Monday, October 20, 2014
Week #12 - Cayambe, Ecuador - October 20, 2014
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.
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!
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