Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Hooray! Miguel and Marlene Pillajo were baptized on Saturday, and it was a good experience! They're doing well, they felt good, and we'll do everything we can so that they can keep progressing! I got to baptize Miguel and my companion baptized Marlene. It's been a good long while since I've baptized a "real" convert, and it was a great experience. I know everything's in the Lord's hands. And I was also super impressed and happy to see that the very next day Miguel was ready to pay tithing! That was super great. Of course, that's only half the battle, and we just need to keep working with the branch so that they can have callings, etc. and keep moving forward...until they get to the temple!

In other news, this week my companion go to go on an adventure. At one point the zone leaders take us aside and say, "Hey, you need to be here tomorrow in the chapel at 8:30. Elder Vargas is going to Colombia with Elder Mendoza." It was the strangest thing I'd ever heard so I thought they were joking, but...turns out they weren't. Elder Mendoza, our zone leader, has had visa problems and had to leave the country because he wasn't technically allowed to be there. The plan was to take him across the border (which is only about 3 hours from Ibarra), where they'd get all the paperwork settled to get him back in. Since he would have to be absent right during the days where the zone leaders have to meet with the rest of the missionaries and train them, he had to go with Elder Vargas so that the other zone leader, Elder Stephens, could stay here and do all the meetings. So yeah, I had to accompany Elder Stephens for about 2 days while Elder Vargas and Elder Mendoza ran around with some members who work in the offices to get all that figured out. It was really weird, especially because Elder Stephens and I were stretched between our two sectors, which are at either end of Ibarra. But it was good.

We had a cool experience where our appointments fell through and we started contacting. Before one door, Elder Stephens said to me, jokingly, "We're going to find a family of 5 here, all above the age of baptism, that wants to give us food." We knocked. A young lady came out and we started to talk to her, and eventually we got in the house (her dad was home, too). Her mom came in to the room to listen, then her brother, then her sister...then her little brother. 5. All within the age of baptism.

Well, they didn't give us food, but oh well, next time. :)

We had a training by President about the Apostasy and the Restoration. It was a good moment to remember our testimonies of the First Vision. I know Joseph Smith really was called of God to be a prophet! I know he saw the Father and the Son, and I'm very grateful for that. If you have doubts or don't know...just pray and ask God! He'll help you know what's right or wrong.

And this week, we have another baptism planned - Samanta, the daughter of a less-active, Ana, that we rescued this week! Her mom plans on being very active in the church, so I don't feel bad at all baptizing her daughter. I know they'll keep moving forward.

Well that was this week! My head is kind of blank right now, but I know the church is true, that's sure enough! Oh and a huge thanks to the Karatassoses for the super awesome package. I hadn't had dark chocolate in almost two years. Thank you so much. :)

The baptism!


"Fanesca," the typical Easter dish here. Way good, but super filling. It's a soup made of every grain imaginable. Then they put all the stuff you see in the picture on it, plus dried fish. Super tasty, but I couldn't even finish this bowl.

Some pretty scenery in our sector.

 We tried out "helados de paila" this week. Normally the waffle cones here are paper trash, but this was the real deal.

 This is how they make the ice cream. The pan is resting on ice, and I guess they toss the ice cream ingredients in there and spin it around to make ice cream!

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