Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas from Ecuador

Dear Family and Friends of Mission Ecuador Guayaquil South,

 At this special time of the year we express our sincere gratitude for all your prayers
and sacrifices on behalf of your missionary.  We love each and every one of them. They  are as our own and wish each the very best blessings of the Lord.

Just as you yearn to be with your son or daughter, our Father in Heaven desires all of his children to return to HIM. Your missionary is striving to ensure just that, that each of our Heavenly Fathers children can return to him by inviting them to come unto Christ and participating in the ordinances of salvation. “ And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, …, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” He is the only Way in life to return to our Heavenly Father.

May the Lord give you the peace you desire of knowing your missionary is in the hands of HIM who indeed gave His hands in service, in devotion, in sacrifice for each and every one of us. May God bless you for your prayers and sacrifices in this great work of salvation.

With our love and appreciation,

Sister Torres and President Torres,

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lovin' Cuenca!


Juan Andres got baptized!!!  Oh my heck he is the funniest ever.  he is the one who first heard about the church like 30 years ago.  He{s like 40 something and still lives with his parents.  but i know soon he{ll find a cute wifey in the church!  He{s going to be such an awesome member and have so many leadership callings, i just know it!!  He is hilarious though.  he always is like i was reading on the internet about the church....  it{s like oh my heck, if it{s not it{s a lie!!!!!  he was saying he read how in the salt lake they sacrifice children and so secret things there.  que bestia.  but he{s awesome and always is wanting to know more.  oh but he told us a few days before he got baptized, he liked one of the church{s pages on facebook and then a bunch of his friends and family members called and were saying he was joining a cult and what not.  his family is super catolico and didnt support him at all.  but he{s so strong and got baptized anyway!  oh man his baptism was so stressful though.  because he had a bunch of court meetings and what not for some problem he{s had with a bunch of money he lost.  who even knows.  he talks about it all the time but i cant really understand it.  but anyway, so he told us about that friday night so we told our zone leaders and they were like, okay he{ll just get baptized tomorrow morning during our zone meeting.  it was nuts.  that morning we were trying to fill the font and get members there.  it ended up being a few elders, us, 2 members, and the 1st counselor of the bishopric.  but it was super happy!  indira, the rm talked about even though his family wasnt there to support him, he was joining a family 9in the church.  cute!!

oh my heck so the other day we were going to take pictures with the big nativty scene and we see this guard guy sitting on the plaza and i thought to myself, maybe we should talk to him.  but then i was like oh he{s working, maybe we shouldnt.  but then after taking the pictures i told my companion and she was like i was thinking the smae thing!  so we look over and he{s reading a book so we were like yeah, he{s not working that hard.  so we go over and talk to him.  get this.  his name is david and he{s 22.  bah!  funny.  but he{s from quito, here working.  so we taught him a lil bit and invited him to be baptized on the 21st and he said yes!  he said that right before we came up to him he was thinking he wanted to change his life.  well here ya go!!  how crazy is that??  well so he didnt have a cell phone and he couldnt remember his address so we left praying he would come to church since there was no way for us to go get him.  and he came!!!!!!!!!!  it was a miracle.  and he loved church!  in sunday school he was participating a ton and was so happy to be there.  it was so cool to see how the Lord put HIm in our path and the spirit told us to just go talk to him.  the church is true.

we are also teaching this family we found who accepted fecha which is happy!  haha they came to church after their misa yesterday morning so that was happy!  we{re slowly finding more people to teach and cleaning out our program of people who arent going to progress.  sometimes its hard but we always have to ahve the faith that that Lord is putting people in our path who are ready to accept the gospel in their lives.

we{ve also been teaching this family, a dad and a mom and a daughter who is 20.  well the dad is kinda weird.  he came to the conference and said he left disappointed.  he said the first speaker was boring and the closing prayer wasnt very good.  ohhh when he said that it made me mad because Elsa Ojeda gave the closing prayer.  I wanted to be like uhhhhhhhhh you do NOT talk about the Ojeda family like thtat!!!!!!!!!!!  Buti controlled myself.  anyway.  and then his daughter andrea told us that he thought we were just trying to get them baptized to increase our numbers to get their money.  and then he told us he{s catolico and he{s not going to change.  so chauzers to him.  but andrea is so cute!  she{s super interested and always asks questions!  i know she knows its true and she wants to be baptized but she hasnt accepted a fecha because her parents wont support her.  but i know she{s going to so soon!"!!! she has to!!!!!!!!!  she came to the christmas devotional with us last night and she loved it!  so that was good.  oh mayra was also there!  it was the first time seeing her since she gave us the letter.  it was so sad to see her but it was good she was coming to the church activities with her aunt and uncle.  one day she{ll get the courage to stand up for herself against her mom and be baptized.

