Friday, March 30, 2012

On The Road Again

Well hello how do you do I'm good thanks for asking.  Okay so we have a new rule as well here in the mission Quito.  But not as good as Channing's.  We're all a bunch of iniquitous (do you see Quito in that word?) crap heads so we only have 30 minutes of Internet and my companion has to be behind me reading everything I write.  The thing is that he doesn't understand English and I don't understand his other language so who knows what the heck he's saying?!  But the mission is kinda like football.  When a group of players went out and partied or somebody had a penalty in the game, the whole team pays.  We all run and do up downs and the likes.  So that's what is goin down in the mission.  They're crackin down on everything.  Which is good.  But rough at the same time.  So we'll make it snappy because I gotta write the president too.  

First of all let me just say I am crying myself senseless in my sack cloth while sitting in a pile of ashes.  Peyton Manning a Bronco.  I might puke.  Worse, Channing and Taylor are now Bronco fans.  OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!  Miserable is my state of life.  My mind literally snapped when I read that.  I don't know.  I've always had blind loyalty to the Broncos and the dislike of Peyton Manning (one for his face and two for playing against him in Madden.  Those stinkin audibles took 10 minutes I tell ya!!)  but now he's there.  Part of the team.  It's like eating a great banana split only to find a band aid in the last spoon full.  So I am now in a dilemma of leaving the Broncos or supporting Peyton Manning.  DANG IT!!!!  Hopefully he breaks his toe before I come back.

Molly died?!?!  Or what happened?!?  That dog was my girlfriend throughout my childhood.  Man.  Another hit to my heart.  I might die here soon.

Grandma needs oxygen?!?!  What is goin on there?  Heap yeah I'll come do her lawn just hold on for a year and a half.

Mom is still goin on her feminist lifestyle I see.  Rock on.  You go against the man my mother!

Well yeah this week was...aight.  Have I told you guys I'm teaching English in a school??  Two times a week.  This one member always has some kind of idea bubbling in his head on how to find more people to teach or something.  He was a sweeper in his mission so he knows a lot.  It's just that he wasn't always obedient.  So ya gotta double check this guy sometimes.  But anyway I'm teaching English to some 80 kids and it's madness.  They all know the bad words.  Hey gringito, what does "%$·% mean?  WHOOAAA WHOAAA child I shall burn you if you say that again.  And I thought they were gonna give me something to teach them but nope.  "Here they are!  Teach them English!"  uuuuuhhhh Yeah kids let's learn some English WOOO!!!  (little children voices WOOOO!!)  

So our sector is in ruins and on the point of burning to the ground.  I think the heavens have been crying in shame because it's been raining like mad.  Leave Brett a sector and in three weeks it's become a nuclear meltdown.  It's because we never contacted much with Elder Redd and his stinkin hips and taxis everywhere.  So we didn't put more fish into the pool while we were fishing.  So now the pool is runnin dry and we're starvin here!!  Spent most of the week contacting with minimal success.  Everyone is busy and doesn't have time for us.  Minus the robbers and alcoholics.  But now they're our friends so we'll go teach them.  His name is Mario!  And is friend Luis!  But the thing is that some of our investigators that were progressing don't want to come to church because the members were cold and didn't sit by them nor even say hi.  So they did not feel the Spirit and just felt strange.  So crap we gotta get the members going or we're all going to die.  Learning to love.  That's what I'm doin too.  It's like a ward of gringos like me who are awkward and emotionally distant.  So I'm tryin to change myself so we change them.  We'll see how it goes then!

Um what else?  I'm excited for general conference too.  Gonna have my Tomas S. Monson T shirt on and a bucket of hot wings.  WOOO!!!  We love our quorum of 12!!

