Monday, February 23, 2015

23 February 2015 Hard Work and Learning

Well, this week was another adventure!  As all of this next transfer is going to be!! I am trying hard and it is getting better, but not perfect yet!   As you’ve said, we can’t change someone´s ways after only two weeks… especially when they are from a different stubborn country..Peru..what..and have no freaking sense of time!  We are still trying as I said and it is getting better.  Your emails were perfect for what I needed to hear and definitely give hope and something to keep trying and keep moving forward to! 

Where are all of you in your scripture studies?   I would love to hear where you’re at and what you’ve learned!  And I hope you are going to the temple and taking advantage of that amazing opportunity that you have with the temple so close! 

This week wasn’t too bad-- not as good as I wanted it to be, but all we can do is keep putting our best foot forward-- 110%.   For me…, we will see what the Lord has in store, maybe a baptism, maybe a new companion.. we´ll see!  Have you listened to the new songs they have for the youth on the church page?  They´re great! 

Anyway, on Tuesday, we had divisions with the Hermana leaders and they really are great!  Having that day apart really helped me get a grip on things, besides being able to talk to someone else about it and receive immediate answers and feedback.   Wednesday we had a lesson with Alexandra and her daughter, Leidi, who is 7 ½, they are so cute!  They..well she, accepted fecha for the 14th of March, but that will have to be changed to the 21st since they didn’t come to church yesterday like they said they would :( 
On Thursday, we had our normal district meeting followed by a short zone meeting, and lo, and behold, who should show up...?  President Christensen!  It was good to see him, it was pretty funny too because he asked me how I was liking Rio Bamba and I was like: it’s great!  Not all that great, but we will change that and make it better.  For all I know, I could be getting an even harder companion after this one and I guess I should just be grateful for what I have now!  
Our investigator, Mayra had fecha for Saturday, but something happened with her dad and she had to travel to the Orient until Tuesday and was supposed to have her interview on Thursday, but she didn’t feel ready, so she didn’t have it,. so we set it up for Friday at noon, and we told her we would come pick her up since we were going to be up there for a service project, and we went and she wasn’t there… didn’t answer her phone, and so we are hoping she can have her interview on Wednesday when we will be able to visit her since she has to do stuff for work on Tuesday..  and hopefully the elders will be able to stop by and at least see how she is doing since we won’t be here-- we will be in Quito for our Hermana conference!
I am so excited to see Hna. Castillo again! I am not, however, looking forward to the 4 hour trip to Quito!  I think we are leaving tomorrow night or afternoon staying with the nurses... and then have the conference Wednesday and come home. 
Saturday we had a district study with our dL and practiced lesson one to help my companion and I know what we can do better in our teaching!  It was pretty good! 
Sunday our dL was super sick, he had something wrong before-- I think parasites-- and I guess it wasn’t all the way gone--he came to church for the first two hours and was just miserable and then the elders did divisions and he went home and stayed all day.. now we just hope that the rest of us don’t end up with anything.  All six of us are in the same branch here and there are two or three other branches here in Rio Bamba.  
So, it hasn’t been too bad of a week!

I send my hellos and love to all the umpires from down here in Ecuador!!
The internet place is pretty close to our house..basically across the street. 
We only contacted 10 or 11 people today and He has so many more for us to talk to!!!   Our area is really pretty-- we are in El Centro again, but it seems a lot more calm here then in Latacunga! 
It is kind of like watching the kids here play from what i can picture of your Blue and Gold banquet--they just play with what they have--they don’t’ have a full bucket of toys like all the kids at home.. and the toys are all a lot more expensive here! 

Well, you will have to send all my love to the fam!  Lots of hugs and kisses!!
I love you all soooooooooo much- thanks for all of your love and support and I am so grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow... despite how hard it is, ..but as my nana kept reminding me before I left,  [ I CAN DO HARD THINGS ] I know that my Savior lives, that he loves me, and has a plan for me! I know it is hard now, but there is so much to learn from this experience! 
Have a spectacular week!!
Love always and forever

karlee jo

Thursday, February 19, 2015

16 February 2015

Hi, all!   Well,  I think this has been one of the hardest weeks of the mission!! Hard companion and I am learning a lot more patience than I really want to be learning! But, hopefully all will work itself out!

