Monday, March 2, 2015


*It is with  mixed emotions that I  tell you this will be Hermana Rust's final post as a full-time missionary.  We will be having a little "Welcome Home Hermana Rust" get-together on Saturday evening, March 14th at our home around 6:00 - ? and would love for you to come, talk, hug, cry and be with Natalie and have treats too!  She will be speaking in sacrament meeting on Sunday, Mar. 15th @ 9:00 am Overton Chapel and we would love to have you there as well. 

You will notice Natalie only sent pictures this time, no letter.  I sense that she just couldn't bring herself to write a final letter. Thank you for your love and support of her during these glorious eighteen months.  We are grateful for good friends and family who have shared in our joy. 

Me and my beloved familia Selaya

Monday, February 23, 2015


Whale whale whale.
This week has been marvelous. I can`t really put my finger on what made it so good, but it was just a really good week. We had stake conference and Presidente Riggins gave a two talks that blew everyone´s minds and we have a goal of 4 baptisms this week if my dear Familia Collantes gets married (if you guys want to pray that they can be able to get all their paperwork figured out to be able to get married this week, I wouldn`t mind. Their last name is pronounced Coh-YANT-tez.)

What else can I tell you? I`m sending some pictures from when I went to Valencia.
 I`ll just say that being in the mission has been and is the best experience that I have ever had, and so very necessary for me, personally. I feel much better prepared to make decisions in my future thanks to what I am learning here. 

I`m sorry, I literally have no idea what to tell yáll. 
And I haven`t even written anyone else. And there goes my time.
I love you all!
Hermana Rust

Friday, February 20, 2015


I got to do an intercambio en my beloved Valencia this week! It was fantastic!" The only bummer is that I had some serious eye issues going on so my eye is either crying or halfway closed in every single picture that I took. In the picture with Lina my eye is normal, but you can see the rocky mountains bursting out of my forehead, which is a bummer.

Also, I didn`t get to see the Bishop and his family which was very disappointing, but the sister leader said that we can probably do another intercambio before I go.But it was great! It was like I never left, I still remembered everything and everyone and I was so excited I was shaking most of the time haha. 

But this week has been wonderful! It`s Carnaval right now, which means we have to tell the people in the street to please not throw water and paint on us, but so far they`ve all been obedient haha. They respect the badge. 

It`s been a wonderful week. I`ve been able to see the Spìrit working with us and helping us help others. We`ve found people with lots of weird ideas about the Church and we`re helping them receive testimonies. It`s a grand feeling. 

I can`t say that I have had any movie-worthy experiences, but the most wonderful and terrific thing that anyone can do is help someone to put the Atonement into action in their lives and change and accept the truth. So... that`s pretty fantastic. Holly, you`ll be able to do just that, and it will be marvelous. 

Darn it my camera doesn`t work with these computers, so I`ll be sending pictures next week. I love you all! Thanks for writing! 

Monday, February 9, 2015


Well the wonderful family that wants to get married so they can get baptized made bollos this week, which are a liquidy mixture of plantains and fish and ground peanuts cooked in banana leaves ..... not my favorite haha. I still bought a ton though to help out. It was kinda fun though because we walked around with all the bollos we bought and went and gave them to some of the more humble families.  

We´re really excited because we´ve been finding more families to teach. My goal is to have 15 families to teach before I go, and we´re halfway there. I really like contacting, it`s just that we´re working the two of us where there were two companionships working, so we have a lot of area and not much time between lessons to contact, but I like talking to the people in the street.

It is RAINY! I love it! The weather rotates between torrential downpour and blazing sun. I prefer the rain. When the sun comes out, it turns everything all vapory and it isn`t too fun. But the rain thunders down all night and I sleep like a baby and when it rains I am happy as can be.  My companion is not fond of getting wet though haha and it shows. Poor thing. A few nights ago the rain was falling so hard that the water coming off the roof had higher water pressure than in the shower... so I went ahead and washed my hair outside in the tube with the roof water (it had already been raining hard a few hours so it was clean water). My companion thought I was bizarre but she took a picture. You can`t see just how hard it was raining but just trust me -  there was a lot of water.

Our cute little new house. It`s small and perfect and I love it. Upstairs is the bedroom, under the bedroom is the kitchen and under the stairs is the bathroom. The bedroom has air conditioning and it is relatively cockroach free so I`m happy. The bishop owns the apartment and so he put those big gospel art printouts of Jesus´s baptism, of Christ in the Americas, and in the bedroom there´s Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. by far my favorite missionary house. I thought I`d show ya. 