 And crap that's about all I have time for.  But just tell people I love their letters I'm trying to write some but don't have envelopes ni tiempo pero tengo que irme entonces adios and les amo y espero lo mejor and NOS VEMOS!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

And The Rains Came Down And The Temperature Went Up‏

Bummer with the letter of Channing's.  Gotta know what's goin down!  And well Mom I'd like to send photos and all but I can't.  I don't have a camera.  Remember back in Guaranda when Elder Bloxham broke it?  One kinda shady place told me that they'd fix it for 50 bucks by putting a different lens in but I didn't trust them and I didn't want to spend the money either.  So I just have the broken camera.  And cameras cost waaaay more here than in the States.  So I've been using the cameras of other people but Elder Recalde doesn't have a camera so I don't think I'll have photos of this change.  But yeah that's the deal!

Sounds like Spring Break was fun.  Fences and projects and the smell of manure.  Builds character.

Alright so this week was a shot in the butt and bucket of cold water to the face.  Whew.  So let's see this week we started off doing some divisions so that we could get some of the interviews done for two of my investigators.  So I was in San Juan which, kinda like Channing's sector, is pure hills.  Actually all my sectors in Ecuador have had tons of hills. Not tons, just one big continual one that goes up and up.  But anyway, I was in San Juan and we taught some awesome people and I gave a blessing to a lady who's husband abandoned her 15 days ago. But those with the broken hearts and contrite spirits are those that really accept the gospel from what I've seen. 

That's why we contact up in the hills where the poor and troubled live.  But while I was over in San Juan with Elder Maughn we were walking down one of those hills so I was looking at my feet right?  Cuz I was walking down.  And the Ecuadorian and the Elder from Utah were in front of me so I was just following them.  Then BAM!!!  Ouch what the heck?  A stupid arch thing that's sticking out over the sidewalk.  They walked right under it of course but this gandering goose had to ram his head right into it.  So I was kinda laughing about it rubbing my head and then I look at my hand it's covered in blood. Daaangiiit... And Elder Maughn looks at me as this big glob of blood just rolls down my forehead.  So the member who was with us went and got some toilet paper and I sat there in the store with the toilet paper to my head and bought a bottle of water to wash my head off.  Then the mother of some investigator came over and told us that she didn't want us to visit her daughter anymore and I just looked at her with my blood soaked toilet paper.  You betcha lady!  But then we went and visited the daughter one last time anyway and ended up giving her an interesting blessing.  Talked to a few people who were illegal immigrants in the States and then headed back to my sector.  

Two days later we went jogging to the back to get some money and when we came back to the house I was coughing like mad.  I've been kinda off and on sick since I got here in Quito (the stinkin buses and their smoke and just the tons of people I'm in contact with everyday I think)  but that day was a little worse than usual.  We went to lunch at the house of some members and I some how lost my appetite.  They were shocked because I always eat everything!  But then I got the chills and was still coughing like mad so we left to get some pills at a pharmacy but as we did it started raining.  So we walked through the rain, bought the pills, went back, and the members gave me some hot lemonade which was nice.

But then I got weak, I asked for a blessing, acted like I was better, and we left to go visit a less active.  As we walked my head started pounding and burning and my whole body ached but we finally found the house and I dragged myself up the stairs to the fourth floor.  She let us in but I just couldn't do it anymore.  "Thank you for this time but I'm just gonna kinda lay down for a bit and my companion is going to share something with you all"  So I just sat there in the chair with my eyes closed and my head burning like mad and coughing.  But my companion taught them for an hour and we left.  I dragged myself down the stairs and slowly walked looking for a taxi to take us home.

We got by the house and started calling the district leader to see if we could do divisions because the thing was we had a baptism that night and I was supposed to baptize him.  But they couldn't come.  We called members.  They couldn't come.  Could somebody fill up the baptismal font at least?  Nope.  Right.  And during this I was sitting on the sidewalk, because I couldn't stand, and some guy with dreadlocks just kept asking me for money.  But it wasn't like I could walk away or run or anything so I just sat there looking at him, kinda like when I was with the deaf guy in the back of the truck.