oh carlos decided he doesnt want us to come visit us anymore because of his bad health.  we flat out told him that at this time in his life he needs God even more and by abandoning God, he{ll just get worse.  

my backpack still smells like coffee a lil.  hahaha yeah, i bought that backpack at the very beginning of my mission.  becuase we have to carry our triple, bible, a book of mormon to give away, pamphlets, water, money, hand sanitizer.  bunch of stuff.  so the backpack i have has a waist thing so all the weight isnt on my shoulders.  i use the scripture bag on pdays when i dont have to carry a lot of stuff.

awwwwwwwwwwwww that makes me so happy that mi sobrino me ama!!!!!!!!!!!!  i{m glad you{re teaching him who i am!!

of course no one wants to decorate the tree.  that{s my job.

i only play the piano at zone and district meetings.  there is a retired lady here who plays at church.

i dont know what the best way wouild be to send the card.  just decide and send it soon?  i want to take my shoes to get repaired but i dnot have money.  and make suer the packjage isnt over 4 kilos or i wont get it.,

hahaha gross, chuck a rama....  there are some buffets here and i was like umm i dont even trust buffets in the states, let alone in ecuador.

well i think thats all for this week.  thank you for all the updates on everything! tell cameron and brenden to write me.  i am so grateful for you all and for all your love and support and prayers.  i am so grateful to be here as a missionary, doing the Lord{s work, especially with an incredible family backing me up. I love you all!!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Bytheway


for thanksgiving we went to the bishops house.  they are awesome!  a little odd but i love them so so much!  they are always willing to help us out.  our dinner wasnt the typical thanksgiving meal but it wasnt rice!  we had potatoes and carrots and chicken and onion in the crockpot.  but their family is super granola/natural kind of people so it was pretty flavorless.  oh and we made gingerbread cookies!  also kind of flavorless.  hahahaha but it was super nice of them to let us come over!  they said that if they hadnt had invited us over, they wouldnt have done anything special for thanksgiving.  how sad is that!  ooooh but look mommy!  i folded the napkins like fans!!!!  :)

News from Cuenca


Dear Family,
tell grandpa bye happy birthday this saturday!!!!

so remember how i told you about Mayra who was going to get baptized this week?  que bestia.  everything was perfect.  she had her interview, she tried on her clothes and everything was ready to go.  on friday night we had a lesson with her with a member and it went so well and she seemed super excited for her baptism the next day.  and then as we were leaving she gave me a letter, one for my companion, and one for both of us to read when we got to our house.  so on the way home in the taxi, i started reading the one to both of us.... me mato.  she said she couldnt be baptized because there had been so many fights and arguments in her family about it.  (she is 30 and lives with her mom and siblings who are super catolico and one is atheist)  so she has decided to wait until they accept her decision to be baptized.  she said that when she does finally get baptized it will be the happiest day of her life.  breaks my heart.  our zl called her that night and he said that she will probably never get baptized because she is too afraid of her mom.  so sad.  i love her so much and she is so incredible but she just cant overcome the obstacle of her family.  it makes me so sad how the gospel is supposed to bless families but sometimes they are the ones to get in the way of their family members accepting it.

So chauzers to Mayra.  But this week we should have a baptism of Juan Andres!  He is the cutest!  He is 40 and single and lives with his parents.  Pobrecito.  But is super smart and get this-- he had a fecha bautismal in 2001!!  He{s read the book of Mormon a bunch of times, always is on Family search and and knows a ton about the gospel.  Basically a member without being baptized.  So this saturday he is going to be baptized!  but he might have to leave to quito this week.  Please pray he doesnt have to leave!!  He is so ready!!!

