Tuesday, March 29, 2016

When In Doubt...

Anyhow, Easter was pretty uneventful here, in Ecuador. The Easter Bunny doesn't exist here in Ecuador (though they should totally have an Easter Cuy Guinea Pig?), but there are events all week long as the Catholics (aka everyone) celebrate holy week. We didn't see much here because I think the biggest parades happen in the big cities like Quito, but we did see a procession or two. It looks like they reenact different parts of Christ's life. I saw a parade where they had a guy dressed up as Jesus carrying a cross and Roman soldiers and everything, and they even went over to football field and did a mock Crucifixion. I didn't take pics because there was no way they wouldn't see me. Oh and there are these guys who dress up like the KKK (or the KKK dress up like them?), but in purple, and it was kind of terrifying. I'm sure all of this stuff happens in the States too but for a culturally ignorant Elder like me it was all pretty new. It didn't really affect us at all, it just meant no one was home on Good Friday and we spent all day contacting...

I had a pretty silly moment this week. One morning I went to make some oatmeal which I hadn't made in a long time. I checked the milk, and it was within the expiration date, but just by a few days. I took a whiff. Nothing. So I went ahead and started to making the oatmeal. Well it started smelling really funny, which should've alerted me (actually the fact that the milk here comes in bags should've been the first thing to bug me), but I threw in a bunch of cinnamon and it kind of went away. A few times the phrase the nurse had taught us crossed my mind, "When in doubt, throw it out." But I hadn't made oatmeal in forever and was determined to see it through. So, I ate it.

That night I had stomach pain and shivering all night and lost at least an hour of sleep and generally felt miserable the next morning.

Thank heavens by the afternoon I was feeling mostly ok again, but at the very least I learned by experience what I should've learned by faith. When in doubt, throw it out!

We also had a great experience with Karina, who we're still working with...she's always so close to progressing really well, but never seems to get all the way there. This week we took a huge step forward. We were reading Mosiah 18 with her and got to verse 8 or 9 where Alma asks his people what stops them from being baptized. My companion asked her, "What holds you back?" And she said, after a moment, "I'll be honest, I'm worried what my family thinks." I was like, woah! Finally she tells us! I also felt the Spirit confirming the moment. It was great. Now that actually isn't too much of a problem for her. We hope to maybe baptize her this month.

Oh and Samantha's baptism was on Saturday! My comp. and I went early, at like 12 (the baptism was at 5) to fill the font, because it takes forever to fill. We left the water going and went to work. When we came back at about 4...we realized the water had for some reason stopped about halfway and wasn't being filled anymore. Turns out there wasn't any water in the entire chapel. So my comp. had to baptize her kneeling - but other than that it turned out great! Her mom had set up the program and made a little book for people to write in and everything, so it was really nice.

One last experience I loved: we were visiting a member whose son had served a few years ago and she was telling us about how hard it had been for him to come back. He didn't really know what to do with his life, wanted to go back to the mission (now he's fine though don't worry). She said that when they took off his plaque, he cried.

I took a moment and thought about what it'll be like when they take off mine. And I started to cry a bit, too as the Spirit testified of the joy of being a missionary.

I love being a missionary! It's kind of the best. I hope you all can get to feel a bit of what it's like to be a missionary as well this week.
 Tostado and chochos, typical mountain food.

Eating encebollados today .

A rainbow. It rains a lot then is sunny then rains then gets sunny.

Us and Samantha.

Samantha and family.

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