Spencer is from Canton, Michigan and is called to serve in the Ecuador Quito North Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from July 2014 - July 2016.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Week #22 - East Quito, Ecuador - December 29, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

For me this has been probably one of the longest weeks I have had in a long time. Many interesting things have happened as well...

For Christmas and Christmas Eve, the president told us to be in our houses early. I guess there are some crazy traditions here in Ecuador. The parties are like non-stop and sometimes get out of control, although I've heard it's only going to get worse on New Years Day and New years eve. That should be interesting...

So this week, the zone leaders did something different at our zone meeting. The president told all the zone leaders to collect all of the USB and memory cards for cameras and/or computers, or anything else that holds memory from all the missionaries. I'm not sure why...Anyway, because of this I won't be able to send any pictures this week. I had a bunch I wanted to send from the p-day that I took to the "Middle if the World" (La Mitad del Mundo) last week. Hopefully I can send them next week, or until further notice...

This week has been a lot harder with missionary work. A lot of the people we are teaching, members and investigators, went to Otavalo, or to Esmeraldas which is on the coast. So instead, my companion and I have gone on a lot of divisions and took turns switching sectors helping each other.

There's a park where there is a lot of stray dogs in the other sector. Every time we walk around that park, there is a dog who follows us until we walk too far away from its "home." And every time it's the same dog who follows us. He will follow us to appointments we have with members and investigators, and once we are done we always find the same dog waiting for us outside the house. As we are sitting here reading our emails, the same dog is actually sitting outside waiting for us right now :p Funny!

I really want to thank everyone for your help and advice to me the last several weeks! You guys have really helped me. Apparently I'm not the only other missionary in this situation. There are 2 other Americans in my zone who are having lots of challenges with their companions too. We've talked with the more "experienced" missionaries and they have told us that the 3rd transfer in the field is always the hardest for many missionaries in this mission. One of the sister missionaries told me that the 3rd transfer is "the break it or make it" transfer. According to her, if you can get through your 3rd transfer, then you can get through the entire mission! Well only 2 more weeks with my current companion! I can do it :D Although I am deathly afraid that I will stay with him for 6 more weeks...or if I do transfer, get someone who is more disobedient, or someone who will hate me more...I guess we will see what happens...

I hope that you guys had a wonderful Christmas! This Christmas for me was definitely different from what I'm used to, but it has been great none the less. Thank you for your prayers and for your advice. You guys have definitely strengthened me. I love you all and I wish you all a happy New Year 2015!

Elder Dyal

Friday, December 26, 2014

Week #21 - East Quito, Ecuador - December 24, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

This has felt like a very long week. Because I've been having so many problems with my companion, I wrote an email to the mission president about what has been going on. I told him that my companion doesn't follow the rules and doesn't like me because I try to make sure we follow the rules. We have had many fights, and several times my companion has threatened to beat me up. He has told me straight up that he doesn't like me. I didn't want to continue the terrible pattern we have, and the burden of me pushing him every single day to do what we need to be doing, and in turn have him hate me. I've seen the same behavior with many of the missionaries in my zone as well. I also told the mission president in the email that our zone meetings are never productive because of lack of respect and lack of order. One of the other missionaries as well as the sister missionaries in my zone have been very frustrated as well. 

So because of my complaints about the behavior of my zone to the mission president, he showed up to our zone meeting with one of the assistant last Thursday. That seemed to whip everyone into shape! We actually had our district meeting first, and then the zone meeting (instead of just the zone meeting). It was nice to have things run more smoothly. The president and his assistant really lectured us and even told one of the missionaries to get his hair cut because it was too long for missionary standards. 

Other then that, truthfully the missionary work has been slow. And I still continue to have problems with my companion. I have tried being patient with him but I guess I lost my patience last week. I think what made me finally lose it was on Saturday, we were tracting and I was doing all the talking and he was just hiding behind every door. I asked him if he was afraid of talking to people. That made him really angry with me and he finally threatened to punch me right then and there. At that point, I took the phone and called the mission president. We made an appointment to go the next day (Sunday) to the mission home and talk with him.

On Sunday morning, we went to church first. We currently have one investigator but she didn't show up because she went to Otavalo for Christmas. After church and lunch we went to the mission home and talked with the president. He talked to us separately first, then together. He told me that he judges the North Americans more harshly because of their background and for lots of us because we were born into the church. I talked with him a lot longer then he talked with my companion...and in the end I probably walked away feeling more guilty than he did. I guess I don't feel like he judged us fairly because I feel like he forgot my companion's threats towards me. I still feel a little unsafe to be with him, but I do have to say that since then, things seem to be a little better, so I guess I shouldn't complain. Hopefully it stays that way and there are no more threats to beat me up. I will do my best to withstand everything else, I just don't want to feel unsafe that he will get so angry and punch me or beat me up. 
On Monday we had our Christmas meeting and "formal party" at the mission home. I got to talk with the missionaries of Quito Oeste and the missionaries in my group. Apparently a couple elders in my group got assaulted and mugged in a particularly dangerous part of the city. The robbers beat them up, took their stuff, and ran off. But miraculously the police arrived like minutes after, and in the words of one of these elders, "beat the living crap out of them." As missionaries, we are told not to fight back when something like this happens but he said that even if he could, he wouldn't have needed to because he has never seen anyone get beaten up so bad by anyone as he watched the police beat them up. Made me feel glad I live in a "richer" part of the city where things like that don't happen as often.

I talked a lot with another elder in my zone. I have never seen anyone as spoiled as him. He literally gets like 2 packages a week from his family because he is an only child and the first in his family to go on a mission. Apparently he received so many packages that the mission president emailed his mom asking her to stop sending so many things because it's hard for him to focus on his work with the packages always arriving for him. This Elder assured his parents that he can focus just fine (apparently, they became very worried that he wasn't focused), so they don't send as many as they used to, but he still gets a lot. Although it was pretty interesting when he received a packages and 3 letters from home at the zone meeting last  Thursday as the mission president was sitting right behind him. He was trying to hide it so the president couldn't see. Haha!

Anyway at the "party/meeting" we had lunch, played a gift opening/exchanging game where I ended up with a spider man action figure. Although it could have been worse since 2 out of 3 of the assistants ended up some crazy gifts...fake eye lashes and a tiny, girly, money purse. Oh, and one of the sister missionaries ended up with shoe polish. Haha!

