Monday, December 31, 2012

Quito Week 8 Pictures

Quito Week 8

Hey fam!!

I'm glad everything is going well! And that you all really enjoyed Christmas and I hope everyone enjoys New Years Eve!! And it was sooo awesome to Skype you all!!! Whoo!!

But things are going really well here! I don't have a ton of time to write because we have to be in the house at 4 today, but know I'm doing well. Things are pretty crazy here in Ecuador right now though haha. Everyone goes a little loco for the holidays. All the people are drinking and you have to watchout for drunk people everywhere haha. Oh and for New Years Eve they do some weird things here. First, they all make these puppets or giant toy things that they are going to burn at midnight. They're really weird. And then, the weirder part is that the dudes all dress up and chicks and then try and dance with you and stuff and you have to pay them. It's really strange and disturbing at times. But that's Ecuador! haha!

Oh one thing I forgot to tell you all is that we had this activity in our ward before Christmas and the guy who was going to be Santa ended up not being able to. So who did they ask to be Santa? The gringo in the ward haha. So I was Santa for the ward activity. I'm going to send some pictures so I hope you enjoy haha. It was actually a lot of fun.

As for other things, I think I already told you that I have now eaten kidney and cow intestines. The kidney was kind of gross but I actually kind of enjoyed the cow intestines haha.

Ummm as for other things, I can't think of a lot else. Oh we're going to have 2 baptisms this weekend!! Whoohoo!!! Finally!! It's been a while since I've had a baptism so I'm way excited! Oh and to answer your question mom, I have seen gringos every now and then, but I think most of them live in the north of Quito where it's a little nicer.

Well that's about all I have time for. I love you all sooo much and it was soo awesome to skype with you all! I really love being here on the mission and it's soo freaking awesome to be a missionary! I'll write more next week! Have a great New Years Eve!!


Elder Joshua Lee

Quito Week 7

Tomorrow's Christmas!!!! Whoohoo!!! Honestly it doesn't really feel like Christmas here. We've done some things to make it more Christmasy, but it still doesn't really feel like it. But I'm okay with that! I'm still having a ton of fun and am wayyyy excited to skype with all of you tomorrow!! Whoohoo!! So I'm planning on like 4 o'clock here with should be like 2ish there. But maybe a little before or a little after.
And I got more packages today!! Whoo!! Thanks soo much! I got one from Anna and Stu and another one from the Farnsworths. It is awesome! I love all the goodies and expecially the watch from Anna and Stu and the Christmas music from Sister Farnsworth! It made it a really good day.

So I really wanted to send some more pictures, but this computer doesn't have a place for me to plug my camera in so you're going to have to wait until next week. Sorry for not writing very much, but we have to be in the house by 4 today. But just know that I am having a great time and love you all soo much! Have an awesome Christmas and can't wait to talk to you all tomorrow!!! Love you!!!


Elder Joshua Lee

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Quito Week 6

Dear Family and Friends,

Nate got his mission call!!!! Whoohooo!!!! My bro's going to Chile!!! That's soo awesome! I'm soo stoked for him. I hope he's just as pumped as I am haha. He's gonna be a stud missionary. I feel like Santiago is like an old place with cool buildings and all that stuff. I'd love to hear more about it!
Well I don't have a ton of time this week, but today we had transfers! And they closed our sector so my companion and I both are leaving and going to new sectors. I didn't go far though. I just got transfered to the other district in our zone, but I'm way excited to go there! Things were pretty tough with missionary work in our sector, so it's nice to go to a new sector. And I finally got out of the cold showers!! Whoo!! It'll be nice to bath with hot water again. And my new sector doesn't have any hills which will be nice.
My companion is Elder Zuloeta, another latino. But I already got to know him from being in the zone and he's way cool. I'm looking forward to working with him and learning a lot from him. It's gonna be a good change!
Oh and I got the package today! I lied about getting it a week ago. Sorry haha. But I got it this week and thanks soo much for everything!! It's soo awesome! And I got to send some letters off today so hopefully they get there soon. As for skyping, which is better, Christmas eve or Christmas day? I'm planning on Christmas day, but if you send me an email really quick saying Christmas eve is better I can then. But I'm planning on 3 or 4 ecuador time Christmas day. It'd be awesome if the Hills coould be there and Anna and Stu if they want to!. Sorry I don't really have time for more but I'm soooo excited to talk to you all in a week!!! Whoo!!!! Sorry for not sending pictures. Next week! Love you all and talk to you in a week!!!
Elder Lee