So, as I said, my comp is from Peru and when I was talking to Hna. Castillo last week, before cambios, we were talking about which ‘type’ of companion had been the hardest and she said, for her, it was Peruvians...and I now know why.. and I don’t really know how to explain it...she has absolutely no concept of time- so we are late to everything...and you know how much I love that!
Like our district mtg. the other day, she never seems to want to shower until half way through our studies or like 15-20 minutes until we need to be somewhere so after we had shared what we had studied in personal study, I was like ‘k’ if you’re going to shower go a head and do it… and this was at 9:30 and our reunion was at 11...we were still a half an hour late!!  How does that happen!!??   She is 22 and I think she acts like an immature 12 year old! and it is hard too because I am in a new area which is really nice, and don’t know anything and she talks and talks and talks in lessons, which is fine except that when I have finished the lesson and she brings up another point or has another question for them...then the lesson goes on for another 30+minutes...which means that we are late to our next appt. can I make us hurry faster...?  Okay, well, in our district there are six of us for the branch, elder Leach is our DL from California, his comp elder Marcos from Peru, elder Barton from Provo, and elder Moscera from Columbia. .. there are 8 Hermanas in the zone and I don’t remember how many of us there are in the zone.  But it is a fun district!!  Today we played carníval!!   It is a holiday of sorts that they have here where it is basically a water fight, they have cans of foam- cans like they have for silly string, and they play with that and water balloons and arena..flour, and eggs and sometimes the arena has coloring in it.  It was sooo much fun; we played everyone against everyone!  We were all soaked and coated in flour by the time we were done!  We changed and went to the mall here for lunch and talked and enjoyed the day! 

Okay, so last week our time got crunched so I am going to answer the rest of your questions now, then tell you more about my week then answer questions from this week

No, we don’t’ make our food we have mamitas that cook for us for lunch, and it is a service that they do for us, for right now, starting in March we are going to have what they are calling a pensionista and we will be paying them and it will be one lady for lunch and dinner, but this way we can tell them how much and what we want or don’t want to eat because we are paying them and we will be with them everyday. They said that this is in an effort to keep the missionaries from getting sick so often from food being not well prepared at investigators houses and such.

Okay, now to this week as a district and as a zone we have the goal of 8 contacts minimum every day and if we don’t complete this goal we have to buy everyone bread.. which isn’t too big of a deal since there are panadarias everywhere, but on our budget it is still a lot, if we aren’t completing this goal. So that makes it a little more fun to have a competition between the 3 companionships to see who has the most for the day.. clearly the contacts are still people and we still take it seriously, but it gives us a motive to contact even more because it is just something that no one likes to do all that much. 

This week we have visited a few different people, but the few that I want to talk about are Myra Gomez, she is I think 27, and has fecha for this Saturday!  So that is super exciting and she is great!  The other is the Flia Ortiz, it is a mom and her 6 year old and her 1 month old baby and they live with the papa of the two boys and she knows the church is true she knows what she needs to do...they just have to get married first! --like everyone here in Ecuador! 

I am really learning a lot in this cambio already, as I said before, my patience is really being tried, but I am learning a lot of Spanish -having to use it all the time!! And it is definitely a growing experience to be comp mayor! It is full of new possibilities to learn and grow- this change- and hopefully we will make it through!  Though I am sure, not with out a few more tears. But my DL is great! He kind of knows what is going on and knows that I am frustrated and said he’d talk to her… but how can I let him or have him talk to her if I can’t have the guts to say something first..?  If it is bothering me that badly, I have to put on the big girl pants and talk to her myself, if it still doesn’t get any better then I can let him talk to her.  

Well, we have had a good long first week, but I am hoping to learn and practice more patience and let it roll off and have some fun this change- so that will definitely be something we will personally working on! 
Our branch president and his wife are super young, but, hey, are really great!  I think that it is going to be a great experience working with them in this branch and hopefully we can help it grow!!

It is so good to see that some of the beautiful little flowers are starting to open up and bring a little more life and sunshine to life! 

Well, this picture is one of our district before the carnival fight and one of our zone afterwards! 

Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of love! Oh, and daddy, I made sure to eat some chocolate for v-day!!  Hope yours was fantabulous!!
Love you
Always and forever!

