Sunday, July 12, 2009

2009_07_06 Week 14 Valencia Mom

I got a new debit card for you in the mail. When does the one you have expire?

I will probably mail the card to you in the regular mail in an envelope. I will try to send it next week. Then I will email you the phone number to call to activate it. You can either activate it from our home phone or there is a different number to call from International locations. It is probably best not to activate it till after you receive it.


The debit card that I have expires in August of 2010, so don´t send me the other one, ok? Things are going good here. Sorry for last week. I could enter my email, but I couldn’t send anything to anyone. I didn´t send a letter to the President, either. There were a few that had this problem with their myldsmail accounts last week, so I´m sorry. How is the drive to Island Park? Tell grandma and grandpa hi for me. Email me back and let’s talk, ok?

Hi buddy. We have only made it as far as Lewiston. We got all ready then Grandma said Kavin was only ten minutes away so we waited for him and that took another 25 before he arrived and by the time they went to the restroom and we left Smithfield it was 10:20. Oh well.

Hey, how is it going? Things are good here in Ecuador. We are planning a baptism for this Saturday. It should go through ok. We aren´t planning on having any setbacks with this one. It sounds like you are going to have a fun week in Island Park this week. Make sure you visit all of the fun places and tell everybody hi for me and thank you for the birthday letters. They were great. Send me an email, so we can talk.

You are welcome. How many packages did you get? I just sent you four more for your Hump day with one set of garments in each package.

Hey, you are going to get there a little later than two if you were just leaving at ten thirty, but ya. So how is everything?

It will be good now. Dad was stressed this morning because we were a few minutes later than he wanted to be, but no biggie. When we got to Logan the CNG pumps were not working so we are already running on regular gas. We are going to check in Pocatello. We found a CNG station online. We are just not sure if it is a public station or not. Clain drove the Civic up for Michelle. We planned on leaving it in Smithfield, but had to leave it in Logan at Michelle's apartment in Logan or she would not have had enough CNG to get back to LW's.

Okay on the debit card. I was hoping that was the case. The only problem would be if you end up staying longer for some reason. I will call the bank and talk to them about what to do about this debit card.

Congratulations on the baptism. Tell me about the people getting baptized.

Her name is Isabel Coello. She is 40 years old. She really wants to get baptized. Yesterday we went on splits and Elder Castañeda took her coffee away and she is really excited to get baptised this Saturday. We are also teaching her kids, a daughter that is 14 and another daughter that is 19 with her boyfriend, so we are working on helping them to get married and the other daughter just needs to come to church one more time and she can be baptised.

That is cool. Is this one of the families you told us about earlier? How are those families and the two ladies you were teaching doing?

Who did you go on splits with?

I went with one member and Elder Castañeda with another, so that we could cover more ground.

Great. It is awesome when you can double your time and contacts by doing splits with members. Are the members helping you find a lot of people?

That’s good. I have been busy here in Valencia. I am not District Leader and I am still with Elder Castañeda so everything is good. We are working hard.

That is awesome. You will be district leader soon enough. Is Elder Castaneda wanting to work harder now?

Yeah, we are working very hard and it is paying off.

Some are doing good and others no. The Zambrano family, they don´t want to receive us anymore so they aren’t progressing and Esther is still progressing, but slowly. It is hard. Her boyfriend of 8 years left her with two little girls, one five years old and the other two years old. Last Tuesday, we went and visited her and helped her plant a garden of onions, tomatoes and peppers (they use these three in just about all of the food here), so I took along my new machete to test it out and see how it works. It works great! Just so you know, I´m gonna have to bring a few home to use.

And the other one is Shirley. She is 17 and she is in love with me. I talked to her yesterday and tried to convince her to be baptized, but she said that her mom won’t let her, but that she could be baptised when she turns 18 in November. But I told her I won’t be here in Valencia in November and she said that she won´t be here either, that she is going to Guayaquil to study in the University and that if I was in Guayaquil that she would visit me there and be baptised there. So I asked her what happens if I go to Manta and she said that she would go to Manta, so What do I do???? She is in love with Me!! What do you think?????

Sorry. I lost signal for a while. I got signal back on Clain's phone and now on mine. I don't know what you do about Shirley being in love with you. Do you love her or could you ever love her romantically? If not, don't lead her on. She needs to join the church because she has a testimony. Not because she loves you.

This family sounds wonderful. I will pray that the marriage will work out for you and the other baptisms. Do they all live together in one home?

Yes, they all live in the same house, so it is really easy to visit them and the thing that is really nice is that there is a sister from the church that lives in front of them, so before we visit them, we visit her and she sends us with her daughter to teach them. And then when we get done, we go back to her house and she always has something cooked for us to eat, usually rice and chicken or patacones or something, but there is always something. She loves to cook for us. She calls us to ask us when we are going to come, so she can cook for us. Here in Valencia, the members help us out a lot, some in different maneras, but everything helps.

That is awesome. Good members can make such a difference to the work. Clayton is having lots of success right now because the members are really doing their part to find investigators.

Keep working with Esther. Try to get the Relief Society involved with her. If she makes some friends among the members she will want to progress and feel the love and support of having that sisterhood to draw upon. Does she work?

I knew you would end up with some machetes. I just hope they let you bring them home in your suitcases. Your package has still not arrived. What day did you send it? What were the contents?

