Monday, November 25, 2013

Garage clean-out, hamburger contacting, and Beto--the wonder dog

the sisters before transfers last week (tall white girl problems.)
(and last week since i didnt get to write a complete letter)
the german family whose dad died(who kind of looks like uncle ray) is starting to clean out their garage, where the dad left all his tools and things. but the thing is, its not really a garage. its more like a small wherehouse (i have no idea how to spell that) and its not just like a hammer and power saw....its like huge super expensive tools and machinery (a forklift, a generator, two super old cars, and various other machines) and the son that just got off his mission and the mom and the sister are working to go through all of the junk and figure out what they want to keep/sell etc. (it kind of reminds me of the rhonda situation but more stuff and its all in german) so they had this forklift that they are trying to sell, but they need to paint it. so we helped them sand the paint off the forklift so they can paint it again. it was pretty fun, but we were outside from 8 am to 2 pm in the very powerful ecuador sun...i forgot to put on sunscreen, and needles to say i am officially a redneck. my farmers tan is so strong right now, and my neck/ears are peeling.
Me in orange paint, the sander, and the RM


we did divisions the wednesday before last, and hermana norton (our sister trainer who went home on monday) and i went up to calacali. we found a family the first door we knocked and they accepted a baptismal date, but have been avoiding us since. (a very normal occurance) the daughters names is narly. like gnarly. i thought that was sweet.

Narly and family, with Hermana Norton
we also are teaching a family with a dad of 19 years and a mom of 21 years...they already have a 4 year old and an 2 year old (which means he was 15 and she was 17) but they are super cool. the two year old is named jeangrey, after the lady from x-men. latinos really like wahtever english sounding name they can find. 
The zone before transfers
We had transfers on monday, but hermana lopez and i both are staying in mitad del mundo. the other sisters from the ward both left (one went home and one got transfered) and the sent in two new sisters. one of them (hermana velasquez) is training, so we were in a trio until thursday when the new sister got here ( hermana doza) by the time sunday came around hermana doza was totally depressed and is going to talk to president today to try and go home. sooo we might be in a trio again, but we will see. 
 the first lunch of the new missionaries and a sweet garden of the youngwomens president
(they have 20+ types of fruit, half of which i have never heard of)
monday night after we finished up in the offices, we were super hungry and decided to go find some food. so we walked into this totally random hamburger place and started to eat. about 20 minutes later the workers and and the other people eating there said hey were members. so we start talking and the main guy says i have a reference, but its for the ofelia stake. we said well were in ofelia...he says but its for pusuqui....were in pusuqui....but its for mitad del mundo...the reference was litterally 2 blocks from our house. we went by on tuesday to go visit them and they are a golden family...well almost. they dad has a few underlying mental problems and they arent married but they are totally stoked to get baptized! it was sweet to know that the spirit prompted us to go into the restraunt and for the guy to share his reference with us. 
not much else really happend. we had to go an hour and half into quito two days this week, so that chewed up alot of time. the zone got 2 other greenie gringos, both completely awkward with a very thick gringo accent, so we will see how they do. 
beto, the alley dog also got a haircut, he looks like a skinny lion now, but im gonna miss him when i get changed for sure. 

im still deciding what we should do with the money (Editor's note: money from the Chapel Hill ward Relief Society for her to use to help needy folks in her area instead of trying to send her something for Christmas). im thinking about spending a little bit of it for hermana lopez.
hermana lopez and i made a paper chain to countdown to christmas
shes the only member in her family and her family hasnt written her in like 4 i might do something for her. also i might pay for a few marriages for poor families who want to get baptized but dont have the money to get married. anyways ill let you know. 
i dont think were going to do anything for thanksgiving, but we will see. its weird to think its november. it still feels like july here. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Must Love Puppies

I had a few interesting experiences. The work of salvation..(i think thats what its called in english) is going well. we have ward council every week and at least one or two visits to less actives families with various members from ward council. we went to go see a family and surprise! they have 15 day old english bulldog puppies ( who im obsessed with).
that was on tuesday, and on friday my companion felt a promting that we should go visit the family again. we didnt have too much to do so i said yeah sure. we head down to the house and the mom tells us that the mom of the dogs got hit by a car and died. so now the human mom (who is having various medical problems and in a constant level of pain and discomfort) has to hand feed the puppies every hour, day and night. she also gave us the news that because the dog died, it sparked a whole new set of problems and arguments that ended up in her husband leaving, taking all the money and the phone, leaving here with two kids, her own medical problems and two puppies who eat 17 dollars worth of formula every two days. although it was a sad situation, it was really cool to feel like we were really following the spirit and were able to comfort someone when they really needed it. we also arranged for her two kids to go to church the next day and they were really into it. 

