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, February 23, 2015

Week #30 - Calderón, Ecuador - February 23, 2015

Dear Family and friends,

So this last week has been an interesting one as Carnival has finally been slowing down and coming to an end. Carnival is basically like a Mardi Gras celebration, so to speak. All the fun stuff that everyone does during Carnival is pretty cool, although not while you are always wearing a white shirt and tie. And getting sprayed with foam or getting water dumped on you doesn't sound very fun either. But everyone around here seemed to love it. Tuesday was the last day of Carnival, and we were teaching this guy who works in a Cyber or internet store, and we kept seeing people walking by the store and they were soaking wet. We finally asked why they were so wet, and the investigator said that on the roof of the bakery around the corner, some guys were dumping buckets of water onto the people that were walking by. They soaked one guy who was wearing a suit and everything! Wow! Besides that poor guy, it was actually pretty funny! :p

This week we had changes and my companion and the zone leaders all kept telling me that I would probably go to Esmeraldas, or the coast, which is one of the more dangerous parts of the mission. I actually had a pretty good feeling that I wouldn't be going there, although I knew I would be moved to a new area. Now I'm in Calderón, which is on the northeast outskirts of Quito. My sector is in a rural area again which I really like. My new companion is Elder Galiego who is from Guatemala

It was a bit sad to leave La Luz, but I had a hard time there, although I learned a lot. It was hard finding and teaching investigators, but I also had a tough time in my ward and with both of my companions. The ward was very hard to work with even though I really liked a lot of the members. And I didn't really talk about the problems I had with my last companion, but it wasn't much of an improvement from my first companion in this area. We had a hard time seeing eye to eye and connecting sometimes, but I think that can be normal most of the time while on a mission.

Needless to say I was kinda nervous for this change, but everyone tells me that the ward is really awesome and my companion is "tranquilo" so I'm VERY hopeful for a good change! 

Other than that, it has been a pretty normal week. My former companion says there will be a baptism soon. We found a family a few weeks before I left who moved to La Luz from Esmeraldas who was really interested in the church and was attending church every week. So I'm glad my work in La Luz hasn't been all in vain.

I hope all of you guys have a wonderful week. I'm so thankful for everything you guys do for me and for your prayers on my behalf. Thank you so much! Until next week...

Elder Dyal

Spencer and Elder Nogales at the tourist site "Ciudad Mitad del Mundo" in Quito
("The Middle of the World")

 Spencer at the La Scala Mall in Cumbaya

 One of Spencer's best buds, Elder Saravia

 The zone leaders, Elder Gebs and Elder Castillo

 Zona Quito Este (minus 2 people)

 Cotopoxi Volcano which is an active volcano. It is about 30 miles south of Quito.

Spencer with the Cotopoxi Volcano in the background

 Spencer (and his current companion Elder Galiego) ran into his first companion and trainer, Elder Arcaya (and his current companion Elder Richey), at the church offices in Quito today.

 Spencer (and his current companion Elder Galiego) ran into his first companion and trainer, Elder Arcaya (and his current companion Elder Richey), at the church offices in Quito today.

  Spencer and Elder Arcaya at the church offices in Quito today.

 Spencer and Elder Arcaya's companion Elder Richey, at the church offices in Quito today.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week #29 - East Quito, Ecuador - February 16, 2015

Unfortunately, Elder Dyal didn't have the time to write an email today, but he sent several pictures.... He also told us that next week is transfers and it's pretty likely that he will transfer to a new area.

Elder Dyal with his companion. They are studying and planning in their apartment.

Spencer said he had to stop and take a picture of this because it reminded him of his sister, Jessica

Spencer was excited to meet Elder McPhie at a zone meeting a few weeks ago. 
His twin brother was in Spencer's district at the CCM in Mexico City and one of his good friends there.

 Spencer teaching his first training lesson at a district meeting 

Spencer teaching his first training lesson at a district meeting

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week #28 - East Quito, Ecuador - February 9, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Well this week has flown by with a lot of changes and interesting things that have happened.

One of the guys in our ward left on his mission this week to Honduras, which my companion was really excited about because that is where he is from. For his farewell, we gathered in the church and had a testimony meeting. The bishop asked if my companion and I would say a few things. It was kinda cool being part of the program. And then he was set apart as a missionary.

Another girl in the ward received her mission call this week as well. She was called to Perù in an area that was really close to where my companion was serving before he was transfered to the Quito North mission because of Visa problems. So he was really excited yet again. After all the mission calls this week, I was thinking about how cool it would be if someone in this ward got a call to serve in Michigan. Although, from what I have heard and seen, it is unlikely for Latinos to get called to the United States. It doesn't happen very often. Most missionaries in Ecuador stay in South or Latin America

Also, the missionaries in our area had interviews and a meeting with the president this week. He told us that the months of February and March are unique in this mission. Apparently in the past, there has been lots of success in February and March, so now they call these months Fe de Febrero (Faith of February) and Milagro de Marzo (Miracle of March). Also we will have different rules in February and March. For instance, in February we won't have any activities as a zone for P-day, and in March we will only be able to have these activities if we get a certain amount of confirmations during the week. We've also been asked to choose something to sacrifice during these months. Not sure what I'm going to do yet. We also are to read a talk that was given to us at least 4 times during these months. The zones that get the highest number of reactivations for less actives and confirmations will be able to have a breakfast and lunch with the President in the mission home.

