Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Referrals and Mexican Food

Dear Family and Friends,

So this week was not very exciting. It was just a normal week of work. I can't think of really any cool stories or anythiing. Sorry. But we have been working hard so the Lord has blessed us a lot. When Sunday came around my companion and I thought that we wouldn't have very many people coming to church, but because of our hard work the Lord blessed us with members who brought their friends to church and who accepted a date to get baptized afterwards!! Referals are soo much better than finding people while knocking on doors because they progress a lot better. So we were pretty dang happy about that!
Oh and on Saturday we eat in this mexican restraunt called Cuatemoc. A member gives us food there and she gave us the best meal I've had in Ecuador on Saturday. She gave us a huge plate of fajitas and another giant plate of nachos and my companion was sick and I love mexican food soo much that I ate my plate, half of his plate, and 3/4 of the plate of nachos. I could hardly move afterwards, but it was soo worth it haha. I miss mexican food. 

So that's all I've got going on. I don't have any pictures because of the camera so it'd be sweet if you could send one as soon as possible. Love you all soo much!!!

Elder JOshua Lee

Monday, August 19, 2013


A Service Project

Another Trip to the Jungle

A Birthday Party

A Broken Camera, a Trip to the Jungle and Service!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well first off.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY BENNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell him I said that mom?? Because like today is his birthday right? I hope he had an awesome party! He's just growing up soo dang fast. And what he said about me being home soon is just too true... i'm not ready for it yet. So let's just hope time goes a little more slowly haha.

So this week wasn't quite as roller-coastery as last week. So that was good. But there were a few bumps along the way. First we got to go to the jungle again this week. Sweet!!! We went to this city called Tena. The last time we went it was to this city called Puyo and this time we went to a city that was 2 more hours into the jungle to do a baptismal interview for some missionaries there. It was a way cool trip! We got to see more of the jungle and how it really is which was tight! I took some pictures so I'll send them along. But the jungle is awesome. Way hot and humid, but way cool. The trees are just really big and cool and it is so green and everything. I hope I get a chance so spend more than one day there sometime in the future.

But the bad news about the trip is that my camera broke.... :(  I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I put it in my backpack and when I pulled it out the screen didn't work. I can still take pictures and stuff, but I just can't see anything on the screen so I'm not sure how the picture is turning out. But I'm going to see if I can find a way go get it fixed. And if not I'll just have to buy a new one. But I hope it doesn't come to that because cameras cost a lot here. 

So the Tena trip was cool, but the camera breaking not soo much. And one other thing not soo good was that I finally got sick. I hadn't been sick like my whole time in Ecuador. In 14 months, not once. But I did get sick last week. Like stomach sick. Enough to throw up and have to stay in the house all day. But it was just one day thankfully and the next day I was right as rain again. So it wasn't that fun, but now I can say that I've gotten sick in South America. But don't worry mom.. I'm fine now :) haha.

Oh and so the other pictures I'm sending are of a service we did. There is a member in our ward who has a Mexican restraint called Cuatemoc and we eat there everyy. So we helped her paint the outside wall to thank her for the food she gives us every week. It wasn't too hard and kinda fun and afterwards she gave us these delicious burritos!!!!!!! The best Mexican food I've had in Ecuador. It still doesn't compare to Chipotle or other Mexican food in the states, but it was way good!! So I can't complain. 

And that's what's going on with me. Life is still good here. No stories too exciting. Oh I have one. This week my companion and I were going to an appointment we had when I saw a lady standing on the side of the road with a big bucket by her side, another 6 year old kid there and pushing a stroller. I was going to just keep walking because we had to go to the appointment, but I felt that we should stop and help her. So I talked to her and offered to help her carry the bucket and she started crying she was so grateful. She had had a rough day working and she was a single mom with a 7 year old kid and a 1 month baby and had pushed the baby in the stroller and carried the bucket almost a mile distance already. Oh and her name is Rosa. She was really grateful and we were able to teach her afterwards. She isn't going to progress very well because she has to work a ton to support herself and her two kids, but she probably can progress some time in the future. We at least planted seeds and even if she doesn't progress now, she could progress with other missionaries later on.