I sent a couple of ecuabags that I bought, one for Clain and two for Skyler and Stephanie and a few more sucres and my glasses. One day I was on a split with Elder Janampa and it was raining really hard and I couldn´t see anything in the rain, so I took off my glasses and put them in my shirt pocket. And we were walking and we had to pass for a place that I had to duck really low to pass and my glasses fell out of my pocket and I accidently stepped on them and scratched the lenses all up, so I sent them to you so that you could replace the lenses and send them back to me. I also sent you some candy. It is my favorite from here so far. The flavor is milk and honey. It is really good. I really hope that nothing has happened to the package. I bought the ecuabags in the Mana one day. There was a few from Otavalo that were selling their things and I bought them there. Now the family of Elder Castañeda sent me two more ecuabags from Otavalo, so now I have three, the one in the photo that you have seen and two more.

Okay. I do hope they arrive sometime. Are you wearing your contacts all the time now? How is that working? If the package hasn't arrived when we get home from this trip, I will go and order another pair of glasses for you and get them sent to you. What day did you send the package?

I think it was the 27th of May that I sent them. Right now I am wearing my contacts all of the time and it is going good. The air here in Valencia is a lot cleaner than the air in Balzar was. I just need to find some more solution, but don´t worry. I have some friends that own a pharmacy and they are going to find me some. I need to go ask them today if they have found some because I asked them last week to find some and they said it would take two or three days to find, but I keep forgetting to ask them. I am pretty sure that they have some now, so don´t worry.

That is good. I will still work on the glasses in case you end up in another place with dirty air. I am glad you are able to get solution. You might want to get several bottles if you can while you have friends with access to it.

Right now Esther is not working, but she can´t work because then she would have to pay someone to watch her girls and there goes all of the money that she would earn for the day or most of it anyways. She worked really hard when she was younger and she has a good amount of money saved in the bank and she has been living on that and her family is helping her out, too. We aren’t giving up on her yet. We are still trying. As for Shirley, I don´t know what to do. I don´t know if I could be in love with her or not, but I don´t have time to find out. I have other things that I have to do that are more important.

Good. I am glad you have your priorities in order. Make sure she has your contact info when you leave the area and she can keep in touch when you finish your mission. Have you tried to convince her mom to let her get baptized now?

Yeah, we have and we are going to try again Friday to see what happens.

Okay we will pray that the Lord will soften her heart. Maybe you could fast and pray for that to happen, too. Can you get Shirley and her mom to attend your baptism on Saturday so they can feel the spirit?

Ok. Thanks we are going to fast today, because we forgot to yesterday, but that is what we are going to fast for.

Awesome. The Lord will help you if you exercise enough faith.

Yeah I will see what I can get and let you know next week.

Okay. I can send some if you can't get it. Any luck on finding those people that returned missionary asked about?

What I did is sent them a letter through the pouch. I put that they are in the other stake and sent it. The missionaries in the other stake will know a little bit more and when they deliver the letter the letter has the email address of the return missionary, so I hope they get it. If not, I´ll start asking in the Zone Conference.

Sounds good. I will let the guy know. Thanks.

Still there? I love you. It has been good to chat with you today. I miss that a lot, just the chance to talk to you.


  1. Hello Elder Goode,

    My name is Alma Clark and I came across your blogs, as in all of these Guayaquil North blogs that I see. I noticed that you were in Valencia. Many great missionaries served out that way. In my time in San Camilo over in Quevedo it was Elders Whitaker, Phillips, Shaw, the list goes on. I would make it out to Valencia for exchanges because it was in my district. The trip to La Mana was always interesting because of the temperature change. I also remember that directly under the Valencia house there was a panaderia and we would always get cara sucias and some of those big cookies with the red sugar on top. Anyway I read your comment regarding the girl that likes you. I think every Elder in Ecuador has had this happen at some time many in every area that they are in. It is known that girls are drawn to Americans because they represent a way out and a ticket to America. But add in the fact that you are an Elder trying to live with the spirit, do good and trying to love and serve the people, well... this is enough to make a guy attractive beyond belief to a girl who can recognize and desires an upstanding man.

    I was tempted by this scenario at least 4-5 times on my mission but several things held me back.

    1. I read the "lock your heart" talk. Now your heart has probably never been so open to such a large group of people before but basically it is referring to romantic feelings of the heart.

    2. I learned that there is no one specific person that we are to marry so, that being said I was free to make the decision that I was not going to meet my wife on the mission. That was a personal decision that I know kept me out of trouble and let me be more in tune with the spirit. Because it was never an option I didn't have the "what ifs?" running around in my head and it wasn't a huge dilemma every time the situation presented itself.

    3. For those single women that we did baptize I knew that I had Christ-like love for them untainted by romantic feelings. They were baptized because they had gained a testimony of the gospel through reading and prayer. I was their friend and bringer of the news. They loved me, I loved them and I still love them, but their testimony has nothing to do with me.

    4. I must add that this was true of feelings with the sister missionaries as well. We had several sisters that were amazing missionaries but just happened to be very attractive. I decided that my decision applied to them as well. I cannot tell you the blessings I have received from the decision to lock my heart and to concentrate on the Lord's work. Now I don't want to make it sound like I was a guy who didn't know how to have fun. Talk to anyone on my mission and they may remember all the crazy stuff and none of my work.

    Anyway, I won't lie when I say that I envy your position. The mission was hard but how I love Ecuador and the relationships I built there and what I became there. I know the truthfulness gospel and the happiness it brings. I am the proud father of 2 great boys and have an amazing wife.

    I wish you the best and hope that you have a rewarding mission.

    Oh, Have a Fioravanti for me please.

    Alma Clark

  2. Thank you Brother Clark. I passed your message along to Curtis, my missionary. I also found the "Lock Your Heart" Talk by President Spencer W. Kimball and sent him a copy of that. I hope it helps him to work through this time in his mission. He has had younger girls in love with him before, but I think this is the first one that was of an age to be of any interest.

    Please write and tell me more about yourself. When did you serve in Ecuador? Write to