Monday, March 30, 2009

2009_03_04 Quevedo Sur Zone Conference

Mom wrote Mon, 30 Mar 2009 00:32:27 -0600

Dear Curtis,

The Assistants to the President sent you out a photo of the Quevedo Sur Zone in your email last week. I have tried to identify all of the missionaries in the photo. Can you tell me how well I did and add in the three I am missing? Who is the other District Leader and which District Leader is yours? Can you tell me how the companionships go together? I put down the ones I know from reading letters.

On the back row of Elders from left to right are:

Elder Ronnow, the Zone Leader

Elder Goode, our wonderful missionary son

Elder Williams

Elder Abriel, a District Leader

Elder ? Navarro a district leader

On the middle row of Elders from left to right are:

Elder ? Suquillo

Elder Verastegui a district leader

Elder Felt

Elder ? Henriquez

Elder Alcocer, Curtis's second companion in Ecuador

On the front row of Elders from left to right are:

Elder Chiza

Elder Faundez

Elder Fuenealba

Elder Lutmann

Elder Nordgren a district leader and now the new secratary of the mission

Elder Smith

The three Elder ?s are Elder Henriquez, Elder Suquillo and Elder Navarro.


Elder Ronnow and Elder Felt

Elder Abriel and ? Williams

Elder Alcocer and Elder Goode

Elder Navarro and Elder Smith

Elder Faundez and Elder Chiza

Elder Verastegui and Elder ? Henriquez

Elder Fuentealba and Elder ? Suquillo

Elder Nordgran and Elder ? Luttman

The four that I don’t know are:

Elder Williams

Elder Henriquez

Elder Suquillo

Elder Lutmann

Thanks Curtis. I appreciate you sending me this. Have you had a great week?

Yeah, but I gotta go. Bye. I love you!

2009_03_30 Balzar Week 23 Mom

Mom wrote on Monday, Mar 2009 00:48:10 -0600

How did you lose your Censo? Tell me the truth. Did you get robbed again? Did they take your wallet? I just can't imagine how else you would lose something so important. Please explain in detail.

I was in a bus and my white bible with my Censo and twenty dollars fell out of my pocket in the seat. That is how I lost my Censo.

Which CDs of music does Elder Alcocer like best?

(no answer)

Which elders did you eat with in Guayaquil? Why were they down in Guayaquil that day?

Elder Abriel and Elder Williams were in Guayaquil, but we ended up not eating with them, but they were there to take Elder Nordgran to the office, because he is the new Secretary of the Mission.

Why do they call the Secretary of Materials the Pouch Monkey? Is that a term used for everyone who holds that position or just his particular Elder?

That is the term that everyone uses for the name of the secretary of materials, not just this one, all of them.

Are you happy?


Are you healthy?


How is your stomach doing? Do you still have diarrhea?

I am doing much better.

How are your feet doing? Are your shoes still in good shape?

Yeah my feet are fine. They don´t hurt, so I don´t do anything to them. If it isn´t broke, don´t fix it.

Are you taking allergy medicine now or doing okay without it?

No, I am doing fine without it.

Are you taking your vitamins each day?

No, but the abundant rice I am eating every day has tons of vitamins and minerals that the body needs, so I am fine.

Are the mosquitos getting bad yet?

No, they aren´t.

Have you sent me a CD of photos? A letter? A card?

No, no and no.

How are you coming on memorizing all of the scriptures?

It is coming a little slow, but it is coming.

How are Rony and Ginger doing?

They aren´t progressing. They did get married, but we have dropped them for now as investigators.

How are Ricardo and Maria doing? Did Ricardo get prepared to perform the baptism of his daughter? Has that happened yet?

The baptism will be in May. They are working on it. They aren’t coming to church every week, so we are working on that right now.

How is your branch in Relicario doing?

They are doing good, no problems.

Has Mariella made any progress towards getting baptized?

No. We dropped Mariella, too. She stopped progressing when we told her she needed to get married or leave the house she was living in.

I love you so much and I am so very proud of you.

Love always and forever,


2009_03_30 Balzar Week 23 Dad

Dad wrote on Mon, 30 Mar 2009 09:12:13 -0600

Dear Curtis,

How is everything going? The weather here is bad, snowing and cold. I finally got the other curtain done for the other side of my young bird pen and it works good. Anything new and interesting happen to you this week? How did you lose your Censo? We had a good Sacrament Meeting yesterday. Mom told you about it.

Next week is our spring break we get a whole week this year. I hope the weather is better then. Grandma and Grandpa are still in Arizona. Kavin is going to bring them back this year on April 18th. Will you get to watch Conference on Saturday and Sunday? I have a Dr. appointment at 2:00 on my back the MRI showed that I have two buldged disks. He will tell me what he wants to do today. I have got to go get oil and a filter for the Dodge during my prep period so I can change it during 3rd period. I will check back later I Love You.


