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.

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

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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





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