All in all it was an interesting week. Sorry I talked a lot about other elders but honestly nothing much besides these things happened to me this week. Haha! Anyways thank you for your emails and prayers. I wish everyone of you a Merry Christmas! Until next week...(which will be on Mondays again.)

Elder Dyal 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week #20 - East Quito, Ecuador - December 15, 2014

Dear family and friends,

This has been a interesting and a very full week. I'm starting to notice a pattern here in Quito (interesting and full!)...Haha!

On Tuesday my companion and I went on divisions with the ZL's. We taught a short lesson to a guy who has been taking the discussions and who committed to baptism a few weeks earlier. My companion and I went back to visit him a few days later but for some reason, this time we met him in a weird back alley area. While we were talking to him, we were confronted by a lady who didn't like us being there. She made a huge scene and yelled at us and told us to leave. Every time we have returned to that same area, there has been a person or a group of people who have yelled at us. So, not surprisingly the guy we were teaching didn't come to church on Sunday. Either that or he forgot...he was an older gentleman, like 80 something years old or something.

My "campaign" that I spoke of last week of giving as many lessons as possible has been falling apart. This week we have mostly concentrated on the people that my companion and I or previous missionaries have contacted about the church. Most of these contacts told us that they have lost interest or that they have decided to stay with their other church...Usually the Catholic church or Jehovah Witnesses. So I have decided to try a different approach. I looked in the area book for people we don't know, instead of ones we have contacted or lost interest. We'll see if that works...We keep praying for people who will be interested in learning and have interest in coming to church.

Although really what made this week hard is the difficulties between me and my new companion. We've only been together for 2 weeks and he has been very unpredictable and we've had a rough time getting along! We don't see missionary work the same way. He doesn't follow the rules and doesn't like to work as hard as I think we should. We've had many talks about it this week, and I'm hopeful it will get better, but I don't know. I'm mostly concerned because I feel like the spirit isn't with us when it should be. If that's the case, then no one is going to want to listen to us...So this is crucial! But looking at the positive side, I have found out that it's been helpful to me because I have been the one who has been making sure we stay on task.  I also do all the planning, revise the area book, and all the stuff like that. It's helping me become a better leader and hopefully be a good example. 

The ward had a Christmas talent show this weekend. They asked the missionaries to do something for it so we preformed a skit. It was about a new missionary, which of course was played by me (because I am the newest). The skit started with me at the airport as I was leaving to go on my mission. I left my girl friend at the airport, who said she was going to wait for me. In the next scene, I got a letter in the MTC from her and got really excited. Then I got a new companion who was super happy to have me as a companion. I was beyond excited. We began talking to people on the street but then I got sprayed in the face with water and robbed while my companion ran for his life and left me behind. Then I got a dear john letter from my girlfriend saying she married my brother instead. But in the end we ended up baptizing the robbers because one of the things they robbed was my Book of Mormon and they read it and wanted to be baptized. It was pretty funny. Although, now the entire ward now asks me if my girlfriend has married my brother yet! Hahaha!

So, that was a brief summary of my week. I hope you guys had a wonderful week and hopefully had a chance to bear your wonderful testimonies with someone. Thank you for all your prayers. I always need them, especially right now! I love you all!

Elder Dyal

 The Castano Family with Elder Dyal and Elder Caballero
They were one of the very first families that Spencer taught when he first arrived in Cayambe and was companions with Elder Arcaya
 Elder Dyal and some of the kids in his branch when he was in Cayambe

Elder Dyal and his new companion

He hung the Christmas tree up on the wall 

Elder Dyal is bowling on P-day last week 

Bowling on P-day last week

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week #19 - East Quito, Ecuador - December 8, 2014

Dear Friends and Family,

Goodness, this week has been full of so many things! I only hope that I will be able to remember them all...

So, my current companion's former companion, apparently had a kind of "I don't care attitude" from what I have heard. And oh my goodness, the house certainly showed it! He left behind sooooo many things...it's ridiculous! Shoes, bed sheets, shampoo, underclothing, and a backpack. Although I shouldn't complain too much because he also left a watch which was something I needed cuz I lost my other one. I was feeling pretty naked without one! :p Also he left a big bottle of lotion which was good cuz I was running low. But the house was so disorganized; pamphets, pencils, and papers everywhere. The trash can was extremely full and infested with flies!! And I'm not even going to talk about the bathroom! Needless to say, I had a talk with my companion about how things are going to be different here with me!

My new area or sector is huge!!!!! It takes a good 10 minute bus ride from one end to the another. And in my zone, there are missionaries from my group from when we arrived in Ecuador. It was great to see them again and will be awesome to work with them. My area is nicknamed "The Garden of Eden" I think mostly because it has a mall in it called "Quicentro". However, as massive and awesome as it is in my new area, I was really surprised to learn that we have no investigators or any less actives. I almost didn't believe my companion when he told me that. So needless to say, I came up with a campaign of tracting to as many houses as I could here, which my companion didn't like so much. The people are a lot harder to talk to about the church and I was surprised to hear that so many people here don't believe in God. That's unheard of in Cayambe. But after a while, I stopped counting the number of people telling us "No Gracias". We got maybe 3 people who were interested in talking to us or having us come back again. Unfortunately, it's been difficult to find a time to actually meet with them and their families. Although, we do have a ton of recent converts who have given us many references, but out of the ones we've contacted so far, only 2 are actually interested. 

So, even though it's much harder to do missionary work in Quito than it was in Cayambe, I have really enjoyed it here this last week. I'm now in an actual ward instead of a branch which is great. And the members are awesome! One thing I've noticed in the ward, and really in all of Quito, is there are a lot of people who look like North Americans. Actually a lot of people here are of German descent, but also most of them are Ecuadorian that just have light skin. This has been a bit different. It's not as unusual here as it was in Cayambe to see a "gringo" walking down the street.

And P-day today was awesome! We went to Quicentro and went bowling with the zone leaders and some other missionaries in the Calderon area of Quito. Although, the Latinos bowl very differently. It took awhile to get use to...they were practically throwing the ball down the lane instead of rolling it. It was a bit humorous! ;p

I got the Christmas package that my mom sent to me. I was so happy to see the Christmas tree, which is awesome! I hung it on the wall in my apartment and now it feels a little more like Christmas. :p Although also with the tree, to my surprise came a binder full of testimonies from my family and friends. Wow! It's soooo amazing!!! I can't begin to describe my thanks to all of you! Your testimonies and words have such power in them! I felt the spirit so strongly! While I was reading them, I had this thought: If I am able to feel the spirit so strongly reading these beautiful testimonies, how much more awesome would it be if a non-member was able to read or hear these. So, this is my challenge for all of you: Share with at least one non-member your testimony of the gospel like you did with me this week. Your testimonies have such power! They deserve to be shared!! This is my challenge for all of you...take it or leave it, but I promise if you share your testimonies, you feel the joy I feel everyday sharing the true gospel of Jesus Christ!

