Saturday, May 22, 2010
Hey! How are things going? I am doing really good we have three baptisms planned for the 15th of May so that will be cool. We should be having a wedding this week, but we will see what happens because we had a few setbacks in the paperwork. If we can´t get the problem fixed for this week then we will marry the couple next week and he will get baptized on the 15th. So we don´t have to change the baptism date yet, so that is good. So things are pretty good here. We have been working really hard this week and things are going so good. I am really going to miss the mission when I have to come home. Well I am going to send this and then we can chat for a bit, ok?
What else is going on with you? It sounds like you have been really busy to get all these baptisms and marriages ready. Please tell us more about the people you are baptizing and teaching.
Well, I told you about them last week a little bit, but we have a girl that is a member and she ran off with her boyfriend and then after a week and a half came back. So now she is repenting and we are teaching her boyfriend and they are going to get married and he is going to be baptised on the 15th of May. His name is Danny Pincay and her name is Roxana Tomala. We are also teaching a young girl. She is 11. She is a niece to Sandy and Wendy and a cousin to Nayely. Her name is Madelene. She is also going to be baptised on the 15th of May. The last one is a 17 year old girl. She is a reference of a few members that gave us the reference at about the same time, but she likes the church, is reading the Book of Mormon and has prayed about it and received an answer. Her name is Andreina Aguirre and she will also be getting baptised on the 15th of May. The other weddings I thought they were going to come through fast for us, but they are coming along a lot slower. So we are going to have to wait a little longer but I hope they come through in the end. I hope that answers your questions.
When I was asking them if their new house had room for me I was joking but I am still thinking about what I am going to do when I get back I am thinking that I might go back up and live with Grandma and Grandpa Goode they are all alone now and are going to need someone there so I could live with them and I could go back to work with Jerry at Central Valley. This isn’t sure but that is what the latest thoughts have been.
That is cool. The reason that they have two surnames is because they take one from each of their parents, so my whole name would be Curtis Craig Goode Parkinson That is how they do the names here in Ecuador. Just about all of them have two names and they all have two surnames. I am sure that Clain is excited about the temple.
Okay. That might be good, but I would make sure Jerry is willing to let you do more welding and use your skills and that he will pay you a higher wage so you can save some money up for school. I would like you to look at some of the welding jobs closer to home and maybe there will be something that will pay more down our way. It is true that Grandma and Grandpa would love the company again especially if you were more willing to help out with the things they need done around the house and yard. They have mentioned a number of times how much they miss you.
Working for Skyler might be a good option, but don't rush off to do it right away. He is making really good money down there, but then you would have to pay more for living expenses than you would if you were home and you would have travel expenses back and forth. I am not sure if you have any interest in selling insurance. You have been selling the best kind of insurance there is, eternal life with Jesus Christ, and you have been fairly successful at selling it. Maybe there is a future in that for you. I don't know.
Have you thought about being a Seminary Teacher. That thought keeps coming to me, like it would be a good place for you. I don't know. Lots of people have tried that option, but ended up in regular education instead. I know it is only a select few who make it into that profession. I wonder if there is something at the church offices that would appeal to you. You would of course need a degree of some kind, maybe something in computers. Have you considered that option? You are quite talented with computers. Another thing that has been in my mind for you for a long time is a job as a body guard for the Prophet. I have had a couple of dreams about it that were quite interesting. Anyway, consider lots of options before you make any decisions.
I will have to think about it, but don’t worry I will want to stick around at home if it is possible, but I just think about grandma and grandpa up there all alone and I would like to have someone there close by in case something happens. I sure hope nothing happens, but if it does and they are the only ones there. I don’t know I think that we are going to need someone there to keep an eye on them.
You are probably right. Michelle has been checking on them as often as she can. Shara may have to step up and stop more often on her way to and from work. Don't let that be your only motivation for going up there. I know there are always girls to motivate you and that is a good place to find some, but there are some sweet girls here closer to home and some that are interested in you. We will talk about that later. I am not sure if they are your type or not, but a couple of dates would let you know. Let me just say there are girls anxiously awaiting your arrival home.
Have a really great week. I love you and miss you. Thanks for being such a great son!
Love always and forever,
P.S. I have to go to Farmington now to swap phones. I thought you were done emailing for today, but if you should still be on, I would love an email telling me just how much you love and miss me!!! Thanks son.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Hey, so how are things going? I am doing really well here in Babahoyo we have been having a hard time but we have been having lots of success too. We have two baptism dates for the fifteenth of May a cousin of Wendy and Sandy and the boyfriend of a member they are living together so we are helping them get married and then after they get married then he can get baptized and a year from now they can go to the temple to be sealed as a family. We also have three other couples that we are working with that aren´t married we have to do a last will and testament for one couple and then they can get married and be baptized. We have another couple that he is a less active member and she isn´t a member and they aren´t married so we are going to help them get married and to do that we have to get a paper that she doesn´t have so that we can get then married. and the last couple he is living in Quevedo and she lives here and they want to get married and then be members of the church but the problem is they don´t have any money so we found him a job and now we are working on finding them an apartment and then we can get them married and get them baptized so right now I feel a little bit like a lawyer and a church employment officer we have found work and we are finding an apartment for them we have done papers and marriages so we are working hard for our baptisms but it will be worth it in the end. Well I love you lots and hope that all is going well.
I think that is awesome Curtis. You are learning a lot about what it is like to be a Bishop. You have to help people fix a lot of their problems in their lives in order for them to be happy living the gospel. If their physical environment and situation are not good, they can't focus on the spiritual part of their lives very well, but when you help people get into a better situation where their physical needs are being met, then they can focus their efforts on improving spiritually. I think this is going to be a lot like what I will be dealing with as a Relief Society President. I have to help them to have hope in Jesus Christ. The hard part is that you can't do everything for them. You have to teach and then let them make decisions in their lives based on those teachings. We still have to let them exercise their agency and the church's plan is that they should help themselves as much as possible. It is hard when people don't follow through and do what is best for themselves.
I am glad you are working so hard and that the Lord is blessing you with some success. It will be a huge blessing to these people later in their lives to see what you helped them to achieve. I hope they are all able to stay active and progress to the temple. That would be the ultimate blessing for you.
What is going on in your Zone? Are all of your elders doing well? How is your companion doing?
As a zone we are doing really good we are having success. We had two more elders train here in Babahoyo so now every sector but mine has a new elder in it so that is kinda cool I have the chance to help a lot of new elders to progress and become better we really don´t have many elders that are very old in the mission there is Elder Casas and then me and my companion and the rest are at the year mark or younger so we have a really young zone but that is good they are obedient and teachable so we are having lots of success.
I am glad things are going well in your zone. Keep on being a fine example for the young missionaries. You had great examples to follow when you arrived in the mission. I am sure they will look to you to know what they should do and how they should act.
Are you doing very many interchanges with elders right now?
Tell us more about your ward and your companion please.
Have you heard anything about plans for coming home? dates? tickets?
We haven´t been doing very many interchanges but we are going to start doing them this week I will stay in our sector and elder De Leon will go to the other sectors and well thing will work out well. I haven´t heard much about coming home dates or tickets or anything like that I am sure that it will be in the process but that is Elder Elwood’s job not mine so he takes care of all of that I will hear more about that next change they usually don´t give us much notice before hand. The ward here is doing really good we are having lots of success as a ward the members are coming out to church we have regular assistance of between 150 and 180 members each week so that is good we are working to get the number up to 200 that is my goal before I leave here in Babahoyo so I hope I stick around a bit longer so that I can achieve this goal. We have lots of members that are helping us out a lot and this is why we are having so much success.
That sounds really great. I know the missionary work must go smoother when the members help. Otherwise the investigators don't have any friends and ties to the ward and will get lost when the missionaries move to another area. We are doing more missionary work in Relief Society, trying to plan some activities specifically for those inactive members we are targeting. I think with this new program we will get even more involved in missionary work.