SO that's my week! I hope everyone there is still well. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEN!!! Love you All!!

Con Amor,


Tuesday, August 13, 2013


The Best Dinner of the Mission:
TGI Fridays

 A Chipped Tooth

Elder Lee and Elder Murphy

 Elder Lee and Elder Thomas

Elder Lee and Elder Herrerra

Baptism with the Osorio Family

 The Jungle

 Jungle Living

A Roller Coaster Week

Dear Family and Friends,

Glad to hear that everything is pretty normal at home. Just the usual school stuff. I love hearing the little Ben stories. They make me laugh a lot. I can just imagine him doing a lot of those things. And I'm glad to don't worry about me too much mom. That makes me feel better about telling you about the weird kinda crazy stuff that happens to me out here. I've told you everything so don't worry about really dangerous stuff happening to me. I haven't even been robbed or anything yet.

So my companion and I have talked a lot about roller coasters this week for some reason. And that's exactly what this week was, a giant roller coaster. We had some highs and also some really low lows. I had the worst day in my entire mission this week. But I'll tell about that later.

The week started on a high. Like I said, my companion and I went to TGI Friday's!!!! And it was delicious!!!!!! Soo amazing. We ended up spending about $25 each, but it was worth it. We bought this plate that came with an appetizer of buffalo wings (sooooooo delicious! Probably my favorite part of the meal) and then the main dish which was a steak wrapped filet mignon with broccoli and french fries and at the end a desert of New York cheese cake. By far it is the best meal I've had in Ecuador. So good. We didn't take as many pictures as we should have so I've sent one of the main dish. Delish!!

And then we had one of the lows. As you will see in one of the later pictures, I chipped my tooth... I was just devastated... And of all things, it happened as I was eating watermelon. Kinda a really dumb story. We had to go to Quito on Monday last week for a meeting with President Ghent and the zone leaders on Tuesday. And I had to stay until Wednesday to renew my visa so we went with some other elders on Tuesday afternoon to work. I went back to my old zone in Los Chillos and got to see some cool families and one of them gave us watermelon. We had to leave quickly so I was trying to eat fast and they gave me a spoon to eat. So as I was eating quickly I accidentally bit the spoon and chipped my tooth. I am still soo mad about it hahah. But I guess it's okay. It's not too big and it didn't hurt at all so I'll get over it. But the first thing we are doing when I get home mom, is getting my teeth fixed. This chip filled in, some whitening and all that good stuff because Ecuador has messed up my teeth.

Then we hit another high. On Wednesday I had to go get my visa renewed so that I can stay another year here in Ecuador and while we went I got to see some of my favorite missionaries! It is cool because they are now in the mission Ecuador Quito North, so we can almost never see them again because it's a completely different mission. I sent some pictures with them. One is my first companion from the mission, Elder Thomas. Stud. The next is Elder Murphy, the only dude I knew before the mission in this mission. Kinda a stud too. And the last one is Elder Herrera from Costa Rica. But he's like a way tight missionary so that was awesome. We got to chat it up a little so it was a good day and a high of the week.

Then after, I had probably the worst day of my mission. It was Thursday, the next day. We had been out of Quito for a while so we decided to visit the family that had gotten baptized last weekend, the Cobos Taco Family. We showed up to their house and the wife answered the door with a surprised look on her face. And then she told us that she didn't want us to visit them anymore. She said that they just wanted to stay Catholic and didn't want to change and that they weren't going to church and that we shouldn't go back to their house again. At first I thought it was some kind of joke, but she didn't change the whole time and then just got annoyed and kind of angry. She told us again she didn't want us to visit her and slammed the door in our faces. It is probably the worst I've ever felt in my life. I literally cried I felt so sad. A family that I had come to love so much just told us that they didn't want us to visit them ever again. My companion and I just kind of crumpled to the ground and just stayed there outside their house for like 30 minutes absolutely devastated. It was the worst feeling ever. As we were there, the husband came up and we talked to him for a little bit. Thankfully he was nothing like his wife. He still wanted us to visit them and he wanted to go to church. What he said happened was that his wife went to talk to her parents (who are really Catholic) to tell them about the baptism and all that stuff and she came back not wanting anything to do with us. What we think happened is that her parents threatened to take away her inheritance or something like that. It made us feel so bad, but I'm just glad that the husband wasn't the same way because I don't know what I would've done. Now we are trying to get the members to go and visit them because the wife won't let us back into the house. I really hope she has a change of heart because it really hurts to see this happen to someone I've come to love so much.

