Monday, December 28, 2015

Great Seeing You All

So I had a better subject planned for this email, but I forgot. But today official marks the 5 month mark in the mission. Crazy how since I've been in Ecuador its gone decently fast, but at the same time feels like I've been out for like 10 months. Weird how that works. So talking to you all was the best! You all wrote me about homesickness after the call: I really wasn't that bad for some reason after the call. It was something that was more so just needed to get me through these next 5 months. HoweverMothers day is going to be difficult without you all being in the same house so you'll have to plan that out by getting everyone on the same screen so I'm not making multiple calls. Anyways, to inform you on after the call, I about died. If I knew how to use dropbox I would send home a funny video I made of mid dying: by dying I mean I got deathly sick: just as sick as I was my first week here except only half the time: (my period just stopped working so these letters might be punctuated horribly) I was having real bad stomach problems and my head hurt sooooooooo bad worst in my life I had a horrible fever and couldn't move I was honestly dead: anyways Marcia took real good care of me: her son is a doctor and so he wrote me and my comp out a bunch of prescriptions and she went and bought them for us (cuz he was dying too) so that was very nice! So I took those and just passed out all day yesterday: I'm feeling wayyy better today tho! 

Okay missionary stuff: I REALIZED LAST WEEK I wrote you saying that Ebed, whose name is actually Abdon, knows the church is true, but I was misinformed. That's whats keeping him from being baptized: He said once he receives an answer to his prayers then he will stop walking in the Catholic procession and be baptized: so this week is going to be a lot on prayer possibly even a fast, we will probably save that for Sunday tho haha. BUT YEAH he had an hour and a half interview sooooooooooooooo long haha our DL said he just told him his whole life story in that interview. haha but hes awesome. About the familia Coloma: they are progressing very well. She doesnt want to get baptized till her husband does so we need to wait till he gets his 3rd assistance. So that baptism will be next Saturday the 9th I think it is. Theyll both be ready for then. Anyways not much new has happened since we last talked just been lyin in bed sleeping cuz I was so sick. But anyways I feel good now. 

That phone call was the best! I'm super pumped for mothers day! start thing NOW of what you want to say so we don't get any awkward silences and waste that precious time! I love you all! Keep writing me! Talk to you next week! 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Testimony of Christ

We had the opportunity to video chat with Matt on Christmas Day.  It was wonderful to see his face and talk with him and know he is doing well!  He bore his testimony of Christ before signing off (see video).  We are all so grateful for our Savior and all that He has done for His children. 

Monday, December 21, 2015


I'm pretty sure the only one who is going to get that quote is Dustin haha. So today we WENT BOWLING FOR PDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So awesome! we got to leave the mission, no joke its on the other side of the street of the boundary line, but we got to go! So much fun! Except for the fact that I lost my touch. I only bowled a 115 :( I didn't do the booty shake, the hop, or the proper walk up before I bowled cuz I feared of being made fun of :( I think that's where I went wrong. But after I had a strike one game I turned around and yelled the subject line to some other elders bowling in my lane and they all just looked at me. Its so frustrating quoting things and no one understanding. Normally when I did that back home I could just go find the video and pull it up but now I can't and people just look at me like what the crap and I'm just cracking myself up. HA goteeeem no one gets that one either UGH! But at least i got to go bowling so I'm doing great. The next dream however is Ice skating! Me encanta esta!

So onto missionary work. So this week i decided ain't no way I'm doing that again and contacting 100 people and finding 0 news. Still nothing has come of those 100 contacts. But however we did find two news this week. However both are leaving for the whole month of January. one to go mine gold, the other to go try out for some soccer teams so he can go pro. But anyways the guy we taught that's leaving to mine gold, I don't know his name i asked him he said something weird so i just made a similar noise back and asked if it was correct and he said yes. Spanish is easy. so anyways hes a reference from an investigator. Hes awesome and besides him leaving i think he would get baptized eventually but hes not taking his family with him to mine gold so we are going to teach his wife and kids while hes gone! About Alejandro. He dreams of playing pro soccer. we found him by looking in the carpeta for old investies and found his mom. so we went to teach his mom he said she wasn't there so we asked to teach him. He said he didn't believe in God cuz hes never seen him but after about 2 scriptures he said he believes there is a God. Another easy task. But like i said hes leaving for all of January. But i think if he gives up on his soccer dream he will get baptized. But anyways he told us to come back tonight so we could teach his mom. so we came back and man was that fun. The dad comes to the window and just starts chewing us out! Just yelling at us cussing us out and saying you guys just come here with all you money knocking on our doors rubbing it in. Don't come back till you bring me money. so my comp tells him, "alright when you want to find God call us" so I don't think the guy liked it so he spit on us. he missed but he still hawked a loogy like dustin does and tried to hit us from upstairs haha

So speaking of bad contacts I decided while on divisions i would take my DL to the shovel guys house and contact him again. I was so scared haha. He walks outside. sees me and just starts chewing me out again hahaha he just starts calling me all these names and says I told you not to come back haha and so I said that wasn't me and he said I know it was you then rips a bush out of his yard and THROWS A BUSH AT ME! A BUSH! haha what the heck! anyways I told my zone leaders about that and they wanna do divisions again this change and go to his house. Since I don't really wanna knock the house again I'm gonna hide and film him and my comp doing it haha. I don't know when that'll happen tho. 