So we went to the house, then left again because we had to fill up the baptism font and get everything ready.  And outside my house was the man with dreadlocks.  TENGA!!  22 cents be happy go buy some bread. We finally got to the church and I just went to the sacrament room laid down on a bench and tried to sleep.  But I couldn't.  My head was pounding fire and I was worrying about the baptism, the service project we couldn't go to, the people we didn't teach, and the bishop we hadn't called yet.  But after two hours a member showed up and he left with my companion do some calls and get the clothing and yeah Elder Recalde did the baptism, there were 8 people there, and I slept through it all in the sacrament room.  But I went down later to thank them all for coming but almost passed out so they took me home and gave me some medicine and I slept good and I sweat during the night and had some awesome dreams and woke up much better!  
Speaking of the dreams!  I dreamed that part of being a missionary was that you could fly so I was all flying around Quito, some dude with dreadlocks was messing with me so I flew a way, I was lost so I flew up a few hundred feet to see where we were at, I flew by our cousin Troy's house and he told Brittin that he missed those days flying around as a missionary but she didn't understand because he said it in Spanish.  Then I was a chimp and Ryan Campbell's dad hid bananas all around the city and I found one on an electric pole so I climbed up to grab some but these other two chimps tried to get their first so I had to try to shake their grip.  The poor chimp then feel down (with the bananas) and lost his arm and leg.  He then shared the bananas with other chimps, so I felt bad and tried to give him back his leg.  He hissed and screamed and ran off so I felt like a bum.  Then I was walking in the street and there were animals with the head of the bird from Up and body of a rhino and it liked to smell me and I hated it so I went into a house but it stuck it's big head through the window just to stare at me.  GUH!  Then I was talking to aunt Joann in a towel only to say goodbye and realize that my towel didn't cover my backside.  That was embarrassing.  

And so far I'm doing pretty good again!  Even though it's rained like mad these last two days (there were rivers in the streets and we were outside contacting one day and the other trying to go peel potatoes for a member) and I've been soaked to the bone I've been getting better.  We only realized that none of the investigators we have now are progressing and we need to find many more people and we need to have much more help from the members.  But I got to baptize Saturday!  Two baptisms this week.  So that's cool.  Spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.  

So that's the week mas o menos.  I told the ward council that we need their help and they told me we're the 4th pair of missionaries to say that and I told them well that`s a sign that somethin aint right then so I think we'll make some progress there.  We contacted like mad men last night so we have a pretty good week coming up with new people to teach and we're using the Book of Mormon to show everyone that Christ taught their ancestors (that weren't Catholic) too and that it's the key to knowing if it's all true.  But sometimes they just don't want to put forth the effort.  But it's alright!!  We'll keep looking, keep teaching, and keep baptizing till the llamas can't sing.  Felt like I learned a lot this week about patience, the will of God, and how to trust the spirit more.  All in all it's just another brick in my wall.  Build me up baby!  

 But I hope everything is going well for you guys as ya head back to work and school.  I also hope Peyton Manning stays away from the Broncos.  But thanks for the letters and for being awesome, love ya all, and adios!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I´m Living Like A Monk But Be Looking Like a Hunk

Mba'e la porte?!  That, my dear family, is Guarani, one of the two languages spoken in Paraguay.  So to answer your question, mom, yes he does speak Spanish (with a different accent) but he also speaks some completely different langauge.  But it's awesome.  

So Spring Break??  Wow.  Track.  Ahhh.  Wind. Bleeh.  Cow poop.  Whatever works.  Payton Manning with the Broncos.  NEVERRR!!!!  WE DON'T WANT HIM NOR DO WE NEED HIM!!  Hissss.  Yeesh never knew that Family History is so messed up.  Anne Frank was baptized 9 times??  I'm sure she's in heaven just saying Stop it already!!  That's no good.  But rock on for Romney, if he keeps being faithful I give him props.  It'd be hard to have almost the whole country ragging on you and your religion while you're trying to be the president of the free world.  I'd probably have an ulcer or a migraine.  Turn into a raging alcoholic and rant at the Purple Pig about my days as a presidential candidate and how Evangelists don't know squat.  But I'm in Ecuador so I guess that's not gonna happen anytime soon.