Hopefully you can get involved with it when you get home.
Do you need anything?
Are you happy and healthy?
No, right now I am doing good. I don´t need anything else right now but can you do me a favor can you see if you can find a few fruit for me? You don´t have to buy them just see if you can find them to buy. Maracuya, platano, the tomato from the tree, narajilla, Zapote, Pitahaya, tuna or the cactus fruit, Guanabana, guava, and Mangos. I want to see what there is available for when I get back.
I think you may be disappointed in the quantity and quality and price of these strange fruits.
Why do you say that? Can you find these fruits in Utah?
So what time do I need to call? If it is five there that means that it is seven here?
I think so. Is that too late?
No, that is ok I just couldn’t remember the problem is that is one of the best times to visit with investigators Sunday at seven. I will see what I can do to not set up any visits for that time but we will have to see when we can do it.
Would it work better earlier in the morning? I will have a meeting at 11:00, but we could do it before that like at 9:00 or 10:00. That would be 11:00 or 12:00 your time. That would be great and might make it easier if we have to go up and get Taylor that evening. The girls wouldn't be here, but they probably won't be even after church. Jeff always has to do financial stuff and with Shara going to the conference, she probably won't come down either.
It would work better. Eleven is when we are leaving the church and we are doing less productive things at that time, so I think that when I leave the church it will be eleven thirty or so and then I can go call and talk to you. In the morning will be much better so that I don’t have to give up our appointments that night.
How are things? Did you have any baptism Saturday? It looks like we will be going Prong Horn Hunting in September. We drew out and we also all got our deer tags. Andy Kay is going to be taking us, maybe Ted, too. Clain twisted his ankle Saturday jumping on the tramp. Mom is going to take him to the Doctor today at 12:30 to have it checked. We are going to go see Michelle’s Picture she had to for her last project tonight right after school. Well let us know what is new and exciting that you have been doing? I Love You!
That is cool! I am really excited to go hunt. It has been a long time since I have been, over two years now. I just gotta wait another four and a half months and I´ll be there. Has Skyler talked to you yet? He sent me an email and said that he wanted to buy me an elk tag down there in Arizona, but he needs my hunting info. If he hasn´t talked to you yet could you get a hold of him and give him my info so that he can buy it if he is going to. Thanks. We didn´t have any baptisms, but we have two planned for the fifteenth and we have about five more that we are working on marriages, so that they can get baptized. So we should have some more baptisms in May. Well thank you. I love you lots.
So guess what I am still in Babahoyo and I am still with Elder De Leon. This last week has gone by so fast I can´t believe that I only have three changes left. That is 18 weeks. It is going to go by so fast. In the changes, Elder Dayton left and Elder Amaya and Elder Aucapulla. We got in place of Elder Amaya, Elder Hansen from Texas. He is fairly new in the mission. I think that Elder Olson and Elder Casas are going to train this change, but they haven´t said anything sure yet, but I guess we will see.
We had our baptism Saturday, so I ended this change with five baptisms, not bad at all for opening the sector with Elder Alvarez. We have a lot of new people that we are getting to know that we have high hopes that they will be able to progress and be baptised this change.
We have been working a lot outside of Babahoyo. We have been going to Jujan and to the Reform and a few other places to find people that haven´t ever heard the gospel. Here in Babahoyo there have been missionaries for more than thirty years, so just about everybody knows who we are and has listened to the missionaries at some time in their life. We are trying to know other places so that we can find new people and we are having lots of luck. We found a new investigator that we challenged to pray about Joseph Smith and she did it and received an answer and we are going to work on preparing her to be baptized. She just needs to come to church. Yesterday she didn´t come because she forgot about going to church until it was too late. The church here is from 8 to 11 am, so it is hard for a lot of people. They think like I did when I was young, that if I get up early all week long to go to school that I deserved a day that I could sleep in and they all use Sundays to do it. I have found out that if you get up at the same time every day even though you are tired in the morning, your body gets used to it and you feel better all of the time. Well I hope that all is going well with you out there and I am really surprised about dad’s talk. He never was one to talk much in public, but twenty minutes that is really pretty amazing for him.
Well, I love you lots!
Great to hear from you. Congratulations on your baptism. That is neat. Can you tell us more about the person you baptized?
Tell us some of the neat experiences you are having with teaching the gospel. What else exciting is happening down there? Give us a typical day in the life of a Zone Leader.
Love you lots,
I baptised an eight year old girl. She is the niece of Wendy and Sandy. Her name is Estefania Nayely Piza Arbelay. Her mom is a sister of Wendy and Sandy, but she isn’t a member of the church because she is living with a man. But they aren’t married, but it isn’t the dad of Nayely. It is another, so Nayely lives with her grandma and with Wendy and Sandy so we were able to baptise her, because technically her mom and dad aren’t members so that makes her a convert baptism so that was cool. We are having lots of success. We have been doing lots of exploring. We decide that we are going to go to a place to see what it is like and then we start to contact people. And then we ask the people for references where we can go to visit what people we can visit. And they usually tell us someone and we go visit this person and then we ask them for a reference and we go and go until we run out of time and it is time to take the bus back to Babahoyo so that we can work the evening in Babahoyo. But we have been led to some chosen people working like this. I know it is a little different how we are working, but it really helps. I also found another way to teach the Book of Mormon that is helping us to introduce the people to the Book of Mormon and they are accepting it a lot easier. We usually introduce ourselves and then talk to the person for a bit and find out what religion they are and if they assist the church and then we ask them if they like to read the bible. And if they say yes, then I ask them if there was another book like the bible that talked about Jesus Christ if they would be interested in reading it and they usually say yes they would. And then I tell them that I happen to have another book and then I start to tell them about it and they are usually really, really interested in knowing more about the Book of Mormon. For me the days are normal. I really don’t do anything differently. I get up, get ready, study and then leave to work, eat lunch, keep working and then at night I go back to the house, plan, eat something and then get ready for bed and then pray and sleep and then repeat. Well I hope that answered your questions. If not, let me know. Ok?
Well the Reform in Spanish is Reforma, so maybe that is why you didn’t find it, but Jujan is a city. It reminds me a lot of Balzar because it is kinda by itself and ghetto in that there isn’t much there. The Reforma is about five minutes outside of Babahoyo and then you have to walk a half hour on a dirt road to a place where there is about twenty or thirty houses. The other missionaries have baptised a lot of people from this place, so we aren’t having much luck there, but we got the idea to find other places where they haven’t ever heard the gospel from this place. A missionary found it and him and his companion baptised about twenty there, so we are hoping to find a place and do the same, baptise lots of people, but we will see how things go.
How are you doing? Did you have any baptisms Saturday. My talk went really good yesterday I was to talk about 10 minutes but I went 20+ minutes. I have not been feeling very well I went to the doctor on Wednesday I was home from school 3 days last week. I’m still not feeling very well. I am really tired. Mom has been really busy this past week with her new calling. I think things will settle down as time go by. Tell us what is happening in your area with the people you are teaching? Are any more getting closer to baptism? Use your time wisely now. Now is when you will be the most effective. I will check back later. I love You!
I had my baptism it worked out really good. It was the first time that I have had to repeat a baptism in all of my mission. She was a little girl. She comes up to about my waist. When I baptized her, one of her feet came out of the water, so I had to do it again and this time I stepped on her feet so that they wouldn´t come up. So that was a first for me. I am really impressed that your talk went for twenty minutes. I´m sure that it was really good. I´m sorry that I couldn´t be there to hear it, but don´t worry mom gave me the shortened version in her letter. I love you lots and hope that all is well.