Hey how are things going? Things are going good I lost my Censo because it fell out of my back pocket with my mission manual (white bible) and twenty dollars. I didn´t get robbed again. Don´t worry. I hope everything goes good with your back and you can get it feeling better. Saturday we will take our investigators to Quevedo to watch the General Conference. Sunday we will go to Vinces to watch the conference. We are planning on a baptism this Friday if everything goes well. His name is Javier. His wife is a convert of one year.

Monday, March 23, 2009

2009_03_04 Quevedo Sur Zone with Elder Pratt

This is the Quevedo Sur Zone on March 4, 2009. This is the Zone that Curtis has been in his entire time in Ecuador so far. This was taken at their Zone Conference. On the front row are President and Hermana Gamboa on the left and Elder and Sister Carl B. Pratt of the Seventy on the right.

On the back row of Elders from left to right are:
Elder Ronnow, the Zone Leader
Elder Goode, our wonderful missionary son
Elder Williams
Elder Abriel, a District Leader
and Elder Navarro, a District Leader

On the middle row of Elders from left to right are:
Elder Suquillo
Elder Verastegui
Elder Felt
Elder Henriquez
Elder Alcocer, Curtis's second companion in Ecuador

On the front row of Elders from left to right are:
Elder Chiza
Elder Faundez
Elder Fuenealba
Elder Lutmann
Elder Nordgren
Elder Smith

Curtis wrote this week and gave me the names I was missing in the photo. I have added them here.

2009_03_23 Week 22 Balzar Dad

Dad wrote on Mon, 23 Mar 2009 08:52:51 -0600

Dear Curtis,

How is everything going? How are your investigators doing? I am in a digital photo class at school. Mr. Davenport is teaching. It is a Quality Teaching Day. I got a call Saturday from the mission home. I cannot remember the Elder’s name. He said that you had received the 3 packages. How are the knife and camera? Mom sent two more packages Friday. She found a shaver head on ebay, so it is on its way.

Mike Kinghorn is a former student of mine and also worked for me during the summer. He is a fish and game officer. He wants to take Clain, Braxton and me out in air boats and round up the geese and band them in May. I think that will be fun. I have the birds out 50 miles now and have not lost any. I did have two bands not scanning so I thought I was out two birds, but they are all there.

We went to the temple dedication yesterday. That was cool. I hope you don’t have another experience like you had on the bus last week. I am glad you are all right. I will keep checking my email during the class. I love You.



Things are doing good here in Ecuador. I am in Guayaquil, because I lost my senso and I had to come to Guayaquil to denounce my censo so that I can get another one. I got two of my packages today, the camera and the knife, so I am happy. I will get the other package Wednesday. The Geese sounds like fun. You should see if Skyler can go with you, too. He would like that. Take lots of pictures of the geese for me.

I was wondering because it is later than usual. Did Skyler email you? What was the Elder’s name that called me?

2009_03_23 Week 22 Balzar Mom

Hi! How are things going today?

I got an email from Skyler today saying that he is engaged and that he will be getting married the 25th of June. I am happy for him. I am glad that he is finally settling. Maybe now he will be a little more calm. Maybe he won´t be so wild now, but who knows.

So how are things? I am in Guayaquil right now, because I lost my censo, so I had to come into Guayaquil to denounce my censo, so that I can get another one. So I am here, but there are a couple other elders here that are in my zone. So we are going to eat lunch with them today, here in Guayaquil.

I got two of the three packages today and I will get the third this Wednesday. The pouch monkey is named Elder Salazar. He was taught how to be the Secretary of Materials by Elder Alcocer. He is the one that called you. I told him thanks and let him try the deer jerky. The packages arrived unopened and everything was fine. The camera was fine, too. We had a baptism this week. His name is Jorge Luiz Vasquez Bueno. He is the older brother of a member, but this member is inactive and has problems with the Word of Wisdom, so we are working with him, too. The baptism went good.

Well tell Skyler good luck and that I send my love. Tell everybody that I love them.

Elder Goode

Monday, March 16, 2009

2009_03_16 Week 21 Balzar Mom

Mom wrote on March 15, 2009

Hi Curtis,

Another week has gone by. It has been a pretty fun one.

I hope all is well with you. I think of you often throughout each day. I am so very proud of the work you are doing there. I hope you are working hard and enjoying more success this week. It is sad that your baptisms keep falling through, but I guess that is part of missionary work. Even those who don’t join are better off for having heard your message. Maybe the next time they are contacted by missionaries they will accept the gospel. I have heard that it takes most converts seven contacts with the church before they are willing to join the church. What you say and do may make a great difference to them down the road someday. They will probably remember a giant American Missionary who taught them with great power and authority. It is hard when you don’t see the fruits of your labor, but many missionaries find that to be the case. They don’t all baptize a lot, but they still make a difference. Keep trying and the Lord will bless you with more success.