We are also teaching this other single guy who is 75.... hahahahaha his name is carlos.  He has a fecha for the 14th.  He likes to argue things out whenever we teach him.  Like when we were teaching him la palabra de sabiduria he pulled out these newspaper articles that had studies that drinking cafe everyday is good foryou.  we were like, who are you goingto believe, God or these random scientists?  So we took away his jar of coffee.  Oh and then later that day my companion opened my backpack to get something and the lid fell off so coffee got aaaaaall over my scriptures and books and everything.  so i smell like sin.  it{s fine.

sorry to hear about your back mommy.  that sounds awful.  especially on the plane.  hahahaahhah i love what daddy said about the "quackopractor."  whatever works i guess?

it sounds like thanksgiving was suuuuuper yummy!!!!  i miss all that kind of food!!!!!!!!  send me leftovers??

i dont know why you keep talking about transfers.  no i did not get transferred.  we moved houses if that{s what you{re asking?  have i sent you pictures of the new house?  no but we{re still in Tarqui.  hermana alvarado y yo.

well keep me updated on everything!

things are going okay here!  we have struggled this past week finding new people who are really going to progress.  All of the other people are a lil bit quedados so we{re in desperate need of new investigators--the chosen ones!!  WE jsut need to ahve the faitth that we will be able to find them and then do everything we can to help them.

I am so grateful to be a missionary right now and for all that I am learning.  Thank you so so much for all of your love and support for me!!  I love you all!!!

Hermana Bytheway :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

More Pictures from Cuenca

we ate pizza hut todeeeeee

so for the fiestas de cuenca, everyone eats pan de guaguas (pronounced wa-was) which means niño, or like baby or little kid.  made out of bread.  and colada morada.  which is a hot drink made out of this purple wheat thing and a bunch of fruit like pineapple and apple and strawberry and raspberry and peaches.  and a bunch of other stuff.  its actually pretty good!  we had it at 3 peoples house the past 3 days so i´m kind of sick of it now.  but i guess it´s kind of like memorial day slash dia de los muertos because they would put the pan and the colada on the graves of people so they could eat it too.  anyway.  so that´s that. 

this is danilo and his family.  the lady is carmen and the guy is patricio and their 3 kids, who are all members.  and then danilo is carmens brother who we are teaching.  and then the old lady is danilo and carmens mom.  I LOOOOOVE this family soooooo much!!!!!!  They are all hilarious and so so sweet!!  
Danilo is doing so so well!  but oh my heck, he almost didnt come to church this sunday but finally made it at the very end.  And he loved it!  Everyone was really good about saying hi to him so he felt super comfortable and welcome.  And he is always full of questions.  Like the other day we were talking about diezmo and at the end we asked if he had any questions and he was like yeah, here in la guia de las escrituras under ¨diablo¨ it says that he lost his first estate... what is that??  haha we were like uhhhhh....... we´ll look up more about that and get back to ya.  and then the other day he asked why all the apostles were white and none from south america.  so we told him to read what they say and pray to know if they were called by God.  I didnt know how to respond!!  Que bestia.  But he´s awesome.  Super excited to learn and be baptized here soon! 

Transferred to Galapagos?


So I got transferred to Galapagos!!!  Kidding.  Still in Cuenca!  This past week was fiestas de cuenca, which was happy.  NO one really celebrates halloween.  I saw one person wearing face paint but that´s about it.  But we dressed up!!!!  I was a tree and Hna Ayer was a zebra and her companion Hna Clark was a mermaid and my companion was a bird.....  Arent we so creative.  And I ate a sucker. So that was the extent of our Halloween celebration.

And we couldnt really celebrate the fiestas de cuenca besides eating the guaguas and the colada.  They had a bunch of parties and markets and cool stuff like that.  oh and mark anthony came here so that was exciting.  we went to the concert.  front row tickets.  it was pretty awesome.

today when i was making my bed there was a huge spider!!!  i really dont mind spiders and i just kill them when i see them but really? in my bed.  that made me mad.

Yesterday we went and visited a less active lady who is like 20 something and ohhhhh my heck.  it was the craziest thing ever.  so she was atheist.  still is actually.  but anyway, a few years ago she started going to church with her cousin and kept going for like 2 years because she liked how she felt there.  and after 2 years of going and like 8 different baptismal interviews, she finally got baptized.  but she had to get special permission from the mission president because she doesnt believe in God, which is question number one of the interview.  so she got baptized but went inactive because she felt like she was deceiving herself.  but it was just so sad because she is so torn and confused because she said her heart wants to be mormon but her head is atheist and cant believe in God.  So sad.  And then she told us a bunch of other super sad details of her life and it just made me cry!  She feels so alone and lost and I felt like anything I could tell her had to do with God and Christ and how much they love her.  Anyway.  That was the most intense lesson I´ve ever had.  Pray for her if you can?  her name is Andrea.