Have an amazing week everyone! Thank you so much again for your testimonies. They have truly strengthened mine!

Elder Dyal

A picture of the paper Christmas tree (and string of lights) that we sent Spencer.
We also made handmade paper ornaments that he could put on the tree.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week #18 - East Quito, Ecuador - December 1, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

So this last week marked the end of my time in Cayambe. I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about transferring to a new area. I began packing on Friday, just in case, and my companion and my district leader thought it was hilarious. Although unfortunately, I was lazy at taking pictures with all my investigators and recent converts, so I'm disappointed now that I don't have nearly as many pictures as I would have liked... :/ Although, I was able to go around and talk with most of them before I left. A lot of them seemed bummed that I was leaving, which surprised me. It feels nice that they would miss me. :p

So on Sunday night, I was in my district leader's house waiting to get the call from the zone leaders about which missionaries will be transferring and where they are transferring to. Only DL's and ZL's and the sister missionaries have phones, so we don't, which is why I had to wait at my district leaders house to find out. Anyway, come to find out, my packing wasn't in vain! I was going to be put in the zone that I really wanted! Quito este (east), which is the zone that is the closest to the church offices. I was so happy and I'm still super happy now! :D 

Now I'm in the big city, and it has quite a few differences here that I have noticed so far. There are a lot more missionaries in this area. I also haven't been use to seeing tall buildings and skyscrapers when I was in Cayambe. And there are lots more people here...it's a lot more crowded! People have told me it's much harder to find people who are willing to talk to you in Quito. The people here I guess are less interested in religion or something, but we'll see...that's only what I have heard. I really like it here so far though. Actually the church offices aren't technically in my mission. They are in the Quito mission, but both the Quito Norte Mission and Quito Mission share them.

My old companion, Elder Caballero, is now a DL and he is staying in Cayambe. We found out that there will only be one set of elders in Cayambe now, so my old house is not going to be used for missionaries anymore. Elder Caballero thinks it is going to be pretty stressful for only one set of missionaries because Cayambe seemed a big area for 2 sets of missionaries. Now it's going to be an even bigger area for the one set! I wish the best for Elder Caballero though.

My new companion is Elder Gonzalez. He is from Chile and seems like a pretty cool guy. From what I have seen so far, he knows a lot more English than my other companions did. Elder Arcaya and my district leader both told me he is super crazy but also pretty awesome. I don't know him very well yet but he does seem like a pretty awesome guy. I'm glad that I have another Latino companion. Actually, one of the sisters in my old area is related to him. Weird!

Anyways, thank you for always keeping me in your prayers. I hope you guys are as happy as me, although I doubt it! ;p I love you all! You are amazing! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Dyal

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week #17 - Cayambe, Ecuador - November 24, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

So this week most likely marks the end of me being in this area and my working with Elder Caballero. My district leader told me that it's very likely that I am going to transfer next week. I have really loved it here in Cayambe but I have been here for 3 months so I guess it's about time for a change. My companion said if I go to the coast or somewhere really far away I may not have much time to write on my P-days, if I have any time at all. I guess we will see...

My companion and district leader took it upon themselves to help me and the other North American missionary in Cayambe with our soccer skills. So every morning we have been waking up early, then we take a morning jog to the church and practice there for about an hour. I have definitely loved that they are doing this and I feel like I'm getting better at playing the game. But at the same time, I know there is so much more to learn since my companion said that it took him years to get good at certain soccer skills. I'm just grateful to be playing. I love playing soccer! 

A while ago, President and Sister Richardson talked to us about how we should be careful with what we eat, so my companion and I have completely changed the way that we have been eating for the better. I took it upon myself to learn how to make a certain juice that a lot of the members give us. There is a fruit here in Ecuador that I don't think we have in the States, but I could be wrong. It's called Tomate de árbol or tree tomato. I asked one of the less actives that we visit to tell me how to make this "juice" and he told me to just throw it in a blender. So without thinking much about it, I did exactly that and it tasted terrible. After a few more tries, I figured out that I needed to peel it first. So I did and it was better but it still tasted weird. So I talked to some other people who told me to try some sugar and a few other ingredients. Now after 3 weeks and some trial and error, I can finally make it! Haha! I do have to admit I have gotten better at cooking since being on a mission. When I first got here, I was almost dangerous in the kitchen (poor Elder Arcaya) but now I feel like I'm a lot better, and hopefully even better after 2 years!

Yesterday we had stake conference which was in Otavalo, an hour's drive away. In was really cool because President Richardson and his wife attended, as well as the temple president of the Guayaquil Temple. The stake president also gave some of his talk in Quichua, an Inca language spoken by an Indian population in Ecuador. Overall, the stake conference was really awesome, but since it is so far away from Cayambe, none of our investigators were able to attend, which was not so awesome. But it was nice that we were able to see some of the less active families that we visit pretty often there at conference, which was really good. 

We have not had any baptisms this week but we do have a lot more investigators. Lots of them have so much potential and I have a really good feeling that a lot of them will get baptized, maybe even before the end of December which means I probably won't be able to see them get baptized. I think it will be a little disappointing not seeing what happens to some of these investigators. I hope the best for all of them! 

Anyways, thank you as always for your prayers in my behalf. I hope you all have a great week! Thank you for all you do!!! 

Elder Dyal 

 Taking pictures after Stake Conference with
President and Sister Richardson, Danny Florez, Elder Cabellero and Elder Dyal

Spencer says that Danny Florez is a member in his branch who likes to teach with them a lot. 
He recently turned in his mission papers and is awaiting his own mission call.

