Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I've Got Troubled Thoughts And A Self Esteem To Match

Well hello!  

I'm writing a bit early today because DUN DUN hhaaaay cambios.  So Elder Redd is leaving to the jungle in the Oriente to be a zone leader.  It's a flat place so that'll be good for his jacked up hips.  So that leaves me here in the Villa Flora to train some new guy who'll be coming Wednesday.  But I'm not the district leader so that won't be too bad.  Can't imagine taking care of a new missionary and a district at the same time.  I'm just worried about how the ward will be with Elder Redd gone.  They all love him and they want to call him as bishop.  But my doubt is that they don't trust me as much and I worry that they'll lose the love for the missionary work with him gone.  Pero no se preocupe because it's gonna be aight.  I think if I just keep on working and talking with the members they'll still help us.  It'll be hard with out a cell phone though.  Back to the cabinas and calling cards!  But we'll find out who I'm training this Wednesday, until then I have no idea what I'll do without a companion.  But we go with it!  It's time to rock and roll!!

Ah yeah Lent.  They have a different name for it but I can't remember what it is right now.  They walked around with those ash crosses on their heads.  I asked a lady why she does that and she was shocked that we don't.  But she didn't know why anyway.  Tradition.  But giving stuff away does sound way better than giving up candy for a month.  Give a little bit, give a little bit of your love to me

Uuuuuuuh wind.  The beast of Satan.  The fart from Neptune.  The cackle of the troll under the bridge to Terebithia.  The chitti chitti in the bang bang.  The howl from down under.  I hate it and might be the reason why I won't ever want to live in the valley again.  It's miserable!  I'm goin to live on some island with my chicken and rice and collect sea shells to make re-creations of the art of Van Gough.  Then I'll come back cryin like Hello Kitty in the pound when a tsunami hits.  Hmmm, I guess everywhere has it's unique problems.  Like some people's eyebrows. 

Yikes Grandma!  Why doesn't she just use the walker and cane?  She's killing herself like that.  I'll write her a letter hopefully trying to inspire her or somethin.  I dunno.  But good thing you guys helped her out.  It's a test of our patience and love I guess.  But everything will work out for our good.  Just keep helping her!

Speaking of letters I hope I can start writing some.  I got tons I need to write.  It's madness!  One I'm dying to write is to Chase.  Ese loco se va a Brasil pues!  Eeeeeeeejole.  Bienvenidos a suramerica.  But Portuguese is really similar to Spanish.  President Ghent's son that served in Brazil talked to us in Portuguese and we could understand almost everything.  It's about as easy to understand as the drunks talking to us.  Just some zzzjjjccaaa noises that are different.  But it'll be cool.  Tengo hablar con ese viejo Kyle Mc tambien.

Well good luck to my cousin Kyle this week.  Have fun in that MTC!  Get fat while you can!

So this week.  Whew.  You just realize your blessings and dang life can be hard.  Every person we've taught has had these problems.  Last night we taught a recent convert and he felt lonely and just wanted to have fun Saturday but then some how ended up drinking with his friends.  He called us at 2 in the morning feeling terrible.  His wife and kids were crying and she's just fed up with it all and he was trying to make it alright.

  The other lady doesn't want to leave her old alcoholic father to go live with her husband and his mother because she's scared of her mother-in-law.  The others have big debts that they can't pay so they don't want to get married to get baptized.  In one family the mother recently had a miscarriage and the father is blind.  One member's daughter has gone missing in Guayaquil and hasn't been heard of for more than 3 weeks.  The other family has a father that needs to go to surgery but they don't have the money to pay, the mother with her two daughters can't find work so will have to go a field to work for a month, leaving her daughters behind.  Then don't have any food and when she came to church she passed out from this pain in her head due to malnutrition.  But the family stayed for sacrament meeting.

