Monday, September 24, 2012

Ecuador Week 7

Hey fam!

Glad to hear everything is going well! 

So i would comment a little more but I don't have very much time to write because we just got changes today! And all today I have been with the zone leader Elder Gomez because his companion just finished his mission and left for the US and my companion just got transferred to the jungle which is like an 18 hour bus ride. So he and I have been doing a bunch of stuff today to get ready for the new missionaries to get here. My new companion is Elder Blocksham (sp?). He's another gringo from Utah  but I've heard a lot of good things about him so i'm really excited to meet him in a few minutes! 

To answer your questions, I will send a picture of the apartment next week when I have more time and more pictures as well. We eat in a members house every day for lunch usually and the people's home that we eat at are called mamitas. And my days consist of a lot of walking. Ill describe it in more detail next week! 

So since I don't have a lot of time I just have one quick story from this week which was awesome and really a testimony builder. So my companion and I told our investigators that we were going to bring a member to her house for our lesson, but the member ended up not being able to go. So we went to the house without the member and got there and knocked on the door. She came and answered the door and then asked us where the other person was who was with us. We said that the member couldn't come and that it was only us. Then she told us that she saw us walking up to the house through the window and that she definitely saw a third person, dressed in all white, walking in between us. That was such an awesome experience because there wasn't anyone we could see there, but she said she was certain she saw someone, an angel, walking between us. I had been praying all that week for a big, grand spiritual experience, and there Heavenly Father answered my prayer. It was an awesome experience and something I will probably remember forever.

Well that`s all I have time for. If i am right i believe it's Dads birthday today so tell him happy birthday for me! I love you all soo much and miss you all a ton! Thanks soo much for the prayers and letters and please ask more questions if you have them!

Elder Joshua Lee

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ecuador week 6

Hey fam and friends!

Alright now a little bit about how things are going here. Not too much has changed since last week. Nothing really exciting has happened. It`s getting a little hotter now, which I`m not too happy about, but at least it makes the cold showers in the morning not as bad. Oh and the fan in our house broke which is kind of a bummer. My companion and I are going to have to find a way to get a new one soon.

Not a lot happened this week because Monday and Tuesday my companion and I had to go to Quito for a follow up meeting with President Ghent just to make sure everything was going alright. So that meant we spent another 7 hours in a bus one day, and another 7 on the way back. Let's just say that by the time I get back to home I probably wont ever want to ride in a bus again haha. But it was fun to get a chance to go back to Quito for a bit and see all the other Elders from the MTC and hangout with them for a bit. Sadly one of the Elders from our group actually went home that day. He was having a really hard time in the mission and just didn't really enjoy it I guess. That really bumbed me out cause he was a really good guy.

But now some happier news. We should be having some baptisms this week! We had a baptism in our sector the first week I got here and then since then we hadn't had anything, but now we have a couple baptisms planned for this week! Whoo!! Finally it feels like things are moving forward. I can`t wait to have a chance to see people I`ve actually taught and helped come unto Christ finally be baptized into this church. I'll make sure and get some pictures and let you know how it goes next week assuming everything works out!
Umm in other news, Spanish is coming along little by little. I can definitely see an improvement, but I still struggle at times. I just can`t wait till I get the ¨click¨, when everything makes sense to me. But I definitely feel a lot better about it now. I still need to do a better job of talking more and being more outgoing when I talk to people, and those are things I am going to try to improve this week.
So I did get the package! Whoo! Thanks soo much mom! It was awesome and really made my day. The pictures are perfect and now I finally have a belt that fits! I was just about to poke a hole into the other one because it was too big haha. Oh and on that note in 5 weeks I've now lost 15 to 20 pounds (I can`t tell exactly because the scale says something different every day haha). But even though I have lost all the weight I have yet to have been sick or anything which is good! I hope I can keep this up for the next two years haha.

Oh and to answer your question last week that I forgot, my companion and I send emails from this little internet store in our sector. There are like 5 computers in here and its owned by less active members so they let us use it for free which is awesome!
K and so now I finally got some more pictures! It looks like I'll be able to send about 11 a week. I don't know the order but one is a picture of me with my Tangled personal study journal haha. Another is a picture I took while in the bus of the countryside. Another is at my first baptism with the Zone Leaders! I baptised the young girl in that picture. Umm and another is when I was in Quito and I think the last is a picture of my sector. Oh and maybe one at the beach again. But that should be all!

Thanks again soo much for the package! It was perfect. And mom, I just want to say thank you soo much for being such an awesome mom. Thank you for raising me right and always helping me try to choose the right. You did soo much for me and I am soo thankful for all of it. You were such an awesome example and always made me want to do the right thing. If not for how you raised me and your example, I wouldn`t be here right now, serving the Lord and growing in soo many ways. Thank you mom.

Thanks for all the prayers and support from everyone! I`m soo excited to be here and hopefully I have some more exciting news for next week. Enjoy the pictures and if you have any more questions please ask! Oh and if there is any news about other homies finally out in the MTC or getting their mission call or cool stories of the on their missions I'd love to get a letter or an email and hear all about it. Love you all!

Con amor,

Elder Joshua Lee

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ecuador Week 5

Hey fam!

We had to email a little sooner today because we have to go back to Quito for a conference with President. But hopefully the rest of the time I should be able to email a little later. And the good news is we now get an hour to email again! President had changed it because other missionaries weren`t just emailing during this time, but he changed it back now and so hopefully it stays this way! And that means I can send home more pictures now, but I forgot to bring my camera to the computer this week sorry! But I'll for sure send some pictures next week.

