Well this week has been great!!! But I feel like the weeks go by so fast!!! So fast that I feel like I just wrote you!!! But things here are great!!! My Spanish is coming along and I am able to talk a little bit better to where I can participate in a conversation. But I still don´t know a lot of words so I am still pretty lost sometimes. But things are going really really well. This week the assistants called us and were verifying our 12 week program since I am still in training. Elder Hancock is the new assistant and he was my old Zone Leader so he kind of knows that Hermana Romero and I talk a little too much English to each other. He gave us a new rule. NO MORE ENGLISH! So that is really really really hard but we are working on it. After he told us no more English he asked me what I thought. I told him my opinion and I said that it would be a good thing for me because I can talk in Spanish I am just embarrassed sometimes to talk to people because I know that I don´t sound very good. Then Elder Hancock was quiet for a second and said, "Hermana Welch?".... (Sister Welch?) "Si...." (Yes) "Este es Hermana Welch cierto?".... (This is Sister Welch right?) "Si.....Elder que paso?" (Yes.... Elder what happened?) Elder Hancock then went on to say that he thought he was talking to my companion!!!!!! Holy Cow!!!! I couldn´t believe it!!! He then said that my Spanish is so much more fluid and he can actually understand EVERYTHING I am trying to say! I was so shocked and he then said, "BUT MY RULE STILL STANDS! Don´t start talking in English just because your Spanish has gotten better!" It was pretty funny but I was really happy that he didn´t believe that I was the one talking on the phone! Well enough about Spanish! This week we visited a less active family in the ward. Their mother has been through the temple but their dad doesn´t hold any type of Priesthood. We went to visit them and just the mother was there. We asked how the family was doing and she then told us that her husband has started drinking again. She started to cry telling us that she doesn´t know what to do. All I could really think of telling her was "read your scriptures, pray and go to church." And that is exactly what Hermana Romero told this woman to do. I think the mother was expecting a different answer because she then said... Okay.... what else? When my companion looked at me for some words of wisdom all I said was "nada mas..." When we walked away from her home I started thinking about those three things... Why are they so important for our happiness?!? But it is what we tell ALL our investigators to do and when they keep the commitments that we give them they are ALWAYS happier! This week we have been stopping at Flavio, Eva and Rosa´s house (He is the 80 something year old and his wife is 78 and their granddaughter wants to get baptized) Well they are super paranoid about robbers. They live in a poorer area, but their house is quite a bit nicer than most out here. Their house was getting broken into a couple of weeks ago when they came home so they always advise us to not go on this road and that road and that part of town. So we just listen and say thanks but we usually have no reason to be scared. On Tuesday we got to their house at 6:30 and stayed for 45 minutes when we were about to leave Flavio asked where we were going... Home? We told him that we don´t go home till 9:00, and then we pointed south (the part of town which gradually gets poorer and poorer until the bamboo hut part of town.) He then said, "No sisters, go home it´s dark." We assured him that it is just two blocks away and that it is just one visit and then we have dinner in the North part of town at 8:00. After we kind of went through this argument two times Flavio got very serious and said in a low whisper, "....don´t go there..." Uhhhh right then I really was starting to get freaked out but then I thought, we are at this part of town till 9:00 at night... we are going to be fine! As we were walking away we turned back and this old man pulled out a picnic chair and sat in his doorway and was watching us the WHOLE way... I don´t think I have ever been this scared in my whole life! (Okay, when President Davie played that bear prank at Girls Camp I almost wet my pants but this experience totally tops Girls Camp! That is a different story that I will have to blog about after my mission.) As Hermana Romero and I were walking the two and a half blocks on this dirt road every motorcycle that rumbled past, every dog that barked at us, every tree that rustled, every sound was SOOOOO SCARY!!!! But we were really on edge whenever the motorcycles would drive past because people on motorcycles usually rob you. So I quickly took off my watch and stuffed it in the secret pocket that I have in my awesome REI Inspector Gadget/ Uncle Barry looking shirt. As we kept walking a motorbike was rumbling behind us at a slower pace than usual. Hermana Romero quickly grabbed my hand and we were walking like the BIGGEST chickens on the planet. All I could think of was... sing a hymn, sing a hymn. The only song that came to my mind was... "Adam was a prophet, first one that we know in a place called Eden..." The whole time the motorcycle is getting louder and closer and louder, "He helped things to grow, Adam served the Lord by following his ways..." The whole time Hermana Romero is whispering, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!!!!" When the motorcycle to our relief drives by "WE ARE HIS DESCENDANTS IN THE LATTER DAYS!!! Follow the Prophet, follow the Prophet follow the Prophet. Don´t go astray, Follow the Prophet, follow the Prophet, follow the Prophet. He knows the way!" We are such big chickens! After our lesson we got a taxi to our dinner appointment and they thought our story was pretty funny but that night I thought, oh if President Monson saw where Hermana Romero and I stupidly choose to walk that night he would be so disappointed! But besides this experience this week was good and I learned that women can´t drive down here in Ecuador... It must be a universal thing. Our investigator was washing her car when we were going to teach her so we were helping her... It was quite an experience. First she wiped the car with dry towels and wiped all the windows with newspaper. So the car looked fine, this took us about 20 minutes, then when I thought we were done she got the hose and sprayed down the car. I then realized she wasn´t going to dry the car. I then informed her... Uhhh we should probably dry the car because you are going to have water spots all over if you don´t. We then dried the whole car and she started spraying the wheels getting the whole car wet again. I then told Hermana Romero that we needed to dry the car again. "Why?" I then asked her, "Haven´t you ever washed a car before?" as soon as the words were out of my mouth I realized, YOU BIG IDIOT JESS!!! These people don´t have cars... don't make them feel bad!" I quickly said, well there will still be water spots. So we dried the WHOLE CAR AGAIN!!!! When Brenda was going to park her car next to the house she couldn´t figure out how to back into the space... and when I say space I am not talking about a parking spot or a garage I am talking about a BIG SPACE next to her house. She would accelerate the car so fast and screech to a stop and back up and try again.. I honestly thought she was going to run the car into the side of the house... But she finally got it parked the way she wanted to fifteen minutes later... Well that is about all for this week I love you all so much and I hope I get to chat with someone! I love you more than I miss you! Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess) P.S. I learned something CRAZY about rainbows! One of our old investigators Guadalupe is in an institute class for the Old Testament. When we stopped by she asked us what is the symbol of the Rainbow. I told her that the rainbow symbolizes the promise that the Lord made to Noah that the Earth would never again be cleansed/destroyed by water. Then she said, "Does it mean anything else? I said I didn´t think so then she showed us her institute book: "The Lord has put the rainbow in the clouds as a symbol that when we can see the rainbow we will always be able to harvest summer and winter." Whatever year you can see the rainbow the Lord is not going to come. But when we don´t see the rainbow we will not be able to harvest our crops year round and that the Messiah is coming soon." Man nations will have afflictions and pestilences and die of starvation. When this sign comes the coming of the Messiah is very near! (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pg 372 and 421) This was all in the Spanish Old Testament part one manual for institute! Check it out!!! I think I have the manual in my room! This is why we have food storage huh???