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 :)