So ebed is awesome. He has 4 assistances now and his baptism is this saturday and his interview is on wednesday i believe. The only issue he has is he said I know the church is true, I want to get baptized, I just wanna walk in a catholic procession for the next 2 years tho cuz I promised God 3 years ago I would walk in it for 5 years so I want to finish that. We are just gonna tell him its not a good idea to do that and you aren't even the one carrying the cross so no one is going to notice that you are gone. Easy fix 
Anyways my week was good! SOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED TO FACETIME YOU GUYS THIS WEEK! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL! Thanks for writing me! Talk to you on Friday!!!

Monday, December 14, 2015


Normally that is sung at about 5 on sundays and I just start singing it to my companions except the last bit of pday is almost here, but I'm so happy cuz MY PACKAGES ARE HERE BABYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! I opened one up today, good thing I did, the one that said pants so I can start wearing them, but you lied there were no pants in that package but good thing I did open that one cuz it had all my letters from Ivy and the first one to open is today so I can't WAIT!!! The next one is opened on Christmas eve and the other 2 for christmas. I also got all my money out from western union so today has just been a fantabulous day after a long hard week!
So about my week.... 100 contacts to 0 new investigators about sums up my week. such a hard week. Everyday before lunch contacting cuz we had no citas then after lunch contacting until our first set cita. It was beyond frustrating this week. But I made it fun so that way my comp wouldn't hate me haha but yeah it was rough. Anyways Ebed, Marcias husband, got his 3rd assistance this week! His fetchya is for this saturday, but due to our lame consejo and corilations at night with the word we have only been able to teach him 2 times this past week so he still needs a lot more lessons before his interview so i dont know if itll happen this week but we are going to try super hard to make it work! Hes ready! His son, Henry, is doing good! He worked way late saturday night when we last taught ebed so he wasn't there and since he got home late and had to work sunday since its a busy time of the year he couldn't come sunday. So he is now for the 2nd of january. But whats awesome is that if we get Ebed baptized this saturday he can baptize his son on the 2nd! that'd be pretty neat. 

Hna Coloma is cool. I don't know if i have ever talked about her to you guys but she is doing good! She has two assistances and is a good investigator! She doesn't exactly i think fully understand everything but she does our invitations and when we teach her husband hes like deaf so we have to yell and then he just smiles at us the whole time so honestly i don't think he understands at all but he isn't progressing because hes ALWAYS working and hasn't come to church. That will change tho.
Other than these 3 those are our only progressing investigators so as you can see we desperately need to find news and no thanks to the help of our members. They don't help us out at all! Its a very hard sector. Everyone admits to that but I'm working hard. For all you guys back home, if the missionaries ask you for anyone to visit, please give them someone because i feel in some way it will boost my luck that they help us out with references. Also because everyone needs to hear the gospel so Christ can come again! I love you guys! Pray for me! Thanks for writing me! I love you all

Monday, December 7, 2015

Notha Week

So this week was good. Not much honestly happened this week. It was my first week with my new comp and man was it different. We get along fine its just different. So this week since i stayed in my sector I'm showing my new comp around the sector. Its a little hard especially since i was left with literally nothing to work with. We contacted our heads off this week just trying to get some return citas and get some news. SO our ratio last week was a little ehhhh we had 82 contacts with 1 new. Garbage. That new came from an old investigator we went and taught and her brother happened to be there. So I don't know how much they will progress. It's just been kinda a hard week especially following a baptism week. I'm showing the sector around and it's just a little hard because my companion isn't that positive. I'm trying to get us into lessons but no ones home when they say they will. Throughout the days he's just like man this day is terrible and I'm like dude we gotta work to find news lets go. He hates contacting but likes getting into lessons so it doesn't add up. You gotta learn to enjoy the process of finding the news. This week we did divisions with the ZLs and so my homie elder Heyrend came up to my sector with me. He taught me a couple new techniques to finding news. So after lunch we got to work. So what we tried at first and my favorite one was shinning shoes. You just walk up to people and say hey we are missionaries shining shoes for free. Then once they say yes i would start shining the shoes and heyrend would contact them. It was a lot of fun! He also taught me about blessing houses which is going to be my go to move to getting into houses on Christmas. So blessing houses is when you contact a house but instead of the typical door approach you say hey we wanna put a blessing on your house. He said they will always be yeah of course come in. So since Christmas is such a hard day in the mission with lessons and stuff I found the key to getting into homes haha! I'm excited for this week especially because tomorrow I'm in Quito all day with my zone because we have our Christmas dinner later that night at their house! This week should be good I'm excited to get working and find our news! 

I love you all and love reading your letters! Talk to you all next week! 

