Monday, October 28, 2013

I´m about due... for a transfer.

Querida familia,

Can you all believe that in two days, I will complete nine months?? That is the mitad of my mission! I cannot even comprehend it. I still feel like I just got here and haven´t done anything, but then when I think back on all that really has happened and all I´ve learned just in these nine months, it really is a long time, and I really have grown so much...even if I can´t express it through email. Conversing in English has become a desafío for me. But I´ll be sure to send a picture from that day.

Also, I wanted to send pictures this week, but we had Consejo in Guayaquil again today, and we can´t send pictures from this cyber, so next week will be the day. I´ll also be sure to send pictures from HALLOWEEN!! I´m so excited! That´ll be my first and last Halloween on the mission, and the first day going downhill. (Uphill in sense of skill and teaching and spirituality and diligence, but downhill in the sense of time...don´t worry...) I´m going to be a zebra serving a mission, thanks to my new skirt. I´m psyched.

So we´re going to play a little game, alright? We´re going to play guess where I am. (Not right now, because right now I´m in Guayaquil, but where I am in terms of sector because I had cambios...) Here are some clues: It´s cold, it rains every day, I used my coat and umbrella for the first time, they talk with a weird accent, it´s beautiful, I saw my breath one morning, they eat cui...any guesses?? YEP! CUENCA!!!!! I got here last Tuesday. And remember that website that said Ecuador was Springlike weather all year-long? IT´S TRUE! As long as you´re in Cuenca. It really is pretty here, though. It reminds me of a NH Spring. When it´s warm, it´s wicked warm. When it´s rainy, it´s cold and rainy.

Now we´re going to play guess where my companion is from. Clues: It´s cold, there are mountains, it´s green, it´s the shape of NH but backwards...any guesses?? YEP! IDAHO!!!!! I have a gringa companion!! She´s Hermana Clark from Bear Lake, ID, and she has 2 weeks on the mission! It´s so weird because she´s blonder than I am, taller that I am, and whiter than I am. So everyone pretty much stares at us all day, and I feel practically Latina around her. I´ll send pictures next week. She´s so awesome! We´re so similar! Another 19-year-old companion, though. I feel so old. Oh wellzies...está bien. She´s great!

Now we´re going to play guess who we live with. Clues: We´re all tall, we all have the same towels, they all have the same shoes, we can sing 4-part harmony, we´re all nuts, we all speak English...any guesses?? YEP! GRINGAS!!!!! There are four of us gringas living together in the same house!! It´s so fun! The other two are Hna. Bytheway (she´s the one who loves Arthur and who I lived with in my second sector in Guayaquil and she´s basically my twin, but a 20-year-old and from UT and was in the MTC with Logan Bennett) and Hna. Alvarado (who also has 2 weeks on the mission, and her parents are Latinos, but she´s from UT). We´re serving in two different wards, and even two different zones, but it´s so fun. We sang four-part harmony the other day and I thought I was going to die. 9 months without beautiful music. It was incredible. I LOVE SINGING!!!

Speaking of singing and music, the president wants to have a Christmas production for the mission, and he wants me to play the piano. I´m so excited! I´m going to practice during November, and then the last two weeks I´ll probably head over to Guayaquil, and we´ll have practices and stuff, then the first two weeks in December, we´re going to travel around and perform for all the zones!!!!!!! I really hope we do it! Presidente Torres is so awesome! He´s such an inspired man of God. I love him! And his wife is hilarious! She said we´re in the best mission because we have the coolest missionaries. I think that´s a correct statement. Ah! I´ll let you know if anything changes about the Christmas music thing.

I wanted to send so many pictures this week, but this dang computer. Our house is so nice!! We have two floors, that are WOOD--not cement, wood! The house is cement, but the floors are wood!--three bathrooms, HOT WATER! (I haven´t taken a hot shower in 9 months! It´s beautiful!!!), and we don´t use bunk beds! It´s the little things in life. :] And when people ring the doorbell, we have a little phone with a video on it so we can see the people at the door, and we talk to them through the phone. It´s so cool! I also was going to send you a picture of the elder from Colombia who was in Maryluz Flander´s ward, but yet week.