Karlee Jo

9 February 2015

Wow!  This week was a full and super fast week!   Monday was p-day and we hung out with the elders, went to the mall and ate some ‘mexican’ food..not that good...Tuesday started so early!  We got a text from our querido obisbo (Bishop?) at 5:38am --we had somehow forgotten to put the phone on silent so it was a loud ring that startled us awake,  I tried to read it and couldn’t get my eyes to focus, but after a few attempts I got it-- but neither of us could make sense of it, so we went back to bed for the last hour.  When we got up, we reread the text and this time understood….Hna Vero, that had cancer, passed away Monday night and would we please basically coordinate everything!!   So, at 6:33am we called the elders and they were quite shocked to get a call from us so early!  But, we told them what was going on and they said to keep them posted with what they could do to help.  So, at 7 we went downstairs to talk to Anita and Milton, but they weren’t there, so we went back down at 7:30  (we were thinking of the funerals in the states and were thinking like, yeah, we will have the funeral on Thursday no big deal we have time to plan and get everything figured out....NOT the funeral is the same day and they told us that it was going to be at 11!! WHAT!!)  
We called the RS president to see if she knew what was going on and she was on her way to Quito when we called and gave us a list of stuff we needed to do before the funeral for the funeral.  So we ran upstairs and changed, called the elders to see if they could help us clean the chapel while we went to buy flowers and get a picture of her printed and framed and all that jazz. The elders are amazing!  So, they of course headed over and got that set up and cleaned and then we met them there once we had the flowers, they came back with us to the house to pick up the frame and then we were going to go back to the church to get their stuff they had left and then we were going to lunch and then back to the church to meet the family and open the church.. well it was us and our DL and his companion, --the other elders don’t have a phone so we had no way to get a hold of them- and it was the weirdest thing!!!  Honestly, they don’t make the body look very good- her mouth was still open and she had dried blood in both nostrils and her make up was crappy!  She and her sisters are members, but her parents are not, they are some indigenous people which means that the whole family and friends that came were as well and they don’t smell all that good.. and the mom was like sobbing/chanting/singing was so weird and people kept giving her money...idk fue ful raro!!!  We were there all day, when the normal LDS part of the funeral started, the four of us sang Nearer, My God to Thee, it sounded kinda good...really good for here!  We left at 9:15 PM and went home.  
Wednesday we had a study in Ambato with all the hnas in the zone, with our Hna leaders, it was fun but we didn’t get home from that until 3:00, so went straight from the terminal to the church because they think they need to have more than one day to see the body- the mom wanted until Saturday...! But they settled on Wednesday afternoon, so we went, sang a different song, then finally they all left when they took the casket to the cemetery.   We stayed got everything cleaned up and then finally we were good to go.   We went to lunch with the elders and then to our lessons that we had for that night, we visited Hipatia, a part active and got her to commit to coming to church again on Sunday, and Maribel, she has fecha to get married and we just need to work with her husband to let her come to church, because if she can’t there is no point in baptizing her…
Thursday we had a mini-conference in Ambato and then came back and had lunch, then went to a reference from Joel and she couldn’t meet with us so he showed us the house of a different one and they weren’t home so we went to visit a ex obisbo and happened to be able to talk to him, then had our correlation mtg.   Friday we went and did a fecal test for my comp and found out she has an intestinal infection.. poor thing!   Then had a few citas. Saturday we had a district study and made pancakes and talked then went to the bishop’s moms house and did service for 3 1/2 hrs!  Moving a mountain of dirt from the main street level to the third floor...we all hurt so bad yesterday because we had to take and carry bags of little rocks mixed with dirt by the shovel full!!!  The elders only could carry so many and us too, so it was a slow process in which the bishop and his family did nothing to help except offer us soda and ask if we were tired...what kind of question is that?!!!!  I just carried like 50 lbs., at least, of dirt up the stairs --how many times?!!! and you are asking if I’m tired?!!! Sorry, it was just annoying!  Then we went to lunch and did visits. We visited the familia Hidalgo and found out that Lisseth is pregnant and her mom hates her and blah blah blah..that family needs to come to church!!  They need the help that only living the gospel can bring!!  
Then Sunday after church, we had consejo and it was the best one I have ever had!  Guess why...the stake president was there!  Then we had lunch and talked with the elders for a bit hoping they would get the call to know the cambios, but we ended up going home after a bit and then they called us and asked us if we wanted to find out over the phone or in person.. in person of course!!!  So they came over and first played a mean joke on my comp. telling her that she was going to be an hermana leader and she doesn’t want to be and almost started crying and then they told her that she was staying and training and I was leaving to Rio Bamba and going to be comp. mayor (senior companion)! and here we are, we went last night to say goodbye to the familia Hidalgo and hna have pictures.   It was so sad!, but I am hoping that this change goes just as fast as the last one and that I can learn a lot and my Spanish will improve! 
Well, that was my week!
In the last sector they cooked for us, but we will see what is going to happen with this sector.. I am assuming it will be the same, but we shall see.  Hope you know how much I love all of you!! HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!!  I LOVE YOU ALLLL SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!