Me and my boy Nelson  

Some other missionaries and I at papa johns for thanksgiving - all you can eat! 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Baptism Week

So I forgot all the funny stories that happened this week sorry about that but all that matters is MARCIA GOT BAPTIZED BABY!!!!!!!!!! I knew that she would from the very first lesson with everything we said she was underlining and taking notes in the folleto. She did every single commitment we invited her to and she came to church every week except the one she was out of town for. This past Tuesday tho, we didn't have a baptism. we went over to her house and said how do you feel about Saturday? she said she didn't feel ready and we were like you are ready. It took some talking to her, explaining, and inviting her to pray one last time about Saturday. The next time we visited her we asked her how she felt. She said she feels good for Saturday and feels happy about it. It was so awesome to hear that! So at the baptism she brought her husband, son, sons girlfriend, and her nephew (he gave us her as a reference) I was pretty nervous while baptizing but everything went perfectly smooth during the baptism. After she bore an awesome testimony. She explained how she was looking for the truth and was talking to her nephew about it and how we showed up the next day. She said she feels that this is the true church. It was awesome! It was an awesome experience but I'm ready to baptize her son, Henry, and her husband Abed I think it is. Her husband has had a lot of surgeries so hes been bed rested the whole time we taught Marcia but now hes healthy so we are teaching him and her son we have taught about 3 times ish. 
New news. Me and Elder Belnap are no longer together. After a fun 2 changes with the guy from small town soda springs Idaho it sadly came to an end today. I got a new companion from Utah. His name is Elder Furner. Hes cool but a little goofy. Definitely not what I'm used to. Elder Belnap played sports and stuff in high school and this guy only sang but I'm sure we will start getting a long better soon. I was a little bummed i got another norte because i really wanted a latino so i would have to speak spanish all the time and he could help me out a lot but I'm sure sooner or later ill figure out why i got another norte. I'm excited for this new change and to show Elder Furner around the sector and to get some more baptisms with him! 

More news. So this week we had a mini zone conference and they told us that latinos are going to the MTC for 3 weeks now instead of 2. So not this change, but the next, Is only a 5 week change. So if you put that together it means I'm coming home a week earlier then i was supposed to. So now i will officially be walking through those gates on July 4th 2017
I hope you guys all had a good thanksgiving I'm thankful for all my family and the Dean family for all the love and support you guys give me here on my mission. I love you guys a lot! Ill talk to you next week! 

Worst service ever had to put these rocks and bags of sand in smelly dog food like bags and carry them to the bottom of this hill. Truly an Ecuadorian after that miserable experience, hahaha 

Me and the homies from the CCM in Colombia.  Miss these guys

My new comp, Elder Furner  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Qué pasó?

In case you were wondering "assistances" refers to investigators attending Church.  The Spanish word is asistir, which means to attend.  That's your Spanish lesson, courtesy of Dustin.

So buckeyes losing basically ruined my pday. Gosh dang it, Daniels. 

Fun stories for the week - so we had our zone talent show this past friday. To prepare for that we rented a Barney costume as a zone and got on buses passed out fliers and got off. I was in that thing for like an hour and no joke wanted to die! My gosh, but it was super funny to see other people in it. But while I was in it I was dancing on the bus in it and the bus turned and I TANKED! I flew straight onto my back stuck between these grandmas not to mention I exposed my identity to the bus cuz the head flew off haha. Everyone started busting up laughing and tried helping me up. I felt hopeless while on my back, hahah. 
About the talent show it was fun! Not as many showed up as we would have hoped, but we tried really hard so not much we could do on our part. At the talent show our ZLs had an investigator who wanted to dance, and my gosh it was that the funniest thing I've ever seen on my mission! I learned so many new moves from him! Remind on Christmas and I'll show you some, haha. But the guy is "pretty borderline gay" as our ZLs described to me so they were so feminine haha. Another bummer about it was everyone got references from the talent show, but me and my comp. We got jacked cuz we got some, but our investigator who came just put her name and some other people we teach with her on it. Sooooooo got notin. 

If you guys wanna get jacked......................... BAPTISM % OCLOCK THIS SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Marcia is the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I knew she was legit from lesson one! She's so awesome! She had her 3rd assistance yesterday so she is "good to go" - taco bell
I'm seriously sewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww happy about that! 
Onto some other news. So last week I talked a little about Pablo. Well after we finished writing, we went up to see him. We got there and his mom comes out and explains everything to us. She said "I don't want him getting baptized in Vista Hermosa (my ward) because we don't have anyone we know that goes there." We explained to them the rules and she goes "I don't get it. Why can't he go to San Rafael where his grandma goes?" So we explained the rules again and she goes "well we didn't baptize him as a kid because we want our kids to choose but we don't want him going to that ward." Pablo wants to get baptized, but his parents won't let him. Now onto the other drama of Pablo. The kid got his face absolutely beat in apparently the other night. They beat him up and stole everything off him. We tried to visit him thursday but his mom said he said he doesn't want to see anyone while his face is all messed up. So now its going to be even harder to get him baptized in our ward after that incident.

RAFAEL HAS GOT 3 ASSISTANCES BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But he still has so much marriage stuff to work out that guy really dug himself in a huge hole, but hopefully we can get it all figured out before I leave this sector which wont probably be for another 12 weeks. 

Toapanta family. We talked to them yesterday, but didn't teach and I'm basically ruling them out. I honestly don't think they want anything. 

I'm super jacked about Marcia! She is so awesome and I'm so excited for this saturday baby!!!!!!!!!!! Especially because it's me and my comps last week together cuz hes been here for 4 changes! Marcia though is definitely going to be a true convert! I'm so happy about this! 

