Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hello! From Ecuador!!

Hermana Barbie
(haha  I had to say that, you know...I am a proud mom!)

Hey family!  

Well this week went by way too fast!!! I don`t know where all the time goes in the mission but things are flying by!  Today my companion and I went to a museum and it was fun.  It is about forty five minutes away from where we are living but it was worth the trip.  The funnest part was when we got out of the museum part there were a bunch of little shops and I bought some things.  So it was worth the trip!  We actually have to go back because there were a couple of more things that I wanted to buy but all I heard was that the museum was free to enter so I didn`t bring that much to spend.  

At the Museum

More Museum

This past week my companion celebrated her first month mark and her birthday this week.  She turned twenty three and we celebrated with some members.  Actually we didn`t really plan anything and one member called us out of the blue and said, "Hey!  Bring the birthday girl over here so that we can celebrate."  So we went over to Hermano Byron`s house, this family is pretty poor they live in a house made of bamboo but they are really nice to us. 

Hermana Perez's Birthday!!  
Well this family obviously doesn`t have money to spare and when we got to their house they had dinner for us and we were not even expecting anything!  They were so nice and it made me want to cry!  But then Hermano Byron called us again and my companion answered the phone and he didn`t even ask which companion was talking and he asked, "Hey what`s the name of your companion again?"  And my companion said... "Uhh my  name is Hermana Perez."  And Hermano Byron super embarrassed said he was sorry that he didn`t remember our names.  It was pretty funny, and the next thing we knew was he brought in a cute little cake that said Happy Birthday Hermana Perez.  So she had a pretty good birthday... But my poor companion will celebrate two birthdays in the field.  Luckily when I turn twenty three I will be home. 

We are working with quite a few families here in Jaramijo and almost all of the families that we are working with ARE NOT MARRIED!!!! That is something that I will just never ever understand.  I thought every girl wanted to get married... But as I have been working more and more with the people here in Ecuador... I am finding that that is not the case.... I don`t know, getting married is still one of my biggest dreams and I hope that lots of people have that goal in their lives... All the apostles and prophets testify that the key to strong families are happy marriages... I know that is the case and there are lots of families here that are just missing that one little step... "Mawage"...  (You have to say that like the Princess Bride.)  

We are working with four families that want to be baptized... But they are not married... Well we all know that after we are baptized we promise to live the Lord`s commandments and so these happy couples have to get married before their baptism... That is the downer... These families don`t have the money to get married... It costs 65 dollars and I would be happy to pay for one or two marriages... But that isn`t the way that I should work with these families... If they really want to get baptzed they will raise and save the money on their own so that they can be baptized...  It is just a waiting game now... Yes we are motivating them and teaching them so that they understand the importance of marriage but it is still difficult to teach them in such a way that they are willing to change their lives.  

A little Sugar Cane!  
My companion and I are doing really really well... But we had some pretty crazy things happen to us this week... Well someone invited us to eat crab and he only gave us a spoon to eat the crab... Uhhhh I wanted to ask.... "Sir, where I am from we eat crab with a bib and we have a hammer to smash and open the crab shells with...... could you please help me open the crab shells???"  But I was too embarrassed to ask so I just used all my strength and broke open the crab with my bare hands.... (It reminded me of the Seinfeld episode when Jerry is on a date and his date breaks open the crab with her hairy hands... )  Well I was pretty proud of myself... Until I started eating a little more of my crab and I thought to myself.... "Wow this crab is really really red..... And this crab meat tastes a little like.... blood???????"  And then I looked down at my hand and my thumb was bleeding like crazy!!!  

Can I just say that it was such a weird experience cutting myself here in South America... If I was in the United States I would have washed my hands with soap and water and I would have patched the wound up with a band aid or something.... Well here it is completely different....  As I was at the bucket washing my hand (Yes these people don`t have running water so I stand at a bucket and they pour pitchers of water over my bleeding finger) I was babying my finger and letting the blood drip and drip and drip.. But then our investigator came up and he squeezed the life out of my thumb and my finger kept gushing and gushing blood... I thought to my self.... "Any minute now..... any minute now the blood is going to stop running and he is going to STOP squeezing my thumb!!!"  But I patiently waited until it seemed like I was going to die from losing so much blood.  My thumb finally stopped bleeding and he handed me an old dirty shirt and said, "Put pressure on it."  And walked away..... Luckily I am still alive to tell the tale and my thumb is okay....at least for now!

Love you more than I miss you!!!

Have a great week!!! 

Love Hermana Welch #1 (Jess) 

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