The Guayaquil Temple President and his wife, Danny Florez, Elder Caballero and Elder Dyal

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week #16 - Cayambe, Ecuador - November 17, 2014

Last week, our former bishop passed away from complications of prostate cancer. It was a very hard blow to our ward, especially since he was so young (50 yrs old) and has two kids who are currently on a mission. He was released as bishop last May because the cancer was making it hard for him to continue with his calling. Our family attended his funeral last Saturday. When Spencer was a priest in the young men's program, Spencer was his first assistant. Bishop Gillespie also wrote several recommendations for Spencer -- for Eagle scout, for college, and for his lifeguard job. He also interviewed him and helped him fill out his mission papers. Spencer really looked up to him, and Bishop Gillespie thought very highly of Spencer as well. I knew it would be a shock to Spencer when we told him of Bishop Gillespie's passing in our emails this week. Anyway, Spencer mentions his death in this email, so I wanted to clarify why Bishop Gillespie was so dear and important to him.

Dear Family and Friends,

Oh no! I'm not going to have enough time to write a very long email to the family because we were late getting to writing today!! Ahhhhh! Goodness, I'm sorry yet again! Ugh! I will try to write quickly!!! 

My week has actually been really great! We had 3 investigators attend church last Sunday as well as a lot of less actives! There is one investigator that Elder Arcaya and I taught who would always argue with us that all the churches in the world are true but that he was open to learning about the churches he didn't know much about. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned him in one of my letters to you guys before. Anyway, it was really hard to teach him because instead of a lesson, we would get an argument which didn't bring the spirit that is needed to testify of the truth of the things we are trying to teach him. But now after he has gone to church about 4 times now, he has changed so much! Every time I see him he has a smile on his face! And he doesn't argue with us anymore. He is very receptive to our lessons. And y
esterday, he accepted the invitation for baptism! Wow! I couldn't believe it! Very excited about that! It's been so cool that I have witnessed this change. He had a problem with alcohol which he is still working on and he doesn't drink coffee anymore. I hope that I have the chance to baptize him, but I will probably transfer areas in a few weeks, so I may not be able to even see his baptism at all.

I got the letter from the family and also letter from the Canton ward primary children this week! That surprised me especially Logan's letter. Haha...silly boy :p And oh my goodness, I can't believe that Bishop Gillespie died. I feel so extremely shocked and saddened. I almost didn't believe it when I read it! He was a great man. I will always remember all that he did for me. I can't even imagine what it would be like to have your father pass away while you are on your mission, so this must be really hard for Aldridge and Allie while they are on their missions :( I will be praying for their families!

I feel like my Spanish is getting much better lately. I still have to think about what I'm going to say before I say it, but I know that it has gotten so much better than when I first arrived in Ecuador. I have to keep looking at it that way instead of being frustrated because I want to speak better. I think I sometimes get frustrated because I want to rush it and be perfect at speaking Spanish. Being around native companions is good and bad. It's good because they help me to speak better, but bad because I see how much I don't know!

Well, I need to wrap up, but I want to send a picture at least. In the picture that I'm uploading is me and my companion in a place called Pingulmi with a member of our branch who likes to teach with us a lot here. His name is Akos and he is 15 years old. He is a really awesome kid and is excited to be a missionary someday. Also, it's actually kind of funny what he told us he wants to do for his profession someday. He wants to live in the United States and be party of the U.S Military. Haha! Interesting! 

Thanks for your prayers and letters! I feel the influence of your prayers in my life, so thanks a ton! Next week will be a better and longer letter. 

Elder Dyal

Elder Caballero, Elder Dyal and Akos
Akos is 15 years old and likes to tract with the missionaries in his branch

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week #15 - Cayambe, Ecuador - November 10, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

So, it has been a better week. Thanks for all the encouraging emails. I had some interesting things happen to me this week...

One day last week, my companion and I were teaching some new investigators, a husband and wife. During the lesson the wife's parents came over and sat down to listen as well. Actually, they mostly slept during the lesson. But when they were awake, the Grandma said some weird things to me, like how my skin matches my shirt....and how she thinks "gringos" are more good looking than Latinos....She also told me she wanted a picture of me to show her kids. I guess I was kind of flattered...? Although it was kind of creepy because she went on and on about it and she is like 80 years old. Anyway, we left and returned a few days later to invite them to church on Sunday, but the husband was completely drunk, so that became a dead end and didn't work out. 

We also took a trip to Otavalo for meetings this week. We had training with the Mission President and the assistants. It went well. The following day we had individual interviews with the President. The day after that, we ended up having a mini-conference with the zone leaders and the assistants. It gave me a much needed spiritual boost and it was nice to see everyone again.

Also it has been raining so much here! It has rained almost every single day!! One of the days it was cold enough to hail. It happened while we were out and somehow the hail got into our house! Hahaha! Not quite sure how it happened, but we were lucky nothing got wet or ruined. :p

We have an investigator named Antonio who we were going to baptize last Saturday. We went to visit him the morning of his baptism and his family told us that he left for Quito and was going to be gone all weekend. I guess he forgot to tell us. His family doesn't really like us or the idea of him leaving the Catholic church, so when we arrived his wife decided to give us back the Book of Mormon that we gave him. And she told not to come back. Hmm....well, we aren't going to give up on him. We will have to go back this week and hopefully he will be home. :p But, once again his baptismal date has to be pushed back. I just hope that he doesn't get to discouraged about the church since his family isn't supportive. He would be an excellent member of the church. The last time he came to church, he brought one of his friends.

Our other amazing investigator didn't come to church on Sunday because he is a fireman and sometimes he has to work on Sunday. He told us he feels really bad about missing church, so hopefully he will be there next Sunday. He is a great guy.

Anyway, thanks again for your emails and prayers for me. You guys are all amazing! Thank you so much! Have a great week!

Elder Dyal

This was Spencer's caption for this picture -- 
"My companion was voted "mas chito" in our zone, or the person with the least amount of money... 
I on the other hand try to be careful with my money!" 

Spencer in Cayambe at dusk, with the beautiful Cayambe Volcano in the distance

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week #14 - Cayambe, Ecuador - November 3, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry, I don't really have time for a very long email this week. Plus I can't really think of much that happened this week. Not anything significant anyway, except that unfortunately we didn't have any baptisms like we had planned. One of our investigators told us he didn't really have a testimony so we told him to pray about his testimony and the things we have taught him. We decided to push the baptism back to this Saturday! Hope it works out. But I hope even more that he gains a firm testimony. I can see that he desires to know the truth and I think he really wants to get baptized. Please add him to your prayers this week. 

We didn't hardly have anyone at church on Sunday because it was Dia De Difuntos, or Day of the Dead which is apparently a big holiday here. Big enough that no one attended church I guess. It was weird having such emptiness in church.

