Tuesday, July 8, 2014

June 30, 2014

So I got transferred!!!!  Thursday morning I got changed to CUENCA!!!!  Yayyy!!!  I am soooo happy!!  My companion is Hermana Mojica again!  Ha!  I am in a sector called Miraflores.  Before the changes, there were elders with us here but when I got here, they took out the elders.  And Hna Mojica has only been here for a week so we get lost quite a bit...  We also had to take over the elders´ program so we have been running around like crazy people trying to visit all of our investigators.  I love it!!  I´m super tired from all of the hills and running to get to places in time but I´m so happy!

On Saturday we had a baptism and Satan was working sooo hard to frustrate us alll day long!  In the morning I forgot my nametag and we didnt have time to go back to the house so I made one at lunch... hahaha one of the members asked me if I was from the reformed lds church.  No.  I just am forgetful....  Then we got lost about 8 thousand times and took the wrong bus and spent a ton on taxis taking us to the wrong places.  Then about a half hour before the baptism we realized that we didnt fill the font!!!  So we were running back and forth with buckets trying to fill it before he got there.  And there was no gas so the water was cold.  But it all worked out and he got baptized!  Yay!  Then that night when we were going to bed we realized we never turned the water off in the font!  Oh my heck we prayed soooo hard!!  The next morning we ran to to the church and the font was empty.  The Lord answers prayers!  I have another story showing the Lord answers prayers but I´ll just send you the picture because I dont want to have to write it again.

Sorry I worried you last week.  I was just getting really frustrated with myself.  But looking back, I´m so grateful for the time I had in Almendros.  I learned sooooo much patience!

Oh yeah I definitely remembered Baby Brenden´s birthday on Thursday!  Even ask my compañera.  Don´t worry, when I get home, I´ll tend him and he won´t even miss his parents because he´ll love me so much.

Ecuador is out of the world cup.

Hahahaha I can totally picture Dallin right now.  Tell him to write me back!  Oh my heck that reminds me of one time when we were in a cyber emailing and there was this guy (he had to be at least 30) on the other computer with headphones watching a youtube video of some sappy love song and was singing along, in complete falsetto.  Baahahahaha my compnaion and I were dying.

Mmkay well I think that´s all.  Know that I love you all so so so much and am always praying for you!  Don´t even worry about me, I am super happy and working my hardest!  I am so grateful for this sacred time I´ve had to be a missionary and come to know my Savior more.  I know He lives!

Love you!

Hermana Bytheway

June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

the first pictures are of my zone.  hahaha they´re all goofballs.  but it´s great.  when i get home, remind me to show you how elder monje talks.  he´s hilarious.

then the next pictures are of us with hermano victor and angelita and her son christian.  victor is a chef and made us caldo de bolo.  not sure why we all had to do the same pose with the soup.... hahaha his shorts crack me up.  he always wears those.  when i was here last year, hermano victor introduced us to angela and christian and we brought them to church but then i was transferred so i didnt get to see their baptism.  but they are so happy in the church!!  they ALWAYS give us food.  yesterday after they gave us a big bowl of soup and rice and chicken, hermana angelita looks at me and she´s like ¨you´re looking chubby!!  i love when i see the missionaries looking chubby!!¨  so there ya go.

then we have hermano roosevelt´s baptism!!!  he was just a little blessing straight out of heaven.  his son, anthony was baptized a year ago but then went inactive.  we found them looking for inactives on the ward list and they´ve been coming to church the past few weeks.  roosevelt said he was baptized when he was 17 but his records didnt appear anywhere.  but a t the time he was living with his girlfriend so he couldnt get baptized anyway.  then a couple weeks ago he kicked her out of the house!!  yay!!  he wasnt too happy that he had to be baptized again because he said that God saw his baptism and thats all that matters but we explained that if he didnt, he wouldnt be able to go to the temple.  we taught him the plan of salvation and the spirit was so strong!  then he was super excited for his baptism.  and then he got baptized.  yay!  he is hilarious.  they have a cat named Bamboocha and the two of them call it in the exact same way and it just cracks me up.  they are the cutest and i just hope he can find a cute wifey so they can be sealed in the temple!!  which reminds me... i have a question.  a single parent cant be sealed to their children, right?  how does that work?

