I'll be serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 18 months in the Ecuador Quito Mission. I'm leaving my family, friends, and familiar surroundings behind to teach the message I have to share to bring others closer to Christ and help families be together for eternity.
So I have a funny story for you. Well its pretty obvious as we are walking down the streets here in Guaranda that we are two gringas, we are both tall and we are both white and I am blonde. So yesterday we were contacting, and we just started contacting this one lady in front of her house. But, like 2 seconds after we started talking to her, this old man started talking to us, he asked where we were from so we politely answered him and then that started a conversation up with him. He started out by telling us how beautiful we were (keep in mind that this is like a 65 year old guy) and then he asked if we have the Holy Mass in our church, when we responded no he was shocked. We said that we are a different church so we don´t have mass. Then he started asking if we had the bible and we said yes that we always have the bible with us. Then he asked if we could have a bible. We said that we didn´t have any bibles to hand out to people. He then started saying how I could give him mine, but then I said that it had my name on it and that he wouldn´t want it. He then said, well I would like to have something to remember your name so I don´t mind. But, I then tried to return to the lady that we had been contacting, but she then said she had to go inside and said goodbye to us. Then this old man was trying to convert us to the catholic church. He said "I have a proposition for you guys, just join the catholic church, it´s really pretty." A good argument, but I think that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints has a prettier ring to it :) He then insisted on keeping talking to us, no matter how many times we tried to leave and stop talking to him. Then he invited us to join his church again, and then started talking about how we need to pray for him so that he might come to our church next week. And then he kept telling us how gorgeous we were and that we are missing out not going to the catholic church. It was a very interesting conversation and the old man here just love us gringas :)
We have a progressing investigator here now in Guaranda! Marly is doing awesome and came to church yesterday! She is reading the Book of Mormon and really feels that this church is the true church! She has a ton of faith and has really been prepared to hear our message! Hopefully we can keep helping her to progress and to understand the importance of baptism and what it means :) She was telling us again yesterday that she feels like we are her answer to change and to follow God more. She just puts a bright light in our week. Also this week we found a family and started teaching them and they seem really interested and really want to know the truth! One problem is that they weren´t able to go to church, because he had a soccer game. That is a big problem here in Ecuador, because people love soccer, and a lot of the time the games are on saturday. Hopefuly we can help them to understand the importance of this gospel and help them to have a desire to keep the sabbath day holy, and hopefully he can find a new team and start playing on saturdays.
Here every thursday we have a district and zone meeting. But our meetings are in Riobamba and Riobamba is a 2 hour bus ride away. So every thursday we have to leave by 7:30 to catch the 8 bus to Riobamba to be there by 10 and then we usually leave Riobamba by 2 and get back to Guaranda by 4, so we usually lose a lot of our thursday. But I have learned to love the bus ride and use it to catch up on my book of mormon reading and to sleep :) A cool thing though is we go up pretty high to cross mountains and when we are high up we are passing through clouds so all you can see is white outside of the bus windows. You can´t see anything more than 5 feet away. It is pretty spooky, but cool :) I love it here in Ecuador, it is so pretty!!!
Today for our pday we hiked up to a indian statue that they have here in Guaranda, I think it might represent the natives that started Guaranda or something. But, it has a really pretty view of Guaranda as well and it was a fun little hike. It was good to get out a do something.
I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week!