Ohhhh my heck!  We found an American!  We saw him one day walking with tons of groceries so we helped him carry them to his house.  His name is Tim and he is from New Jersey and is 24, graduated in Psychology but wanted to travel the world, so he is here teaching english.  So we set up an appointment with him for a couple days later.  So the day we went for the appointment, we went with the bishops wife who is this old sweet innocent American lady who doesnt get out much.  Literally. she hardly ever leaves the house.  So we go to his house and were knocking on the door forever and he didnt answer.  Then we went to call him.  didnt answer.  so we decide to go back one more time to knock on the door.  And he answered the door with just a towel on!  Hahahahaha i didnt see him because i was leaned up against the wall and the door opened the other way.  I just saw the reaction of my companion and the bishops wife.... hahahahahah they were mortified.  So hilarious.  anyway so then he put some clothes on and let us in but he only had like 10 minutes to talk to him.  So we start with a prayer and we start asking him about some of his beliefs.... ohhhhh my heck.  he hates the idea of God as a guy up in heaven controlling everything in the world.  He thinks God is a woman, like mother nature.  And he thinks that Jesus Christ was just a good talker.  And the bible is just written by a bunch of guys.  And all christian religions are like the catholics, who went to south america and killed the people who wouldnt be converted.  and then he was like yeah, i definitely wont be able to commit to join your church or anything because i like to drink and i´m not willing to give that up.  ummmm alrightyyy then.... hahahahaha the bishops wifes face was hysterical when he said that.  anyway.  he said he would come to church on sunday but he wouldnt answer on sunday.  we´re thinking he was hung over.

Our house is so happy!  Every morning we sing hymns in harmony and it is the best ever!!!  Dont worry, we still speak spanish....  when we talk to spanish people....

que bestia is like ´what a beast´ and que pena is... i dont know how to explain it.  ask cameron.

i actually think i might have dandruff again?  i dont know.  sometimes i do and sometimes i dont.  but it´s super little and white.  so i dont know what that means.  but yeah, send me the pills for my hair!!!!  that would be happy.

i tried using the card again and it didnt work.  is it checking, savings, or credit?

all this week i was thinking about your halloween chili and breadsticks.  so sad i couldnt eat that.  but that baby is the cutest thing i have ever seen in his costume.

that sounds crazy about marching band.  but thats super awesome they got second!!!

i want to see rachel´s hair!!

ummmm do i want to see wicked????????????  is that a question??????????  i would think i would be home by then.  i dunno though.

mmkay i think thats all.  thanks for everything!!!!  I love you!!!!!!!

Hermana Bytheway

Katelyn's Apartment in Cuenca

I'm back in Cuenca!!!


I´m back in Cuenca!!!!!!!!  Monday night we got back to our apartment and the zone leaders were there to tell us we had changes.  I´ve never had changes where the they come to our house and tell us in person.  so that was exciting.  haha i honestly think the zone leaders were sad to see us go.  we were super tight with them since we were in the same ward.  But yeah so Tuesday morning we left at 6 to Cuenca!  I met my new companion there and hermana ynoñan went to Guayaquil.  Hahaha she started crying because she didnt want to be in the heat.  Poor thing.  So my new companion is Hermana Alvarado and she is AMERICAN!!!!!!!!!!  She´s from West Valley, but her parents are from El Salvador and Guatemala, so she´s latina and speaks pretty decent spanish, even though she´s only been in the mission 3 weeks.  Her personailty is Shelby Page.  And her voice.  She is basically Shelby Page in every way.  ANDDDDDD we live with Hermana Ayer and she is also training a gringa, hermana clark.  Sooooo basically our house is the greatest ever.  I´m not sure what President was thinking when he put 4 americans in a house together but I love him for it!!!  Oh and our house is ridiculous.  There are 2 floors, 3 bathrooms, and toooons of room.  AND we have a camera slash intercom thing!!  hahaha no one ever comes to our door but we sure have fun with it.

Our ward is Tarqui, which includes the centro of Cuenca.  It is absolutely GORGEOUS!!!!  It reminds me of Spain.  Love it.  Oh and full gringos.  Our bishop is from New Mexico and there are tons of old couples in the ward that reitred here from the States.  Between all of them and my companion and the other hermanas, I am speaking so much english!!!  weird.  but dont worry, i´m not forgetting my spanish.

