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, June 27, 2016

Week #100 - Comité Del Pueblo, Ecuador - June 27, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

We have had a good week this week!

Like last week, it's still been pretty dangerous here in Comité del Pueblo. In general it seems to be getting crazier too. Yesterday, there was a group of black preachers and church members from another church screaming at the members of our ward as we were leaving church. They were yelling at us that we needed to repent or God will destroy us! That was surprising! There has also been a lot more drunk guys walking around as well. Even in the middle of the day. And unfortunately, they are the dangerous ones who are willing to hurt or rob people. Don't know why it's been happening more often the last few weeks. Maybe we're just in the wrong place at the wrong time?

When my companion and I were on the bus last week, we saw a guy walk on and he looked straight at us. His eyes were bloodshot red so we assumed he was drunk or high or something.  I immediately felt what Nephi described as "the evil spirit" in 2 Nephi. As the guy stumbled towards us, my companion also felt the same feeling because he whispered to me that we should move seats right away. Without hesitation, we changed seats and the guy sat down away from us. Weird and scary, right?

Other than that, we actually had a pretty normal week. We found 2 new families to teach: Familia Cedeño and Familia Beldumo. There are both pretty cool and interested in what we were teaching them. We invited them to come to church on Sunday but neither of the families attended. And at our district meeting last week, my companion and I gave the training lesson. I haven't really had to do many training lessons, but the times that I have trained, I know I could've done better. But this time it was pretty good and I felt like it went well. I definitely like to do it as a companionship instead of by myself. It's a lot easier that way.

Today for p-day, we had a fun zone activity. We played kickball, ate hot dogs, and played the Sign game. It was so difficult to get the Latinos to understand how to play kickball! It was kinda funny. But I mean really? Is kickball that hard? All you do is kick the ball and run the bases. Apparently soccer is easier for them I guess!

Have a good week everyone! Thank you for your prayers as I teach the people of Ecuador and also for my safety. I know that everything is in the Lord's hands!

Elder Dyal

Elder Dyal's Last Zone Conference
(The last Zone Conference the Richardsons attended before they go home at the end of this week)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week #99 - Comité Del Pueblo, Ecuador - June 20, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was an interesting and unique week.

Seems like everyone in this area has been getting sick the last few weeks, both missionaries and members. Unfortunately I got pretty sick as well. At first I think it was just a cold, but now I can barely talk. My throat has been pretty sore for 3 days now. It's just kinda annoying whenever I need to talk loud, cough, or laugh because it hurts.

This last weekend we witnessed some dangerous stuff here in Comité. My companion and I almost got robbed by 2 drunk guys who had knives, but luckily they were drunk enough that we had the chance to run away before anything happened. That was weird and unexpected because it was during the middle of the day. Then we saw another guy who was robbed right in front of us on Saturday! It completely freaked us out because we had our cameras with us and didn't want them taken! Scary! I'll be praying a lot this week!

On Saturday, we had the baptisms of the Fuenmayor kids. It was so awesome that their fathers were able to baptize them! We did have a bit of a problem with filling the font though. Usually the missionaries are in charge of filling the font, but this time we turned it over to a member in the ward because he likes to call himself the "boss of the church". He literally does call himself that. Well, the boss didn't start filling up the font early enough so when it was time for the baptism to start, the water still wasn't high enough. So my companion and I went and got the hose to help fill it up faster. But even then, lots of people were late for the baptism. So I guess it was lucky for us that everyone showed up late because we wouldn't have been ready in time. Literally every baptism I've attended on my mission, we have never started on time. It guess it's a cultural thing. This pattern applies for Sunday as well. Luckily this week, the families arrived early to church so they could be ready to be confirmed during Sacrament Meeting.

Also on Saturday, we went and ate lunch with the Marmol family. They wanted to teach us how to make Encebollado, which is a fish soup and probably one of the most famous dishes here in Ecuador. It was fun to learn how to make it, and it was pretty good! And today for p-day, my district went to Quicentro again. This time we went bowling. Compared to everyone else today, I bowled a pretty good game. But that's not because I'm getting really good at bowling, it's mostly because everyone else is worse than me at bowling! hahahaha! I didn't even break 100 points, I only got 80, so it's safe to say I am still terrible at bowling!

Anyway, that was my week. I hope all the dads had a great Father's Day! Thanks for your prayers on my behalf! 

Elder Dyal




Monday, June 13, 2016

Week #98 - Comité Del Pueblo, Ecuador - June 13, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been a week full of surprises and fun events.

On Wednesday, everyone in my group that is going home in July had a dinner with President and Sister Richardson. Since the President will be going home on July 1st, he wanted to make sure and have a farewell dinner with my group since he won't see us off on July 12. That means my final interview will be with the new mission president, President Murphy. He will be my mission president for a week and a half before I leave. We will also have a farewell dinner with President Murphy and his wife the evening before we leave to go home, so we will get 2 farewell dinners. Hahaha! :p  We were also asked to send in some of our favorite photos during our mission so they can make a movie/slideshow of the missionaries who are leaving. We will get to watch it, and it will also be on the mission Facebook page for the families to see, so be looking for that in July. After the dinner was over, everyone got a chance to share their testimony. That was a really nice and spiritual day.