Quito Week 5 Pictures

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Quito Week 5

Dear Fam and Friends,

Glad to hear everything is going well with the fam! And mom I'm glad you're feeling better! The flu is no fun. I had one day this last week where I was feeling pretty terrible in the stomach, but it was only a one day thing. It's a lot better than this other Elder in my zone. Elder Russell from Utah had been to the hospital 2 different times and threw up like 4 times today and he has less time than me here in Ecuador. But he's a trooper and a great Elder and he'll make it through this.

As for me, all is still well here in Ecuador. This week started off a little tough as well. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who's had a bit of a hard time getting along with a latino companion. It has been tough with him, but we talked about it a little this last week and things are going a little better. It also was a little tough Sunday morning because again, no one came to church. We went by everyone of our investigators houses before church to bring them, but they either weren't home or couldn't come for some reason or other. I'm still trying to figure out how to help the people here see the importance of coming to church. But I'm going to figure it out soon!

As for the rest of the week, it was great! Sunday night was awesome. As a zone, we got permission from President Ghent to go out caroling 2 times a week to contact people, and it was a ton of fun! We went out with the 12 of us missionaries and knocked on doors and sang Christmas hymns to contact people. It was a soo much fun being together with all the other missionaries in our zone and singing of Christmas, and we got some really good contacts out of it. I like it a lot better than just knocking on doors to contact people because they seem a lot more willing to listen to us and a lot more friendly when we contacted them that way. We'll see what happens with these people! And I'm going to try and send some pictures of this.

Then today, as a zone we went to el mitad del mundo, or the center of the world! Latitud 00.00.00. It was a ton of fun too! It actually felt a lot like Arizona there which was really weird. The houses in that area were a little nicer and it was hot and everything looked really deserty, like with cacti and all that. But it was a ton of fun. I took some pictures so I'm going to try and send those home too, but the pictures aren't loading right now so I'll try and make it work.

At the center of the world, we took this tour thing where they told us all this stuff. We saw this 250 year old shrunken head (I'm sending a picture of that) and learned how the indigenous people made shrunken heads. We also balanced an egg on the head of a nail. Something about the forces there let you do that, and I got a certificate for it! And then, one of the coolest parts was when we made water go down a drain. On the north side of the equator it went one way, and on the south it went the other way! And then right on the equator, the water didn't swirl around like in a whirlpool, but just went straight down the drain. Kind of cool!

But that's what's going on with me. We've had a tough time having people come to church, but I'm working hard and I know the Lord is going to bless us. We found this awesome person yesterday too that I have a lot of hope for progressing. She's a solomom with 6 kids and we're starting to teach her and I feel like she's really gonna progress!

Well thanks soo much for everything! I got the package mom. It's in the offices and some other Elders in our district picked it up for me so I'm not going to get it until thursday, but I'm pumped to see what's inside! Oh and I also was able to write some letters back to David and Kenneth, Rebecca, Heidi and Eden today, but I didn't have time to send them off, so I'll send them next week! I'm glad everything is going well at home and I miss you all a ton! But I'm also so happy to be a missionary and I really know I've been soo blessed for being out here in Ecuador! Talk to you next week!

Elder Lee

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Quito Week 4 Pictures

Quito Week 4

Hey Fam!

Hey thanks soo much for the music and the guitar stuff! It's exactly what I wanted so thank you sooo much!

It's great to hear that the rest of the family is doing well. And Nate got his mission papers in! Whoohoo!!!! I'm soo pumped to see where he goes! You'll have to let me know as soon as you find out. Where does he think he's going? And where are the rest of the guesses?

Hey let Sister Farnsworth know that I'm sooo grateful for her emails! It's great to hear how Alli and Sage are doing on their missions and how the whole Farnsworth fam is. And Sage going to Alabama! Dang! I'm sure he'll enjoy that haha.

