HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I´m sorry to hear you´re not camping at the Joseph Smith Memorial this week. I was thinking about that on Friday and how much I want to go camping there right now. I love camping! But not a huge fan of snow camping. If you want, though, we can change our climates for the weekend so you can go camping and I can get a break from sweating. :)This week has been terrific. We FINALLY had a baptism in this ward! And it was so beautiful. Nuts to plan, but wonderful once it finally took place. The person who got baptized is named Piedad and she´s the mom of a joven in our ward who recently got his mission call to Colombia. She works every day of the week all day except for Thursday and Friday, so we´ve been teaching her on those days for a few weeks now. On Wednesday, we happened to call her and asked when we could stop by on Thursday, and she told us she was at home because she had Wednesday off instead of Friday because Friday was a holiday (and she was planning on getting baptized on Friday). So we ran to her house and were scrambling for ideas on how she could get baptized this week, and we figured out that she could get baptized the following day (Thursday), and still be confirmed this Sunday. The problem was that she needed to have her interview still, so Wednesday night and Thursday morning was a rush of calling the Líderes de Zona to plan when we could have her interview and who would do the interview and running around to talk to the Bishop and the Ward Mission Leader to make sure the agenda was finished and the assingments were given.... It was a little bit nuts, but everything worked out perfectly and her son baptized her (his first baptism!) which was wonderful. The spirit was so strong and she bore her testimony of how strong she felt the spirit and how she felt so clean after her sins were washed away. I just love the Spirit and the power of the Gospel. The Gospel is simple: faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, enduring to the end. So easy and essential for salvation. I love the Gospel and the opportunity I have to share it.After the baptism, though, Hna. Pérez, some people in the ward, and I were walking out of the chapel and I ran right into a pole. haha I´ve never run into a pole before, but there´s always a first for everything.Speaking of firsts, June 1st is a holiday here...Día de Niño. That means you have to do something great for Parker and Christian. All these years, we could have been celebrating children... Another first, I watched the old Restoration video in Spanish for the first time and it was still as awesome as ever. With the lady that says, "I believe!" and the light that looks like snow...ah. Classic.There´s a song here that´s really popular. It´s called El Pollito Pio. You should look it up! Also, a singer named Prince Royce. Everyone listens to him in the streets. In the CCM someone was listening to music outside of the CCM when we were trying to teach and I was getting so distracted. My teacher told me it´s worse in the field and I thought there was no way it could be...but it is. I have to concentrate so hard, and everyone is always listening to music. I need to work on not being so ADD, I think.Also, there´s a place here called Manavi where there are lots of white people. Sometimes I joke and say I´m from Manavi, and I feel so good when people believe me! Because that means my Spanish sounds legit. Still not perfect, but definitely improving.Dad, you´d be happy to hear that Hermana Bytheway quoted Master of Disguise the other day. Every day I´m with her, there´s more and more we have in common--especially our sense of humor. She and I were singing Caillou randomly the other day, too, which was just awesome. She wrote down the moves for Insanity and Ab Ripper X, so we´ve been doing 15-min workouts of that in the morning which has been great. hahaWell, my time is up, but I want you to know how much I love you and how much I know the church is true. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. He directs the church in these latter days por medio de Thomas S. Monson. I love him!CON AMOR,Hermana AyerP.S. I thought earlier this week about how when I look at my watch, the seconds are never on :00, but every day since then, at least once a day, I´ve looked at my watch and the seconds are on :00!P.P.S. I used someone´s bathroom the other day that smelled just like Grandma and Grandpa Ayer´s bathroom. :) So grateful I can see them again someday!
Monday, May 27, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
This week has been a little bit nuts because in our apartment, we had a cambio on Thursday and a cambio this morning! Hermana Martinez got switched with another Hermana Martinez, y Hermana Chacón got switched for Hermana Bytheway! So now there´s another gringa in our apartment. Things are getting all changed up to prepare for the splitting of the mission and change of mission presidents. It´s crazy, but it´s fun. My companion is still Hermana Pérez and we´re still in Guayaquil.
This week, we worked hard at putting new fechas with investigadores and inviting people to church. This has definitely been the desafío aquí with these people--not wanting to come to church. But yesterday, we had 7 people en la reunión sacramental! It was a miracle and I was so happy. Some of these 7 have fechas, some don't, but we're working to help them all see the importance of the Gospel in their lives so they can accept una fecha bautismal.
This Gospel is the only thing that matters in this life if we want to have happiness and live with God and our families for eternity. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the fullness of Christ´s Gospel and the authority to perform these ordinances.
I hope that everyone has been doing well and that everyone is healthy, etc. I don´t really have any interesting stories to mention, but know that I love you. Someone this week asked me to teach them English...not really sure how that´s going to work out or if it´s even going to happen, but I´ll keep you posted.
Here are a couple pictures for your enjoyment.
I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. In Spanish, it´s P.D. instead of P.S. Fun fact.
P.P.S. How´s Sunkist??
Monday, May 13, 2013
Wow, I can´t believe it´s already been a day since I´ve talked to you. It was so wonderful to hear all your voices and know that everyone is doing well. I love our family so much and I´m so grateful we can be together for eternity. What a blessing to have the Gospel in our lives, and even though "If You Could Hie to Kolob" turned out sounding like a round, it was so wonderful to sing with you all and pray together even though we´re so many miles away. William, I´m glad you were on Skype. I love technology. But not as much as you, you see. But I still love technology. Always and forever.
Well, my companion had another capacitación this morning, so I´m with Hermana Bytheway again, and we got permission to take our waiting time and write our families. My English is a lot better after having talked with you all yesterday, and today Hna. Bytheway and I were talking about all the funny things about Ecuador. Dogs roam the streets at will, modesty isn´t really a thing, people are so honest, people don´t get offended when someone calls them gordito. It´s just great. Definitely a big change from the United States, but I love it.
