Happy Thanksgiving (a little tardy...)! It was a pretty quiet week but a fun week!
We had our district meeting then had to hop on a bus to Quito for a doctor's appointment for Hna. del Rosario. She did not want to go but we went anyways. While there, I got to chit chat with a bunch of random people while waiting for Hna. del Rosario. Afterwards, we got KFC and hung out in the nurse's apartment because they would not let us travel back to Otavalo that night... Horrible decision right there...
We had to get up at 4am to get everything ready to head to Ibarra. We had a meeting with Pres. Murphy and it was ridiculous! We were first told that it was at 10:30 and that we had to be there at 10. Then the night before, they told us 9:30 and that we had to be there at 9... We got to Ibarra at 8 because the bus went speeding and they told us that they would come find us in the terminal at 8:50. Our zone leaders got there a little bit after us and were confused as to why we were there so early. Come to find out, it started at 10... We talked about #LighttheWorld and about how we will not be working as much in reactivation. The area presidency said that we need to be focused more on finding new people and that the wards need to be working with their less actives. Makes sense, so we're going with that.
We did a couple of visits. Hna. del Rosario and I made lunch at home for Thanksgiving of chicken and mashed potatoes. She was pretty excited. We have an investigator named Richard, who is the brother of a convert who wants to be baptized. His only problem is that he has an oxygen tank and it is a little hard to carry around. We are looking for ways to help him so that he can attend church every Sunday. We read in the Book of Mormon with Estela then talked about repentance with Luis. The funny thing is a bunch of our investigators that are close to baptism do not accept a baptismal date because they tell us that they want to go through the whole process of repentance. They are going to be awesome when they finally decide a baptismal date!
We did a ton of running around again. Only this time, my stomach was hurting all day. The day was pretty quiet until the very end. We went to go contact a referral that we had received. We sat outside (thank goodness...) talking about our purpose for visiting and all that jazz. The whole time I was dying... Hna. del Rosario invited the woman to pray but she said that she could. Hna. del Rosario said that was fine and that I would pray. I told her no and she got really confused. I turned around and puked. Hna. del Rosario told me that the poor woman looked so scared when I did that.... I was so embarrassed... We went home and I went straight to bed. Hna. del Rosario dies of laughter every time I tell the story to people.
I still felt sick but we went out to visit anyways. Geovani told us all about how he no longer has desires to smoke or drink and that he wants to come to church every Sunday from today until forever. I will not lie, I was thoroughly shocked. Hna. del Rosario keeps saying that I have parasites because what better way to finish the mission than with parasites, considering that I have never had them... I said no and she offered to put a bet on it... One day, I will get tested for parasites to prove Hna. del Rosario wrong.
We revised our ward mission plan in ward counsel and they all told me that I have a month to complete all the ward's goals... Yeah... We later had a family home evening with Geovani and his family. Yes, Geovani came to church on time... I again, was thoroughly shocked...
This week was a crazy week for us! We were running around and also had to go to Quito for Hna. del Rosario's baptism. Hna. del Rosario's favorite thing is say to me is "Qué le pasa, hermana?" (What's going on or passing with you?). It is pretty funny because she says it all the time so I name all the things that are passing us and all she can do is laugh.
Tuesday We had quite the busy day. We did some quick visits to Marleny and Geovani. We did visits with Janet, a recently returned from the mission. Some appointments fell but she introduced us to a bunch of people. She only did it because I promised to teach her how to make chocolate chip cookies and to help prepare her for her English test. She's a funny one. We took a recent convert, Francisco, with us to visit a lady we had contacted Monday and that was a mistake. It was a pretty intense lesson and I felt so bad afterwards because Francisco asked if he said something wrong. I told him no but I don't think that he believed me. We went to visit Luis and he received us a lot better this week. We decided that we need to take it a little bit slower with him and he is responding positively. I knew that we couldn't lose hope on him because he told us that he started reading the BOM again (he told us that he did not want to anymore).
Wednesday We ran here to there, back over to there, and then in circles. We met Patricio and Viviana, a new couple that we started teaching. Patricio is the brother of the high priest assigned to our ward and he was excited to hear that we were going to start teaching his brother. They happily received us. While waiting for them to have time, we played on the swings and the little girl was helping push me. It was pretty cute. It's pretty brutall with Hna. del Rosario because we spend all night talking. During our weekly planning, we had to put a rule that we are not allowed to talk after 10:30, no matter how interesting the story is.
Thursday We got curtains for our house! It's the little things that count... I love our mamita, Hilda, because she always thinks that if we do not show up at 1:30 on the dot, we probably got lost or are never going to come. The buses have ben a struggle here because they are fixing all the roads. We took Hna. Hilda's son to do a visit and it was awesome. He was so nervous at first, but as he started sharing, he light up and kept going. It's so much fun to take out future missionaries to do visits because they are so nervous at first. Then, they realize that they do know what they are talking about and shoot off like a rocket!
