Monday, December 9, 2013

Got chased by an iguana this week & I'm pretty sure I ate ants for breakfast


This week was a great week. We had another baptism. We baptized Hermano C. Three weeks ago we were street contacting, and we were walking in front of a tienda and I got an inpression to stop and talk to this elderly lady. She had just purchased her items and was heading out of the store. I asked her if she needed help carrying home her groceries, she said no but we talked with her anyways and explained that we were missionaries and that we had a Gospel message to share with her. She said that she was Catholic but had a son named C, who liked to talk about the Lord. 

So we walked her home and talked to her and her son. Her son said he was a Jehovah Witness and didn't want anything to do with the Mormons. We invited him to church and he CAME the next sunday. We taught him one lesson and later in the week, he called and said he wanted to be baptized. 

At his Baptism on Saturday, he bore his testimony and said that the day we meet him, he had been laying in bed crying and asking God why his life was the way it was, and why had he not sent a sign of what he could do to make it better. Then his mother got home and there we were two Mormon missionaries! He said it was his answer. He has so many great questions, each lesson we teach, we have to rely on the spirit so we know what to say but it is such an amazing experience each time. He also started to read the Book of Mormon and within a day he was almost done with 1 Nephi. He has a goal to read the entire Book of Mormon and to gain an even stronger testimony of the TRUE gospel of christ. I am so happy for him. He is such an amazing person. The Gospel is blessing his life so much. It is so exciting to see.

You are also probably wondering about the title to my email...I am pretty sure I ate ants this week. I buy Special K cereal so that on those morning when I don't feel like cooking, I can still eat. I was almost positive I closed it back up all the way, but the other morning I made myself a bowl of cereal and sat down to eat it. When I looked down I realized there were all these little ants around my bowl that crawling out of my cereal! I almost vomited all over my desk. I screamed and then threw out my $6 box of cereal that was still brand new. So today when we went ot the store I bought another box of ceral and this time a tupperware to put it in. So I wont have this amazing problem again.

I also ran from an iguana this week! I climbed up some monkey bars to get away. I refused to come down until the iguana was up in a tree. We were walking through a park when I heard some shuffling behind me, I looked back, screamed, and ran to the monkey bars. My companion just started laughing. She told me they don't attack people. I didn't believe her though, so she had to literally pull me off the bars so we could keep tracking.

We have a lot of work to do here, as I am sure it is in the rest of the world. People need the gospel, but do not know where to look to find it. I know I say this in each email but help the missionaries. The work is so great and there are only 80,000 plus missionaries for the entire world of who knows how many people now. You don't have to feel awkward about missionary work, but do help them. When you feel prompted give them a reference and introduce the missionaries to your friends, coworkers, have them over for dinner and your referience. Have a family home evening with your reference and the missionaries. The missionaries will do the work but they need your help to find those people who the Lord has prepared to hear the Gospel.

This week has been great. I found so many trees, Almond trees(we walk by them every day and I didn't even know they were almonds), Avocado trees, and we even harvested our own mangos. My companion is great, she helps me so much, and helps me to realize that together we can do this work. 

I also finished reading the Book of Mormon this week. I love reading it so much and cant find enough time to read it. But I get an hour a day so I try my hardest to get the most out of it. I started it again and am in 1 Nephi. 

I am so thankful for this time in my life. I know it is hard cause every day I wake up in a new country where it is 83 degrees and wish I could see snow, like you did this week but I am grateful. I wake up every morning and hope that I can find someone who needs to find the Lord.

Love you so much and thank you all for my letters and your weekly emails. Sending my love!


PS I get to go to the temple this week, so super excited about that.

Love you!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving


hope everything is well.  I heard from Mom that you all got together three different times for Thanksgiving Dinner. Wow. Crazy. They don´t celebrate Thanksgiving here so we had the traditional rice and Tuna. It was good though. 

I am so glad that the members here love to feed the missionaries. They always make us amazing JUGO (juice). Yesterday I had Strawberry Milk with fresh strawberries and Pan (bread). It was amazing. Did you guys  remember to eat Pumpkin pie and Cheesecake for me? Those things do not exist here.

Scripture Study
This week I finished reading 3rd Nephi, 4th Nephi, and Mormon. One theme I found in these chapters was The Light of Christ. The Light of Christ can mean a lot of things, but here are two definitions that I found during my personal study. 

  1. An example and obedience
  2.  Knowledge
 I was reading in D&C 6:21 where it says that Christ is the light in the darkness. If we liken Christ to the darkness we can feel when we don't have the Holy Ghost with us, when we choose to not follow the prompting of the Holy Ghost or we choose not to obey the commandments. Then I found this amazing scripture in Helaman 13:9
And afour hundred years shall not pass away before I will cause that they shall be smitten; yea, I will visit them with the sword and with famine and with pestilence. 

