This week has been good. We had changes yesterday/today. I stayed in my same area but elder lopez(mycompanion) left. My new companion just got here and his name is Elder Lopez too. Our investigaters are gonna laugh when they see that elder lopez left but that another elder lopez came. My new companion is from mexico and he only has 3 months left on his mission. Hopefully he`ll be able to teach me a lot with all of his experience. Its nice to finally have a companion that is experienced at being a missionary.
Other than changes not much happened this week. It was pretty normal. We did manage to offend a lady really bad though. We went to teach a lesson to this one family and in the middle of the lesson they brought out some type of tea for us to drink. We weren`t sure wheather it was the kind of tea that we cant drink or not so just to be safe we explained the word of wisdom and told them that we couldn`t drink tea. Then the mom got mad and just flat out called us out on it. She had invited us to eat before but we told her know because we had another appointment. Anyway, she just got really mad and started asking us all these questions about why we always reject their food. She thought it was because we thought her kitchen wasn`t clean and all this other stuff. The whole time I was just thinking “is she really that mad about something so stupid” but I guess that’s just there culture. Someone told me that in otavalo if you reject food you might as well not even go back to the house because the people will never forgive you.
I had to speak in church yesterday on “hermanamiento” which means being friendly I guess. I`m not really sure what the direct translation is. The bishop told me like the day before so I only had an hour in the morning before church to prepare. But it went alright I guess. Its always hard for the bishop to find people to speak because there aren`t very many active members.
Thanks to everyone who sent me letters! I`m trying to write back as fast as I can. Thanks for all the support and prayers!
This week has been good in Esmeraldas Ecuador. My new companion and I have been working hard trying to find and teach the Lords chosen people here. Elder Lopez is a really solid elder. He’s been out for a long time and knows a lot of stuff and is a really good teacher. I’ve been learning a lot from him. We have a baptism scheduled for this Saturday. A 10 year old boy named Ryan. His parents are members but are inactive because they are living together but aren’t married so they’re embarrassed to come to church. Anyway, we’ve been teaching Ryan and we even got his parents to come to church with him this Sunday so that’s a good sign. The biggest problem that we have to face as missionaries here in Esmeraldas is people that have broken families. In the whole ward there are only 4 married couples. My new companion Elder Lopez as served all over the country (Quito, otavalo, baños, Ambato, Ibarra, la Concordia) and he said that its not like this in other places. He said that in his last ward the average attendance at church was 180- that’s like 3 times the size of our ward here haha. But seriously, its all because families almost don’t exist here. Kids just grow up in broken homes and its normal to them so then when they are older they have kids and raise them in broken homes as well. Life is seriously sooo much better when we live the gospel inside of families. Its hard here because even if we can get a convert they usually don’t have a family to support them so its hard for them to stay active. They really have to be self motivated to gain and maintain a testimony.
Ok culture shock time,
1) We knocked a door this week and a lady came and answered without a shirt or anything. It was kinda awkward. She just opened it, looked at us, then closed it and when and put a shirt on and came back and opened it again.
2) On Sunday we went to eat lunch with a member and they gave us rice with some sort of meat. I tried it and thought it was good. It tasted kinda like beef. Then after we left my companion told me that it was some sort of cow organ that we just ate. Its probably better that I found that out after.
3) There’s an elder that just got transferred to Esmeraldas that has a huge ponytail. He’s from otavalo and apparently if he cut his hair it would be like denying his heritage and really bad so they let the otavalo missionaries keep their long hair. They make all sorts of weird exceptions in the rules for them
Other than that not much else is new this week. I did manage to convince one of our investigators that I speak Chinese though. It’s this 12 year old boy named jordie that has an obsession with learning languages. He always asks me how to say something in Chinese and I just make some weird noise and he believes me. It’s kinda funny. Oh and it’s been raining a lot lately which is good because now the rivers are filling up and we don’t have power outages anymore but it’s bad because my shoes and clothes are getting destroyed by the mud. My companion slipped and fell in a bunch of mud, but luckily I haven’t done that yet.
Thanks to everyone that has sent me letters or packages. I loved getting them! I’m working on writing back. I’m gonna try and send some letters next week if I can get them all written.