Fun things from the week:

I met a lady who has two children living in Worcester, MA, and a guy who lived there for 10 years!! I didn´t know Latinos lived in Worcester, but it was a tender mercy to here that they had a connection to New England. I love it!

A 15-year-old girl in the ward´s favorite band is One Direction. She´s my pal.

Hna. Bytheway has music from the Book of Mormon Movie, which actually is just all music from the Hill Cumorah Pageant. I love it! One morning, I just started pretending like I had a trumpet in my hand, then my arms flew to the left then flew to the right, and I just didn´t know why. Then I realized the music was from the opening scene when everyone walks on the stage. I love muscle memory.

There are so many pizza places here!!!!!!!! We haven´t eaten pizza yet, but I think Tuesdays is buy one get one free, so I´m pretty sure tomorrow we´ll have a nice, little snackeroo.

I had a dream this week that I cut off my left pinky toe because it was bothering me. Sound familiar?

OH! And you know how the guy who gave us the skirts was going to get baptized? Well, he did! On Saturday! I was so sad I wasn´t there. His friend (Jorge) is going to get baptized this week, and he´s so great! Last Monday, we visited them, and Jorge told us that he didn´t have any family (wife, children...nothing), so we told him that we were his daughters. Then the rest of the visit, he was calling us "hija." It was so cute! But then I left that very night for sad. I´m excited for him to get baptized, though. De oro.

Anyway, it´s been a great week. Other than the fact that we saw a dog get killed by a taxi. That was pretty sad, but let me tell you--prayer fixes everything. My companion and I get along so well. She´s wonderful and hilarious! We set some baptismal dates with a few people, and I hope that they progress! The key is getting people to go to church! When they´re there, they find friends and feel the Spirit. Those two are KEY in conversion. If people have friends, they have desires to know if it´s true and to keep learning more. And when they have those desires and feel the Spirit, they are converted. So be a friend. Invite someone to church this week. The missionaries are there to help YOU in your missionary deberes. Be a missionary! Every day! In all you do! Just Do It! I love you all and am so happy and proud to be an Ayer, a missionary, and a representative of Jesus Christ. Nothing could bring me greater joy. :]

Con amor,

Hermana Ayer

P.S. My first Sunday here, I had to give a talk. It actually went so well! The gift of tongues is incredible. I speak Spanish. I mean, I have for a while, but yesterday it really hit me that I speak Spanish.

P.P.S. I played Every Day Tell Someone I Love You, and couldn´t have felt happier.

P.P.P.S. We tried cereza my last week in Santa Rosa. New fruit to add to the list. Also, maracuyá is similar to granadía, but has a very different flavor.

P.P.P.P.S. Did you know I´ve never been to Fenway Park? Or Plymouth, MA. Or golfing at Bolduc Park.

Monday, October 21, 2013

25 OCTOBER LANE DÍA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I hope you know that this whole month of October, I have been waiting and waiting and WAITING (as Vicini says, "I´m waiting!") to celebrate 25 OCTOBER LANE DAY!!!!!! And this is the week!!! I´m so psyched! I´ll be wishing everyone a feliz Día de 25 de Avenida Octubre on Friday. I´m so excited.

Fun things from the week I would like to share...

I have a new nickname. Guess what it is? Hulk. That´s right. Hulk. These little kids were playing soccer (with a mini soccer ball) and kicked the ball off the field toward me, so I picked it up and threw it back to them. The kid who I threw it to then started yelling, "Hulk! Hulk!!" I know I´ve eaten a lot of rice, but really?? It´s like they don´t know what throwing is.

Speaking of throwing, I saw some kids playing with a football!! An actual football! Like fútbol americano! It was so refreshing. Of course they couldn´t throw it at all, but it was so awesome! I wanted to join them, but we were just passing in a moto taxi.

A dog almost peed on me.

But really. A dog came up to us as we were talking to some people, sniffed me, then paused. And luckily I´ve seen enough dogs pee here in Ecuador that I noticed that pause. I pulled my leg and skirt away JUST in time. Honestly, if I had waited even a milisecond longer, I would have been a goner.

My investigator gave us new skirts! Mine´s zebra. We wore them yesterday and used that opportunity to take some pictures. 100% Ecuatoriana. He´ll be baptized.

