, all is good in the hood ahora.But okay, here is the real ish i have right now. I luhluhloooove the pastries and bread here. Like, way too much. And it doesn’t help that all the drinks are super sugary too…and okay, i’m sorry I talk about food in EVERY email, but it is def a highlight of my week. So anyway, since i have been eating a ton of sugar lately, i have recently been getting mosquito bites. hahahahhahaha THEY SUCK. There are like huuuuge mosquitoes which i NEVER see, but their bites hurt super bad. And there are little ones which are suuuper fast and you can never kill them. So that is a great gift that God has blessed us with on this Earth. For real though, opposition is great. And these mosquitoes have helped me realize that i need to cut back on the sugar. So, this week i am thankful for mosquitoes…kind of. Moving on. Our dueñas are kind of super annoying because whenever we have an issue, they don’t do SQUAT about it. We FINALLY have hot water. Oh, thank the heavens. But when we flush the toilet, water comes up out of the drain on the floor aaaand well it smells HORRID. Also, we didn’t have light literally last sunday until this sunday. hahahaha That was real fun too. It’s funny because we literally almost spend half of our day planning and studying and getting ready in our house…and we had to use the flashlight Wes gave me. THAT SAVED US! (so thank you, Wes!) 🙂 But right as my flashlight died, i decided to screw the lightbulb in and out and like adjust it (because the dueñas didn’t do anything to help us!) and now we have light. Whew. But….one more thing. This is the exciting part. hahaahaha we have a RAT in our SINK. hahahahhahahha oh my gosh it is so disgusting. We literally hear it trying to chew its way out and it squeals when it gets frustrated. We have tried putting bleach down the drain to poison it and we boiled water today and when we heard it chewing, we chucked it down the drain as fast as we could….five minutes later it was squealing again. So that is reeeeally superb. So disgusting. So our dueñas are pretty annoying for not helping us out but HEY that’s life. You have to deal with people who are lazy and thoughtless. I’m sure they are very great people, really though…ANYWAY!
So today we’re in San Antonio, right? We see this huuge sculpture/slide. I’m all “OH HECK YES” and climb on up, take a picture, and go down the slide. This slide was sketttttch. I don’t know why I went down it. But it literally goes straight down and then horizontal. liiiike a 100 degree angle. So on the way down hhahahhah you just hear two loud thumps. I stand up, suuuper confused and realize 1-my tailbone is BASICALLY BROKEN. okay, not really but it hurt like noooone other. and 2- my belt was hanging of the end of the slide broken in two. haahahhaha WHAT THE HECK! I just wanted to have some fun 😦 So yeah, my belt is broken as well as my pompis. I have decided I will not go down a slide unless someone else goes before me. I will send the pictures of me climbing up and going down the slide RIGHT before my dream was crushed.
So wednesday, hermana alva, black, hendersen, and i got to paint a member’s house briiiight green. it was so much fun and i got to wear pants finally and i also got to hear american/reggaeton music which was nice for a change…hehe….sorry bout it….but then the woman who lived there offered us lunch. Okay, once again–lunch here is like dinner for Americans. And sometimes almost like thanksgiving dinner. So we were stoked! But hermana alva and I realized that we were scheduled to go eat at someone else’s house for the day. We didn’t have her phone number so we couldnt call and cancel. Soooo we had to eat TWICE. We were literally fooooorcing the second lunch down our throats. like,it made us soo sick. the whole way home we were holding our stomachs saying “OOF! LA MAMA!” (that is just something you say here and it is hilarious so we always say it) I have never been so full in my life. The only other time I have been that full was when I was at the MTC. Hermana Stephensen and I were so full and we layed on the ground and rolled around to feel better. Trust me, that works. This is not a joke. But I was laughing sooo hard with Hermana Alva because I told her that story and we were laughing about how awful we felt and how we still had a whole day ahead of us of walking and teaching…we threw up on the street. HA PSYCH, gotcha. We didn’t throw up. But we were really close to it. Anyway. That was a super great story. Sorry about that.
Anyway, ahem, we are teaching this family from Columbia and the dad makes bricks for work. All he does all day is make bricks and then stack them and we told him that one day we want to help but he never asks us. So one day we showed up randomly and he was stacking bricks! So we helped him. It was fun. However, I sliced my fingers up pretty good. But that’s beside the point. While we were doing this, two little boys ran up to the barbed wire fence and just stood there, watching us. hahhhaa So i started to talk to them and see how theyre doing and where theyre from and everything and they asked me if i was from ARGENTINA. hahaha what the devvv?! I was so happy and flattered! But i told them no and to guess again. Their other two guesses were Canada and Australia, so that is pretty cool. Theyre parents thought I was from Cuba…i dont get it. Maybe i am getting a tad darker? I dont know. But i was pleased with those guesses.
Halloween here is realy only for pèople who go to clubs to dance. NO ONE CELEBRATES IT. And the famillies here that we teach from Columbia say that it is really big there, so i dont get it!!! But on Halloween it was Elder Garcia’s birthday (an elder in our district) so we bought a piñata and had a mini party after one of our district meetings. It was so much fun, and we at least got sooome candy. hehe.
Back to the food. This week hermana alva and i went to this notorious ice cream place. The presentation of their ice cream? A plus. I took my first bite and found out that they put CHEESE in my ice cream. Apparently that is like the custom here in Ecuador. They like to put cheese in their ice cream. So that was fun to eat but not my favorite.