Dad has an MRI scheduled tomorrow at 5:45. I have to take him because they gave him two valium pills to take to relax him. He won’t be able to drive after having taken those pills. I hope the MRI will show the doctor what needs to be done to help him. The doctor thought that it would be either degenerative disks or arthritis. The treatment for both is the same, to strengthen the back muscles through physical therapy. The doctor gave dad a prescription to go to a Physical Therapy place in Kaysville that has a special program for lumbar strengthening. So far, he hasn’t called to make an appointment. I know it is going to be hard for him because he wants to be home working with and training his pigeons and going to physical therapy is not going to fit into his schedule very well. With all the stuff going on at school this year, it would not be a good idea to go to therapy during school hours. He is going to have to fit it in after school and that conflicts with pigeons and with water aerobics. They are building a couple of buildings in West Point up by the city office building. One of those is going to be a physical therapy place and it is the same company that the doctor wanted him to go to. I think it is called Mountain West Physical Therapy. The problem is that it will probably be another six monthsbefore they are ready to open for business. He can’t wait that long to get this taken care of. He needs to go now. I will try to do more convincing, but I know it won’t be easy.

It will be another busy week, but we won’t get bored. There is a ward party on Tuesday night where they are going to show a movie about President Hinckley’s life. The boys have already seen it. I don’t know if dad and I will get there if we go to water aerobics. We will see. Braxton has four soccer practices again, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. There is a Stake Youth Fireside on Thursday night for the youth and their parents. That also will conflict with water aerobics class. It is hard to know what to do. Both are good choices. I think dad and I will probably go to aerobics and send the boys to the fireside alone.

My new laptop is coming along. I have installed most of the programs on it, but now I have to get all of my files transferred to it. I have spent all afternoon and evening copying them from my old laptop to my external hard drive. Tomorrow, I will try to copy them to the new laptop while I am imaging laptops at WPJH. I am typing on it now and it just doesn’t feel the same. I make a lot more mistakes typing on it than I did on my old laptop. I am sure I will get used to it eventually, but I am not sure I will ever like the keyboard as well as I did the old one. My old keys had a shiny surface and these new ones have a dull surface. They are just different. This new laptop should be faster and it has a larger hard drive, so that will be great. I am sure I will be glad to have it, but I feel sad giving up my old friend.

Church today was good. It was all about being peacemakers. It is interesting how the lessons all correlate that way this year and the Bishopric has been having the speakers speak on the same subjects, too. Today, Anita Rose, Kolten Kay and Brother Soule, our high councilman spoke. They all gave very good talks. I was very impressed with Kolten’s talk. He spoke for almost fifteen minutes which I thought was very amazing for a boy who has always been very shy. He is going to make a good missionary. He has about a year before he can go. He is a little older than Clain.

I get to speak in church next week on the blessings of having a missionary. I am only supposed to speak for five minutes. It sounded like they were going to have all of the mothers of missionaries speak. There are five right now. Jane Marquardt, Lisa Schneiter, Chris Jenkins, myself and Rita Greenwell. I am not for sure who is speaking though, that is just a guess from what Matt Taggart said. I jotted down lots of ideas while I was at church. I will have to do a little bit of research this week and pull something together. What would you say is the greatest blessing we have received because you are serving a mission? Give me several answers in your reply. How has serving a mission helped you? Also, could you write a paragraph for me to share with the ward while I am speaking.

I am sorry I haven’t been writing to you as much. I thought I would have more time after the wedding, but going to water aerobics is taking up a huge chunk of time, six hours a week, and soccer is back again. I have also been playing too much on Facebook. I have got to do better. However, we have been having some fun. I let Braxton and Clain both sign up for accounts on Facebook. They started playing some of the games that are on there. Two are farming programs, My Farm and FarmTown. You can send your friends animals and trees and you plant crops and harvest them. The problem is that it takes so much time to keep up with the planting and harvesting. I have been playing with them and it has been fun, but it is time to give it up. I harvested all of my crops on FarmTown and sold all of my trees and animals. I will just let my farm sit dormant. I told the boys it is going to be winter on my farm for quite a while. I have enough money that if I ever want to go back and replant, I could. On My Farm, I have earned enough money to buy a house, a barn, a chicken coop and a woodyard. It was fun, but I have got other things I ought to be doing, so I will give up the virtual farming. As soon as my crops are ready to harvest, I am going to be done with this program, too. I need to get back to scrapbooking and family history and writing letters to my favorite missionary. I need toget Clain working on studying for the ACT test online and Braxton has too much soccer stuff going on. He is going to have to give up at least one farm. It has been fun to just play with the boys a bit though. Shara also has had farms, but she hasn’t spent as much time on there. It reminds me of that summer when we all played Gameboys and had so much fun just playing together.

I have connected with some old friends on Facebook and some cousins. That is nice. I wish I could find some more of my old friends. I will have to keep trying. Maybe more will join over time. Facebook is growing by leaps and bounds every month. It is fun to see photos of friends and their families and the things they are doing. It is interesting how many people we meet in our lifetimes. Some stay friends forever and some for only a while. I hope when we get to heaven we will remember them all and the connections we had with them here.

