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!