Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Three posts in one :)

January 26
So, this week, on Monday, like I said, we played sports and ate tacos provided by Elder Ramos de El Salvador, and it was awesome!! Tuesday was a day like any other, except that we got to work with Joel all day--well, after 3:00 we did! He is a great teacher, so we visited a family and taught the dad and the two brothers that were there and he halfway accepted fecha(?), but we haven’t been able to meet with him since then, --we had set a time up, but he said we needed to call and confirm that he was going to be there and when we did he had turned his phone off.., BUT we have plans to continue working with him!  We also visited the great-grandma of Joe—Maria, she is 84, but is awesome!  This last week we have taught her twice, but the lessons are a little bit different because she is so old we have to make everything super basic and it is like teaching a child, but almost harder!  She accepted fecha for the 14th of Feb.!!   Estamos Bien Animado!! Wednesday, we had a full day after our day of contacting with Hno. Fausto, we visited a less active with Fausto, hoping that he could help him progress, but I don’t think he's going to. We taught Pamela and she told us that she is in the process of getting all of her papers and stuff ready with her "husband" so that he can get divorced and then they can get married!!  It will still be about 3 months to a year before they can get married, but at least they are starting the process!!  We visited one of Hno Faustos’ cousins named Elba; she is great and accepted baptism-- just not the fecha, so that will be a work in progress to get her there!  The familia Ortiz..-the husband is a lot more open to the idea than the wife which makes it hard because then we have to have someone there with us, but Fausto always wants to visit them-- but we'll see what is going to happen with them.  All in all, it was a good day and to start the day off my comp made crepes and we had some strawberries!! Mmmmm!! They were sooo good! Thurday, we have this investigator named Maria and we met the first time with her and her husband off of a reference from their daughter that lives in Quito, but the first time he was way more open and accepting of the message than she was, the other few times we've passed by he was at work and she was in their local that is in front of their house, and it was really cool the first time we were just going to pass by after lunch and say hi, because we didn't know if she was going to let us in to talk to her without her husband, but she invited us right in and we had an amazing lesson with her!  The next visit, we talked to her a little bit more about baptism and she accepted fecha for the 14th but she wants to do it with her husband, so we will have to talk to him as well...but neither one of them came to church on Sunday so that will move their fecha to the 21st...but they are great!!  Friday we worked with Joel again and visited his great-grandma Maria and she is just as cute as ever! Then, we had an interesting visit with the new wife of Joel's dad..so his step-mom, and her son..Darina and Andreis, but they are super cool!! and have fecha for the 21st!  It was an interesting lesson, but it was great!! Saturday, we visited a less active and tried to help her see that getting married would be the best thing she could do for her daughter and she said that they hopefully have plans for getting married in Feb, but we'll see.. 
Sunday, we had a great little visit with a converso named Marta, she is so cute and absolutely loved my last companion Hna Colvin, and on Tuesday I got a stack of letters from her to give to people and families, so we delivered that and talked for a few minutes and she seriously has such a strong testimony and wants her family to all get to the temple to be sealed!!   It was such a great visit!
Then, today was our zone activity and as always it started with all the elders playing soccer and the other four hermanas made brownies and my comp and I played catch with the football..then at the end we played kickball for like, maybe 15 minutes but it was so much fun!!  At least the end was, when we all got to play together and not just watch the elders play, but that still was kind of fun to watch them all try and show off to one another.
Wow!  I cant’ believe how fast time has gone! I still feel like one of the newbies, but in all reality there are 3 newer groups of missionaries after me! CRAZY!!
There is always an answer to our questions or struggles in the scriptures, just like the picture of Christ at the door, they are just waiting for us to open them up so they can be found!
It is so true- we have been given so many special gifts and such grand potential that I think we forget about a lot of times! I was reading my patriarchal blessing the other day and at the end it says that these are SOME of the gifts.. and just think of how incredible that is, we were given so many magnificent gifts and promises in that blessing and that is only a part a fraction of what our Heavenly Father has for us!! 

