Thursday, August 1, 2013

All about the Ecuador Guayaquil West Mission

In April 2013 during General Conference it was announced that the Church had created 58 new missions! Why? This was following the announcement in October 2012 that the earliest a missionary could serve changed for both Young Men and Young Women had changed. Young Men could now go at the age of 18 instead of 19 and Young Women could no go at the age of 19 instead of 21. The change caused a huge influx of prospective missionaries and we all need a place to serve!

One of the new missions that was created, is the one I was called too! The Ecuador Guayaquil West Mission! Since it is a new mission I have been learning as much as I can about what to pack, the weather, the culture, the language, religion, and anything else you can think of. When I first opened my call I had no idea where I had been called. I knew it was in South America but didn't know where. So..I thought I would share what I have been able to learn online and by asking people who have served there or have traveled there with family.

Where is Ecuador? South America of course :)

Where will I be in Ecuador? 
The Coastal Low Lands!

I have always loved the beach, so why not be on the coast near the equator. The only down side is I can't go in the water as a Missionary but that's okay. Hopefully I will get a glimpse of the amazing sunsets.

Other neat thing is that that my mission does go across the equator...woot woot! So just maybe i'll be assigned to an area North of the equator on my journey in Ecuador as a majority of the mission is in the Southern Hemisphere.   

Weather on the Coast vs. Guayaquil

There are only two versions of the weather on the Coastal side of Ecuador, WET or DRY. 

From January to May is the Wet Season, which I hear is also hot and humid, so it's more of a sauna session that you can not escape. :( So it rains a lot which means a jacket and boots but then it's also hot and did I say HUMID. 

From June to December it is their Dry Season, which is cooler and overcast. Apparently you need cardigans in the early morning and later at night as it gets down below 60 degrees. I would have never thought that with the temperatures ranging from 80 - 95 during the day. 

As long as I am prepared for the two seasons I am sure I'll be fine and enjoy the weather as much as I can without being able to swim in the Ocean.

The Church in Ecuador

In 1965, the first missionaries entered Ecuador and baptized nine converts within one month. When the Ecuador Mission was created in 1970, membership was 1,000. Five years later, membership tripled to more than 3,000. In 1981, congregations were organized among the Otavalo Indians near Quito after several Church publications were translated into their language. In 1989, Quito, Ecuador, became headquarters for the Church's South America North Area.
Ecuador's Church membership has nearly doubled in the past five years. To accommodate the growing membership, more than 130 Church buildings have been erected in Ecuador. The Church provides both academic and religious education to youth in the country.

Total Church Membership: 211,165
Missions: 3 (there will be 5 in July 2013)
Congregations: 308
Family History Centers: 43
Temples: 1

Stats and Info via the LDS News Room.

Guayaquil Temple

The Guayaquil Ecuador Temple was the first temple built in Ecuador.The temple, labeled "the most beautiful building in Ecuador" by members and nonmembers alike, stands majestically in a peaceful hillside setting in northern Guayaquil. 

Missionaries in the Guayaquil West Mission

The new area opened on July 1st, 2013 and there are currently 132 missionaries who serve there. They were transferred from other missions already in Ecuador since there was originally 3 missions there. Today there are 5!! 

Here is my future Mission President and his wife - Hermano y Hermana Dennis!

Jorge and J. Anette Dennis

Jorge Dennis, 55, and Jeannie Anette Herrin Dennis, four children, Parkway Branch (Spanish), North Salt Lake Utah Parkway Stake: Ecuador Guayaquil West Mission. Brother Dennis serves as a gospel doctrine teacher and a temple ordinance worker, and is a former counselor in a stake mission presidency, high councilor, stake missionary, bishop, counselor in a bishopric, ward Young Men president, ward mission leader, high priests group assistant and ward Young Men adviser. Owner/CEO, EnviroKleen, LLC. Born in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico, to Jesus and Elena Lauterio Dennis.

Sister Dennis serves as a counselor in a branch Young Women presidency and is a former secretary to a stake Relief Society presidency; stake missionary; ward Primary president, counselor in ward Primary, Relief Society and Young Women presidencies; Relief Society teacher and compassionate service leader. Born in Provo, Utah, to Curtis Lamar and Patricia Joanne Stewart Herrin.

I am so excited to go to my mission. I can't wait! When I learn more about the people and the culture it just gets me more excited to go.

Hermana Weller


  1. Wow, AnnaAlicia! You are the MOST prepared missionary I have ever seen! I just got caught up on your blog. You will truly benefit from being so prepared and be able to hit the ground running. Just be patient with those who aren't as prepared. You will be awesome!
    Love ya!

    1. Kate, thanks so much for reading my blog. I don't feel prepared at all but I guess I will know for sure when I get to the MTC and then out to the field. :) I'm going to miss you and your family! But I'll be back in no time.