Called To Serve

Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission. August 2014 ~ August 2016

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 2015


The Pope is visiting Guayaquil at this exact moment. People have been pretty crazy for the past weeks with him coming. I'm about 15 minutes from where he is, along with thousands and thousands of Ecuatorianos. I know we have at least 3 investigators and a couple of members that went to see him. We couldn't leave our sector today because President didn't want anyone to get too close to the craziness. In truth for me it would have been better to leave because I would have been going farther away from where the Pope is, but we just hung out in the house.

This week was the end of the Copa America, which is all the South American countries and Mexico, so for the past weeks everybody has also been pretty hyped up on that here. For the 4th of July I didn't do anything special. I just worked, I didn't even think to use a special Red White and Blue tie.

Pretty much what's going on right now is we're working really hard, but we haven't seen any results. We have a couple of people that could potentially progress, but it just depends. It's tough in this sector because people are really only home from like 6 or 7 at night, and there isn't enough time in the evening to visit everyone we want. I think I kind of understand the difficulties of being in a U.S. mission. I'm not sure what they do during the afternoon, because most places in the US it is probably even worse.

As for the new area a week ago they made the 2 zones in Orquideas into 1 so this is the biggest zone that I've had. Elder Norris and Elder Hatefi form the MTC are here, and we're all in the same district. We have pretty good support from the members in the ward, and the food is really good.

We met some interesting people this week. One is from Hong Kong, he was one of the first members in Quevedo, but he has been MIA for a really long time. He told us we could visit him. We also met a super big family this week. They're cool, but the mom is Evangelica, so we'll see. Well I think that is just about all I have for ya. Send my love to Grandma and tell her to feel better! Have a great week!

This is right outside our house. There are parks all over this sector. It's pretty cool, but the sad thing is the kids are hardly ever playing in the parks.

It was the birthday of Andres, a recent convert, and they invited us over to enjoy a little bit of cake and milk... that was cool.

THANKS FOR THE PACKAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I went a little crazy on the gummy worms when they first got here, but now I've calmed down a little bit. I also went crazy with the beef jerky. THANKS!


 You're stressing me out with this whole college apps thing. I'm just going to stay here in the mission for a couple more years if that's okay with you. (insert mom response = NO, it's not!)

This week I had an intercambio with an Elder that goes home tomorrow and it was so weird. He doesn't want to leave the mission at all. Everyone was asking him about it, and he was like yeah, shut up! I still have time! He is a really good Elder and he obviously has learned a lot during his mission. I hope in about a year I will be like him and not like some other Elders who completely turn themselves off as missionaries a couple months before they go home. I want to work hard until the last day!

This week we met investigators that are absolutely golden. We were walking home at about 9:15 pm 2 contacts short of the goal for the day, and there were a group of people hanging out in the park, so we went to talk to them. We said we have to go like right now, but we would love to come by to talk to you some other day, and they said yeah you can come on Sunday. So Sunday night we went to visit them. We walked in the house and it was the most beautiful house I have seen here in Ecuador (other than President Riggins'). We shared the Restoration and they understood like PERFECTLY! They had the PERFECT questions and it was AWESOME! I will keep you updated. That was pretty much the week.

I had an intercambio this week. I was with Elder Norris' companion, Elder Sanchez, so I stole one of Elder Norris' ties for the day. HAHAHA. Elder Sanchez goes home tomorrow. That's weird to think of. 


This was our Gospel Principles class this week. It could have been even bigger. We brought like 6 more people to the church, but they left after Sacrament Meeting. There were only 70 people at church this week, and about 30 of them were recent converts, less activos, or investigadores. It was a weird week.

This is the zone. It is a pretty big zone. There are a lot of new missionaries. Of the 9 companionships 6 of them are in training.

This week I don't have pictures because I left my camera in the house of the other Elders... whoops. As far as our week it went really well. We had 4 investigators at church, met 3 new families that say they are coming next week, and had 8 less actives at church.
We had a huge service project with the zone on Saturday. We went and helped clean a whole neighborhood. We met some really cool members from the other ward, and one of them drove us home and offered us lunch. We already had lunch that day, so they offered to have us over on a p-day.
This week we had some pretty spiritual experiences. We had a blessing we gave to the friend of a member who is super sick. The daughters of the memeber were there too. They are less active and they were all saying how strongly they felt the spirit. Sadly they didn't come to church. :(
We also visited a mom who has been less active most of her life. Her daughter is sick right now. We shared a message with her and asked if we could end with a prayer, and she started crying because she felt the Spirit, which was pretty cool. Also didn't come to church though. All we can do is put them in situations to feel the Spirit.
Last night we were a little short of the goal of contacts for the week, so we were really looking for people. That is the bad thing about this sector. People don't pass outside, they just hang out in their house. We did find 2 guys to contact, but one was drunk and the other was a Catholic Missionary who wanted to ask the Vigin Mary to bless us. When we said don't ask that for us, he kind of tried to start fighting with us. My companion did something really cool. Bear a simple testimony and invite the guy to pray and ask God. I don't think we're going to teach that guy. but we defintely felt the Spirit. Pretty spiritual week this week which was cool.
So this week was kind of rough, and when I say kind of rough, I mean to say REALLY rough. We pretty much just walked around all day every day. We didn't have many lessons, and you could see that on Sunday because almost no one came to church.
We did find one new familiy. It's funny because they are references from Hna Rojas (Pic). She says that the Testigos (JW's) were passing by to talk with this family every day, and she told them that she was going to send her angels to talk with them, and that was way better than JWs. They are a pretty cool family. Other than that the week was pretty rough.
This is what happens when you leave your camera with Elder Merrit. There's about 15 pictures just like this.

