Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

No one celebrates this holiday in this country but that’s cool, I’m going to celebrate with buying a mango for 50 cents every day cuz that’s like my favorite thing of every day. The fruit here is so crazy!!! Other than mangos and bananas I have never seen or heard of these things in my life. Some are good, some are bad and some are horrible but I like trying different things.

This week I was able to make chocolate from scratch that was awesome!! It was a super fun night but home made chocolate tastes pretty nasty 

We also got to make this Arepas with this family from Venezuela! I love learning how to make crazy food from here and other countries

Not much time this week but I’m getting excited for my second baptism next week!

Today was pretty rushed but we played volleyball, withdrew money from the bank, ate hamburgers, washed cloths, went to the tia which is like a mini Wal-Mart but is huge compared to anything else here, and am writing now.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Baptism and the Temple!

So I guess I never explained why last week was almost the perfect week.... well it was super awesome and I was crazy excited because I had my first baptism planned last week but on Saturday she never showed up for it and that was so depressing, but then I realized it was for a good reason and that she needed to learn more before she, Paola, was baptized.

However, this week I had my first baptism!! Like I’m so pumped about this still! Its crazy to think that I’ve only been here for 3 weeks but at the same time every day is starting to go by faster and faster. My converts name is Belisarìo and he doesn’t like pictures but is actually a really happy guy! (I’m hoping the pictures will work this time)

This week there is a huge soccer game! It is against Barcelona (no idea how to spell it and its a local team not the other one) against Amulek (which is another huge local team) it’s like the biggest rivalry game and everyone is getting pretty excited about it! So yeah Wednesday will probably not be too productive.

This week we were told to leave Naranjal and go to Guayaquil for this big meeting of leaders (my comp is the DL) so that was super cool and I meat a ton of the missionaries in my mission!! After the two days of meetings we were told we could go to the temple!! Which is actually a huge deal on the mission! But when we got there no one had their recommends so we couldn’t enter.... we decided to go work in another sector and on the way back we saw a Wendy’s and they all freaked out!!!! Ha-ha I was dying! They made the taxi pull over and we grubbed hard. I laughed because I have been there within the last 3 months but they haven’t been in almost 2 years

Super fun trip and the temple is beautiful!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Almost The Perfect Week!

This week has been so much better I cant believe that it’s actually the same place!! I can understand so much more of what everyone says. I finally clicked that it’s the way they end words that’s been throwing me off so much. They say a lot of ismo and ito at the end of every word. Defiantly not what they did in Mexico, or at least the CCM.

Haha so one funny thing is that I get called a gringo every day here, which only means white person but I’m not sure if its an insult or not, I don’t think so but still... in honesty, besides missionaries, I have seen exactly 0 other white people here which is kind of cool actually. The people here don’t have much but what they do have they give and share with everyone. I feel so bad taking anything from them but all they other elders just love it. I understand it’s rude to refuse these gifts and they will be blessed because of their charity, but I still feel guilty. We truly are so blessed to live where we do. APPRECIATE your clean water!! But I’m loving everything about this country. 

There are animals everywhere here haha. Like I kid you not, one member has 3 pigs living IN his house. There are dogs and cats and chickens everywhere. Cows and horses are also pretty common. We find a couple lizards in the church building every week and some bats. Goats are often in peoples "back yards". And honestly I love it; it’s so funny to me that they are everywhere. In the states everyone has some kind of pet, but you cant see them on the streets. 

Gym time here is so nice, we get up super early every day and go work out or play basketball, just "basket" here. I have gained 15 pounds since the start of the mission, but on the bright side its mostly muscle.

I thought I would lose a lot of weight here but turns out that you can buy bread and cookies for like 10 or 15 cents, which doesn’t help.

Life is good and every day is going by faster and faster. 

Lo siento sobre las picturas, I will try to fix the problem

Monday, October 10, 2016

Washing clothes in a bucket on the roof...

First week in Ecuador! Not gonna lie, it was a pretty rough week. I can say about anything I want to in Spanish. But understanding them.... oh man, they talk so flipping fast here. Like honestly I think they’re talking another language half the time. 

In regards to the title: this statement describes Ecuador very well (or at lest the part I’m in, and this is not considered ghetto at all I’ve been told) but to be honest, I’m actually beginning to love it so much! Every time we leave our apartment building (which is on the 3rd floor and is like 4 rooms and holds all the elders in my zone) I am just so happy to be here. It was super hard my first few days cuz I felt super useless and unsuccessful. But Sunday turned things around. I’ve just had the biggest change of heart and am trying to learn to love the people (which has been hard because I cant really understand them that well) 

My companions name is Elder Hudson, he is from Washington/Idaho and loves to play basket (basketball) he is actually really good, he’s a little smaller than me and loves to clown around and make President Clinton impersonations. He’s super good at the piano and Spanish. 

The people here are so awesome! I haven’t meet one person that’s been rude or even kinda mean. Everyone says hi to each other and a lot of people love to yell ELDERS and wave. The people we visit always give us something, which is pretty cool since they don’t have much. The most common thins is bananas or mangos! Oh man these mangos are day makers! Seriously the best things I’ve eaten on my mission!

Oh I gotta talk about the showers and washing cloths. So my shower is literally a hose attached to a wall in this cement square with a drain. And the water is soo cold every day haha! Then to wash cloths we go on our roof and use this faucet, bucket, and brush to wash our cloths. Its kinda weird to say but I really like washing my cloths this way, makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something on my own for once.

I’ve learned that sometimes its ok to rely on others. Especially the savior this week. I was feeling so down when I first started and just thought ´I guess I can endure this for two years´ but ever since Saturday night I’ve decided that it will get better, I will be able to change lives, and I will be able to feel more of what the Savior felt during His mission. Super grateful for these trials because they have helped me decide what kind of missionary I want to be.

Oh man I’ve been missing my papa a lot this week. Not sure why but everyone here just kinda reminds me of him. Thanks for all you’ve done for me big bad John! Le amo tanto

The food here is kinda weird. Good, but weird. First off they have like 20 different kinds of bananas. My favorite is called verdes (greens) that they cut up, boil in oil and smash them after. They eat rice with everything here, which is great cuz I love it. Soup is super common here too, they usually throw fish in it too, but this fish hasn’t been deboned or anything. Haha my first day I got soup and it had the head of a fish in it, teeth and all. I was just like, ``welcome to Ecuador Elder Stidham´´ some things here are super cheep and others are way more expensive. We eat tuna, avocado, hard boiled eggs and blended up banana smoothie every morning. Our momitias make us lunch every day and its always mystery food to me. And no dinner cuz they don’t really do that here, but it’s ok because the juice makes up for it!!

Chupa la piña is something a lot of missionaries say here which is pretty funny. It’s kind of a joking way to say making out. Literally it means `sucking the pineapple´

The lessons here are so hard. Not only because I don’t understand most of the conversation, but also because there are so many distractions!! Ahh it’s killing me. We finally had our first super spiritual lesson and then her sister came in, gave our investigator (Juana) a crying baby and left. But there’s always something going on and so many loud noises. Most of our lessons are outside on the doorstep, they just bring stools outside and we talk there.

Its been a long week, had a great P day, now I’m looking forward to getting back to work! Love you all!
I appreciate the prayers and support


I am in Naranjal right now. It’s not very hot here. In fact it’s actually pretty cold in the mornings and evenings.