Almost every P-day we play soccer with the other elders in the area and a ton of natives in our ward. They are so good and I feel like I've been getting better. It's been so fun. I really enjoy playing every week.

But anyway I'm sorry I don't have enough things to put in a letter to everyone other than basically all of our investigators are weakening and we are working on new baptismal dates for them. :/ And also for some reason I feel like my Spanish is getting worse. Has this happened to anyone else on their mission? For awhile I felt like I was progressing, then stable, but now getting worse. I don't know! Maybe I just feel like it is because I want it to be better. Anyway, I'm making this week sound so terrible, but it hasn't been. Just disappointing! Anyway, thanks for everyones letters and emails! I always look forward to reading them. They honestly make my week! Until next week....

Spencer :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week #13 - Cayambe, Ecuador - October 27, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

So this has been a very interesting week. Actually it was pretty awesome too!

So my new companion Elder Caballero doesn't know Cayambe at all, so I was really nervous at first because i didn't feel like I knew the area very well even though I have been here 6 weeks. But I have been the leader this week and I found out that I knew it better than I thought. :)

The first night teaching with him was interesting because I didn't know the way he would teach and I had to lead the conversation because he didn't know any of the people. That was a new expereince for me. The first person we taught was a man named Fernando. It really wasn't a lesson though. It was mostly him talking about how he believed that all religions are equal. My companion and I didn't really have high hopes for him progressing but he surprised us yesterday when he showed up to church. That's 2 attendances! One more and we can baptize him if he decides that is what he wants to do. What a mircale that was!

The second lesson with Elder Caballero was with a new member family. Interesting story. It was kind of late as we were passing by their house and we saw the husband getting dropped off by a taxi. We thought it was perfect timing, right? Well we started talking to him and he was acting really weird. Weirder than normal and extremely emotional. It took me a while to figure out he was drunk. He kept insisting that we come inside his home even though his wife was against it because he was clearly drunk and she wasn't happy. Ironically, he wanted us to teach them about the Word of Wisdom. After a few minutes of him arguing with his wife, he turned to me and I told him that to teach a lesson we needed the spirit present. With all the arguing in his current condition, we told him it probably won't be possible. I asked his wife if this happens a lot and she said it didn't. It was a pretty interesting experience. I haven't been around someone so drunk like that before. It was so hard to understand him. Ugh! 

A few days later we went to the Relief Society Presidents's house for lunch. Their family reminds me of a family in my ward back home...The Lowder Family. They always have a lot of people over and their 2 sons are like the Latino versions of the Lowder's sons, Tyler and Zac. And the Father is the first counselor in the branch presidency. Do the Lowder's have Latino relatives? Haha! Anyway while we there, their Grandma and a bunch of random kids from their neighborhood were finding guinea pigs and killing them. They had pile of dead guinea pigs! We even saw the Grandma break one of guinea pig's necks. Yeah...it's always an interesting day when you see a 70 year old lady killing a small animal. Not a very lovely sight. 

Well it didn't surprise us that when we returned the next day for lunch, that first of all, there were a million people all over their house, and second, we were given plates filled with tons of meat. My companion and I looked at each other because we both knew what we were eating. Honestly, it didn't taste bad at all. Though I do admit that there was some intestines or something like that which tasted...interesting. My companion said he saw hair on some of his meat...Haha! 

Today for our p-day, we played a lot of soccer with the elders in our new area. Apparently some of them were surprised at how good I was. I love soccer but I'm not as good as they are. Oh, well! Thanks guys! Haha!

Yet again we didn't have a baptism last Saturday because none of our investigators show up to church the week before. But finally, this Sunday, our investigator named Antionio showed up to church. He is the coolest guy. He loves missionary work and goes around teaching like a missionary would! Yesterday he brought one of his friends to church! I can't wait for the moment he gets baptized!

Anyways, besides that I don't have anything else that is new to tell you. My new companion and I see eye to eye a lot more than I did with my other companion. Even though I know the area better, he is still my trainer. I have to have a trainer for 12 weeks. Since I am still in training, we have different stuff we need to study during companion study.

As always thank you for your prayers in my behalf! Have a great week! 

Elder Dyal

Spencer and his companion Elder Caballero after playing soccer on their P-day (10/27/14)
He said they were outside playing soccer for so long that he got sunburned on his face.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Letter from Spencer's Mission President - October 19, 2014

Dear Elder Dyal,

How are you doing?  I want to take a moment to congratulate for completing six weeks in the best mission in the world!  It was wonderful to see you and Elder Arcaya at the verification and it’s apparent that you are progressing very well in Otavalo.

We hope that you are feeling more and more at home here in the Ecuador Quito North Mission, and that you know that we love you very much.  It is our desire to support you and help you be the best missionary that you can be, knowing that your mission, well-done, will bring you blessings and successes for the rest of your life.  Always remember that it’s “bacanaso” to be exactly obedient and diligent.

I’m attaching some pictures of your verification.

With love and prayers for your success and happiness,

President and Hermana Richardson

Week #12 - Cayambe, Ecuador - October 20, 2014

Hey everyone,

Spencer mentions in his letter about going to Panecillo Hill in Quito last week. He said that was where Spencer W. Kimball opened South America for missionary work. I looked for more information on this event and found this website. Thought that many of you would be interested in reading more about it.


He also forwarded many pictures. He's been having a hard time sending them the last few weeks, but finally found an internet place that can send them a lot faster. Thank you for all your love and support. Please continue keeping Spencer in your prayers.

Love, Julie


Dear Family and Friends,

This week was pretty awesome for me, although it has rained almost every day. When we went to Quito this week, it hailed! Afterwards it looked like there was snow on the ground. Probably the closest I will get to snow while I'm here. I've been in Ecuador for 6 weeks! Last Thursday my companion and I, as well as all the missionaries in the group that I came to Ecuador with, went back to Quito where President Richardson and the assistants checked our progress and our area book. We also did some more training and the President talked with each of us. I played the hymns of course! :p It was nice to play on a real piano again. Then the President and his wife took us to a place called Panecillo Hill, which is in the center of Quito and a frequent tourist spot. We read this story about how Spencer W. Kimball opened South America for missionary work on that very spot in 1965 when David O. McKay was President of the church. We learned that he invited several tourists that were there that day (and also not members of the church) to come say the dedication prayer with them! South American missionary work started in Quito! And the first missionary work was in Otavalo, really close to where I am! I find it so awesome that the only general authority with the same name as me did this 50 years earlier exactly where I am serving as a missionary! I'm right here where it all started! Below, I forwarded a message from Hermana Richardson. She emailed pictures from our verification last week.

