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, April 27, 2015

Week #39 - Calderón, Ecuador - April 27, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

It's been an interesting week...Well, to say that this week has been interesting doesn't even begin to describe my week, really....

Por fin, the 2 investigators we have been teaching finally had their baptismal interviews done, and their baptisms were announced in church on Sunday, so it's finally official! It's now or never, I guess! Hahaha!

Also this week we had a ward activity at the church. It was a ward talent show! Almost every act was musical in some form or other, except the young men and the obra misional. In our case, we didn't plan anything until the very last second with basically no practice at all. Our skit would have been pretty good if we had more practice beforehand, but because we didn't, it was an extreme embarrassment. The mission leader went off what little script we had, and after that, the skit just went completely downhill! My companion said afterwards that a member came up to him and said: "it will be better next time right elders?" Well, let's hope so! Hahaha!

During the week, my companion and I also visited the mission leader's house. They told us they had a surprise for us. The mission leader's wife went to the states recently to watch general conference live and she brought back some stuff that she so kindly shared with us! The best thing of course was that she had Dr. Pepper! Yes!!! Dr. Pepper in Ecuador! It was a miracle and a bit of heaven for us! We almost fainted when we saw it (I guess they also have Dr. Pepper in Guatemala, where my companion is from). Elder Galiego wanted to make a video to brag to all the other Americans in the zone, so we did and almost of the them were jealous, except Elder Lomeli who doesn't drink soda. Hahaha! :p

I am sending a bunch of pictures this week, but if I don't explain some of them, they won't make much sense, so I'll explain a bit about what happened. While we were waiting for a member to come on splits with us, we decided to wait at another member's house la familia Álava. While we were there, 2 of their kids started acting wild and crazy! (One of them is the girl who stole my pen during stake conference....still sad about that one! :p) Well, to make a long story short, these kids are kinda forceful and determined little guys. They like to squeeze our faces around to make silly faces. They first started with my companion, but then I pulled out my camera and started taking pictures. That made it even more hilarious to them. They turned to me and squished my face around, but then we turned on them and squeezed their little cheeks, too....hahaha! They thought it was hilarious! I hope it doesn't become a pattern every time we see them now though. ;p

I guess the climax of my week would be yesterday, when the ZL's called to tell us that Elder Galiego would be involved in the intertransfers (half way between the 6 week transfers). We were surprised to learn that Elder Galiego will be heading to the coast tonight. So, once again I got a new companion. It's actually my first American companion. His name is Elder Higgins. This should be fun and interesting...although I am really sad to see Elder Galiego go! I think he was even more sad though. He didn't want to leave especially since we have 2 baptisms this Saturday... :/

It will definitely be an interesting rest of the transfer this next 3 weeks! Especially since Mother's Day will be at the end of the transfer. Every missionary gets 4 calls home and this will be my second! Goodness the time is flying by! 

Have a good week everyone! Thank you for everything that you do and your prayers on my behalf! 

Elder Dyal

The zone leaders.... It's not raining Elder Ramponi

Having dinner with the district

We had an investigator we were teaching but he moved to a different part of Quito. 
We gave the missionaries in his area a referral. He invited us to his baptism!

We had an investigator we were teaching but he moved to a different part of Quito. 
We gave the missionaries in his area a referral. He invited us to his baptism!

We also saw my first companion Elder Arcaya and his companion Elder Richey at the baptism! 

Squeezing Elder Galiego's face!

 And squeezing my face.....

Taking pictures of the silliness!

 At la familia Álava's restaurant

Eating lunch at la familia Álava's restaurant

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week #38 - Calderón, Ecuador - April 20, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been pretty rainy. The weather here is kind of weird in general. In the morning and night, it can get cold enough to need a jacket, but in the afternoon, you sweat just walking around outside. In Quito, you can have more or less about 3 weeks to a month without rain, but then a week with just rain off and on everyday. I've been told it's like that year round.

We have been celebrating a lot of birthdays in April. We have already celebrated 5 or 6 of them, missionaries and people in my ward, including my companion's birthday. This week we celebrated Brother Vaca's birthday. The Vaca family is in my ward and invite us over a lot. I recorded the whole time everyone was singing "Happy Birthday." It was pretty funny because one of the kids forgot it was his dad's birthday. He ended up yelling out at the beginning of the video that he forgot it was his birthday. Pretty funny! 

The leaders of the mission had a meeting with the mission president this week, so I spent most of the day with the companion of the DL in our zone, Elder Guarena. He hung out with my companion and I and we spent the day tracting and visiting our appointments. We also had a ward activity watching the movie, "Meet the Mormons." The mission leader said it was a huge hit in the states, Canada, and Mexico, but I haven't heard any of you guys say anything about it...If you haven't seen it, I would recommend it. It was a great movie that responds to a lot of questions that many people have about the church. The mission leader also said that the funds the movie went to helping charity organizations.

Sorry this is short, but that was basically how my week was in a nutshell. We're still praying and hoping to have a baptism, but we continue to postpone the one we had scheduled for basically every weekend for almost a month. We will have to see how things turn out. Have a great week everyone! ¡Pilas!

Elder Dyal

 Our district eating oreos

Our district eating oreos

 Some of our investigators, Natalia and her daughter Scarlet

 Two of our investigators are barbers. While in the barber shop, we couldn't resist putting on the wigs.

Two of our investigators are barbers. While in the barber shop, we couldn't resist putting on the wigs.