My convert Katherine wants to pay her tithing! Next Sunday she´ll pay that because she forgot the slip this Sunday. And my convert Anita wants to go on a mission. I love my converts! They make me so happy!!! D&C 10:18

This week, we met a Jehova Witness from Switzerland. He´s been on a mission here for 30 years! We went to visit a man who we had invited to church, and he was there with the JW reading the bible. Right when we showed up, we greeted everyone with a smile and a handshake and then he gruffly told him they would finish up so he could deal with us, basically. Poor guy. He didn´t seem happy at all.

I´m just glad we have the truth. If there´s one thing I´ve learned on the mission, it´s gratitude. We have been given so much. We have the TRUTH! Have you ever thought about that for a second? The fact that it is so incredible that we, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have the truth! The fullness of the Gospel!! I am so happy and so grateful. It really hit me this morning in my personal study how wonderful and incredible that we have the truth in our lives. We have a living-day prophet. We have the BOOK OF MORMON! I LOVE this book so much!!!!!!!!!!!!! It´s my favorite! More than Jane Eyre, more than Harry Potter, more than Hunger Games, more than Pride and doesn´t even compare! It doesn´t compare to anything! This book changes lives and we have to read it EVERY day!!!!!!!! It´s changed my life and I love reading from it´s pages every day. It gives me such peace and such guidance. Read it. Never stop reading it. Read it always. How many ways can I say this?? Pull a Nike and Just Do It. :]

Hermana Ayer

P.S. Red Sox in the World Series?? Whaaat?

P.P.S. To clear up some confusion, I´ve been in Santa Rosa for 3 transfers and am 2 weeks into my fourth. I just go to Guayaquil for Leader´s Council once a month. While there, we write in the bus terminal in Guayaquil.

P.P.P.S. There are lightning bugs here! They´re called luciérnaga.

P.P.P.P.S. A new elder in my zone--E. Henline from Logan--was best friends with Jarom Rae growing up. Small world.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy 1 Nephi 13:12 Day!!


How are you all?? Dad, I was dying when I saw the colorful trees. Thank you so much for the fall pictures. That is something I have definitely been missing out on. So thanks :]

So one awesome thing from this week is that we rescued a baptism! We had an investigator, Katherine, who had a fecha for last week, but wasn´t able to get baptized because she had to finish a huge project for the University. She is a single mom of 22 years and already has 2 children (ages 4 and 3). She really is so great and has such a desire to follow Christ and do what is right. We visited her at the beginning of this week, and she was the one who mentioned baptism. We asked what her thoughts were, and she said that she still really wanted to get baptized, just didn´t have time the last week. So we planned everything and she was able to get baptized last Saturday.

I know that this is the true church! I have no doubts of that. I love being a missionary and every day I am reminded and humbled of the sacred calling I have been given. I am a representative of Jesus Christ and have been entrusted to bring His children the truth so they can receive happiness and forgiveness of their sins.

We invited an old man to church last week, and he began to shout and argue with us and we had no idea why. Then he told us that the purpose of the "gringos" is to destroy the Catholic Church and to teach the religion of the United States. I just started laughing. Oh really? I didn´t know that´s what I was paying to do. I thought our purpose was to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I missed the part where it says we were trying to destory other churches. Obviously a result of teaching the truth is that people leave what they had behind to find somehting better. I´m so glad I have this opportunity here to do people find the truth and feel God´s love.

Other fun things from this week: (1) I was told "I love you" the other day. It was by a little boy who is 4 years old. He ran up to me and gave me a hug then with hish ands over his face said, "La quiero!" So cute! (2) I washed my scripture case for probaby the first time since I got them. 14 years of use and now lthey look brand new. (3) I´m a grandma! My first daughter, Hna Arellano, is training! (4) Ecuador won their game against Uruguay. (5) Just when you think you´re walking into a nice restaurant, it´s still only $2.

I love you all so much!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Ayer

This is a squashed dog. Very sad!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cambios, Conferencia, Coca Cola


Laman, Lemuel, Sam, Nephi---SONS. (This is a quote from the Hill Cumorah Pageant)

Don't know why, but that quote just popped into my head. How have you all been?? How was the Conference? On the lake?! Jealous!! I'm trying not to covet, but I could really use a lake-side visit right about now.

