Monday, October 20, 2014


October 20, 2014

Big greetings from Hermana B to all those I love!!  I hope this letter finds you all well and happy - because truly, what reason do we have to be sad?!

Well this week I became dehydrated.  One, because THE SUN, phew, is REALLY STRONG which scientifically means evaporation, which leads to condensation, which means clouds - which means more humidity. :/  How lovely right?!  I am told we are just ending winter (yeah, winter in my mind means cold…but nope not here!) and it gets even worse from December through February!  And two, from pouring all my heart and energy into testifying of the love and divinity of our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ I forgot to drink enough.  It truly is incredible to think about the capacity I have as a simple missionary - that a Heavenly Being can speak through me - so humbling.

As our mission President always asks, “Why are you looking down at the pavement?!  Your future investigators are not cemented into the ground….LOOK UP!”  My companion and I were a little frustrated with ourselves on Wednesday because we forgot to pay the water bill on Monday and they were going to cut off our water the next day (jaja, real grown-up stuff!).  So we had to go to the bank to pay the bill.  When we got there the line was a little long to say the least, and there was just one attendant ready to help. 

We got in line and stood there in silence, both of us thinking of how we were going to be late for lunch and then be late for our appointments that afternoon, you know - the domino effect.  When my companion, following the flow of the line, was really excited that we were finally moving, accidentally bumped into the man in front of us.  She apologized, but as missionaries we don’t always know what to do when you accidentally touch a man - so she awkwardly complemented him on his neon green wife-beater shirt he was wearing.  Jaja!  We have come to accept that we are just awkward people sometimes.  :)

Well, the man began asking us the common questions - where we are from, why we were there and where we were going.  We first answered his questions literally, and later on gave him the spiritual side of things.  We came to know him as Carlos Ortiz, the taxi driver (who ended up giving us a free ride to our lunch appointment, saving us the 25 cent bus fare that we didn’t have - life as a missionary is poor.)

It was probably the great charismatic skills of my companion and her wonderfully awkward comment on his wife-beater shirt that helped him accept a visit from us the following day, but more likely than not, it was because our Heavenly Fathers plan is PERFECT.    The following morning we learned that Carlos Ortiz, recently had a heart attack, is going blind in his left eye, his wife left him with their 2 sons about 4 years ago for his best friend (uhh...rough stuff right), and sadly does not believe that the windows of heaven are indeed open and miracles never cease. 
We felt impressed to ask Carlos if he truly felt like our Heavenly Father was aware of his circumstances and that He truly wanted him to be happy.  It broke my heart when Carlos sincerely responded, “No, I feel like there are so many people in the world that have bigger problems so he has forgotten about me.”  AHHH, que triste [how sad]. 
Our Heavenly Father is aware of each one of us.  He knew that the missionaries of Primavera would forget to pay their water bill and Carlos would as well.  We were an answer to HIS prayer.  Carlos is beginning to see the tender mercies of the Lord, and that although we may feel like God is quiet, He is profoundly showing his love in unexpected ways.  Carlos is SUPER receptiva [receptive] and is now humbly willing to learn the truths of who he is and that miracles never cease to exist. 
Now for an update on one of our Mormones Secos, Liliam and her CHEVERISIMO (super cool) husband Enrique.  Well, first off Liliam’s sister lives in the United States and is a member of the church, so they have always been attending church with them when they go to visit.  Their daughter Alexandra, who is 12 (but is WAY taller than I am, haha I didn’t think that would ever happen in Ecuador, but ya), was baptized a few months ago because she saw how happy her aunt and cousins were.  As for Liliam, we truly don’t know why she doesn’t want to get baptized.  She LOVES to attend church, LOVES reading the Book of Mormon, LOVES having family home evening, and LOVES the idea that her family can be eternal... she loves everything. 
However, Enrique is super Catolica [Catholic] (well, he says he is, but he never goes to church).  Enrique worked in the U.S. for YEARS so he knows A TON of English.  Their family even watches movies in English and their other daughter is always running around singing songs from Frozen.  The best thing he told us was, "I love talking with you guys, it reminds me of my time in America...FLASHBACK!"- That was all in English too!  HAHA I died laughing. 
Enrique’s mentality changed this week when we shared the message with him that his family could be together forever.  We taught a quick overview of basically ALL of our missionary lessons (something like a fruit basket so he could get a taste for everything), and he is SUPER excited to keep listening to the lessons.  He also said the prayer at the conclusion of our visit. The Spirit was SO strong, SO strong, that tears came to his eyes and honestly I couldn’t hear the end of the prayer because he didn’t want to burst out crying, so he ended the prayer super-fast and just jumped off the couch and ran to the kitchen to "get a drink of water" (aka hiding the fact that he was crying).  We are preparing Liliam and Enrique to get baptized on the 8th of November, so we are super excited to start teaching them more these next few weeks!
NOW to the GREATEST FAMILY IN ALL THE WORLD (next to my own) LA FAMILIA JARA!!!!! Have I told you all how much I adore this family?!?!?!  Maybe it hasn’t come across in the letters, but just imagine me smiling from ear to ear every time I think of their wonderful family.  This week the members just EMBRACED them at Church on Sunday in all of the classes.  The best was Leslie surrounded by ALL of the young women listening intently to her crazy stories. 

Gregory (the son) asked me if after their baptism we can continue to come to their house everyday, QUE LINDO!!!!!!!!!! [HOW CUTE!]  Also, he is super anxious about how he is going to communicate with you all when they come to visit if you don’t know Spanish. :)  He is looking forward to talking with Dad and he wants you all to learn Spanish, entonces pongense PILAS! [Literal translation would be “well then, insert your batteries.”  I think her meaning here is “well then, get going or get your act together in learning Spanish!”]

WE shared the law of tithing and fasting with the family on Sunday and they already have a testimony of both of these principles.  While Gregorio (the dad) was in jail they had to pay A BUNCH of money to speed up the process to find the bad guy, but with the incredible example of their grandma and putting her faith in the Lord and ALWAYS paying her tithing, Wendy expressed, "I don’t know how, but we always had sufficient money for our needs, and we were able to fulfill the payment.”  Also this last Sunday they were fasting again so they can continue to prepare for their baptism this coming week. 

In church on Sunday a missionary was giving his farewell and talked about how much love he already has for the people of his mission...which reminded me of myself before I came to the greatest place on earth.  I THOUGHT I loved the Ecuadorian people....but that was nothing compared to what I feel now for each one of my brothers and sisters here, and in this case the Familia Jara. 
Working with all my heart this week in diligently searching for my brothers and sisters, I have shed many tears of happiness and gratitude that I am here being taught BY THEM of how to magnify my faith in the Savior and FOLLOW HIM. 

You all already know this, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Ecuador and everything in it.  Hope all is well in good old Draper, UTAH! 

Thank you for all of the prayers and love being sent on my behalf.


Hermana B

#rejoiceevermore (haha dad I love the hashtag, super catchy and has now become my motto)  

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