So the hermanas that we here before us were opening up a sector so we´re un poquito bajo with investigators.  But we´re teaching one of the member´s brothers who is wayyyyy awesome!  His name is Danilo and he´s 20.  He LOVES reading the Book of Mormon.  He reads all that we leave him to read, plus more.  His sister told us he was asking her questions that she didnt even know.  The only problem is that he left sunday to go visit his mom because he´s the only child that can go take care of her.  We promised him that if he went to church, his mom would be blessed even more and you could tell he was super torn but decided to leave.  que pena.  but hés really great and has a huge desire to learn and be baptized.  wére also teaching this one lady named marlene, who is like 50 something.  she is super sweet and came to church and is going to be baptized in a coule weeks.  But oh my heck we went to teach her and we brought the bishop with us.... worst mistake ever.  He went on and on and on and on and on about subjects that he definitily should not have.  I´m sure it confused the heck out of her.  The bishop really is great and always willing to help us but he needs a little training on what his role is as a member in a lesson.  he should know because he served a mission but i guess not.  que bestia...

i dont have dandruff anymore.  but yeah tons fall out every time i wash it and brush it.  like tons.  it makes me want to cry.  i try to control my stress level but i´m a missionary...... so..... yeah.  it´s kind of inevitable.

yeah, i´ll just buy the peanut butter, no worries.  and the retainer can wait.  it should be fine.

oh but i went to take out money of my travel card and it wouldnt let me.  and then i tried to use it in the store as credit and it wouldnt let me do that either.  it said  RECHAZADO.  DENIED.  so embarassing.  and i didnt have enough cash so i had to buy less.  soooo i dunno why it did that.

the cheese is just gross.  rubbery and the flavor is just not good.

OH MY GOSH I AM SOOOO MAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I SENT A SUPER LONG EMAIL AND IT DIDNT EVEN SEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  AND NOW I´M OUT OF TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

k well know that i love you all!!!!!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

FW: Better Week?


Hiiiiiiiiiii...........  Shine bright like a tsdiamond.... (bahahaha tell cameron that song played in Supermaxi last week and I just died laughing thinking about us singing that together)

Mmmkay so here is my list of what I would like in my Christmas box...
-conferences of may and october 2013
-toothbrushes with the little tongue cleaner on the back.  like 3?
-new bottom retainer.  the one i have is cracking like crazy so i dont think its doing much good.
-peanut butter
-peanut butter bars
-peanut butter m&ms (basically i{m dying without my peanut butter.  they have jiffy at supermaxi but it{s $10....)
-music on a micro sd card if brenden hasnt sent it already
-letters from the family
-the baby
-mini hymn book in english
-something to keep me from going bald.  really though i feel like i am losing soooo much hair!!  i bought "crecipelo" shampoo which says that it helps "with the fall of the hair" but who even knows if it really works.  but really i dont want to be bald.  depressing...

Yeah tha{ts what i came up with of what i want in the package.  I hope you dont feel like i{m demanding all of that.  you just asked what i wanted so i told you.  but thanks so much for thinking of me and my christmas :)  you are the best mommy ever!!

oh.  so gross.  for a "dessert" the other day, we had miel con quesillo, which is cheese and honey.  the cheese here is awful enough.  and who thought to put honey on it??? so gross.

but today the missionary couple bought us lunch!  they are the cutest.

Yesterday i had to give a talk in church.  one of the other elders spoke and one of the ward missionaries who is preparing for a mission.  i think it went pretty well actually!  one of the young women said it was the best sacrament meeting so at least she liked it.  hopefully the other members enjoyed it and got at least a little bit more excited about missionary work.  for the most part, they{re usually pretty willing to say they can come with us on visits, but they bail at the last minute wayyyy too much.  they are also hard to get referrals from. but we{re helping them realize the importance they have in missionary work so it{s all good.

oh so yesterday we went to the branch that goes to our building in the afternoon because we got to our branch late and missed the sacrement.  so after the sacrament, we stayed to hear the other hermana , hermana cambal, give her talk and after she finishes, they{re like, and now we{ll have a special musical number by all the missionaries.  and hermana cambal is like you guys too!!!  umm alright.  haha so we get up to the front and hermana cambal is giving us instructions of how we{re singing the song as we{re singing!  hahaha there were 2 other elders, one of them from utah, so we sang parts in english and parts in spanish.  anyway.  i just thought it was funny we were planning the musical number as we were singing it.

yesterday we helped one of our eternal investigators move houses (the dad has to get divorced and marry the mom.... takes sooooo long to sort all that stuff out.  but they are the cutest!).  but i was washing the dishes and one of the mugs said "caffee".  hahahah i dont know why but it just made me laugh way hard to myself and there wasnt anyone around who spoke english.  because it{s spelled like you{re saying it with an eastern accent, ya know?  but thats how you would pronounce it saying it in a spanish accent... anyway.  i thought it was funny.

