Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year! (almost)

December 30, 2013

Mi querido Familia,
This week has been crazy! On Christmas i loved talking to you! I'm sad it got cut short and the sad part is my companion never even got to talk to her family :( Don't worry it wasn't my fault! We didn't have all the information for calling and after going through a countless number of steps to try to find her brothers email, we found out he doesn't even have skype and he wasn't at home! We did get home by curfew and for dinner we had ice cream, cookies and chocolate.
But other then talking to you, I got the best present a missionary could ask for with 2 baptisms! One was a kid named Adrian, 11 years old, and the other a girl named Derly, 20! She is seriously so cute :) When i started teaching her,  teaching changed from teaching lessons to teaching people because she is so loving and friendly. I realized that people are forgiving of my awful speaking ability if I'm teaching them with love! I'm a little sad that it took my brain so long to figure that point of missionary work out!
The rest of the week was normal, Ecuador is a happenin' place at the moment with everyone preparing for the año nuevo. There are muñecas ("dolls") everywhere! Outside our apartment, our neighbors are building an airplane (i think) in the middle of the street!! And its ok that no one can drive that way because its for the New Year... People here are crazy! And i say that in the nicest way :)
Church was a little bit of a letdown because we only had 5 investigators at church and none of them are able to get baptized at the moment because of different things going on in their lives.. Which means all of our fechas fell this week, we are pretty much starting from scratch... bleh. AND we have cambios tonight.. so we'll find out tonight if I'm starting from scratch here or in a new sector! :)
I think that's it.. OH NO! The day after Christmas, Presidente came down because three missionaries weren't able to call their families. We tried to call Hermana Macahuachis family again but her brother was at work... and the other missionaries couldn't get a hold of their families either ...So President took us out for pizza!! Woot :)
Also, while Presidente was here, he looked at my compy's knee because it's hurting her all the time AND she wears a brace... so he looked at it and the next day we had to go into Machala for an MRI? i think it was... this Friday, we'll find out if she needs surgery or not!! YIKAS. Pray for my companion please :)
Well, now I'm sure that's it! Thanks for everything you guys do for me! I love being here and i love this work. It gets better and better everyday!
Hermana Whitmore

Monday, December 23, 2013

Feliz Navidad Prospero Año y Felicidad :)

Merry Christmas Family!!!
Christmas here is so weird... it doesnt feel like christmas at all. For one thing its freaking hot! For another thing i havent done anything christmasy... MINUS! we went caroling with the Relief Society and i made a tree out of Jesus pictures! and my companion has a cute little lighty upy christmas tree! we do what we can as sister missionaries to enjoy the season :)

This week has been crazy! Guess what? Im in a new area... big surprise! Monday last week i was in Los Esteros (Guayaquil) with one companion, Tuesday I was working in two sectors with 2 companions and Wednesday I got moved to Santa Rosa and I have a new companion! Her name is Hermana Macahuachi... yes thats really her name and its really not as hard to pronounce as you might think. Surprisingly Whitmore is harder :) But shes about 4' 10'' and peruvian and always happy! Shes great. This area is crazy different from the other 3 ive been in so far. We have our main sector and then 2 little ... towns? that are 15 minutes away by bus. My first two days here we set 5 fechas... i think people are ready for the gospel they are just lazy and dont want to do the going to church part so for every 10 fechas we get an estimated 2 baptisms... sad i know! BUT thats 8 more people that might get baptized in the future!

OH also here i understnad so much more spanish! its weird how people talk differently in different places. Here is slow and crisp and i actually understand whats going on ...60% of the time :) haha Also in my zone there are 2 elders from my district in the CCM AND Elder Duzett! The kid that i went to high school with.. thats still weird to me!
Well thats all I can think of! I love you all. Remember what this season is really about :)
Hermana Whitmore

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 9 & 16th letters

Dec. 9, 2013

Dearest familia,
As you know, I've been doing this choir thing for a week now and we've have 4 performances. All of them have gone really well! only one instance where the piano pages were in the wrong order and one forgetting of the words... which I'm not really sure how that happened because we hold the music but i don't think anyone here knows music well enough to know it was wrong so it was all good. after our first practice with the president, he came up to me and said that he knew i sang for our heavenly father before this life and i loved it so i should remember those feelings and transfer them to the people here in Ecuador. IT was really tender and i was all teary afterward... of course. Presidente Torres is AWESOME! So this week we've just had performances around Guayaquil and we have one more here and then we go to Loja on Wednesday Cuenca on Thursday and Machala on Thursday.. i think. i never know whats going on but I've learned not to worry about things  because i'll eventually get where I'm supposed to be, if i just follow ... someone that knows whats going on! haha
So sadness of the week: both of our baptisms fell through. i understand though because we haven't had any time to work with them this week! and we won't have any time next week but i think eventually both of them will get baptized. The president wants a "white Christmas" and in Ecuador that means everyone has a baptism the week of Christmas! so hopefully we will have 3 from all the people that have had to put it off because of the choir performances!
well that's about it... For Karli     HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
I love you all!
Hermana Whitmore