I had a friend request this weekend from a guy named Tim Hunter. He was a friend of mine all through elementary school, junior high and high school. He lived in Wellsville and we had classes together. For a while, when I was in junior high, he was a boyfriend of one of my good friends. I remember going with them on Halloween one year. We went to the school carnival and then just sort of wandered around Wellsville trick or treating a bit and I think we soaped a couple of car windows.When we were Seniors in High School, Tim and I were put in charge of planning a Stake Youth Conference to Ricks College. He had always been shy and quiet, but I was so impressed with his leadership abilities as we planned for the Youth Conference. He had to conduct all of the events at the Youth Conference as well. I sat by his side through most of them. The one I remember the most was the Testimony Meeting on the last morning we were there. He bore a beautiful testimony with great love for our Savior. He was so humble and I remember feeling the spirit so strong as he spoke. I was grateful to have had the opportunity to serve with him in this capacity. It was funny that I had not thought of those memories for years, until he asked me to be his friend on Facebook. I guess my memories are all still there, just hidden away till something calls them forth. We have been having a little conversation back and forth on Facebook. It is sort of fun to remember and to catch up with him. He is married and has four kids and one grandson. It looks like one boy is married and one is in the military, then he has two younger daughters.

I need to make some phone calls this week and talk to your grandparents. It has been too long since I called them and too long since we visited them. I thought maybe we would get up there today, but I couldn’t. I was asked to read a part in a Relief Society program we are doing next week and they were practicing this afternoon. I am a narrarator. It is not hard. I just have to read the part off a paper and I don’t have to dress up in anything special. The program is about the Ten Virgins. The sister missionaries were going to be the narrarators, but we don’t have sister missionaries anymore, so they had to find someone else to do their parts.

Clain said the two new Elder missionaries spoke to them in Missionary Prep this morning. Elder Shanner told his conversion story and the things that helped him the most with joining the church. Clain seemed very impressed with them. I was excited to get Elder Missionaries here again. That will give Clain more of a chance to go with them to teach. The Ward Missionaries are Brother and Sister Roskelley. They are supposed to be taking the Laurels and Priests with them to teaching appointments. So far, Clain hasn’t had a turn. They wanted to start with the older ones first. I imagine he will get some turns before he turns 19. I am going to try to have the missionaries come for dinner sometime. I told Lorilee Roskelley to let me know when they had their next dinner appointments to setup and we would try to feed them. Are you having much success with the members helping you with missionary work?

The members are helping some more than others but I guess it just goes to show how dedicated different people are to the gospel. Some help every day or every week when they have time and can, and others only help when we ask for their help and there are others that don´t help even when we ask. I guess it depends on the person.

Are you eating as well now that you are going to different members homes? I wondered if that was why you had been having stomach problems and diarrhea. Is it any better or worse? Do you think it is from bad water?

We are eating good here in Balzar, but President Ruiz says that he isn´t eating as good now as he used to. He says that his wife doesn´t worry about the cooking as much when it is just for the family. I think that part of the problem is that we are eating in different members houses every day and that not all of the members boil the water or use water in pomas that have been purified so I think that I am getting a few parasites or bacteria but nothing serious.

Please tell us some of your latest experiences with teaching. What is the best thing that has happened to you this week?

We had an interesting experience yesterday, Sunday. We had church in Balzar. We had lunch, then we went to Palestina in a bus. We changed where we meet in the other part of the branch so that it is easier for our investigators to come to church. So we invited our investigators tochurch and then we had church in the home of the Samaniego family and then we did a split. Elder Alcocer went with Tito Mora, a member and I went with Hno. Samaniego and we visited our investigators in Palestina. We met up about 7:20 in the city center where the busses pass forBalzar.

We met up and took a bus to Balzar. After about five minutes in the bus, two men left their seats and pulled kitchen knives and began to rob the people in the bus. The official in the bus that had all of the money that had been collected from the passengers jumped from the bus while it was moving so that they couldn´t rob him. They wanted cell phones, but we don´t have cells here in the mission. One robber asked me for my cell phone. I told him that I didn´t have one, so he hit me in the face knocking my glasses off into my lap. He went on to take the cell phones from us. I took the money from my pocket, less than three dollars and I took my watch off to give to them if they returned. One of them returned, but this time to Elder Alcocer and asked for his cell phone. He responded that he didn´t have one. The robber got mad and threatened to kill him. He took off his watch and took out three dollars and gave to the robber and then took his name tag off and offered it to the robber, too, but the robber didn´t take the name tag.

The robbers assaulted one man, because he wouldn´t give up his cell phone. He was ok, but he was cut up a little bit. The robbers left and all of us continued on our way. A bus behind us radioed that they had picked up the official of our bus and that he was ok. Then our bus stopped in Balzar and waited for the official to arrive to continue on its way. Elder Alcocer recovered one of the dollars that he had given to the thief because he was in a hurry and it fell out of his pocket. Don´t worry! We are fine. We lost two dollars and a ten dollar watch that wasn´t keeping time very well and the crystal was broken, too, so we didn´t lose much at all.