Have an amazing week and know you are loved from all the way down here in Ecuador!!
Love always and forever

Karlee Jo

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February 2nd 2015

Wow! How fast this time has gone! I can’t believe this Sunday we find out what is going to happen with this cambio!!  I feel like we were just made companions last week!!
It has been kind of cool here this last week, but nothing too cold!  I can only picture the cute little flowers poking up and brightening the world! -leaving you with a smile on your face!
I love you soooo much and am so grateful for this opportunity to share the gospel and it is getting easier and easier to teach and express myself, which is a good thing!!  Love you!!
So, last week was our zone activity, Tuesday we did divisions with the Hermana leaders and that was comp got to be with her trainer which was super cool since she goes home next week! My experience wasn’t quite as happy. I still learned a lot from her (hna. gonzales), but she was just a little weird! Wut there is always something to learn from everyone! Wednesday, we met back up in Ambato and I was so happy to be back with my companion!!!! That afternoon after we got back and ate lunch, we went to visit a reference of a member....haha he was just a little crazy! He told us that the devil was more powerful than God!, no!!  Then we were trying to explain to him why he should come to church, why he needed to come to church, and he told us multiple times that in order to receive the blessings and help he wanted from God he had to go to we asked him if he would come with us and he shook his little finger at us and told us no..he had to work...weirdo!
After that, we had a noche de hogar with a convert and her husband who is not a member and her daughter who is not a member and it was a great lesson-- apart from the fact that neither of them want anything to do with the church…
Thursday we had a lesson with Maria Vasquez and we were hoping that she would come to church with us, but she said she had to go to Quito to help her daughter with something...and that has been the way is was for the last two weeks:( but we did get to meet with Maribel has been a long time! and she accepted fecha for the 28th, but we will see what happens because her "husband" keeps changing the date of their marriage!  Ugh!-- but all in due time, it will happen when it is meant to happen!!  We had our interviews with the president, and that went good, other than we were finishing our studies since they told us to be there at 12:30 and we got a call at 20 to 11 and our hair wasn’t as nice as we wanted it to be, and they wanted us there at the church at 11, annoying, those elders that didn’t’ let us know what time! But, overall, they went really well!!
Friday we had our district meeting and a lesson with Maribel and Carmen! They were good! Saturday we did service for the bishop’s mom and we were moving dirt...not sure how to describe it otherwise...then my companion was working on a list of the converts of the last two years so we could organize it by organization (we worked on it all morning with the members that live downstairs just to get the information about the people since when the bishop handed us the list and it had no addresses and no phone numbers), so after we did what we could to find all of that, she typed it up on an excel sheet so we could present it to the bishop.  So, I did divisions with one of the sisters in the ward and we met the husband of Martha and have a cita fija with him tonight! so that will be great!! Yesterday was good, we had a lesson with one of the members in the ward and had some goodish lessons at church… nowhere near as good as yours, I’m sure! But that was our week!  The worst part of my week was divisions and the best was getting to be back with my comp and meeting the husband of Martha!
Then today we went to the mall and did a little bit of shopping and then met up with the elders for lunch--we went to a Mexican place and it wasn’t all that great, but other than that it has been a pretty good week!!  Anyway, I love you all  soooooooooo much!!!!
happy week
Karlee Jo!

Karlee and her companion Sister Castillo