I love you guys thanks for writing me! Ill talk to you all next week! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Anotha Week!

Well this week I can actually start out with some funny stuff. So the other day we were contacting on our way to my boy Nelson's house. So we get going down this street and we hit this one door. This old guy like 60s came out just yelling at us from the beginning and my comp said using every vulgar saying towards us they have in the books calling us criminals as well. Then to top it off he picked up a shovel and chased us out of his property. I felt like I was going to be in the next vine getting hit in the head with a shovel while we were running away from this guy. He don't want none of this tho! 

Another funny story. So I bought some new pants down here and was rockin em one day and then at a practice for this talent show our zone is having I was getting on stage and ripped them! And I mean ripped them. Like more than Dustin did on New Years Eve. I guess these Ecuadorian pants aren't made for a Zeus-like body. But I have a good picture with it hahaha 

So this week was alright. We didn't have as much success as I would've liked not to mention the Toapantas or Pablo didn't come to church. 
So I'll start with Pablo. We finally got a hold of him on Tuesday last week and went and taught him and he said he was sick and that's what has been going on. So we told him like okay yeah, but your baptism is getting changed and he was like yeah I know we said how do you feel about it? he said I'm just waiting for it to actually happen already. So we were like awesome this guys legit! So then Thursday he texts us asking for more time for his baptism and stuff and we think his parents got to him or something, we don't know. We figured we would teach him one more time then his interview on Sunday would reassure him he's ready. But he kept canceling and I don't think he came this week bc he doesn't think he's ready which he is. We are going to see him I think tomorrow 

Toapantas. All I'm going to say about them is I have demoted them to a once a week visit because they frustrate me too much and they refuse to pray about their baptismal date. I honestly don't get it.
MARCIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The only legit person we got! She is so awesome! So we taught her and she brought some of her friends to listen who are living with her bc he has cancer and he's getting treatment up here I think in Quito. But the guy who has cancer came with his "wife" they are ex JW missionaries but they came to church yesterday cuz Marcia knows how to get people there! haha no but they are awesome too! 
Marcia is definitely getting baptized next saturday and so will all our other investigators that we have! 

So sad news... My homie Rafeal is really in a huge hole. He is having a kid and lives with his girlfriend so we talked to him about getting married, but he's married to this girl in Chile that he has like 3 kids with. They both want to be divorced I think, but you have to go to Chile to get that done. Its going to be way tough to get that guy in white but I really want it to happen! 

Anyways that was a sum of my week! Thank yalls fo writing me! Keep praying for me and the people here! I love you all 

 My Chilean homie and me - RAFEALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

Me with my ripped pants 

Monday, November 9, 2015


So I don't have any funny stories to start out this week so I'll just get into this weeks letter. 

So this week we taught Pablo a couple times. He was doing really well! His baptism was for the 14th but he didn't come yesterday and we haven't been able to get a hold of him yesterday or today and we are supposed to have a family night with his family and a members family right after I finish emailing butttttttt he hasn't answered sooo idk what now. But anyways the past couple lessons were all about baptism. Hes ready. We asked him the questions and everything and hes ready but he didnt show up for his interview after church yesterday. But i was soooo jacked because he picked me to baptize him!! POP-POP! Hes awesome we will probably just take the risk and walk like 3 miles uphill without a set cita with him just to see whats up.
You won't believe this guys but the Toapanta family came to church yesterday! Holy moly I believe it was an actual miracle! haha we have brought like 8 different people to their lessons now so Saturday we brought a new person (i know that's probably not a good idea to bring someone new but if they're all busy whatya gonna do) SO the guy we brought yesterday is a convert, as are most members, and he literally talked the entire time no joke haha but he did really well and he kinda taught them about the consequences of sin so I guess it worked cuz the came! SO now they are getting baptized on the 21st along with Pablo!
Marcia is way legit! I told you a little about her last week but unfortunately she was out of town this week so she couldn't come and when she said that she was like 'I cant get baptized on the 21st if I don't come to church' so she understands the importance of coming and really enjoyed coming last week! She's way awesome and she is going to be true convert once we baptize her - I can tell!
Welp that was a sum up of the lessons we taught. People are really finally starting to progress and I'm happy to see that finally!
I love you all! Keep writing me!!