Hey, so guess what this week has really flown by and I really can’t believe that I have been here in Babahoyo for almost a whole change I feel like I just got here and it is time for changes again. Time is going to start to fly by I know it Clain will be going on a mission here soon and then I will be getting back and wow how time flies. I remember when I left Taylor was just a little baby of nine months and now she is a little girl running around and talking and wow. It is amazing how things just change. President Gamboa is always saying the quote from President Monson that the most constant thing in life is change. How true it is. I still can’t believe it, twenty months in the mission. I am getting so old. Two years is such a short time. I still have so much to do here in Ecuador, but there just isn’t going to be the time to do it. I am running out of time.
Some advice for Clain when he is in the mission is that he should never waste any time. Always have something to do even if you are walking from one place to another, memorize scriptures and quotes. Just stay as busy as you can so that you can have the most success in your mission. I miss you all very much and I love you lots. I hope that all is well and that you can feel the blessings of the Lord in your lives.
As far as things that you should get Clain, find him a really good over coat that he can take with him. It rains a lot in Oregon and he needs something that is going to keep him dry. Here in Babahoyo, it is raining so much and all I have is a little umbrella. It doesn’t do much when it is windy and the water is coming down in buckets and buckets. Get him a good overcoat. Make sure that you have good shoes, but it shouldn’t be as big of a problem for him. His feet are smaller than mine and he will be in the states where it will be easier to get new shoes in his size. Make sure that you send him with lots of anti-diarrhea pills. They are life savers here in the mission. You take two of those suckers and you don’t have to go all day long, which is a good thing as a missionary. Well, I will keep thinking of other things that he will need as a missionary, but I have been quite well with what you sent me with, so don’t worry too much. The name labels work pretty well. They peeled off of the socks, but the rest of them are still where you put them. As far as the back pack, the one that I have been using is one that the mission was having custom made for the missionaries. It has the shoulder straps, but the bag sits at about waist level and isn’t really all that big. I have used the bag that Clain gave me, but I do like the other one better, because it is smaller and easier to use. I would suggest that he finds one that he likes that sits at waist level and that looks good but that will depend on him. He can choose which one he likes. His companions will help him figure all of this out. He will need a backpack for the MTC that is for sure, so make sure that he has one, but he might be able to wait to buy his proselyting bag in the mission. Well I love you lots!
I love you Curtis. Thanks for the info. Do you have time to tell us about your week and your baptism? Did your baptism work out? How is the other one coming that you have planned later this month?
Well we postponed the baptism for this Saturday so it should work out. We have a baptism planned for the 24th of this month. His name is Christian and he pretty much asked us to baptise him. We are also working on a few other baptisms that we will have for later. We are helping one family write up a will so that when they get married they know who is going to receive all of the things when one of them dies, but I called a lawyer from Portoviejo. She helps all of the missionaries with our legal matters and she told me what I have to do so that we can get the papers ready and then get them baptised. We have another family that we found that the missionaries were visiting before and they are working on a divorce so that they can get married so that she can get baptized. So we have a few more baptisms that are going to come.
That is so wonderful son. I am so happy the blessings are coming to you. I know your hard work is paying off. I love you so much. Thanks for honoring us as parents by being so obedient and strong in the gospel. I wish you could have been with us in the temple Wednesday, but I know that you are where the Lord needs you and the sacrifices we make will bring huge rewards to us in the end. Take care this week. Always remember who you are and that you are so very loved.
Love forever and always,
Hi Curtis! Are you still on?
I am still here. What is up? How are things going? I am doing good here. It is a little hot right now, but it isn´t raining, which is a good thing.
I got busy this morning and forgot to email you mom sent me a text and said you were on. Did you have any baptisms this week? Everything is going good. I won the first old bird race Saturday from Ft. Hall. I took 1st and 2nd. After school I have to take Clain down to get his Driving Record to send to his mission. I hope you are still there to read this. I Love You!
We didn´t have the baptism this week we moved it to this weekend because no one knew about it and we wanted everybody to come to the baptism. That is cool that you won the race I know that you will win a few more this spring too.
That will be good to get as many people there for the baptism as you can. Mom is going to be busy with her new calling. It will be good for her.
I don´t know about the wd 40 in my shoes but don´t worry I will see if here in Babahoyo there is a place that can fix the other pair that has a huge hole in the sole and maybe I can keep using them. Don´t worry too much. As far as dads talk, I know it sounds kinda harsh, but it is how he has been blessed by me being in the mission, not how I have been blessed in the mission, so he needs to think and meditate in the blessings he has received. I can´t tell him his blessings. He has to count them. I know it is hard, but tell him to count his blessings. How is his health and how is the family doing and his pigeons and things like that? What type of example has my going on a mission held in our family and in the ward? What did his mission do for him in his life? How did he learn and grow as a missionary? I´m sorry but I can´t write this talk for him, but there are some questions that he can think and ponder about to start his talk.
Guess where I am going? You're right Ecuador! Just kidding! I am going to the Eugene, Oregon English speaking mission I leave on June, 23. How are things going down there? I have one more term of school left then I will be graduated and ready to go to Oregon. I am excited to get out there and serve. We are going to be going camping before I leave. How is your new companion? I am paying for my own mission so it will be more meaningful to me.
I am so excited for you to have the opportunity to go on a mission. I know that it will be an awesome experience for you. I am a little disappointed that you aren’t coming to the best mission in the world, but I guess the second best will have to do. I bet it will be easier for you to talk to the people when you get out there than it was for me. You don’t have to learn a language. I love you lots and hope you the very best. I guess I won’t be seeing you for a little more than two years from now huh. Take care buddy.
Hey mom told me that you are way, way excited for your call. I hope you are. It will be the best two years of your life. I know it will be hard and that you will have lots and lots of problems, but remember something that a missionary taught me here. If you want to have muscles, you gotta lift weights and the problems and trials and tests in this life are our spiritual weights. If we lift them right and do what we are supposed to, before and after, we can turn into Hercules, but we just have to be obedient and it will happen, ok? Remember, just be obedient and do what is right. I love you lots buddy.
Thanks for the email. I will need to start gathering some of the things I will need for the mission. We are going camping as a family the week after school gets out. Then Braxton and I have a camp we are going on the week before I leave. It is to where we rafted the river before you left. I am going to go to the temple next week. I am very excited!!! How are things in Ecuador? I hope you have a (GOODE) week!!
Cool I hope you have a really cool experience in the temple it is something really, really, different and will help you a lot in your mission and your life. How was general conference? I got to watch all five sessions and it was really amazing one of the best I have heard. Well buddy keep excited to go and get everything ready so that you can go, ok? I love you lots.
We watched all the sessions of general conference. Shara, Rob, and Taylor came Saturday and Michelle and Jeff came Saturday night and stayed late Sunday night. We are out of school this week so we cleaned the attic out and organized it. The temple was great, but it wasn’t what I expected, but it was a neat experience. Have you had or heard of a drink called "GUADANA"? It is a Brazilian drink. The Greenwells gave us some when we had dinner at their house today.
What great new experiences have you had this week?
This week I have been working hard we are trying to find new investigators and we are having a lot of sucess. We now have two baptism dates, one for this Saturday and the other for the 25th of April. The one for this Saturday is the niece of Sandy and Wendy that I baptised. The one for the 25th is a friend of Sandy and Wendy and a couple of member girls that live near by. She prayed and recieved an answer to her prayer, so she wants to get baptised, but she was kinda nervous to accept a date really soon, so we had to put it out a few weeks, so that we have time to teach her everything.
Were you able to find any new investigators?
We are finding people. It is kinda slow, but we are finding them.
How are your new converts coming along?
They are doing good. Sandy and Wendy didn´t go to conference, but Jessenia and Linyker went and learned a lot, too.
How are you and Elder De Leon getting along? Please tell us more about him, his family, his interests, etc.
We are getting along really fine. He is a little strict. Some times he looks down on all of my jokes and pranks and things like that, but we are getting along fine. He likes the gaming world, so we have lots to talk about. He had a Gameboy SP and played Pokemon and Zelda and lots of other games that I have played, so we have lots to talk about. You know I have figured something out in my life. I am kinda well rounded. I like to hunt and fish. I like to play games and do lots of other things, so I can get along with just about anyone and talk to them.