This is a park near the chapel. Big fish. 

Thanks for writing!
I love you all!
Hermana Rust

Monday, February 2, 2015


I totally forgot to tell yáll last week that my companion is no longer a caterpillar, but is now a full fledged butterfly as she has completed her training. It`s kinda funny, one of her goals in her eleventh week of training was taking the initiative in every situation, and her 11th week was our first week here, so everyone thought that she was training me haha because she was in charge of everything that week. 

What can I tell you about this week?

We have been running around like crazy. Our sector is huuuuuge, and beforehand it was divided and was shared by two companionships, and we figured that another companionship would be arriving in a few weeks, but nope. It`s just going to be us. So we´re covering the area that two companionships covered beforehand. There is a lot of work to do. Lots of people that joined the church when the church was still new here but still haven`t gone to the temple to be sealed and invested, lots of people that are attending church but living without being married, about 450 less active members.... Lots of work! But I love reactivated. That is the funnest and most challenging thing for me in the mission. It`s fun to teach people the same things that they`ve heard for years about the Book of Mormon and Jose Smith and covenants (things that they`ve heard but never developed a testimony) and invite them to act and know. There are lots of opportunities here. 

The lovely family I told you about that wants to get married and baptized is going to sell something called bollos this week to raise the money (it`s like a Ecuadorian fish tamale with peanut and stuff... it sounds funky but it`s pretty good). And I will buy every single bollo if I have to so that they can get married and baptized in the next two weeks. We`re pretty excited because we already have half of the bollos pre-sold, and once we advise the other missionaries in the zone, I imagine that they`ll be helping out quite a bit as well. So get ready for some pictures! I don`t have pictures to send this week because I don`t take my camera with me (it`s a little sketch here). 

What else... umm....  
We`re moving to another house. The church was renting two apartments but now they just need one so we`re going to live in a cute little apartment that the bishop build specifically for the missionaries. It looks like a beach house on the inside.
We`re excited about that. We`ve been cleaning and packing all morning.

Pa, I loved what you wrote. I have been thinking a lot about that very same scripture this week, la esperanza de un mundo mejor. It`s been a little hard on me and my companion as we`ve seen the suffering of some families and we`ve felt that we haven`t been able to help them too much. It`s hard, but there´s a reason why we keep visiting these families. I really do know that if we live the gospel, everything works out, and everything is okay. It seems like such a basic, non profound statement, but when you think about it, it`s a miracle. I think of the blessings we`ve received as a family, and with everything we`ve experienced, with every trial, everything has worked out. We`ve all been okay. That is nothing short of a miracle.
I SAW MEET THE MORMONS. You guys saw that right? It`s going to be coming to Ecuador in a few months and we`re going to use it as a missionary tool. That movie contains tons of miracles stories of people who have seen miracles because they have lived the Gospel.  I looooved it. We watched it in a zone conference with the mission president on Saturday. So good. Watch it. Love it. 
Well, my time is far spent.

I love you all! Thanks for writing!

Monday, January 26, 2015


 This week has been wonderful. This area has challenges very, very different from the challenges in my former area. I want to tell you about two families that I absolutely love. 

First, there is a sweet little couple that was baptized a few months ago. They are in their seventies (but look much younger. Ecuador`s really good about keeping you young. I think it`s all the bananas) and very, very humble. They barely have anything, they have a house about the size of my old cave room with the sheets and they are recent converts. 

They were living in free union before and had to get married to get baptized - but here`s the dealio. The spouse had a stroke a few years ago and mentally is okay (a little slower than before) but physically is a child. The husband takes such good care of her -  she literally can`t do anything on her own. 

THis week, we have been doing short little visits to them, reminding them the commandments and singing them hymns. This week, we`re going to sing hymns while another hermana (who I adore and will be sending a picture of her to you in the future) has volunteered to paint her nails. They live decently far from the chapel and can`t afford a taxi, so every Sunday the husband puts his wife in her wheelchair and he pushes her to church. And it`s far. And they live out in the boonies where the streets aren`t paved, and it is not easy to drag a wheelchair over rocks and through mud.. It`s been wonderful to see the faith of this sweet little simple man who is just doing everything he can to get along and take care of his sweetheart.

The other family is a family of investigators that the hermanas were teaching before. They also live in very humble circumstances. They have attended church very faithfully since October. They`re just waiting to have enough money to get married so that they can get baptized. We went to visit them, just to get to know them and verify if the other hermanas had taught them about tithing, fasting etc. and they bore their testimonies to us about how the Gospel has changed their lives - and they`¡re not even members yet! The spouse reminds me a TON of Dad. A ton! I don`t even know exactly what it is, but something about him just makes me think of Dad. It has been awesome to get to know them because they are so GOOD and have such a great desire to follow Jesus Christ. 