Did you get any packages?

No I didn´t receive the packages, but I will call today and talk to the pouch monkey to find out what is going on.

I haven’t had time to do anything about the music for Elder Alcocer yet. I am having a struggle with it because it isn’t legal for me to copy that music for him and I can’t to buy it all for him. I could probably buy a couple of the albums for him, but not all of them.Which albums are his most favorite ones? I am trying to be honest, but also charitable.

I forgot that it is illegal to copy music. Here in Ecuador copyright laws don´t exist. Well they do, but nobody follows them.

I bought some replacement blades for your razor on Ebay. I will send your package as soon as they arrive here. It should be in a day or two, so I should mail the package this week.

I love you lots. Be Goode and obedient.

Love always and forever,


Hi Curtis,

It is good to hear from you. Please write and tell me more about what you have been doing this week and give me any ideas you have for my talk. I am glad that no one was seriously hurt during the robbery. It is sad that people are like that all over the world. Some just don't understand the joy of working to earn what they deserve. They think that getting things the easy way will bring them happiness. They are so wrong.

You said you were wearing your glasses. Are you having problems with contacts or solution or are the glasses just easier?

I have been wearing my glasses because the air here is dirty by the end of the day when I wear my contacts my eyes are tired and I wake up the next day with my eyes red it is better with glasses.

Another Missionary Mom sent her son's blog address recently. He is in the Guayaquil South mission. I couldn't believe all the smog that was in the air in his photos. I imagine it is probably a lot that way all over. They burn their trash and probably don't have a lot of laws to protect the air and the environment yet. I am glad you have the glasses to use.

Is it a hardship for the families you eat with to feed you out of their budgets rather than you paying them for the food? I am sure they will get blessings for their sacrifices. Are you able to make ends meet easier now having the extra money you used to give to the mamitas?

Did you get a chance to mail me some photos?

I worry that the pocket knife package is not going to arrive. Tyler Walke sent a package home and he put two Ecuadorian pennies in the package for his little sister. His package had been opened and the pennies removed and the letter he wrote was also missing. They have to be x-raying the packages to have found the pennies, so if they would open his package to remove the pennies, I am quite certain if they x-ray your package and see the knife they will remove it or you will just not get the package. Tyler's package was taped back up crudely and sent on to his family.

I have been teaching the people here in Ecuador and helping them come unto Christ. The blessings that you have received that I am on a mission; Do you remember your experience when I had the rash? You felt the spirit in your life. You felt peace that all was well. You are becoming more sensitive to the spirit. I assume that you are doing ok with your finances and not having any problems. That is a blessing too.

Yes. All of those are great blessings. I feel the spirit much more often in my life. I know you are safe and protected and that brings me great peace each day.

Some of the other missionaries talked of the many scriptures you have been asked to memorize and the deadline that is approaching to have them memorized by. How are you doing on your memorization? Do you feel you will have them all learned in time? What are the consequences if you don't get them memorized? Who do you have to pass them all off to? I look at this as another great blessing in your life. When you get these all committed to memory you will have such a huge advantage and will be well on your way to becoming a scriptorian. I hope that your amazing memory is helping you with this task.

I am doing good there are nine different list that we have to memorize, so about one a week. I am pretty sure that I will have it all memorized in time. We have to pass off all of the lists to our Zone Leader. I think that if I pass all of the scriptures off, that when the deadline comes, I will be able to become Senior Companion. Right now, I am Junior Companion, but there are companionships that both are Senior Companion. There has to be a Senior Companion in the companionship at all times.

Well I have to go. I love you a lot. Bye.

Friday, March 13, 2009

2009_03_09 Week 20 Balzar Dad

Dad wrote on Mon, 09 Mar 2009 08:31:08 -0600

Dear Curtis,

How is everything going? How was the Zone Conference? Did you get your package this week? I have started going to the water aerobics class with mom. We go on Tuesday and Thursday nights and Saturday morning. It’s been good.

What new and interesting things have happened to you this week? How is the rain? It’s snowing here this morning. I have started separating my breeders. I am about done breeding for this year for my young bird team. I am going to put some special matings together when it warms up a little.

The time changed Saturday night so you are only one hour ahead of us now. I had Clain take the old birds out Saturday. He only went to Ogden Bay It took some of them a day to come home and I am still missing two. It’s nice to have more daylight at night now.

Where did you get your shaver at? We are having a hard time finding new heads for it. Have you received any emails from Skyler? Mom he said he sent some last week.

Well, I will check back in a little bit.

I Love You.



I bought the shaver at the Walmart in Syracuse, but if you can´t find the blades I can buy a new shaver here for fairly cheap or I can use razors again but they irritate my skin here. I don´t know why, but they do.

Sounds like the birds are a little rusty. They need some good runs to get it back again. Here in Ecuador it is hot and humid and rainy, so enjoy the cold while you can because before long it will be hot and arid and hot in Utah again.

