Tuesday, July 3, 2012


The beautiful beaches of Esperanza 

Hey Family!!!! 
    Well another week has passed and we had transfers this week... And guess what??? I am still with my companion in the same area so I am safe!!! Haha Last night we were all worried and we stayed up late to wait for the call that never came.  How transfers work in this mission are kinda lame.... They call you Sunday night and the missionary who has the change has to stay up all night and pack their bags and be on a bus by four o'clock in the morning to be at the terminal in Guayaquil at 11 and find out from the Assistants who your new companion is and your new area.  Then you travel with your companion to the new area unpack your bags and start work again at 6.  Hopefully you don´t need to buy anything and emailing is almost impossible on that day... But I am a little too overjoyed to be with my companion in the same area.  We love our ward they are so supportive and I can´t believe how many of our investigators were actually really really sad about the chance that we might be leaving.  I never thought I would be one of those missionaries that the members and the investigators miss.  So that is pretty crazy!!! 

Sister Romero and I, together still!
 We are standing with Christina one of last week's miracles!
You might notice I am starting to blend in with the natives! 
   I am also really close to jumping the five month hurtle!  This coming week I will have been away from home for five stinking months!!! I honestly cannot believe how fast the time has flown by.  This morning when my companion and I were cleaning and getting ready for the day.  I popped in a movie about the Doctrine and Covenants, it has illustrations that fade in and fade out while there is a woman narrating the history about the Doctrine and Covenants.  It is all in Spanish, but as I was putting on my make-up I could understand EVERYTHING!!!!! I was so proud of myself and I almost started to cry thinking about how far I have come... (I know I really need to get my tear ducts checked.... I cry a little too much) But I have been able to communicate more and more and more with the people..... The gift of tongues is real and I am experiencing it like never before on my mission.  A little miracle for me!!
What else happened this week... I have become pretty talented when it comes to dinner appointments!  I have developed this ability to not breath through my nose while I am chewing some of this not so good food.  Which results in me being able to down almost anything that they put on my plate.  But this past Saturday our investigators Marco and Flora invited us over to try her tortillas because of the chance that we might have transfers.  So we went over to her house at six and we found her cutting some of the long green leaves from one of her bushes by the corner of her house.  I thought she was just cutting it down because it was kind of a big plant.  But when we went inside to her kitchen she threw the leaves in a pot of boiling water and turned off the heat.  

   Then she showed us where she was cooking her tortillas.  She walked out back to a big pillar of cement.  This pillar was about the size of one of those big blue water jugs... The one that we have right by the fridge in the garage.  Well she removed the cardboard that was covering the top and there was a shallow little basin and she had about 15 little rolls sitting on top of a iron tray and there were red hot coals in there too.  It was pretty cool and it reminded me of dutch oven cooking.  That big cement thing is her oven!!!!  There is no way I would be able to cook a thing in there you have absolutely no control of the temperature.  So I was pretty impressed with Flora and her cowboy cooking abilities.  

   She gathered all the little rolls out of her oven which they call tortillas here (so weird tortillas are those flat thing you make burritos or tacos out of!) and then she served us inside at her table.  After we blessed the grass tea and little corn meal tortillas I bit into one of the tortillas and it was ROCK HARD!!!  I had to bust it apart with my hands there was no way I was risking a tooth on those things.  Inside the tortillas was a little bit of cheese... I ate two and then Marco was bugging me to eat another.  I ate another rock roll and finished the grass tea.  Flora filled our glasses again and Marco told me to eat another one.  I told him I was full and he still persisted so I took another...... The tortillas that were left were all blackened and a little burned.  As I busted it apart with my hands I felt that this tortilla was so much harder than the other three I had already forced down.  I really didn´t want to eat it.... 

   As I was debating how I am going to eat this, Marco was busy talking to Hermana Romero and Flora was in the kitchen filling Marco´s glass of tea again.  I realized that no one was looking at me so I took the roll to my mouth and nonchalantly slipped the roll in the top of my blouse.  I finished the tea in my glass (which was surprisingly good) and Hermana Romero and I left.  As we were walking away I asked her if she liked the tortillas.  Her reply was just what I suspected.  I told her, "Oh well that´s too bad because I saved one for you" as I pulled the tortilla out of my shirt.  We both burst out laughing and I gave the rock roll to a dog as we were walking to our next appointment.  Hermana Romero then said, "Too bad you couldn´t do that with the squid or the bollo!"  Haha yeah it is too bad, but I think that this trick will get me out of a couple of tight spots.  I am just glad I discovered it early in my mission. 

   This week we have also been teaching a woman named Maria.  She is twenty years old and has three kids, we have always visited her at her mom´s house but she finally told us the direction to her own house.  Well I think I know why she never invited us to her place she lives in a little bamboo hut.  When we walked to her place she showed us which of the little houses she lives in.  Her house is on a plot of land with about 10 or 15 other little huts.  But I think her kids love living there.  There are so many kids to play with and they are always soooo dirty!  We went into her house and there were two beds, a double sized bed in one corner and a twin bed in the other corner.  There was also a hammock strung across her house with her baby sleeping in it.  She didn´t have a TV, radio, or a kitchen of any kind.  But she had a washing machine!  

   When we walked in she was pasting newspaper along the walls of her house.  Her walls are made out of flattened poles of bamboo so pasting the newspaper is kind of an awkward task.  I was trying to figure out why she was doing this, when my companion asked why all the bamboo houses have some kind of paper on the walls.  She told us it is to keep out the draft during the night.  I felt so bad... I thought it was for a little more privacy or to keep the sun out but it is to keep out the draft.... Wow... I felt so bad for her.  She is 20 years old and already has three kids... Her oldest child is turning five this year... She has a hard life.  

   We offered to help her and we pasted a whole wall of her house.  As we were gluing and pasting we came across a couple of risqué photos of women in swimming suits.  We asked Maria, do you want to hang these papers up?  She turned the papers over and seeing that the pages had these pictures on both sides her reply was oh it doesn´t matter..... So we plastered the porn on her wall.  I found some papers on the floor of a house with a heart drawn inside and above the house it said Jesus loves me.  I quickly pasted these drawings that her son had scribbled over the swimsuit photos when Maria was tending her baby. So that was an experience I will never ever forget!!!! 

   Well I am learning alot of things here in Ecuador and I am really thankful that I got to serve in an area that is so poor.  It is really opening up my eyes to how blessed I am.  Not only did I grow up in a house with a real roof and carpeted floors, but I was raised with the true gospel of Jesus Christ in my home.  That is probably the biggest blessing of all!  

I love you all more than I miss you!  
Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess) 

P.S. Have fun in Wyoming!!!! I am so jealous and if you get a chance make a cool bracelet or earrings in Rockstar Cowgirl for me!   HAVE A WONDERFUL FOURTH OF JULY!!!

Our newly baptized members at last week's baptism!

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