Well, today there are cambios,(transfers) companion and I are still staying in Santa Rosa!! This will be my 4th cambio here. I feel like I know every street and every person here, but bueno, Dios has a lesson for me to learn here, and hopefully I´ll figure it out what it is in this transfer. I've already learned a lot about humility and patience. Maybe I just need to refine those two a little more. Well, I'm sure I do. I have a looong way to go, but I'm working on it.

Thank you SO MUCH for the package!!!!!!!! The pictures are my favorites of all time infinity! Especially the ones at the end of you making my face! You're so cool!! I love the pens and the notes and everything!! Thank you!!! Also, when did they change the green Skittles to apple?? I never really liked the green ones much, but I ate them and thought, "Hmmm, my taste buds must have changed because these are really good!" Then I checked the back. Green apple.

So for us, the Conference is a little bit of death mixed with joy. I love General Conference soooooo much, but here, we have to run around for everyone who wants to go and invite the whole world to attend. My companion and I had a ton of people who said they were going to go, and then Sunday morning rolls around and everyone says no, no, no, no, luego, en la tarde, no, no, no, en otra ocasión, no, no (then, in the afternoon, no, no, no, on another occasion, no, no)......... It was rough, but when we got to the church, we found that 9 people we had invited had shown up on their own!!! It was a miracle!!!!!! I KNOW God works miracles!!

Listen to the words of the Prophet. He receives revelation from God for the WORLD! We are going to have trials! But what do we need to do? We need to have the Gospel at the center of our lives. We need to PRAY every day!! We need to read the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY! We need to go to church EVERY WEEK!! I don´t know what President Monson is preparing us for, but trials are coming. We are in the last days. Satan is working hard. But if our foundations are firm, we cannot fall!!!!! Helaman 5:12

When we invite people to be baptized, our mission president wants us to "vaccinate" them. Por ejemplo(for example), "In preparation for your baptism, you will have trials, but Heavenly Father will help you." It sounds lame in English, but for a better example, review President Monson's talk. He just vaccinated the world.

Also, I didn´t know Richard G. Scott spoke Spanish, but he does! He pre-recorded his own talk in Spanish. It was great hearing his voice!!

And it has never been so obvious to me that there is only one true church. We have it. This is it. (1 Nephi 14:10-17) This is the one and only perfect church--organized by God, described in the Book of Mormon and the Bible. We have a prophet! (Amos 3:7) We have 12 Apostles! (Luke 9:1) We have that power and authority, el Sacerdocio (Priesthood), given to men! (Hebrews 5:4) We are Saints because we follow Jesus Christ! (1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Nephi 14:14) We are baptized in the way Christ did, which was pleasing to GOD. (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 10:38-39) Read the 13 articles of faith and think for a moment on the truthfulness of this Church and how lucky we are to have it! Follow the admonition of Paul! (Philippians 4:8) Rejoice evermore! (1 Thessalonians 5:16-23)

Last thing, someone was listening to music in English the other day during our studies. Hermana Adams and I were dying. Kelly Clarkson, Backstreet Boys, etc. I had I Love you Like a Love Song by Selena Gomez stuck in my head the whole day. And the dance to that song from Just Dance 4.

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Ayer

P.S. My comp made me a sandwich the other day: bread, lunch meat, mayo, ketchup. She's wonderful, but let's just say I´ll think twice before I accept food she offer to me.

P.P.S. When my comp and I were running around for people on Sunday, in the blazing sun, all I wanted was a nice cold coca cola. Who am I???

P.P.P.S. Hermana Lopez who lived with us before is now in the Galapagos! She and her comp are the first sisters there!

P.P.P.P.S. A kid peed on my comp´s backpack the other day and she was ticked. I could'nt stop laughing.

P.P.P.P.P.S. If you ever have a Sister Welling, she's friends with Hermana Jackie Adams with whom I've been in Santa Rosa for 4 months.

P.P.P.P.P.P.S. I saw a kitten suffering in the middle of the road the other day and I almost died of tristeza.(sadness)

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. But when we're righteous, we're happy! 1 Nephi 16:4-5

Alma 26:12, Mosiah 24:15, Jacob 1:19, Moroni 7:46-47