Monday, October 27, 2014


fThanks for the questions! It´s getting harder and harder to think of what to write!

1.    How do you do companion study?   Is it something you enjoy?
I love companionship study! Each companion brings something a little bit different, but here´s what we usually do. We sing a hymn (I like Christmas hymns) and then we kneel and pray, then we read 3 pages from the mission handbook and read the rules, then we share with each other what we learned during our hour of personal study. That´s my favorite part. I love sharing what I learn. And then from there we plan for the day. We decide how we are goingt o teach each investigator and with what scriptures and what compromisos (I can never remember that word in English) we are going to invite them to make, adn then we practice (that part I don´t like. It´s awkward). So that´s companionship study! One hour a day, every day. 

2.     How you and Hermana Isama ? We get along, which is great, but she doesn´t talk too much about things.  She has a super interesting culture, but she doesn´t share too much on her own, so I have to think of things to ask her. But she loves listening to my stories, she loves hearing about my high school and college adventures, because how we interact with friends and what we do for fun is SO DIFFERENT! 

3.    What are you in need of/want that we can send you for Christmas?
I am in desperate need of contacts. Especially for my left eye. They are double priced here. 6 contacts are 60 bucks.... Yikes. If you are able to buy contacts,you could send me one for the right eye and two for the left, and leave the rest there waiting for me, just in case the package never arrives. But I know that contacts are really expensive so if not, I can get along in my glasses. I´ll just have a funky face tan line.

4.    Do you go to members houses for dinner or do you mostly cook?
Here, the lunch is the main meal, so we eat with members in lunch time. Whatever they make us, it always has rice haha.  We don´t eat dinner, we just kinda eat in the house when we´re already home for the night. I make frozen bread thingies out of yuca, which my dictionary tells me is cassava or casava or something like that in English. Do they have that in the US? That would make me so happy. Pan de yuca is my addiction. I love it so much. It´s chewy warm deliciousness and it is absolutely delightful. 

5.    What has been the biggest change/addition to your conversion? Testimony?
I feel like I understand and realize my divine nature more. Having to rely on the Lord has made me understand more my relationship towards Him, and our divine destiny as children of Him more. Also, my understanding of the Atonement has increased big time. I definitely had used the Atonement before the mission, but I can say now that I understand the daily necessity of the Atonement more now than I ever did before. Also, my love and reverence for the Sacrament has increased. I look forward to and cherish the time that I have every week to partake of the sacrament. And my ability to recognize the Spirit has increased. 

6.      Tell us about your Sabbath Days.Sundays are so stressful, because all of your efforts during the week are basically to get people to come to church. Here in Samanes it´s different, because we have church at 3 o clock in the afternoon. We wake up, get ready, our ward mission leader picks us up and takes us to the church and we have correlation. Then, right after, we have ward counsel. Does anyone else think it´s funny that I´m in ward counsel? And then after ward counsel, we run around like mad women all over the ward trying to get people to come to church. We have two hours before lunch at 1 o clock to pass by for everyone, to secure their attendance, to promise them blessings, to try to get rid of whatever excuse they have to not go to church. In those 2 hours, we probably run a mile and teach 6 or 7 mini-lessons. Then at one, we go to lunch (this month we are lunching with a family that is just hilarious) and then we go to the ward mission leaders house (the ward mission leader is the one that you´re friends with on facebook) and he takes the four of us missionaries to pass by for all of our investigators and take them to church: I´m not kidding when I tell you that Sunday before church is a mess. It is so stressful! But it makes for a lovely contrast when the meeting starts and you feel the Spirit and everything gets calm. That´s part of why I love the Sacrament so much. That time is so serene and I can reflect on the week and what I need to improve on and I have a time to chat with the Lord. It´s nice. I love it. And then after church, we have 2 hours more of proselyting, which can be spent in 2 ways: 1) passing for all the investigators and asking them why in tarnation they didn´t attend (I don´t like doing that. It harshes my mellow) or 2) Teaching the less active members and asking them why in tarnation they didn´t attend. If it´s nice and there´s people outside, we contact them and try to teach them too. 

7.    What is the biggest cultural shock that you have experienced?
I can´t really think of cultural shock right now. It all feels pretty normal now. Even the weird stuff feels normal. I think the weirdest thing was being looked at constantly and having people think that I´m basically a goddess because I´m a tall blue eyed blonde,  but I even got used to that hahaha.

