HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope you all have a very happy New Year! One as good as Christmas was. Cause it sounds like Christmas was pretty fun! With the sledding and the snowmen and all that good stuff. And it was way cool seeing all you guys too on Christmas! You all look good and no one looks like they're eating too much or anything so that's good. I'm still weirded out by Jacob's voice a little. But hopefully I can get over that soon.
Umm so things are still good here in Ecuador. Just enjoying New Year's Eve right now. I don't know if I told you last year, but they have some weird traditions for New Year's Eve here in Ecuador. First, the guys all dress up like girls called viudas (or widows) and they go and dance in the street and bother people until they give them money. My companion and I already had a couple of them come up to us and start bothering us today. But we got away pretty quickly. And the second thing they do is they build like paper mache dolls and then burn them exactly at midnight. There are all sorts of dolls. They are of random people or superheroes or pretty much anything else. And they do it because it signifies the ending of the old year and the beginning of the new one. Weird stuff! But I'll try and send some pictures of some super big Viejos (the dolls things they make) that we found.
This week we also got put to work doing service. We went and helped a family build their house. So we had to get the fine nice dirt out of a pile of dirt and rocks by screening it and then later make cement and all sorts of stuff. And it was hot and I forgot to put sunscreen on so I got a little burnt and some nice blisters on my hands from working. But it's all good! And it was some fun work.
Tonight my companion and I are going to see if we can order Papa John's and eat some pizza in our house because we have to be in the house in a little bit and we can't come back out tonight.
But for this New Year, I've set a lot of goals. I feel like I've changed a lot on my mission and I've learned a ton, but I feel like I need to change more. I've set a lot of spiritual goals for this year. I want to come even closer unto my Savior before I go home and really make my mission something special. I plan to make this next year an amazing year and really become converted to this gospel.
So again, HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVE and a HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope all of you have a great one!!!
I had to say that first off. So I'm glad it sounds like everything is going well! And it sounds like it'll be a fun Christmas there in Utah. Even though Nate and I are a ways away. And I love the pictures. Keep sending them so I can see how life is and how everyone is doing at home.
So this week was pretty nuts. I'll tell you more about it tomorrow when we talk on SKYPE!! But I'll tell you a bit now. At first it was kinda tough again. I had to get used to the coast and all the stuff. There is a huge difference between the coast and the Mountain range. The people in the coast have a lot humbler and poorer way of life. So it took me a bit to get adjusted. But I did and now I'm loving it here again. I forgot how different it was. The people here are soo much humbler and more willing to accept the gospel. It was my first week here in the coast since I started and we managed to have 12 investigators go to church!! 12!!! That's like crazy!! And they are all great people who are progressing really well. So I missed it a lot.
It is pretty hot though. Not as hot as in Esmeraldas when I started my mission, but it's hot. And I'm not used to the heat and humidity, so I'm sweating a lot. But it's okay. Maybe it'll help me lose more weight. I doubt it though because the food is really good and I feel like my stomach is slowly growing again. But I've decided I'm going to enjoy Christmas and then next year I'm going to try and be more careful about what I eat and staying skinny. Oh and I did eat cow udder this week. That was interesting. The meat actually tasted pretty good. It was just very chewy. But I enjoyed it! Another mission experience.
Well to all my family and friends out there, MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM ECUADOR!!!!! I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and can really enjoy and remember the true meaning of Christmas this year: The birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Love you all soo much!!!! And talk to you tomorrow°!
Elder Joshua Lee
PS. here are some pictures of our White Elephant district activity. I got a pair of pants. Sweet... haha
So this was a pretty crazy week. This week we had our Christmas dinner with President Ghent which went pretty well. It was fun and we just got to relax for a bit and eat some good food and enjoy Christmas time.
We also had our ward Christmas party this week which was way fun. They made me get dressed up as Santa Clause again this year. It was fun though. They also made my companion and I go up and sing a song and dance around. We got a video of it, but I can't send videos over the email so I'll have to find another way to get it to you. I got a bunch of pictures taken though so I'll send those home.
