Thursday, April 22, 2010

Three years ago

My MTC group a few days before we left to our various areas.

April 22 was the day I came home from my mission. The day I had dreaded for a good majority of the time I was in Ecuador. I won't lie and say I felt that way every single day, but I didn't want that day to come, no matter how exhausted I was physically and emotionally.

Quito - Sis. Viana beat me to the egg we both found.

I had some great experiences. I remember sloshing through pouring rain, feet and everything else getting soaked. I remember crying and pouring out my heart in prayer for the people I met and those I didn't know yet. I remember picking and shelling beans for service - along with mixing concrete and hauling rocks to build houses. I remember feeling so, so good as people I loved were baptized. Those are things I hope I never forget.

 The sisters at a zone conference.

Of course I had some hard times. My very first area - Tena - was a struggling branch. My companion was Ecuadorian and we didn't always understand each other or get along. I became sick and lost a bunch of weight. My second companion was just as challenging (she was from Guatemala) and wasn't always a keeper of the rules. A transfer to my second area - Otavalo - was hard. I loved the area, but my companion and I were in charge of two wards and branch.
 My companion and I taught Richard who was baptized as well. We had to get him and Gaby married first. That was a challenge. The law of chastity was definitely foreign to them.

My third area - Ambato - was the best for me, but I was only there one transfer. I got sick again. My fourth area - Santo Domingo - was one of the toughest times. My companion, from Nicaragua, spoke English. Therefore, my Spanish really went downhill. We didn't have a single baptism and our investigators showed progression, but it was a long way to baptism. My final area - Quito - was a perfect cap - I can't remember hardly any challenges.

An example of some cute Ecuadoriam children. The woman in the middle suffers from a disease that makes her bed-ridden. Very powerful, wonderful woman.

So before I bore you too much - here's to missions and missionaries and missionary work. I am who I am because of that special, wonderful time.

 This wonderful family on the left - the Marcillos - were sealed Aug. 10, 2007, in the Guayaquil, Ecuador Temple. My companion Sis. Ellison and I taught this family and they were finally baptized. Here, we're standing with the Bishop's family who are also wonderful people!