Well another week has flown by here in Ecuador! It seems like the weeks jump from P-day on Monday to Thursday, our weekly planning sessions, to P-day again! So time is flying! This week went really well though--we have four investigators with baptismal dates, so they are keeping us busy! We got a new ward mission leader this past week as well. His name is Charlie and he is 20 years old and is "preparing" to go on a mission. (It is more like the Bishop is preparing him) Well we have gone out with Charlie 2 days this week so that was nice to have his support during the day... But our first correlation with Charlie was at the church and he came 45 minutes late and we had a lesson with Henry at 3:00 at the church as well, so they ended up coming to the chapel at the same time. As we opened our lesson with a prayer we started teaching Henry about the Restoration. Charlie would not quit talking to me! I had my photos on the table while we were waiting for Charlie and he grabbed them and started flipping through them commenting on every photo and then he started telling me that I should wear my hair down while I am here... It looks better.... I was just thinking the whole time, "HOLY COW MAN! WE are in a lesson!" I testified and taught and every time it would be my companions turn to talk Charlie would start talking to me again. The lesson finally ended and miraculously Henry accepted our baptismal challenge! But that was just the beginning with my experiences with Charlie, our ward mission leader. He has gotten into the habit of pulling on my backpack when I walk. (WHICH IS SO ANNOYING!!!) I
can´t really get mad at him or smack his hand away or anything since I am a missionary so I just politely ask him to stop every time. It hasn´t worked yet... Any suggestions? -___- He also compliments my hair and my clothes and my improvement with the language... I don´t know if he is just extra nice... But he is only extra nice to me sooooo... I don´t know what this kid is thinking... WE ARE FLIPPING MISSIONARIES MAN!!! But my companion doesn't like him very much... We were in a lesson with an older woman who is named Pattie who has suffered from a stroke and so the left side of her body doesn´t function very well... I never ever understand her because of this. So after our lesson with Pattie and Charlie I noticed that my companion was really mad about something and all I could think of was... Well I thought our lesson went well! hahaha When Charlie went home Hermana Romero then told me why she was so upset after our lesson. She said that Hermana Pattie asked her why she wore black all the time. (Hermana Romero doesn´t wear black all the time she just happened to be wearing black that day) and Hermana Pattie then said it looks like you are in mourning... Hermana Romero then told her... "Oh well I like this color, but I don´t wear it all the time." Hermana Pattie then said, "Oh yes well I always see you in black." Then Charlie piped in and said, "Yeah dress like Sister Welch, she is always in flowers or colors." I just happened to be wearing THE LOUDEST dress I had which is covered in flowers. Then Hermana Pattie suggested, "Well the color black makes people look thinner." (Hermana Romero is kind of bigger boned so the weight subject isn´t a good way to go). Then idiot Charlie said "You don´t look thinner" to my companion..... After she told me the conversation I couldn´t believe I missed it! I knew that they were talking about our dresses and I remember Hermana Romero saying that she liked the color black... But I couldn´t believe that I missed Charlie´s comment. So that is why Hermana Romero doesn´t like Charlie. That is one thing I will never get used to here... People talk about weight like it is no big deal. People always refer to me as the white one and my companion as the fat one! Don´t they know calling people fat is an insult????
Sister Romero and I, enjoying our differences!
Here in Ecuador they use the American Dollar. This past week when we were at our district meeting all the Latinos bring their American Quarters and try to trade the state quarters that they have two of for another one. My poor companion has been trying to trade Mississippi for two weeks now... But every one else has Mississippi. Then Elder Hammer (A North American) asked if anyone had old Ecuadorian bills. Everyone said no and I then asked Elder Hammer what it looked like. He showed me an old reddish bill that he keeps in his Book of Mormon. He then told me about how the Sucre money system failed. In Ecuador the use to use Sucre's but since things here are corrupt their government started printing off more and more money thinking that this would help them in the long run. But they couldn´t back this money up by any gold. So these people have been saving up for their retirement. They have millions in their accounts and they live comfortable lives. When they switched over to the dollar their millions changed to almost nothing. Elder Hammer then told me that many people died of heart attacks and many people killed themselves! He then gave me two Sucre's and told me I could have em, and also that I should start collecting money from other places as well. Cool huh? Here in Ecuador there are always people selling ice cream, they pull carts all day while ringing bells, or honking horns or screaming at us to come and buy their ice cream. I have really wanted those frozen bananas covered in chocolate but Hermana Romero and I have only seen one or two kids eating them. We have been looking for those things the WHOLE NINE WEEKS I HAVE BEEN HERE!!!! And nobody has them! Every time we go to buy ice cream we ALWAYS ask and the answer is ALWAYS no...... But this past week we saw a little girl about 5 years old walking towards us on the same street and as she came closer I realized she had not only one but TWO CHOCOBANANAS in her hands! I gasped and elbowed my companion to look at this little girl skipping towards us and I was about to ask where she bought those. When my companion stopped abruptly and pointed at the little girl and said, "WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE?" The little girl was suddenly frozen in place so started by the gruff question that all she said was, "One block that way in the yellow house." and ran off! It was so funny and we couldn´t stop laughing. I told my companion I think you scared her and she said yeah I was surprised at how crazy I got too! We found the yellow house and those chocobananas were only 10 cents! The long 9 month search was so worth it! Well I hope that things are going really really really well... But I need to wrap this up! I love you all and miss you so much! Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess)