Called To Serve

Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission. August 2014 ~ August 2016

Monday, October 27, 2014


In District Meeting this week we talked about helping our investigators overcome addictions. In order to better understand the position they are in we each gave up one thing we do or eat a lot. I gave up oreos. I eat so many here. Im fairly certain its because when we go shopping thats one of the few things I recognize. Im like, AHH OREOS! Ive eaten those before! So yeah, its been a long week without my oreos.

Also this week we helped a different companionships' investigators get married. The couple was selling hamburgers to make money. So like the Servants of the Lord we are, we each bought 3 hamburgers. :)

Then we had buscanado Miercoles. One thing annoying is that almost everybody here is willing to listen to us, and they want to talk and talk and talk, and even discuss Jesus, but hardly anybody is actually interested in our message. So yeah thats a little bit difficult.

So this week we talked to the sweetest lady on Wednesday, and she invited us over for lunch the next day. Her name is Dora and she lives by herself. It was honestly the best lunch Ive had here. We started with cerveche with shrimp, and then went to another soup whose name escapes me right now, and then chicken. Yeah! A full 3 course meal. It was super good. Sadly, I think she might be more interested in our company than in what we have to say. We have an appointment set up with her next week to give her a lesson, so we will see how that goes.

On Saturday we had a baptism! Estafany and Jesus. We have been teaching them since I got here, and it was really exciting to finally have them "ready" to be baptized. However, right after the baptism the hermana asked a question that definitely should have been answered before the baptism. Personally I have been mas o menos lost since the moment I stepped foot off the plane, and I just assumed she was prepared. But thats not all. The next day they were late to Sacrament Meeting and we were worried they werent going to make it. I was freaking the freak out. Thank goodness they walked in, about 20 minutes late, but our Bishop still let them get confirmed members. That was scary though. But there is still more. That night our Mission President gave a lesson to all of the misisonaries, ward missionaries, and mission leaders about how we need to make sure our baptisms are ready. Heres a quote (minus the fact that I cant really translate very well) "If the people arent ready to get baptized, but are, the bishops can put the salvation of the baptisms in the missionaries hands." It was a lot more powerful the way my president said it. So yeah... were going to have to bear down and reteach them the lessons really well now.

On our finding people day we went on a little spirit guided journey through the jungle. And can you believe it? There was actually a house in the middle of nowhere! We talked to the people, but they werent very welcoming, so I was dissapointed. However on our way back to our normal appointments we talked to a person who agreed to have us back to his house, and then we iinvited him to church, and he came. We're going to keep teaching him next week, and thats super awesome. Heck yeah!

This is me in the middle of the Jungle! Crazy cool!
This is Elder Gray holding 3 dollars worth of bananas. I can't really think of what else to say about it. Just wow... 3 DOLLARS!

Okay so this picture is funnier than it first looks. You have to know the back story. So here we go... There are hermanas that live across the street from us behind that window, and one of them is about to go home. So a couple of days ago we posted a nice little countdown until she leaves on our window, and everyday we have been changing the number. Currently the count is at 7. So in exchange, they put this little gem up on their window for me last night. I think the number is a little high, but yeah, more or less. So pretty funny.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Hey so sorry, this week I dont have much time. We are running late. I dont really have any stories from this week anyway... just a full weeks worth of work.

My Spanish is coming along okay. I have yet to dream in Spanish, but some of the phrases I say a lot just kind of come out in Spanish and then I have to think about what that meant in English.

This P Day we had a zone party and we cooked up some meat (which is pretty rare down here) and played some games and just had some fun. One of the games involved flour, and after the game was done there was a massive flour fight, and it was awesome.

Oh, and this week we had attack of the rats in our apartment... Freakinrats

Sorry, this is so short. Hopefully next week I will have more to report and more time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


My week this week... first the mission president came to town! I think it was on Wednesday. He had all the missionaries from my zone and another zone meet together and he gave us a little missionary lecture thing. Sadly I didnt understand much of it, but it was still cool.

