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