Me at the Panecillo pointing at Daniel (I mean, Elder Bowman´s) mission, Quito Sur.
(This is gonna be really long, sorry.)
FAMILIAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Y AMIGOS, (FAMILY & FRIENDS)
Wow, okay what. How is this change HALF WAY OVER already!? Time is flyin'. Crazy. First off, I would like to thank my long lost friends (y'all know who y'all are) for finally writing me, gracias (thank you.) Y'all have no idea how much letters mean to me *sniff sniff*.
Verification was dope. We got to go and see the Panecillo (google it) where you can see all of Quito. There´s an angel or a virgin or something that has Satan (the snake) all chained up during the apocalypse. I would google it and give a more understandable description but page 26 of the manual missional (Mission Manual) says otherwise (hehe). Anyways, it was an incredible experience to find out a little more about the history of missionary work here in Quito. So SO cool. Here´s part of the story we got to read (sorry if it has bad grammar, I am translating it from Spanish to English):
In 1965, Elder Spencer W. Kimball spoke with President David O McKay about plans for missionary work in South America. He pointed to Quito and spoke of millions of indigenous on the high plateau of the Andes mountains. ¨There are millions of pure blood Indians who speak different languages and dialects. I believe that the time has arrived for the Lamanites to hear the gospel,¨ he said. President McKay gave him the green light. In October 1965, four missionaries were sent to Quito… They met and talked with the people in the market and later traveled in taxi with the Mission President of the Andes Mission to the top of the hill called Panecilla, in the center of the city, in order to offer a prayer dedicating the country of Ecuador for the preaching of the gospel. Elder Kimball prayed saying, ¨They have waited so long, our Father, for the gospel to come to them… We ask Thee to bless them, Father, that their hearts may be warmed and that they may be filled with the glorious truths of thy gospel.¨
Later, Elder Kimball and they group traveled to Otavalo, where in a small plaza they sat in the shade of a tree while the driver changed a tire on the car. A boy appreared and asked if he could shine their shoes for a few cents, and they accepted. Elder Kimball said to the youth, ¨Cornalio, there are things more important than money¨, and he explained to him that the missionaries would come to Otavalo with the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Just three weeks later, the first 9 members in Quito were baptized. Elder Kimball returned to Ecuador in 1967, the elders took him to visit the Peguche Indians (THAT’S OUR AREAYAYAYAYA) They found a site for meeting and the elders stopped the people who were passing along the street to invite them to the meeting. About 100 people met and sat in silence as they listened to the mission president talk about the Book of Mormon.
Later, Elder Kimball spoke about the visit of Jesus Christ to the Americas (my favorite thing to talk about with the indigenas, because it relates directly to them, and they have such an open heart about Christ coming to their lands). He testified of Jesus Christ and told the Indians that the missionaries are teachers of truth. After the meeting, Elder Kimball recalled, ¨Of all the meetings that I have ever attended, I believe that this was the most inspirational and motivating.¨
Hermana Urbina and I almost cried when it was talking about Peguche. Truly such a cool place. I love it here, so much. The church has grown IMMENSELY in a short 49 years. In fact, Otavalo is sometimes referred to as "Utah-valo." Hahah. Its really cool to know that this is a blessed land.
AH -- so this week we were able to teach and baptize Caya. She just turned 9 on Saturday, AH it was so special. She´s the daughter of a menos active (less active) fambam, and the cutest thing ever. I understand why the scriptures say we should become as a child because they are just the best little people ever. She was super prepared and really excited to take a step closer to returning to live with our Heavenly Father. (The water was freezing but she was still super happy. I love kids.)
STORY TIME. The bishop didn´t show up to the baptism because he was out in the middle of nowhere picking up food for his cui´s HASHTAG PEGUCHE PROBS……. (He has a guinea pig farm) and told us he couldn´t make it like 2 minutes before the baptism because it was pouring rain and the bus didn´t come. Also, the hermano (Brother) who was going to baptize Caya was AWOL. Soooo, me and my companions found a classroom and knelt down in prayer. Literally 2 sentences in, when I was asking porfavor ayudenos encontrar una solution (please help us to find a solution), RING RING. Our cellular rang and it was Hermano (Brother) Juan Carlos, the second counselor of the bishopric. The elders were nearby, so the baptism was able to be carried out! (it is necessary that there were 2 witnesses, a member of the bishopric, and someone to baptize sweet little Caya.) Blessings bleeessssings. Prayer is powerful, people.