Mitchell Peterson.... sounds familiar.  I think he's a pretty cool guy.  I try to think of Sanford and all I get is this green blur and an image of hair curling around the edges of a baseball cap.  But rock on for Chile!

Well this week was aight.  A lot of fallen appointments and contacting people who call our religion the religion of liars.  Piece of crap.  But it's okay!  This week the members didn't help us out too much so I was having this feeling that they all hate us and what the heck am I gonna do if I don't have the support of the ward ahhh man, but then I went to church.  Just set up some times when the members can come with us and talked with the bishop.  Ah yeah I feel better now.  But they gotta have some actions or I'm gonna release a demon in their church!  

Um we had 8 people attend church this last week so that was cool.  The reincarnation guy even came!  Yeah man!  He's gonna get baptized some day. Another one was the guy who isn't married so can't get baptized but has attended church since the first week I got here.  Gotta get that man married to that wife of his or I don't know what we're gonna do.  Then the rest were from Familia Tomalo.  The mother is going to get baptized this Saturday, the daughter, the sister and her husband and her kid the 24th.  It was interesting because when we first started teaching this family, the sister just didn't want to listen to us.  Said she doesn't like it.  But now she wants to get baptized and even promised to give her sister 20 bucks if she drinks.  Cha ching!  So we're working with them.

Last night, our appointment fell, so we went to this contact.  She let us in and there were like 6 people all in there.  That was a shock.  I panicked!  "Hello I'm Elder Jackson and we're going to say where we're from and what's our favorite fruit...."  So everyone said their name, where they were from (Quito ) and what their favorite fruit was.  They looked confused.  So did I.  Heh.  But then we started with a prayer and talked about God, prayer, and Eternal Families. She asks us what we want of her.  To make promises with God through baptism to be able to have an eternal family.  She's Catholic and believes that we should stick with how she is.  I ask her if she'll pray to know if we've said the truth.  She doesn't know.  What'll you lose if you do pray?  Nothing.  Well pray then!!  I dunno if the Catholic God is your God.  He is.  Oh yeah he should be.  THEN PRAY!!  Yeah aight, but come next Sunday.  Okay.  Trot trot down the 4 flights of stairs and Oh hello!!  Hello.  We're representatives of Jesus Christ and we want to show you how the Gospel can bless your life.  Come on over Wednesday.  You betcha.  Okay!  I like your Batman mask.  Thanks.  Welp see ya later!

And thus go our nights.  We're actually working the most in the part where everyone says live the robbers and the murderers and what not.  But they are humble!  And they listen to us!  And didn't the Lamanites teach the most wicked parts of the Gadianton robbers??  Yeah boy!!  We're gonna change that place block by block until it's Eden.  It's amazing.  We have like 12 investigators all within a couple of streets of each other.  Now if only they'd come to church and we'd have the members help....

Elder Recalde and I are getting used to each other now and learning how to be missionaries together.  Actually starting to joke and what not.  The first week is always interesting with new companions.  It kind of sets off how everything will go for the rest of the change.  I'm excited.  We just need to be more punctual and find more new people.  We're always running late!! 

I miss hurdles but if I tried to run any right now I'd die.  Elder Recalde tells me I've gotten fat.  He saw a picture of me on my passport.  I don't think I've gotten that fat, but just to be safe we've been running every other day.  Jogging at 9,000 feet does the body good!!

Well that's about it I guess.  Nothing amazing but we've been doing good. Have the faith that we'll improve and we can start doin work here in the Villaflora.  Hope everything is going great with you guys and rock on for reading the Book of Mormon!  It'll change your lives!  Adios!

