Monday, April 28, 2014

An Ant Infestation and Bathing with Buckets

Dear Family and Friends,

I am doing well here in Ecuador. I'm just trying to work as hard as I can until the end. We had a good week this week. We had managed to find a lot of new investigators and we had 8 people in church! Whoo!! And they are all progressing pretty well. If everything goes well, we should be having a baptism this weekend. We find almost all of our new investigators from recent converts. It seems like they are more willing and happy to share the gospel sometimes than active members who have a lot of time in church. So we pretty much spend all our time visiting recent converts or the investigators we do have. We are trying to contact less and less in our mission because it isn't very effective. We took some time to look on the number of converts we have from knocking on doors and the number is very low. It is more effective working with the referals from the members or just talking to someone in the street.

So yeah, things are going well. We are also trying to visit families where not everyone is a member. Families are the basic unit of the gospel and it really helps to stay active when a whole family can support each other. And even though we had a lot of people in church this week, there were a lot of people who were supposed to go and never showed up. It always makes me sad and a little upset when that happens. Sundays are often the most stressful days of the week as a missionary. But we just keep moving along.

The only real bit of news this week is that we don't have water in our apartment. We have now been 5 days without water and it doesn't look like anything is going to change soon. They are fixing up some piping in the city or something like that and so that's why we don't have water. So my companion and I have to bathe ourselves with buckets of water. It's not that fun. I'm starting to get tired of not having water. And we don't have very much so we hardly have water to clean the house or wash dishes so the house is getting dirty slowly. I hope we get water soon.

Oh and one last thing. This made me really upset. We have a lot of little ants in our house. That's just how the coast is. They don't really do anything. They hardly even bite you, but they are everywhere. But, the other day, I got my little shaving machine and started shaving myself in the morning when I saw an ant crawling on it. Then I saw another one. And another one. Then I opened it up and I swear there were like 500 ants in there. It was disgusting. They had like started a little colony in my shaving machine. I'm pretty sure I killed the queen ant. So now there aren't any ants in it because I cleaned it all out. But I still feel kinda gross about using it. I bought a regular razor to shave in the meantime. I have to learn how to shave with it though. I keep cutting myself. My skin is really sensative. I hope I get used to it.

Well, that's about it in news from Ecuador. Things are going well! I love being a missionary and I don't want it to end! And I'm looking forward to talking to you in 2 weeks! Love you all!

Con Amor,

Elder Joshua Lee

Monday, April 21, 2014


Birthday Party with a Recent Convert

Zambrano Family Dinner

Pony Malta Floats

Semana Santa and Elder Joshua Lee's Last Transfer

Dear Fam,

Sounds like things are going well at home! Tell Jacob to man up and get healthy again. He needs to go to South America and eat the food here and he'll never get sick in the States again afterwards. I feel like the food here has turned my stomach into a stomach of steel. And I love the Ben letter! He's learning a ton it looks like! 

So it was a fun week. We had Semana Santa here. That's the week leading up to Easter. And I completely forgot that on Easter we have the Easter Bunny and go hunting for eggs and stuff like that... That's a weird tradition. Here, on Viernes Santo (in English I think that's good Friday) all the Catholics go for a walk. It's like this parade thing. Sadly I didn't get any pictures. But what they do is reinact the death of Jesus Christ. Some guy dressed up like Jesus and others as roman soldiers and they went along whipping him. We saw them go right past the chapel. Then they went up to this hill and there they put him on the cross and all the stuff. It's an interesting tradition. They have a lot more traditions here in South American countries is seems like.

But we did have changes this week as well and......... I DIDNT GET CHANGED!!! Whoo!!! I thought for sure I was going to get changed and go to another sector because I had more time here than Elder Schneider, but I got to stay! So now I am going to finish my mission here in Santo Domingo. I'm really happy about that. Life is good here. And I won't have to pack my bags for another 6 weeks. Its hard to believe that I'm in my last transfer of the mission. It hasn't really hit me yet how close I am to the end. But I've just got to keep working as hard as I can until the end.

So we did see some blessings this week. We've been trying to work more with the recent converts here in our sector and its helped. They have given us lots of references and they are bringing people to church and thanks to them we've found a lot of new investigators. We have some great people we are teaching now and if everything goes well, they should get baptized in May. But I still want to find one more complete family to teach and help come unto Christ before I go. With faith I know I can do it. 

Enjoy the pictures I'm sending home. One is of the meal that the Zambrano Family (the family that got baptized a couple weeks ago) gave us on Good Friday. It was a TON of food and I couldn't finish. And all with fish. Delicious though! And the other picture is of a bud from the mission, Elder Cook. He is from my group so we will be going home together. And he lives in Manti so I wanted to hang with him a bit when we go up there for Derek's wedding. Well we made Pony Malta floats. There isn't any rootbeer here so we used this drink called Pony Malta and it was still pretty delish! So yeah... That's life! Love you all a ton!!

Con Amor,

Elder Joshua Lee

Monday, April 14, 2014


The dreaded ceviche. Delicious, but deadly

Taco night with the boys on our Quito trip.

Just some Homies.

 Pizza Night with the Boys


A Convert

A Miracle Family

Dear Family and Friends,

So life is trucking along here in Ecuador. Our investigators that were baptized a couple weeks ago were confirmed today so that was nice. And we also found a miracle family! Last week, a dad with his daughter who had both gotten baptized a couple months ago in Guayaquil, showed up to the church for General Conference. So we talked with them and planned to go by later that night. Sadly, Elder Schneider got deathly ill and we were unable to go. So we finally made it by this last week. We found the Macias family and they're awesome! The dad and one of the daughters are members but his wife isn't and his 3 other sons who live in the house aren't. They are way cool and really like listening to us and are excited for their baptisms! We had been struggling to find new investigators so it was a great blessing and miracle to find them. The Lord really does take care of his missionaries.

Oh and it rained a ton yesterday. Like a lot... It just poured and poured. I thought we were gonna have to build the arc of Noah again and put all the missionaries in 2 by 2. Needless to say, we got really wet.

Enjoy the pictures I'm sending home. Most of them are from last week because I was unable to send pictures then. Life is good! Next week we have changes so I'm going to know where my last sector will be. Love ya all!

Elder Joshua Lee

Monday, April 7, 2014

Ceviche and Conference

Life is going well here in Ecuador. I am in Quito right now. We have a leader's meeting with President Ghent tomorrow so we had to come here. I came with 2 other missionaries though because Elder Schneider got pretty sick. It was bad ceviche I think that made him sick. Ceviche is like a delicious soup-like dish that has half-cooked fish or shrimp or clam (you can choose) in a lemon and onion and tomato mix. It is amazingly delicious. But apparently the shrimp in Elder Schneider's ceviche was bad and now he's sick. And I feel a little queesy now, but not too bad. We'll get over it.

In other news, General Conference was amazing!! I loved it! I always feel edified and uplifted from the conference messages. I am going to do all I can when I get home to watch all of conference and not just priesthood and sunday morning sessions. Besides that nothing really has changed this week. The computer I'm at is broken so I can't send pictures, but I'll send some next week. I hope you all are doing well and I love you all a ton!!

Con Amorcito,
Elder Joshua Lee