Friday We took out another future missionary and he had fun in the visit. I am so glad that they are really enjoying the visits because they will be doing it for a long time. We hiked a mountain to look for a referral but never found it. Basically, we hunted for one girl but I forgot her number at home. Later in the evening, I look in my planner and realized that we were saying the wrong name... Hna. del Rosario and I had a pretty good laugh about that one.
Saturday We had a crazy adventure to Quito... We got to Quito just fine and made it to the chapel for Hna. del Rosario's baptism. I chatted with Hna. Alvarenga about my old sector in Quito. Ooof how I wanted to go back so bad! We left and got home super late... Like 11:30 late because the bus took a different path, there were problems with the road, and crazy fanatics walking to Quinche for some weird religious thing that I am still not 100% sure why they do it. The most important thing is that we got home safely.
Sunday We had a ton of investigators at church and half of them weren't even ours! I didn't want to send the referrals but had to do it... They were super awesome too... Oh well, it's the same work everywhere. We made lunch at home then headed to visit a few people. It was a pretty quiet evening until we got back to the 4th of July here in Gonzalez. They were still celebrating the virgin of Quinche... This time with fireworks and a huge party... It was interesting to watch.
This week was quite the week... Let me first start off by saying I feel like the Grinch because I do not want Christmas to come. It is so weird to think that I have come to my final transfer. All the members are planning my funeral... I mean my farewell... Hna. Cruz and I had a fun last week together and now she is in Quito getting ready to go home. Hna. del Rosario, a fairly new hermana, is my last companion. Also, Pdays are back to Mondays... Sad day...
Sunday Dayana was confirmed a member of the church! Yay! It was so cute to watch her. I am so excited to see what the future has in store for her! About 5 minutes before sacrament, we were asked to teach Relief Society... It was a rough lesson but because there was a funeral, everyone left church early, so we only had to teach for 25 minutes. Digna was our mamita because our plan, back up plan, back up back up plan fell through... We basically crashed the first part of a YSA activity because you know, we can do that kind of stuff... We had spent all of Saturday night looking for a cake for Dayana to celebrate her baptism but because we could not go to Casco with her, we sent it with her and her brother. One of our investigators, Gabriela, gave us each a giant bag of corn. She told me that I have to take it home to the US... We will see how that one goes.
Monday Our investigator, Geovani, has a welding shop in Espejo right next to the Elder's Quorum president of the ward Punyaro. It is pretty awesome because everytime we go to visit Geovani there, his neighbor is always sharing with him. We had an awesome conversation about making decisions. Later, we visited Rosa and contacted a few referrals that we had received.
Tuesday We celebrated the last district meeting of the hermanas with cake! It was a fun meeting but a little sad to think that the end was so close for them. Our mamita for the day happened to be in Otavalo so she picked us up from the church and took us to her house. She is making us some skirts that are going to be awesome! We went up to Cajas to talk to the High Priest assigned to our ward about his brother, a potential investigator, then headed to visit Estela. Note: Every time that we go to Cajas (the two times we have gone...), it has been raining like crazy! We got to Estela drenched from head to foot in a manner of seconds in Cajas... I was dying of the cold while we chatted with Estela. Her daughter prays constantly that we will always come to visit.
Wednesday There was a miracle in Cajas... It was not raining. I told that to Hna. Cristina and she almost died laughing. Her husband thought it was pretty funny too. She gave us this awesome "colada morada", the typical drink for the day of the dead, and it was so good that I have the recipe. I will most likely be attempting it when I go home. We visited a few converts then visited Geovani. He actually read the whole chapter we had assigned him! His progress is slow but he does progress. Now we just have to help him quit smoking...
Thursday We set up a "quit smoking and drinking" schedule with Geovani. He has stopped smoking and drinking a lot but we are going to help him kick the habit completely! We contacted a referral from a recently returned missionary and she is awesome. Her name is Jenny and she was listening to missionaries about 5 years ago but never got baptized. She happily received us even though she has been having a lot of family problems. At the end of the visit, she could not stop saying that we were angels sent from heaven. I am so excited to work with her!
Friday I got my last agenda set up for the next transfer and organized the area book while Hna. Cruz fixed up her suitcases. We visited Jenny and she told us about how 2 years ago, she had finished reading the whole Book of Mormon. We talked about the plan of salvation and she is so excited for church. We contacted some more referrals then had dinner with Geovani and his family. It was fun because we talked about eternal families and why he needs to quit smoking. We watched "Together Forever" and Geovani was crying in the end.