Monday, November 2, 2015


This week was good! So to start out I got proposed to the other day on the street by some like 40 year old. I was walking and she was selling strawberries and she started talking to me and I just walked by and and said no thanks and my comp was like, dude did you even hear what she said? And he told me - so yeah there's the funny story of the week.
So last week I was pretty discouraged that we didn't get any investigators at church for like the zillionth week in a row so me and my comp talked a lot about what we could do better. We decided to work harder and be more diligent in our studies and to just be more bold than we have been. So we did them both. So this past Tuesday when we taught the Toapantas I shared alma 5 verse - I forget - but I was like this is why we are here. We are here serving because we know these things to be true and we want others to know too! I was like we are doing our part, we are telling you exactly what you need to do to receive an answer, but you aren't doing it. Then my comp went and a member talked to (returned missionary from Brazil like a couple weeks ago) he always kills it when he comes with us so he did awesome! Unfortunately at the end of the week they used their agency and chose not to come. I was pretty upset, not only because I sat outside my favorite bakery for 20 minutes while I was fasting but because I really believed that they would come this time. Next week.
So at church we had 3 investigators come to church!!! I FULFILLED MY PROMISE! I was so jacked even tho the Toapantas didn't come. So who came was Rafael, Marcia (a new investigator who is awesome and takes notes our entire lessons) and Pablo and his parents. We don't teach Pablo's parents, but we are going to try to start! So Pablo's fecha is the 14th so maybe we could get him to baptize his parents after we teach them which would be way awesome! Bad news tho we found out last night that my favorite investigator Rafael can't have a fecha if he isn't married. It's a bummer cuz he was on the 14th too, but unless we get him married by then he can't be baptized. But sunday at church I got up to bare my testimony and just made it super basic for all our investigators, and cuz I can't really say my full testimony in spanish. But hopefully it had some sort of impact on them! 
Anyways the work is getting better and I'm super happy we finally had some investigators at church! More next week baby!!!!
I love you all! Thanks for writing me talk to you next week!

This is me feeding the dog that my comp and I are dog sitting while the owner is gone, haha (it's my Lizzy of Ecuador) 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Working hard

So this week was pretty good. Before I get into the church related stuff I figured I would say a few other things. 

So to start the change we did divisions with our zone leaders and so I left our sector and went to theirs. It was good I got to meet a Muslim they are teaching who has this HUGE chicken fighting arena in his barn and he raises chickens and sells them for like $100 and then people bet and fight them there. Pretty crazy but his family is way cool and they are progressing really well! More about these divisions. The zone leader I stayed with is HUGEEEE (that means a lot coming from me.) He's on his last 2 changes so he bought a squat rack a couple changes ago and he lifts every night and morning. So that night we decided to do legs and abs. My goodness legs back home wasn't fun, so I don't know why I thought they would be here, but I was actually dead the next couple days. haha we were also up until 1 lifting so I was dead tired too when we woke up the next morning and lifted again. Next thing. At papa johns they have an all you can eat so after a zone meeting me and my comp challenged them to see who could eat more. It was teams thank goodness. Anyways so the bet was losing team had to buy milk and oreos for the others and announce it in front of the zone that we lost. So we go there and get started I'm going strong so is my comp but Mr. jacked man was going to town. So at about 13ish pieces I was pretty full. I ended up putting down 5 more to give us the lead by 2. To make a long story short, we tied at 39 pieces a team. So after that the big boy zone leader went to the bathroom and threw up what he put down 24. We started walking to a cita and I was like nope I'm done and went and threw up too. My comp as we were walking to another cita threw up and so did the other zone leader haha. So we tied and all threw up so not really worth it but it was still pretty fun. Brought me back to the good ol days eating all the Deans pizza. Good stuff
So onto the church related stuff. So Thursday after I threw up we went and taught hermano Nelson. Well let me rephrase that, I taught Nelson while my comp went to sleep. So I taught him for about 40 minutes by myself and then woke my comp up and left. You don't understand how hard that was because every question you ask this guy he says sí. Ive been trying to figure out where he works for weeks. that's the first question I ask him and I haven't figured it out yet. But Sunday I was feeling pretty discouraged because everyone said they couldn't come and when I called nelson he agreed to come to church! I was honestly so pumped haha because the guy has come like 2 times in 2 years! So he came and sat by us and I was honestly so happy.
We teach the Toapanta family every Tuesday Thursday Saturday at 8 so if you every wonder what I'm doing I'm at their house teaching. So Saturday night we watched only a stone cutter with them and I shared a scripture about our dedication to the Lord. Afterwards my comp asked them if they were coming to church tomorrow and they said probably not because they had something to do that morning. I had so much I wanted to say, but couldn't say anything because I cant speak. I just wanted to let them know whats up and take some notes out of the "Tyler book" and just start being more bold. I told my companion I don't think we are handling these situations that well. I think when they don't read and pray we cant keep just brushing it off. I told him I'm going home and I'm figuring out how these conjugations work and then I'm going to let them know that they cant keep doing this. Honestly Saturday night was the saddest I've been since I left everyone back home. They just don't understand! Not one of our investigators understands the importance of church attendance. The importance of prayer. The importance of reading the scriptures, then pondering, then praying. No one. But they will this week because this isn't going to keep going on. I promise you guys next time I write home I will have had an investigator at church.
I love you guys and know this church is true! Talk to you next week

So like I said last week, I lost my plaque so I made one out of a pizza box - this is it 

Monday, October 19, 2015

New Cambios

Well we had changes today and I'm staying with my comp in the same sector. I'm excited about that! Halfway through my training now! whoop whoop! 
Anyways this week was ight! To get the negatives out of the way I'll do that first. So this ENTIRE change I've had a huge bed bug problem. Everyday I would wake up with like 5 more bites and some old ones bigger. I tried washing the sheets, I sprayed my entire bed with bug spray and stuff, and it still wouldn't go away. So like this Saturday I went psycho. Man and I went to the store, bought some raid, and got a new bed (cuz we have like 6 at our house) and got new blankets and went hard in the paint. Our house stunk for a solid 6 hours with the smell of raid it drove my companion crazy for a bit, but the bugs are finally gone. I think so I'm happy. 