We have another week together we will find out cambios on the 8th...not sure what’s going to happen this time!
I love you all soo much and am so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary at this time!   I love the work and the people!!
Love you all soo much! 
karlee jo

Jan 19
This week has been great! Monday was p-day and we played volleyball and it was super fun, did our normal pizza lunch with the elders...or two of the four.  Tuesday, we left here (Latacunga) at 7:45 to head to Quito, we had to go to Quito to renew my comp’s visa, but it was super fun...although, my comp passed out on the bus after hitting her foot super hard on the bottom of the chair in front of her- I guess it just hurt so bad that she basically went into shock and got hot and irritated and switched sides of the bus...we were like two of 5 people on the bus.  Then we had to get out of the sun and then she was like, I’m gonna pass out… I cant hear you, what are you saying to me, I can’t see you, you are all fuzzy..so I went to the seat behind me because we each had our own two seats because no one was on the bus and caught her as she passed out.  After she woke up, not very long after, we got her calmed down and continued on our trip to Quitumbe, which is the bus terminal in the south of Quito, and from there we had to take the Equvia, it is kind of like the Trax, but a MILLION times more packed with people- for another hour before we got up close to the church offices in Quito.   We didn’t get back "home" until 7 and got a lesson in with our new RS pres. and that was our Tuesday..it was quite the day!   Wednesday was a normal day, except that we were especially tired after our full day of traveling Thursday, we went to Ambato again for our district meeting and a little zone meeting, and we only went because we brought the pouch back with us for the zone.  Friday was just a normal day, we studied outside on the roof in the sun, it felt sooo good!!   Saturday was kind of crazy-- we somehow let ourselves get double booked for lunch, because we couldn’t say no to one of the new converts in the ward- nor did we want to miss out on lunch with our favorite mamita and lunch with the elders, always a fun day!  So, we were absolutely stuffed when we left our second lunch!   Then we had a normal lesson or two, went to visit a less active family named the Zambranos and there she gave us a full cup of hot milk with rice and raisins in it…kind of a rice pudding...kind of… and a giant slice of cake...now, I don’t think I told you, but my comp is lactos intolerant...so we were thrilled to get this to eat besides the fact that we were still stuffed from lunch!!  Then, we went to visit another newer convert and she gave us tea and a roll....we barely could make ourselves eat it...we were soooo full!!   THEN, on the way out, and it is dark where she lives and there are a lot of dogs...so we were leaving and there was a black dog of all colors, that was chasing cars and then kept walking towards us and barking and growling at us as we tried to pass it...so eventually we found a piece of candy in one of our bags and threw it and the dog went to eat it and we sped walked away until we could stop to get a taxi to get home!  It was a crazy week!  On Sunday, it was the day that the missionaries talk, every whatever week this is- the obra misional week..anyway, so my comp talked on the atonement, Elder Ramos, who is from El Salvador, talked on how we need to get rid of the things that are holding us back from progressing and reaching our maximum potential, then they had a missionary that returned from his mission on Tuesday from the Guyaquil north mission, talked on how we need to use our time that we have because it is not our time, it is time that has been given to us by our loving Heavenly Father, and how we all need to be grateful for all that we have and all need to do missionary work!  It was such a great meeting!!   My comp had also previously volunteered to teach the RS lesson and that means that is was the best lesson we will get, our teachers aren’t all that great!  So, it was an awesome Sunday and then we eat lunch on Sundays with the family of the returned missionary and it was crazy-- he talked to us said hi and then wanted to know what day he could come out and work with us, his sisters said that he is having a very hard time not having something to do all the time…so we shall see what happens when it is my turn:) 
We have been working with a lot of less actives this last week or two, and yesterday we had a less active and her "husband" in church, we have been working with them to get them married, since like November, and we heard that their goal is for February!!   That will be exciting because that means that he can be baptized and she can start the process of coming back to the church! 
 Well, we have one investigator named Maria and we have been working with both she and her husband but he hasn’t been there for the last couple lessons, but she came to church yesterday and she was so cute she asked us if we have the sacrament meeting every Sunday, she could only stay for the first hour, and we were like yup! and she was like wow, I’m gonna come every Sunday!   It was soo cool!   She hasn’t accepted fecha yet.. :( but she will soon!)  We have a couple others that could have fecha except that they are not married and two of them have to get divorced before they can get married again and from what we have heard it takes at least a year to get all of that done…so it wont be happening this change!:)  They will at least be prepared for the missionaries that will be working with them when they get all of that figured out!  
that have one down here...
We haven’t tried any new foods that I can think of, but we eat a mountain of rice at every meal!  Promise me no more rice when I get home!!!!  
Most of our contacts are street and referrals-- we do close to zero door contacting here!  But sometimes we do!!
LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!! i hope you all have such an amazing week!!!