8.    What does it feel like to have someone accept baptism and change their life?  What are you feelings towards them?
Alkñasdj It´s the best! I love love love when someone feels the Spirit and they come to feel that what we´re teaching is true. The family that I baptized in February makes me so happy. I heard that the mom is in the Relief Society presidency and that they are just happy as can be. I just love it. I also love it when we help less active members come back to church - I think that might be an even better feeling.  

Hey those took up time! Thanks for the questions. ALSO I HAVE A NIECE WHAT?! I thought she was due way later! I feel way out of the loop here.
Fun fact - our neighborhood is COVERED in mango trees. And they are free for all. You pick it, it´s yours. We´re having a ball with all the mangos. They´re sweet, and in December, we are going to be drowning completely in mangos. Feel free to be envious. 

 This is the tree right in front of our house. In a month, all those mangos are MINE. 

 This is mostly for Holly and Beebz. They were sold out of Zayn dolls. 

Monday, October 20, 2014


This week was a little better. We were able to find a few more people to teach, but they still didn´t attend church. Which means that we´ve gone way too many weeks without bringing a single person to church (you RMs know how that feels). Well, one family came but they only stayed for the sacrament meeting, and we no longer count attendance to just the sacrament meeting. So that's been a bummer, but we´re starting a new planner, which is always nice, and we´re going to do things in a completely different way. It´s been really fun to see the differences that the new mission president has brought. To be honest, it feels like I´m starting my mission over again because we are doing absolutely everything different. It feels a little overwhelming at times, because I´ve already got (gulp) 13 months in the mission (how gross is that¿) and I´m learning completely different ways to teach, find, and work with the ward. Everything´s different, but it´s been really fun too. I´ve been able to learn a lot about myself and I´ve learned a lot about our Heavenly Father. I´m definitely learning more and more about Ether 12:27. He wasn´t messing around at all when he wrote that verse, it´s definitely true that as we come unto the Savior, we´re going to be shown our weaknesses, but if you put your trust in Him, we can overcome our weaknesses and they will be made strong. I like to think that I´m in that process. I´ve also been studying more and more about the Atonement, and I just finished reading Jesus the Christ for the second time. I loooooooove that book. It´s so cool. I really love the Atonement.  I was able to share my experience with the Atonement with two less active girls that had stopped attending church because of some comments that an hermana had made to them and some things that had happened to their family. Usually when people tell me that they don´t go to church because of other people I hit them hard with the doctrine of the baptismal covenant and say that we go to church because we love the Lord and stuff like that, but I felt impressed to share with them my process of learning to apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ in order to be able to forgive someone. I think that lesson was one of the most powerful lessons for me personally, because I was able to see that a process of repentance and applying the atonement was necessary for me, even though in this situation I hadn´t done anything wrong, and that truly, any injustice in this life can be made right through the Atonement. I really love lessons with the Spirit, because you can see the Spirit testify to them, and even though I was the one talking, I was also learning, because the Spirit helped me to understand things that I hadn´t fully understood before. The Spirit is cool, right?

Anyway, that´s my experience for the week! Sorry that my letter have been lacking, it´s just that Ecuador is very routine to me now and I forget that what I do all day every day isn´t exactly normal haha. 

 I love you all! Thanks for the prayers (keep em comin!)
Hermana Rust

Me and Hermana Espinoza with Pizzahut. We love pizzahut. We were SO tired, can you tell?
And yes, I´m rocking a side-pony. 

There´s a school here with cartoons on the walls, and walking past it for the millionth time this week I realized that there is a little girl holding a chicken with a leg coming out of her face. So I took a picture. I was really bewildered and I thought it was funny. 

#50 Oct. 13, 2014

Last pday we went to Malecon, which is beautiful. It´s like a touristy type park thing on the coast of a big river or some sort of big body of water. I´m not sure if it´s seawater or what. I´ll send pictures, it was pretty. It was hotter than heck though, and there were tons of people there because they were all in vacations and everyone went to the park with their kids.

