Monday, August 27, 2012

Ecuador First Baptism

Hey Fam and Friends!

So a little about things here. Things are getting a lot better. I´m still having a bit of a tough time, but it has improved soo much and it is getting better everyday. I can´t wait till I get Spanish down though. I feel like things will be soo much more awesome when that happens. But to answer some of your questions, the bus I rode on was pretty nice. It had big comfy seats and tvs and stuff like that. But the city buses aren´t very nice, so it sounds kind of like how it was for dad too. Oh and if you heard anything about the volcano that erupted here in Ecuador, don´t worry. It´s no where near me haha.
The food is pretty good. Since I´m on the coast I´ve had a ton of seafood. The members feed us some kind of fish almost every day. And even though I wasn´t the biggest fish fan back home, the fish here is delicious and I think it tastes way better! Oh and with every meal we get a giant plate of rice. It´s been a little hard to finish some of the meals because there is soo much food, but I try to eat as much as I can so as not to offend anyone. And my stomach is adjusting to the food pretty well. I haven´t gotten really sick or anything yet which is a good thing! And even with all the food the members feed us, I´ve still lost 10 pounds already since being out here. It´s got to be all the walking and sweating I´ve been doing here haha.
My companion is pretty cool. He´s a good guy and helps me out a lot. He´s been out on the mission for about 13 months now so he is a really good teacher and has spanish down really well. I almost wish I had gotten a latino companion because I feel like my companion and I talk in English too much, but that is something we can work on. I want to speak in spanish as much as possible so I can learn as quickly as possible!
So one of the highlights of the week was that I had my first baptism on the mission! I don´t know if it entirely counts because my companion baptized him and I only taught him a couple lessons, but he was the first one! A kid named Jahir who is about 13 years old. It was an awesome experience and I can´t wait to find more people to bring to Christ.
Alright so now the main highlight of this last week...... Elder Holland came to Quito!! All of us elders went to Quito and got to listen to Elder Holland speak. I got to shake his hand and it was such an awesome experience! He spoke with such power and it made me want to really do the best I can out here. And I can say with all my heart now, that I know that that man is an apostle of Jesus Christ, and that this church is true. I know that without a doubt in my heart and I am so grateful to be out here serving the Lord.
Alright that is all I really have time to send. Thanks so much for the emails and the prayers! If any other friends and family get a chance to send a letter sometime that would be awesome! And if you have any other questions please ask! I love you all and miss you all so much!

Elder Joshua Lee

P.S. If you ever get a chance to send a package things like a box of mixed nuts or beef jerkey would be awesome. (cause they don´t have those here). Love you!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ecuador Week #2

Hey Fam!

My p days here are on mondays so Ill have a chance to email you every monday. Well so I am now here in Ecuador! And my first zone (drum roll please) is in Esmereldas! Sorry I probably spelled that wrong. So Im actually no where near Quito. I had to take a 7 hour bus ride to get out here and that was no fun. But I am here on the coast. Today we didnt really have a p day so I didnt get a chance to take pictures, but Ill try and get some good ones next week.

So it is kind of crazy here. Ive probably sweat more than I ever have in my life, but Im getting used to it slowly. It isnt too terribly hot here, but it is really humid which is the hard part. My companion is Elder Housley, another gringo from Utah. Im kind of glad I have a gringo companion because even though Im not going to learn the language as fast, it makes it an easier transition. And it has actually been pretty hard being here. Ive had a bit of a hard time these first couple days because I still cant understand anyone and can't speak Spanish very well, but its getting better. These last like 2 days have been loads better than before. Ive been able to talk a little more in our lessons and as of right now we have 12 people with a baptismal date! Whoo!! I'm finally here and doing the Lord´s work. I just need to try harder to lose myself in the work and I will start having the time of my life. Everytime that i forget about myself and focus on others I feel soo much better.

Oh and a couple more quick things. Here on the coast like all of the people are black. So it´s just a bunch of black people who speak spanish down here. And some of them aren´t so little. There are some rather big black guys here which is kind of funny. Also there is this gang here who gives all the missionaries nicknames. My nickname is Calveiro which more or less translates to baldy in english. It´s not because I´m going bald though! I´ve still got all my hair at least for now. But it´s because I look like a guy in their gang who is bald.

Well that´s a little about what is going on here. It is pretty hard being here and this is as of now probably the hardest thing I´ve done in my life, but at the same time I love being here. I love being here because I love this Gospel soo much and how much it has blessed my life. I am way excited to share it with others and help people come to Christ through baptism. Ill be having my first couple here soon! Thanks soo much for all your prayers and I miss you all a ton!
Elder Joshua Lee

P.S. So if you want to send letters dearelder still works here and I should get letters every thursday, but it´s cooler to get hand written letters if you all want to send any. Thanks for all the letters so far!
P.P.S. hi from Elder Housley.... dont worry about a thing...your son is a very good missionary and is doing a great job out here for his first week, it was awesome... Ill try to take care of him the best I can... although I cant promise anything ;) haha  have fun this week and dont worry about him... he is in the lord hands now :D

Friday, August 17, 2012


Hola de Ecuador!!

Well I finally made it! I am now here in Ecuador! The flight went well and I made it safely. We met our mission president, President Ghent, and he is awesome! Ecuador is way better than Peru. In Lima it was just cloudy all the time and kind of depressing. I probably saw the sun like three times. Here in Ecuador, it is beautiful. It is like perfect weather and it is so pretty here.