At Caya's baptism
This week we also had a tight Mini Conferencia (conference). Our leaders are amazing! Learned a lot of new stuff and went over and strengthened other things. Indicadores calves (key indicators) went up! It's time to do werrrrrrrrk. We have implemented goals to reach the new standard. We did way better with lecciones con miembro presente (lessons with a member present) this week, which is a good progress. We are trying different approaches and tactics to try and get people to attend church this week... If you scared, go to chuuuurrrrch.
Super cool experience, we went and just knocked on a door because we were looking for a family we has contacted a little while back (we had no idea where they lived), and met Laura E. Such a receptive, sweet lady. We had a really good leccion uno (lesson one), and resolved some of her doubts about being baptized... then, lo and behold, her two-year-old whips out a Book of Mormon before we even got the chance to! Turns out her husband was an investigator like 4 years ago or something, but she didn´t live with him at the time since he was super abusive, but the gospel changed him (even though he never got baptized), so she didn´t understand practically anything about the gospel, but she knew she loved it. We are going to go back and teach them as a family sometime this week. Such miracles can happen when we follow promptings of the Spirit!
We are professional chefs at home. We make fried plantains (bananas), arroz con huevo (rice with egg), Hna Urbina and I are gonna make our fave Gallo Pinto (black beans & rice) this week if we can find beans. (They're impossible to find here, ALONG WITH TORTILLAS!! I miss Mexican food --wa). We also make grilled cheese, guacamole from scratch, salsa from scratch, our own French fries and banana chips, oatmeal, brownie balls. Yeaaah, we eat greedy.
I had a really cool experience this week and I´d like to share it with you. Hermana Urbina and I were walking home three nights ago when we contacted a guy named Arturo, it was kinda weird since he wasn´t an indigena (usually theres 99.9% indigenas in our sector) and we started talking with him. He has never heard of the church before, he is a backpacker so he´s been searching for something more for almost 8 years. He said that sometimes he meditates but he wants to figure out how to get closer to God, and that never before in his life has missionaries (nor anyone who spoke of God) had been presented in front of him. Anyways, we taught him about prayer and some of Leccion uno (lesson one). But it was crazy because I knew that he was leaving to go home to South Ecuador the next morning, and we wouldn’t be able to see him again but OH MY GOODNESS, I had so so much LOVE for him! It was a really cool experience to feel Christ´s PURE love flowing through me. I taught him as a person, not as a lesson. I truly wanted him to understand. It was a total light bulb moment.
Anyways, we are suuuuuuuper excited for Stake Conference this weekend! We made cute invitations for everyone, hashtag crafty. It’s a really good way to get them to come to church since its 2 hours instead of three. Ha, ya gotta start somewhere… OOOH and apparently Elder Uceda is coming! Yayy! He is SO awesome.
I literally think that we walked about 16 miles a day this week. My blisters are gnaaaarly. But, my tummy feels better, YAY! Not sure if the parasites are gone yet, but I´m taking the test .
Okay so I think that the cameras just can’t stay away from me… We were on TV this week! On the news, me and my companion. We were up at the cascada de penuche (Peguche Waterfall) teaching a lesson and some reporters wanted a shot of us. That´s all. But then all the members were all excited when they saw us -- hahah.
This week we decided we wanted to make contacting more interesting, so me and my compa would give each other a word we would have to use every contact, HAHAHA so fun. We used donkey, corn, ear, spoon, zombie, nose, comet, straw… It was way fun, and we got a couple new investigators out of it! Wooooooooop.
HAHHAHAHAA what cuis (guinea pigs) look like alive and dressed in the typical outfit here.
Some of my favorite quotes this week:
¨We can change without repentance. But we can´t repent without changing.¨
Doctrine & Covenants 115:5
3 Nefi (Nephi) 15:9-10
¨All intelligent beings who are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives MUST pass through every ordeal appointed for intelligent beings to pass through, to GAIN their glory and exaltation. (like in the scriptures it says you can gain your eternal life/rest/glory if you endure your trials well)
"Every calamity that can come upon mortal beings will be suffered… to PREPARE them to ENJOY (because how else would you know the difference and appreciate it?) the presence of the Lord…"
"Every trial and experience you have passed through is NECESSARY for your salvation.¨-Brigham Young
Thank you so much for being such great people. I love y'all and appreciate y'all more than y'all know.
Con Amorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (with love)
Hermana (Sister) Bowman