My companion made rice and milk today.... She cant´be stopped.
I´ve been reading the general conference talks this past week and it just shows how this church is so true!!  the gospel is so perfect and I just love it so much!

The other day it hit me that I only have 9 weeks left and I had a little panic attack.  And every time I think about it I have another one.  AAAAHHHH!!!  I feel like I still need to learn soooooooo much still!!!  So just pray for me because finishing just scares me a lil.
But dont worry, I am just super happy to be a missionary!!  I have grown to love my Savior so much!!  I know that He lives and that He guides His church and His work of Salvation for all of us.

Thank you for everything!!  I love you all!!!

June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014

So we had our conference with all three missions in Guayaquil on Saturday.  I had to lead the music and I was flippin.  I was so nervous to lead music for an apostle!!  But when we got there, turned out Elder Oaks didnt make it.  Something happened with their flight in Florida.  So Elder Waddel from the seventy was there and spoke, along with all of the mission presidents and their wives.  (ours are the best of course)  and Elder Vallejo.  I think he´s a seventy too.  Anyway.  It was incredible.  Hermana Vallejo read Alma 26:27 and it made me cry because 2 nights before, I was super discouraged and I just wanted to give up and go home.  Hermana Waddel talked about how they welcomed home their first son from his mission and she was bawling so it made me think of mommy crying welcoming me home and it made me cry some more.  And Elder Waddel talked about how Elder Oaks had called him telling him he wouldnt be able to make it but to send us his love.  And as he was sitting there on the stand listening to the other speakers, a thought came into his head saying, do you think the Lord didnt know that Elder Oaks wouldnt be at this meeting?  Of course He did!  So why would He want the three missions in Guayaquil gathered without Elder Oaks?  He told us that the city of Guayaquil is the city that bapitzes the most in the whole world, but we need to become the city that baptizes the most, retains, and activates the most as well.  We shouldnt imagine our investigators in the water, but kneeling at the altar being sealed as a family.  Baptism doesnt do much good if they don´t complete the ordinances of the temple.  The priesthood is to create eternal families, not just to baptize.  He also talked about how the way we measure our success is by looking at the kind of person who gets off the plane at the end of our missions, not by looking at how many baptisms we have.  In the parable of the talents, it didnt matter how many talents they received, but what they did with it.  He told us how his son went 7 months without baptisms on his mission but during those 7 months, he learned about the atonement of Christ because he worked his hardest and did everything possible to improve and complete his purpose.  When he said that I was like ummm AMEN!!!!!!!  That has been the past 2 months of my mission!!!!  OH and he said (2 times) ¨something being difficult is an excuse that the Lord won´t accept.  He didnt accept it from His Only Begotten Son when He asked to remove the bitter cup and He won´t accept it from us.¨  We will always have trials that are hard but like it says in 1 cor 10:13 we wont be faced with something we cant handle.

Anyway there was a lot more but I don´t have time to write it all.  But it was incredible and exactly what I needed to keep on keepin on in this sector!

the first picture is of hno and hna bohorquez, the yepez family with their crazy children (the youngest one looks like a minion from dispicable me) and tania, one of our investigators.

the second one is me, hermana ynoñan (my daughter), hna arizala (hna ynoñan´s daughter: my granddaughter and step daughter), and other hermanas that arent part of my family.  hahaha

and the last one is the grace family.  ohhhh my heck they are the cutest.  they feed us lunch every monday in their restaurant and always give us food throughout the week.  the hermano has a million health problems but just keeps on going in the gospel.  they are the fmaily we visited with presidente torres.

June 2, 2014

June 2, 2014

Sorry I hardly ever take pictures.  It makes me nervous bringing my camera with me in Guayaquil.  So that´s why you only see pictures of me in our house...  But this is my new compy!!  Her name is Hermana Arizala, she´s from Esmeraldas, which is in northern Ecuador.  Her mission was in Mexico but she got sick and got sent home and then sent here.  I´m finishing training here so shés my hijastra but she´s hermana Ynoñán´s hija so she´s my nieta!  What are the odds.  She´s 24 and she loves to cook.... sooooooo looks like the hope of me losing weight went out of the window.  Today she made a dessert with peaches and crackers and sweetened condensed milk.  And tortillas de yuca which is my favorite ecuadorean food!!!