CHILI'S! We went to Chili's today and it was delicious. I also got my hair cut today and I had hair in my shirt all day, which was not as cool as Chili's. This is Elder Norris with his baby Elder Bianco and me with my baby... they grow up so fast.

This is Hna Rojas. She has a health club and she invited us over to have a herbalife shake this week. She's awesome and my companion was super happy to find some workout equipment!

This is Laura. It was her birthday and she invited us over to eat cake!

June 2015

June 2015


The weather might be all over the place there, but here it is pretty consistent... hot. We've been in a little transistion from Winter to Summer and we aren't gettting much rain lately, but we still have the sun and heat. The good news is we're headed for the nicest 3 or 4 months of weather here in Ecuador, so until about September we should have days a little bit less hot, and nights that are medio-fresco (I forgot how to describe that in English... A little chilly?)

Today there were cambios, but no one from the zone got changed, so we might have another month together, which I'm okay with because we have some good stuff goin' on in the ward right now. We have a Gold Investigator that is doing super good. Two weeks ago on Friday she saw some people at church and she was curious, so she asked one of them when they had services... and it happened to be the Bishop. On Saturday we visited her, she came to church on Sunday, was super busy during the week so we couldnt visit her until Saturday, but she came to church again yesterday and she is super excited. We also have another family that is super cool. The dad got baptized when he was young and has been menos activo pretty much all his life.

Something else fun this week was an activity we had with the ward. It was pretty much a FHE at the church. Not that many people showed up, but the idea is to make it an every week thing so slowly and slowly more and more people should start showing up. Then this week on Wednesday we helped a family move really quick in the afternoon then back to work.

Probably the funnest thing we did this week was on Saturday. We got a call that morning telling us there was a little MTC activity in the other stake and they wanted us to help, they didn't tell us in what, just that they wanted us to help. So after lunch we headed over there and it turned out that they had had a little seminar thing that morning and in the afternoon each missionary went out with 2 people from 16-24 preparing for their mission. I was with a16 year old named Allan and one a little older named Carlos. It was super awesome. We went out to contact a little, and then me and my kids went to the house of the Elders Quorum President, and we went to visit less actives.

I forgot my camera at the other Elders house so this week there aren't pictures, sorry!


A lot of things have passed in the last week. I had transfers again. When I first heard I was kind of disappointed because Ana (the girl I think I talked about last week) was doing really good and was pretty much ready for baptism. On Tuesday we went to the terminal and I was waiting for my new companion when the assisstant told me I was training and opening a new sector... so that is interesting.

I was with Elder Cordovo and Elder Erickson Tuesday. We just worked in the ZL's area for the day, and on Wednesday morning we went to the temple at 6 in the morning, then from there to the house of President Riggins. We had a small capacitacion for the new missionaries and then got our new companions. My child is Elder Lafuente from Bolivia.

Now I'm in Guayaquil in an area named Guayacanes. It is really different. The houses are really nice and almost American, but it is kind of hard because we can't just walk up and knock on whatever door we want. Everyone has a gate around their house, so we have to touch the doorbell and then it depends if the people want to come out to talk to us or not.

This week we tried to meet a lot of the members. The Relief Society president helped us a ton, she is honestly the best. She helped us find a lot of the members and we also found some really cool people just in the street.

Saturday there was a baptism, which was pretty cool. That's just how powerful we are that we arrived and had a baptism. This week we also found a guy that from NY that is having some serious problems in his life. He went to the church when he was young, but it's been years since he's gone. I just talked to him for like 40 minutes here in the cyber, so I don't have much time... but pretty much it's been a really interesting week.

It was my companions birthday on Friday. This is Elder Lafuente.

This was the baptism on Saturday. Her name is Stefani. She was really excited for her baptism, which was cool!

We went to the temple with the ward on Thursday. We live so close that they just decide one week they want to go to the temple, and the next week we go. In Quevedo we had to have like 2 months notice.


Right now it's just my companion and I in a huge house where 4 Sisters used to live. In this ward they have had Sisters for like 12 years, so we're the first Elders in a really long time. A lot of people are confused and some even think we are from a different church, so it's really interesting.

This week we worked with a good amount of the members in the ward. We are focusing on gettting to know all the members. We are also trying to contact new people. We've found a good amount of cool families, it is just a matter of visiting them and a matter of time. The thing with the sector we're in is that pretty much everyone works during the day and are only home at night so it's a little hard to contact. We're trying to find small ways to do service, and talk to people we find on the streets, and have a ton of FHE with members and their friends.

This Friday we have a ward activity that should be pretty fun for Fathers Day. Oh, this week in church I gave a talk. The microphone was broken, which was pretty much perfect, because it gave me the oppurtunity to invite everyone up to the front. It's weird, here in Ecuador the first people in the chapel go straight to the back and the people who walk in late get the front rows, so sometimes it doesn't really feel too much like a ward family in the Sacrament Meeting. So I asked everyone to filll up the first banks of chairs. I don't really have much else for you, that was my week!


I don't have much time this week and I also don't have pictures. I'll try to take some pictures so you can get an idea what it's like in this sector, and I'll try to do some cool stuff so I can tell you about it! I know you're updating the blog this week, but we really have to go... sorry!!!!!!!!!!!