oh i was going to ask you when you sent my other package but i kept forgetting.  why did you send an envelope with a pencil in it?  i mean, i appreaciated the pencil but i just htought it was random .

oofff the guy next to me smells fresssshhhh......  gotta love the smells of ecuador.  oh, cleaning out the house and moving all the stuff, we got lotsa nice smells.  a lot of the cupboards smelled like old chinese food.  mmmmmmmm gross....

hahahahaha i love how you said that someone just made up stats.  i definitely agree.

hahahahaha the water doesnt smell bad.  or maybe it does and i{m just used to the smell of ecuador.  i{ll probably come home smelling bad and i wont even know.  great.  will you tell me if i smell bad and help me get rid of it?  thanks.  the view from my desk faces west.  

oh boo hoo, you couldnt see the baby for a week.....   I DONT EVEN KNOW HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  yeah, it{s fine.

sounds crazy about dallin and all his band practices.  hahaha but at least it gives him something better to do than watch youtube videos of people playing video games.

this past week my companion has been sick so we had to stay in the house a lot.  the only good thing about that was i got to read a bunch of conference talks!  i looooove conference talks sooooo so so much!  i{m excited to read all the talks from this past conference :)

oh my heck i cannot even tell you how many investigators that have had problems listening to us or coming to church or getting baptized because of family members.  Just about all of them here, i think.  they refuse to listen to us and they refuse to let their family members listen to us too.  it{s so sad!  because the family should be there to be a support system and should be more unified through the gospel.  it makes me so grateful for the family that i have been blessed with!

ummmm what is with brendens hair.  is he trying to be a hipster?  now he just needs the glasses.  but ohhhhhh my heck the baby is sooooo cute and is growing sooo much!  i looooooove all the pictures rachel sent me!!!!  hahahahaha especially the one of him on the grass looking off to the side.  my companion said it{s a face i would make....

anyway i think that{s about all for todee.  thank you for everything!!  know that i am praying for each one of you every day!  i love you!!!

Hermana Bytheway

Friday, October 25, 2013

The View from Katelyn's Desk

Lots of Pictures!

theres an american guy in our branch and he made us cheescake, corn bread, and lasagna.  sooooooooo good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 daniela, kelly, angelica

so the lady on the far left is miriam and she{s been a member for about 2 or 3 years now.  she joined with her son, Giovanni who is standing next to her, and her daughter karen, who is on the far right.  daniela has been living with Giovanni for who knows how long and is going to have a baby at the end of this month.  she{s had tons of missionaries visit her but she{s always felt like they were pressuring her to get marriend and baptized. but for some reason when we came she was the one who came up to us and told us that she wanted our help and she wanted to get married so she could join the church.  she{s awesome and her testimony is so so strong!  She said after she was baptized she felt like she was floating.  so cute!! 

Angelica is miriams sister and kelly is her daughter.  we found angelica knocking her neighbors door one day.  she walked by and said they werent home.  so we started talking to her and figured out that her sister was a member in our branch.  after that we set up an appointment with her and her and her daughter were super recepitve and super excited to come to church with us.  when we told miriam, she was suuuper surprised.  she siad she had tried forever to talk to angelica about the gospel but she never wanted to hear anything.  it{s been so humbling to hear angelica and her testimony and how grateful she is for us- teaching her, i{ve truly felt like an instrument in the Lor{ds hands.  And her daughter kelly is so cute.  she{s 14 and has so much faith.  she{s always super eager to learn and accept whatever we have to teach her.  

the dad doesnt want anything to do with anything.  we{ve only seen him once and he didnt say a word to us.  which is super sad.  i cant imagine not being able to share something as happy as the gospel with my husband.  angelica wants us to come visit him so hopefully he{ll be willing to listen to us.  

so happy!!

it was so funny.. the water was not warm at all (not to mention green.... but thats normal i guess...)  so when kelly stepped in, she was like ohhhh it{s freezing!!!!  and angelica was like no, just keep going, dont even worry, the spirit warms you up!  