Did you get to see all of the General Conference Sessions?
Did any of your investigators attend and watch with you?
We had seven investigators in the Genereal Conference this weekend. It was pretty cool. I didn´t get much out of the Sunday morning session, because the other gringo missionaries are still kinda new, so they don´t understand all of the Spanish yet, so they wanted to listen to the conference in English. So Saturday we got out the tv in the church and watched the conference in Engish, the four of us together. That was pretty cool to hear the conference in our own language. But Sunday morning is when everyone comes to the conference. I think that they don´t understand that the conference isn´t just one session. It is five, but anyways they all came to the Sunday morning session. So they took our tv and put it in another classroom and put it in Spanish so that the moms with their kids could go in there to listen if there were noisy children so what we did is we put the conference on the speakers overhead in spanish so that the moms could hear in Spanish and then we put the tv in English and turned the volume down so that we could hear it, but not really loudly. So we watched the conference with lots of children crying and screaming. And I could hear the conference in Spanish and in English at the same time, but it was really confusing me, the two languages at the same time. So I had to sit farther from the tv, so that I couldn´t hear the conference in English, just in Spanish, so that I could understand it better. But it was still really hard because there were still the kids screaming and crying in the room with us. But oh well, I guess I will get the Liahona to read and then I can pick up what I missed.
How are the missionaries doing in your Zone?
Our missionaries are doing really good we are having lots of sucess here not as much as we would like to have but we are getting there.
Do you have Zone Conference this week or next?
Tomorrow is Zone Conference and it is here in Babahoyo, so this is a first for me. I think that it will be cool. I think that Sister Gamboa will probably inspect our houses, too, so we made sure that today we cleaned the house really good.
Tell us something funny that has happened to you lately.
Yesterday we went to an appointment after the conference and it started to rain. We taught the lesson and then I pulled out my umbrella and a poncho and I put on the poncho and I gave Elder De Leon the umbrella because he had forgotten his and we left to go to the house. We got outside of the house and we were standing on the side walk and we looked at the street and it was a running river we had no choice but to start walking and like Elder Mitchell said in his letter, waterproof shoes are awesome, but when you are in a little water but when the water comes up to your knee waterproof shoes just don´t do any good. So yesterday we got really wet and it was lightning and thundering, too, so we were really hoping that we didn´t get hit with lightning standing in a foot of water.
Do you have any advice for Clain?
Well I could tell him lots of stuff, but that would just ruin his surprise to find out what the mission is like. I will tell him to just work hard everyday, do his best and the Lord will do the rest. I am a poet and I know it. ha ha ha. (in spanish ja ja ja).
Monday, March 29, 2010
Hi Curtis. Thanks for the photo. It is awesome. Tell me the names of the guys in the photo please. Is this your baptism from last week?
Okay, I can see from the date on the photo, that it was on March 20th, so it must be your baptism from last week. That means the guy without the tie must be your convert, Linyker. I know the second from the left is Elder Alvarez, your companion who went home last week, so who is the other guy. Which one baptized Linyker? Why are you the only one smiling?
Hey, so guess what? We had a really hard week. We don´t have many people to visit right now so we are trying to find new people that we can teach. So I am really tired. We broke out the ward directory and tried to find all of the members that we could, so that they could give us references. So I walked all over our sector sometimes up to forty blocks an hour. We have been walking a ton.
Something good that is happening is that we have been having activities as a stake. We are doing an invasion. We are going to invite all of the people that we can, to come to the church to watch “The Testaments” so that we can get references. So that should help, but we are trying to do all that we can to find people that we can by ourselves, too, so that we can have success here. We got really lucky when I got here with Elder Alvarez, but now the people don´t want to listen.
Well it sounds like you have a really good plan to create some success. It seems like a lot of the missionaries have found people to teach by talking to the members, especially the part member families. There are probably siblings or younger kids who have not been baptized yet, unless Elder Walke found them all when he was there. He baptized a lot of younger kids while he was in Babahoyo. I think he really went through the Primaries and tried to locate all the kids who were coming, but had not been baptized yet.
Have you tried lots of prayer and faith with your plan? Fast Sunday is coming up again. Maybe you could have a fast for the extra help that you need.
Thanks for the pictures. They are wonderful. I am assuming that the family is the sister of Linyker, her husband and daughter. Is that right? What are their names? Is this at their apartment? When was the photo taken?
What is Antonio's last name and how does he fit in? Is he a friend, brother, or ward member?
I don´t remember his last name but he is a ward member. He was baptized in February and we wanted him to have the experience of baptizing someone to keep him excited about the gospel and we made the arrangements to have him do it. Really it was cool to see him do it.
That is neat. They look like they are about the same age. When I talked to Chris Jenkins yesterday, she said that in Clayton's mission, the missionaries don't get to do the baptisms. They are required to have a ward member perform the baptism because it helps the new convert to form ties with ward members and keeps them active for longer. It sounds like a good plan because if the only ties the convert has are to the missionaries they will easily get discouraged after the missionaries move on to another area, but if they have ties to a ward member, they are more likely to keep coming and progressing. It also makes ties the other way, so that the member feels responsible for the new convert and will try to protect the member and help them to grow in the gospel. Chris said that they try to get 50 people out to each baptism so the convert will feel a strong tie to the ward. Hopefully both boys will progress in the gospel and the Priesthood and go on missions.
The picture of the family with me and Elder Garcia is the Nuñez family from Portoviejo.
The picture with all of the people are: in the blue is Wendy and in the gray Sandy, that we baptized the week before and in the yellow their cousin. In the pink, is their friend. She is a member of six years and she gave the reference to the missionaries and she is now a ward missionary that is teaching Linyker and Sandy and Wendy the lessons again. And then there is Linyker and Antonio, again.
Wow. That is awesome! It is neat to see the members getting involved with teaching the new converts. Hopefully Linyker, Antonio and the friend will all have a desire to go on missions and teach the gospel to others. Your influence could spread exponentially to places you cannot even imagine. Your influence will continue to be felt for generations and generations of time.
Who are all the pretty girls in the photo? Are they members yet? If not, you better get busy and teach them all. Does Linyker have a girlfriend?
Linyker doesn´t have a girlfriend, but I told you in the other email who were all of the girls in the picture.
Okay. They look awfully close, but I guess the people of Ecuador are more inclined to touch than we are in the USA. Hopefully they are good friends by now. It is really neat that she is teaching Linyker. What a neat experience for them all. Do these kids have more friends that you can teach? It would be great if they could become involved with teaching the gospel to their friends. It would help them prepare for missions.
We are trying to get more references so that we can teach their friends. We have asked, but we haven´t gotten references yet.
You must have found a faster computer with a USB port today. Thanks!!!
Why is the water so green? The font is gray. Where is the green coming from? Is that what all of your water looks like? Yuck! I am grateful for purified water. I hope you are, too!
The green water comes from the water tank in the church. It is dirty and they need to clean it. So until they clean it, our baptisms will be in green water.
Sounds like a service project for some missionaries and new converts to the gospel.
Ask them to help you clean the water tank and have them bring some of their friends to help you. Maybe you can accomplish both tasks at the same time. Come up with some other service projects that they can help with and bring friends to. Go sing at the hospital or just visit. Make something or fix something. Think creatively and get as many involved as you can. Serve food and more will come. Advertise that you are serving food and you will get even more.
Well, we could, but they actually pay a guy to clean the church, so they said they could call him and tell him that the water tank is dirty. So he will do it, because he gets paid to do it.
Well, come up with another service activity to generate interest from the kids. Maybe you could clean the church or clean up the outside of the church or do a neighborhood cleanup project. Do service, then play soccer and have refreshments. Put up lots of fliers around the neighborhood to get people's interest.
