I hit the big 1 year mark this Friday! I cannot believe I have finally made it to this point! I still tell everyone that I started in November so they all think that I have 7 months in the mission. It is quite funny. This week, San Juan is winding down. On our way to write, we had to pass a huge group of people (200+) and let me just say, it is like Halloween going on right now. All should be calm and tranquil after Wednesday.
Tuesday I sinned by crossing the main road and entering into Cotama! Ahhh! No, just kidding but I feel so weird working across the main road where I was always told that we never cross the road... Thank goodness it does not cover the land mass that Imbaya covers or else it would take forever to learn. We went and read the Book of Mormon to an elderly couple then visited a family with 6 girls. It was a pretty fun lesson and the 14 year old loves reading the BOM and how she feels as she reads. We just now have to get the mom reading and the family can progress. We visited a less active named Cindy and the funny thing is that I have met her because I reactivated her brother in Imbaya back in May but I could not seem to figure out how I knew her until we got home.
Wednesday Weekly planning took forever because we had to teach each other our wards. It is quite interesting to be working with both. We read the BOM with a recently reactivated teenager and he said that he did not do some of his homework because he was enjoying the BOM too much. We help an hermana make dream catchers for a little bit then went to visit a less active who has been coming to church! She progressing little by little. We had to take the keys to the other house to our zone leaders so that they could close up the house officially.
Thursday I met the bishop of Cotama and we talked about how we were going to work in the ward and his goals for us. It was a good little chat. We visited the F. Chaves and then had our meeting with our ward mission leader for Imbaya. He laughed when he heard that we were taking care of 2 wards.
Friday We visited our recent convert, Freddy, who is going to Quito for the next 2 months! No! So sad! Then we walked up and visited with our recently reactivated Cristina about having patience even though it can be really hard. Her visiting teachers accompanied us and on our way back down the mountain, we talked about how missionaries need to close their hearts during their mission.
Saturday We got to sit in on the ward activity for Imbaya. They had a huge dance party, so we took some food and left. It was cool for a second because we got to see a little of the traditional dancing. One of our investigators, Rebeca, received a blessing because she fell off of a roof and broke her shoulder. The bishop was thankfully able to go with us to give her the blessing.
Sunday 7am Cotama
9:30am Ward counsel Imbaya
10am Ward counsel Cotama
Our schedule is a little crazy on Sundays now that we have to go to 2 wards but fun all the same. We saw some dancers after lunch and then had a movie night with the Cotama ward.
This week has had some ups and downs but we keep going!
Tuesday We visited the sister of one of our converts to talk about how she was going to help her brother afford his mission. She was super awesome to talk to. She told us that she could see a difference in her brother since his baptism and how he continues to get better and better every day. This is just one of the millions of testimonies of how the gospel changes lives! Later in the evening, we met with family Rodriguez! They are super awesome! The daughter is progressing so well. She came to church on Sunday and said she loved it! Now we just have to get to know the rest of the family.
Wednesday I got my anaco today! Officially, I am Otavalian ;) We visited one of our less actives named Edwin who always has excuses for why he can never come to church. We had been given a training the other week about how with people like him, we needed to teach more of the consequences if we do not keep the commandments. When we finished the lesson, he told us that he now understood that he needed to come to church and that he would start coming.
Thursday We talked a ton about diligence and obedience in our mini zone conference. It was a little sad because this was the last training that we would be receiving from President Richardson... We finally found one of our other less actives named Hno. Chaves. It was a little sad because he told us that right as he was leaving his house to come to church, his old bishop came and took him to the other ward. Also, that his records would be in our ward in about 2 months... I smacked my head in disbelief. We told our bishop and he said that he would talk to the other bishop because maybe he did not understand boundaries because he is new...
Friday I taught Hna. Alvarado how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and it is pretty funny. It is all she wants now. I think she is addicted... ;) Hahaha We have been working with family De la Torre (less actives) for 4 months and now all they need is their interviews... They are truly a trial of my patience... Lady, the daughter of the family Rodriguez, is doing amazing! She was super excited to get a Book of Mormon tonight. She started reading right away as we were walking out the door! Guys, the Book of Mormon is awesome.
