Monday, December 29, 2014


1.   How has a mission prepared you to be a mommy?
I have learned that I really love cooking and cleaning and all those household chores haha. If anything it has just made me excited to be a mommy. Once again with that whole patience thing - I think that´s the main lesson I´ve learned, and that is something that will help me be a mom. 

2.   What has been your most rewarding teaching opportunity?

Okay that is a hard one to think of right now. Recently, I taught a less active family that had left the Church because they were offended about something, and I was able to share with them how the Atonement helped me forgive, and about how being angry just hinders our own progress. They came to church yesterday! It was fabulous! 

3.    Share your eating situation with us?  Do you meals?  What is your specialty?
Well, we eat lots of chicken. Lots of rice. Lots of soda :(. I´m not a fan of soda. I have developed some quite expensive tastes while I´ve been here. My latest obsession and what I make in the house is mango juice (I will cry when mango season is over) and goat cheese and apple toasted sandwiches. Not that those are common things here, it´s just that last week I decided to buy goat cheese and man is it tasty. The truth is that I don´t really remember what we eat in the US on a daily basis, all the stuff we eat seems pretty normal to me now. I drink/eat 7 mangoes a day. That might explain some of the issues I´ve been having.

4.    What do you desire to accomplish this week and how are you going to do it?
This week, we want to strengthen this ward. Without going into details about some of the challenges we´re facing, we´re going to focus helping all members, including the active ones, to better fulfill their responsibilities in the ward. Yeah. This time period in my mission is very different, we´re not doing the normal mission tasks, but we are definitely doing the work of Salvation. It´s going to be fun.  

I wanted to thank you guys for taking us to old people´s homes for family home evenings and things. I have thought about those experiences a lot lately, and I´m grateful that we didn´t limit ourselves to sitting at home every FHE. Thank you for that. A lot. 
Okay, I´m sorry, I have to go, but I hope that you have a happy new year!
Hermana Rust

 Reunited with my dearest Hermana DeForest in the mission Christmas activity. 

 Me and Hermana Olsen. I´m mostly just sending these pictures just in case something happens to my camera. 

Muchísimas gracias querida familia Gavilanes! Les deseamos un feliz año nuevo!
Gracias por su amor y por ser nuestra familia aquí en Ecuador. Les queremos muchísimo!

Hermana Rust y Hermana McKee

Monday, December 22, 2014


1.    How do the people you teach respond to learning of Joseph Smith?
Well... Here´s the thing. There´s a very popular evangelical church here and the pastor{s name is Jerry Smith. So sometimes people think we´re talking about him haha. The truth of the matter is, there are lots of false prophets down here. I swear there´s a new church every other day, so there are lots of people claiming to be prophets. It´s not something that different or strange down here. What is really fun and what I really like to explain is about the priesthood, about the laying on of hands. The "prophets" down here become "prophets" because they say that the Holy Spirit descended over them and gave them visions, so when we explain that Joseph Smith received the authority of the priesthood by the laying on of hands from the original apostles of God, they see the difference. The laying on of hands is something I have studied a lot on the mission, I love reading the Bible and finding more and more instances of priesthood ordinances being done by the laying on of hands  - it´s nothing new, it´s the way it´s always been done, and it´s the way things are being done now too. It´s cool. I love it. It just makes so much more sense, no.

2.    Can you share thoughts and feelings on teaching others how to offer their first prayer?
Haha that´s another thing that´s really different here than in the US. Everyone here is Christian. Everyone prays - it´s just what you do.  So usually the only thing we have to teach is that you have to end in the name of Jesus Christ. I really love teaching though that it is a two way communication, and helping people identify their answers to their prayers. There are tons of people that have prayed every day since they´ve been born, but don´t really know why, so it´s really fun when we help them realize that God is talking back.

3.    What is the worst/scariest thing that has happened to you thus far?
The scariest thing that has happened to me... happened a year ago. Almost exactly a year ago. Nothing big even really happened, we were just scared. We had a meeting or something in the church in Milagro, and it ended late, so the zone leaders helped us flag down a taxi and we got in and told him our address and left, and as we were sitting in the car we just felt the most awful feeling ever, and we were speaking in English about how creeped out we were (I was with Hermana Chil) - and then we received a text from the zone leaders telling us that they felt weird about the taxi we had gotten into and that they wrote down the license plate number and that we should call them when we were safe at home. So yeah. We told him that we had mistaken the direction and got out a few blocks before our house so he didn´t know where we lived and started walking in a completely different direction until he left and then we went home. I think I already told you that story. As for recent scary /weird things.... I have had some pretty strange and scary health problems haha but I will not be going into detail about those .

4.    How has the Christmas season affected your teaching opportunities?

It´s been great for inviting members to share teh gospel. We give them the He is the Gift cards and challenge them to invite others to see the video and then meet with us afterwards. How great is that video by the way? I just love it. It´s better in English. 

Well.. we´ll be chatting on Friday... so I´ll let you know how everything goes then. Tomorrow the entire mission is going to the temple in shifts, and then we´re cleaning  chapels and then having a mission dinner. We´re so excited! 

 Easily the coolest activity ever. The man with the beard that isn´t Santa is the coolest guy I know. He´s in our ward, his name is Salvador and he´s from Argentina and he does LEGIT high quality shows in malls and stuff like that. The elf man was singing in English in an awesome Michael Buble swing style and I wanted to hug Santa and dance so bad - but I didn´t.

Did I send you this picture? My zone with the mission president and his wife and the area president and his wife. 

