Monday, March 17, 2014


I`m afraid that this week was one of the most difficult of my mission. Our numbers are incredibly low, and it`s a little discouraging because the rest of our zone is having tons of success. I`m not even kidding, as a zone we`re probably going to exceed our goal, even though me and my comp haven`t had a single baptism. I`m happy for everyone else, but I would like to join in on all the fun!

We are at a very difficult place right now, because we`re not receiving references and the people that we do meet aren`t interested or say that they`re interested and then hide from us. We spent lots and lots of time walking this week! 

One day we were in a town called La Esperanza. It`s part of my sector but the missionaries haven`t worked in there for a while, and it`s called Hope, so we figured we better check things out. Anywho one day while we were there we heard someone saying "Mormonas." We turned around to see a woman.  She told us that she was super catholic but that she liked talking to us and that she was really fond of my eyes, but that she wasn`t interested in what we had to say. She was really nice about it though, and she told us that her son needed to be saved, because he professes to be atheist.

Turns out, he`s not atheist, he just doesn`t attend the catholic church. But he`s really fun and we like teaching him because he has LOTS of questions and he actually pays attention and understands things, but he can`t come to church on Sundays which is really a bummer. At the end of a lesson he pulled out his phone and said "Selfie!" and took a selfie with us and I don`t know, something about hearing the word selfie being spoken by a guy named Luigi was really funny and brightened my day.
We also have another couple that needs to get married. We taught them about the Restoration a bit and gave them a Book of Mormon and then kinda forgot about them for a while because they went on vacation. Anywhoooo, we decided to visit them one day and they told us that they had been reading the Book of Mormon every day and saying their prayers morning and night. Whaaaa! That doesn`t usually happen with the people that we see every day let alone people that we haven`t visited in four weeks. So that was fun. The problem is getting them to understand that if the Book of Mormon is true, then la iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días is the true church, because here the people have the idea that if it talks about God, it´s true, but it can`t all be true! We would like to explain this more to them, but the husband likes to talk more than anyone I have ever seen. In a forty-five minute visit, I think we said 15 sentences. I`m not kidding. So it`s a slow process with them, but they`ve already attended church and we hope that with time they will understand and get married!

Now I will answer the questions from Pa and conclude with a photo of me and Hermana Guitarra.
What is the difference between Milagro and Valencia?

Valencia, where I am now, is much much much smaller. Milagro is huge and is a busy bustling city. Valencia is quiet (for Ecuador at least) and there aren`t people in the streets! We didn`t knock on doors much in Milagro, because everyone was always outside visiting and talking and partying, and it`s much easier to speak with people already out and about because there`s less pressure to always have something to say, it can be more like a normal conversation. Here, the streets are empty and the people hidden. Also, here, everyone works in bananeras. Banana fields and factories what not. I have started a collection of banana stickers, this collection is currently my most prized possession haha. The whole bananera thing makes things difficult because it means that the only times that people are home with their families are from 6:30 and on, but we can`t visit everyone in these two hours between six thirty and eight thirty. It makes for very long, hot afternoons! I am super tan by the way. You will note in the photo. Here, there is also way more problems with the law of chastity. Nobody is married and there isn`t much respect for women here. There`s LOTS of infidelity and lots of teenage pregnancies, as well as relationships that you can see right away aren`t good.  My heart breaks multiple times a day. Yesterday we met a girl who was 17 years old and pregnant with her 3nd child. Her "spouse" is almost 50 and already has children older than her. 

The food doesn`t agree with me here haha. They like to mix lots of things together and make intricate salads and soups, but with less flavor. This is not just me complaining; this is something that they all admit, that the food in other places is better.
The ward covers Valencia and a few other towns outside of Valencia. It`s a huge area compared to my area in Milagro. We travel fifteen minutes or so to la Esperanza and our sector goes even farther than that. The stake is pretty big too, the stake center is in the city of Quevedo, about an hour away. We travel there every Tuesday for district meetings. Quevedo is more like Milagro.

We also go to Quevedo every P-Day to grocery shop and what not. There are four zones in Quevedo so the mall there (which includes the grocery store... Funny, huh?) is absolutely swarming with missionaries every Monday. It`s really fun to go and eat lunch in the food court and see all the missionaries and all the people being really confused haha.

My time is far spent, but keep the prayers a-coming, I`m fasting and praying tomorrow for a miracle here in Valencia so we can have investigators and so I´ll have lots of nice things to say in the next email.
Thanks for writing, write me on Sundays so you don`t forget!
Love you all, tell Brando happy birthday and that if he desires, there`s a young single mom with the cutest child ever that is quite taken with him (the mom, not the child) that is willing to move to the US haha.

Yeah, that`s all. I love you all!

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