I´ll write you based on the pictures I send.  This is a picture of something dumb I did this week. After weekly planning session, we had finished a little bit earlier than the other hermanas and we were waiting for them to finish to allg o to lunch together. Well, I have a bottle full of alcohol that I mixed with a little bit of coconut oil to spray on my poor bug devoured legs. Well, I accidentally sprayed a little on the wall, and then I saw that it disappeared after ten seconds. So I started drawing flowers and stuff, having a jolly old time. The bottle was coming to its end, so I decided that I was going to write my name all graffiti-ish. I had forgotten that the liquid at the end of the bottle was most likely the coconut oil, which does not disappear.... So all the pictures I drew, those all disappeared. But my name did not. I tried cleaning it off with everything, Lysol, toothpaste, hand soap, more alcohol, shampoo. Nothing. I just managed to take off paint. So my name will forever be on the wall of this home. We put the dresser in front of it, and I¨m going to see if I can dig up some paint to cover it up. But I´m really hoping that a miracle will occur and it will all just disappear.So yeah. That was my dummy action this week.(One of them haha. I´m sure I had more)

What else can I tell you....
Hmmm..: We´re still looking for investigators. To be honest I´m a bit stressed because our zone leaders are starting to pity us, and there´s nothing I dislike more than being pitied! So this week we´re fasting and praying because we need investigators. We´re working with lots of less active members, which is also fun, but there´s nothing worse than sitting on church in Sunday without investigators. But I have faith that this week, we will finally have the people to teach. 

​This is in Malecón. There were a random stonehengeish garden. It was quite the struggle to get on this rock. I have a huge bruise on my arm from scrambling up this rock while Hermana Deforest and Hermana Espinoza tried pushing up on me. It was a struggle. So we had fun for a minute taking pictures. This is with Hermana Espinoza, the chilean. She goes home soon :( We´re going to miss her. She´s an amazing missionary and tons of fun to be around. But look how green and pretty it is here!
Attatched is another foto from Malecón.

This is supposedly some important man in Ecuadorian history, but I took a picture because it just looks like someone made a giant monument in the middle of a brook to aging Tom Selleck. 

This is Benigno. He is special needs, and he´s made plans for us to get married later today. He doesn´t want cake at the reception, just pizza (which I think is a great idea.) He likes us to call him Elder, and is going to serve in Chile, Peru, and Otavalo. 
That´s what I got for yáll this week.
I love you all, thanks to those of you that wrote, thanks for the prayers, we´ll chat next week!

Monday, October 6, 2014


How wonderful was conference, right? Just based on watching it one time, I´d have to say that my favorite so far has been Elder Christofferson, just because he spoke on some things that I have been studying. On Tuesday we had a zone meeting with President Riggins (can I just say he and his wife are the coolest people ever and that my dream is to be half as boss as them one day?) and he told us that the people here believe in a different God than we believe in. The god of many people here is a god of rainbows and sunshine, a god that loves everyone and who says that it doesn´t really matter what you do, because in the end God is going to be merciful and save everyone. The scriptures make it very clear that that is just not the case. So he told us that when we´re first meeting with an investigator, instead of just asking "Do you believe in God?" and moving on with the lesson, ask them if they believe in God and then, make sure it´s the same God that we believe in. We absolutely believe in a loving God, but He is also a God of justice, of laws, and - when we´re not obedient - He is most definitely a God of punishment. Which is why I really loved what Elder Christofferson said, he said that un dios que no exige tiene la misma función que un dios que no existe. I´m not sure of the exact translation in English, but I love it in Spanish because it kinda rhymes. But in effect he said that a god that requires nothing of us has the same function of a god that doesn´t exist. I loooooooove that.  Because it´s true. God requires much of us, but the rewards are huge. So that was my favorite part of conference, that little quote.

Also, voiceovers in conference are the worst things ever. I will say that I am excited to see conference in English. It´s just not the same as listening to the voices. Everyone really loved the talks that were given in Spanish, because they were able to express themselves exactly as they wanted to and you can feel their testimonies more in their own words in their own voices. I´m guessing on TV they got voiced over, but the Eduardo guy from the seventy had the most beautiful accent and his talk was amazing. it´s really cool that they can give the talks in their native languages. I´m sure it´s really special for the people that speak the language.

 I know I already said it, but I absolutely love the mission president and his wife. I´ve been feeling super discouraged because it´s such a difficult area, and other people are having great success, and we´ve got nothing, so I was excited for the opportunity to have an interview with the President. I was planning on being told all the things that I need to improve on and I was expecting to be humbled, but instead, we talked a little bit about how we need to work in a different way now, and from there he told me that I was a great missionary. That´s always nice to hear! 

Anyway, I love you all, I´ll start sending photos and then I´m off!