another cool experience we had this week was also based on spiritual promptings. we were on the bus headed back to our sector, but we had 2 hours before our next appointment. we had already done a bunch of contacting in the main part of town, and i felt like we should go up to a little pueblito about 15 minutes outside of town. so we stayed on the bus and got off at the top of this big hill and just started walking down. were knocking doors for about 45 minutes, and nobody has even tried to talk to us. as were walking down i see this somewhat sketchy stairway going up to a little house. i say what the heck, at least the stairs will tone my butt. so we go up to the house and this lady opens the door and immediately lets us in. we sit down in her humble kitchen on plastic lawn chairs, no table, no sink, and a small gas stove on some plywood on some cinderblocks and start to teach her. shes super friendly and her two kids are so freaking cute. shes in  a "union libre" basically a marriage without any legal documents with a guy 10 years older than her whos one of 17 kids. but they fell in love and decided what the heck were gonna live our life and the did. they moved in when she was 17 and and 8 years later they are still going strong. anyways. so about 30 minutes into the lesson i ask her what their last names our so we can pray for them, then it hits me. this family was a street contact almost two months ago, one of my very first days in mitad del mundo. they gave us a rough address but we could never find the house. i ask her if its her and she says "yes i thought you werent going to realize it" apparently she knew the whole time that i didnt remember them, but wasnt going to say anything. she and her husband see us alot downtown, but they were a little bummed we never visited them, and since we never recongized them they thought we didnt want to talk to them. (i guess its alot easier to recognize the only white girl in all of 3 towns than it is to recognize a latino you contacted in the street once) they came to church this week and were gonna go visit them tomorrow

we also had another family come to church (also not married, there seems to be a theme here) but the womans brother is a missionary in chile and got baptized a little over a year ago. so while were work to get a few couples married, hopefully we can throw in a few baptismal dates too. butttt transfers are this next week, and i dont feel like im going to stay here. so thats a little bit of a bummer but its the mission life.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween Ecuadorian Style

This week: we tried to have a halloween party for the stake, but it was poorly planned and poorly announced so only a few families showed up. it was still fun though. i went as a cat, two elders as nerds, one as a jedi and one sister as pocohantas. dressing up while still keeping the missionary standards is challenging for sure.
our zone at the halloween party
we planned it for november 2nd which as many of you know is day of the dead. (also called dias de los difuntos here) the ward celebrates by drinking colada morada and eating gua-guas de pan. the colada morada is a super sweet fruit smoothie that is served hot and actually pretty good. the blueberry season here starts in november so its a super traditional and highly anticipated event. they also make gua guas (wah-wahs) de pan which is a bread shaped baby decorated with colored icing. they are sooooo good.

gua guas and colada morada!

                various relief society sisters and us

we also helped various families decorate for christmas which was quite fun. everyone always asks about thanksgiving with very confused interest.  we also had dinner yesterday with the half german half ecuadorian family that lives in the thats always an interesting time.
dinner with the german family

we also attended a birthday party for one of our investigators. latinos do not mess around with birthday parties

we had two days of training (between interviews and zone conference and other stuff etc.) so we didnt get too much done, but its all in a mission.  my baptism last week was the daughter of the family we baptized the first baptism (we didnt know she existed until a few weeks later) but she is the BOMB. she totally ditched all her friends and told them she was getting baptized and needed to live a better life. but then her grandma came and stole all her clothes because she wants her to move back and not live with her mom anymore. this family never really ceases to surprise me. 

the funny story of the week: we were in a lesson with an investigator and it was going pretty well. we ask her to give the closing prayer and shes all about it. shes giving the prayer and all of the sudden the two year old who was falling asleep on her  shoulder just pukes all over her, the chair and the floor. it was a small kid but alot of throwup. we didnt really know what to do so we tried to help clean up with some babywipes we had in our bag. the lady came back in and started to finish her prayer still covered in puke, we told her she could go change first and she was like oh really? okay... it was pretty funny. but props to her to keeping the spirit through it all. 

The view out my window
thats all folks!