So we are going to be spending the night here at the mission home and then tomorrow we head out to our zones. I dont know where Im going yet, but I will make sure and tell you when I know! Also Elder Holland is going to be here at the end of the month and we are going to get to meet him! Oh and we are going to go out proselyting in a little bit today. Well I didnt have very long to write, but I just wanted to let you know I made it safely! Im soo excited to be here and I cant wait to get started in the work of the Lord! Love and miss you all!

Con amor,
Elder Joshua Lee

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Peru Week 5

Hey family!

So this is my last email I'm going to be sending from Peru! I leave either this tuesday or wednesday for Ecuador!! And about time. I've been ready to go for the longest time. Being in the MTC is good and fun and all, but I'm ready to get out in the field and start helping people and teaching the Gospel. I'm no where near ready with the language (I still can't understand most of the stuff I hear), but I'm not too worried about it. The first few months in the field might be pretty tough, but for some reason I'm really excited for the challenge and to not be able to understand anything. And especially to start helping people to change their lives. So I might get another chance to call home at the airport, but I'm not entirely sure.

Anyways this last week has been a little different. I think that 9 weeks in the MTC for Spanish speakers is too long. I feel like my learning of the language has slowed these past couple weeks and I feel like I would learn more being out in the field. But only a couple more days! Also, something not so good happened this week. The past couple weeks some people had been getting stuff stolen; a couple watches, some money, and some other stuff had disappeared. But two days ago someone took our teacher's iPad. He brings an iPad to class and uses it for his work and stuff. He even bought it with his own money. And that day we went to dinner and then came back and the iPad was gone. We had a big meeting afterwards where President Cardon had to talk with everyone about finding out what happened. It really is a shame if a missionary did take it because we are all supposed to be here as representatives of Christ. They've searched all our rooms and all over the MTC and have yet to find it so it is possible someone besides a missionary took it, but we just don't know. I feel really bad for my teacher because he is such a great guy and he was really upset about it. But besides that episode everything has been going well here.

There's not much else new that had happened. We went proselyting again outside the MTC this last saturday and it was another good experience. We got to talk to a couple less active members and contact some new people. It's amazing to see how the Lord has prepared some of these people to hear His message. Even in these little 5 hour trips outside the MTC to teach, there have been companions who have committed a new investigator to baptism, and most of the people I've talked to were very interested in the message and we set up an appointment for the real missionaries to return and teach them more. Hopefully the seeds we plant will help these people come unto the Restored Gospel of Christ.

Well that's about it. 5 more days or so and I'll finally be in Ecuador!! Hopefully my emails start getting more exciting then. I really hope I get a chance to serve in the jungle! And to learn the language Cechewa (I don't think I spelled it right) but if it happens I'll make sure and let you know all about it! Thanks again soo much for all the letters and prayers!

Con amor,
Elder Joshua Lee

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Peru Week 4

Dear Fam and Friends,

I have learned so much more how to use my time wisely and work harder in just 7 weeks on the mission. It's crazy how fast time flies. I feel like I just got here and when I think that I'm already almost 1/12th of the way done with my mission it's a little scary. I feel like I can be a little more dilligent in my work, because this is the only time in my life where I can have an experience like this and it is probably the only time where I can serve the Lord with every waking moment; I don't want to waste any of it and look back and regret anything.  I haven't even really been able to teach anyone yet, and yet I am still loving being here. Learning about this Gospel has made me soo much happier and I can't wait to share it with others. I won't lie, it is hard and it takes a lot of work (It's really hard not being able to speak the language or understand anyone very well) but it is so worth it.
So a little bit about how things are here. I have new companions now because all the Latinos left after three weeks and there are new gringos here too. Since I am now in a Latino district my companion in class is Elder Rodriguez. He looks like he's asain. The Hermanas in our district keep telling me to switch name tags with him so he will be Elder Lee haha. He's a great guy though. And my companion outside of class is Elder Mossmon. He's a gringo from Utah. I will have to opportunity to teach with him when we go proselyting outside the MTC. That is going to be an adventure because I still can't understand very much Spanish and he has only been in the MTC for 4 weeks so he knows even less than I do. I'll make sure to let you know how it goes next week haha. But besides that everything is pretty much the same here. I'm getting a little tired and restless of being in the MTC. I want to be out in the field already teaching people! But I know I need to be here to learn more Spanish and to learn how to teach people better. Only two more weeks! And I'll hopefully start to have cooler stories for all of you in three weeks.

Thanks so much for the letters from everyone! I'm going to try and send all of you letters back as soon as I can. It means a lot to me to hear how things are going back in the good old USA and I love sharing how things are going here with all of you. Thanks also to my homeboy Sage for the letter! Glad you finally got a date bro! I'll definitely send you back a letter soon, but thanks for letting me know what's up. You'll get a letter soon. And make sure to send me a letter before you head out.

Love you all soo much! Thanks so much for all the letters and all the prayers. They have meant a ton to me and they have helped me so much. Once again, I'm so excited to be here and so happy to be serving the Lord. I know this is what I'm supposed to be doing right now and I can't wait to start teaching people. And sorry I don't have any pictures now, but I will send some next week for sure. Love you all!

Con amor,
Elder Joshua Lee