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, January 26, 2015

Week #26 - East Quito, Ecuador - January 26, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,
This week has been great for me! Me and my companion have been working hard to make this a good and productive transfer. Although I'm still kind of bummed because we have been having problems with keeping our investigators progressing. I don't know if it's just this sector or not, but it has been really hard for us to actually find and keep investigators progressing and attending church. 

Although we have had success with less actives which is a bit of an issue. The elders quorum president told me that there are 30 or 40 members on the list for his quorum but only about a maximum of 10 attend regularly. So although we haven't had much luck with investigators, we have had more success with the less actives! We have been trying to make things more efficient with the ward and keep everyone involved after having a ward council without the bishop or his counselors and more than half the leaders.

Also there is something I have noticed about the people here in Ecuador...they don't seem to accept it when we say the word small or "pocito" in Spanish. For example 2 times this week during lunch when I finished my food at a member's home, they ask "oh, do you want some more?" To which both times I said "yes thank you, but just a little bit", to which afterwards they returned with a another huge plate of food! You would think I learned my lesson in Otavalo where it was worse but it took me until now to see that this is a pattern here. Needless to say, I think I have gained a few pounds this week :p

Thank you all so much for your continual support as always. I love you all and wish you all a good week this week!! 

Elder Dyal

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week #25 - East Quito, Ecuador - January 19, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been great! My new companion seems to be pretty good. He has already been a great help and boast for me and the sector. He has a "plan" of success that he is convinced will help. I haven't done missionary work the way that he does it before but I think it will be really good and I'm willing to try anything new if it helps. I'm hoping we can have more success to make up for the two transfers where it's been more difficult and the missionary work has suffered.

The zone now is also completely different. Instead of loud and rowdy, it's more calm and reverent which I have really liked. Haha! Besides that, this week has been work as usual...nothing too interesting happened. Although we did have a special training meeting, which included all of the Quito areas. The president, secretaries, and assistants all attended the meeting. The president stressed a more spiritual and obedient environment which is why it's been more calm and reverent. It was actually pretty amusing because my companion apparently had some drama with some of the sisters during his last change, so he was nervous to go to the meeting and see all of them. Haha! My companion gave the spiritual thought during the meeting and I looked over at the sisters to see their reaction. Just by looking at their faces, I'm pretty sure they are still a bit mad. Hahaha! That was a bit amusing.

Today for P day, we went to the Quicentro mall. My companion likes to buy clothes, so he bought a new white shirt for an overly expensive price! At least it was way above what I would pay! It was at a store called Zara. I barely recognize any of the stores in the mall since they are way different than what you see in the mall in the states. Although needless to say everything is extremely expensive here. Either that or I'm really cheap! :p I don't know! But my companion thinks I'm cheap. Honestly, I don't think that's a bad thing! It's a compliment really!

Anyway, I'm sorry I don't have much more to say this week. I hope all of you have a wonderful and safe week! Until next Monday...

Elder Dyal 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week #24 - East Quito, Ecuador - January 12, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,
Well today was "changes", which is always some of the most exciting times as a missionary!!!! I had perfect confidence that I would stay here in "La Luz" for another change and to no one's surprise, that's what happened.

This area is kind of strange for me sometimes. I remember when I first entered the apartment that I live in now, I thought there was something really familiar about it. What was even more strange was when I first went to the zone leaders house for the first time, I could have sworn that have been there before! It's all very weird and occasionally I still get that deja vu feeling. Not sure why... 

I'm so glad to be here in La Luz for another change. I did not feel at all like my work here was done. We've been working hard the last few weeks, and now we have a lot of potential future members of the church in this area which is exciting. Although it was really sad when one of the ladies that I thought had the most potential decided to give us the Book of Mormon back last week. She told us she read every night and read almost half of it, but stopped reading it because she thought it just wasn't for her. Despite my persistence, her decision was clear. I felt almost back to square one after that and terribly sad that I couldn't have helped this woman more.

So last week I told you about the emergency transfer, and that my companion this week was one of the zone leaders, Elder Nogales. He had a lot of work he had to do in some of the other sectors this week, so we went on splits a lot with the other zone leader and his companion, Elder Ladines. I think my companion wanted to do this since he had a bit of a desire to be with the other Elders instead of just with me, so I worked with Elder Ladines this week more than I did with Elder Nogales. It was an unusual week that way...

A lot changed with the transfers today. It was Elder Ladines last transfer. He is actually from Ecuador and his family came up here to go to church with us before he left today. For Elder Nogales, he has a lot of problems with his visa, so he is going to return to Chile, his home country, and finish his mission there.