I am sure that if we advertised food we could get all of Babahoyo to come to the activities, but the thing is, we don´t have a huge budget and this gringo is all out of money. So we are going to have to see what type of budget we are working with, but it won´t be very big at all.
I will see what we can do to plan some activities and get them into action. They sound good, but it will take some planning to make them work good, too.
Okay. Well you will have to work with the resources you have. I bet you could come up with some creative way to get food there. A cookie baking contest for the young women? A pie baking activity for the Relief Society? Work with your ward activities committee. Somebody has the resources to help you.
I checked your account last night and you are indeed almost out of money again. Alas, so am I. I will try to get you some more on payday, but probably only $100 this month. Sorry.
Isn't planning one of the things that missionaries do best? Maybe your Zone could work together to come up with a community service day. Maybe you could get some help from the community leaders to fund the project. Spring is a great time to beautify the world. Approach the wards, the stake and the community. Dream big! Plan big! You can make it happen and the results will bless all of you.
I love you so very much and I am so very proud of all you are doing. Did you write to Clain? Please do. He can hardly wait to find out what you think of his call. He has talked about it all week long.
Love always and forever,
Well, I gotta go. Tell Clain congratulations on his mission call for me and tell him to check his email, too. I love you all lots.
I love you son. You are an amazing example to me!!! BE GOODE this week and every week!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Did you have your baptism?
Yes, we had another baptism on Saturday. Linyker Arturo Cabezas Peñafiel
Do you have any more baptisms lined up?
We have a couple baptisms, but they aren´t as set as the last four that we had.
How did your Zone do last week on baptisms?
We had five baptisms as a zone this last weekend. That means that we have had eight baptisms as a zone this month so far.
How are the couples you are teaching coming along?
We are having a few problems with the couples. They just aren´t keeping the commitments that we are giving them. It is hard. We want to help them, but our advice isn´t any good if they don´t do anything with what we tell them.
Tell us more about each of the people you have baptized these past two weeks. What are their names and stories?
Wendy and Sandy Alvarez, they are two girls. Wendy is seventeen, I think and Sandy, thirteen. They have an aunt that is a member and we are trying to work with the mom and dad. The dad doesn´t want anything to do with the church and the mom wants to get baptized, but they aren´t married so they have to get married and the dad doesn´t want to get married either.
Jessenia Parraga, her kids are members, but she couldn´t get baptized because she was living with the father of her kids and they weren´t married and he had another family, too, so she told him if he wanted to be with her he would marry her and leave the other family. And he said no, so she told him to get lost and get out of the house and he left. He still visits his kids, but she doesn´t want anything to do with him.
Linyker Arturo Cabezas Peñafiel, he is the brother of a recent convert. She told us the first day we were here in the sector that she was going to bring her brother to church, so she did and we set a date to visit him and we went and taught the first lesson and left him with the commitment to pray. When we visited him again we asked if he had prayed and he said si that he knew it was true and that he wanted to share what he now knew with everybody (That is cool). So we told him that he could he could become like us and be a missionary, but he needed to be baptized first. So we committed him to be baptized for the 27th, but his sister said that on the 27th they were going to be going to the temple. And then the sister asked if Linyker could go to the temple, too, and we thought about it for a minute and decided that it is possible that if he was baptized on the 20th he could go to the temple on the 27th. So we put the date and then we started to see how hard it was going to be. We had taught the first lesson and we had a week to teach the rest of the lessons so that he could get baptized. So what we did is sent a pair of ward missionaries to visit and teach the Plan of Salvation and then we left the sister in charge to teach him the law of chastity, word of wisdom, tithing and the Sabbath day. We then visited him and went over all of the lessons again and taught lesson three and a few other commandments and then asked him the baptism interview questions and set the time for his interview and that was all we taught him. He passed the interview without a problem. Now he is baptized and confirmed and he should be getting the priesthood this week some time so that he can go to the temple on Saturday. He was so ready! I am so glad that we found him when we did!
Tell us about the people you are teaching now.
We are teaching a few other people but we don´t have a whole lot right now who are progressing.
Are you getting along well with your companion?
Well about the whole companion thing, guess what? I have a new companion. His name is Elder de Leon from Guatemala. Elder Alvarez got his last change in the mission. He is going to Bolivia. He finished the mission. I don´t know why, but he had to go today, so I took him to Guayaquil and got my new companion and now we are back in Babahoyo now doing our pday.
Send us a photo or two if you can of you, your companion and your zone.
I will have to see what I can do about the photo as for the one with my companion. It is a little late now.
So is it raining a ton and getting your feet wet all the time?
It rains, but at night so it isn´t too bad right now. I will see what I can do about finding shoes ok. I looked my shoes over and I have a pair that are still in really good condition. I thought they were a lot worse than they really are. I forgot why I put them away and didn´t like to use them but now using them I remembered. They squeak when I walk, but besides that they are really good shoes so I will see how long these will last and if I need to buy, I will let you know.
Are you wearing the other two pair of shoes at all?
I still have all three pairs of shoes and I wear the ones that I fixed in the conferences and stuff like that but not much the thing is even though they are patched up the water still enters when I am stepping in water so that makes it kinda hard.
Have the patches worn through on the pair you had fixed?
No, but yes.
Are your feet having problems with cracking and bleeding?
No, my feet are really good. I am not having any problems right now with cracking and bleeding.
What advice can you give dad for his talk? What blessings have you received for serving a mission?
I would talk a lot about the example that I am setting for Clain and Braxton and how your example of going on the mission helped me to want to go and serve. I know that the example that I have set has helped a lot of the youth in the ward to go or to help them go on their missions. Just look at how many missionaries there are right now in the ward that have left after I left on my mission.
What advice would you give me about getting Clain ready to go?
Well a lot will depend where he goes and what sort of stuff he will need in his area. You know him, right? Send him with about ten bottles of the anti-diarrhea stuff, ok? Mission food kills you, especially foreign mission food!
Have you received your St. Patrick’s Day package yet?
No, I haven´t gotten it yet, but maybe this week.
Did they take a photo at the Zone Leaders’ Conference?
Yes, see the letter from Sister Gamboa.
Are you healthy and happy?
Yes, very happy and very healthy.
I love you so very much and I am very proud of you and all you are doing. Keep working hard and always be obedient so you will be blessed and protected from harm and sickness.
Love always and forever,
Monday, March 15, 2010
Yes, I got the valentines packages the Wednesday before I got transferred.
Have you given many blessings? Tell us about some of them, please.
I have given a few. The last ones that I gave were, one for my companion, Elder Alvarez. He has just about the same problem that dad had a while back. His knee is pretty beat up and he needs to have surgery, but he wants to wait until after the mission and since this is his last change that will be ok. So he was hurting and asked if we could give him a blessing. I sealed the anointing and gave the blessing. After, another Elder that lives in the house with us, wanted a blessing and he asked me to give the blessing. He was having chills and he had a fever, so I gave the blessing and after two hours he was feeling better. Blessings work.
Did you have your three baptisms?
Yes, we had three baptisms this week. That was pretty cool.
Did your zone have all eight baptisms?
No, we ended up having three baptisms as a zone.
What are some of the new things you do as a Zone Leader?
I am now in charge of a zone instead of a district. I have to make sure that everything goes good here as a zone and take care of any problems that there are here. I am the eyes and ears of President now, here in Babahoyo.
What is the best part about being a Zone Leader?
It really isn´t much different than being a district leader, just that I have more responsibility. I guess it would be that I got to eat McDonald’s when I went to Guayaquil last Friday for the Zone Leader Conference.
When do you get to go to a Zone Leader Conference?
I went last Friday and I learned a lot. We talked about the stuff that President and Sister Gamboa want us to make sure that all of the missionaries know about.
When is your next Zone Conference?
The Zone Conference will be later in the change, I think the fifth week of the change.
Tell us more about your companion.
