This is Bucay.
I will never get used to how green it is. Also I was almost cold when we went there this week. I'm sure it's only because I haven't actually felt cold in a year and a half, but still...
Triunfo is a small city with one branch that is split down the middle for the missionaries. We're only an hour away from Guayaquil, a lot closer than when I was in Quevedo, which was 3 hours away.
As far as mosquitos I'm doing okay. They really eat my companion alive, but I pretty much never get bothered by them. We have seen some pretty scary big bugs lately though. But it's all good, we have repellent and all that good stuff.
So this week on Wednesday we went to Guayaquil and we will be there tonight and tomorrow as well... It's almost like I never left. We had a reunion with half of the mission. I saw Elder Silupu and Elder Lafuente and Elder Lund. I saw my uncle Elder Whalen (was trained but the same elder that trained Elder Ulloque) and my brother Elder Nock. It was pretty fun to see all my old mission buddies! We talked about how we're going to change with what we learned two weeks ago from the worldwide mission conference.
On Saturday we went to Bucay to meet references from a family that lives there. It was a super cool reference, a young couple with a son who are searching for a good church to raise him in. Little do they know that thanks to their uncle they are going to find the one true church in the world!
We almost got locked out of our house today, we left the house without thinking about our keys, got to the cyber and started writing, then all of a sudden I ask my companion if he has the keys... ummm no! So we call Elder Accordino and Llanque and they were just about to get on the bus to go to Guayaquil when we called, so we got saved there.That would have been really bad! So yeah... I think that's all.
We made cinnamon doughnuts, and they were super delicious!
Elder Carlisle... model status. When we are just walking around town the teenage girls go crazy for the two gringos guapos. Last week when we were on the bus to go to Bucay a group of high school girls got on the bus. They asked us if they could take a picture with them, and we said no. But they were just like U.S. teenage girls, taking a ton of selfies and all those shenanigins, and we just "happen" to be in the background. I did get in a pretty solid Book of Mormon photo bomb!
I had already heard about the Super Bowl. We had a reunion with President Riggins this morning and he gave us the results. His Son-in-Law called to gloat because he is from Denver.
The reunion was for changes. We thought Elder Carlisle would have changes because he already had 6 months in Triunfo. My new companion is Elder Coleman from Utah. He has 6 weeks more in the mission than I do, and we're going to tear it up here in Triunfo, if I don't get lost.
My last week with Elder Carlisle was pretty good. On Monday we went to Guayaquil at night and on Tuesday we started in the temple bright and early. We talked a lot about planning, something I didn't do very well at home, and we talked again about what we learned in the worldwide conference for missionaries.
We came back Tuesday night and we found a super awesome family to teach this week, the Figueroa Family. They are a family of 6 and are totally prepared to change their lives!
On Saturday we went to Guayaquil again and went to the temple with the branch. We had a couple of recent converts there, and it was a pretty cool experience. In the bus coming back to Triunfo we talked to a super cool guy from Venezuela. His name is Gustavo and we talked pretty much all the way to Triunfo. He was awesome and we're going to send the missionaries there to visit him.
At church there weren't very many people this week because Carnival started. A lot of people went to Guayaquil or the beach or the sierra and the people who didn't leave were busy having a huge water/paint/mud/everything else that gets you dirty war. We tried to avoid it by visiting members, but we got hit anyway, so that was pretty "fun". They tell me the stains come out of the shirt super easy, we'll see if that's true.
Well, that's the story and I'm stickin' to it.
Here are the carnival assassins, Matias and Jack.
They told us on Friday who had changes, so the Branch President invited us to pizza and fro-yo to say goodbye to Elder Carlisle.
A birthday/carnival/farewell cake of my companion.
This is my new companion, Elder Coleman, or how all the latinos are going to say it here, coal-eh-mawn. He's tall.
El Triunfo is a nice little pueblito, and it's super cool here. Well, it's still hot, just not as bad, but it's a great place. We got a little lost this week, but not too bad. We had super good days Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, some pretty rough days Thursday and Friday, but overall we worked well.
