Well my first week in Ecuador wasn´t so bad! Things actually went pretty well and my Spanish is coming... Slowly but surely it is coming!!!! Well, my little sister, Emilee´s last letter said, "I hope you don´t get eaten by a hungry dog!" ... Well everyday is a little scary. I am in a really poor part of town. Most of our ward lives in the boondocks and there are dogs EVERYWHERE!!!!! Almost every corner my companion and I take there are EVIL dogs waiting for us. They always bark and approach us and try to let us know that this is their territory... But they are actually more afraid of us than we are of them. All of the dogs here are so creepy. They are nothing like the cute, clean dogs back at home. They all have fleas (now I know why the white handbook says "Don´t touch any animals"). It is pretty sad, some of the dogs are so skinny that you can see every bone in their body, but I don´t feel bad for them when they try and kill me. Most of the dogs here are a weird shade of pink underneath their matted fur. They all have yellowish eyes and are going bald. My companion says they all have some sort of disease, but I actually think that they are all just turning into Zombies. Every time I look at them they remind me of the movie I Am Legend when Will Smith´s dog turns into a zombie in his arms and he has to suffocate him.
Zombie Dog=Scary Doggie
Two days ago my companion and I took a wrong turn and found ourselves in a SUPER poor part of town. All of the houses are made of bamboo and they have tin roofs. Well as we were walking and retracing our steps to find the main road there were these two zombie-ish looking dogs blocking our way and one of them was really barking at us. I usually just pretend like I am going to throw a rock at them and they usually stop barking and run off but that didn´t work this time. As we turned our backs and tried to walk away ignoring the stupid dog, I could hear another dog running full speed behind us. As I turned I heard the dog snarl and he was right on my companion´s heels!!! I freaked out and screamed at the dog at the top of my lungs "HEY GET OUT OF HERE!!!" and he seemed like he was going to turn on me so then I stomped my foot and clapped my hands and felt like I was turning into the Hulk! My blood was pumping through me so fast and my adrenalin was through the roof! (while I was doing this I was actually really freaked out, but now that I am telling you all this, it is actually really funny. It reminded me of that Sleep Walk With Me Comedian and his story about the bear in Alaska.) Well the dog backed down and I chucked my water bottle at him and he ran off. But the dogs are freaky and they are Zombies down here... I miss Mr. Darcy, he was normal and clean and nice! ;)
Mr Darcy=Nice Doggie
I am beginning to HATE soup!!! The soup is so gross and they eat it before every meal here. Blah!!!
1- Why are you eating soup? it is super hot out side
2- Why eat a gross kind of soup? why not a normal kind like chicken noodle or something good...
I am getting use to the food though, one family feeds us lunch every week here and she makes the best civiche. It is awesome, I am actually pretty lucky that I like fish, because I would be having a huge problem here if I didn´t like it. But something that everyone does down here is they give us SO much food! Whenever we visit an investigator they always stop the ice-cream carts and buy us something. Members always give us some kind of juice when we stop by. Investigators do the same thing as well. For our dinner appointments our plates are always piled high with rice. It is crazy but somehow I manage to eat it all... I know that the Lord is blessing me through every glass of "who know what this is" to every spoonful of "gross disgusting soup" to every grain of rice on my plate, the blessings are endless.
The people here are really nice, sometimes they are so nice that I don´t know if they are really interested in our message, or just being polite. Well there was this one woman that we stopped to talk to. She let us in her home which was a miracle, she was NOT interested at first. But our lesson went so well!! I actually spoke a lot so that was really nice and when I testified about the first vision everyone was crying--not just me!!!!! It was an awesome experience. We asked her to read the pamphlet and she said she couldn´t read so we said well, just look at the pictures and pray about it. She said the closing prayer and she was sobbing through the whole thing. As we walked away from her house I was just crying and crying the spirit was so strong and I felt the Lord's love. I had actually played a part in bringing someone closer to Christ! It felt awesome!!! Being down here is so crazy, but this is what it is all about, bringing that one soul unto Christ, because everyone matters to him.
Well we went back to teach her about the Plan of Salvation two days later. When we called for her at her gate it took her a while to come to the door. She wouldn´t even look at us. She said that she believes in her other church and that she didn´t want us to visit her again... I couldn´t believe it!!!!!!!! When we were walking away I started asking myself was that even the same person???? I was so disappointed!!! She was golden!!! And she felt the spirit!!!!! I know she did and I know that she knew what we told her was true. Ahhhh!!!! People!!!! But as we were walking on the main road I told my companion, "This makes me wonder how frustrated Heavenly Father is with me sometimes..."
Well mom, the backpack really is nice. I feel pretty awesome caring it around, but all the little kids in Church want to drink from my camelbak hose!!! We were singing the closing song and a little boy almost had his mouth on it!!! Sheesh!! I have to keep it on my lap or hide it before I get to church! Ha ha these kids are crazy!!! But the backpack combined with my semi-professional looking clothes looks pretty silly! Today I am sporting the Dance Zone ballet bun (minus the hairnet). Ever since I have gotten to Ecuador... my hair just isn´t working... I have tried every kind of hairstyle and nothing looks good so now I just put it up!! Haha and it is a mission rule to wear tights so all the tights in the store don´t match my skin tone... My shoes are all hideous and are always covered in dust and mud. I am always sweating 24/7 and the gel sunscreen that I use is kind of sticky. So I am a shiny, sweaty, semi professional white mess! But nobody cares down here, so I try not to care either... I am just glad that no one is here to see me during "The best 18 months of my life" because I look like CRAP!!! Hahahaha
Well I love you all more than I miss you and I can´t wait to talk to you all on mother´s day!!!!
Love your daughter Jessica!
Hermana Welch #1
P.S. Sorry my email last week was so sad!!! I am fine!!!