|Me with President and Sister Amaya|
|I'm here! Second one on the left, front row.|
I met my mission president in the Airport, he was there with his wife and his two assistants and the travel secretary. It was pretty cool having them all pick me up, just me so that was fun, after that we went to a buffet and it was all good food but I was still a little scared to eat it. You can never be too careful. That night Sister Bu (a sister from the Columbia MTC) and I slept at two sisters house waiting for the reunion the next day. And I met Sister Bryan. (From Las Vegas) She is really cool and speaks Spanish really well... The next morning I met my companion Sister Romero. She is from Honduras and speaks English really well. I don´t know if this is a blessing or a curse. We end up speaking in English more often than Spanish sooo... My Spanish is kind of lagging. She keeps complimenting me on my Spanish but I don´t see the progress. After our reunion with the new missionaries and our companions we all had to go our separate ways. There were four of us going back to the Peninsula and three of us had all of our bags... That was a trial. We had to ride in a bus on the way there (not a creepy Peruvian bus but a normal one where they stow your luggage underneath) The man helping us with our luggage asked in Spanish, "You live here for how long?" As he grunted and struggled to heave our bags onto the bus. I felt pretty cool pushing my bags around in the airport but they are probably the worst kind of bags for rolling over crumbling sidewalks and dirt roads. I got so much crap for having three bags. One of the elders kept asking why do you have all of this stuff? DUDE!!!!!! (I mean ELDER!!!) Leave off! My paper told me to bring three bags! Oh well, I just pretended like I couldn´t understand him after about the fourth time he mentioned my bags but it was annoying. Ha ha
Working with the ward members is an experience, they all are really nice and helpful and I am surprised at how many contacts they gave us for new investigators. We met the ward mission leader and when Hermana Romero and I walked up to him he looked 18 years old. Turns out he is like 27 but I was pretty worried about it for a while. Oh P.S. both Hermana Romero and I are brand new in this area so we don´t know anyone and have to start from scratch! Our ward mission leader´s name is Ivan and we passed by his house and he wanted to introduce us to his family so he unlocks this cinder block wall with a gate and when we walk past the gate I look and see this sagging wooden house about 10 feet ahead. There was a little tent/hut thing to our left and chickens running everywhere. As we approached his house we walked up four wooden steps (I thought they were going to break underneath me, the steps actually gave quite a bit... FREAKY) But we walk into this little room and he tells us to sit on these blue plastic chairs. As I sat down I realized this is their living room!!!!! It was so small it was about twice the size of dad´s truck bed. As we sat a little longer they gave us juice (which was so creepy... but I drank it all and I survived) and I noticed that his house was un-level! His whole house was leaning--literally leaning to the left!!! I couldn´t believe it! (It was like the house in Big Fish, but not as bad) This family had a HUGE stereo system and a really nice computer. I guess those things cost less than fixing up your house. I personally would save up for a stable home but it didn´t seem to bother them at all sooo oh well. The more houses I have gone into the more I realize that this is the way they live, their houses are all falling apart but they have the nicest TV they can afford...and no teeth :)
So in this country everyone is late to everything if you are with your family it isn´t a problem to be an hour late to something. Well at least that is what my companion said, I don´t know if I believe her. But on Sunday we had people in the bishopric show up thirty minutes late. Me and Hermana Romero were on the stand because the Bishop asked us to speak but both the first and second counselor were late so they come up to the stand and shake everyone´s hand and then sit down. It was so comical I couldn´t believe it!!! haha but that is different and I guess I will have to get use to it.
We had a Zone Conference this past week. It was at 8:00 in the morning so we had to leave by 4:00 a.m. to get back to Guayaquil. So Hermana Romero and I got up at 3 stinking o´clock. Our district leaders had to walk us to the bus station. They told us they would be at our place at 4:00 and 4:15 passed by and I suggested that my companion should call them. They told us they were just around the corner... Well it must have been a HUGE corner because they didn´t show up till 4:45. I was just a little bit mad about it but we got to the chapel at 8:00 and our Mission President came in at 9:00. (South America must have some secret code for time which is to be about 45 minutes to an hour late to everything... I still don´t understand when we have to be places.) During our Zone Conference I was having some trouble staying awake people were bearing their testimonies and then Elder Hancy got up and announced, "We will now hear from five more missionaries" Yes I was one of them... Well I wasn´t tired anymore! I immediately felt terrified 1- I can´t speak Spanish 2- This is in front of everyone 3- I was already crying!!!!!!!! What is wrong with me! I swear I have over active tear ducts... But my time came and I stood up, and sobbed and stumbled over stupid Spanish and sniffed and sobbed some more and sat down. It was an ordeal!
I was having a really hard time but I felt the spirit confirm that I am doing the right thing and that I can learn this language.... But I still felt like a dummy... Why am I so emotional here??? But I got both of your packages in the mail!!!!! The secretary told me that the package costs $40 so I brought money to pay and he said, "Oh don´t worry about it your family already paid for it!" I almost started crying again!!! Thanks for being awesome... I love all of your letters so much!!! I also got the dear elders from Brother Royal thanks!!! Well I am really missing all of you so much!!! This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life but I know that it will be worth it. I hope Preach My Gospel is telling the truth when it says "There is no more compelling work than this, nor any which brings greater satisfaction."
I love you all more than I miss you which is a lot!!!!!!
Love your daughter Jessica,
Hermana Welch #1