Questions for today.

1.  What was your greatest success this week?
Hmmm.... I can`t say that I have had a particularly successful moment. We`re still just trying to get to know everything and everyone and working to find more families to teach. We actually have found a ton of people. It`s been really fun because the members here are super supportive. They ask us when they can present us to people, when they can accompany us in the lessons etc. It`s a nice change because in our previous ward getting members to help us out was like pulling teeth haha and here we don`t have time to work with all the members that want to work with us haha. 

2.  What was your greatest challenge this week?

The greatest challenge this week... it`s hasn`t been too challenging either. It was really, really, really hot. I am burnt to a crisp. That was challenging. We got lost yesterday and it was just about the hottest day ever and the sun was so strong. And we were lost. And it was Sunday, so we do everything possible to not buy water, even if we are about to die. Luckily we found a members house and she gave us water and we did not die. But it got close.

3.    How were your prayers answered this week?
Haha in many, many ways. Too many to count. Each time someone tells me something and I don`t know how to respond, I pray real quick and a scripture comes to me or the Spirit tells me what to say. So... there have been many silent prayers answered.

4.    How was the influence of the Holy Ghost present this week?
Well... like I said up there haha. When we`re teaching, if it`s not by the Spirit, I`ve just kinda learned to cut the lesson short, because it just doesn`t work if we don`t have the Spirit, it´s not even worth it. The words that I can think of on my own can`t help the people change their lives and come unto Christ, but the words that the Spirit puts into my heart can.

5.    What is the greatest change in you?
Is this talking mission wise or just this week? One thing I was thinking about a few nights ago is that I don`t get mad. I just don`t. That`s pretty cool I think. I don`t like getting mad. Frustrated yes, but mad, nope. Cool right?

Me and my companion went to downtown Quevedo to buy her some shoes. It`s pretty close. You cross a big bridge to get there (Quevedo is called the city of rivers) and bam you`re in downtown. Not that downtown is a big deal either haha Quevedo is pretty small city wise. YESTERDAY we ate lunch with the cutest family ever. Seriously they are so cute. They met in the MTC haha and they`re not newlyweds but the way they talk to each other and hold hands makes you think that they were, but anyway, they put on Piano Guys while we were eating lunch and it was so much fun. I really miss music haha. 

Love you all!
Hermana Rust

Some fotos from my old sector that they sent me. I can`t save them to my camera so I`ll just send em to you guys. There`s a good explanation for that clown picture, I promise. 

Monday, January 19, 2015



Tell us about your new area, ward, missionary work, and still being comps with your hija. 
Well it looks like my hija is gonna kill me - mission wise. But I`m happy about it haha. The new ward is fantastic! Tons of fun! The members are all very friendly and want to help us get to know the sector. It`s huge and parts are very humble. 

I held a monkey yesterday! A little baby monkey. I`m afraid I will not be sending many pictures because I won`t be carrying my camera around, it`s kind of dangerous around here. Not like, life-threatening dangerous, just stolen purses etc. dangerous. 

We are working with a lot of families that need to get married! We`re trying to work some sort of deal out as a stake with the government office to help these people out, because the cost of getting married is difficult.  

How is the new district and zone?
My new district and zone are fine. They are all really young, age wise and in the mission haha and lots of gringos so it`s a bit different. There are only 4 Latinos and 2 of them speak English so we speak a looot of English. We played volleyball this morning. That was fun. 

How many hermanas in your apartment?
It`s just me and mijita in our house, it`s really quiet. It`s even quieter too because I talk to her in English in the house and she`s still not too fond about responding haha, but the area seventy told us all about how important it is to learn English so we`re gonna do it!

You have been there 17 months!  Are you used to the humidity yet?
IT IS SO HUMID.  My skin went all haywire this week and now has the same  bumpiness, and dampness of that of a frog. I imagine I smell about the same too. 

Will you be able to visit your beloved Valencia as it is only 20 kilometers from where you are now?
THE LIDEREZA IS IN VALENCIA SO I AM GOING TO REQUEST AN INTERCAMBIO AS SOON AS POSSIBLE: I just about died when the assistants told me that the lidereza was in Valencia, so I hope to be able to visit very, very soon. Oh yeah...  the lidereza is the sister leader. Like... she does the intercambios.

That`s about it. 