Also this week was cambios. Yesterday we were waiting anxiously for our changes in the district leader's house. I didn't end up changing areas, so I'll still be here in Cayambe, but I got a new companion, Elder Caballero who is from Paraguay. I knew him pretty well already because he was in my zone. He also knows very little English. The only thing I'm worried about is that he doesn't know the area so I have to teach him! He and my old companion switched spots. So now Elder Arcaya is in San Pablo, a city about half an hour away.

To my great disappointment, our progressing investigators didn't attend church yesterday! Even though we had a good number of less actives attend, it was still very discouraging because now we need to change their baptism dates. It was to be next Saturday, but now we will have to change it. We typically don't have a problem finding people to teach, it's getting them to church which seems to be the hardest part, but also keeping them active!

My Spanish is finally to the point where I don't need too worry much about it. I still have many moments where I forget a que or use a pronoun incorrectly. And people sometimes have a hard time understand exactly what I am trying to say. But for the most part, I am understanding what people say to me, except when they use a word I have never heard before. It is getting less and less all the time though.

You told me that Dad has been asking if I have eaten guinea pig yet. Well, no haha! But I ate cat yesterday. A less active member cooked it for us. Really no biggy. Just tasted like chicken. I did have a really delicious fried fish that a member gave to us for lunch one day last week! Actually, it was probably one of the best fishes I have ever eaten. But most of the time the food here is soup, rice, beans, some sort of vegetable and "juice". What they call juice is not what I call juice. Usually it's a tomato or something thrown in a blender and there you go...Juice!

Anyway, thank you as always for your prayers and support! You guys are amazing! I love the emails and letters that I get every week. An elder in my area, Elder Webber, was telling me that the longer I'm on my mission, the less my family will want to write me. I hope that isn't true! I love reading your emails and seeing what's going on! I know you guys will get used to me not being there but I hope you still write every week! Have a great week!

Elder Dyal

 He found a KFC in Ecuador. They ate there on P-day last week.

 This is the traveling carnival close to his house for the "celebration" in Cayambe that he spoke about in his last letter.

 Cayambe's Central Square 
(building behind is the Mother Church of Cayambe)

 The Fried Fish dinner served by a less active member in his area

Spencer and his new companion, Elder Caballero from Paraguay

Spencer with President and Sister Richardson on Panecillo Hill in Quito

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week #11 - Cayambe, Ecuador - October 13, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope everyone is doing well! I got one of the family letters this week. It was great! I think just about everyone mentioned that Guardians of the Galaxy was a really good movie! Haha! If I remember right, the preview looking kinda weird! Anyway, I loved it and I love getting letters from you! It was great! It did make me a little homesick. I miss everyone so much. For me, this week has been more or less an interesting one...

Since the branch found out I play piano, Presidente Quishpe asked that I basically play in almost every calling that someone has to play the piano. So I play piano in sacrament meeting, priesthood and choir. I have to play on a keyboard which is a little more difficult because there aren't any pedals. Oh well! Everyone is so fascinated by it though. Before sacrament, little kids as well as adults will sit by me and just watch me play. Everyone tells me they want to learn to play piano. So, the district leaders had an idea recently to get non members to church...They thought it would be good to have English classes where Elder Webber and I would teach. We also thought we could have classes to teach piano where I would teach. I hope it works out! I'll let you know. Also I play for our choir. The choir director, who is very grateful to have a semi-capable pianist now, wants me to help more than I am able to give. But I play for them after church on Sundays and after ward council every Wednesday.

Also this week, I got sick and was having to make more trips to the bathroom than anyone would ever want to. :( Ugh! Sometimes that's hard when you are in the middle of nowhere... :p But luckily today, after a good night sleep, I felt a lot better.

Also, I don't know if it was some holiday or what but there has been more celebration here in Cayambe than usual! A few days ago, the Ministerio del Deporte had a parade with a bunch of cheerleaders, a high school band and drumline, and a bunch of little kids in soccer uniforms. The same day, as we were on our way to Otavalo for a district meeting, we were held up by a bunch cyclists on the road. It looked like a race or something. Also, there was a traveling carnival that was put up somewhat near our house last week.

This week we didn't end up having a baptism like we had planned. Unfortunately the investigators who were supposed to get baptized haven't been attending church after they commit to baptism. Teaching and getting them to believe the things we teach, and even getting them to commit to baptism, hasn't been the hardest part of missionary work. It's been getting our investigators to church! If they don't come to church, we can't baptize them no matter how much of a testimony they have. But this next week there is a baptism that is planned for some other investigators that we have. They have been coming to church so it looks like that one will happen.

Anyway, things are great here, besides getting sick! I love Ecuador and its people! Thank you as always for your prayers! I love you guys! Have an awesome week! 

Elder Dyal 

Spencer at the Cayambe parade

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week #10 - Cayambe, Ecuador - October 6, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

First of all, I hope everyone enjoyed General Conference! I'm so glad that I was able to watch it in English. All the North Americans missionaries watched it in English on a computer in a small room in the church. I would have watched it in Spanish but I wanted to get the most out of it. My companion and I were really pleased with the turn out we had of our investigators attending conference. All of our progressing investigators attended at least one session of conference. Well, all except one investigator because he owns a store pretty far away from the church, but he's getting baptized next week and we are very sure he will be a strong member of the church.

Speaking of investigators, we were tracking and found these two women named Ana and Dina last week. They were probably the hardest lesson I have taught. We plan on visiting them again very soon. We urged them to pray about the things we talked to them about and asked them to read the Book of Mormon that we gave them, but they have very strong opinions about prophets not being on the earth and that prayer isn't a necessary part of life. If you would, maybe mention them in your prayers this week so that they can open their hearts to the things we are teaching them. I know that the Gospel can really bless their lives. :)

The food here is great! I am really enjoying trying the different things that people make for us. Our lunches are provided by what they call "Mamítas", or members who provide lunch for us out of the goodness of their heart. One of them owns a restaurante and we eat there on Tuesday and Wednesday. Usually rice, sopa, some kind of vegetable and meat are always involved. So yeah...good stuff! :p

My Spanish is getting a lot better and my ability to understand it is as well. Thank you so much for your prayers in my behalf. I really feel them every day. Although I still find it difficult to understand when people ask me specific questions. I can usually understand and pick out most of the words they say, but I find it difficult to understand the question as a whole. I know that eventually with the Lord's help, I will be able to understand everything. Many of you have given me advice on how to speak and understand the language better and I'm very grateful for your help. :)

I'm so bummed because the pictures from the baptism last week and all the pictures from my P-day somehow got deleted on my camera! I've asked my companion to send me the ones he took but they arent as good as mine. I hope it works out and I can send pictures your way next week. Anyways, as always, have a wonderful week everyone! Remember the words spoken by the general authorities of the church and try to put Christ at the center of your life. :) Thank you again for all you guys do for me! I truly am blessed to have all of you in my life! Until next week...