He is from Bolivia. He is going to finish the mission this change, so I will for the first time kill a missionary. He has spent just about all of his mission in Guayaquil.
He was in Quevedo for a few changes and now this is his third change in Babahoyo.
Tell us about the sector you are working in. What part of Babahoyo is your sector in?
I have the entrance to Babahoyo and I have part of the road toward Guayaquil. I have to a city that is called Jujan (who han).
I can’t see a lot on Google Earth because it sits underneath the big white cloud, the same one that blocked out Balzar and Valencia. But I can see it on the map and there are a few photos of the city that come up. Are you in the city part or out on the outskirts of the city?
I live somewhat in the center of the city and my sector is part of the city, but not the center just houses and then I have all of the outside parts, too, till Jujan.
Is it cooler there than Portoviejo?
No, it is way, way hot here. I am sweating like crazy here.
Are you in a ward or branch?
I am in a ward. The ward is called Barrio Lindo, ( Barrio also means ward).
Do you meet with the stake leaders now?
Yep, we had a meeting with the Stake President and all of the Bishops last week.
Do you have more investigators you are working with? Tell us about them.
We have lots of investigators that we are working with. We received the reference of an investigator when we first got here and he came to church the first Sunday and yesterday, too. He wants to get baptized. So he is going to get baptized this Saturday, so it will be like two weeks to the day that we found him until he gets baptized. He is the brother of a recent convert and his aunt and some cousins are members of the church. We have about five couples that we are working with and preparing them to get married and then get baptized, so sometimes when we are teaching, I feel more like a marriage counselor than a missionary.
How many missionaries are in your Zone?
We have a very small zone. We are 12 missionaries here in Babahoyo.
Do you live with four missionaries or just two?
Here there are three houses and in the three houses live four missionaries, so three times four is twelve, so it works out pretty good, right?
You said you were in Barrio Lindo. I searched for that and it shows it way down near Guayaquil. Is that correct?
I thought you would be closer to the City of Babahoyo. I also searched for Barrio Olmedo and it was close to where Barrio Lindo was on the map. Does the Babahoyo Zone cover a really big area?
No, we are in Babahoyo and we do cover some big area but my sector is here in Babahoyo.
The translation for Barrio Lindo says it means Pretty Neighborhood. Is it a pretty place?
Not really, but the people are awesome.
The translation for Barrio Olmedo is Neighborhood with Elm Grove. Is that because there are Elm trees there?
I haven´t seen many trees here, so I don´t know about that translation.
Are you back to eating all chicken again?
Is there anything you need?
If you feel up to it, I could use a new pair of shoes. I found out that if you have holes in the soles of your shoes that means that water can enter and get your feet wet. Who would have thought? If you want to send shoes, the pair that we bought in Logan, but the ones that we only bought one pair of, the Rockports, that are waterproof.
Are you happy and healthy?
Yeah, I am doing ok. I miss my fish and seafood diet, but I will live.
Thanks for the answers. Tell us more about the people you baptized on Saturday. What are their names and a little about each of them.
Tell us more about your investigators. What are their names? Do they have kids? What do they do for a living? What are they like? How are your lessons going with them?
Being a marriage counselor might be a nice career for you in the future. There certainly is a lot of need for it right now with divorce rates as high as they are. Hopefully you are learning lots of things about marriage that will help you avoid all of the problems in your own marriage someday.
I am grateful you were able to perform these priesthood blessings and that the elders felt comfortable in asking you to give them. I hope you wrote about the experiences in your journal. I know without any doubt that Priesthood Blessings work. They may not always heal, but they always provide comfort.
Are you walking a lot in your new area?
Are the members helping you a lot with the work?
I am glad you got your packages. Are all of your shoes worn through the bottom? I will see what I can do about another pair of Rockports.
Which other elders live with you in your apartment.
How come the other five baptisms fell through?
What food did you eat at McDonalds? Did they have French Fries or beans and rice?
Tell us more about your companion, besides the fact you get to kill him. Guns? Is that all you think of? Ha! Ha! How many in his family? Has he been a member all his life? Girlfriend? Plans for after the mission? Is he funny? Happy? He isn't smiling in any of the photos I have of him. Take a photo of him smiling and email it to us.
When are you going to send me some more photos? I want to see more of your happy smiling face!
The other missionaries that live in the house with me besides my companion are Elder Amaya and his kid, Elder Merchan. Elder Amaya is from Colombia and Elder Merchan is from Ecuador. He is not the Elder Merchan that I lived with in Portoviejo. I don’t know for sure why the baptisms fell through, but they did.
I ate a Big Mac with fries and a little apple pie thingy for desert with orange soda to drink.
Elder Alvarez has I think, four years as a member. He has a girlfriend waiting for him. He is from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, the southern part of Bolivia. I would send you more pictures, but this computer doesn’t have a USB drive that I can get to. I am sorry.
Okay on the photos today, but find a better computer next week. And, please send me a disk of photos like you promised.
Are the hamburgers as good as in the states?
The hamburger was good, not quite like in the states, but still good.
I am glad you enjoyed it and got to eat a few French Fries, too.
Are there any other missionaries that have been in your previous zones that are serving with you in Babahoyo? I didn't have photos of any of the elders you mentioned last week, except for Elder Alvarez. I probably do have some of them in photos, but don't know the names to go with the faces in earlier photos. If you can, take a fun Zone Photo and send it home by email. Tell us who everyone is.
Did they take photos at the Zone Leader Conference?
Did you get to see Elder Bartolomei there? Where is he serving now?
Are any of the other missionaries from your MTC District serving as Zone Leaders?
I did see Elder Bartolomei in the Consejo. He is in Zona Orquidias with Elder Carlos and Elder Machuca. Elder Felt is a Zone Leader and Elder Williams is in the office. Elder Fewkes is in the mission Charlotte North Carolina and Elder Smith, I don’t know where he is. Elder Adamsom and Elder Walke weren’t in my district, but they are Zone Leaders, too. I haven’t served with any of these elders before, so I am getting to know new elders here.
That is great that you got to see so many of the elders you came out with. Do you know Elder Thomas Hall? He came out with you also, but I never hear anything about him. What is Elder Frye doing? He started his mission the same day you did, but got to Ecuador earlier because he must have already known some Spanish.
Did you take photos of you with your original MTC district? I sure hope so. You need to take advantage of opportunities like that. If you did not, please do it next time.
Yeah, I know Elder Hall. I forgot about him. He trained last change and I am pretty sure that he got changed this change, so I don´t know where he is. Elder Frye is a District Leader in Duran Sur. I forgot to take pics, but there will be a next time, don´t worry.
Okay, just remember to take advantage of those moments because you can't ever go back and do them again. Someday you will look back and think, "Wow, I am grateful to have that photo of all of us together."
Have a really great week, son. Keep working hard and being great. I know the Lord will bless you and be with you. I love you so very much.
Monday, March 8, 2010
How are things going in Ecuador? Have you had any more earthquakes or aftershocks? I was able to get us put in for the Pronghorn hunt you and me as a group and you, Braxton and me for the Deer hunt. The Deer hunt is only going to be a 6 day hunt this year. So we will have to make up for that in duck hunts. Sam Bartholomew left on his mission on February 17th. He went to Tulsa Oklahoma Spanish speaking. I don’t know if mom had told you this or not. Let us know what has happened with transfers. I am sure mom has told you that Clain met with President Bennett yesterday and he sent his papers in last night, so we should here on the 17th if not the 24th where he will be going. Did mom tell you to make a guess where Clain will be going and when he will be leaving? Make a guess today! You could be the winner!
Saturday we went Pheasant hunting, Braxton, Clain ,Kavin and me. It was west of Bothwell. We had a good time. Clain wanted to go before it ended. Let us know what is going on. I Love You.
