Friday, May 29, 2015

March 30th

Wow, what a week! We have been contacting and trying to find new people. We contacted an antiguo that we have hope for. Her name is Narcisa, and she is great, she just needs to come to church. We invited her to come with us to the women´s conference and she was excited to go and we got there and we called her and she said that her son came home drunk and she couldn´t leave him..but that she would be there Sunday..she didn’t come, nor did she answer the phone when we called we will see. She has interview for the 18th but will have to be for the 25th cause she didn’t come to church. We have hope for her.

We also were given the reference of a part active, named Gladis, and she is super cool, she was super excited to come to the conference and to church with us and didn’t answer either day when we called to see if she was coming. Sad day!  Well, we had a few other contacts this week but they always after we talk to them or teach them…well, I´m Catholic! Esta Bien Hermana, we aren’t here to change your religion, just to talk and teach what we have, and after that, it is your decision, all we can do is invite! And if we are teaching with the spirit, He will do His job and touch their hearts, and they will have the desires to keep listening to us and want to know more!

We are having a lot of fun! This transfer is a million times better than the last!! And from all she is telling me of Honduras, I have more desire to visit there than to come back here- ...almost.

How amazing was the general women´s session of conference!! I loved it, even though I ¨got¨ to watch it in Spanish. I still really enjoyed it and learned a ton! I loved the talk from Sister Esplin, her whole talk was amazing and I loved that song- families are of God! It was so cute!! My companion and I were a little trunkie after conference! Ha, ha thinking that our mom´s and sisters were watching it with us! -even worse was seeing all of the beautiful flowers and seeing the conference center! But, we are SO excited for this weekend when we get to watch it for two whole days!! It is amazing to think, that at the last conference, I was finishing in the MTC, and the next one I will be wrapping up the mission! How amazing an opportunity it is that we have to hear the words of our prophet and his apostles! Well, I can’t wait to watch conference with you this weekend!! 
As always I send my love to everyone and I am doing great!! 
No, we don’t have any sort of program with the youth, they have a noche de amigos, cada miercoles and that is always fun, they have members, less actives, and sometimes we get our investigators to go with us, we try –they just don’t always follow through on their commitment to come. hahaha and no i did not get your email, mom, in large letters, it is normal, completly normal! haha, 
i cant wait till i can go with my friends when i get home!!  
i hope you know how much i love all of you!!! You are all so incredible and I couldn’t be here with out you! I love you so much and am looking forward to watching conference with you!;) 
I hope you know how much I love everyone of you sooooo  much!!
Have a spectacular week!!
love you always and forever! 
your daughter and sister
Karlee Jo

March 23rd

Well, as you all know, we had transfers and this is going to be such a fun one!!!!!! Guess who´s here? You know it! She´s here as an Hermana leader and my comp seems super cool, she finishes this transfer! There are three Hermanas here in Rio Bamba that are going to die this transfer!! I am so excited!!

This week started off on a bad note, we were frustrated with each other and it was super hard, but we ended it on a good note! We had 31 contacts on Saturday!!  That´s the most I´ve ever had in one day!! 

I hope you all enjoyed your St. Patty’s Day! iI was kind of fun doing it in our District...and trying to explain to the Latinos why we had to have green on...ha,ha- but fun all the same! We have been working with a family and they said that yesterday if they weren’t traveling they would be there, and well, they must have been traveling since they didn’t come...but they said next week for sure! Wo we are excited for that!! Well, sadly, I don’t have a whole lot more to report this week...other than we contacted a reference from one of our investigators, and he is 33, still lives with his mom, and works with strippers....awkward!   It was super funny cause he doesn’t live in our sector so we took the elders to meet him and they were totally weirded will be interesting to see what happens! Ha,ha, ha!!

Well, our house here is a little smaller, but it is very open and everything is in shades of white so it feels super open, really nice!  The branch, we had 127 in attendance yesterday, our branch president is super awesome, and 28 but his wife is amazing and super cute!! The members have good intentions...just don’t always follow through on what we need. But not too bad! Our meals we finally have figured out and they are good so far! 
Well, I know there is a reason I am here and I am glad that I have the opportunity to serve!!
I love you all sooooo much!!
have a spectacular week!!

Karlee Jo

March 16th

March 16

Hola mi bonita familia!!! Como estan? Espero que todo esta bien!!  How was your week? Sounds like you´ve all been busy from what I could gather from your emails! But busy is good...most of the time!  It is better than being bored and having nothing to do!

Well, this was the best week only took a month! Ha,ha- but looks like we are going to end this partnership as friends at least!  It has been the hardest and yet I still can’t believe how fast time has passed! We only have this week left together, we think, we have transfers this weekend--on Sunday we will find out what is going to happen! We both think she will go because she was born here in Rio Bamba and this is her third transfer here, exactly like my first sector, so we think that she will be leaving, but as you said we don’t know what president and Heavenly Father have in store!