Elder Dyal

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week #9 - Cayambe, Ecuador - September 29, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, a lot went on this week. Its hard to remember everything but I will try my best.

We kind of started off the week in trouble. My companion somehow misplaced 20 dollars that we were going to use to help pay a ridiculously expensive electricity bill. We were also waiting to receive a 20 dollar reimbursement from the church. I was really worried about money and how we were going to pay for our bill and still have money for food and other stuff this week! While we were waiting and trying to figure out what to do, by a miracle and because of kindness, we received 10 dollars from our zone leaders and we got our reimbursement today, just in time for us to buy food and things we need for this next week! 

I've had some weird and awkward experiences speaking Spanish this week. While visiting one of the members in our area, we entered his house and he said to me "I live here." But I thought he asked me if I live here (like if I am from Ecuador). I should have thought a little before I answered because usually members know that missionaries are not called to the area where they live, plus I do not look Ecuadorian at all. So I tried to explain to him that no, I am from the United States and not from here, and my companion started laughing. I realized what he said...yeah slightly embarrassing...haha! 

At the beginning of my mission, President Richardson told us that the Latin missionaries will help the North Americans with Spanish but he also wanted us to teach them English. I have been concentrating most of my efforts since being with my companion on learning Spanish, but this week he wanted me to help him with English. The best possible way to describe his English is that it is not good at all! Just a few examples...Once when we were on a crowded bus, he tried to say, "This bus sucks!" Instead he said, "Sucks bus!" Or, when we had a District meeting, some of us convinced him to try the spiritual moment in English. So he went up to read something from Preach my Gospel, then looked up at the ceiling and mumbled "Como es..." under his breath, then said "How......" and just stood there for like 30 seconds. He gave up and just said his spiritual moment in Spanish. Another time, we went to the District leaders house to eat lunch and my companion was asking me which plate I wanted to use. He assumed I didn't understand what he was saying (even though I did...he only said one word - cualquiera). So then he tried to say it in English and he said, "How want eat." Oh my goodness! We don't let him forget that one. Haha!

Speaking of my companion, I haven't really said much about him. He is awesome! And he is quite the jokester...like all the time! Haha! But yeah, he is super nice, very selfless, and one of the nicest guys I have met. He is also convinced he is going come to the U.S and marry a "gringa." That's why he is determined to learn English! Haha! Its funny because other Latinos even make fun of his English. I guess you cant blame him because I am the first American companion he has had. Apparently I am also his best companion...at least that is what he told me. I don't know about that one though! Haha!

I dont know why I always have trouble sending photos. I wanted to send photos today of our P-day. We went to the mountains and it was fun and really beautiful. I also have pictures of our baptism on Saturday. We baptized a boy named Anderson David. I don't really know a lot about him. He had already committed to baptism by the time I met him, so I never taught him. He is 15 years old and the first member of his family to be baptized so now we are trying to get his sister and mom baptized. Anyways, I really love it here in Ecuador but I also miss all you guys! Last week, I could literally feel the prayers from everyone because all of a sudden my Spanish was noticeably better. I knew it was the Lord helping me because of your prayers. Thank you so much. I love you guys <3

Elder Dyal

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week #8 - Cayambe, Ecuador - September 22, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

I’m sending lots of pictures this week. It’s really hard to upload them on these computers. It takes a lot of time, so I won’t have as much time to write as I’d like to. To answer your question about my mission address, just use the mission office. That’s the best way to get letters to me. :)

My Spanish honestly is terrible! :( I speak best when I’m teaching a lesson but it’s been hard to express myself like I want to and its kinda frustrating sometimes. But all of our investigators are awesome! We have 9 investigators right now with baptismal dates! I baptized one of them on Saturday! I was very nervous because I had to say the prayer in Spanish. Also before the baptism began, we were trying to figure out how to make the water warm but we couldn't figure it out so the water ended up being freezing. I messed up saying the prayer the first time but I got it the second time! The district leaders were at the baptism as well. They baptized another girl at the same baptism. They also live in Cayambe… Elder Webber and Elder Del Aguilla. The girl I baptized was my age. She is 18. Baptizing an investigator was probably one of the best experiences ever! I will send pictures of us before the baptism. We have another baptism next Saturday! For a boy who is 15!  Oh, and just a little bit of silly info: My favorite word in Spanish is vaca or cow. Hahaha. I’ll send you a picture of me next to a cow that we passed on the way to teach an investigator.

Mom asked about my house… It is fine! I will be sure to take some pictures of the house next week and send them to you! The toilets here aren't that great but whatever… There is a lot to adjust to! It’s very different here, but it’s kinda what I expected.  It gets surprisingly cold here though! You wouldn't think but it does. Glad that I brought several sweaters with me because I use them all the time! It is also very rainy since it is the rainy season right now.

Thank you for those who write me. I really enjoy your letters each week! Can you tell Jessica to write me, too? I know she is probably really busy a lot but if she can, I would love it. I miss her! I miss all of you guys! 

I’m sorry I didn't send a big email this week. It just takes so much time to load the pictures. Next week will be a better email. Have a great week! <3

Elder Dyal

Elder Dyal and his companion with their 18 year old investigator, Ana Gabriela Cevallos Tobango 
He said, "Surprisingly, I didn't mess up her name during the baptismal prayer!"