Always and forever!!
karlee jo

Jan 12
So, what do you think of the hair cut? I love it...and miss my long hair, but it will grow and it turned out really cute! I curled it for church on Sunday and it was so cute!!
This week has been kind of fun- we found a couple of menos activos that are great!  We are trying to help the one come back so he can go on a mission and the others are a set of three siblings that are 13,12,10 and were baptized by some elders a year or so ago, but when he left they stopped coming... we were finally able to talk to one of our conversos that had something happen with her daughter and she wouldn’t let us in or talk to us since before Christmas, but we finally got to visit her this week and she is doing great!  She knows the church is true and what she needs to do...we now just need her daughter to talk to us...we got a new Relief Society president and Young Women president and a new first counselor in the bishopric yesterday!  I am sad about the first counselor because he was awesome! But we are super excited to have a new RS president--people might get their visiting teachers now!
It is incredible to think of the miracle that was the birth of Christ!  The faith of his parents and the whole story...,but I never thought about the fact that it was recorded by a physician...interesting...:)
I will come home safely when it is my time, until then I am going to love these people and learning more and more.. -although I can’t believe how fast the time has gone!!
So, on Saturday we had a district study in which our zone leaders decided to come down to..to build unity within the zone...anyway it was great we learned a lot and then we played ninja and had a blast!
Love you soooo much! 


District Meeting

The new do!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year's in Ecuador

Wow! I can’t believe that we are in 2015 already!! It has gone so fast!
This week has been sooo much fun! Also, slightly frustrating because it was the new year so we had to stay inside for the whole New Year’s Eve day, so the elders ended up coming over to the house of the members that we live with and we played cards for hours! We ate chips and salsa Hna Castillo and I had made and some cookies-- it was so good!  These Ecuadorians have some strange traditions for New Year’s!! The men dress up as woman and dance in the street in front of like every car until they give them money! It is crazy! --but we had fun and then that night we had dinner with the family and they did some like sparklers and pop-its!
We woke up Friday morning at 2am--we heard something and got up and went to the little bathroom (that we never use) and as we were turning the corner there was water all over the floor! So, we open the door and the little tube thing under the sink had come off-- had broken somehow-- and was shooting a jet of water into the corner! We had no idea where the water shut off was or anything, so we grabbed the phone and tried to call Hno. Fausto, who lives downstairs, but naturally he didn’t answer, so we went down and knocked on the door and thank the lucky stars his wife got up and came to the door. We were like, I’m sorry but we have water going everywhere! Like it was out the front door and coming down the stairs! So she came up and got it turned off and we swept the water out the door and she said that they would come back and fix it tomorrow, so we went back to bed! But, man, what a crazy night!!  What was really cool, was that Hna. Castillo had something like a dream and said it was a voice in her head clear as day telling her that everything was getting wet --everything was wet! She kind of woke up, but then she felt like she was wet and got up and looked saw the water and came back into the room to wake me up just as i was getting up! It was so crazy!  I know that the Lord is watching out for us!! Because if we hadn’t gotten up, we had backpacks and books and crap all over the floor that would have been ruined!
This  week, as I said, has been crazy! We also left our keys on the desk one day and had the member come open the front door, but then we still didn’t have keys to get into our actual house, so my companion climbed through the kitchen window--and that is not very big at all!
Last night we were visiting a member/converso and her house isn’t all that clean, so I have this habit of keeping my backpack on my lap. We finished the lesson and she brought us yogurt and bread-- the typical Ecuadorian roll that is like a hockey puck, hard and crumbles all over. So, my hands are full and my backpack started falling, and not really thinking I tried to catch it....so, my bread ended up on the floor and yogurt all over my backpack and my hands and was somehow still coming over the side of the cup...man that was not all that fun! ---but funny now!!:)
This week we also met a new lady named Marta Corba- and she is super cool, she told us that she thought that we were the answer to her prayers! and that she was going to come to church with us on Sunday, but never came...sad day!
Today we played ecua-volley and we were playing with a soccer ball that was so hard! but it was fun and we made some guacamole, then as normal we went for pizza and we printed some pictures and came to email!
my comp has almost a year in the mission and it seriously is so much more fun than my first two cambios!!

I love you all soooo much,
Always and forever
Karlee Jo

Crepes and weird ice cream

My companion plays the guitar

Dancing in the street

Sitting in gum. Yuck!

Me and my comp (Hma. Castillo) at the crepe place

Water coming through the door

Waterfall/stream we walk by often