Monday, February 20, 2017

Celebrating my 19th birthday in the back of Cop car!!!

This week has defiantly been one to remember!!!
I thought that having transfers the week before my birthday would be kinda a bummer cuz I wouldn’t know anyone here. But this Branch is seriously already family and I could not be happier to be here with them! Like half the branch got together this Wednesday to celebrate my birthday. Which was a surprise party that I did not see coming at all! My comp is a stud and organized everything without me even knowing a thing... ha-ha I thought no one knew that it was my birthday and I was just like "oh well, I’m just glad that I have this day to work and be a missionary" but everyone gave a short speech about something funny I’ve done here or a memory we have had together! I cannot describe how awesome this family of mine is here in Ecuador!! Just wanted to thank everyone for the birthday wishes!! They mean a lot!!

Also one of the assistants came down for our District meeting and he brought a cake and the whole zone celebrated with me, which was super cool! 


Oh yeah the whole cop car thing!! So we were celebrating and having a good time last Wednesday night but didn’t realize what time it was. It was about 8:55 and as missionaries here we have to be in the house at 9:00 with no exceptions. So yeah we were sprinting home when the cops pulled us over because they thought we got robbed or something. We told them our story and they gave us a "fast and furious" style ride to the house!!

I had an companion exchange (I think that’s what its called in English at least) this week with Elder Beech, lets just say I wasn’t too mature that day... try to imagine someone saying that last name with a thick Latin accent jaja!!

Well I’m gonna be locked up in the house for 4 days this week thanks to CARNAVAL so wish me luck of not going crazy in the house! I will be writing next Wednesday just an FYI.

Hope you all enjoyed Single Awareness Day on Tuesday!!

Elder Stidham

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Photos from Ana Haydee Gomez Murillo

I am so thankful for this amazing Sister to make our sons birthday so wonderful!

A Facebook message from Ana Murillo. She is the wife of the ward mission leader in Santa Rosa. She went all out on the birthday celebration for our cute Elder! Feliz Cumpleanos Elder Stidham! Happy 19th Birthday!
Buenas noches miembro d la iglesia d jesucristo de santa rosa ecuador. Ac esta su hijo.. hace una semana.. le envia saludos...

Ahi le envio unas foticos para q se alegre un poquito..

Monday, February 13, 2017

MantaRay and Shark for Lunch??

It’s been a crazy but absolutely amazing week!

I just thought I’d start off this letter saying that I feel like I am in a new country after this transfer!!
Santa Rosa (Rama 3) is literally the strongest Branch in the world!! It is small but every member here wants to help us in every way possible!! The Members are so strong and I absolutely love each one of them. Literally every night I have told my companion "the ward is even better than I thought it was yesterday" (in Spanish of course) 

Another reason I feel like I’m in another country is because the weather here is super different! It rains like 5 times a day, it’s blazing hot in the afternoon, and every night I’m always soaking wet and cold.... but I absolutely love it here!! The church building is 1000 times better than before and I enjoyed church more than I ever have before in my life!

One of the families here owns a shark and manta ray shop. They are also our momitta and being a young man that likes to eat food, I asked if we could try some for lunch. Shark ceviche and fried Manta Ray!! It is actually really good the way they make them!!

The bus says: "Happy Adam because he had no insurance."
so translation:  Adam, (of Adam and Eve) was a happy man because he never had to worry about car insurance.

Have a great Valentines Day! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Transfer to Santa Rosa, Ecuador

My new companions name is Elder Benites, he is from Lima Peru! He is sooo awesome!!!! Super humble, patient, and always happy!! I love every second of the day working with him! I honestly feel like I’m not even working anymore... I’m just enjoying visiting people and loving every second of sharing the Gospel! I could not be more Happy!!

Monday, February 6, 2017


Yeah I realize that’s 666 but all is well!!

Quote of the week: The spirit is like a 22 Caliber.
My converso decided to share his testimony this week in church and he was telling a story about how a few days ago people were super angry with him and were threatening him with knives and ganging up on him. (He is a lawyer and apparently wasn’t making friends) but he wasn’t scared at all because he had his 22. Cal with him in his back pocket. But none of the thugs knew this and they were super confused why he wasn’t scared. Eventually they became scared and left him alone. But he bore his testimony on how the spirit was actually protecting him and helping him remain calm, and then he decided to finish with "I know that God loves us and protects us with His spirit, just like a 22 caliber protects us"

So this week has been insanely on the edge but ended very well!! We had a baptism this Saturday and another on Sunday!! But the coolest part was that my Mission President came down to visit us and he confirmed the Holy Ghost to Marina, and wow it was a powerful blessing!! But then he himself baptized our other convert Sezar! Which is the first time our mission pres. baptized someone during his mission! Sezar is a really cool guy that lived in the U.S. for 9 years, so we always like to talk and joke in English, which is super fun! Plus he is dating the daughter of the Branch President and has plans to marry her in the next month or so! So yeah I’m extremely happy about that! But last night he was asking me a lot about the Temple and Eternal Marriage, he told me that is something he would like to prepare himself for!!!! So there is a possibility that I can go through the temple with him in one year if that is still his plan!!!

Basically my entire Zone got changes this last weekend, which is fun, and all but at the same time I am very sad to leave.... I am getting changed to Santa Rosa, Sur Rama 3. Which my (old) companion told me was his absolute favorite sector in his entire mission! I have been here only a couple hours and it seems pretty cool. It is another small branch but I have heard that it is super powerful and growing quickly! Our house is pretty small and there is no furniture besides 3 tables to study on, 2 beds, and an ironing board. But at least I finally have a real shower!! 

Last night was my last night in Naranjal and that was super hard to leave like I said, a few families were balling when we left their homes for the last time... I guess I just never really realized how much we as missionary’s impact the lives of those we teach. I can’t lie, I didn’t want to leave at all but I am extremely grateful for the time I had with them! Last night we celebrated the birthday of Elder McAdams! But a few members knew that my birthday is next week so we celebrated mine too, it was a super fun night and was great to get away from all the goodbyes.

Also, Shout out to my Super Young Momma Bear, Happy Late-ish Birthday!! (It’s on time for a missionary ;)