We found a TON of new investigators this week. We already had quite a few, but we found 4 or 5 new families, so that was pretty awesome. We're working with a couple of super awesome families who want to get baptized, but they aren't ready to get married yet.That's common here, but we're trying to help them get ready to get married and baptized.
Elder Silupú is here in the zone, which is nice. Actually we have a ton of new missionaries in the zone, and as a zone we had such a better week than the week before, it was a breath of fresh air. I LOVE EL TRIUNFO.
The rain isn't really coming like it did last year. We're almost in Marzo, and it's really only rained a dozen times or so, that's weird!
We had a really hard working week this week. We found a ton of new investigators again. It's easy to be excited when we find so many new investigators like we have the past 2 weeks. People here in Triunfo are so awesome, now it's just our job to help them get ready for baptism!
We found a new investigator yesterday named Raul, he was so prepared it's ridiculous. We have to help him overcome some problems, but he is so ready to change his life. Also I heard one of the investigators I was working with in Guayaquil got baptized. His name is Jose. He is a really old guy and is really funny. Apparently the week after his baptism was fast and testimony meeting, and he got up and shared his testimony, and out of nowhere started singing a song. He's really interesting, but really awesome.
We had to go to Guayaquil this week... AGAIN! I've been there a ton since I left. We had a doctor (psychiatrist) visit us from the area because we're crazy, or going crazy. He talked about stress and how we can deal with it. It was super fun because he and his wife are from Australia, and even in Spanish some of their accent carried over. This week that is coming we DON'T have to go to Guayaquil. We'll be here in Triunfo. YES!
Well, I think that's it... I'm going to get my hair cut today.... wish me luck.
Elder LLanque... working hard or hardly working? Answer: Working hard. The poor guy collapsed on his bed like this Sunday night after a long hard week.
I don't remember if I told you or not, but Elder Silupu has followed me here to the zone. We had an intercambio this week, so the father and son were united again.
We had a pretty good week this week. We have a ton of investigators to visit and have been running all over the place doing that.
We had a pretty interesting experience yesterday. We were on our way to visit a family and we passed by the house of another family we just started teaching. We decided to stick our heads in and say hi. When we did we found the husband laying on the coach pretty hung over and with a pack of cigarettes in his hands. We starting talking to him, and then he told us he thought God had sent us to him to help him drop that stuff and save his marriage, so that was pretty cool! We took out his cigarettes and alcohol, the alcohol he was drinking was ridiculously strong. When we poured it in the street you could smell it a block away, that was pretty insane. They're a super good family and we really want to help them.
We're teaching another family that is really Catholic. They even have a daughter getting ready to be a Franciscan Nun or something like that, but they're willing to listen and read the Book of Mormon, so we'll see how that goes. He sells rice, an important thing here in Ecuador, so they're pretty rich by standards here. They gave us a super delicious dinner and their house makes me remember a nice apartment from the United States.
I just about walked out of these shoes the other day. We were walking and all of a sudden I heard a sound and I looked down and saw a flopping shoe... dang it!
After a year and a half of wear and tear what finally put an end to my Eccos is mold. This pair might not look that bad, but trust me, they are done for. On the inside... well, it's not pretty.
These shoes got me through the first year and a half of my mission and they have seen SO many miles! THANK YOU SO MUCH SISTER FARRELL! You are the best!
I'm sure that seeing 2 pairs of shoes shredded in one week you're worried I don't have shoes, but it's OK, I still have 2 pair. Remember those war boots we bought? Yeah, those things are perfect for all the rain and mud I have going on in my sector right now.
If my last shoes break down just a little bit of time before I go home I can always buy a pair here, they might not be the best quality, but they should last me at least a month or two!
My clothes are fine. I had saved a couple of new shirts for the last part of my mission, so I've thrown out the worst looking ones and starting using the newish ones. The other day I was looking in my bag for a book I knew I had tucked away somewhere and I found socks I hadn't used before, so I even got to put on new socks last week.