Monday, November 11, 2013

Letter #3 from Ecuador

 Also, because I forgot in the last email, my branch president was President Jewell! We talked about Logandale and I have a picture with him and his wife. They´re awesome!

I forgot my notebook full of things to write about... This is gonna be difficult.
Monday was the family night, and it was so great! Once again, we have 20 or so youth crammed into a house, and there was a lesson, and then Celita announced that she was going to ask five people to bear their testimonies, because it was getting late. So she asked five people, and they bore their testimonies. But it didn´t end there. Everyone ended up bearing their testimonies, just like the week before. Mondays are my favorite, because it´s P Day, and because I get to clean and do laundry, and because the Noches de Hogar with the youth are so great. There´s always a few nonmembers. Glorita´s father gave the opening prayer, with her help, so we´re hoping that with each spiritual experience, his heart is softened and they will want to learn more.

I still can´t understand too much, but I have been able to see my progress. Sometimes, Hermana Diez will ask me to give the opening prayer, and because I can pray in Spanish, they think that I can understand Spanish. So whenever I pray, I usually get asked a question directly after that I cannot understand. My favorite and most used phrase is "Repita por favor, más despacio". If I still can´t understand, Hermana Diez dumbs down the Spanish into more basic words and if I still don´t understand I just smile and we move on. I do talk in lessons though, I have taught big portions of the Restoration and I always bear my testimony. I think that sometimes the things I say have nothing to do with the lesson, but Hermana Diez told me that the "norteamericanas" that can´t understand Spanish always say what the investigator needs to hear, because they have to completely rely on the Spirit to communicate and know what to say. So that was nice haha.

 As for my health, I am just fine. It´s pretty common for the Americans to have some issues with breathing here, because there is so much dust in the air. It´s kinda funny, I´ll look at my hands and think they´re clean, but then I wash them, and the water that comes off of them is gray. There´s just tons of dust, but it´s perfectly acceptable to spit in the street, so I do what I gotta do and now I´m just fine. Every once in a while, the Pasmiños make me have a terapia treatment, but I think they only want me to do the treatment partially for my health, and partially because they have plenty of opportunities to tease me.
That reminds me, I made my first funny comment in Spanish this week! I missed making people laugh, and it was nice to have people laugh at something other than my confusion haha. It wasn´t really that great, they just asked me if I knew how to shuffle and play poker, and I said I didn´t, and they said "but you´re from Las Vegas!" and I said, "I´m mormon! I didn´t go to the casinos, I went to the temple!" Of course all of this in Spanish. They got a kick out of that. 

Saturday, we had a missionary activity, that I was really excited for. Every family was to bring their best dish for everyone else to try. Also, we went around making sure that people invited their non member friends. We then visited these non-members, and invited them again, and again, and again. We have a family we´re teaching again. I say again, because they´ve had all the lessons, and they´ve been attending church for 7 months. They just won´t get married so they won´t get baptized. No one here is married. Anyhoooo, this family brought their nonmember friends, and that´s it. No one else. We talked to the nonmembers that they´ve brought and they said yeah, they like the church, and the activity, but they´re Catholic. So it was a fun activity, but not successful. 

But you would be very surprised if you saw me at this activity. You know I don´t like germs. Well, Heavenly Father has helped me to get over this reeeaal quick. For instance, at the activity, everyone got a spoon and a tiny plate. No one really used the plates, it just went from platter, to spoon, to mouth. And I did the same thing. Who woulda thunk. And it was gooood food too! I made pancakes... I didn´t have time nor ingredients for anything else. 

We have been trying to stay busy this week. It´s been hard, because appointments are dropped and contacts don´t help. Without references, we don´t really have opportunities to teach. We´ve been trying to get references from the members, and we´ve gotten a lot of help from the youth in the past, but we really need to teach families. No such luck. Hermana Diez was telling me that converts are very likely to go inactive if they don´t have friends in the church, and people that we contact don´t want to listen. Members are so essential to missionary work!! I cannot stress this enough. 

We are teaching the older sister of Luis, the first baptism. She has many struggles, and I don´t really understand everything, but I love her. The same with a family we met with yesterday, I knew that they were sharing some serious things, and I didn´t understand what they were saying, but I bore my testimony of Jesus Christ, and of the blessings that we receive from the gospel, and that´s all I can really do right now. But I love them! 

It´s also been difficult because lots of people have wacky sleep schedules.The city is pretty active in the morning, but I feel like everyone sleeps all afternoon and then is up all night. 75% of the street will not be in their houses or will be sleeping. What can you do.
I don´t have much time, so I better get going with some photos.
Thank you so much for the letters and photos and prayers.
All is well, the church is true, and the work is for everyone.
Love, Hermana Rust. 

This is what the president of the Relief Society brought to the activity. So good!

Baby Hamilton. He has my heart. He´s part of my beloved Pasmiño family. 

Paulina at the activity. I believe she is baptized, but we´re still working on the rest of her family. They like the church and attend from time to time, but aren´t members. Her brother is the only Ecuatoriano taller than me. He´s like 15. We were supposed to take a picture together at the activity but we forgot. Her mom promised to make me cuy to try haha. 

Johanna Pasmiño, momma to Hamilton. She is so sweet, she was getting ready for a wedding (the reception started at 930pm and went for a few hours! Whaaaa?)

Hermano Reyes. He likes to make fun of me and he tries to twist my words to make it sound like I think his wife is a bad cook. He made sure that I took a good photo of him, so I think he would want me to share this. He speaks so fast, and drops his S´s and slurs everything together. I don´t understand a word he says. 

Hermano Celso. He´s accompanied us in a few lessons, and he owns a restaurant and the missionaries eat there, free, once a week.He´s a sweet man! He also made the best hamburger I think I´ve ever had. I also had some darn amazing Peruvian french fries today....

Hermana Reyes, who has been attending for months, but won´t get married. She is an amazing cook, and they love to feed us. (Usually late at night, with plenty of Coca Cola. It´s a miracle I sleep. I truly mean that, it´s a miracle. Everyone gives us Coke or some other soda to drink, and they eat dinner at 8 sometimes.I think the caffeine is also the source of some of my stomach woes!)  

My district with Presidente y Hermana Jewell in the CCM. 

1 comment:

  1. I just adore Hermana Rust's letters. I want to taste the food!