Then we had changes this week. I thought for sure I was going to stay in my sector because I had just one change there, but President decided to change me. I was soo upset at first. I was like 95% positive I was going to stay and I had made a lot of plans with the members for Christmas and all that, and then I got changed. I'm still a little upset about it. But I guess it's what the Lord wanted and I should accept it. The good news is that I got changed to the coast again. I got sent to a place called Santo Domingo. So I'm back in the heat and humidity. It's not too hot right now, but it's humid and I'm probably going to sweat a lot again. Maybe I'll get skinnier. Who knows. And one good thing is that the sun isn't as strong here and doesn't burn as much. So hopefully it'll help me from getting skin cancer. And my new companion is Elder Plua. He's from Ecuador. He's a good guy and I'm excited to work with him.
I think there was some other stuff that happened this week but I can't remember very well. Just that it was really sad saying goodbye to a bunch of members in my last ward and sad to leave Ambato. I was there for 6 months so I miss it a lot. But life'll be good here in the coast. Oh and I got pretty dang sick today. I don't know what it was but I ate something that made me very sick and then I had to get on a 4 hour bus ride to come to Santo Domingo. I was soo scared. But I made it alright.
Umm soo I'm planning on talking to you guys on the 25th and I have no idea the hour yet because I'm in a new sector and everything. But I'll figure it out and let you know next week. And I get the little 5 minute precall again so mom, don't freak out if you have a missed call from a foreign country haha. And my Pday next week is on tuesday so I won't write on Monday, I'll write on Tuesday instead. But you guys are the best and I love you all so much!!!
Wow I can't believe that Ben Rowden is already home... Time really flew by. I'm glad he had a great mission and he looks like he learned a lot and all that stuff. Send him my love and tell him to write me up if he gets a chance when he comes by for dinner.
Life is good here in Ecuador. We had a baptism this weekend!!! WHOO!!! It was the daughter of a less active member. We got the family, the Hurtado Family, to come back to church and we got Valentina baptized. She looks like she's like 15 or something, but she's just 11 years old. That was really weird. But they are an awesome family and it was awesome helping them come back to church.
Umm let's see... In other things this week, I've gotten a bit of a cold too. Looks like everyone gets a bit sick this time of the year. Nothing too serious, but some sniffling and a sore throat. But not enough to stop me working.
Oh and the sweet family that went to Miami, the Acosta Family, got back from Miami this week! Whoo!!! And they are really awesome. We weren't able to visit them before Sunday, but the husband of the family and his son showed up to church which was sweet. In church he told us that while he was in Florida he really wanted to see the temple, so he went to Orlando to check it out while he was there. I thought that was really awesome that while he was there on vacation, doing whatever he wants, he decided to go and see the temple. It seems like in the family the women are the tougher ones. Which is weird because it's usually the guys that don't want to do anything. But we're going to help the whole family out. Oh and we brought them all to the Christmas devotional by the first presidency which was sweet! They liked it a lot and we're going to visit them again today.
It also has started raining a bit here in Ambato now. It's still nothing compared to how it rained when I was in Quito a year ago, but a little drizzle here and a little drizzle there. We'll live... I hope. And tomorrow we have the Christmas dinner with President and Sister Ghent in their house so that'll be awesome!! I'll make sure and get some more pictures for next week.
Other than that, life is going along normally here. Time just flies by which really scares me. We have transfers next week too. I just really hope I don't get transferred because it would kinda be lame to go to a new sector just before Christmas. And I already had to do that last year. But I guess the Lord will decide. And thanks sooo much for the Christmas music mom!!! Any other music you can get would be greatly appreciated. Including the music from Halo 3 would be cool. You are the best mom!!! Love you so much!!!
Hey!! What`s up?? I'm glad it sounds like you all had a great Thanksgiving!! Thanksgiving was pretty normal here. We didn't do anything here at all. Just another normal day of work. But I didn't fast this year like last year. I guess that was the only difference haha. And make sure you send my love to the whole fam. I'm already getting way excited for Black Friday shopping next year. I missed that part a lot. I'll keep Stu company next year until like 4:00 in the morning.
So life is good in Ecuador. Nothing exciting. Another normal week. We did a lot of splits with the other missionaries in our zone this week to try and help them out. I like it a lot because I get a chance to get to know the missionaries in my zone better and the people they are teaching as well. It's a good way to try and help them out. Umm... I'm sorry I don't really know what else to write. We're going to Quito again today for another meeting with President Ghent and it should hopefully be a good one. Oh and the sweet family we met a few weeks back gets back from Miami today! Whoo!! So we are going to try and visit them tomorrow. Hopefully we can and we can keep helping them progress.
So that's what's going down. Life is good and everything is normal here. I love you all sooo much!!! hope you have a great week!