So I'm glad to hear all the family is doing well. I pray for all of you every night and I know that the Lord is looking out for all of you, and me. I'm also glad to hear that Sportclips is doing well! That's one thing I really miss, my amazing haircuts. They aren't quite the same here in Ecuador.

Alright so a little more about how things are going here. First, the bad news haha. So we had a tsunami warning here, which is kind of crazy. Half us missionaries didn't know about it until after the warning, but nothing happened so it's all good! We had a warning because of the earth quake in Costa Rica this last week, but it's all good here! And I think there was something else, but I forgot. Maybe I'll remember for next week!
And now the good stuff. So this last week I had the opportunity to baptize my first person!! Whoo!! I will make sure and send the pictures next week. She was a 12 year old girl (who looks like she's 16) and she wasn't my investigator, but my companion had to go to Quito and so I was with the Zone Leaders and got a chance to talk to the family and little bit and then baptize one of them. It was such an awesome experience and really shows the fruits of our efforts. Hopefully now we should have a couple of our investigators baptized in the next couple weeks!
Besides that nothing else is way different here. I just want to let Garebear know that I am still waiting for my letter from him. And I want to let McLane know that half the songs my mom put on my iPod are from BYU Singers so I get to listen to you singing almost every day! haha. Oh and I got my first handwritten letter in the field today! It was from Elder MacGyver Mann! He sent me one from the MTC and it was great to hear from him. If you could find out his mission address and send it to me that would be sweet because I don't think my letter will make it to the MTC before he leaves.
Well thanks so much for everything! Thank you all for your prayers and I know that I have been blessed and I can see the Lord working in my life. Hopefully I'll have some cool experiences for next week! Love you all!

Con amor,

Elder Joshua Lee

P.S. If you haven't sent the package yet like some tobasco sauce or taco bell sauce or salsa or something would be cool. I don't know if you can send something like that, and if not it's okay, but I've seen tobasco here in south america once and it cost 50 solace! That's liek 30 dollars which is crazy! oh and maybe some deoderant. But that's all! Thanks for everything!

Monday, September 3, 2012

First Pictures From Ecuador

Ecuador Week 4

Hey fam and friends!

So now a little about here. So this week I had my first cool/loco experience. I was attacked by a dog! Don´t freak out or anything because I am alright. It didn´t break skin or anything so I´m not going to get rabies, but it was a pretty big dog and it came and bit my ankles a couple times. I´ll probably have a nice bruise down there, but that´s all good. It was actually pretty scary, and now I´m a little more jumpy around all the dogs here (cause there are still a million of them) but I´ll get over it sooner or later! haha

Okay so now a little bit about where I´m living. Our apartment is not the greatest. My companion says it´s probably the second worst apartment he´s been in during the mission. It´s pretty small and usually pretty dirty. No matter how many times we clean it, it just seems to get dirty right away again. It´s probably because we have to leave the windows open or the house just gets insanely hot, and then all the dust blows in from the windows. Alright now here´s a couple of the bad parts about it. First, is that sometimes we don´t have water in our apartment. Most days we usually do, but some days we wake up and there isn´t any water so we have to bathe ourselves using buckets that we have already filled up with water beforehand (thankfully we´ve filled up those buckets everytime we´ve needed them). The second thing is that every few days all the power in the city shuts off. So a couple times my companion and I have been sitting in our house planning for the night and then all the lights shut off and we just have to head off to bed. We have a little candle that we light so we can kind of see our way around, but for the most part it´s just dark. Thankfully we haven´t had anything stolen from our apartment then or any other time so far!}

K now a little about the sector. Our ward is called Forestal. Esmeraldas is like a pretty big city, but our sector is like in the outskirts of the city. About half of it is like dirt roads and houses made out of bamboo. It´s really interesting and a really different experience. It´s also really humbling to see how all the people live here. I´m going to try and send some pictures with this email so hopefully you can see a bit what it is like. Oh and we can´t see the ocean from our sector because there´s like this giant hill in the way, but my companion and I went there today and I took a couple pictures to send back.

The people here are pretty great too. Most of the people here are black. There are some latinos, but here on the coast like everyone is black just because there is so much sun here. It makes me feel like I´m in Louisiana or something haha. I´ve been told by some of the other Elders here that Esmeraldas is just a whole other world from Quito. The people have there different sayings here and talk a lot differently too. It´s made it a little harder to understand because they do things like drop of all the S´s at the end of their words and stuff like that, but I just hope that means I´ll learn faster and be able to understand better when I do eventually go to Quito. We haven´t had any more baptisms yet in our sector, but hopefully we will get some soon and I´ll be sure to tell you about them! Because we definitely are still teaching people and there are a few I think that have really started to see the truth of this Gospel and are ready to be baptized.

Well that´s about all I got! Oh and I did get dad´s dearelder so they get here. We get the pouch every thursday so I think dear elders get here every one or two weeks. I´d love to get all and any letters from anyone! Thanks so much for all your prayers and I love you all!


Elder Joshua Lee

P.S. It takes forever for the pictures to download so i don´t know how many I´ll be able to send home all the time. I´ll still try to send as many as I can and tell dad I´m sorry I didn´t email him back this week. I thought we had an hour to email in the field and we still only have 30 minutes, but I´ll email him next week for sure! Okay I even had to take more off than I was going to send cause this is taking forever. I´ll find a way to get you some more soon! Enjoy these few now!