Hey, so things are going really good. Clain sent me an email and told me that he had sent in his papers for the mission and to guess where he is going. I know that I am going to win with my answer! That is cool that you guys went and shot some pheasants. I hope that Clain enjoyed the hunt. Well I gotta go send some more emails. Mom wants a really long email and I have lots to write right now, so I love you lots.
Hey that’s great you are a Zone Leader and you got transferred. Mom sent me your email. She keeps me informed. Keep working hard and the Lord will bless you in all you do. I love you!
Hey Buddy! I sent Clain an email so don´t worry. He will have my answer, ok? I hope that you are working your hardest in school and keeping on top of your grades, ok? Keep an eye on my dog, ok? I want her in good shape for this fall, so you better take her out and let her get some exercise so that she isn´t a ball of fat for the next duck hunt, ok? I love you lots!
Where do you think I'm going to go on my mission? There will be a prize if you guess closest to where I go. How is it in Ecuador? We went pheasant hunting on Saturday with Kavin and we got 9 birds. Cocoa and Nitro had fun. They were tired when we got home. We went near Thiokol and Bothwell. I will be getting my call in about a week.
Hey Clain, how are things going? That is cool that you got to go hunting and got some birds. I think that you are going to go to the best mission in the universe, Ecuador Guayaquil North. I am glad that you are willing to serve the Lord and keep his commandments and go on a mission.
I love you lots.
Give me the country and the date I will leave when you guess before the 17th of this month.
The date I think you will leave is on the third Wednesday in July, whatever date that is. (July 21st).
Hi Mom! So guess what? I am not in Portoviejo anymore! I am in a place where there are lots of mosquitoes and lots of water and bamboo houses on stilts over water and bridges of bamboo. That’s right! I got transferred to Babahoyo! And guess what else? I am not District Leader anymore. I am now Zone Leader here in Babahoyo!
My new companion is Elder Alvarez. You know him from Quevedo. This is his last change. So guess what? I get to kill an Elder for the first time in my mission! I am in Barrio Lindo. We are opening a sector together. Elder Alvarez was in Barrio Olmedo, but they called him to be a Zone Leader, too, so we are new Zone Leaders in a new sector and it is kinda hard.
So this is what happened. They called Elder Sanchez to be the new Assistant and Elder Janampa (brother to the Elder Janampa that was my District Leader) had more time in the sector, so he left, too. So I came to be the new Zone Leader and replace those two. So we don’t know the sector very well and the people. We are trying to find them to keep teaching them. But you know what is really cool? I have three baptisms planned for this Saturday and as a Zone, we have eight planned. So we have lots of work to this week to get all of the investigators interviewed and ready for baptism.
Well I am going to send this letter off and wait for your response to my new change. I love you lots!
That is awesome news!!! And a huge responsibility and trust put in you by the Mission President. I know you will do great! You are a leader! You will set a great example for the elders who are looking to you for guidance and encouragement. Be the kind of Zone Leader you have liked and respected. Learn from the examples of all the Zone Leaders you have had and combine all the best parts of each, but be yourself, too. The Lord placed you there for a purpose.
Write more please!!!
Did you have any baptisms before you left Portoviejo?
A very proud mom
I didn’t have any baptisms before I left, but I left lots to do for Elder Garcia. His new companion is Elder Perez, that was in Bahia. They changed him to my old sector and Elder Garcia became Senior Comp now. Elder Parkinson also got a new companion and Elder Avila went somewhere else. I don’t know where. I am really excited to work here in Babahoyo. It is really neat from what I have seen! I am excited! Really I am!
Your new companion is Elder Paul Alvarez? Where is he from? I have on my list that he served in the office in September 2009 as the Secretary of Materials. Tell us more about him.
What other missionaries are in your Zone?
Is your apartment nice? Hot water? Clean? Insects and Rodents?
Yes, he is he is from Bolivia. Yep, he served in the office. There is Elder Baum from Quevedo too. Elder Dayton, he is new, a gringo. Elder Mamani, Elder Casas, Elder Amayo, and I can’t remember the rest, but Elder Amayo and Elder Mamani and Elder Baum are going to train this change, so I will have three new elders in my zone.
The house is in good shape, two bathrooms, two bedrooms, the kitchen and a room to study in, so it is pretty nice. The house doesn’t have hot water, but I am used to showering with cold water now. It is so darn hot outside anyways, who wants to shower with hot water. There aren’t any bug problems or rodent problems either. Things are good in the house. I have another toilet to fix, too, but that won’t be hard, just another flush handle.
Do you share the apartment with another missionary companionship or just Elder Alvarez?
I am glad you are able to deal with the cold water and not complain. I am glad the apartment is nice. Keep on fixing those toilets. Leave Ecuador a better place than you found it. Should I make tags and send, "This toilet repaired by Elder Goode on (date). Happy Flushing!!!" You could really leave your mark on the mission that way. Ha Ha!
Where in Bolivia is Elder Alvarez from? Tell us about his family, what he likes to do, girlfriend, plans for post-mission.
Is your new email account working okay? I didn't change it to Spanish, but you could in the Options menu at the top. I think it is on the General Tab.
Did you move today or sometime last week?
They called me Thursday night and I left Friday morning, so I have been in Babahoyo since Friday at about two in the afternoon. President Gamboa called me to tell me that I was going to be Zone Leader here in Babahoyo, so I knew where I was going to be going in the changes, so that was pretty cool. I also knew who Elder Alvarez was, so I knew who to expect and what he was like. The third companion of Elder Alvarez was Elder Alcocer. What a coincidence and when Elder Alcocer left the sector with Elder Alvarez, he came to Balzar with me.
Hey, I gotta go! I love you lots and I hope you have a good week!
You, too. Be extra GOODE this week!
Your proud mother
P.S. You know I am always proud of you! This just feels like a very special day for you! Congratulations!!!
Hey! So guess what? Yesterday morning, at about five forty-five, we had an earthquake here in Portoviejo. It wasn´t very big, but living on the fourth floor of a building, it did shake pretty good! We got up pretty fast and were getting ready to go down all of the stairs and get out of the building when the earthquake stopped. So I was in the first earthquake of my life.
Hey! Have you put money in my account this month? I am broke and I am going to have to do some interchanges this week, so I need some money. If you haven´t put any money in there, could you, so that I can get it out tomorrow so that I can do the interviews and interchanges that I need to? I am going to send this off and then write President and then we can talk in a bit. I love you lots!
Sorry, I was in a meeting, so I didn't get this till just now. I will transfer some money to your account today. Scary about the earthquake! Did it do much damage?
I searched on the web and it says the earthquake was 10 miles ESE of Portoviejo, near the coast. It was a 5.3 magnitude earthquake.
Love you lots.
The earthquake didn´t do any damage here in Portoviejo. It was a little one. The only thing that happened to our house is a plastic bottle of soy sauce fell onto the floor, so nothing happened. Things are going good here. We have a few new investigators, so we have lots of high hopes for the next change. I am going to act like I am going to stay here in Portoviejo and like there aren´t even changes until they tell me I am going. I hope all is going well and I love you all! I don´t have much time left.
Can you play with my email account and figure out what is up? It won´t let me upgrade my account. Try to upgrade it for me. I have no idea what I am doing wrong, but I don´t have time to figure it out. I love you lots. Tell Clain congrats on being so close to sending his call off. Well, I love you lots! Got to go!
I will see what I can do. The old email is supposed to still be available for a few months, so hopefully we can figure it out before then. Have a really great week, son.
Love always and forever,
Monday, February 22, 2010
Front Row: Elder Eduardo Gavarret, First Counselor in the South America Northwest Area Presidency, Sister Gavarret, Hermana Gamboa, President J. Wilson Gamboa
Missionaries from Left to Right: 1- Elder Cruz , 2- Elder Garcia (Companions with Elder Goode), 3-Elder Ramirez, 4-Elder Parkinson (Lives in the same apartment with Elder Goode), 5- Elder Baez, 6- Elder Merrill, 7- Elder Fonseca, 8- Elder Piedra, 9- Elder Goode, 10- Elder Lopez, 11- Elder Avila (Lives in the same apartment with Elder Goode), 12-Elder Romero , 13- Elder Mitchell, 14- Elder Guix, 15-Elder Perez, 16- Elder Walke
Did you have any baptisms this week?
