Saturday, July 18, 2015

13 July 2015

13 July 2015

Well, for this week it was great!  We got to do divisions on Friday through Saturday and I went back to Rio Bamba with Hermana Castillo!!!  It was a blast!!! I can’t believe that she is finishing in 2 weeks!!! She said that her homecoming is going to be on the 8th, but she said that she would send the info to you guys so if you don’t get it let me know and I will have her send it to me and I’ll forward it to you!!

We have been teaching an investigator named Washington, his wife and all of his kids are members, but he is not, and this is the first time that he is listening to the missionaries.  He is great, he has a ton of questions and never shuts up, asks a question and then doesn’t pause long enough that we can explain anything, but we are working with him a lot and with his two older kids who don’t live at home- they live with their grandparents, but we are trying to help all of them--, he won’t come to church because he is afraid that if he goes his kids will stop going, but he also wants them to invite him and then he will go. He is always reading and saying his prayers- he´s great, we just need to help build the relationship between him and his older kids.

I hope you know how much I love and appreciate all of you as well!! 
Well, as far as getting people to come to church... that is the hardest thing here--apart from finding them, because there are a lot of people here that like to listen and like our visits- they just don’t want to change religion or have to do more than they are currently doing!  But we keep working and loving life!! 

We are into week 5, so not this Sunday, but the next we get transfers!!!  It has gone soo incredibly fast!! I can’t believe it!!

I spoke in church again yesterday, when our branch president came up to me, right before it started, and was like- can you talk?, great!  So I talked about Alma 46, the Title of Liberty and then used Mosiah 5:13 and Moroni 7;8 if I am not mistaken, but it was great!!  Everyone was soo quiet, which is very abnormal for our branch, but it came together very well for like a 3 minute prep! Ha, ha--welcome to the mission! :) 

It has been a good week and I hope yours has been as well; I love you all sooooo much and hope you have the best week so far

Love you forever


Sister Castillo and Karlee on Divisions in Rio Bamba

How can you not love these faces?

Look at that cloud!!!

6 July 2015

July 6th 2015

Well, there have been so many people- well, members, here in this area that have gone inactive, and they all have silly reasons, but mostly it is because they forgot the basics of the gospel and who they are, the joy that comes from discovering that! 

The branch here has been a branch for 40 years and in the last month and a half, the branch attendance has gone down by half!!!  Two weeks ago we only had 70 people at church!!!  It is very sad and it is hard to get the members here animated to help us...including the branch president!  But we keep trying and doing our best and it really is up to us! 

As we keep working and praying and having faith that there will be fruits from our labors, we will see the many miracles that He has promised us in every step along the way!!  It is an amazing opportunity that we have to be missionaries at this time to help hasten the work of salvation to all of our brothers and sisters in the world-- I just am lucky enough to get to love and help the beautiful people of Ecuador!!!

This week has been interesting, we had our mini conference on Friday and it was a very good conference- we talked about Helaman 46- about Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty, and how Moroni put his reasons for fighting on the flag- and so our zone leaders had little white flags(of paper) for us and we wrote the reasons we are in the mission, the reasons we do the things we do, because they said that as missionaries we talk enough about the how of misisonary work but what is your why?

And as we thought about it, I thought about the members here in the branch and want to ask them the same question- why do you come to church? Are you doing the things you do because you know it is true and you have the desires to do so or are you simply going through the motions?   As we talked about this, as a district afterwards, there are so many members that aren’t even going through the motions- they just simply aren’t doing anything.

We finally got home teachers and visiting teachers but they still aren’t doing their job, they just don’t understand the importance of it-- there are so many people that if they had had their visits they wouldn’t have gone inactive, but we are hoping that one day they will learn the importance of it!!

Our district leader was talking to us the other day and said that in the next three transfers, there are like 80ish people going home, and that here in Pelileo, the people here are very difficult and don’t want to progress and that he thought that it was very possible that in the next couple transfers we could all be pulled out of it will be interesting to see what happens!! 

We didn’t do a lot for the 4th either, but it was still good!  We made brownies and the elders made hamburgers and we were all dressed in red, white, and blue!  It was a very fun day to have all gringos in the district-- but it wasn’t all that big of a day.

Well, the best and worst of this week has got to be that we have been super trunky--mostly due to the fact that after this transfer, my companion only has one left… but that also means we have been talking about marriage quite a bit this week! Ha,ha!

We have also found some new people this week, so that made us quite happy, and we got permission to paint the walls in our house since they were a disgusting orange color, and we have been doing that!  It has been a lot of fun!!

The worst was the bus ride to Puyo for our zone reunion- and then back again... it is a 2 1/2 hour bus ride and the elevation changes and we are always nauseous when we get there and even more so coming home-- this week was definitely the worst for me! But all is good! 

I didn’t know that President Packer died until you told me, well, General Conference is going to be very interesting this time!!

I love you all soo much and I love hearing from you! I hope that next week I will actually get to hear from you, Katie, but I love you anyway!!!
Have an amazing week and don’t forget that the church is true and that your Heavenly Father loves you and is always there for you!!L

love always and forever-


15 June 2015

15 June 2015

Well, it is going to be a very exciting transfer day!!  My companion and I get along great and we, of course, are working hard!  She is the second of 4, and has 15 months in her mission, and we have had a lot of fun in the kitchen this week!!  We have an oven in the house, so we have made cookies, banana bread and all sorts of good stuff!!!!!  We also don’t have a pensionista (mama who cooks for them) here in Pelileo- so we cook for ourselves in the house- which is fine by me, I like having the time in the kitchen to cook...I just don’t like the cleaning up part :) What’s new??? Ha, ha :)    -it is great!! 

We had a great week; we have been contacting like crazy and had the opportunity to do service for one of our contacts.  We got to help plant a field and it was super crazy, it started raining when we started and stopped when we stopped-- it was just fantastic!  Ha, ha- but afterwards she gave us some corn and let us try some juice that comes from a plant...the juice was very weird…and we weren’t exactly sure what it was, but hey, all’s good!  Ha, ha! 

We also had a baptism this week, his name is Juan Guachamboza, his baptism was so beautiful; after they had changed, we had like 6 people that we had invited to give their testimonies and the spirit in the room was so amazing!  Juan’s brother, Fausto, shared his testimony and by the end the both of them were crying (Juan and Fausto), it was incredible!!  And we met his mom at the baptism and she came to church on Sunday and now has an interview for the 11th!!!  We were super excited because she and one other son (that lives in Galapagos) are the only ones in their family that are not members, but she is a super cute little lady, she told us that she was afraid of baptism because she was afraid to fall in the water!

We had the opportunity this week, the 4 of us here in the district, to give talks in Sacrament meeting first one here in the mission!! Ha, ha- but they were all really great and then we went to a lesson after lunch and they gave us lunch, we had soup and chicken tacos!!  They were sooo good!!!

The worst part of the week was that, well, we are in winter here so it has been super, super cold and rainy-- then more just a little cold, but other than that it has been great!!

I love you all sooooo much!!!!!! 
Lots of love, hugs and kisses, from Ecuador!!