I was really down that whole day. But the day after we had another good day again. Another high. Our zone consists of the missionaries in the city of Ambato and like 3 other cities around as well as the missionaries in Puyo and Tena, which is the jungle!! So on Friday, my companion and I got to travel to the jungle to have a meeting with the missionaries there!! Whoo!!! It was way cool! The jungle is tight, but really really hot. The humidity is way high so you sweat a ton and when the sun comes out it gets really hot so it's even worse. But I'm sure I'd get used to it because it's not as bad as Esmeraldas. I took some pictures, but my camera battery died so I couldn't get as many as I wanted. But I should be able to go again in like another month or 3 weeks so I'll make sure my battery is really charged that time. I'll send the pictures I got. 

Then the week ended on another high note. A baptism!!!!! Whoo!!!!!!! We had another baptism!! It was great!! It is the cousin from that one Colombian family we found, the Osorio Family. The one where the 11 year old kid got up and bore his testimony. She's a 24 year old and finally decided to get baptized!! And the baptism went really well. The rest of the Colombian family went so they got to finally see a baptism. I really hope that helps the rest of them have desires to get baptized as well. They would make awesome members. They just aren't progressing that well right now. But we'll see how it goes. Hopefully the baptism helps. We'll just keep praying for them! 

And then we had changes today, but I didn't get changed or my companion. So I'll still be here in Ambato for a while. And that was my week. One heck of a roller coaster. Just please pray for the Cobos Taco Family. We just really want the wife to have a change of heart again. We have faith that everything will get better though. So things are still good here. Hope you are all doing well! Love you so much and we'll talk next week! 



Tuesday, August 6, 2013


The Cobos-Taco Family Baptism

The "Sketchy" Ambato Hospital

Railroad Track Pictures

A Sketchy Hospital and TGI Friday's

Dear Fam and Friends,

So it was another great week because this week we had a ................... BAPTISM!!! Whoo!!!! It was great!!! The family we were teaching (Cobos Taco Family) got baptized!!! It was so awesome to see them progress. And they progressed so quickly. We were just teaching them for 2 and a half week and they got baptized. They really have changed so much and the Lord has blessed them in their lives already. I'm sending a picture. But awesome baptism and I love the family sooo much!!!

Besides that it was a pretty slow week. My companion and I got to go to a hospital to give a blessing this week and it was really sketch. I'm not a big fan of South American hospitals. At least the ones out of the capital. I went to a hospital in Quito once and it was like a hospital from the states. This hospital in Ambato was just scary. First off it is like on lock down. The doors are locked and there are a bunch of policemen always around. I don't know why. And then everyone anywhere near the hospital has masks on cause the swine flu thing is kinda going around again. So they gave us masks when we went in. That's the pic I send. And then when we were inside I felt like I was in a zombie movie or something. There were parts where the walls weren't finished and the lighting wasn't very good and the lights were like flickering and a whole ton of scary stuff. Really sketchy. But the hospitals in Quito are nice. So if i ever get sick i just hope I'm in Quito hahah. But don't worry mom!!! I'll be okay. The Lord is protecting us. And I walk around with hand sanitizer everywhere so I won't be getting swine flu any time soon. Life's good!!

Ummm... I think that's about it for this week. Those are some other just dumb/cool pics my companion and I took on a railroad track that runs through our sector. But yeah I'm doing great! My companion and I are going to go to TGI Fridays's today!!! Whoo!!!! I'll make sure and take pictures and send them next week. But we've been saving up money for like ever to go. So it'll be awesome!!! It's nice to have a gringo companion sometimes. Oh and I get to go renew my visa on Wednesday. Wow time flies by. I'm so old. In like a week I'll have been in Ecuador for a year. Whoo!!!!

Well I love you all soo much! Thanks for everything and I'll talk to you next week!