On Thursday before our zone meeting, my companion had to go to the mission office for an appointment with the President, his counselors and the stake president about some issues from his old ward in the Calderón stake before this last transfer. On our way to the offices, to my surprise, we bumped into Sister Varas and her son Julian. When I was in La Luz Ward from December 2014 to February 2015, I taught the Varas Family who got baptized while I was there! She mentioned that she recently was sealed to her husband in the temple! It was amazing to see that a family that I loved and taught are still active in the church and have continued to progress in the gospel! These are the things that mean the most to a missionary. I'm so glad I got to see how this amazing family has progressed!

On Friday, my companion and I met our district leader at the stake center to go on divisions. While we were there I saw Brother and Sister Viscaino setting up decorations. Sister Viscaino was baptized in April 2015 while I was in El Vergel Ward. They were super excited to see me! Hahahaha! They had also recently got sealed in the temple and were setting up decorations for a party they were having that night to celebrate the sealing. Sister Viscaino´s family aren't members of the church and couldn't come to the temple sealing, so they wanted them to participate in a celebration with them. It was so good to see that they were also active and progressing in the gospel. A wonderful few days to see my investigator families celebrating their sealing in the temple!

And other good news! We plan on having the baptisms of the Rosero-Fuen Mayor family this week! More on that next week!

Today was p-day, and my companion and I went to the Quicentro mall in Quito. Man, it's been a while since I had been there. My companion wanted to eat at McDonalds really bad. I hadn't eaten at a McDonalds since I was in the states. I wasn't too excited to try it since a lot of the American missionaries told me that the McDonalds food here was super gross, so I was prepared for the worst. Well, it was different. But it wasn't the food that was different...or maybe I've just been here too long that I don't remember. I had 2 McBacons. I don't remember those being on the menu in the states but it was basically just 2 small burgers with cheese and bacon. It was hard for me to remember what was on the menu in the states, but I didn't see a Big Mac. My companion got a happy meal (cajita feliz). I told him usually little kids ordered a happy meal in the US, but he told me that he always orders happy meals when he goes to McDonalds. Ok...whatever! :p The building looked like the one in America although it was 2 stories and on the second floor there was a playplace for kids. The McDonalds workers were what surprised me the most! The workers were well-kept and super happy. I didn't even step into the door all the way before one of the workers said, "Buenas Tardes!" with a huge smile on her face. While we were eating, many of the workers would walk by and smile and say, "Buen Provecho," which doesn't translate well but means something like, "Enjoy your meal." Even the manager went out of his way to come by our table and greet us. I had never seen so many people so happy to be working at McDonalds!

I guess you never what surprises will be thrown at you in a week! It was such a tender mercy from Heavenly Father for me to be able to see the Viscaino family and the Varas family again and know that they are now a sealed family for time and all eternity. Such a blessing!

Have a great week everyone! 

Elder Dyal

 My group at the Farewell Dinner with President and Sister Richardson

 My group at the Farewell Dinner with President and Sister Richardson

 Me with President and Sister Richardson

Me with President and Sister Richardson

 At the Quicentro Mall today for p-day

 Inside the Quicentro Mall

 Outside a sports arena

 McDonalds in Quito

This was a picture before Sister Viscaino's baptism over a year ago

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week #97 - Comité Del Pueblo, Ecuador - June 6, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been fun with Elder Aguilar. I really enjoy being his companion. He is a lot of fun. I am really glad I have him as my last companion in the mission field. Not only because he is fun but because he is a hard working missionary which is what I prayed for as my last companion. I really want to be focused until the end, and I know he will help with that. Missionary work is a lot easier when you and your companion have a similar outlook on missionary work and when you actually get along with them. He likes to make fun of the fact that I'm going to be finishing the mission soon. He likes to sing me parts of 2 different hymns...In particular, "God be with you till we meet again" and a hymn that is only in the Spanish hymn book: "(Elder Dyal) adios pues adios el tiempo de ir vino ya!" He thinks it's hilarious! :p  

There are 3 elders and 1 sister from the Calderón zone that will be going home in 5 weeks on the same day I am. Elder Colfack, Elder Richardson, Hermana Tonge, and me. All of us are Americans. I'm not sure how many others total from the other zones are going home, but it's a pretty big group.  President and Sister Richardson are going to finish in 3 or 4 weeks now. To celebrate his departure (and also our departure), he is having a lunch this Wednesday with all the Elders and Sisters from the group going home with me. That should be fun! Hopefully there will be pictures!

It looks like we are going to have to postpone the baptism of the Rosero- Fuan Mayor because Brother Rosero wants to be able to baptize his own children. But first we have to active him and he has to talk to the bishop about it. It also turns out that Sister Fuan Mayor's brother will need to baptize his daughter as well because they lost her ficha in Colombia where she was originally baptized. Even though the baptisms will take a little longer than we originally thought, having the 4 of them get baptized on the same day and also having their Fathers be the ones to baptize them will be much better and more memorable for everyone. I'm glad they are making it an important goal in their lives.

Sorry this is short. Not much more to talk about. Hopefully more next week. Thanks for all your support and prayers. Have a great week everyone! 

Elder Dyal