Katelyn's Email


thanks so much for your encouraging words, mommy and daddy!  last week was super rough but this week has been a lot better. i{m taking camerons advice and faking it til i make it.  some days i am just not happy.  but i just pretend like i love it here until something happens and i really do love it here.  so that{s helped.  and i have to remind myself that i{m never going to be perfect but i always have to try my best and the Lord will make up for what I lack.  but dont be sad for me!!  because that will make me even sadder that i{m not with you.  just know that I am in the Lord{s hands and He is protecting me and knows exactly what I am going through so you dont have to worry.  but dont worry,  i can always find a million things to be grateful for.  when i{m saying my prayers i feel so humbled when i take a moment and think about all that my >Heavenly Father has blessed me with.  Being here on a mission has made me so much more grateful for all that i have.

our shower is good.  we have hot water so thats good.

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH my heck.  Sammy sent me a picture of their announcement!  so crazy weird!  but they are super cute together!!!  I am so happy for them!  Tell them congrats :)

Sounds like the Josh Groban concert was good!  yeah, you promised so we have to go next time he comes!  hahaha i love daddys comment

I AM SO JEALOUS you{re going to Paris!!!!!!!  Please just wait a little so i can come?  dont even worry about the french.  i{m sure there are a million people who speak english there.

Tell parker good luck! that{s so excitng!!  does he go to the provo mtc?  oh madsen wants to get my family emails. so crazy he{s home already!

oh i have a list of what i want you to send me in a christmas box.  but i dont have the list with me.  will you ask me agian next week what i want?  thank you!!  yu are the best mommy ever :)

hahahahah the package got sent back???  that is hilarious.  at least it wasnt stolen!!  and now grandma can sleep in peace.  i felt so bad that she felt so bad about it.

anyway.  things are just great here.  ohhhh!!!!!!!  elder moreno, from sandy, his family sent him a ukulele!!!!!!!!!!!!  so he brings it to zone meetings and we jam a lil bit.  so happy!!! hahahaha but this past week he dropped it and one of the strings broke.  and no one here even knows what a ukulele is, let alone how to fix it.  so that was sad.  but hopefully he can get it fixed soon.  i miss my ukulele so much!  is anyone playing it?  if so, you better not break it.

anyway, i think that{s all.  i{m just here.  as a missionary.  ya know.  doin the mish thang.  thank you so much for all your love and support and prayers!  i love you all!!!

Hermana Bytheway

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Conference Weekend


Hermana Lopez is 23 from el salvador.  but she left to galapagos.  so the house has not been as fun.  we were always crazies together.  now i just have to be a crazy by myself.

yeah i{m happy to be an hermana leader.  we dont do much.  just splits with the other hermanas in the zone, which there are only 2.  and we have to go to the consejos every month in guayaquil.

hahah the bus ride there was during theday so the stupid guy in front of us didnt have to sleep.... but the bus ride back began at 9 at night so i did sleep there.  that one wasnt as fun.  it was not comfortable at all.  and then we got here at 6  and had to work.  so that wasnt the happies thing ever.

ben and alicia sent me candy and letters.  super sweet of them!!!!

angelica and kelly are hopefully going to be baptized thisweek.  they might go to cuenca but we are praying soooo hard that they dont.  but they are super excited to be baptized and i{m so grateful i got to meet them.  daniela is also going to be baptized this week.  she is going to get married thursday and baptized satruday and then ahve her baby later this month.  she is living with a nonmember and told us that tons of missionareis have visited her but for some reason she finally opened up to us.  it was so happy to hear that and to feel like i{m needed here!

i think i{ve alwasy taught ecuadoreans.  oh no!  i{ve taught a peruvian.  and someone from spain.  ohhhh she made me angry though,  she just wanted to argue.  "we already have a bible!  you cant add to the bible!!"

we share a sector/branch with the elders/zls.

i wear long pants and socks to bed and use my sheets and $5 walmart blanket.  haha its not hot here at night...

the members are usually really good about helping us.  some of them have "tapas" like crazy.  they are thoroughly convinced that loja has reached its limit, and that aaaaall of their friends have heard about the gospel and no quieren nada.  but we{ve been working with them a lotmore and it{s gotten a lot better.  hopefully they heard conference saturday?  i heard they talked a lot about member missinary work.  oh but elder castillo told me that a bunch of the members here thought all the sessions of conference were the same so they just went to go see one and thats it.  hahahah so we{re going to help them with that...

mmkay well i{m out of time.  thank you to everyone who wrote me!  i{m sorry i havent had time to respond but sooner or later i will write back!  i appreciate so much all of the love and support i have from back home.

i want you to know that i have a testimony of this gospel.  i know it is true and it is the only way to true happiness.  i know that my Savior suffered for each and every one of us and knows exactly what we go through.  i know that He lives and loves us more than we can possibly imagine.  i know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and i testify to what Joseph smith said, how we can get closer to God by reading it and living by its principles.  I am so grateful for this beautiful gospel and for this sacred privilege i have sharing it with the people here.