Next we had a service project this Friday where we went to this house with a few other missionaries and took the roof off (cuz apparently they take that piece of junk to their new house and use it). But I GOT DESTROYED BY MOSQUITOES!!! I counted Friday night and have 36 bites on my left leg, and 43 on my right, with 10 on my neck and like 5 on my face. My gosh never wear shorts to service even tho thats all I packed. Luckily these magic potions called oils saved my life the past couple days from scratching myself to death haha. (I'm still gonna hate Ashley...) 

Alright so this week we taught Rafeal, Nelson, Pablo (the teenager I wrote about a few weeks ago) and the Toapanta family. In one of Rafeal's lessons we were trying to figure out why he wasn't coming to church then we just decided to contract him. We said what are the sacrifices you have when you come to church and he listed like 3. Then we said what are the blessings when you do come and he had at least 10. We said if you come to church we promise you these blessings will come to you. Then he signed it and we did too, then Sunday he didn't come. I don't know what's up with this guy. We really should drop him, but our Zone Leaders said don't stop visiting people unless they say stop coming. Soooo I guess we can't. I also love the guy he cracks me up, he's so weird and funny. 

Pablos lessons went really well! He has all of his assistants he goes to seminary he just goes to the wrong ward bc he lives wayyyyyyy up this mountain and he doesn't wanna walk down to the bus stop to go to our ward even tho he has a ride back to his house afterwards. If he goes to this other ward he has a ride both ways so its frustrating, but we are working on that so long story short he didn't come yesterday... bummer. But he's way smart, he's got the doctrine down well, kinda more than any other investigator, and he wants to be baptized and go on a mission. We told him he cant unless he comes to our ward. He just wont comprehend that for some reason. 

The Toapanta family. Man each week I get more nervous with them not to mention I think they think I'm the weirdest guy in the world. One lesson 3 spiders landed on me and it scared the crap out of me and I kinda jumped and threw them off me. Then on Saturday this cat outside was meowing then all of a sudden it made the weirdest noise in the world and I laughed and the mom just starred at me. My comp said she looked at me as if I was the weirdest person ever, so whatever I accept. Anyways the last time we taught them the mom expressed doubt in being baptized and said she doesn't wanna commit to something she doesn't know for sure yet, but she won't pray about her date. Then they said they would come to church and said wait for us by the panaderia outside the church so we did for 15 minutes then church was starting in one minute so we went in. They never came. So at the moment we have no fechas. It's so sad that our investigators don't know what they are missing out on when they don't come to church and by not being baptized which can only happen when they come to church. This week we are going to try to contact them. Hopefully that will open up their eyes more. 

Yesterday was the primary program and I literally almost started bawling several times through that. Every time my eyes started filling up I would talk to one of the recent converts to distract myself. I just miss my nieces and nephews so much and was just thinking about sitting by mom laughing during the ones back home. I miss those days of understanding church also. 

Anyways this week was good! We are working hard and hopefully soon it will start paying off. Maybe it is right now, I'm just not seeing it! 

I love you guys so much back home! Keep writing me please! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 5

So this week since not too much new happened as far as investigators go. I decided I would give you a little Ecuador lifestyle email. But just to keep you up to date, the Toapanta family are silver investigators. They aren't golden because they have only come to church once (yesterday the mom had conference calls she had to do all day and the kids didn't want to go without her) and so now their date is pushed back yet another week, but they are still way awesome because they ask really good questions. The mom at least has recognized the spirit in her prayers and she completes all the commitments we invite her to! As mom's favorite scripture says something about we doubt not because we know that our mothers knew it. I think about this scripture a lot because the kids are doing awesome, but the mom is killing it and I can tell that the kids are feeding off of it! As far as Rafeal goes he does his commitments as well but only has one assistance (attendance at church) but he's doing good! 

So onto the Ecuador life. To start off with transportation, I take buses everywhere because our sector is hugeeeeee and if we walked it would take about 2 hours to get to the bottom of the sector if not longer and at least 4 or 5 to get up since it's all up a mountain back to our house. So we take buses everywhere! 
Food wise its ight, but Dustin made me least look forward to it by saying it's not very good, but what does he know. Anyways so here we have what's called a pensionista. It's a member of the ward who we pay $25 every two weeks and she makes us lunch everyday (tuesday thru saturday). What's awesome about this is when I first showed up she asked me what I like so I said steak and chicken so I get that about everyday there, but such a small amount of meat compared to rice. I told her I don't like fish so I haven't eaten that there luckily! But she makes dope aji sauce! It's the best hot sauce I have ever had in my life, so last sunday I asked if she would teach me how to make it. So on tuesday she taught me! Then she gave me a ton to put on my eggs every morning! Let me know if tomate de arbol exists in the US cuz if it does I'll hook you up cuz I know all my fellow spicy catz back home want the goods! Besides eating at her place I eat a lot of bread. There is a panaderia on about every corner. So good bread is about 15 to 45 cents so I'll get some of those for dinner. Except this week. My comp and I ate at an all-you-can-eat buffet and it turned out to be a lot. So since monday I've been living off $2.50 a day, which is enough for all my bus passages, but I haven't been eating dinner. Good news is new apoyo is on thursday so I'm doing good don't worry! But onto the nasty foods. They make this fish soup, that I know all my fellow fish eaters back home will love because every missionary here loves it, its called encebollado.- When we come back and visit I'll take you to the local hot spot haha. Anyways my least favorite of them all augita. STRAIGHT UP NASTY!!! Its this herbal tea that you load up with sugar. Seriously this one family gave it to me and I drank it, and then the next day I was sick. So the next time I left the house after I got better this family offered me it and my comp said I turned pasty white when I smelled it. I told them i couldn't have hot drinks and she said I can make it cold and I was like shoot it's all good, no thanks haha. I think she got offended, but I think she would be more offended when I vomited all over her rug. But yeah, everyone offers us that and so far I've drank it twice. I'm good about finding my way out of that one. But seriously nasty I legit hate that ahha. 