Well, this week we had a visit with a part active named Milli Cherez, and we were talking with her and she is 19, I think…if not she´s 18, but we asked her if she´d ever thought about serving a mission, and she said no, but by the end of the night she was asking us what she would have to do to serve and such, so I think she might actually be considering it now…that will be cool!

We had our zone conference this last Wednesday!!  It was awesome!  They had a bunch of activities planned to keep us awake, haha!  We had an English activity and my comp and I got to help with it, they had a person, well, stick-figure drawn on the board, and she had to write as many body parts as she could in English, only receiving help from those whose first language is Spanish, and I...yup, you guessed it, had to write all the body parts that I knew in Spanish, and I didn’t do too bad!  It was kind of fun, then they had all of the native English speakers teach head, shoulders, knees, and toes, then they taught it to us in Spanish!  It was fun and nice that we could be up and move and not just sit-since our conference was from 11-5! We went outside and they had chairs set up- it was probably the width of a basket ball court, and they had a chair on either side, on each side was a bowl, in one bowl there were beans, and we each had a straw...we had to, using only our straws, carry each bean over to the other bowl. And if it fell we had to pick it up off the ground using the straw...eww! But it was really fun and then they had us relate it to missionary work and how sometimes we give our all at the beginning and forget that there is still a long ways to go and even though we get some all the way across, many fall, and we have to go back and look for them to help them make it to the ¨finish line-¨ even though baptism is only the first step!  It was really fun! Then we had lunch, we had pizza and cola, and it was super funny cause Pres. Christensen was being so nice and going to pour us cola, but opened the first bottle and it had gotten shaken up and it exploded and luckily didn’t stain his shirt, but it was so funny to watch the reactions! After lunch we had a great couple of lessons by the assistants and the other by Pres. Christensen.
This last Saturday was the anniversary of the RS, and I don’t know if you guys did anything, but here they went full out!! It was amazing! There are 4 branches here in Rio Bamba, and each branch prepared a dance, like a native dance and had the full costumes and everything-- it was super, super, cool!!!  I have videos and pictures, but my card won’t register to attach them this week!  Have you ever thought of creating a drop box?  That way I can put more pictures and videos on there since they are very difficult to send...the videos that is! :)   It was really cool to be able to see some native dances and see everyone so excited!  We had a bunch of MA that were there and we had a new investigator, that said she was going to come to church with us yesterday, but when we called and knocked on her door no one answered!:(
Well, that about sums up my week! Not too bad!

It is so true, when we don’t have the Savior on our side, when we aren´t doing everything that we need to, everything that is hard, is even harder!  It is something that we are continually trying to teach people-- even though they say…no, I’m happy, we have unity in my family, we don’t need anything else...bull.  Give it a shot and see how much happier you could be, how much more unity you could have in your family!

It is crazy how much the mission changes people!  Well, hopefully you will be able to say the same thing about me when I get home!

Well, I hope you all have a spectacular week! Don’t forget to read and to say your prayers! They are incredibly powerful tools that are often to easily forgotten!!
Oh, and you will have to sign up to have the missionaries over for dinner another time! Ask them what kind of food they want...or you can surprise them... love you lots and lots and lots, for ever and ever and ever
Love always and forever


March 9th

March 9

Well, this week was better, but still not perfect, a lot better than the others and we will continue to try to have us be great friends by the end of these last two weeks that we have together! I think she did! 
I will let you know as soon as I know anything about Mothers Day!

As far as our traveling, we do a ton of it!! And no, we don’t have a separate fund for travels, it all comes out of our apoyo that we receive every 15th and 30th. But for right now, we are doing okay!! I'll keep you posted!!

If you sent clothes or are going to if you could send them a tad bit smaller, esp. any sweaters- that would be great, cause all of mine are too big.. but doing well!!

So, this week was kinda fun! We had a fun p-day last week, we made a cake with the Elders in the home of a part-active, and it turned out pretty well… it was a basic yellow cake, but the Hermana put raisins in the batter right before it went in the oven, then we put strawberry jam between the layers and frosted it with a frosting that wasn’t all that great…but it turned out good in the end--and they have a weird custom here in Ecuador where when you make a cake you cut out the the pinnaple..and some one eats that ....I don’t really understand why…but there you go!! haha! 