 We had the talks this Sunday.  I was going to talk about how we can help less active members come back, but I just got this feeling that I should talk about our trials here in the earth.  I looked out on all those people, everyone with their own story, everyone with their own problem, but all of them looking for some kind of hope.  Some kind of relief.  Started talking about the premortal life, why we're here, what these tough times mean, and then tried to give hope.  Talked of Jesus Christ and how he understands all of our afflictions (Alma 7:11-12) but how if we put the kingdom of God first, and keep the commandments, we'll prosper in the land.  Talked about the importance of hope (Ether 12:4) and how we need this faith to receive the blessings.  Talked how we as a church can help each other with our troubles (Moroni 6).  But I think I'm feeling the Spirit a little bit more if I just let my own insecurities go.  Just do it I guess.  Stop worrying about yourself and your faults and just focus on them.  It's crazy.

But we're blessed.  No doubt about it.  But even when I get frustrated and fed up with these people, who have to just marvel at their faith.  Here I am, a boy of 19 years old, from a different country, I've never starved or had to make a sacrifice for all of my family in order to follow God, and I'm here telling them to change their lives put everything in second place to God.  And they begin to do it.  If this was something false, or some wild belief of men, it'd be impossible.  No lie can produce the faith necessary to do these things that we ask them to do.  If we're just some brain washed kids doing what our parents raised us to do, why are we here praying for these people, begging with God to help them with all their problems, and sacrificing all our time in order to help them?  This life is a stinkin miracle!!  Ya can't help but to be a little bit awed and receive some feeling in your heart that this is the truth.  Yet we sometimes let our own fears and egotistic ideas impede us from sharing this truth with others.  We don't even try.  It's easier to be a conformist.  And what a shame.  I get kinda scared to stand before God if he asks me if I've done everything I can to help others and I can't say I have.  But hey, never too late to start right?

Well looks like somebody has written a little too much today!  Sorry for the ranting, I just get lost when I start talking about the mission.  But hey I gotta request that's kinda sad.  Can you change the Guapo Sapo from facebook? One, it's bad Spanish.  Two, sapo is a missionary word for a gossiper, or a person who tries to bring other people down.  Big mouth!  So I CAN NOT be known as that for the rest of my life.  So kill it!  And say goodbye to the old years I guess. 

Oh and I still need the bishop's address.

Well that's all folks!  Love ya all, thanks for the support, and strap on your seat belts for this week.  It's gonna be a heck of a time.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Only Floss The Teeth Ya Wanna Keep‏

Todos los pollitos dicen pillo pillo pillo cuando tengan hambre cuando tengan frio!!

Hey how's it goin everybody?  Todo bien?  Bien bien?  Bien mal?  No saben porque están borrachos como los demás aquí en Ecuador?  Vacan.  No well it's Carnaval here in good ol Quito.  Here, like most holidays here, people get drunk and do what the heck they want.  But with Carnaval you also get to play with espuma, which is this foam stuff.  They shoot it out of these cans.  Globos, or water balloons, are banned so you don't see that too much.  But then some people like to throw eggs or flour.  Then some people just like to rob and stab people.  To every man his own right?  But it's been pretty fine with us.  Nobody has attacked us anyway, that happens more in the coast.  We've just been sprayed by these little kids as we walked down the street.  But then they kept on following us.  I stole their can of espuma, sprayed them all in the faces till they couldn't take it anymore, then sent them on their way.  Then yesterday we saw them again and this time they just attacked my companion and threw flour on me.  Punks!  And then we had 6 with baptismal dates and (holidays I curse your names!!) they all fell.  So our sector is lookin pretty down again.  We have to find some new families and rescue some of the ones we lost in the fiestas.  But as the drunken Brits like to say, "I get knocked down, but I get up again, and ya nevah gunna keep me down!"

