Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 28 How to Properly End a Transfer: Burn down your house and have a mini flood

Hey friends and family!

Yep, you read that right! Only our house did not burn down completely. Note: It was not our fault.

For our district activity, we celebrated that the district had been progressing with their English. We celebrated with ice cream, KFC, and extremely competitve UNO. It was an simple but awesome activity. Afterwards, an hermana painted my nails for me for my birthday. 

While teaching Carmen, our less active, her chicks were running around, fighting over a cockroach. Hna. Ccoycca could not focus because she was freaking out about the cockroach. I was dying of laughter. We did divisions with two hermanas in the ward who are preparing for missions and by the end of the day, we had taught over 15 lessons! I was exhausted!

I ended up celebrating my birthday 3 times this week because I knew with my birthday being the day after transfers, I would not be able to celebrate it. Today was number 1. We had a general missionary broadcast (there has not been one in over 10 years! I feel cool!) and an hermana in my zone gave me a raincoat because I accidentally left mine back in the states. Hna. Mariela decorated her house with balloons and bought me a cake for my birthday. It was super sweet. She also gave me a shirt for my birthday.

Thursday (The day of the disaster! Bum bum bummmmmmmmmm!)
Well... What started out as a normal day took a turn for the worst. We had our weekly meetings and two missionaries, El. Tituaña and El. Risco, completed their missions so they bore their testimonies and we ate cake! Always a good day when cake is involved! 

We went home to drop off a bunch of stuff but when I opened the door, black smoke came out of our house. I went in several times to open windows and grab our phone. We called the fire department and our zone leaders. Fire departments here in Ecuador and in the states work very differently but hey, it is all good. Turns out the reason why there was a fire in our house was because of our fridge. Something happened and it exploded causing a fire. The wall is ruin and the ceilings are black from the smoke. The owner of the house was not upset with us; she was upset with the elders because they stayed for a little bit then left. She kept telling them that they had to stay and take care of us hermanas (we were tough girls though).
We ended up taking all our clothes and dividing them among members to wash them. The elders took us to the hermana´s apartment out in Atacames for the night until we could figure out our living situation. It was scary but I am ok, Hna. Ccoycca is ok, our clothes are ok, and the house is going to be fixed up.

We came back to the house and talked with the hermano that is going to be fixing up the house. He said it would take about a week to get everything fixed. We talked to the secretaries for living arrangements and we were put in the house of the elders. Those elders were moved into the zone leader´s house until the house it fixed up. They showed us where the house was and spent sometime cleaning it before we entered. Some of them apologized for the house and left. We ended up spending 4 hours that night cleaning the bedroom so that we had somewhere to sleep. 

We got up early and began cleaning again. We cleaned almost all day minus lunch and arranging our laundry. In total, we bought 7 bags of laundry detergent to clean our clothes and the house, 2 light bulbs, and a bunch of oreos. It was insane. After 14 hours, we can say the house is clean. The elders told us that the house had not been cleaned in over a year! I can believe that from the amount of grease and dirt in the kitchen, the bottles under the beds, and the millions of spiders and ants. 

Church was good and for lunch, we celebrated my birthday again! This time with the family Avila. They were all excited to celebrate and were even more excited about the cake. We made a couple of visits, took a bunch of laundry home, and then went and had even more cake! We finally received the calls for transfers at almost 11pm! I was to be going back to Quito! I am now companions with Hna. Rojas in Edén (funny coincidence that I left one Edén to go to another).
I got all my stuff packed last night and as we got ready to leave, it had been raining heavily all morning. We had a river outside of our house. All my stuff is soaked and I might have to buy a new Book of Mormon but I made it to Quito safe and sound. Hna. Rojas lent me clothes and helped me put my clothes out to dry.

What have I learned from this week´s experience? Yes, Heavenly Father gives us trials. Sometimes, he gives us lots of trials but he always provides a way. I will not lie, I wanted to give up. I wanted to sit down on the sidewalk and cry (thankfully I didn´t do that...). I was extremely blessed that through all of this, there were many people willing to help. Members and an investigator washed all of our clothes, the mission secretaries arranged the things for the house, and everything worked out in the end. There are always angels looking out for us, even if we cannot recognize them. Sometimes, all we can really do is wipe away the tears, put a smile on our face, and get to work because there is always someone who has it worst than us. Keep moving forward and do not focus on the bad! Have a great week! 

Until next time, 
The Strawberry Blonde Hermana

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