Hey, we didn´t have a baptism this week, but we are really confident that this Saturday we might be able to baptize Luis and then we can work on his two friends for the next week.
Tell us about Luis and his two friends. Any progress towards baptism?
With Luis, we are working and trying really hard and we have lots of hope. Last week, we had problems finding his dad with Carnival and it being a holiday, so he spent the majority of the time drunk. But now that Carnival is over, things are back to normal. We have lots of hope and we are going to try even harder this week, so that we can have a baptism for the Branch Conference which is next Sunday.
Tell us about each of your other investigators.
We have Nely. She is the one that got mad at the neighbor. We finally found her again and we are planning on taking her to church for the conference so that she can see what the church is like. She has never been before so we are going to work extra hard to get her there.
Tell us more about the ward you cover in Portoviejo.
My ward is actually a branch, but it should be a ward here soon. We are having a Branch Conference to see how the ward is doing and if everything is going good then we will become a ward. So we are all really, really excited for this. It will be a big step forward for us. The ward is pretty big in size or the amount of land that we have, but it is really pretty small in people. There are lots of families that are inactive, but that is the majority of Ecuador right now. But we are trying to help more people become active because that is what President Monson wants us to do. Usually, there are about one hundred or a hundred and twenty that assist the church every week, but the goal for the conference is to have two hundred there. That would be really cool! I have to admit.
Tell us about the seafood you bought and ate. How was it?
The seafood was really, really good!!! We had shrimp a few times and I got to tell you, I love shrimp! I could eat hundreds of the little guys! The thing that sucks is that you have to clean the little guys and that is the hard part. You have to peel the shell off and then you have to cut the vein out and that takes time. The octopus was really good. We are actually going to eat some more today. When we bought the seafood, we cleaned it and then put it in plastic bags and put it in the freezer and then we could eat it when we wanted to. So today we are going to eat the last of the seafood. We took it to a sister today and she is going to prepare it for us for lunch. We are going to eat shrimp and octopus and fish. It is going to be so good! Don´t worry. I will take pictures, so that you can see it. I will have to prepare all of these delicious meals that I am learning when I get home. But I want to tell you about another drink that I found a long time ago, but I forgot to tell you about. You boil cinnamon sticks in water and then put sugar to taste and drink it. I was really surprised when I first tried it, but I have to say it is really good. Have you tried the cerviche again?
Tell us more about your companion.
My companion, Elder Garcia, will turn 21 in April. In June, he will have a year in the mission. I am his second companion. He has a girl waiting for him. She is from Italy. His mom is from Colombia. She is black (don´t worry that isn´t an offense in Spanish.) His real dad is from Spain and he hasn´t had much contact with him. His step-dad is also from Spain. His step-dad married his mom when she was a month pregnant with him, so his step-dad raised him as his own son. His step-dad served his mission in the Central America Mission a long time ago when the mission was five different countries. His real dad is not a member of the church. His step-dad taught and baptized his mom, while he was in the mission.
Tell us about your zone and district.
In my zone, we have a few new missionaries that weren´t here last change, like Elder Aracayo. He was the companion of Elder Carlos last change and Elder Frye is the companion of Elder Carlos this change. Elder Perez, he is from the same group as Elder Machuca and is senior comp (Elder Machuca is senior comp, too. He had a change and is now in the Orquidias Zone.) Elder Cruz, I knew him from Quevedo North and he is in Chone now and is district leader. Elder Walke, he is a zone leader. Elder Parkinson, but I have told you about him. In my district there are four companionships, mine, Elder Avila and Elder Parkinson, Elder Perez and Elder Mitchell, and Elder Baez and Elder Merrill. So looking at things time wise, I am the only elder in my district that has more than a year in the mission, so my district is really young in the mission.
Which elders are you supervising in your district?
In my district, there is Elder Garcia and I and Elder Avila and Elder Parkinson and Elder Baez and Elder Merrill and Elder Mitchell and Elder Perez.
What have you been teaching in your district meetings?
We have been working on chapter six of Preach My Gospel which is Christ like attributes, so that is what I have been teaching. This next week, I have to teach how the missionaries can help their investigators come to church.
Where do you get your hair cut?
I go to a member that has a barber shop and he cuts our hair at a discounted price, a dollar fifty.
I usually cut my hair every three or four weeks.
Have you sent me some more photos yet?
Have you received your Valentine Package yet? I am trying to get another one in the mail this week.
Do you need anything?
More deer jerky would be nice. Send me some post cards of Utah, different places in Utah. Elder Garcia wants to know Utah a little better. He also wants candy canes. I told him they don´t sell them this time of the year, but he told me to ask anyways.
How are your contacts and contact solution doing?
I am not using them, so they are doing just fine. But I figured something out talking to Elder Piedra. He said that the problem I am having with my contacts is because my eye isn´t breathing like it should, so I need a contact that has hydro clear or something like that. I don´t remember for sure, but he said he was having the same problem and that changing to a contact with hydra clear solved his problem.
How is your clothing doing?
My clothes are doing ok. They will make it another six months easily, don´t worry.
Are you getting lots of rain down there? Do you ever wear the boots you bought?
We were getting lots of rain, but it has calmed down now and it isn´t raining much anymore. I left my boots in Valencia because they were a little small, but I don´t think I will need to buy another pair because it isn´t raining much here.
Have you spent any time at the Ocean? Did you take any photos at the ocean?
We went to Crucita once and I did take some cool pics, so I will try to get them in the mail soon ok? Sorry.
Are you healthy and happy?
Yes. I think I am now losing a little weight. We decided to cut down on our expenses, to walk more and take less taxis and busses, so I am walking the long distances now instead of using taxis : )
This letter was written on February 17, 2010.
So, it is Wednesday today and I finally found a cyber open so that we can write you guys. It has been Carnival the last few days, so there was practically nothing open here in Portoviejo. Well everything is going good here. We had Zone Conference yesterday. We had to go to Manta for the conference so that was cool. We had Elder Gavarette from the seventy come and talk to us, so that was really a cool experience. He talked about a lot of things, but one thing that I really liked was about the brother of Jared. He said that God gave the brother of Jared the designs for the boats that he had to build and he built them. And after they realized that there was going to be problems, that they would need air and they would need light, but they didn´t just cut a window in the boat or try to come up with their own plan of action. They went right to God again and asked him what to do and He gave the answer to the air problem and told the brother of Jared to come up with a solution to the light problem. I thought that it was cool that the Lord wanted to test their humility and see if they would be humble enough to ask or if they would just do what they wanted to do. So I liked that part of the talk. His wife talked about how we should look at life in a different point of view, that we shouldn´t just look at all of the negative things, that we should be happy. I really liked her. She was really positive and it was contagious. I felt a lot happier and ready to go out and face the world after the conference, but couldn´t because it is Carnival. So after the conference, we went back to the house and stayed inside until six when we could leave. We have had this time schedule since last Saturday, but today is the last day of this. We leave the house at ten and after lunch or about two, we have to go back to the house and stay in the house until six and then we can leave again to go out and visit again. So it kinda sucks, but that is how it goes. Just so that you know, Carnival is a holiday where everybody goes to the beach and plays with water, so there are water fights in the streets and when you go walking, they throw water at you. So we couldn´t go out during the worst of it or from two till six. So it was to protect us, but it was hard to be cooped up in the house for four hours at a time. We weren´t able to visit as many people this last week because it is Carnival and that we were in the house, but we tried our best and we are sure that the rest of this week will be better and that we will have more success. Well I am going to send this off and I hope you are on so that we can talk a little bit.
I love you lots,