October 19, 2010

Posted on 8:25 PM by Elder Messer | 0 comments

Well this week has gone by rather slow. My new sector is probably the hardest sector that I’ve had so far. I thought it couldn’t get worse than Esmeraldas but I think I might have been wrong. Let me explain the situation. About a year ago the ward was strong and flourishing. There were over 100 people that went to church every Sunday. Everything was going good until they caught the bishop stealing tithing money. The bishop got ex communicated or dis-fellowshiped or something but over half the ward went inactive. At church on Sunday we filled up about 4 rows of people. I counted 39 people. The bishop is only 22 because there is no one else to be bishop so he has a huge load on his shoulders. He didn’t go on a mission so he doesn’t have all that much experience in the church but he’s learning fast. I admire him for it. This Sunday he set apart a girl as a young woman. I’ve never seen that done before but that’s the kind of stuff that happens when you have an inexperienced bishop. We’re definitely going to try and help him a lot! As far as missionary work goes…. There has been one baptism in the last year which is almost unheard of in this part of the world. That’s mostly because of what happened with the missionaries that used to be here. Shortly after everything happened with the bishop the 2 missionaries that were here got sent home for doing some pretty serious things. I’ve heard stories but I won’t tell you the rumors that I’ve heard. But anyway, I’m pretty sure that the members that were still active lost all trust in the missionaries. I imagine that the missionaries since then have been trying to do things on their own and have probably had some success but that the investigators that do manage to progress get scared away when they hear about the bishop robbing tithing money. We have a few investigators but only one that has been to church. This Sunday was the first time in my whole mission that there were no investigators at church. I didn’t think that was possible here. Anyway, it’s a pretty rough situation. But I’m looking forward to the challenge. The rest of the zone is doing great. We already broke the old record for baptisms in a month and a planning to have like 6 more this week, which would bring us to a total of 19, which is phenomenal. The soccer here is a lot better as well. In my last zone almost nobody knew how to play but here almost everyone knows how to play. There is a new missionary that just got to Ecuador that played on the BYU Hawaii team before is mission so now I’m not the only gringo that knows how to play.

The government changed the visa requirements in Ecuador so I have to go to Quito this week to take a new picture and get it all worked out. I don’t think there will be a problem getting my visa renewed but it has crossed my mind that something could happen and I could get set to the states to finish my mission. I’m pretty sure that’s super unlikely though. But I am excited to go back to Quito this week and eat pap johns again.

Next Monday we’re planning a trip to banes. We’re going to rent bikes and take a trail that takes us to a sweet waterfall. My companion has already been and showed me some pictures and it looks way cool! Last week I went to baños but it was already dark so I didn’t get to see any of the pretty scenery but I’ve seen pictures and it’s gorgeous. Look it up on the Internet. Just go to Google and type in “Banes Ecuador” and you can see for yourselves. I’ll make sure and send some pictures next week though. Well that’s all I have for this week. Once again, I’m sorry for not writing back to people very quickly. Please be patient with me. Or write me more to make me feel bad for not writing back. That works. Seriously. I’ll do my best though. Anyway, I love you all. Thanks for all your support and letters!!!

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