Well, as I mentioned last week, we have started the pensionista program...and I’m not really the biggest fan of it...besides the fact that we, the Hermanas, don’t really have a pensionista-- it is still basically a mamita, since they can’t find anyone in our sector that can give us lunch Tuesday to Saturday, we have someone for dinner, just not for lunch...and dinner is another thing that I am not really liking. The whole first, ...well, up until now, we just didn’t eat dinner, we were busy working and members always gave us food when we went, and it is hard too because we have to eat dinner at 5, and that takes away an hour of our time when most of our people can meet with us, but we have zone conference on Wednesday, so we will see if we can change that somehow-- that maybe we can just pick up the food and eat at home later, or something...

We had a lesson with the husband of Hermana Fabiloa, who is a CR, and the best way to describe him is a hippie...long hair, facial hair, tiny little glasses that are like sunglasses, but he wears them all the time, and he has some very strange beliefs!! 

On Wednesday, we have capacitaciones by the missionaries for the members to help them know how they can help in the Obra mission, invite their friends to church.  Then, after the branch has what they call a noche de amigos, and they have a little message, then play games!  This week was super fun!  We played mafia and fruit basket since it was the Obra mission that ended up in charge of this week!! It was super fun!!  
We had a crazy /great lesson with an investigator named Renato, and he is the son of the hippie, but more normal…anyway, we had a cool lesson with him.  We met him at the little shop where his sister works and we were like, hey, can we talk with you, only more normal, and we have had a few lessons with him before, so not so weird, and he was like yeah, so we were walking cause we needed to have another woman with us to teach him and we started walking in the direction of a family and then we weren’t and we looked at each other like where are we going? -- -we ended up at the house of a part-active, her son is active and they were both there for what ended up being a great lesson! They helped a lot and we were very upfront with him in this lesson, cause he wants his life to change, but he is stuck living in the past and with that, can’t progress. So that will be a trick and a half to get him to change! But we have faith and with God, nothing is impossible! 
We had a baptism...well, the Elders did...on Saturday and the poor lady- the water was cold and she didn’t understand very well what she needed to do or what was going to happen when they baptized her so they ended up having to try like 5 or 6 times, but they did get her baptized and she was confirmed yesterday! It was awesome!! 

As far as our sector, it is pretty much city. I have no idea how many people are in the city, but it is really pretty! 

 the group picture we all have the rope wrapped around our necks because we did an activity where we had the rope wrapped around all of our legs and had to walk as a team around this hill, it was really hard, but really fun at the same time! And we had to do it as companionships up the hill. That was really funny and not quite as hard!  It was a great day!  Then we went to lunch in the mall and ate Carl's Jr!  It was a pretty fun p-day! 

 I don’t really know what was the best part of the week, our lesson with Tster, she has a very hard time hearing so we just sang hymns for her, and took the picture after. The noche de amigos where we played games, was pretty great!  The worst…we didn’t have anyone to make us lunch on Wednesday so we called an Hermana and she was like sure, we'll meet and go to a restaurant...yeah, cant spell...I walked in and looked at my companion and was like no, no, no, no, no, no, everyone was eating fish...and that is all I saw on the window where they have some pictures of what they serve, and we walked in and sat down and luckily, they had something else for the main meal, but they always have a soup first, and I was okay after I ordered the meat, until I got the soup.........first off, they served it with sangre frita, avocado, and lime on a separate plate, the soup had trishmishqui, and watita...and if you don’t know what those is intestines, and cow tongue...yeah, it was disgusting!!!  Never again do I want to have to eat that,...but I still have a year here in this ..beautiful country...jk I love it, I just don’t love their food! Yup, that has got to be the worst part of my week. The fact that I had no other choice, but to eat that nasty food that should not ever be eaten...but, oh well!  Luckily, we don’t eat that in the states!!! 

I know this week has been hard and I was talking with my dl and he told me some advice that he had learned from someone...yes, this is a trial, this is one of your many trials in this life, but God gave us our trials, he can’t do them for us! Man have I learned that!  I know this is a trial and I need to be grateful for the rain, as well as the rainbow, be grateful for the trial while I am in it and not just after, there is something that I have to learn from her and from this partnership; I don’t know what yet…other than a lot of patience and the importance of obedience and maybe it will be that I am training next partner and need to learn this to help in the future...I don’t know.

But, I do know that I am never alone! My Savior knows me and knows how to help, all I have to do is rely on Him, put my faith and trust in Him that knows everything and know that He will help! I know this church is true and I am so grateful to Joseph Smith that he had the faith to continue even when things were so difficult, that he endured to the end so that we can now, at this time, have the restored gospel on the earth and have the Book of Mormon to help and guide us through this maze of life! Love my mission and I love you all sooooooo much!!
have an amazing week!!
always and forever

Karlee Jo

86 year old Ester

Dress being made for Karlee

Karlee and companion

Karlee at the lake

Lake trip for P-day

Rope Activity