My new companion as of today is from Honduras. I don't know him really well yet but from what I have seen and heard from other missionaries, I have lots of hopes for a good transfer.

For p-day today, we went to Quicentro again and played pool with a bunch of other missionaries. It's been fun so far with my new companion! I'm really looking forward to this week.

As always, thank you for your prayers on my behalf. You all are such a blessing in my life! Thank you for all your letters of encouragement and advice and everything you guys do for me! I hope you all have a wonderful week! I haven't gotten my camera card back, but when I do, may pictures will be coming!

Elder Dyal 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week #23 - East Quito, Ecuador - January 5, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, so far this has probably been one of the most memorable weeks of my mission...
My mission president gave us specific rules a few days before Christmas that on Christmas eve, Christmas day, and New Years Eve, we needed to be in our houses early because of the "crazy traditions and parties" in Ecuador. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day came and went and I didn't quite understand what he was talking about. Christmas and Christmas Eve were almost like a normal day here. Oh, but come New Years Eve...Geez! It's like everyone lost sanity for the night! For some of the traditions here, they make huge paper-like figures. Kind of like paper mache that you make in art class. But then they put a bunch of fireworks in them and set them a fire on New Years Eve. Also, probably the strangest tradition is that tons of guys dress up as girls with dresses and everything and dance in the road. They go up and down the street stopping cars and trying to get money from them. When my companion and I were on the bus going home that evening, several guys stormed the bus asking for money from people. One of them tried sitting on my lap...Ewww! I pretended like I didn't know any Spanish...they just looked at me with blank looks and left me alone. Geez, I don't understand that tradition or why anyone would encourage them to keep it going year after year by paying them. It's like an annoying tax. :p

New Year's Day was interesting. My companion and I got permission from the mission president to talk with our families because we had a lot of trouble on Christmas skyping them. We talked to a guy who owns a "cyber" and lives right across the street from our house asking if he would be open. He said that he would be open for Christmas and New Years Day but both times he wasn't there and he left us on a wild search for a place that was open so we could use computers to skype our families. It was a lot harder to find a place on New Years Day. We finally found a member who helped us out.

Although probably the most interesting thing about the week happened the evening after getting home on New Year's Day. While I was planning out the next day for my companion and I (because he always makes me plan), my mind hit a wall and I couldn't think. I asked him if he could help me plan for the hour block from 6 to 9 for the next day. He surprisingly got really mad. I asked him why he was mad and he responded that he didn't like that I was "afraid" of planning. I told him that I wasn't afraid of planning, just that I needed his input sometimes instead of me doing it by myself everyday. He insisted that I was "afraid" of doing it and made several rude comments to me. I then told him that as a companionship, we need to work together and that we aren't working together. That I do all the planning, make the contacts, and make the phone calls. He then proceeded to give terrible excuses. Eventually, he started realizing that his reasons and excuses were terrible, and began responding to my questions saying: I hate you, you're the worst companion I have ever had, shut up, and a bunch of other things. I did everything in the book. Talking nicely, firmly and directly, and asking him what I can do better (in that order) but nothing worked. He got so mad, threatened to punch me again and he threw something at me which totally missed. After awhile, I had to just ignore him during his angry rant. Anyway, the next day before the zone meeting, I called the mission president to tell him what happened. Several of the president's assistants showed up at the meeting and talked to my companion and I, and the zone leaders. They told us that we would be having emergency transfers and that Elder Nogales, one of the Zone leaders, would be my companion for the rest of the change while my companion would be going in the companionship of Elder Castillo, the other zone leader, and Elder Ladines. 

So now I have another companion. 5 companions in 5 months. Crazy! I think my new companion, Elder Nogales, doesn't like the idea of being a part of this emergency transfer, partially because his house was really nice, and ours isn't as nice. He was also best friends with his companion. But we talked about it when I ask him how he felt, and he just tells me: "It doesn't matter, it's just one week." He is a lot more calm and patient with me which was really something I needed. He is also an amazing teacher, so it's no wonder he's a zone leader. Oh, and he is also from Chile 

Anyway, that was my crazy week! I'm looking forward to transfers next week to start clean without problems, hopefully. That would be really nice. I hope to be better prepared now to handle any situation in the future after this, which is one of the things I have learned from this experience. Thank you everyone for your emails of support and your prayers. May God bless all of you. Hope you have an amazing week. Happy New Year!

Elder Dyal

Skyping Elder Dyal on Christmas

Skyping Elder Dyal on New Year's Day