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.

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 

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