One of the worst things I've seen here in Ecuador is the manipulation of relationships.  He cheated on her so she went and cheated on him so now she has 3 kids with all different dads and she doesn't think she can give up running off with other guys so she won't get baptized and her sister had surgery in order to be unable to have babies so she's running around the clubs with other men who are not her husband.  GHEESH!!! I just want to be the hose on all of these people and tell them to knock it off.  But what can ya do.  19 year olds and marriage counseling.  I can hear God singing, "Somehow I'll make a man out of youuuuu."  (But I'd prefer it not to be in the voice of Donny Osmond)

Oh so this Crowther gentleman has served in Quito too?  Yes it is beautiful.  Yes it is awesome.  Yes it does rock your socks.  And yippe ki yay does it make you wanna sing like an Irish man then cry like an Arabian in the matter of hours.  Así es la vida mis amigos.

That's good that Grandma went to church.  Keep her goin!  It's bad that so many people are in the ward are sick though.  No bueno.  Oh by the way, I need the email address of the bishop, or maybe just his normal mail.  Whatever works.  

That's crazy to think that Blake is living in Atlanta.  He's gonna find some big black woman and she'll make us great southern food and we'll sing gospel music.  Heap yeah.  But I gotta write him separately so I guess I'll save that record for my other plates.

So while we were eating encebollado we heard some guy just screaming his heart out.  They all start telling me to close the door and then some soaking wet, drunk, man without a shirt comes around the corner and starts pounding on the door next to us.  I thought that was strange.  But hey they let him in and took him upstairs.  Then we some punk lookin at us like french meat but then we walked on by.  The member we were with said he had a knife.  Then during our planning we here this man just screaming again.  Look out the window  and he's floppin around and running into walls and stuff.  Don't know if he was stabbed or drunk.  Then we saw some lady get robbed in La Villa Flora.  She was chasing him and he was trying to play it cool.  Then all of the people stop and start to whistle.  Then the taxis stop and the buses stop and then there's some kind of chaos.  Then he limped off around the corner.  Who knows what the heck is goin on.  People think it's a holiday and live like fleas on a dog snout.

Speaking of fleas my companion has a couple.  Has bites every night.  I don't have problems though.  Who knows?  Then I went to the Panecillo today and tried to find the ancient Nephite temple that's buried there.  No luck.  But there WAS a temple there.   But now they only have a hill and a virgin.  Oh and a mafia family live up there too.  That's interesting.  And I had McDonald's today.  Are the hamburgers smaller or what??  It's been 7 months but good grief I felt like 5 bucks for Barbie food was ridiculous.  I'm stickin to my chicken and rice from now on!! At least you get full with that.
And that's about it!  Hope ya enjoy the week.  I kinda forgot what I was going to talk about and prefer just rambling.  It's like random minute.  OR 15.  But hey we rock it.  May all your dreams come true and if you eat some butter think of me.  Adios!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's Gettin Harder and Harder To Breathe‏

Okay sorry but I don't have alot of time again.  14 minutes to be exact.  And I still need to write President.  GAH!!  But thanks for writing me and all.  Awesome that Blake got a job in Georgia.  Crazy.  I was in Georgia for about an hour.  I called you guys there!  What do ya know.  I've told a few missionaries that Whitney Housten died and they've all said Who's Whitney Housten?  Bummer.  Tell Kyle that he'll do great.  Just go for it and if all else fails "it'll feel better when it stops hurtin".  Channing sounds like you're having an awesome time.  Keep up the great work and do the chicken dance.

This week was good, we had 6 investigators at church and we have about 9 with fecha.  I got to watch Lion King today (in English) and cook some hamburgers.  That movie has got to be the best.  I almost think I should have watched that instead of Fiddler on the Roof as my last movie.  Almost.  Because I got to watch it and I'll probably never watch F.o.t.R.  So esta bien.  As a missionary, Lion King gives you good ideas about repentance.  It's awesome!

We have a few families with dates, hopefully having a baptism this Saturday with the lady named Maria.  My companion discovered that the Panecillo, though often thought of as the Virgin Maria, is actually the representation of the true church of God as described in Revelations 12.  And that hill is where Ecuador was dedicated for missionary work.  So Catholics are wrong again!  Probably not but hey that's how I'll look at it from now on.  