We went running around finding all of Hna. Cruz's stuff that were with members. We finished the lessons of F. Velasquez, so they are officially reactivated! For lunch, we waited for the bus to go to Casco and 3 buses passed us by. We celebrated Jessica's birthday and there was cake... ;) Someone got their face smashed in the cake... And they are all excited for my last day to smash my face in a cake. Oh how I love these people... We visited a ton of our converts today to help keep them going. One of them, we taught through the window because his sister had not gotten home yet. It was quite the sight...
We went to F. Velasquez and they helped us put on anaco for Hna. Cruz's last Sunday. We took a bunch of pictures and after taking the sacrament, we headed to the terminal. 3 hermanas from our district were finishing their missions, so the companions (Hna. Sandoval, Hna. Perez, and I) got to be in a trio for the day. We ate lunch with the old stake president of Otavalo then headed out to visit. We visited a few less actives, converts and investigators. I found myself with some of the members from Imbaya and Cotama. We got home and were completely exhausted because we had walked from one end of Otavalo to the other and back again.
This week was a crazy week but I am so stoked for what lies ahead! Hope y'all have a great week!
Yep, it was the Day of the Dead here in good ol' Ecuador and it was a pretty crazy week. The bus system refused to work with us and we spent hours waiting on the side of the road... But! We still got work done and saw tons of miracles along the way!
We had a bunch of members introduce us to their nonmember friends that they decided to bring to church. All of them really liked church and are excited to learn more about the gospel! Rosa was confirmed a member of the church! YAY! It really was an amazing experience to work with her because for her baptism, we invited all her kids. Some are not active but to see that their mom decided to take the step to be baptized motivated them to come back to church. One of her grandsons who is not a member wants to be baptized and to serve a mission! We took a cake over to celebrate with the family. They were all so excited that they are one step closer to being an eternal family! Rosa just has to complete one year as a member and all 8 (three have passed away) can be sealed for the eternities!
Monday- Happy Halloween!
It was a difficult day with the buses. They were not my friends. We waited forever for them to not come and were in the rain... Not fun but hey, we have a super cool investigator. His name is Luis and he was a reference from our Elder's Quorum President. He told us a lot about how he wants to change his life and feels that the gospel can really help him. His friend gave him a Book of Mormon and this kid is already in 1 Nephi 15! He just started the other week. He kept apologizing that he had not been reading that much... Seriously?? That is pretty fantastic how much he has read! Anyways, he excitedly accepted a baptismal date for next Saturday because he has come to church twice.
Tuesday We found out that our investigator's, Dayana, brother came home from the military for a week and he was the one that she wanted to baptize her. Thankfully we had finished all of her requirements last week for baptism, we just needed a signiture and an interview. It was a little rough putting her baptism together but we pulled it off. I was so sad because one of our families of investigators promised to teach us how to make wawa de pan (bread child) but they never showed up... :( We ended up going to Luis a little early and when we got to his house, he was eagerly waiting by the door saying that we were not going to show up (we arrived 15 minutes early...). He was so excited to invite his sister to listen to us too. The whole time we were there, Luis kept telling his sister that what we were teaching was true and that he knew it was a good thing for the whole family. It was funny but awesome because he is so excited to learn.
Wednesday- Happy Day of the Dead!
All our appointments fell, including lunch. Thankfully, Hna. Lucia loves us enough to give us lunch! We got permission from Dayana's parents for her baptism! We had to deal with a few of Luis' doubts but he was able to resolve them!
Thursday- Happy Birthday Dad! Today, I really disliked the buses... We waited 45 minutes to get out to our lunch appointment and 45 for a bus to get to our interviews with Pres. Murphy. Thankfully he was running a little late with the other interviews... Afterwards, he gave us a wawa de pan! Dayana had her interview and we quickly put together her baptism for the next day. We asked Luis why he wanted to keep some of the commandments that we taught and he said, "They are commandments. I know that they might be hard to keep but the blessings will be worth it." Boom! This is why we keep commandments people! We may not always understand why we have them but the blessings will come if we are faithful in fulfilling every single one of them.
Friday We had a super long meeting then went to set up the things for Dayana's baptism. It was hectic. First, we did not have a member from the bishopric (we still do not have a bishop...). Then, our ward mission leader did not show up (he showed up an hour late)... Then, the baptismal clothing that our ward mission leader had sent with his son never showed up (it showed up 10 minutes after the ward mission leader)... BUT! The baptism still went over very well. Dayana was so excited that her big brother baptized her! The spirit was so strong! Dayana will be confirmed on Sunday and their family will be one step closer to being an eternal family!
So next Saturday, I will not have Pday, it will be the following Monday. Today, we did a ton of shopping for Hna. Cruz so that she would have things to take home for her family. It was exhausting!!