Monday, March 15, 2010

Three Baptisms plus one More!!!

Have you gotten the Valentines packages yet?

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.

Hi Curtis,

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.


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