I talked to a taxi driver who talked to us in English and said he is an eccentric millionare hiding in a third world country in order to live his dream of being a taxi driver.  We asked him where he learned his English and he told us that he learned at the best university in the world.  The university of life. But he said that he puts intentional mistakes in his English to fool everybody.  Had long hair and was super funny.  He's not a millionare though!

I've been learning a lot about how we just need to act sometimes.  Like the apostoles when Jesus told them to follow him, they didn't say Hey wait for me to get this last net of fish, but it says they immediately followed him.  And I tend to be a indecisive thinker.  Sometimes I just need to do things.  Like I let my mistakes ferment when I just need to swift sudden action and stop thinking.  Or I'll get a feeling to say something then I kill it with my "logic".  So that's my goal this week.
Just do it.

Love you all and hope ya have a great week.  Adios!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Wanna Be a Pineapple in the Next Life‏ll


Well howdy do one and all.  So I don't have much time because we're late so I'll just say my impressions of the letters.
  • Somebody put on King Julius and say ALL HAIL, DA NEW YORK GIANTS!
  • Channing sounds like things are rockin in the mission field.  Keep it up my sista!!  I'm goin crazy for ya (but not as crazy as the indians gettin gassed).
  • YEAH YEAH FOR THE RYANS!!  St. George.  I'm still giggling.  But hey, he'll have good members and a car probably.  And a toaster!!
So this week was interesting.  So one of our contacts..... met him in the street and he told me he couldn't continue listening to us.  I say why and he says he feels pressured.  Says it should be by faith, not by pressure.  Well good observation there my friend, but what the heck are we doin to pressure you?!  So we go over there, had to sneak up on him, and have a short lesson with me and Elder Redd and a zone leader and another elder from my group.  So I ask him what the heck is goin on.  He says that he won't give up reincarnation until the day he dies.  Then he goes off on how we must be punished in the next life or how we must complete the certain time that God programmed.   
We ask him if he's prayed about it and he says no.  We ask him if God answers our prayers and he says somethin about how guardian angels take our prayers to God for us.  He thinks that to be "born again" means reincarnating.  He quotes alot from some book by some hama llama jama guy.  In another lesson we told him, and showed him with drawings, that only resurrection works in the plan of God.  That you CAN NOT believe in reincarnation and Jesus Christ at the same time.  Then this lesson he said we're just trying to change his beliefs and how we should all be happy with how we are.  Then I had to tell him all that we're doing is trying to give him the chance to pray to God and ask HIM if it's true or not. He said they're his beliefs and that's what matters.  I told him that I can believe that the sky is red but that doesn't make my belief true.  That's why ya gotta ask!!!!  Gah. 
 I need to learn more patience.  I'm sure Laren has experience with Buddist guys like this, I'm used to dealing with Catholics.  This is a new ball game!!!

Then we had our lessons with another Familia  and the wife still doesn't want to get married.  So we decided to change tactics.  We chilled and they said "hey let's look how we're doing with the 10 commandments!"  Gladly.  Hmmmm what does this mean don't commit adultery?  Let's look in the dictionary!  Ooooh so you have to be married to commit adultery they say.  Let's look at fornication they say.  Oooooh having relations when you're not married.  Ooooooh we should get married in order to keep the 10 commandments of God they say.  It's a lesson that taught it self!  But we'll see how that goes further on yeah?

Found a 3 new families this weeks, we'll see how that goes.  The members brought 7 people to church without us asking them.  Bien hecho mis amigos!! Muy bien.  So we'll see how this week goes I guess.  

Today we went to the Mitad del Mundo.  I stood on the equator and saw naked Indian guys and statues.  Learned some cool stuff.  We could balance eggs on nails, see water drain clockwise then counter clockwise, depending on what side we were on.  Then did you know you're weaker on the equator.  This little lady pulled down my shoulders like nothin when I stood on the line.  But off of it she couldn't.  Has to do with gravity or somethin??