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 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

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