I will check again. Clinton did not have them. Did you get the package?

No, I didn´t receive the package this last week, but maybe this week. I have to go, but I love you.

Elder Goode

2009_03_09 Week 20 Balzar Mom

Mom wrote to Curtis on Mon, 09 Mar 2009 00:23:21 -0600

Hi Curtis,

How was your Zone Conference? Where was it held? Did you get to shake hands and talk to Elder Pratt? What did he teach you? Tell us all about it please.

We learned a lot in the conferencia. The wife of Elder Pratt taught us about obediencia. She used the scriptures, 1 Nephi 19:23, D&C 130:20-21, D&C 132:5, D&C 82:10, and D&C 3:4. They are powerful scriptures to teach our investigators to be obedient, so we have been teaching obedience to all of our investigators this week. Elder Pratt talked about John 15:1-13. I think this is the scripture. It talks about Jesus is the vine and we are the branch and then Elder Pratt reprimanded us for not studying the scriptures more and committing them to memory. It was a good conference. I learned a lot to help our investigators.

Did you get to see any old friends at the Zone Conference?

Elder Felt is in our zone now. He is the companion of Elder Ronnow, our Zone Leader. Elder Contreras is the Zone Leader of the Zone Quevedo North now. He was the companion of Elder Bejar before I arrived in Balzar.

How is the weather?

Hot and humid with rain about every other day.

Did you get any of your packages? What condition were they in?

No, I haven´t gotten any of the packages yet.

Did any of the videos have sound on the computer when you tried them?

I didn´t get a chance to try last week, but I am working on it right now.

Did you send us a CD of photos?

No, I didn´t, but I am also working on that right now, too.

I bought most of the stuff you asked for, but Walmart didn’t have the replacement blades for your razor. I will try to look at some other stores and see if I can find them. Where did you buy your razor at? It might help if I go back to the same store to find the replacement blades.

I bought my razor at the Walmart in Syracuse.

Is there anything else you need in this next package?

An adaptor, USB to SD memory cards if you can send me one. Are you using the SD memory card I bought that is 20 gig? If you aren´t, could you send it to me I think I can transfer my pictures to it after I put them on the computer.

Are you healthy and happy?

Yeah, I am fine. My stomach has been a little bad lately, but don´t worry. A little diarrhea won´t hurt me.

How far along in the pregnancy was Ginger? Why does the doctor want her down in bed for so long? How are Rony and Ginger progressing?

I think that Ginger was a month or two along, not much. She wasn´t showing at all. I´m not for sure why she needs to be in bed for that long, but that is what the doctor said. Rony has a few problems he needs to work out before he can be baptized. If you look in my planners I senthome, in the front, there is a page of questions for baptism. He has some problems with question number four so he will have to wait a year before he can be baptized, if he has repented of everything. We are planning on helping Ginger to progress and be baptized and then letting other missionaries baptize Rony in a year or when he has repented.

Did you make any progress with the lady who didn’t want to get married?

No, we haven´t been able to talk to her yet. The kids keep lying for her, so we can´t talk to her.

Have you met very many handicapped people in Ecuador?

Yeah, I have met a few here in Balzar and one in Palestina.

We loved the ladder story. I am grateful that you and the ladder are both okay. I bet they don’t build things down there strong enough to hold men your size. Do you ever worry that you will fall through the floor of those houses on stilts?

There are a few houses that I have to be careful in, but for the most part it isn´t a problem.

What is the most interesting thing that happened to you this week? Tell us more fun stories, please.

I hit my head again in the bus and drew blood again. It hurt and I had agoose egg for four days, too.

Did you have any baptisms?

No, we haven´t had any. Our baptisms keep falling through.

Where is Relicario located? I can’t find it on the map anywhere. Is it on the road between Balzar and Palestina?

It is between Palestina and Balzar. There is a place where the road forks when you are going from Palestina to Balzar. Relicario is before this fork about three miles.

How long does it take you to go by bus to Relicario and to Palestina?

In bus, from Balzar, Relicario is thirty minutes and Palestina is forty minutes.

How big are the cities of Relicario and Palestina?

They are small, smaller than Balzar. Relicario is no more than the houses along the side of the road. Palestina is a little bigger, but nowhere near as big as Balzar.

What American food do you miss most?

Lasagna. I haven´t been able to find a place that makes lasagna here in Balzar. I have found places that make pizza and hamburgers (hamburger with a fried egg on top, but it is good).

I love you so very much. I am so proud of you! I am grateful that you are serving our Heavenly Father so willingly. I know it will bless and change your life forever. I know you are going to be a great instrument in the hands of the Lord. Be humble and faithful and let him use you tobring joy and happiness to the people of Ecuador.

Love always and forever,

P.S. Thanks for writing to Bishop Hipwell. It was a great letter. I hope he read it to the Priest Quorum. I forgot to ask Clain about it today after church. I know it would have fit right in with the theme of the day today.

