Monday, July 28, 2014


Well, I finally got transferred. I have been taken from the promised land and I am now in Guayaquil in an area that I´m pretty sure is called Orquidias. I´m a little intimidated because everyone talks about how much they don´t want to be in Orquidias because the people are richer and not as accepting. Also, it´s really hot. BUT my companion is a sweetheart. I met her in Quevedo a few months ago, and back then I thought to myself that I would like to be her companion one day. Her name is Hermana Isama and she´s from Ecuador.

It has been a very bittersweet day. I´m excited for the change, but me and Hermana Flores were a crying mess yesterday. We sang Regresa a Mi all day yesterday and today. Remember Il Divo?! Yeah well we sang that song a lot and this morning was a little awkward because we bid each other farewell and we were crying and the zone leaders were sitting there watching us with really concerned looks on their faces.

I´m a little scrambled today, I slept about 3 hours.... I didn´t bid anyone farewell. I´ve decided it´s better to tell my companion to tell everyone goodbye for me than do it myself. Goodbye´s are awkward.
So yeah! New places, new people, new experiences. 

And my birthday was swell! I´m sure you´ve already seen the HIDEOUS photos that Lina posted, they had a noche de hogar with all my loved ones. It was going to be a surprise, but as we were waiting to start, someone asked where Romina was, and Kevin said "She´s coming right now with the cake!" and it got all quiet and everyone looked at me and I thought of all the times Holly has done something like that before and I just started laughing, and then everyone started laughing and making fun of Kevin. It was fun.
The next day a sweet little Hermana invited us to lunch, and it was a huge lunch and super delicious and we were just about ready to die we were so full, and then she brought out not one, but TWO cakes and served us super huge slices of each kind. Later on that night, another member gave me a cake. So there are currently three cakes in the fridge in Valencia. Also, yesterday, the bishops mother-in-law made me a cake and you best believe they served me a GINORMOUS portion. I´m a little anti-sweets now, all this week I´ve really craved celery.
But yeah. I{m not sure what else to share. I´m a little dazed, really tired, and I´m trying to reset my brain because I keep using Mexican words and I have to reset my brain to understand my new companion´s accent. I´ve gotten really used to Hermana Flores. añksdjfañdlskfj I´m going to miss her.
I found Señor Pappy´s long lost brothers. I´m trying to upload the picture but this cyber is super shady. The keyboard is sticky. . . 

Oh happy day the sister missionary that left was a big footed gringa too and guess who just inherited TWO new pairs of shoes woo hoo yeah me.

I feel like I sound really grumpy in all the emails today. I promise I´m not grumpy, I´m just really tired and it´s been a confusing day, and I still got a whole lot to do before going to bed tonight.
My camera isn´t working with the computer.
But I am happy! I am healthy! I am well! I am excited for new people and places.
Love you all!
Thanks for the letters, I actually haven´t had a chance yet to read my birthday cards but I´m going to dig em out of the suitcase when I get back to the house. I´m also going to do a deep cleaning process. I have my own bathroom! I´m going to clean it every day! Woo hoo!
Okay yeah I´m going to go now.
Thanks for the prayers and letters and everything, I love you all!

#38 (July 21, 2014)

Well this week has been swell. Well, kinda. We´re kinda in a weird situation where we have no investigators and no less active people to work with (well, there`s plenty of less actives, but they`re never in their houses). It´s been rough, but we are enjoying our time. We knock on doors, and every once in a while we get a miracle.

Yesterday, we were walking to church after passing for all of our investigators (who did not attend) and some dude passed by on a bike and shouted out to us that he was going to go to church. And we shouted back MUY BIEN thinking that he was probably someone that was still drunk from the night before.
BUT HE SHOWED UP. We couldn`t believe it. In our meeting yesterday our ward mission leader was asking us about the investigator that attended and we told him that we met him in sacrament meeting and we have no idea why he attended but he told us he wants to better his life and so we invited him to be baptized, and he accepted. So that was cool. 

We had interviews with the President and his wife (interesting right?) and it was awesome.  I was in my interview with Hermana Riggins like half an hour because we were just chatting up a storm. We already love them a lot.
What else... A sister in the ward wanted to give me like 40 bucks to buy myself new shoes, because even though I`m rocking the Crocs almost every day, I still like to put on my holey shoes because they`re comfortable. She thought I didn`t have money to buy new shoes.... She`s a sweetheart. I declined and told her that she was going straight to heaven. They`re an older couple from El Salvador and they really love us. They want to take us to the city to eat pizza today.

We don`t have a cell phone. We`ve been lost these few days without it. But we don`t have to give the nightly report, so we get to sleep a bit earlier, which is nice. 