Well as for me, it was another pretty tough week here. It started off a lot better than the last week, but then it didn't end so well. We didn't have a single investigator come to church this week. I thought we did just about everything we could to help them come to church. We passed by all of their houses that morning, but they either weren't home or couldn't come for some reason or other. It's been a little discouraging the work here in Quito because no one wants to progress. And most of the people here don't want to listen. They find out we are missionaries and they just walk away or say that they are like never home or are really busy or something. It's been really tough here. We found some awesome people this last week that I thought would progress, but they all seemed to change their minds by the end of the week. I know the Lord just wants me to learn something from this experience though, and we are still working hard and I know he will bless us. Even with all of these challenges of being on a mission and how things can be a little discouraging at times, I still know this is where I am supposed to be and that there is at least one person here in this sector that I am meant to find.

One of these lessons I've learned from being in this sector (and am still learning) is patience. It's definitely true that you will have some companions that you will absolutely love on the mission, and others that will be a little tougher. This companion I have now has been a little difficult. He's not a very talkitive guy and is very brisk and it feels a bit unfriendly at times. It's been a bit of a challenge working with him, but I really have learned soo much from him and from being in this companionship.

On a bit of a lighter note, enjoy the pictures! And yes McDonald's is in the whole dang world haha. I have yet to eat there here (I heard it was a lot different) but I did get a picture with good old Ronald McDonald haha. And that other thing is some fruit they have here. I forgot what it was called, but it was delicious!! Really weird too haha.

Oh and about the Christmas thing, I get to skype you all!!! Whoo!!! I'm not sure the timing and everything yet, so I'll let you know, but it's either Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. But if you all stay in AZ for Christmas, invite the Hills over because it'd be cool to talk to them too! Especially my boy D-Hill.

But all in all, I am still doing great out here in Ecuador. It really is soo beautiful here and it is sooo awesome being a misionary here! I know that we are just having some of these trials to try our faith and that the Lord has prepared people for us, and we're gonna find them! Thanks soo much for all your prayers and letters! Until next week!

Con amor,

Elder Joshua Lee

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Quito Week 3

Dear Fam and Friends,

Great to hear how everyone is doing! I'm glad it sounds like you all had an awesome Thanksgiving with the family and friends. I hope Uncle Stu didn't go too crazy with his Black Friday shopping haha. And I'm glad Grandpa is recovering! He sent me a quick email this week and it was great to hear from him. And Jessie sent me an email too which was awesome! I'm glad she really enjoyed Thanksgiving.

Well now I have passed the first big holiday in the mission, Thanksgiving. It was actually probably the hardest week I've had so far in the mission. I made it through though. We haven't been having very much success here which has been a little discouraging, but I have faith that the Lord will bless us and that we will find people. They're out there waiting, we just have to find them and I know the Lord will guide our steps this week and we will find someone who will want to listen.
As for Thanksgiving day itself, I feel like I have a pretty funny story. While everyone in the good old U.S. was enjoying a giant meal, my companion and I fasted. Yup. I didn't eat a thing for Thanksgiving that day. I actually had completely forgot that that day was Thanksgiving and my companion and I had decided to fast for help in our sector. I feel like it is kind of a funny story.

Oh and one thing that I don't like at all is that our shower is broken. I don't know if I've told you this before, but the houses here in Quito have something to heat the water because it's really cold, but ours is broken. It's like I'm bathing in ice water every morning. And it wasn't bad in Esmeraldas because there you get out of the shower and it's hot. But here, I get out of the shower and I can see my breath. I think it gets me sick every morning. We've called the offices for someone to come fix it so hopefully they do soon, but they haven't come for 3 weeks now so maybe not haha.

Oh and I want to say thanks again for the package! I didn't get a chance to open it before I sent the email last week so I wasn't sure what was inside. Thanks a ton for the pants! They are awesome haha. And thanks for all the treats too! Make sure and tell Ben I love the Mickey snacks. And I got a letter from Grandma Johnson today! Thanks a ton to her and its great to know that they are doing well.

Well that's about all I have for this week. I know that the Lord is looking out for me and that even though my companion and I had a tough week that we are still working hard and I know the Lord will bless us and that we are going to find people. I really am soo grateful to be a missionary and I love being out here even through the hard times. I really have learned so much, especially from times like this last week. I know this is where Ii'm supposed to be and I'm soo grateful to everyone for your prayers and letters! Love and miss you all soo much!