This past week we put tons of fechas but of course they didnt come to church.......  BAAAHHH!!!!  But we still love them and are going to do everything possible so they can be baptized.  

Yesterday we had a training with all of the bishops, ward mission leaders, and missionaries of the stake.  And President Torres was there.  It was awesome and will help this stake grow.  Then afterward President asked us if we needed a ride.  And then on the way he was like is that okay if i go with you to your lesson?  It was so scary but so awesome at the same time!  We visited Jorge Luis who has been struggling for the past 2 weeks and President was able to help him a lot.  We also visited the Grace family who are recently activated and helped them set a goal to go to the temple.  I know these people really well and the problems that they are going through, but President didnt know anything.  But it was incredible to see how he said things that was able to help them with those problems.  Obviously he had the spirit and was able to discern what they needed without knowing.  It was awesome.  President is the best.  

Elder Oaks and Elder Clayton are coming this weekend!  I think Friday we´re having consejo de lideres with him and then Saturday a conference with all the missionaries in Guayaquil.  It should be pretty awesome!   

We´re just so happy here!  Yay!!  Love you all!!  :)

Happy Memorial Day!

May 26, 2014

That sounds fun about the yard!!  I miss weeding.....  Ha.  But at least working in the yard you dont have to look presentable and you can get wet.  Oh my gosh yesterday I was getting claustrophobic I was so hot.  We were teaching in this house with zero air flow.  Seriously I was suffocating.

So rumor has it Elder Oaks is coming next week!  Sooo that should be pretty sweet if it really is for reals.

We are slowly finding people to teach!  Yesterday we brought the most to church that I have in this sector.  One is a TJ and left running at the end.  He is super hard hearted and knows the church is true but he´s too stubborn to be baptized.  We are also teaching this lady and her 3 grandsons.  They are the cutest but they have had problems with people who were members so she´s not too excited about getting baptized.  She also has a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  So hopefully we´ll be able to help her.  We are also helping this less active joven whose parents arent members.  Well his dad says he is but his records are nowhere to be found.  But they need to get married.  And this other couple too.  So hopefully we´ll be seeing some weddings going on here soon.  Because we still dont have anyone with a fecha which is suuuuuper frustrating.  Saturday night I was like what in the world am I supposed to be doing here. Obviously the Lord wanted to teach me faith, obedience, humility, and diligence.  In great depth.... because I feel like He´s been trying me for sooooo long.  But I really am grateful for all that I´ve been able to learn.  I know that I wouldnt have been able to learn all of that any other way.  I´ve realized that we really need to be constantly improving, each and every day.  Maybe our level of obedience or faith was okay for yesterday but not for today or tomorrow.  If we want to reach our divine potential, we have to be constantly improving.  The Lord expects more and more from us as we learn each day.

My hair dries at least once during the day and at night.  I´m taking the biotin but I dont know if it´s helping or not.  It´s helping my nails grow faster and the hair on my arms and legs grow faster but I´m not sure if it´s keeping me from going bald.  But i´ll keep taking it.  It´s my only hope for right now.

bahahahaha it made me laugh hearing about your ppi.

Hahaha you are so funny Mommy.  It´s okay that you´re trunky.  I know it´s only going to get worse so I´m not going to fight it.

The pictures are of lunch I made.  I made arroz con gafas and maduro frito.  which is rice with glasses (eggs) and fried really ripe plantains.  oh and beans.  Not gonna lie, I´m pretty awesome at making ecuadorean food.  simplified version.   and the other picture is of an iguana in the tree in the park by our house.  they are huge and everywhere and kind of a little bit scare me.  oh one time we saw an iguana, like a foot long, run under the gate of a house and when we looked in the gate to see where it was gonig, we see this huge husky run over and kill it!  gross.  people eat iguana here if you didnt knowt that before.  i hear it´s good.  oooooh yesterday the mamita made us brownies!!!!!!  i was sewwww heppy!!!

anyway.  we´re out of time.  but know that I love you and I´m praying for you alllll the time!!!  I plead with the Lord to bless you all for the service I´m giving Him here.  I know He hears my prayers!

Love you all!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Bytheway