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, July 13, 2015

Week #50 - Esmeraldas, Ecuador - July 13, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope everyone had a great week! I know I did!

Well, it is the beginning of week 3 in my new area in Esmeraldas! I'm starting to get used to everything here. To be honest, it seriously was a complete 180 degrees for me to come here, and my companion also said the same thing. My companion was in the richest part of Ecuador, in the city of Cumbay√†, and now here to the poorest part of the mission. And I was in La Luz in the Vergel ward, one of the best wards in the mission. So, needless to say, it was a big transition for both of us. 

Here in Aire Libre, the members are really cool and very nice. They have been very friendly and welcoming. But in the ward, and the Esmeraldas stake in general, there are lots of problems. The interesting thing is the history behind the problems...

Apparently, a long time ago in an Ecuador far far away (actually, I don't think it was too long ago), there was a serious apostasy issue here. People were doing things they shouldn't be doing, both the members and the missionaries. Turns out that Esmeraldas used to be 2 different stakes, San Rafael and Esmeraldas. But a lot of leaders were committing adultery, and some members were giving the missionaries their daughters because they wanted kids. Garments and bikinis were found in members and missionaries houses (and not ones that belonged to them) and some sister missionaries got pregnant. Needless to say, a lot of members and missionaries got ex-communicated! 

Also, the missionaries would baptize a lot of children without teaching and committing their parents to also be baptized. Missionaries used to call these zones, the "willy wonka zones" for baptizing so many kids. Both of these issues have given the stake a lot of problems. Because of all that, the ward directories are really messed up and pretty much deceiving. For example, Aire Libre has about 400 people on the directory but only about 60 to 70 people attend each week. Nobody really knows where the other 340 members of the ward are. And that's just this ward! Now combine that with the other 9 wards in the stake who have basically the same problem!

Although we did have a fair share of funny moments this week though! I have been getting to know my companion Elder Huber a bit more. He's a pretty awesome guy! I kinda make fun of him sometimes though because he is like a cowboy that was born in the middle of no where in Idaho.

On Saturday, we had a bit of an interesting experience. We were on our way to an appointment and were almost there when we saw a bunch of women (in like their 30's or 40's) walking around the corner. Elder Huber whispered "Oh no, these women are crazy! One of them asked me for a baby!" Before I had a chance to reply or before we could escape, the women shouted "Hermanos! How are you guys! How have things been?" So to be polite, we kinda talked to them a bit when one of the ladies grabbed Elder Huber's hand and shouted, "We are going to get married!" Elder Huber kinda made a "Ohhhhh, noooo" sound. I just busted out laughing and whistling the "Here comes the bride" song. Then during all this, another one of the women turned to us and said, "Which one of you is going to have my baby?" She looked at me then at Elder Huber and pointed to Elder Huber and said "You are the one that promised me a baby. When are we going to have our baby?" Elder Huber just said "Ummm...no!!!" By this point, I was like dying from laughing so hard! 

Luckily, we didn't really have to walk with them very long. Poor Elder Huber. He was so mortified. He said he never wants to walk that way again! That literally was like one of the funniest moments of my entire mission! Hahaha!

I promise pictures next week. Everyone always tells us to not carry our cameras so they don't get stolen but I promise pictures next week!!

I hope everyone has a great week! Thanks for your support! I love all you guys!

Elder Dyal

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