I love you!!!!

Hermana Bytheway

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Katelyn's Apartment in Loja

Tomorrow is October!


This week has been so crazy but so good!  First, my companion had to go with hna lopez´s companion to guayaquil to do something with their visas so i was companions with hna lopez for a few days.  ohhhhh my heck i love her so so much!  we laugh and laugh and laugh soooo hard when we´re together.  she´s taught me how to work hard but at the same time enjoy the mission.  it was crazy trying to handle 2 sectors at the same time but it was super fun at the same time.  we just had to laugh at how ridiculous it was.  but one day i got to do splits with hna hansen, the couple missionary! she is sooooo so so dang cute and totally reminds me of grandma solum.  i felt like i was companions with my grandma :)  haha her spanish is super limited but she is so loving!!  ohhh my heck it was the happiest working with her.

Marcela and Angelica and Kelly are doing so well!  They are all super excited to be baptized!  And we also found this lady Soledad and her 2 daughters that want to be baptized too.  Marcela isnt married, Angelica´s husband doesnt like any churches, and we found Soledad in her work at a flower shop so i´ve never seen her husband.

So they finally officially told me i´m hermana leader.  so yesterday hna lopez and i left loja with our zone leaders at 1:30 pm for our 9 hour bus ride.  we just laughed the whole time.  the guy in front of us took up both seats and reclined his seat back alllllll the way and was getting mad at us the whole time for laughing.  so that was fun.  hahaha but we finally got to guayaquil and got to sleep at the temple!!  it was so so so happy just to be on the temple grounds!

so then this morning we had the meeting with all of the zone leaders and hermana leaders in the mission.  it was really good!  full machetes but it was good!  president torres is awesome and has so much love for us and for the work of the Lord.  and it was so so happy to see all of the hermanas like ayer, perez, may, and jolley.  they are the cutest!  OHHHHHHHH and i got to hear about Vicente!!!!!!  He baptized his little sister!  and Went to the temple!!!!!  AND!!!  Edgar and Elsa Ojeda, the parents of the 3 boys, got baptized!!!!!!!  It made me SOOOOOOOOO  happy to hear!!!!!  I wish I could have seen all of them but it just made me happy to know that I was able to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands to help others come unto him.

this past week has been better!  I´ve realized how much I have really come to know my Savior and I am so so grateful for this sacred opportunity I have to work with Him side by side to carry out His work.  There´s been a lot of times I´ve regretted coming on a mission but I´ve decided that no more i´m going to regret this time the Lord has blessed me with.  It´s been hard but a huge blessing to have learned what I have.

Oh I got Grandma Bye´s letter!  I feel so so so bad that her package hasnt come yet!  i feel worse that she feels so bad about it rather than not getting the stuff.  I absolutely LOVED her letter and all the quotes!  She is the cutest.

I also got Ben and Alicia´s cute package!  That was so so sweet of them to think of me and send me that!  Tell them thanks so so much!

YAAAAAYYYY you got 100% on stats!!!  You always stress out like a crazy person and then end up getting 100.  dont worry so much mommy.

you dont have all my pictures.  i have tons more.  but you can start making a book if you want?  but dont you have to finish brendens first?

that´s crazy madsens home already.  tell parker good luck!!  sounds like the meeting was good. i did not get an email from madsen or parker.

sounds like the fam is having fun with band and music and flokk!  tell them all to write me!

the members are pretty good in loja.  but they´re branches, not wards so it´s a little different and there´s not too many of them.  but president is carrying out ´´la obra de salvation´´, the focus that the church is putting on working with the members more.  today we watched the videos the the church made with the members and missionaries.  it´s way awesome!  it´s going to take a little work but once the members realize the importance they have in missionary work, the work will explode!  yayy!!

we dont have a fan.  but elder hansen told me to iron my bed to kill the bugs.  so im going to do that.

sometimes you just have to sit on the floor.  and everyday about 8 times a day i kneel on the floor to pray.  sorry mommy dear.  it´s inevitable.

UMMMMM that baby is the cutest dang thing.  kills me.

well i´m just about out of time.  oh but tonight at 9 we´re headed back to loja!  so yayyy i get to sleep on the bus tonight!!  but i hope you are all doing well!  i pray for you all by name every night.  I love you all!

Hermana Bytheway