On top of all that, we also have "Carnival" that will be starting on Valentines Day and lasts all the way up until the 17th of February. From what I understand about Carnival, it's basically a festival that lasts for 3 days. There are parades and celebrations everywhere. People throw water balloons at each other, spray each other with shaving cream, throw eggs or flour or whatever. Because of this, this mission president gave us strict rules to follow. For these 3 days, we can't leave the house except for appointments only. On P-day, we are only allowed to buy our food, write our emails, and go back to our house. Needless to say, we will have an interesting week and a couple months here. And transfers are coming up soon!  I don't want to leave La Luz! There are a lot of people that I have been teaching and are finally progressing, and others who have been showing more interest in the church! I guess we will see what happens but goodness the time is flying! 2 weeks more of this transfer...and then 12 more transfers left until my mission is over. 
Have a good week everyone! Enjoy your Valentine's Day and a week without Carnival! :p

Elder Dyal

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week #27 - East Quito, Ecuador - February 2, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

With every companion I've had in the mission so far, I have always had to change the way I eat a little bit. For example, with my first companion in Quito, we always ate very simply. Apparently a typical meal or snack in Chile is bread and coke. We always ate bread when I was with him. Now with my new companion, we are eating lots of different kinds of foods. He "consulted" me on how we need to eat healthier even if it's more expensive. So, now our trips to the grocery store are much longer than when I was with my other companion...It was almost a chore to get him to go shopping.

Speaking of foods, one thing I have really enjoyed making is juices of different fruits. Mango, Papaya, Pineapple, tomate de àrbol (tree tomato) and apple are my favorite juices. My companion taught me how to make beans for tacos the way he makes them in Honduras. Apparently they eat a lot of beans in Honduras. While I drink all my different kinds of juices, he always drinks this "traditional" drink from Honduras that's really bitter, and in my opinion is not very good. It always tastes exactly like the "traditional" drink from Paraguay that my other companion use to make. But my companion now insists it's much different. He also says it's good for you because it clears out your system. I think it is more of a bad thing because during every appointment he asks to use the bathroom. Sometimes more than once...

Also between my last 2 last transfers, we have had a lot of problems with our bathroom. When I first came here, the shower in our house had no heated water. It was like bathing in refrigerated water, which took a while to get used to. We found someone to come fix the shower but he didn't end up fixing it. I was the first to go in and the water was boiling hot for about 45 seconds then freezing cold again. After that experience, we couldn't get any hot water again. The same guy came about four weeks later and fixed it again and gave us instructions on how to keep the water warm. That first warm shower was like heaven after having freezing cold showers for almost 2 months and luckily, it's stayed warm so far.

Now that we have the shower fixed, this week the toilet was having problems! Water kept leaking from the bottom of it making the bathroom a pool. We had people come fix it twice, but it's still acting a little weird when we flush it, but luckily no floods. I hope that's the last of our bathroom problems!

So during our last P-day, we went to Cumbayà, the richest part of Quito, for a zone activity that was scheduled. I really wanted and needed a hair cut, so after the activity we looked for places where I could get it cut. After searching for a good and cheap place, and finding that every place was ridiculously expensive, we went to a poorer part of Cumbayà. We found what I thought was a good place. It looked okay and was much cheaper than the other places, although it was a tad bit sketchy. The lady who cut my hair did it extremely fast and weird. I have never seen anyone cut hair like she did. I should have known something was wrong when she didn't show me what my hair looked like in the back. But everything looked fine in the front so I was satisfied. It wasn't till the end of the day that my companion said something was wrong. He took a picture of the back of my head and showed it to me. At the back of my head, along the base of my hair line, it was cut very uneven and there was a little bald spot! According to my companion, everyone was literally laughing behind my back, even people in the mall we went to. So to prevent further laughter about my hair, I bought a scarf the next day to hide the back of my hair. At first, my companion thought it looked dumb but after a few days, he was asking to borrow it. I have to admit, I really have fallen in love with my scarf and it keeps my neck very warm. I think even after my hair grows in, I will still wear scarfs! :p

Anyway that's a little bit of what has been going on here. I wish you all a great week. Until next Monday...

Elder Dyal

Elder Dyal with Elder Nogales from Chile (on the right) and Elder Ladines from Ecuador (on the left)
Also with Elder Ladines' family who came and picked him up at the end of his mission

Elder Dyal with his buddies Elder Colfack and Elder Vellinga

Elder Dyal in front of the Quicentro mall in Quito

In the "San Francisco" outdoor mall in Cumbaya
(notice the scarf that he spoke of around his neck)