Elder Joshua Lee

P.S. Other ideas for Christmas are the Michael Buble Christmas CD and other Christmas music. Or if possible maybe you could send me some of the Christmas music through an email. That'd be awesome!
P.P.S. So I bought a guitar this week to learn in my free time haha. If maybe you could send me like an attatchment from online showing the guitar chords and how to play them that'd be sweet. I know some, but I'd like to have some more. And maybe if someone could like chose some cool songs with guitars and send me the chords and lyrics through an email that be awesome! Love you soo much mom and thanks for everything you do for me!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pictures From Quito Week 2



Quito Week 2

Dear Family and Friends,

Alright so I'm trying to send emails on two pages now so I hope it works. I have firefox opened sending pictures and I'm trying to send an email from internet explorer so my email won't be as scattered this week like last week, so I hope it works!

Anyways, it's soo great to hear how the family is doing! I'm glad everything sounds like it's going well down there. And thanks soo much to  all of the for the letters! They meant a ton to me!

And let Stacey know that I hope she feels better! And Grandpa too. I'll keep them both in my prayers. And let Grandpa know that if he can send me an email I'd love to send him something every once in a while to let him know how I'm doing.

Well a LOT happened this week.It was a pretty awesome week. As you can probably see from some of the pictures, on Saturday we did a service for a family here called the Family Pepinòs. They have kids living in the U.S. right now so they are familiar with U.S. traditions like Thanksgiving! So after the service we had a big Thanksgiving dinner with all the missionaries in our zone. It was a little early, but it was still a ton of fun!

Then today, we actually did an activity as a zone besides play soccer!! whoo!!! haha. Today we went to a place called Teleferico (i think that's how you spell it). We went up this ski lift thing to the top of a mountain just outside of Quito. I don't know exactly how high we were,but it was way dang high! We were litterally in the clouds. At one point I could barely see two Elders who were about 20 yards ahead of us it was soo cloudy or foggy or whatever you wanna call  it. It was a ton of fun though. I really love the elders and hermanas in my zone. They are soo awesome! I feel like we are really united as a zone here which I think helps a lot with keeping all of us focused, happy, and working hard.

Well I had a ton more to say, but I can't remember it all and I'm running out of time! I'll just finish with things cost soo cheap here. You can buy 3 banannas (sp? Sorry I can't spell that well in english anymore haha) for 10 cents!! And like twenty oranges for 1 dollar! A lot of things are way cheap here! But if it's anything from the U.S. it's usually more expensive. And I'm thinking about either buying a small guitar or a ukelele and learning to play a bit on my P'days or something. I just got to find the place to buy one haha.

Oh and I hope you all enjoy the pictures! I have a ton more, but that's all I have time to send today so hopefully next week or in the next few I can send some more!

Well thanks soo much for everything! Oh and I got the letters today from Jake, Jessie, Ben and Bree as well as the package mom! Thanks soo much! And letters from Eden and Brandon, finally, which were sent like 2 months ago and finally got here. I'll try and write back as soon as I can. But thanks soo much for the letters and the prayers. They mean the world to me! And I really do know that this church is true, and even though we are having a bit of a tough time right now finding investigators who want to listen and progress, I know that there are people out there that the Lord has prepared for us and we just have to find them. I love you all and miss you soo much and I just love being out here being a missionary in Quito Ecuador!!


Elder Joshua Lee

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quito Week !

Hey Fam and Friends!