We got tickets today to attend the Draper Temple Dedication on March 22nd. Our chapel will become an extension of the temple that day and the dedication will be broadcast in for us to participate in. We each need a white handkerchief for that day. I need to get some. There is a place online that sells them with the temple embossed on the corner.

Hi Curtis,

Thanks for the answers. I am glad the Zone Conference was good and you learned things you can use with your investigators. Did you get to shake their hands and talk personally to Elder and Sister Pratt?

I hope nothing bad has happened to the packages. I thought they should have arrived by now. Hopefully they will this week. I will keep praying for them.

I will check the Syracuse Walmart for the blades and some other stores if necessary. I will go find a USB adapter for the SD cards. I don't remember a 20 GB SD card. I had an 8 GB that wouldn't work in my camera, but it did work for Michelle, so I gave it to her. I will try to find you some SD cards that hold a lot of stuff and send them to you.

Are the handicapped people you have met treated well? Are any of them members?

I am sorry to hear about your diarrhea and your bump on the head. Those are surely a pain, but you will be blessed for the sacrifice. I hope they get better soon. Has the diarrhea kept you from working? Can you find a toilet when you need to if you are out teaching or tracting?

Sorry there is no lasagna. Maybe I can send you a package mix that will be similar. They make a Hamburger Helper Lasagna.

Elder Pratt shook all of our hands and asked us where we were from and what stake we are from. Don´t worry about sending me hamburger helper I think I will survive for another 18 months without it. There are a few kids of members that are handicapped and they are treated very well here; not quite the same as in the states, but very good for here in Ecuador.

It is time for me to go, but it was good to hear from you. Tell Skyler I am still waiting for a letter or email from him. Tell him I want pictures, too.

I love you all very much. Thank you.

Elder Goode

Monday, March 2, 2009

2009_03_02 Study Preach My Gospel

Dear Bishop Hipwell,

Hey! How are things in the states? In Ecuador, things are going good. I have had many wonderful experiences here. So far, I have baptised 6 people during my mission, but our missions aren´t about the number of baptisms that we have or the number of lessons that we have. It is about how we serve the Lord; if we are obedient to all of the rules or just the ones we want to follow; if we are focused on the work or if we are here to sight see; if we truly want to bring souls unto Christ or just want to say I baptised thousands on my mission. I have learned that everything we do down to the tiniest thing, down to whether we are in our bed at 10:30 or 10:31, can make a difference. Maybe it is only a minute of sleep, but when we are obedient in all things, this is when we can receive revelation and when we will have success.

Tell all of the Priests that they need to study the lessons in Chapter Three of Preach My Gospel because they are the most important thing here in the mission. If they don´t know the doctrine, they can´t teach it. Have them prepare now so they don´t spend the first six months of their missions learning the lessons before they can become effective teachers. Learn it now.

Thank you for your support. I appreciate your prayers. I know that through your faith I am being protected and having success in my mission.

Thank you,

Elder Goode

2009_03_02 Week 19 Balzar Dad

Mom sent Curtis some photos this week with her email to him. Skyler Gailey is Curtis's best friend. He has had some health problems which have kept him from going on a mission. Skyler went on a hunt this week for wild boar.

Skyler Gailey's new truck.

The wild boar Skyler shot with his bow and arrow.

Dear Curtis,

How is everything going? Are you feeling ok? Did you have any baptisms this week? I hope so. I can remember when we had baptisms. It was so neat.

I have had a bad week with my back. I finely figured out that ice was not helping it. The ice was putting it in spasms, so I could not move much at all. Saturday I figured it out that heat was better for it. Then it started to feel better.

Yesterday after church, we went to Shara’s and I had Rob and Jeff give me a blessing. Things are going to be better now. I also have a Dr. appointment in a week, on the 9th, with a new Dr. that deals with back and spine pain. I have had to wait a month to see him.

I put the boys in for the hunts. They have a new youth Elk hunt. It is in November, so I put Clain in for it. It is over by Vernal. This will be the last time Clain can put in for that hunt. I also put Braxton in for the deer hunt.

Anything exciting happen this week to you and your comp? Any types of new bugs, birds or animals you have seen? The Snow Geese are here. I have seen thousands of them. I wish you could shoot them here, but it is only open in the north zone. We went over to 1300 and took some videos of them landing and taking off the other night. It was cool.

We has a pep assembly this morning so I had some time to email you. Class has started, so I will check back later. I Love You.



We didn´t have our baptisms this week. We had some setbacks, but that is ok.

That is cool. I hope Clain can draw out for the hunts, especially the youth hunt. Tell Clain to enjoy his last year of the hunts. I know he still has more than a year before he can leave on his mission, but time sure flies. I can´t believe that this is my fourth change here in Balzar already. Tell Clain to study Preach My Gospel Chapter Three. It is important that he knows the lessons before he leaves for the mission. It will give him a head start in his mission. He won´t spend the first six months of his mission learning the lessons and how to teach them.

Tell Skyler to email me.

