Monday, January 6, 2014


Oh boy what a week!

The Ecuatorians know how to party. I never remember what I wrote the previous week, so I will just explain things again and if I´m repeating myself, sorry!

 So everyone has been building these paper mache figurines, some of them are small, like the size of teddy bears, and then there are giant ones (I have a picture of me and Hermana Chil and a giant Thor that I will be sending...) and they set them on fire! They work on them forever and they are super legit, and then they just burn them jaja. They´re called monigotes or año viejos. Me and Hermana Chil were pretty bummed that we weren´t going to be able to be out and about for all of the festivities, but we decided to go out onto our roof terrace type dealio to watch the events unfold. First of all... it was loud! Everyone was setting off fireworks and flares and bombs and when they lit all the monigotes on fire, the video I took could probably double as news stock footage of riotings. If I hadn´t known it was a holiday I would have thought that someone shot the president or something. It was so fun though! We went inside shortly after midnight but the parties were still going until like 7.

The day after, the entire city was shut down. There weren´t cars, there weren´t people outside, there wasn´t anything. It was kinda creepy. It´s funny that everything was open on Christmas Day, but literally everything was closed on New Year´s Day. In the late afternoon, some parties started again but we didn´t go outside because everyone was drunk, and I get way too much attention from drunk people. Also, our president told us that this was a day of rest so we weren´t expected to work that day, which was good because we literally wouldn´t have gotten into a single house. 

There was a youth activity that night in the house of a member that we went to that was so fun! The person that was supposed to give the lesson fell through or wasn´t assigned or something, so me and Hermana Chil gave the lesson. I really don´t like teaching in front of the members. When I´m explaining a gospel concept to an investigator, if I make a mistake or say something ina  way that is difficult to understand, my companion backs me up and fixes things, but I feel like I shouldn´t be speaking in front of members because they can do things so much better than me. So for me to speak in front of twenty something members, even though I didn´t teach so much as just testify and do my little bit at the end, it was progress!

This Sunday was fantastic. We have been having problems with people coming to church, and we´ve had to drop a lot of investigators just because they wouldn´t come to church. But we fasted, and every single one of the investigators who we made plans with to attend actually attended. That never happens. It was awesome. We also got a new investigator when a less active member invited him to church. The less active member didn´t come, but his friend came anyway and we had one of the best lessons ever yesterday with him. That lesson was like the lessons you see in the church movies where the investigator asks really deep questions and we answer them in the way that they need and then they say that they feel something they´ve never felt before and all that. It was seriously so cool. He also told us that he was looking forward to church next week (whhaaaaaaat?!) and that he would like to come every week. That seriously NEVER happens. It also seems really sincere coming from him. We are meeting with him again  tonight.

We´ve also been teaching a mother and two daughters. After our fifth visit or so, she told us that whenever we came over, it was always during a time when something negative had happened, and that she always felt better afterwards. She is amazing, because she´s had some trials start very recently (after we started teaching her recently) and so many people would use that as a reason to not attend church, to not read, to not pray, and instead she´s decided to continue firm in the decision she made to attend church and be baptized. I´m pretty sure that I´m going to be transferred next week, because my training will be done, and I will be really sad if I won´t be there for their baptisms!

I think I´ve just really liked this week because it´s cool to see the difference between any investigator and someone who is truly ready and needful of the gospel. Don´t get me wrong, being able to teach anyone at all is great, but it´s so amazing to see when the gospel provides that specific something that they were looking for.
I´m starting to get into the stride of things here just in time to be transferred I feel like! I reallly really reeeeealllly hope I don´t leave next week!

I love you all!

I´ve gotten packages from the Boltons (my companion was really excited for the hot cocoa packets haha and the socks have come in handy. Just  most of the time not on my feet :) )
Aunt Sylvia (I think the bugs don´t like the essential oils, so I use it liberally. Also, me and Hermana Chil just think it smells really good so we use them like perfume)
Pa Rust - Embodiment of Rust Christmas.
Dan and Em - The card is proudly displayed on my desk and the granolda is almost gone...
I really think the packages will get here, they just take a while.....
But tell everybody thanks, and that they brightened me and my companions Christmas and New Years!

Me and Hermana Chil with the family we are teaching. It was Amy´s birthday. Yes, I´m rocking a sock bun. It was hot, okay?

Our Zone! Elder Erickson made his own ghetto monigote, which is what the hermanas are holding onto. Do I stick out or what?

This is a Thor monigote. Which is now ash. Cool huh!
Also, because it is so hot, I purchase cheap dresses when available that have sleeves, no matter how hideous they are. I call this my funky grandma dress.

We have fun together.
Another recently purchased dress....
There´s a good chance I´m going to give away all my old clothes are replace them with cheap dresses. 
My goal is to have seven dresses and wear my Monday dress on Monday and so on and so forth.

My camera isn´t great, but this is one of the photos I took from the roof of the burning monigotes. We could only see a dozen or so from where we were because there are too many tall buildings, but there were hundreds. Today is the day of the magi or something, so tonight they´re going to burn all the left over monigotes. 

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