December 16, 2013

Dearest Familia,
This week was crazy! i literally went to every part of the mission in 5 days.
But first! we got to go to the temple on Tuesday, do a session and then sing for the temple president and his wife. That night we had our last performance in Guayaquil. We left Guayaquil Tuesday night and took an 8 hour bus ride to Loja.  arrived in Loja at 6 in the morning.went to the sisters house and took a major nap. Practiced and then performed. I got to see Elder Whetton. That kid is awesome. His 4th day in the mission he got called to be 2nd councelor in his branch presidency... yeah hes cool. From Loja we went to Cuenca... my old sector. for Lunch we has shrimp with arroz... practiced and performed. Dinner salchipapas (hotdogs and french fries). (side note: my life is really healthy in these 5 days.) friday was Santa Rosa and the same schedule went down. In santa rosa I got to see Elder Kotter, Henline and Allen (elders from the ccm) and Elder Duzett (the kid i know from high school) Crazy!!! it was awesome. i love catching up with everyone :) we stayed that night in Machala and i got to stay with ...Guess who??? Hermana Bennett!!!!! Yeah probably not the best idea because we stayed up talking until 2... Saturday we performed in Machala and stayed at H. Bennies house again. Sunday we went to the new sector wankavilka. it was interesting to see the beginnings of a new sector. it was so small and humble. For lunch, the elders hunted... yes hunted... iguana.... yes iguana. and the members cooked it up for us and yes... i ate it! it really actually wasn't that bad... just very ... extremely chewy. i decided it was be good as jerky.
So my spiritual thought for the week really isn't that spiritual but i have a greater testimony of the Holy Ghost and how it can help in times of need. Because on the days that i was more focused on sharing my testimony through music, i sang so much better. and if my first song was awful i would say a prayer , refocus and my 2nd song was so much better! i know god has ways of teaching us the things we need to work on and learn! i love being a missionary! i love ecuador even if i eat iguana and rice everyday!
I love you all!
Hermana Whitmore

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Playing catch up! Three weeks, three letters!

November 18, 2013
Ok so this week the president gave us permission to go to the temple!!! WHAT?! It was amazing. Only me and my companion got to go and it was so weird to only have 12 people in the whole session. The celestial room was giant and the whole temple was gorgeous, Im so thankful for the opportunity i had to go experience that. 

So the big thing this week is that i finally got the transfer that everyone has been talking about. We are in an area in Guayaquil that is right on the coast.  So we live in a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment with 4 girls and its a little tight. also we have no door knobs. which is interesting. I'm the only gringa... and we are living out of our suitcases because the other hermanas took up all the room for putting stuff. Its good though because the ward is seriously soooo great. We always have a member with us and everyone is always giving us references. we contacted this woman in a rickshaw thing (its crazy how similar this place is to china) her life is so sad. she has 5 kids and one month ago her husband left her.   she has been really receptive to the couple of lessons that we have done. The first lesson was more of a lifeguard emergency because her son cut his foot open (2 inches long). so god was looking out for her in that moment because apparently she hates blood... But i think thats about it. This area is much more ... ghetto.. then the other areas I've been in, but its fun because it seems like everyone knows everyone! 

Not a lot this week. I love you greatly 

November 25, 2013
 I don't have much time today because we are supposed to practice for this Christmas program thing. Apparently the plan is to practice 4 hours a day for the next 3 weeks... yikes! and because i'll be spending so much time practicing, i might have to have cambios AGAIN! because my comp needs to be working, not sitting around while we try to figure out how to sing! anywho.. mas next week! i love you all. Im sending some snail mail. and i got yours last week... literally i think a snail carried it here! well i love you all again. 

December 2, 2013
Dearest familia, 

So much has happened and yet nothing at the same time. everyday i practice music from 11 to 6 and then we return to our sector to work with our investigators! even though we only have 2 hours in our sector everyday, somehow we still have 2 baptisms this week. how cool is that??? one is a girl, Samari, and she is friends with some recent converts but she isn't that excited about the whole thing, so that is our main focus this week. and then the other is this joven named Joel. he's 16 and super stoked about everything. he even goes to seminary. i didn't even do that! haha!  he's also friends with kids in the ward. seriously guys, work with the missionaries! share the gospel with your non member friends because they make the best converts. AND when we have members come work with us it makes such a difference because then investigators feel like they will be welcome at church! so great! also, a side note, feed the missionaries :) be their friends and play nice music  (like church music) because everyone here plays american music and its very distracting! and feed them good things... like hamburgers and chicken wings :) rant over! 

so fun story. on the buses here, people try to sell things and make money. so there was this comedian that came on the bus and he told me to move back more because i was standing in the isle and he needed room for his skit thing, BUT i couldn't move back and he thought i didn't understand spanish. So he started speaking in cave man english and he thought he was all funny. BUT I whipped out some english and he didn't understand what i said so he was all awkward and then all the people that understood English thought it was really funny :) ha ha, little victory because he was a cross dresser and he swore at me in spanish as he was getting off the bus! what up? approp humor pride!
That's really all.... this week, we have performances in the estacas in guayaquil and next week we are traveling around the mission. so that's fun for me! i think we have practice all this week too... if you want to hear the music, its the guy that wrote "His Hands" and there are 8 songs all in spanish! 

Love you all! have a fantastical week! 

Hermana Whitmore

one of the member families that comes out with us everyday! 

my companion had her 9 month birthday this week!