Monday, November 5, 2012

One more transfer in Guayacanas!!

   Well how are all of you doing this week?  Things down here are going great!  Last night I couldn`t sleep that well because we were waiting for the phone call to inform us if we had transfers or not.  I woke up this morning to my companion asking, "Hermana Welch, did the phone ring last night?" So I will be here in Guayacanas for another six weeks!  During this transfer I will complete my 9 month mark AND my 10 month mark and I will also turn 22 years old!!!!!!! HOW IS THAT FOR CRAZY!!!! Let me just say 22 is too old.... I don`t know, 21 was fun to say, but 22.... It just sounds old! 

   This week we had another baptism.  Luis finally got baptized.  It was a nice little baptism we actually combined our baptism with another ward and there was a better turn out from the members since we had two wards there.  (This is one thing that I have noticed on my mission... It means so much to our investigators when people actually show up to their baptism.  I feel bad that I didn`t go to too many before my mission.)  But Luis is into music and he wanted a special musical number at his baptism.  He asked if I would sing at his baptism, I told him I would ask my leaders if I could.  Well our next lesson that we had with him he informed me that he wanted to sing a duet with me.  I felt kind of weird about it actually because Luis is a little too friendly.  I told him I would ask my leaders if we could sing a duet together. I asked my zone leader and long story short he asked how I felt and I told him that Luis was a little too friendly with me and that I actually felt uncomfortable about it.  

   Well when we had our next lesson with him I told him the bad news and he was actually pretty upset about it.  He then asked me why and I told him that my leaders said so.  Well that seemed to make him even madder... I then had to remind him, "Luis what is more important?  This dumb musical number or your baptism?"  Luckily he answered correctly and said his baptism was more important.  So when the day of his baptism came he had a hymn all picked out that he was going to sing and 15 minutes before his baptism he asked me how the melody went... Uhhhhh, I then asked him, "Why didn`t you pick a hymn you know?"  He then said, "Well,  I like this one."  I then sang  the melody to "I stand all amazed" a couple of times hoping he would remember and pick it up.  

   After the ordinance was performed it was his turn to sing.  It was a little painful but luckily a couple of members of the congregation joined in on the chorus.  But when the members were singing the chorus with him they actually picked up the rhythm quite a bit so the painful tune went by a little bit faster. After the baptism was all over I went to shake his hand and say congratulations, how do you feel, etc?  All he wanted to talk about was how out of tune the congregation was and that they threw him off.  I was just thinking, man I hope he remembers the baptism part of his baptism and not the bad musical number!  

   But now Hermana Paasaca and I are tracting a lot and trying to find new investigators.  We have baptized those (well, not us, but you know what I mean) investigators that we have and are dropping those that are not progressing... Hopefully things will keep going well!  I am happy to be with this ward for another transfer.  It is crazy to think back to how Hermana Climaco felt about the ward when we were together.  But I think Hermana Paasaca and I have earned the ward's trust and they are a lot more accepting to help us and everything.  It was really interesting to see how sad some of the members were when we informed them that we might have transfers, I guess they don`t hate us after all!  Haha 

   Well I guess I could inform you all about how Halloween is down here.  Well for some reason I thought Halloween was kind of a North and South America thing.  But I was wrong, the government is actually trying to get the people down here to stop celebrating Halloween because technically it isn`t their holliday.  It is also too dangerous for the little kids to go out and trick or treat, it just isn`t that safe down here and besides when people are not waiting at the door with candy why get all dressed up anyways?  They have Day of the Dead down here. For Day of the Dead, they prepare Colada Morada, it is this purple, thick drink that is made from some purple corn stuff and they make it into a sweet/cider.  Then they put mangos and pineapple in it so it is pretty interesting.  They also buy bread that looks like little dolls or that is shaped into people.  They take the bread and bring it to the graves of their ancestors and put it out on the graves like we do with flowers. Kind of different and weird (IMHO).  But that is the Day of the Dead. 

   This week my companion broke her glasses!  I woke up to her saying, "Hermana Welch, Hermana Welch!!! How did my glasses get in the middle of the floor??"  Uhhhh I told her I didn`t know and she then said all frustrated, "You have to do everything now, I am practically blind..."  Well after she said that I didn`t sleep very well!  The next morning she was right... I didn`t realize that my poor companion is practically BLIND!!!!! Really we had some close calls crossing the street!  (Here is a pointer... If you know you are blind... DON`T CROSS THE STINKING STREET ALONE!!!!) I don`t know if you remember the movie Mulan when Mulan`s crazy grandma is crossing the street with the lucky cricket... Well it was practially like that!  I was talking away to my companion and she starts crossing the street without me!  I had to yank her arm and pull her back to the side of the road because the buses here don`t stop for anyone!!! It was actually really stressful!  But luckily we laughed if off!  

   Well she finally asked for permission to get her glasses fixed.  A member in our ward told us where we could go and they mentioned that it was a pretty cheap place and they do good work.  When my companion told the President what the member said about the place we were going to go all he said was, "Hermana, don`t go just because it is cheap."  Well my companion doesn`t have money so what is she supposed to do?  So we hopped on a bus and the next thing we knew we were in some mediocre glasses joint.  Well the old guy who was helping us wasn`t too helpful and when my companion asked about contact lenses he said that we had to go to headquarters.  Well we jumped in a taxi and the taxi finally stopped in front of a neighborhood.  The houses in the neighborhood were really nice but he stopped in front of the Klopek's house!!! (from the BURB"S!)  It was the worst house on the block!  I couldn`t believe that this place was "headquarters!"  

   The house had grass in the front which was all yellow, the paint was chipping off the old house, and there was a big yellow sign with big bold letters stating, "FREE EXAMS, GLASSES 50% OFF."  When we went to enter the house there was a rusted white gate with a rusted white fence surrounding the house.  We knocked on the gate and the creepiest guy came out and opened it up for us.  He had no upper teeth and his bottom teeth were so yellow and crowded he looked like the Grinch.  His hair was greasy and to my horror this guy was wearing a white doctors coat.  Well, I thought my companion was going to say... "Never mind." and flag down another taxi, but to my surprise she waited for him to open the gate and she even agreed to the free exam!  (Yes my companion had lost her mind!)  Well the results of the exam were what I expected.  They couldn`t get a very good prescription for her and she kept saying, "It`s still blurry, I can see better with the broken glasses that I have!"  The doctors response to all of her replies were the same, "Well this is as good as you are going to get because your eyes are really bad."  I was just thinking the whole time, what kind of doctor is this? What kind of Doctor says,  "Your eyes are just really bad?"  Luckily my companion didn`t agree to buy anything or agree to the prescription they were offering to her.  But she is still walking around with her broken glasses.  Don`t know how she is going to get them fixed.  But  we taped them together and aside from looking a little silly, she is  doing okay.   

   Well that is about all the excitement that we have had this week.  Things are still going really well and I am still progressing every day in the language.  I still have trouble sometimes expressing myself but it will come and at least I can understand what people are saying!  So that is a good thing.  Before I close, I want you to know that  I know that this gospel is true and I am so happy that I get to be a part of it.  I really can feel the blessings of being a missionary and I know that I am here in Ecuador for a reason!  I love this work.  I love you all more than I miss you!  

Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess) xoxo

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