Alright so my interesting story. We were in our first appointment of the day at a members house teaching one of his friends. After the lesson the member brought out this juice type drink, which is super common here. Theres juices Ive never heard of that come from fruits that dont exist outside of Ecuador, and usually they're super awesome. So I start drinking this one, and it is absolutely awful, like really bad! My train of thought was that the faster I drink it the sooner its gone, so I pretty much chug the whole thing. When the member asked if I wanted more I said no thank you (thinking HECK NO!). Then my companion took one sip of his, asked a question, it was answered, and he set his cup right down. He looked at me and whispered, "alcohol." Wonderful... so yeah, I went through the next couple hours of the day feeling just a little off... that was interesting.

A fun thing that happened this week was that we had a movie party for P-Day! We watched The Passage to Zarahemla and just lounged around for a while. This has been the first P-Day that has really been relaxing. I'm glad we have a Mamita that does our laundry because if we had to do our own laundry that would really cut into our time on Mondays.

Also I got my birthday package! Thank you so much! It actually felt a lot like my birthday just because I had presents to open. The package with my bedding is still mysteriously missing, but thats all good.

It actually happened to be Elder Grays birthday today. He turned 23, the old fella. He got his package on time because his family loves him. Just kidding. But yeah, he got a ton of stuff from Australia. 

He has been awesome and has helped me out a lot, but hes getting transferred next week.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I will try to remember everything that happened this week as best as possible. Its crazy how time goes by here. First my birthday got celebrated another two times, if Im not mistaken that brings the count to 5. Also this week we went on exchanges with the zone leaders, that was a ton of fun. I went to the San Camilo ward, which is across the river from Bolivar. I went with Elder Cuberos. Hes from Colombia but his English is really good. Hes really funny and is a great missionary. Basically we just had a normal day. We visited some less actives and one investigator. One of the ladies we were teaching wanted my little vial of  CA beach sand that Cammi sent with me. I told her no and then she tried to trick me by speaking Spanish. HA! Nope. It was pretty funny though.

I forget which day, but this is a parade we saw. It was celebrating the oldest person in Ecuador, shes like 100 something, and everyone in it was an old person. They had a little procession of those bicycle rickshaws at the end for the old people who couldnt actually walk in the parade, and then there was an ambulance following the parade! 

Another thing that happened this week was I got sick. Pretty fun that. It was out of nowhere, just one day I had a fever of 101 and a massive headache and I was super sick. Elder Ulloque and I had to stay home and I literally slept 20 hours and then the next day I felt fine. 

Conference is the only other exciting thing that happened this week. Sadly, we couldnt get conference in English, so I pretty much have no idea what anyone was talking about. It is so much different watching without the voices of all the speakers. There were translators for everyone and it was weird. Elder Scott did his own translation. That was interesting. He sound very much gringo.

This is Familia Cruz getting ready to go to General Conference! I gave Jesus a tie because he had a white shirt and a little suit but no tie and I have like 30 ties. He was pretty excited about that.

Elders waiting for conference

This is a picture of us and one of our menos activos who came to conference. He actually surprised us. We went in the morning to pick him up but he didnt answer his phone or his door so we figured he was bailing on us. When we got to the church we was sitting there in the front row ready to listen. It was awesome. Hopefully he stays this excited to go to church every Sunday.

Ugg, Elder Gray is currently throwing up. Were sitting in the cyber and hes in the bathroom. I hope its not food poisoning because we ate all the same food today. 

Also I have yet to receive either of the two packages you sent, but thats OK because everything here is so cheap. Ill be fine until the stuff gets here. Sorry I dont have much to report this week. 

Editorial note:
Packages were mailed on 9/11 and 9/15 and tracking shows that both arrived in Ecuador and cleared customs on 9/25. Unfortunately there have been no updates since then, and shipping status still just shows "in transit." 
I don't know if it's just bad luck on these particular packages, or if trying to get things to Tanner is always going to be iffy.