Monday, April 6, 2009

2009_04_06 Transfer to Valencia Mom

Hey! How are things in Utah? I am doing good here in Ecuador. I am now in the zone Quevedo North and in the sector Valencia. It is a city about ten minutes outside of Quevedo. My companion is Elder Neyra. He is from Peru. Elder Alcocer is with an elder from Mexico now. Elder Alcocer will leave for his house this change on the 8th of May. I saw Elder Bejar in the terminal and we had a good chat and I met my brother in the mission, the second elder that Elder Bejar trained here in the mission. He is named Elder Lopez. Elder Bartolomei is in my zone now. He is in the sector, the Republica. Elder Alcocer was in the same sector about a year ago. He trained a missionary in this sector too. Elder Williams and Elder Felt are in the other zone still and Elder Smith is in Duran, in his first sector still. Elder Fewkes is back on the mission. He is serving in a mission in Idaho right now, speaking Spanish. He will be there for one change and then he will receive a call to see if he can come back to Ecuador or go to a different mission or stay in the one he is at. He went home for medical reasons, but he tried really hard to stay in the mission. I talked today with one of his companions that told me all of this.

The conference was good. Elder Alcocer was sick with a fever of 104, so he couldn´t leave the house, but we did go to Quevedo to the doctor for him and then to the first session of conference on Saturday. On Sunday, I left a member with Elder Alcocer and went with another member to pick up some investigators and we took them to Vinces and watched conference, the first session and then we went back to Balzar. So I didn´t get to see the afternoon sessions or the Priesthood session. I watched the first session in English and the second session in Spanish.

Here in Valencia, there is a lot of farms. They call them fincas in Spanish, that have bananas or platanas or pineapples or mangos or other fruit. Elder Nayra says that the members here all have their fincas, so they like to give the elders fruit. So I am going to be eating a lot of fruit for the next six months, it looks like. Tell me if you can find Valencia in Google Earth. If you can´t, I will see what I can do to help you find it. Oh, the fruit in the pictures I sent you in December was a mango and the pictures that you have posted as the moon is the sun on a cloudy day.

Mango in Balzar

Sun on a Cloudy Day in Balzar

I sent you a package Wednesday so you should receive it in about four weeks. It has a DVD with just about all of the pictures of my mission on it. I also sent some letters and a bunch of gifts for dad. I think he will like them. Well it is getting late and I gotta go, but I love you very much.

Elder Goode

Thanks Curtis. It is awesome to hear from you. I am sorry you missed so much of conference. It was really awesome. I will get the Ensign and the Liahona and send them to you in a package. I am glad you are going to get a change of scenery. Work really hard. Take time to set some wonderful goals with your new companion. Tell us more about him next week in your letter.

Google Map Image of Ecuador

I can't see Quevedo much. It is in that stupid white area that goes up through the middle of Ecuador. It is frustrating. I want to just wipe it all away so I can see what is hiding underneath there. I wish so much they would update their Google Maps and clear this area. It is like they are hiding some national secret under that area or something. Take lots of photos of the area because that is the only way we will know what it is supposed to look like.

I love you lots! Take care.
Love always and forever,


Note: I have placed a new map at the bottom of the blog page that shows where Curtis is now compared to where he was before the transfer. Up to the right, there is a Volcano that has filled up with water to make a lake. You can see it on the map. It is not in Curtis's mission. I pulled out the Mission Map to compare. The dividing line looks like it runs almost along the base of that mountain range.

Curtis should at least be able to see the mountains now. His last area was just completely flat with no mountains in view in any direction. It might seem a bit more like home with mountains to the east like we have in Utah along the Wasatch Front. They are high mountains, but probably a different sort of mountain than the Wasatch Mountains.

Our home in West Point is at an elevation of 4,231 feet above sea level. The highest point on the mountains to the east is 9,051 feet above sea level, a difference of 5,820 feet.

Valencia is at an elevation of 443 feet above sea level. The highest point on the mountains to the east is 12,700 feet above sea level, a difference of 12,300 feet.

Our home in West Point is fourteen miles from the highest point on the mountain range due east. Valencia is 39 miles from the highest point on the mountain range due east, a distance almost three times as far as at home. That would be like looking at the mountains on the north east side of Morgan. I don't know if he will be able to see them that far away.

The terrain is quite different. Where we live, the land is relatively flat till right at the base of the mountains, then it rises quickly up to the full elevation in only a distance of about three miles. In Ecuador, the elevation increases at a fairly steady rate from Valencia right to the top of the highest peak. I suspect Curtis will be doing a bit more climbing up and down in his new sector, up as he goes to the east and down when he goes to the west, but it will be a gradual change both directions. I wonder if he will notice. He is about 300 feet above sea level higher than he was in Balzar.

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