Monday, December 15, 2014


This week was good! I can´t say that I have gotten the exact results that I wanted, but since when is it about what I want, right? Little by little, things are getting better and we´re moving forward! You´re right, the results are coming in different areas than what I want, but the results are coming. I am learning a ton about PATIENCE. It´s not that fun learning patience haha but apparently for me it is very necessary. And I´m learning it. When I think about who I was a year ago, I hardly recognize myself mentally. I don´t know if that makes sense but it´s true, I definitely don´t think the same. 
This week has been fun because in the training program we are studying about learning to help our investigators to recognize the Spirit, which makes you focus on your own spiritual experiences and how we´ve come to know that these things are true. So much depends on humility, because a prideful person will not give heed to the feelings that the Spirit gives us. 
I¨m so sorry,I am out of time! I will repent and be better prepared for next week!

 Malecón with Hermana Marta. I let her cut my hair last p-day... and that is all that will be said on the subject.  

 This is a picture that I never sent from when we went to Malecón. These are two important people in Ecuadorian history.

 We had lunch in Oswaldo´s workshop a couple weeks ago.

Hermana DeForest had cambios today and we´re rather heartbroken. We´re gonna miss her. 

Monday, December 8, 2014


1.    What advice, council would you give to Hannah for what she should be doing right now to prepare better for serving a mission?
Learn to love the Book of Mormon. If you don´t have your own personal testimony of it, get one. If you already have a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, ask God again, He´ll let you know again that it´s true. I really think that getting the habit of studying will help a lot. I treasure my personal study time, it´s my favorite hour of the day. 

2.    How have your prayers been answered this past week?
Great question. I have been fasting and praying a lot to know what I need to do in order to have success. It´s been a little frustrating to see the other hermanas having lots of success and us not getting anywhere. This week, we had two meetings with Elder Uceda, the área president, and it was amazing all the things I learned. I received some very specific promptings to know what I needed to change. We have been looking for families to teach, and this week we found two families. They are families that will probably progress slowly, but still, two families! We´re thrilled. I could keep going and going and going, this week has been a week of answered prayers and revelation. 

3.    What has been your greatest joy this week?
My greatest joy this week..... I loved the Christmas devotional. I think you were probably looking for something profound, but yesterday had been a stressful day, and I was irritated about some things (which isn´t good. I´m working on that still) and I wasn´t ... gellin´. But in the devotional, I was able to relax and feel the Spirit and the spirit of Christmas. And I don´t remember what hymn it was but they sang one hymn and I think it might have been the most beautiful thing I have ever heard. 

4.    What talent(s) have you developed since being a missionary?
I don´t know if this counts as a talent, but I´ve gotten a lot better at just talking to people. We hop into a taxi and before we get where were going I know how many kids he has and what he does in his free time and all sorts of stuff. Of course, he also has a pass along card, but I actually enjoy talking to people now: As far as other talents, like actually talent talents... I´ve gotten better at singing. I have to sing loud, because the majority of the people here are tone deaf, so I sing loud and proud. I´m no Holly still, but in my own little way I sing well haha. I´m still struggling to learn to play piano. Every minute of extra time I have in the chapel I´m painfully slowly practicing playing the hymns.
I´m out of time! I love you all!

Las cuatro en Malecón con el árbol grandote!

Monday, December 1, 2014


  I tried barbecued pig intestines yesterday. They were tasty. On to the questions! I got lots of pictures too, a member from Valencia was in our capilla yesterday and last pday we went ot the parque de las iguanas.

1.    What are your biggest struggles as a missionary?Ummm.... People´s agency! That sounds awful but it´s true, sometimes I just get frustrated when the people understand what they need to do, and they feel the Spirit, and then just choose not to do it. In the District videos, Sister Voyles made the brilliant observation that it´s helped her to learn a little bit of what God feels when we know what to do, and we just don´t do it. It´s irritating!

2.    How has your relationship with the Savior changed?I don´t know if I could explain this in an email, especially because I only have 10 minutes left (sorry - I had to read a lot of things and yeah... sorry!!) But let´s just say that I feel His love, direction, and correction more in my life, and it´s wonderful.

3.    What part of the gospel is the most fun for you to teach and see accepted by those you teach
?There is nothing funner and more satisfying than when someone understands the Restoration and tithing. Those are my two favorite lessons, because with the Restoration, when they really just get it, they are in awe of the fact that there is a living day prophet at 12 apostles, and when you stop to think about it, that really is cool! And then I love it when people can trust the Lord enough to pay their tithing. Lots of people are afraid to teach tithing to really humble families, but I love it, because I can just testify of the miraculous blessings that come through obedience to that commandment. Alkjadfklj it´s awesome, and then afterwards, they testify to US about the blessings they´ve received. It´s awesome.

4.    What does the Savior's birth mean to you specifically at this time in your life?These are really good questions! More than anything, as I´ve studied the Atonement, this time of year has turned into a time of profound gratitude. Okay, have you all seen the He is the Gift video? Tell me that didn´t bring you to tears. Also, the Easter video. Tears. I saw the videos for the first time yesterday in the house of our ward mission leader and I was just sitting there bawling.  It means that thanks to the fact that He was born, and He walked totally alone and experienced every painful experience and sadness alone, I don´t have to.

5.    In what ways have your companions prepared you to be a spouse?
Haha I don´t want to answer this almost. I´ve learned patience (is that spelled right?). I´ve learned how to love someone even when they do things that I don´t like. I´ve learned to admit that I´m wrong. I was thinking about it the other day too, and I don´t get as mad as I used to. All rather good qualities to be a spouse I think. 

 We went with a family in the ward and they thought this was funny.... 

 I think I´m funny. 

 Me and mijita

 Some statues .... 

 I made a new friend!

Can this be the picture on my missionary plaque?