During church a boy we are teaching, daniel, was sitting behind me. Little did I know, he was PLUCKING HAIRS OUT OF MY HEAD. he literally ripped sooo much of my hair out and was just admiring it. He is thirteen years old! WHAT THE HECK! It was the oddest, most uncomfortable, and infuriating thing ever. hahahahha not really, but it was pretty dang weird.
Usually when people say my name they cant pronounce it. It either sounds like they say “doonee” or, my personal favorite, “dung”. hahahhaa oh my gosh i cant help but laugh when they say it the latter way. Gosh. Yeah. That’s funny.
Also, this week one of our Mamita’s forgot about us so we had to eat Chifa for lunch. Chifa is like chinese but with a mixture of ecuadorian recipe. it is pretty good. not super great though. anyway, while we were in there they were playing SUCH good dancing music. Seriously, the worst temptations for me on this mission are bread and dancing.
. i just cant wait for the day i get to dance again. haha. Speaking of dancing, i taught hermana alva how to spongebob and bernie when we were in our house. haha she says americans dance really really oddly. but she likes it. apparently, at all dances she said they just move their hips and feet really fast. she showed me and it is so cute. haha she is so cute and i love her.
Okay, so here comes the change in topic. We are visiting some families that live in like the same complex..they have a dirt courtyard looking thing in the middle where they have a well and clotheslines. And we are over there a lot…there are ALWAYS these four kids who are always alone. their dad is out of the picture and their mom works all day. gosh it makes me so sad. like, we invite them to come to our lessons and come to church and they never really want to. theyre pretty quiet and seem really sad. gah! it just breaks my heart! like, there are soooo many kids here that are just like them. They dont have a parent to take care of them and teach them and it is so sad. And since they dont have someone to look up to or know where to find true, eternal, happiness, they turn to temporary happiness. drugs and alcohol and friends who DO NOT respect them. It breaks my heart. I pray for them every night.
So, i am reeeeally starting to love these people more like God loves them. This week I cried over them because i can see the desire in their eyes and by the things they say to me that they truly want to change and they know that this gospel will help them, but i can also see the pain and the frustration and disappointment. Like, there are so many people who want to get married but cant because their papers are in colombia and if they go back there, they will be killed. Or addictions. So many people dont want to accept baptismal dates because they think that if they mess up, then they lose everything and theyre sinners. THAT IS NEVER TRUE. you can ALWAYS repent and turn to God. Another thing they fear is that it is harder to resist things after they are baptized. THAT IS NOT TRUE EITHER. After you get baptised, you can and should receive the Holy Ghost. When you have the HG with you all the time, you are stronger. You feel God’s love, you remember the covenants you made, you are able to discern better what is good and bad for you, you have more self confidence, you confide in God more…EVERYTHING IS BETTER. Everything. And maybe trials will come your way, but you are stronger than the temptations or the heartache you feel because GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE. Always. And as long as you pray to Him and beg for his help and let Him know that you are grateful for life itself, HE WILL HELP YOU BE STRONGER. We have to do our part…stay away from those temptations…and when we have given our all, Heavenly Father will make up the rest and help strengthen our weaknesses. God is so amazing. Seriously! He only wants the best for us. It is truly amazing the unconditional love He has for us.
We have one investigator named Bolivar. He used to drink a lot and beat his family but he said he feels really good when we teach him and like he truly has another chance. He has stopped drinking. He faces that temptation DAILY. And he always remembers how he is trying to follow the path God wants him to follow. For work he trains chickens to fight. He decided that that is not something God would want so he wants to try and breed them more and sell them and sell their eggs and stuff….he is changing his life. And although he feels awful about his past, he finds comfort in prayer and reading the scriptures, and realizing that he truly is changing his life for the better and he truly is immensley happier overall in life. How great is he? He is such an example to me. We can overcome anything. Absolutely anything, as long as we TRULY with all the sincerity of our heart believe that God will be helping us and strengthening us each day, because He is. And He is giving it His all. We should too. He made this plan for us to come here and experience life and He also gave us a way to RETURN to Him and LIVE with Him…he WANTS us to return there so he will be doing all he can to help us achieve that goal. But WE HAVE TO DO OUR PART TOO. He can’t help us if we aren’t willing or believing enough to change the way we live.
Another thing i read this week that was WAY powerful is the talk “The Miracle of a Mission” by Elder Holland in the Brazil MTC. I could hear his voice in this talk…gosh i love elder Holland. This talk has changed the way I look at this mission. I am so much more driven now. I know I need to work hard daily. Every second matters. Every second.
Something our ward is starting to do is every tuesday at 7pm (my time) everyone in the ward, wherever they are, prays for missionary work. The missionaries, the investigators, the presidents…everything and everyone that has to do with missionary work! i think that is so powerful. If you want to, you can join too! 🙂 I think it is pretry cool. It is really hard to motivate people to come to church. At the beginning of this year 150 people were asisting every sunday. Now we are down to 90 if we’re lucky. It is so sad. So we are trying really hard to spiritually strengthen the members, and less actives now. and it is SO IMPORTANT that our investigators make friends in the church or no one will want to come. That is really the hardest thing right now. No one can progress because no one makes it to church. But that is going to change fast! 🙂 The members are helping us a lot more now by giving us references and teaching with us, which is super nice for a change. It is so much more powerful when other people outside our church can hear the testimonies of members. Not just the missionaries. Try and help the missionaries out in your wards and branches too! They need you!! 🙂 Alright. I am out of time. Take care, everyone! Till next week!! 🙂
This is called a guagua. it’s a doll made of bread but I broke it in half:(
This is me right before I hurt my tail bone. Look at the angle on this slide!!
This is my room.