One question came to my mind...How long will you choose to live in the darkness and not the light? I have shared this scripture with a few of our investigators and it really makes them think. I was then reading in Mormon 5:16-24, where it talks about Christ, and how he is our shepherd.  It also says not to be lead by Satan and to humble ourselves and repent. It was pretty amazing to find all of these scriptures and really think about the Light of Christ. Christ will always be the light in the darkness and his light will never not be there, but are we willing to see his LIGHT? It was a great scripture and spiritual experience for me. It's amazing that I was able to really search the scriptures and find what the Light of Christ meant to me personally. 

My Week
On Tuesday we had a mulit zone conference with President Dennis. It was all about the Obra de Salvacion and Christ (Work of Salvation). We watched videos about Christ, loved it and we also got to take a photo as a Zone.

On Thursday, Thanksgiving we had a baptism! E got baptized!! He had a baptismal interview on Wednesday and decided to get baptized the next day! After his baptism and after he got the Gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday, he said that he no longer felt alone in this world. He is also finding a lot of strength in the scriptures!

On Sunday, his two nieces also came to church. We found E, because his two older nieces K and R, were baptized 3 years ago with their mother in the church, but have not been to church for a while. 

One of the youth named Leni, lives next door and one day he was helping us with our teaching appointments and told us he had some friends who are members, but have not been to church. He told us that we should talk with them. So he introduced us to them and we taught them for two nights in a row about prayer and reading the scriptures and invited them to church. And they came! That night we went to their house to teach them again, and their parents, and uncle got home from work while we were their and we found out that their uncle E and younger sister A are not members. So we started to teach both E and A as well as their parents. It has been such a great journey with them. 

On Sunday, their younger sister A came to church for one of the first times. She has a baptismal date for the 14th of this month! K also leaned over to us in Relief Society and told us that we saved her. She has been reading the scriptures every night. Last night we taught them about the importance of family prayer and once we left, they stayed on their knees and prayed as a family for the first time. I am so happy for them. I know that they will continue to endure to the end. 

I have been feeling the spirit a lot more lately. About two Sundays ago, we were walking down the street and I got a strong impression to stop right in front of this lady who was leaving one of the tiendas (stores). I turned to my companion and said  contacting, which means we start talking to a person and get to know them. So, I asked her if I could help her carry her groceries home. She said yes and we talked to her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She said she was Catholic, but had a Son who she thought might like to listen.

 We talked to Hermano C, he is Jehovah Witness and lives by himself, but was visiting his mother. We talked to him and invited him to church the following Sunday. He didnt really seem interested and he lives in a different area some of the week, so we just made a note to meet with him again in a week or two. To our surprise he showed up to church without us calling him! He has come to churhc the past two sundays and this week on Thursday he called and told us he wanted to be baptized! He has a baptism date for the 7th of December! In the same week I also found a scripture in 1 Nephi 4:6 which says I was lead by the Spirit not knowing where to go.

Things are so much better this week. The spanish is coming. I still dont completely understand everything and sometimes it is frustrating, but it is getting way better. I am so thankful the Lord and his help through the Holy Ghost.

Always AnnaAlicia

14 Things I wish I had known before coming to Ecuador!

This week a lovely reader and soon to be missionary, Mickelle e-mailed me asking a few questions about my mission area. I loved this e-mail so much that I knew I had to share it with all of you!

Here is what she wanted to know
Was there was anything I wished I had known before I came to Ecuador? Anything I wished I had brought with me? What kind of clothing to pack and what to wear on P-day? 

  1.  There are no p-day clothes, bring clothes for working out and pajamas
  2. Bring lots and lots of tampons, they don't use them here. I did find some the other day, but they were about $1 a piece
  3. Bring sunscreen! It's expensive here if you can find it 
  4. Don't buy a water bottle with a filter, you will get one in the MTC
  5. Bring clothes for hot weather and fabrics that will dry quick, you wash your clothes by hand here
  6. Bring dri-slik garments  you can ask the people at Dessert they will help you. Don't buy the thick cotton ones because they take a few days to dry and we can only wash clothes on Monday
  7. Bring bandaids, they don't really sell them here
  8. Hair products, I brought enough for a few months
  9. Bring pjay shorts, it is 80 degrees at night
  10. Don't buy spanish scriptures you get them in the MTC
  11. Buy a spanish mini hymn book
  12. Bring a few cardigans for when you get cold. I have not had that happen yet but one day at church they blasted the air conditioner
  13. Bring good shoes but you don't have to bring a bunch of Danskos ect, I wish I would have brought a few normal flats from Target.
  14. Oh and they say not to bring a backpack but a shoulder bag, but everyone here uses backpacks and I wish I had one
I hope that helps anyone coming to the Ecuador Guayaquil West Mission!