Saturday We taught the bishop`s cousin, Oscar, today and he is awesome! He was super receptive but says he has to talk to his cousins to see if this is really the path that he should take. We went knocking doors and accidently taught a family of inactives from the elders... They were sad that when we finished, we told them that we could not teach them. We visited the family Chaves and let me just say, I just love this family. They are so cute. They cannot read very well but try really hard. We just have to help them understand that they have to come to our ward...
Sunday We were told about a couple that recently just got married who the husband is not a member and the wife is less active. Our bishop told us that we needed to get after them. The good thing is that they are already married so that is one thing that we do not need to worry about. After church, I taught the relief society president and her husband how to index. Let us just say it is quite interesting trying to index in Spanish but we did it! I need to repent about doing indexing when I get home...
Today for our Pday, we went as a district to the waterfalls in Peguche. It was super pretty there! Ahhhh! I just love exploring the outdoors in Ecuador! Hope you all have a great week!
I never thought that I would say this... I MISS THE HEAT OF THE COAST! SEND ME BACK!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH! Hahaha, it has been so cold this week! It is ridiculous! I am dying! It is all Hna. Alvarado´s fault! Ever since she came to be with me in Imbaya... ;) Just kidding! But seriously though, it is so cold! It has been raining like crazy!
Tonight, we visited a family of recent converts who do not come to church every week. The other week, we learned that the wife has been really sick and they are worried that she might have cancer... We went with her home teachers to give her a blessing (the men gave it, not us... That would be apostasty...). It was amazing! I love listening to Priesthood blessings. It talked a lot about obedience and faith. Really, all blessings from Heavenly Father work through our faith and obedience. After the lesson, they gave us chocolate cake :)
Tuesday We did visits in the evening with the Bishop. We ended up climbing several mountains it felt like! We tried to visit one inactive but she was not home and ended up visiting another family, Fam. Otavalo. They have lived in our ward boundaries for over a year and a half but attend another ward every once in a while. They still do not want to attend our ward but we are not giving up on them yet. We just have to help them feel comfortable in the church. Our ward mission leader said that maybe it is because we really have to focus in on strengthening the head of the house. I will keep you posted on them...
Wednesday We visited our recent convert, Freddy, and his recently reactivated brother, Cleber. They are doing so awesome! They asked if we could do a family night with them. We have planned to do it with the inactive Young Men´s president to see if this can help get him motivated to come to church. On Sunday,we were told that we needed to get him active. We get a ton of references, most are for inactives. I personally do not mind. I actually really like working with less actives.
Thursday It makes me really sad when people do not want to come to church, especially if it is for their spouse... One hermana does not want to come to church because her husband does not like feeling obligated to come to church. Hopefully, we can have an appointment with him this week. We visited our recent convert who likes to attend a different ward... She stopped coming to our ward because she feels inadequate for her calling. We talked a lot about how the Lord qualifies those he calls (I mean, look at where I am at... And how I haven´t died yet...). She is set to be released from her calling so that she can have a little more time to learn in the church before she receives another calling.
Friday All the plans come crashing down! Welcome to the life of a missionary! Actually, it is not that bad. It gives you the chance to try to find out what Heavenly Father wants us to do. We did a little service for a member and then ate lunch. We tried to catch the bus to Cumbas (the bus schedule is super picky here...) but missed it. We took another bus then walked an hour to a less active. After visiting with her, we visited the family of recent converts from Monday. The wife was doing tons better and she gave us a reference for her niece and family!
Saturday We found the son of another family of recent converts named Freddy. He is super awesome but really shy! He had listened to missionaries before but I am guessing that missionaries got transferred and he was forgotten. He accepted baptism! Our less actives this week have all decided to be a little difficult in finding... But I still love them all the same! We had a really good correlation with our ward mission leader. I am really excited for our goals that we have made! We are going to be working super hard!
Sunday It was a good day! We had the daughter of the reference from the recent converts come to church and she really liked it!! :) Today, I got to see my old district leader El. Tituaña! He is in my stake here but not in my ward. He came to sing in the choir and told me that he is soon getting married. I cannot believe how time flies and what things can change in such a short time!
I hope you all have a great week! And I hope to hear from you soon!