It's great to hear from all of you this week! I loved the pictures from Disneyland. Especially the one of Ben in Carsland. It looks like he is having the time of his life. I'm glad all the family sounds like they're doing well.
Well so like I said last week real quick... I got transfered. I got sent from Esmeraldas to Quito and wow what a difference there is. First, Esmeraldas was burning hot and Quito is freezing!!! It like POURS rain in the afternoons and it is soo cold here. I've had a hard time adjusting to the cold and the altitude and so I've been a little sick ever since I got here, but I'm still alive!
I'm sending some of my last pictures in Esmeraldas
So my new Zone I'm in is called Atahualpa and I'm in the sector Oriente Quiteña. My sector is just hills. We are on like the outskirts of the city of Quito and it is just hill after hill after hill. I'm climbing hills all day. It is still really tough because I can't breath very well here at 9000ft in the air, but I'm getting used to it. And by the end of my time here I'm going to have some dang ripped legs haha.
And so like I said earlier it rains almost every afternoon. And most of the time it pours. And we are so high up the the lightening and thunder is loco! I there's been some thunder claps soo loud that I thought they were going to blow my ears out and I'm almost a little freaked out of the lightening because we are soo high up and so close to it.
Oh and I also hate the dogs here. The dogs in Esmeraldas were just lazy and wanted to sleep in the sand the whole time because it was so hot. The dogs here are mean. I have yet to get bitten but I've come close a couple times. The dogs really are viscious here. There's a couple things we do to not get bit. First, when dogs start running at us we bend down and either pick up a rock or pretend to pick one up and they'll usually stop or be too scared to keep coming closer. That or we take off our backpacks and put it in the way so that they'll at least bite our backpacks and not us. But I still haven't been bit yet, but my companion did get bit the first day I got here. It didn't break skin because he had on a few layers because of the cold at least.
And that brings me to my companion. I got my first latino companion! His name is Elder Taquez and he is from Columbia. He's been in the mission for 19 months now so he's getting ready to go home. It's a lot different having a latino companion than a gringo. In some way's I like it more because it definitely helps me with my spanish and stuff, but it's a lot different. He's a really quite guy and not very outgoing either. But he's a good guy and we get along pretty well.
Things are still going well. We have a few investigators here that we are working with and some really awesome ones who should be getting baptized soon! I'll make sure and take pictures and send them when it happens. I also love the ward here. The ward here is a lot more like the wards in the States. Our church building even has carpet!! I just wish we had some in our house because our house is at like the top of a mountain and just freeeeezzing!! haha. Oh and next week for P'day we are supposed to do some cool activity and go to some cool place so hopefully I'll have more pictures next week! Oh and for pday we have a mall in our sector so we went there to buy stuff and it's huge! It reminds me of Chandler Fashion Center. And speaking of that, I had a dream last night that for pday my companion and I were back in Arizona and we went to Chandler Fashion Center for Pday. But I was still a missionary. And there I saw some homies like Katie Farnsworth, but she didn't act surprised at all to see me there. It was a really weird dream. Oh and real quick about the weather. It started hailing one day too. It's really cold haha.
Well that's about all I have time for this week! Hopefully I can write more next week and have some more pictures. The ones I sent this week are my last ones from Esmeraldas and then a few I've taken here in Quito. Ill try and get some more. Oh and I finally found a place to send letters! I was able to send some letters to Garebear, Sarah Adams, and Jessica Cook so hopefully you all get them soon! Love you all soo much and thanks for the prayers and letters. Even with the cold, I'm soo pumped to be here in Quito!
Elder Joshua Lee

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Esmeraldas Week 12

Dear Family and Friends,

Glad to hear everything is still going well at home!  As for the package thanks for sending another! And I'll have enough sunscreen to make it until you can send some more. And I'm sure I can find some more somewhere. Maybe not here in Esmeraldas, but in Quito if I ever get there or other cities.

Well anyways, things are going alright here. We've actually had a pretty tough time these last few weeks. Our investigators haven't been coming to church, and because of that, they aren't able to get baptized either. It's been a few weeks since we've had a baptism, which makes me feel a little bad because President has said that it is possible to have a baptism every week. I'm not sure what I need to do better to help my investigators really become converted and have desires to come to church and get baptized. But I'm going to keep working hard and I know that the Lord will help us and that we will have success. We're just having a bit of a hard time right now.

As for other things. I guess I have a few funny stories from this week. The first is that I gave a naked kid ice cream the other day. A lot of the time there are just naked kids walking around the streets here and he asked for my icecream and I didn't want it so I gave it to him haha. And I also saw two naked kids fighting over a bar of soap as well. That's not something I'd expect to see at home haha.

Well those might not be quite as funny as I thought they were going to be. And those are the only funny stories I have haha. But also I just want to say thanks to Uncle Stu and Aunt Anna. The one ugly, brown tie they gave me, is now like my favorite tie here on the mission. At times I want to try to keep some of my other ties a little nice, so this is my "proselyting" tie and I wear it more than any of my other ties. So it really came in handy!