The thing my companion and I are having a hard time with is getting people to come to church. Everyday of the week, they say "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I´m going for sure!" and then Sunday comes around and they´ve mysteriously disappeared, or are sick, or are busy, or something. It´s definitely frustrating. But we have two people with baptismal dates (the other 5 fechas have fallen through over the past week because they didn´t asistir a la Iglesia), and they´re both strong. One is for this Saturday. His name is José Miguel and we found him two weeks ago because he works in the Cyber where we write. He had listened to the missionaries about a year before, had a Book of Mormon and everything, but never went to church, and apparently didn't even know there was a church close by. He is so great and the only problem he had was that occasionally he liked to drink coffee. But that was easy for him to give up. Thank goodness! We have been having the hardest time with people accepting compromisos, but he´s doing so well. Compromisos are the only way people can make changes in their life (aka repent), which is why they are so important. He has accepted everything, and we´re hoping and praying nothing will impedirle a bautizarse esta Sábado.
I know the church is true and it´s so vital that we always do the little things: pray, read the scriptures, and go to church. If we do these things everyday, we will stay strong and never fall away from the church. That is a promise. If you don´t read your scriptures everyday...DO IT! If sometimes you skip church...STOP IT! Go to church! Read your scriptures! Pray! These things are so easy and yet we receive so many blessings for doing them. Thank you so much, mom and dad, for setting an example for me and helping me know the importance of these three things. I am so blessed to have parents who have brought me up in the ways of the Lord. I know that the Gospel is key to our eternal salvation. What greater gift do we have?
To answer some of your questions, yes, we eat with members every day except for Monday. I don´t have control over soda, so sorry, Mom. Here, you have to take what you get, and the only other meal we eat is breakfast. I buy bananas, apples, and oranges, so that´s pretty good, right? haha I feel like my Spanish is so much better than when I started, but still I have a ways to go. I just need a bigger vocabulary I think, but I understand pretty much everything, which I am grateful for! We´ll find out in July about the mission changes. Hermanas don´t go to the Galapagos, though, unfortunately. That would be so cool! That would be great if you could send me more GummiVites. :)
I love you all and I´m praying for you.
Con mucho amor,
Monday, May 6, 2013
¿Cómo están, todos? Les extraño y les amo. Espero que todo vaya bien en sus vidas y que están disfrutando su tiempo con Parkito. It´s hard to believe that I have another week down here in Los Esteros. It´s definitely a lot different trabajando aquí que en Milagro. The roads are all paved, the houses are a little nicer, I saw a microwave in someone´s house, and we actually used forks this week! Usually we just eat with spoons and use our fingers if we have to cut meat, but this week I used a fork and a knife. Weird. I love it here. It´s hot, but it´s turning into winter...more or less. We only have winter and summer, but everything feels like summer to me. I didn´t sweat for a whole day this week, though. It was incredible!
So first of all, I want to apologize for always forgetting to wish everyone happy holidays BEFORE the holiday. I always have intentions to remember, but now I´ll have to redeem myself: HALFY BIRTHDAY, CHRISTIAN!!!!! I was thinking about you all day on the 4th...and a little bit about Star Wars (May the Forth be with you). Also, I forgot Earth Day on the 22nd of Abril, happy birthday to Natalya on the 29th, happy birthday to Emily on the 30th, happy May Day on the first (rabbit rabbit), and happy Cinco de Mayo ayer. Full holidays. Here, the word "full" (pronounced "fool") is big. Instead of saying "muy" or "mucho", they say "full." Hace full calor. Tengo full hambre....por ejemplo.
I love Ecuador, except for when people don`t come to church. We had a Stake Conference this week, and worked wicked hard with the members to get the people excited to come to the conference. We had 26 people commited to come, and only 5 came. We passed by for everyone...weren`t home, were sick, their daughter was about to give birth...every excuse possible to skip out on hearing the word of God. I felt legitimately sad on Sunday for the first time in the mission because of these people making the decision to reject this message. I know that the gospel will bless everyone´s lives, and I´ve come to love the people here so much that it makes me sad to see them turn away from the truth. I can´t even imagine how our Father in Heaven feels when we reject His word, or intentionally choose the wrong, or don`t want to make a sacrifice for Him. He´s given us everything, and only asks a little of us. I need to be better at remembering the blessings Heavenly Father has given me, being grateful for them, and showing my gratitude back.
We have 6 people with baptismal dates and they`re great. The biggest desafío es asistencia a la Iglesia. This is VITAL in conversion and staying strong in your testimony. Really, by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. Praying, reading the scriptures, and going to church are basics, but they´re vital, key, important, everything! If we are strong in these three areas, we will be strong in our testimonies for the rest of our lives. That´s a promise.
Extremely random thoughts from the week: Elder Duzett from my MTC district is in my zone here! It´s like a little piece of home...almost. I found a quarter from NH the other day and I was so happy. I gave it to my compañera so that she can remember me. I have 3 twins here: a previous hermana, the sister of my zone leader, and some lady on TV apparently (no idea who). There are two guys in my ward who look like Gilligan and Brother Farnsworth. Weird fruits we have here are chirimolla and zapote. The fauxhawk/mullet hairstyle is really popular here. Someone played the song Rasputein from Just Dance 2 the other day. Random! The garbage truck here plays the song from the menu of Elf. It drives me nuts. I´ve picked up my old habit of kicking everything in sight...mostly rocks.
Well, I think that´s enough random thoughts for now. I love you all! The church is true and is directed by Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our Savior and He loves us all. The Book of Mormon is true and testifies of Him! Read it!
P.S. How´s Sunkist??
P.P.S. Talk to you in a weeeeeeeeek!