Wednesday, January 1, 2014

#10 Letter From Ecuador

Christmas was tranquil. We slept in, and I made some kickin´ salsa. Me and Hermana Chil are addicted to salsa so I´m going to make a huge batch today to last us for the week. Together, we can eat one of those glass bowl´s worth (you know, the size we usually make for the entire family) in about a week. Our favorite thing is to scoop up a bit of cream cheese then salsa and just eat it like that. We plan on getting very fat.

Christmas day we met up for a little bit as a zone because we did a secret santa type dealio. The missionary whose name I had got transferred the day before, so I had to buy something generic for someone that I didn´t know. I felt kinda bad about that because everyone else´s gifts were personalized to them, but what could I do? We played some game with two ties and one tie is a mouse and the other is a cat and I don´t know that I could explain it too well, but if the cat catches the mouse, the person with the mouse tie has to do whatever everyone else tells them to do. For instance, when I got caught by the cat tie with the mouse tie, I had to sing the national anthem in front of everyone. I don´t know why I was so nervous, seeing as only 3 other people there even knew the national anthem, but they all video taped it and it was super awkward and I was nervous laughing half the time. So just know, that somewhere out there, there are like 12 recordings of me embarrassing America. 

After that, we went and bought a few bags of candy and put them into smaller sandwich bags, and then we wrote a scripture about the birth of Christ and put that in the bags and distributed them to some of the member families and our investigators. That was nice. That night, there was a special noche de hogar in the house of the obispo. When we got there, the Pasmiños all asked us where we had been all day that day and the day before. Turns out they were waiting for us to show up all day....
We didn´t know, they didn´t actually invite us to come over and spend Christmas with them, they just assumed that we would come haha. I just love them! They told us that we are to spend New Years Day with them, so we are going to be there probably all day Wednesday.

We´re starting to see a bit more success!° I don´t really like to talk about specific people or lessons or anything, because if things don´t work out with them I don´t want to be asked about it haha. But just know that things are looking up and por fin we are starting to fulfill some of our goals.
One thing that happened this week worth noting just to explain how awesome the Pasmiños are... We´ve had two investigators talk about Grandpa Pasmiño and how he has something special, that he´s always happy, and that there´s something special in their house. And it´s so true! I think that´s why all the youth flock there, because there is so much love in their home. Grandpa Pasmiño and Hermana Petita his wife are probably my favorite thing about Ecuador. And here´s a precious fun fact: the Pasmiños are the grandpa, the son and his wife and all of his kids, and the married son of the son and his kids. Four generations living in one house. All this time I thought they all lived together because they had to, but Hermano Pedro, the son, told us that they have a house a few minutes away, but that his kids didn´t want to live "so far away" from their grandparents. It´s really only a few minutes away from what he said, but that they wanted to all live together. So they do. I don´t even know why I´m telling you this, I just love them and I feel like when I´m done with my training in two weeks I´m going to be transferred and I´m going to miss them. 

Yesterday was my first Ecuador rain! It was glorious. Me and Hermana Chil got thoroughly soaked and even a little cold. Once the rain is done though, it gets hotter. Not as fun, and today is sweltering.

Also, yesterday I got paid the highest honor and compliment that an Ecuadorian can give, and I was given it by 20 or so youth. But to set up the scene....

So all the kids are on vacations from school, so everyone´s home and they have soccer games in the middle of the street. One street even has goals that they put right in the middle of the street and if you want to drive there too bad. Anyway, me and my companion were walking past this game where 20 or so young men were playing and more were watching, and the goalie looked at me and then faced the all the kids playing and yelled STOP! (In English, which I thought was weird) and he yelled stop until everyone stopped. And then they all just watched me walk by .

They literally just stopped their game to watch me walk past. That was the only reason. I was red and a little ticked off and trying to speed walk past because hello! Uncomfortable! But Hermana Chil was just laughing and couldn´t believe that I actually stopped a fútbol game. TO my embarrasment she recounted the story to two other member families who were also very impressed.

Also, I loved all my packages!! Thank you, thank you to all of you! Mor granolda plz....

I´m going to send picture with some comments so yeah this is the end.
Love you all! 

Me and Hermana Chil at the present swap Christmas Day. I´m slouching big time. 

Our Christmas Day feast! Usually, people use Christmas day as an excuse to eat really unhealthy food, but instead we splurged on salads and gorged ourselves on salsa. Those yellow things are patacones, my favorite things here. Basically fried plantains, but they are so good!

Me and Hermana Chil with two daughters of a family we are teachings. The minion is like a giant paper mache doll. There are tons of these of all sized everywhere, Batmans, lots of minions, people just make them for something popular that year or someone that was big or something I don´t know. I didn´t understand everything, all I know is that there are tons of these everywhere. There´s a fifteen foot Batman in front of a store that I think we´re going to take pictures with today. At midnight on New Years they burn them. Some of them have fireworks inside too. I´m kinda bummed that all of this is going to be going on and me and Hermana Chil will be in the house... We´ve asked people to take pictures and record though. 

We celebrated Christmas with scrunchy side ponytails. It was glorious.
Note that I am sweating like a pig on Christmas day. 

They´re big on pineapples here. This is a giant fountain near downtown. Hermana Chil is making my pineapple gang sign. Represent. 

Elder Maddock was transferred, so we had to take a final pineapple picture with the missionaries that were in the ward when the pineapple sign was formed. 

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