Also thanks a lot to every one who has sent me letters. I got letters from Stacy, David and Kenneth, and Amanda this weeks and thanks soo much for all the letters. It's great to hear how everyone is doing back at home and I promise I am going to write back as soon as I can. I've even written a few letters already, I just don't know where the place is to send them from in Esmeraldas, so I've just been holding on to them. But I'll try and send them as soon as I can! And Amanda, your article was awesome! That's soo cool that you got published in the school paper! And with a picture too!! Saweeeett!!! Keep it up! Who knows, some day you could be writing for a nationwide newspaper or be writting books. Keep up the good work!

And thanks soo much for the letters from David and Kenneth! I'm going to try and write them back as soon as I can. It was soo cute to get Kenneth´s drawing. And way to score a goal David! I miss you too! :)

So that's about it for this week. Even though it's been a tough few weeks, I know the Lord is looking out for us and that he has prepared people here to listen to us. We just have to find them. Hopefully I can write home about a better week next week. And with pictures too! Love you all soo much and thanks soo much for the prayers!

Elder Joshua Lee

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ecuador Week 11

Dear Fam and Friends,

It's great to hear from you and how well things are still going. And yes I did get both the packages. Thanks soo much! They were awesome! I've already eaten a package of beef jerkey, the mixed nuts (which were sweet!) and the skittles. Not all by myself though, I've shared with a lot of the other missionaries here, but thanks soo much! It was great! Oh and real quick about the things if you can send another package, musicwise, other cool piano songs would be sweet too. (like Jon Schmidt and whatever else) I like Amanda's taste in piano music so if she has any ideas that'd be cool. Oh and there was one thing another Elder had here which was pretty cool. He had these fake thumbs that had lights in them and lit up when you pushed on them or something. That was really cool. I don't know where anything like that would be, but it would be a cool "magic trick" to do with the kids haha.

So things are still going well here. To answer some of your questions, first, that church building in the pictures isn't mine. That's the stake center where we do baptisms because our church building doesn't have a baptismal font. The stake center is pretty nice, and our church building isn't too bad either. It's similar to the stake center, just quite a bit smaller.

As for the ward, about 60-70 people attend regularly. It's a really small ward. And according to my companion, it's smaller than the branches he's been in as well. Theres about 200 people on the register, but less than half actually go to church. That's a big problem in all of Ecuador I guess. But we are working with some less active members to try and help them come back to church as well. And to get to the church building we walk like 5-10 minutes down the road so it's not too far.

As for the heat, it is starting to get really hot here. I'm not a huge fan of all this heat, but I guess I have to live with it. The missionaries in our zone went out today and we played some football and ultimate frisbee outside and I forgot to put sunscreen on so I got pretty burned. But not as bad as some of the burns I've gotten in Arizona so I'll be okay. I'm just a little scared because it's supposed to be a lot hotter come January and February, but I'll probably be changed to a different sector by then.

So I said before that I hadn't eaten anything strange here in the mission, that changed this week. This week I had a few pretty strange foods. The first was chicken foot soup. Yes. Chicken foot soup. That was really interesting. It was just a bowl of soup with a couple chicken feet sticking out. And to eat the feet, you just like sucked the skin off of the bones. Really weird and a bit disturbing, but it didn't taste too bad.

The second strange thing I had to eat was..... cow stomach. I don't think I enjoyed it as much because I knew it was something strange before I had started eating it, just not exactly what. But I found out afterwards that it was cow stomach, and it actually wasn't too bad. It was just really chewy and strange the think I was eating it, but it actually tasted pretty good.
And the last thing I had was clam. Which isn't too strange, but that was the first time I had eaten clam. And I think I liked the clam less than the chicken foot or the cow stomach. haha.

Well that's all I've got time for this week! Sorry I couldn't write more. I'll make sure and update you a little better next week. And sorry, I'm kind of slacking on writing letters back to people. I don't have very much time to do so, but I'll get on it as soon as I can! And for Garrett, I already wrote your letter like 2 weeks ago, I just haven't sent it yet. I need to find the place to send letter first. But thanks so much for the letters and the prayers! Until next week!

Elder Joshua Lee