Monday, November 4, 2013

#2 Letter From Ecuador

I don´t want you guys to worry, but I think you should know that I haven´t plucked my eyebrows in a while. They are in desperate need of care, but alas, there is much else to be done. This week was full of highs and lows.
Monday after I wrote last week, we had a family night with the Familia Pasmiño. I don´t remember if I told you guys about them yet, but I love this family! Anywho, in this ward there are tons of youth that have been baptized, but whose families aren´t members. So this family home evening was open to all these kids. There were about twenty kids there. One of the main purposes of this fhe though was inviting the parents of Celita y Glorita, (Glorita who was baptized last week). The parents came, and it was such a great night! We had a short lesson and what not, and then every single one of the jovenes there bore their testimony. They weren´t your run of the mill testimonies either, almost every one of them (as far as I understood) shared how they came to know the gospel was true, and how their lives have improved with the gospel etc.. We talked to Glorita´s father afterwards, and he said he liked how it felt in their home. Afterwards, I was surrounded by all the youth and everyone tried to teach me new words and get me to teach them English and most of the time everyone was just laughing. I got lots of "pobrecita" said to me so I think it´s safe to assume that there was a fair amount of teasing going on as well. I love it though, I am happiest and learning most when talking to the youth.
The next day was one of the lows. I couldn´t sleep, and had chills and pain and I was just not great the next morning. I was also coughing up a storm. So we went to the clinic and lo and behold I got me some bronquitis. You might think that translates to bronchitis, but I´m pretty sure it actually just means white-girl-with-a-cold. We discussed our options and either I would get medications that I would have to take for a couple weeks and return back every day to the clinic, or I could stay for a day or two on an IV. Apparently, IV´s aren´t a big deal here, it´s just a different way to take medicine. So don´t be worried, it really wasn´t a serious thing. I did have blood drawn, and I had an IV in my arm for 3 days and I didn´t pass out once! Woo! I´m really really proud of that. So I loafed around in the hospital for 3 days, and now I´ve just got some medicine I take twice a day. I also am supposed to be doing some respirator type therapy junk at the clinic every so often, but my beloved Pasmiño family is a family of nurses, so I just do what I gotta do at their house. I love them, they really do take good care of me. 
Everyone takes really good care of me in fact. Everyone is very willing to share their remedies. Just yesterday, Steven and Hermano Pasmiño came up to me with what looked like chapstick. I figured it wasn´t chapstick though when they tried to shove it up my nose. It was actually a little vaporub type inhaler, which I´m sure had been in many a nose before mine, but it works really good and I love that little thing!
As you can see, the mission has already changed me. Some other things that have changed... well... I always have someone´s hands in my hair or on my face. Always. Usually my companion´s hands, but investigators and members take their turns too. Also, every female above the age of 12 or so is greeted with one of those European type cheek air kisses. You guys know how much I like my bubble, but personal bubbles cannot exist in Ecuador. Sometimes we have to remind some of the younger guys that missionaries don´t do the cheek kiss thing. It really is an honest mistake on their part though, because that´s just what they do. It´s so sweet to see the young men kissing the old ladies when they walk into sacrament meeting.
Chicks here don´t chirp or peep, they "pew." Hmm...  what else. My feet are hideous now. I don´t even know what happened, but my feet look like Daniel´s now. We´re not allowed to ever be barefoot, so I´m not exactly sure what happened but my feet are gonna need some TLC after 17 more months of this. Speaking of Daniel.... I´m constantly reminded of him because all the men out here sit outside their houses with their shirts hiked up and their bellies out! They just chill there, talking with their friends, bellies proudly displayed. I couldn´t stop laughing the first time I saw it, but I´ve seen it many times since them. A few days ago, we walked past a guy sleeping on the sidewalk in front of a little store. I´m not sure if he was sleeping or passed out, but it didn´t even phase my companion. The guy´s head was dangerously close to a pile of dog ..offerings. What a weird place. Also, apparently it isn´t a big deal if the ladies don´t shave their legs, so Ecuador is more advanced than the US in this aspect.
It must be some sort of big dishonor if you don´t graffiti a wall for your loved one´s birthday, because there´s birthday graffiti everywhere. Speaking of birthdays, Happy Birthday Holly! I forget that it´s November seeing as it feels like July, but one of our investigator´s birthday is the same day as Holly´s. Hope your day is swell!
Friday we had another baptism, a young man named Ronaldo. He was so excited. The baptism was completely run by and attended by youth. They gave all the talks, prayers, lead the music, and Steven, a young man who is a recent convert who shoved that thing up my nose, baptized him. I have some pictures from that night, I really love the youth!
Food. So much rice. I am a fat lard already. I usually only eat lunch every day, but it´s huge! And it always starts with soup. It´s really tasty though, they have the best seasonings on the meat. This coming Saturday, we´re having a potluck, and I´m so excited to try more things. So far, I love me most some fried bananas. I also had some sort of rice with some sort of yellow oil with seasonings and bell peppers and onion that was delicious. There hasn´t been anything yet that I haven´t eaten with the utmost enthusiasm, and you can tell Derrick that my stomach has been just fine as well.
Yesterday there was a soccer game between two Ecuadorian teams, Barcelona and Emecer. The entire town shut down.  I´m serious, there weren´t taxis in the streets or anything. Some people put their TV´s outside and attatched speakers and blasted the game, so we ended up at the Pasmiños house again. All the jovenes were gathered there to watch the game. The Pasmiños are such good people! After the game, they fed everybody and brought out a cake and everything. I was instructed multiple times to tell everyone that I am an Emecer fan, and not to forget it.
Everyone wants to listen to me speak English. Every once in a while, I speak English with one of the Elders, and they all try to listen and understand. I bring this up because they are trying to get me to sing in English. I refused yesterday, but we made a deal. Tonight, if they bring the missionaries references, I will sing a hymn in English for them.
Oh yeah, tonight! Glorita and Celita are having a noche de hogar at their house, and they´ve invited everyone. Their parents (who aren´t members, remember) have invited everyone because they said they liked what happened. So we´re having a ndh in their home and we have some investigators coming and I´m just really excited, because Gloria and Celia´s parents are starting to show interest. We really want to teach their entire family together, and Gloria and Celia are already teaching them and sharing their testimonies with their parents. The youth are so great! They come with us to lessons and they get their friends and try to involve their families. We set a baptismal date for Luis Guachiculca´s older sister. Luis Guachichulca was the ym baptized the same day as Glorita. My challenge for the little girls is to offer to go with the sister missionaries to some appointments! I believe so strongly in the faith and strength of the youth. After all, Joseph Smith was only 14. Get involved in the work, references from members are what keep us busy!
This week is going to be a good one, I can tell. Be good!
I love you all, thanks for all the messages and prayers!

Hermana Rust

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