I have already celebrated my birthday twice, and it has yet to come. The first time was last Tuesday, because the elderes didn`t hear right and so we had a double celebration of my birthday and the birthday of Hermana Orihuela. If my stinkin´computer works I^ll send photos. And then yesterday, the bishop and his family celebrated my birthday. They made me my own personal flan and gave me a monkey and took lots of photos, but they`re not going to put them on facebook until tomorrow, and they promised me they would only put up the pretty pictures. You´ll have to let me know if they kept up with their promise.
I`m going to switch computer to be able to send you photos, so if I can`t write more...,
Thanks for the prayers, thanks for the letters!


Me and Hermana Orihuela
These computers are junky, so I can only send one picture this week. We`re going to look for a better cyber. 
Love you!

Pictures of her birthday celebration!  Natalie loves the Penaherrera family and so do we!!  Eternal thanks to all of you for loving Natalie and celebrating her life!!  - Lorri

More celebrating!

Monday, July 14, 2014


Hello family! This week was swell.

No, I haven`t had transfers yet. Today two elders got transferred from my zone, but I`m still here.... I don`t want to have transfers until after my birthday though. There`s been too many whispered conversations just out of my ear-grasp so I know something´s going down. The next normal day for transfers in in 2 weeks, I`m sure I`ll be out of Valencia by then. 

This week... Monday, shortly after writing you all, we went to Quevedo and got into a taxi, and the taxi was playing Brick in the Wall. I couldn`t believe it. And then I realized that it`s actually kind of creepy that I liked that song so much when I was little.
This week has been challenging, but good.  We were blessed to find people that were legally married, which is nothing short of a miracle, but despite our best efforts we couldn`t get them to continue listening to us. It was especially disappointing with a family that has marriage problems, and we know that exactly what they need to fix their home is the gospel of Jesus Christ, but they turn away. We still have hope for them though, and we are working to help them feel the Spirit, because we already love them a ton.
In the mission, Sundays are the most important. Everything you teach and do is to help people attend church so that they can receive a testimony, feel the Spirit, and prepare to make covenants. You can teach a hundred lecciones in a week and you can have felt the Spirit and what not, but the truth is that if people don`t come to church, you feel like all that you did was in vain. Yesterday we passed by the houses of each of our investigators to wake them up, to tell them that we`ll be waiting for them in the church, and no one was in their houses. We were not too thrilled. But we decided to stop by and reinvite some old folks that we had contacted to come to church, but we firmly believed that they would not come, because they were old, they were pretty faithful to their church, they were poor and couldn`t afford a mototaxi and would have to walk a decent distance to come to church, and because they couldn`t read and they had trouble paying attention when we were teaching them. 
BUT THEY CAME. And we were thrilled!

It`s kinda funny that you had the snake issue Momma, because Hermana Flores was recently tramautized by a snake. We were visiting Yenny, our recent convert (she got baptized and confirmed this week), and to get to her house you have to cross a creek with a bamboo bridge and the path winds through cacao trees and banana and plaintain trees, and it`s a grand adventure. I really like walking to her house. But we saw a HUGE snake. Bright lime green and I would say it was about 7 feet long from what I saw and it moved SUPER FAST.
I really love this ward. As much as I want to leave and start a new adventure, this transfer is going to be cruel and brutal. I`ve included a photo of us, Francisco, Romina, and Luis, some of my favorite chamacos.

This is Yenny.
But I have to explain a few things about this foto.
1) It was the hottest day of my life. I was pretty sure I was going to die and I don`t think I have ever sweated so much in my life.
2) It was the sunniest day of my life. I`m not kidding, you could feel your skin burning. Also, i couldn`t open my eyes, which is why, mixed with the fact that I sweated off my makeup, I look like a blonde fat chinese baby. 
3) Yenny looks like she`s not happy, but she was super happy. I don`t know if you`ve noticed, but the adults generally don`t smile in fotos. This is a custom that I`m working to change. 

Me, Romina, and Francisco rockin´ Crocs. 

Monday, July 7, 2014


Oooh yeah I have to tell you that my Crocs came and they are the envy of all the sister missionaries. I`m not even kidding. Everyone dreams of having waterproof shoes like these. So even though by the world´s standards, they are absolutely hideous, by Ecuadorian sister missionary standards they are Coco Chanel. 

I met the mission president and his wife and they are amazing. Full doctrine, full amor, full obedience. It was so fun. We had a training meeting with them on the 4th of July. Seriously, they are the greatest. We left from that meeting so excited to work and find people and get them sealed in the temple.

