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!