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, March 28, 2016

Week #87 - Otavalo, Ecuador - March 28, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a great week in Otavalo!

Because it was Easter this Sunday, the church was pretty packed. We had 280 something attending when we usually have only 220 or 230. It's great having more people attend church but it's because it's Easter and that's the tradition. Wish it could happen every week. It was a lot noisier as well...in sacrament meeting and even in Elders quorum. But with more people comes more noise, I guess. I'm still not use to it even though it's a different culture. I always think it should be more reverent like I remember in the states. My companion and I were kinda talking about this after church. How we have noticed a big difference in the reverence and respect to the church (keeping it clean). We plan on bringing it up at ward council and maybe making a plan to speak to the members about making goals about these things. We'll see what they say! 

Easter is very different here in Ecuador. There is no Easter bunny or hiding candy. One of the traditions here is to make a special soup called Fanesca. It is made with 12 different kinds of beans that represent the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. It is also served with mashed potatoes and lettuce and is very expensive to make, so it's only made once a year during Easter.

We are super excited for General Conference this next weekend though! I always look forward to hearing the prophet and general authorities. And the week after, we are having a regional conference for everyone in Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia, I think. That will be interesting!

This week wasn't a great one with our investigators. We also visited a lot of less active members in the ward and found out that there are a lot of struggles. One of the less active members that we visit a lot, called us upstairs to his room where he told us he's had lots of problems with his wife. For 2 years, she has completely taken control of the hotel he owns and has moved out of the house. He told us if nothing changes in a month, he will separate from his wife. It worried us since they are a sealed family and has had counseling with the bishop to resolve the marital issues with his wife, but she rarely shows up. So we talked with him about setting up a family home evening to try and help them out. We had it last night and it seemed to go over well. I sure hope so...

Hope everyone had a great Easter and a nice conference weekend next week! I know if you pray before General Conference to have guidance in your life and answers to your trials, you will receive answers from our inspired general authorities! I love the gospel and the Lord more than anything else! This church is true!!!!

Elder Dyal

 Zone Conference a few weeks ago with President and Sister Richardson

 Recognizing Elder Dyal's birthday during the zone conference

 Group discussions

Singing the mission song

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