The 4th of July was like the greatest day ever because we got back to Valencia to bring about our mega activity, CHOCOTALENTAZO. Basically a talent show with a chocolate fountain but the members really brought it. We had lights, smoke machines, bubble machines, a huge sound system, and everyone had practiced to make it awesome. It was so fun! The young men and young women danced to a Grease medley, and I never noticed just how dirty those songs are, but I was the only person who understood what the songs were saying. The primary performed a traditional dance in traditional clothing, and lots of people sang, the Bishop did a skit where he was a doctor and he had some magic juice that cured everybody and then we, the nurses, passed the juice out to members in the audience, and then the first counselor walked in dressed like a little kid and revealed that he had dropped his sock in the juice, after everyone had already drank... drunken... drunked... dranked...  their juice. I honestly have no idea how to say drink in past tense. I took little video clips of everything, but the activity started late and ended at 11 pm, so I didn`t get to see all the talents. But it was super fun. Me and Hermana Flores and Lina were screaming and clapping and trying to get the rest of the audience to liven up a bit, but apparently in Ecuador it`s normal for the audience to be a little dead, but the gringa, the Mexicana, and the Colombiana were not going to have any of that. So we returned home with sore throats from screaming and cheering but it was definitely worth it.

 I`m afraid I don`t have too much to tell you this week either, because my poor companion was super sick and sunday, monday, and tuesday we were in the hospital. I slept on the floor. But she`s fine now and we`re a-okay. The new president is so sweet because he was calling us to make sure that she was okay.

We found a lovely family. They attended church, but their baby was SUPER ticked off and no one knows why, and he refused to enter nursery, he refused to go with his parents, he didn`t do anything. No one could make him happy, we had candy, bread, toys, and this kid didn`t do anything until the bishop showed up. And then he reminded me of Dad and how good dad is with babies.
Which reminds me...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PA! FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS PAPÍ! Te amo mucho y espero que tengas un feliz día. Estoy muy agradecida por tu dignidad como poseedor del sacerdocio y por todo lo que me has enseñado. Eres un buen papa y tengo mucha suerte por ser tu hija. ¡Te amo!

I don`t have pictures except for from the CHOCOTALENTAZO. 
First is a photo of the young men and young women´s number. In the role of Danny is Luis. He`s our little brother. When I met him, the first thing I thought was "this is the type of guy that Holly should marry." He`s a recent covert (6 months ago) and he`s super faithful and excited to serve a mission. 

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Me and Hermana Flores. Hey guess what I`m skinny now! In the training meeting I saw people that I haven`t seen since I was in Milagro and they asked me what my secret was (hint: my secret ain´t pretty).
Also, one thing I´m going to miss about Ecuador is being able to tell people that they`ve gotten fat or skinny and them not being offended. This is something we should adopt in our country. 

More of me and Hermana Flores. We were in the bus and it broke down and they wouldn`t let us out. So that`s what´s happening here.

Did I already send this? We wanted one of those catalogish missionary pictures but it didn`t work out too well. We will keep trying, but so far this was our best take.
That`s all I got, love you all!

#35 (A week late.......sorry! The administration.)

WOOO Does the Lord know what`s up or what? That mission call is perfect for cute Erin! She is going to learn a ton and meet so many people! That`s the mission call I wanted (or Pennsylvania... I`m not really sure how I ended up with Ecuador).

Ecuador got booted out of the world cup, and Mexico lost yesterday so right now I`m rooting for the USA and I`ve got the Bishop on my side (we`re best friends. They asked me how you were mom, apparently you`re not too active on facebook these days). There`s tons of Colombians in Ecuador though and they`re all rooting for Colombia. 

This week has been rough. My companion has been super sick, so we haven`t been able to work too much. I`m not going to lie, at first the idea of sleeping in the afternoon was very inviting, but that`s only fun for half an hour and then you just wanna go crazy.   We watched every single video in the Doctrina y Convenios dvds (we watched the clip Una Dama Elegida [I think that translates to A Chosen Lady or something] about Emma Smith about 20 times and cried like babies each time), and all of the District 1 and 2 as well as 4 versions of the Restoration (I`m scared of some of the old Jose Smiths.). 

So transfers came and went again, and I`m still here. I think that´s just because the new President´s been in Ecuador 3 days and isn`t too keen on making changes right now. We already talked to him to ask for permission to go to the hospital. Chances are my companion has dengue and has to be admitted and stay over night (I`m going to go crazy). But the good thing is that we went yesterday and our doctor friend from the last time was there. He`s super cool and we really want to convert him haha. 

In my time in the house I`ve been practicing talking in vosotros (which is the way they speak in the Bible in spanish and in parts of Spain) and working on my Enrique Iglesias accent. I think he`s from Spain, but anywho with this accent the cion and z you say with a th sound. And the ll that they usually say with a y sound or a yj sound you say with a sh sound. Like, shegar in place of saying llegar and in place of saying corazón to say heart, they say corathón.  
So yeah practicing other accents and reading Doctrine and Covenants is basically what I`ve done this week. We`ve only been able to teach like 10 lessons this week. 

We are teaching a fiery little 70 year old. She wears bright red and fuchsia lipstick and we get along well. She really likes church and she`s ticked that her grandchildren didn`t ever invite her and that she had to tell them to take her to church. 
I love you all family, thanks for writing and thanks for the prayers!
Love, Hermana Roosht, Rowst, Rawst, Roost, Roast, or Roosh.

We have a difficult last name for these folks.