Dear Curtis,

I forgot to ask you have you received your package with the knife yet?

I Love You! Love, Dad

Skyler has been sending you emails. We found out he has been sending them to the wrong address. Did you get your package with your knife yet?

Oh well, tell him to send me a message to the correct address. No I haven´t received the package yet, but maybe this week I will.

Sounds good. He said he was going to send you one to the right address. I guess he has not done that yet. Anything interesting happen to you this week?

This week, I was in Palestina visiting a family there. Many of the houses here are built on stilts. This family was the same. Their house is about six feet above the ground, with a ladder to enter the house. After our visit, we were leaving the house, first Elder Alcocer and then Benjamin Samaniego, a teenage member, that was with us, and then I left the house. The ladder had about six rungs. I stepped down one and then when I went to step to the second one my foot slipped and I fell and landed on my but in a sitting position on the ground. I think it is the fastest I have ever left a house in my life. I am fine! No damage, just my pride, but we all had a good laugh about it anyways, so it is ok.

Well, I have to go, but tell Skyler “Felicitaciones para su chanco” or congratulations for the pig. It looks like a good one and should taste really good.

Bye, love you,

Elder Goode

2009_03_02 Week 19 Balzar Mom

Hey! How are things going? We didn’t have our baptisms this week. We had a few set backs. Last Monday, Ginger had a miscarriage and the doctor told her that she needs to stay in bed for three months. We visited her Tuesday and taught the Plan of Salvation again and explained that babies don’t need to be baptized. We read in Moroni 8: 11-12 that children are alive in Christ and that they don’t need baptized. We also taught about blessings and encouraged her to ask for a blessing from her soon to be father-in-law. We found out later that she did ask and receive the blessing and yesterday when we visited them in the evening, Ginger was up and walking, but only a little. They said that she is feeling a lot better now so we think that by the end of this change in April that Ginger and Rony will be baptized. We still need to get the Papel de Votacion for Ginger, but that won’t be hard to get now. We have a few weeks to plan and figure it all out.

We are planning on another baptism this Saturday, but we have a problem. The spouse of our investigator doesn’t want to get married. She also doesn’t want to talk to us. The other day, we visited the house and asked for our investigator, Kilo, but they said that he wasn’t home, so we asked for the wife, but the daughter (we were conversing through the window) looked behind her in the house and then responded that the wife wasn’t home either. So we left. We had gone about a block when we found our investigator walking towards his house, so we went with him back to his house and entered the house with him. The wife was there and when she saw us enter with her husband she had a look of terror on her face. She went into the kitchen. We started the lesson and then invited everybody in the house to come watch a video with us. We asked for the wife, but the kids said that the mom had left the house through the back door, so we are fairly certain that she doesn’t want to talk to us. We are fairly certain that if we talk to her we can convince her to be married, but she doesn’t want to talk to us. But President Ruiz said that he would talk to her and get the papers that we need to get them married. I guess we will see what happens.

We have Zone Conference this week on Wednesday. A General Authority is coming to talk to us, so it will be really good.

Hi Curtis,

Sorry about the baptisms falling through, but maybe it is better this way. Maybe after Ginger and Rony are married, they can start a family the right way with the Lord's blessings. I hope your other family and baptisms will work out. It is probably really hard there with the Catholic Church playing such an important part in the culture. I am sure it is a hard thing for many to give up their old ways and to worry about losing friends and family if they leave the Catholic Church. Do you have other investigators that you are working with?

Did you get any packages?

Tell me more about the Conference. Is this a whole Mission Conference? Are you going to Guayaquil for the Conference?

No I haven’t received any new packages yet, but maybe this week I will.

Okay. I hope so. I have worried about these with the knife and the camera. Have you tried watching any of the videos you have taken with the camera you bought down there on a computer? Does the manual tell you anything about the audio?

The manual doesn’t say anything about the audio, but I am downloading all of my pictures to the computer right now to make CDs to send to you. I will try to listen to see if there is audio with the videos when they are downloaded.

Okay. What kind of a player does Elder Alcocer have? If I put the music on a DVD, he probably couldn't play it on a CD player. Can you transfer music to an Ipod or whatever player he has at the Cyber Café you use? If I send you any new CDs, do you have a way to put the music on your ipod?

Elder Alcoer wants the music for when he leaves for his house. A DVD will be fine because he can transfer it to whatever format when he gets back to his house. I don’t need any more music. What I have is fine. Elder Alcocer also has a portable DVD player that he can play the music on.

Can you send me a replacement head for my razor? The one I have is getting dull. My razor is a Remington model 450 with the three heads and also two or three Tide Pens? They are life savers here in the mission.

Okay. I will see what I can do. Does Elder Alcocer want all the English music or just the Spanish ones?

All of it. He is learning English here in the mission, so he can understand parts of the music and he wants to learn to understand all of the music.

Well it is time for me to go, so I will talk to you next week. I love you.


Elder Goode

I love you, too. Have a really great week!