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, December 28, 2015

Week #74 - Coca, Ecuador - December 28, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Ours was awesome here in Coca! We had a lot of miracles this week! Plus I got to talk to my family on Christmas day!

First of all, we thought this week was not going to be very efficient because there were so many things going on. One of the days we spent traveling to our zone meeting in Lago Agrio which took half of the day just traveling. Of course there was Christmas eve and Christmas day, and our mission rules were that we needed to be in our house by 6pm on those days. So 3 of our days this week were almost completely taken away from us. But even so, this week was a better week than last week with our investigators.

We were able to find 3 new families to teach and our attendance at church was higher than I have ever seen here in Coca. There were 8 investigators, 4 less actives and 4 recent converts that came to church. It was a Christmas miracle and it sure made me and my companion's day!

Sorry my letter is short today. Not a lot of time to write because we had a long P-day today. We went to a exotic zoo for P-day. It was fun and interesting. We also met a guy who is studying at BYU-I but came to visit his family here in Ecuador. We met him for pizza in the "mall."

Have a wonderful New Year everyone! Can't believe it is almost 2016!!!!!

Elder Dyal

 Elder Jeffery and Elder Dyal at the zoo

With the Christmas decorations at the mall

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week #73 - Coca, Ecuador - December 21, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

¡Feliz Navidad a todos! Christmas time is here!

Well, the holidays are a bit different here. First of all, it doesn't feel at all like Christmas because it's very hot. I'm pretty use to it now because I was in Esmeraldas for 3 transfers where it was also very hot, and now on my second transfer here in Coca. But this week, it has been a lot more mild. Before changes last week, it was super hot but this week has been nice.

My companion Elder Jeffery was in Tulcán before he came here, which was the coldest part of the mission. So he has been trying to get used to the hot weather now. Hahaha! We get along really well. He is super cool and really funny. He´s the craziest guy I have met on the mission so far! He is from some part of Utah I have never heard of.

Because of the holidays coming up soon, the missionary work here is getting harder because our investigators and many of the people we teach are traveling, but even so, we were still able to get 6 of our investigators to church on Sunday. And we are still continuing to work on getting Christian and Jennifer married so they can get baptized. It looks like it will be delayed even further because so many places are closed for the holidays. Actually, many of our investigators arent' married, so it going to be a problem for a while as we are teaching these people. Although when I was proselyting with Elder Perez, we found a lot of people willing to listen to our message and have a lot of potential for the future. They include:
Familia Vaca-Sánchez
Familia Rivadeneira-Salinas
Alejandro Chinkim
Familia Medina-loor

I would be grateful if you could please keep these people/families in your prayers so that they can accept the invitations we give them. Have a wonderful Christmas and remember: Ha nacido un Salvador.

Elder Dyal

Elder Jeffery and Elder Dyal

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week #72 - Coca, Ecuador - December 14, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a fun week for the missionaries in the Zona Oriente Norte!

On Wednesday, we all went to Quito for the Cena Navideña in the Mission House. Although Elder Perez and I had a bit of a late start getting ready and we almost missed the bus to Quito! The trip really shouldn't take as long as it does. Ecuador is a small country, but the road going from Coca to Quito winds and curves all over the place, so it takes much longer than it should to get there. It basically took all day.

We were told that the missionaries over in Esmeraldas were going to join us for dinner that night, but the Asistentes changed it at the last minute. That was kind of a bummer because I was really looking forward to seeing the missionaries from my last zone in the coast including my old companion, Elder Cabezas. But we ended up just having dinner with our zone, so there was plenty for everyone!

I was excited to have a Christmas package from home waiting for me at the Mission House! :) I loved the gifts that my family sent me for Christmas. Lots of surprises. :p And after the dinner, we stayed the night in La Luz. It was cool to see again. It's been a year ago since I was there. And then the next day we spent the majority of the day traveling back to the orient again.

Even though we didn't have much time to work this week, we still had good attendance with our investigators at church on Sunday. Although Christian, our only investigator with a baptismal date, will be moving his baptism date back a few weeks. But the good news is that getting a visa and a passport for his wife, Jennifer will be a lot easier than we originally thought. But it will take time...Maybe January or possibly February.

Anyway, today we had changes and my companion, Elder Perez got changed to Otavalo. And my new companion will be Elder Jeffery. I say "will be" because he still hasn't come yet. But I know who he is. I met Elder Jeffery in Esmeraldas. He is pretty crazy! Hahaha! I'm sure he will be very excited to be in the jungle! He will be my 4th gringo companion.

Have a fun wintery week everyone!

Elder Dyal 

 Christmas dinner at the Mission Home with Oriente Norte

 Ready to eat dinner

Ready to eat dinner with President and Sister Richardson 

 Elder Dyal and his companion Elder Perez

 Singing some Christmas songs

 Singing some Christmas songs

 Playing handbells to "Silent Night"

 President Richardson holding the handbell music to "Silent Night"

 Oriente Norte missionaries playing the handbells

  Oriente Norte missionaries playing the handbells

 Elder Dyal with President and Sister Richardson

Elder Perez with President and Sister Richardson

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week #71 - Coca, Ecuador - December 7, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was super busy for us! On Thursday we had a  mini missionary conference. We traveled to Lago Agrio and back which took up half of the day for us. But it turned out to be a pretty spiritual and inspirational meeting. The only issue with these training meeting is that sometimes they take our flaws and weaknesses in the zone and spend a ton of time focusing on it and sometimes even point out the weaknesses of certain companionships. I feel like that takes from the spirituality of the meeting, but I understand that sometimes we need to hear these things. Well, the first part of the conference, that's exactly what happened until the ZL's shared with us the mission president's message and then it was really spiritual.

On Friday, my companion and I had divisions with another companionship. I went with Elder Barnes who is the DL. He's a really interesting guy. His dad is American and his Mom is Korean. And his Dad's parents are European, some of his cousins are Mexican, and he has an uncle that is Jewish. So his family is American Korean European Mexican Jewish. Interesting family heritage!

On Saturday, we got the lock changed on our house because the robbers last week stole our keys. Don't know if they would even know our apartment, but better safe than sorry. And on Sunday we got to watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional but we listened to it in Spanish of course.

We are doing alright with investigators, but unfortunately they aren't really progressing because every Sunday we have a different rotation of investigators that come to church. Although one of our investigators seems to be doing better than the rest. His name is Christian Luna. He really believes and wants to be baptized, he just needs to get married and then he'll be all set for baptism. His girlfriend is a member but is less active, and they are both Colombian and they have a pretty complex situation that would take awhile to explain, but if you could do me a favor and keep Christian and Jennifer in your prayers, I would really appreciate it. That would be ahh sum!! :)

Have a wonderful week everyone! Happy Holidays!! :p

Elder Dyal