Monday, January 12, 2015


I`m sure you`ve already realized that I had cambios. They called last night and told us that not just me, but also my companion had cambios. So now the hermanas aren't going to share the ward anymore (better) and we went to the bus station and the assistants told us that we would be opening a sector and that I would continue training my hija. So we`re opening a new sector and I`m in Quevedo, which is close to Valencia! I`m thrilled. I`m exhausted, but thrilled and we`re ready for  the adventure.

We had quite the issue finding our house, the zone leaders only sent us a message with the address so we hopped in a taxi and poor guy had a ton of patience with us and helped us find the house. So we finally find the apartment building and we don`t know which apartment it is - so I tried the keys on all the apartments. I`m really glad that no one caught me trying to put our keys in their doors.

I got your Christmas package and read through it earrrly in the morning when I was packing. I don`t really remember what was in it because like I said, I`m exhausted and I had to pack all night (okay... I didn`t really pack all night. Mostly I was just talking with Hermana McKee. We`re really gonna miss each other) but I remember that I liked it haha so thanks! When I`m more mentally able I`ll look through it again. 

I`m trying to think of what else I can tell yàll. I`m so exhausted. We were in a bus for quite a few hours. This is going to be a fantastic adventure. We don`t have a map, the missionaries that were here before didn`t write directions down, and the members don`t answer their phones, so we`re going to lose ourselves in the cities a bit. I`m stoked! 

We took an awkward family photo. My companion didn`t understand. But we were taking pictures because we never thought we would keep on being companions!

A girl in the ward named Pati liked the snowflake headband, so I gave it to her. She`s 22. I feel like her and Britney would be good friends. 
Also, I think I may have only put make up on one eye this day....

I don`t know if I already send you this picture. This was dinner on new years with my beloved convert Hermana Rosario. 

My old zone celebrating Hermana Jorge`s birthday. She`s peruvian! She`s great! I`m so excited for Holly!

Ten points to whoever finds me in these pictures!

Monday, January 5, 2015


Hello family!

*  These are the questions and things I asked Natalie to share in this week's letter.  - Lorri

Share your testimony of the work that you have been called to do.
I absolutely know that what I am doing is the work of the Lord. When I read the scriptures, they talk about servants that are bringing about the work of the Lord, and I know that I am one of these said servants. I know that it is a sacred responsability. What we, as members of the church, are doing is helping to bring about the eternal purposes of the Lord, which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.He wants us the know Him, to love Him, to honor Him. He wants us to be with Him - forever - and not just to be with Him, but to be as He is, exalted, and perfected. He wants to bless us and give us all that He has. As we share the Gospel, we help others realize their divine potencial and help them achieve it. The blessings aren´t just far away either, (plus, it´s hard to make anyone listen to your message if it were to just promise blessings in the next life). The blessings come immediately as well. We can help people have happiness now in spite of their trials and they can have the hope of never ending happiness later on. 

Why was it important for you to go on a mission?  My own testimony has been strengthened. I´ve always had a testimony, but I feel like it´s become much firmer, because I´ve had to rely on things and people that I haven´t been able to see or hear - the Spirit, the gift of tongues, the Savior etc.. I´ve relied on things unseen and received help. That has been an amazing testimony builder to me that testifies of the basic truths - the God lives, and He loves me, that He blesses His children.  And while I still have many questions, I don´t have doubts. It was important for me to go on a mission because I´ve learned to know and rely on the Lord. I´ve overcome many fears, and I´m learning more and more about the Lord´s grace and about what He wants me to do and be. I have a clearer idea of what´s important and how to achieve it. 

How can Holly and Hannah, who have already made the decision to go on a mission, continue to strengthen their commitment  and desire to serve ?
Just keep strengthening your testimony of the basics. You don´t need to understand it all, but you do need to have the habit of praying and reading the scriptures daily. It must be a habit! I know that we hear this all the time, but it needs to be like eating - it needs to be something we do often and I would add that it needs to be something we enjoy (because we all know that I enjoy eating - even though the fried burrito story has kinda stifled that desire right now. On a related note: never order a Jalapeño burger from Carl´s Jr. You will have similar outcomes. Sorry I just got lost a bit there.).
So yeah. Pray every day please. Talk to the Lord. It´s not necessary for all women to go on a mission. For me personally, I feel that it was very necessary, but talk to the Lord and He will tell you what you need to do. Read your patriarchal blessing. Something that helps me as well is think of the future and what I want to accomplish with my future family. This helps me to stay focused in the important things right now.

Okay, my time is far spent.
Thanks for writing!
I love you all!
Hermana Rust