Besides busing we walk everywhere and like I've said my sector is on a mountain so there is no flat land anywhere, so that's a bummer. But at least my butt will look way good once I leave this sector! 
Weather here is crazy! Leaving the house you never know if its going to rain! We are supposedly in the rainy season but some days it sprinkles for 5 minutes then done. Others it straight down pours for hours and some no rain. But the temp is usually good! So I don't sweat a ton, haha. 

I cant think of anything else about Ecuador to share. Sorry this letter had no spiritual experiences, but people ask me these questions so I figured now would be a good time to answer them.  

Anyways times are tough and good at the same time! Everyday is the hardest mental battle of my entire life more than anyone could imagine. Everyone warned me this would be hard but no one warned me about how hard it is being away from everyone you love. Anyways I think I'm figuring it out, but it's real tough. I know the church is true though and the people here need to know that too! I love you all tons! Talk to you next week! 

Me making Aji with Hermana Tupe!

Monday, October 5, 2015

I Believe Nephi was a "Ponderizer"

Well to explain the subject line - everyone while watching conference died laughing at Elder Durrant's talk because is ponderizer even a word? Idk could be dumb mission humor that I'm already picking up on, haha. 

Anyways I decided I'll write my big email first for once instead of last so this way it's good and mom is happy. 
To answer your questions mom about Coto Paxi it's just smoking right now. Everyone predicts "oh its going to erupt next week" but here I am about to start week 5 and still no eruption. Hopefully it does though before I leave this sector, but I believe I'll be here past Christmas which I'm happy about so it's got a few months to go off. When it does go off all 4 volcanoes, which on a clear day I can see from my sector, will erupt. It will melt all the snow on the volcanoes and all the near by cities will be flooded. Like I've said in previous emails I live on top of a mountain so we are 100% safe no matter where I'm at in my sector. We will just receive ash. But I have to carry around this mask and goggles everyday in my bag. I took a picture wearing it so I'll send that to you all.
Well this week was good. The Toapanta family is doing good! The whole family came to conference yesterday which we were all jacked about, but unfortunately we have to change their fecha (baptismal date) to the 24th because their son Steven only has 1 assistance (attendance at sacrament meeting) and the mom and daughter have 2 and we want them to get baptized on the same day. Their son Steven had a very bizarre dream and asked if dreams mean anything. I'm not really sure exactly, but in his dream there was this tiny Mexican person and he was on his stomach wearing a sombrero and he woke up freaked out. He told his mom he wanted to move out after that. So the mom was way bummed when we visited saying that Steven wanted to move out, but they worked it out and he's staying. Luckily our member we brought along had a similar dream once, but I had no idea what he said. Neither did my companion, so hopefully it was good haha. Anyways I didn't say a single thing this lesson because I, no joke, understood about 5% of what was being said. Luckily though Steven didn't blame the dream on us and still wants to be baptized. 

On to Rafael. Man this guy is a character. He's Chilean so I don't understand what he says but its all good. Anyways he cant say either one of our names. He calls my companion "Berman" and its Belnap. I died laughing cuz when we visited him last he went "Berman superman" and did the one thing superman does and I was like what is going on. He calls me "Wilch" with the hardest "ch" but he's close with my name. We got Rafael to accept fecha but he didn't come to church. I told my comp we need to talk to him so hopefully that gets done this week.
On to Hermano Nelson. Let me give you some back up on this guy. He's about 60 or so and I'm like 100% certain he has autism, but some missionaries decided to baptize hiand now he's less active and hasn't come to church since being confirmed 2 years ago. So every time we go teach him my companion uses it as an opportunity for me to practice my lessons. Every question I ask he without a doubt will say . I taught him lesson 2 and we taught him the kingdom of glories and after I was quizzing him and I swear he didn't listen at all. I asked him after reading straight out of the folleto about the Terrestrial Kingdom "Who goes to the Terrestrial Kingdom?" he says . my comp goes no hermano who lives in the Terrestrial Kingdom and he goes "sí Jesus" I was like yeah Jesus will visit there but he doesn't live there. Anytime you ask him to read a scripture he will keep reading until you stop him so you really have to follow along. And afterwards when you ask him about the scripture he starts reading it again. I honestly feel so bad for him. This guy knows nothing about the church and I get very frustrated with those missionaries that baptized him after each lesson with him. 
Anyways this was my week and who I taught. We went to this cool waterfall, but the hike there was worse than Joey D trail of tears walk. Seriously it was long. Anyways I'm doing good! Conference was great and I actually took notes and didn't fall asleep so you probably wouldn't recognize me anymore.
I love you all tons! talk to you next week!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Another Week Bites the Dust!