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's A Boy!‏

Hey how's it goin?  So the church's statement on race was cool to see.  Interesting that everybody it talking about it in the states.  Don't know if people know about it that much down here.  Polygamy either.  Even though we keep getting these stinkin letters from Warren Jeffs in English that the members don't understand.  It's not revelation Jeffy!  It's the pill they're slipping in to your bread and cheese while ya sit in prison.  Lunatic.

Um, okay where be at today.  Well that's cool that you get to read the Book of Mormon in a 100 days.  I'm finishing up the war chapters in Alma and the first part of Helaman.  So I'm feeling particularly freedom and death oriented.  Hmmm..  but I learned that if we don't fight amongst ourselves and instead focus on the enemy, they can't beat us.  So that's why arguments can cause divisions amongst ourselves and we can forget the simple beautiful parts of the gospel.  When I looked into the life of Jospeh Smith and his top hat and other strange details I started losing my faith in prophets, but when I look at the bigger picture and pray I think, "ooooh yeah. Aight we're good here."  So just keep on studying that Book of Mormon and living the abundant (that doesn't look right...) life!

Ay cha chay Channing su historia me dio miedo por un ratito.  Pensaba que está ensenando mujeres poseídas o algo como así.  Pero que pasa con estas iguanas?  Todos caen todo lugar o que?  Pero buenísimo que está teniendo éxito y bautismos y que siente esta felicidad en trabajando.  Me toca a mi a trabajar mas duro para que pueda tener mas éxito también.  Es poco dificil pero no imposible!  Pero me alegro bastante que su misión esta cambiándole.  Siga adelante!  

So here in the Villa Flora I finally got my new companion.  Elder Recalde de Paraguay!  Has a week in the mission now.  He's cool, he's humble and wants to teach good and just be a missionary.  He made some sugar and egg foam thing that was super sweet to eat.  So I put corn flakes in it.  He looked at me liked I ruined it.  But it was good!  IT's crazy trying to train a guy.  You realize how much better you have to be as a missionary in order to be a better example.  This guy is looking at me expecting to follow my example.  Yikes.  So this week I'm gonna do better at being a little more obedient I guess.  But I like involving him in everything and stuff.  He's gonna be awesome here in a couple of weeks!

So we had two baptisms this last Saturday.  Familia Serango is the name!  Gabriel is 10 years old and his hero is Captain Moroni.  Elder Redd had these little cards of Book of Mormon heroes and these little cards of pictures of Christ too.  People loved them.  And Gabriel had one of Moroni and that's what really started his interest in the church.  He was the motivator for his mom to get baptized as well.  So I did the two baptisms and then Sunday bishop had me do the confirmations as well.  Never did that before.  RECIBA EL ESPIRITU SANTO!!  I felt like something should have happened. Waited a moment.  Hmmm.... no lightning, no hair standing up, no pillar of light, no dove.... did I do this right?  Yeah guess so!  And then just giving a blessing.  Was kinda rough cuz I was nervous and what not but a cool experience all the same. Now we just need to talk with the dad to get things really going.

The mission this month has something called the Milagro de Marzo, where the goal is that every companionship in the mission can get at least 2 baptisms.  Most of my zone already has that except for two sectors.  So we're trying to help them find people.  Elder Recalde and I have a goal of 8 this month so we're going for it.  The ward is really starting to help with Familia Tomalo with having enough food until they can provide for themselves after the surgery of the father and Maria starts working.  So that's been great.  It's just that I'm still standing in the shadow of Elder Redd in the ward.  They just talk about him to me and just kind of look at me waiting for something.  But it's aight!  Can't get out of the shadow if you're just looking at it!

 Thanks for the address, thanks for writing me, and tell Chase and Kylie and Shantel thanks for the Christmas package.  Finally got it!  Jerky baby.....

Aight love you all, thanks for everything, and I'll be right here next week on KZBR 97.1 Ecuador.