With Patricia, our investigator

My companion Elder Galiego and I with a crazy dog named Loci 
(the Gallardo Family's dog)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week #37 - Calderón, Ecuador - April 13, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

My week was fun! A lot of the members were excited and happy that both Elder Galiego and I were able to stay in the ward after changes were over. The other Elders and Sisters in the ward had changes though. Our new Zone leader is Elder Tellez from Costa Rica, and the new sister is actually new. This is her first change, but she's Latina so luckily, she has no difficulties with the language. But since she is from Bolivia, she has a different Spanish accent that I will need to get use to. :p

We had a baptism planned for last Saturday but we postponed because we want to make sure she's ready for the commitment. There are still a few things we need to cover and clear up. She has been the best investigator I have had so far though!! It's been wonderful to teach someone who is so eager to learn about the gospel!

But with our other investigators, it's been hard. Most of them seem to have problems with the law of chastity which is a big problem. It's been hard to get commitments from them to want to change their behaviors so they can be baptized. We are always stuck in the same place every time we visit. No progression. That's pretty tough as a missionary. You can't do anything but pray, have faith and continue to teach and work with them.

It was my companion's birthday was this week and we have a member family in our ward that has planned a family home evening tonight to celebrate it with us "spiritually". We are going to take advantage of the opportunity and bring our investigator, Natalia with us to the family home evening. Hopefully we can have a baptism next Saturday! Pray for us!

Besides that, our week was pretty much normal, so there is not much left to tell everyone other than I wish you all a great week!!! Sorry, no pictures this week. For some reason, the computer can't read my camera. Thank you for all of your support and prayers. Until next week...

Elder Dyal

Monday, April 6, 2015

Week #36 - Calderón, Ecuador - April 6, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was really great and pretty hilarious! :p On Tuesday, as always, we went to the Gallardo family's house for lunch. They invite us every week, but it's usually just Sister Gallardo and her 2 grandkids that she takes care of during the day. Sister Gallardo also washes our clothes for us, so conveniently, we are always able to get our laundry on the same day after eating lunch. Sister Gallardo left the house so we could eat, and afterwards, we went up to the top of the house to collect our clothes so that they could come back in. Sister Gallardo wasn't really paying attention to her grandkids because she was outside washing her clothes. After my companion and I came back downstairs, we found that the kids were being sneaky and took crayons and drew all over the wall! Almost immediately, Sister Gallardo came inside and when she saw them, she yelled out, "Por favor! Què les pasa?" And the kids just looked at her and began drawing faster on the walls as she ran towards them... Like they were thinking, "Hurry quick! Draw as much as you can! She's coming!" It was so funny! I couldn't stop laughing! 

Then to top it off, my companion picked up a baseball bat and was playing around with Samuel, one of the kids. Then he accidentally swung the bat backwards and hit and broke one of the lights in the hallway. My companion was shocked and felt really bad, and I was dying from laughter. Sister Gallardo came in when she heard us. She saw what happened and then laughed as well and said, "These little kids are naughty but the Elders are even worse!" ;p I'm not so sure I have laughed that hard in a long time! ;p

Today was indeed transfers...but not really for me because I'm still in the same sector with the same companion! I am so happy! I love it here and so glad I have the same companion again for 6 more weeks. :D My companion didn't want to leave either. He really thought he was going to get changed though, so he was surprised when he found out he was staying! He told me he was praying that he wouldn't get changed. He also even asked a few families to fast for him to stay! :p I'm glad that he is still my companion. Even though my first 2 companions and trainers in Ecuador, Elder Arcaya and Elder Caballero, were also amazing, I did have some adjustments and issues to overcome, as most companionships do. But Elder Galiego and I get along so well! He is the only companion that I haven't had any problems or issues with...not even once! Its been such a blessing!

Thankfully this weekend, I was able to listen to conference in English! That was really cool! And before the Priesthood session on Saturday night, I was talking to Elder Webber, who is one of the elders in my area. We talked about what he thought of conference so far. He explained it this way.... "So this is how conference has been so far - fast offerings, marriage, marriage, marriage, marriage, if you think your missionary companion sucks well turns out you suck too, marriage, marriage, and well...marriage!" Haha! And some of the missionaries who will be going home soon said that it must mean that they are suppose to get married right away! Hahahahaha! Then on Sunday, two of the Seventy's gave their talks in Spanish, and we all agreed to listen to it in Spanish because it's hard to listen in English but also hear the Spanish in the background. Because we understand both languages, it just makes it easier on our minds if we just listened in Spanish. It was really neat to hear conference in both of the languages that I know and  understand!

I hope you guys had an amazing Easter and enjoyed conference!! I truly believe that the messages that they give us are inspired and what the Lord wants us to hear and apply to our lives. Have a wonderful week all of you! Until next week...

Elder Dyal

Eating lunch with the Gallardo Grandkids, Jose and Samuel

What the Grandkids did....

What my companion did....

Celebrating my companion's birthday this week with the Pazmino family 

I don't remember why I was laughing so hard or why my companion looks confused...

With the Vaca family

 We found chickens with la familia Reyes

 It's going to eat me!!!!

 Now it's my turn!!

Me and Elder Galiego and chickens

 After conference with Gonzalo and his girlfriend, David, and the ward mission leader

After conference with some of the Pazmino family, the ward mission leader and his daughter, the Sister Missionaries, Gonzalo and his girlfriend, and my companion and I