Ana Gabriela Cevallos Tobango's family 

Elder Del Aguilla and Elder Webber with their investigator 
Elder Dyal and Elder Arcaya with their investigator

Elder Dyal in Cayambe

Elder Dyal in Cayambe with the Cayambe Volcano in the background
To learn more about the Cayambe Volcano, press the link below

Elder Dyal's favorite Spanish word is vaca (cow), so he wanted to take a picture with one!
There are many farmlands in and around Cayambe.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week #7 - Cayambe, Ecuador - September 15, 2014

Hi All,

Spencer's first P-day letter in Ecuador! He sounds like he is doing well. He mentions in his letter that he met a Sister Allred, who is the mission secretary. Her daughter, Alison Allred, married Dale Hoskisson, who grew up with Joshua in the Bryan ward in Texas. After he married Alison, they moved into the apartment next to us when we were in the Bryan student ward together. We lived in a triplex, and they lived in the middle apartment. Spencer was only one-year-old and I was pregnant with Jessica. Small world, huh? 

Please keep him in your prayers!            
Love, Julie


Dear Family and Friends,

Well, this week a lot has happened! Bear with me as I try to remember everything...

So on Tuesday, I left the CCM and got on my flight to Colombia at the very early hour of 2:00 AM. From Colombia, my companion and I took a plane to Quito, Ecuador. I felt really sick at the end of the flight. The pilot was turning and changing direction sharply. It turns out it wasn't just me who was feeling sick. Most of the missionaries on the flight felt sick too. 

The Quito Airport surprised all of us! It was really nice! When we got off the plane, the mission president and his wife, as well as the APs were waiting for us. We took a picture in the airport, all 23 missionaries with the mission president and his wife. According to President Richardson, we are the biggest group of North Americans they have ever had at one time! It was really funny when he told us we would be having Papa John's for lunch because most of us thought he was joking! Papa John's and a super nice airport?! We thought we were coming to a 3rd world country! As we drove away into the valley, we saw what Quito was actually like. It's what I expected and didn't surprise me at all. It was a 3rd world country after all. 

For the first 2 days after we arrived, we just did a lot of training, which was pretty much like preparing us for what to expect in the Quito North mission. We were taught the mission rules, information we needed for being healthly and not getting sick and other stuff like that. The mission secretary, Hermana Allred if I remember correctly, said she knew my parents...well actually through her daughter. She said one of her daughter's married someone that dad knew when he lived in the Bryan ward in Texas. It's always interesting to meet someone who knows your family in some way or the other, but you don't know them. Haha!

Well, on the third day after we arrived, we finally got assigned our companions and areas. It was weird because it was like a mission call within a mission call. Everyone was excited and waiting to hear where they were going, just like when we received our mission call the first time. Quito North has 4 different places you might go. The coast, the campo (or rural areas), the city, or the jungle. I don't know much about these different places yet but I do know the coast is the most dangerous. The missionaries there need to be in their homes an hour earlier than the other areas. And the jungle has parts where people speak some type of Indian language...I dont' remember the name of it. Sorry haha! Well, my new companion is Bolvian and speaks as much English as someone would if they took an introductory English class in High School. It's a good thing I can somewhat communicate with him in Spanish because if I spoke less Spanish than I already do, we would never be able to communicate. Only hand gestures I guess, haha! Elder Arcaya is super cool though! Everything anyone would want in a companion! Hes dedicated, hard working and kind. He is a good trainer. 

Well, my area is in a campo...in a small city 3 hours north of Quito called Cayambe. Most of our investigators live on farms in very rural areas. So most of our Proselyting that we do is in a little community of farms. We have 2 investigators so far that have a baptismal date scheduled, and 2 others that have committed to baptism! My very first lesson ever was very interesting though. We sat down and were immediately offered coffee...plus I only understood about 20% of what they were saying. They were Catholic and as it turns out, they weren't really interested in giving up coffee, oh well... 

The branch in our area is really nice! I really enjoyed it yesterday. There is about 8 or so youth in the branch and they think it is hilarious that I can't speak Spanish very well yet. Haha! They joke around a lot but they are really fun! 

One of the things that I have noticed so far about the Ecuadorians is they LOVE music. You can't walk down the street or take a bus or even simply talk to someone without music playing nearby. The youth in the branch were always coming up to me with their American music, which is surprisingly common here even though they don't understand it, and they ask me to translate their music. Umm...yeah. It doesn't exactly work especially when the song doesn't always make sense in English.

Also, I'm like a giant compared to a lot of people here. They are all pretty short...haha! But I have loved it so much here! I'm really not having any problems except with the language, but that is coming along. One thing I have learned this week is that the most important thing to have when you are teaching investigators is the Spirit. If we have the Spirit during our lesson, then it doesn't matter if I can't speak Spanish perfectly. Also, I have learned to have a lot of patience. I'm getting really good at it. 

Anyways, I wish all of you a fantastic week! Thank you for your prayers in my behalf. I'm eternally grateful. Thank you! Until next week!

Elder Dyal

Elder Dyal and Elder Arcaya

Friday, September 12, 2014

Week #6 - An Email from the Mission President and his Wife - September 12, 2014

September 12, 2014

Dear Dyal family,

We spent three days this week training Elder Dyal and learned some fun things about him.  He shared with us that he had read the Book of Mormon several times, as well as that he and his sister were the only active members in their high school.  We are confident that he will be a great addition to our mission. 

We assure you that we will do everything possible to help Elder Dyal have a positive experience here in the newly formed Ecuador Quito North Mission.  This is a wonderful mission that experiences a high number of baptisms, and success in reactivation. Our boundaries include coast, jungle, a native Indian area, as well as the highly populated city of Quito so our missionaries have a wide range of experiences.

The theme of our mission is translated “The Center of the World; Centered on Christ,” and we have a wonderful group of 23 missionaries that arrived with him.  He will be serving in Otavalo, a native Lamanite area, often referred to as “Utahvalo” for the abundance of members with Elder Arcaya, a very diligent missionary of Bolivia.

The Lord is hastening the Work of Salvation and this is an amazing time to be a missionary.  Elder Dyal is needed here and we are so grateful he has chosen to serve a mission.  We will care for him as if he were our own. 

We know you’re already planning on it, but we want to remind you to write your son a weekly letter.  His preparation day will be on Mondays.

With much love,

President and Sister Richardson
Misión Ecuador Quito Norte

Arriving at the Airport -- 23 new missionaries with the Mission President and his Wife
Banner translated - "Welcome to the best mission in the world!"

Missionaries carrying their luggage out of the airport

Elder Dyal with President and Sister Richardson

The new group of Quito North missionaries at the mission home

The new missionaries with President and Sister Richardson

Spencer and his new companion Elder Arcaya from Bolivia
They will be serving in Otavalo, Ecuador

The new missionaries with their new companions/trainers