Well mom I'm sorry I really blew it and didn't plan well and now here I am with only ten minutes left haha shoot!  
First off to start we had divisions this week and I left my sector and went with someone who speaks no English. A lot of people here don't believe we landed on the moon so I asked him what he thinks and that was a mistake bc he went off for about 15 minutes and I just nodded and didn't understand like any of that. But then he told me some Chilean bought the moon and I thought that was the biggest load of crap so I told him my family bought Coto Paxi and that took a lot of convincing on my part, but I may have got him haha.  
Anyways on divisions I was asked to say the prayer in english and I forgot how kinda. Also later that meal the mom asked me in english if I liked Ecuador and I thought she said acorns and I even repeated it back to her and she said yes. So in spanish i said I'm not a squirrel and she looked at me so confused and asked me the question in spanish and i felt like a huge idiot haha  
Well onto the spiritual stuff. The family we taught last week cut down to 3 and the other part stopped showing up. but these 3 are dynamite! Me and my comp the other day invited the mom and daughter to the broadcast and they loved it! Seems like all you guys back home did too! Their fecha is for the 17th and I'm so jacked for it! They all believe what we teach to be true so I'm so pumped and happy for them!  
Pablo is a 16 yr old we teach. Everyday he cancels on us then goes to some other ward (boundaries is a huge issue here along with tithing which is why they don't have a temple) he texted us last week says he's moving to the other ward and meeting with those missionaries instead. So my guess is he has a bae in that ward haha. But for real I was upset cuz I walked no joke 5 miles up a dirt hill to his house for him to decide 2 weeks later he doesn't want to meet with us. As long as he gets baptized in the correct ward I'm happy!  
Well I'm out of time. MOM I promise I'll send my volcano news on Monday! It's nothing to worry about we are completely safe! I just really want it to blow!  
I love you all tons! Thanks for the love and support! 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Feeling better!

I wanna start by saying how nice it is after two weeks to have my full writing time. Wow seriously so great!  
Alright so lets start at the beginning of the week. When I wrote you monday, I thought I had experienced all the sickness. Man was I wrong. I woke up tuesday with the worst stomach pain ever! I diagnosed myself with just about everything starting with appendicitis, to kidney stones, then to finish it, I diagnosed myself with death. Not only have I beat downs, but I beat death. No but for real I legit thought I was dying. I didn't throw up tuesday but I was at a zone conference all day and thought I would die in the chapel. Luckily I didn't. My companion started getting the symptoms I had on monday. So after that on tuesday the nurses sent us home. Wednesday came along and he woke up perfect again.  I on the other hand didn't. Third day in a row with a 102 fever and I was literally on my death bed. I slept all day and threw up all day too bc the stomach pain got so bad at points. By Thursday I was doing lots better, and now here I am on monday almost feeling 100%. So its all good here. My companion was very loving and patient with me.  
Thursday we taught a lesson with Rafael. He has been taking lessons and has accepted baptism and a fecha (or as I call them fetchya). Those haven't worked tho bc he lives with his girlfriend and doesn't want to marry her. Then just a couple weeks before I got here she got pregnant so now they have to. So this week we taught him lesson one. I of course had no idea what was going on half the time, but I tried. I did do the baptismal question though and he accepted! Except he didn't come to church this past sunday so we need a new date with him. But what's awesome is he has expressed interest in being married now to his girlfriend so I might have my first wedding in my first transfer baby!  
So Saturday night we finally were about to teach this family we contacted "about a week agoooooooo", well two families. We were waiting for their husbands and after about a week we said forget it so we brought our own guy. It was so awesome we taught these two sisters and their families! So a total of nine people! We taught them all of lesson one. (side note, before we go into this lesson my companion said what points do you wanna teach I said idk, but not the first one and he goes cool.) We get started with the lesson and he turns the time over to me and looks at me and says teach point one you got this good luck. I looked at them and said in my head, "oh flip." So like that whole first point I kept looking at him saying "como se dice..." haha seriously didn't go too hot, but oh well they got the message. After that I said a quick prayer and got back in it and did well when asked to speak again. The family is so awesome, and they are super interested! They will for sure be baptized within these next 12 weeks! Anyways, at the end we got them all to agree to come to church the next day and I invited them all to baptism! They all accepted so we had 7 fechas for that day! We were so stoked! the next morning we got a text saying one of the sisters had an emergency and went to the hospital (and for some reason down here when one member goes to the hospital the whole family goes) soooo we had no one at church! We stopped by later last night though and asked how she was doing and confirmed our cita with them for tonight! Keep this family in your prayers I don't know their names because it's way hard, but God knows who I'm talking about in my prayers. Other than these folks we've been contacting our butts off, so please pray for us!  
I love you all so much! Thanks for everyone who wrote me, it meant a whole lot! Till next time! I love you all! 

Elder Welch

PS happy birthday this past week to Ivy and Reese! Hope they were awesome!