Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stacia and companions

fifty years old : )

Okay, first of all, Elder Holland came to speak with us today.  Wow.  It was such a great experience!!  Before the conference started, we all lined up and went up to quickly shake hands with him.  It was supposed to be really quick and we were supposed to say our name and where we were from.  When I got up to Elder Holland, before I could introduce myself, he took my hand and said, "Sister... You have a great smile.  It is all over your face." And said some other nice things. I was so flustered that I could not even say anything other than "Thank you, Elder Holland"  And even more flustered because when I sat down people around me were asking me what Elder Holland was talking to me about.  It was really nice of him.  And then he spoke about missionary work.  It was simple, but so wonderful.  I will tell you about it when I have my notes with me.
Next, my heart.  I got a Heart Holter, as seen in one of the pictures (do not judge me, I just woke up when I took that). (Stacia does NOT look like that when she wakes up in the morning!)  It monitor my heart for 24 hours, and we got the results on Thursday.  Unfortunately, they are all in Spanish.  But what we would make out of it was that my heart is slow, and it paused... Which is not good, apparently?  People keep making jokes that maybe I just need to go home and find a guy that makes my heart beat faster.  That can wait until November 2013, though.  We sent the results to the mission doctor, Dr. Henderson who is in Columbia, and he sent them to a cardiologist in Salt Lake, so we are waiting to see what he has to say.  It should be interesting.
Next, we have been contacting a lot.  And contacting is my favorite.  I like it more than I like teaching lessons.  We have been contacting 25+ people everyday and it is the best (even if no one wants to listen to us - planting seeds).  Anyway, one night, all our appointments fell through, so we were just contacting.  We finally said a prayer about what we should do, but felt like we should still contact.  So we did.  And what do you know, we found Rosa and her 30 something year old son Jorge.  And of course they did not want to listen to us, but being the charming sister missionaries we are, we kept talking to them about the gospel, and I am not sure what was said, but at one point in the conversation, Jorge changed and he said we could come by next week.  And when we turned to Rosa to see if we could visit her sometime, she asked if we had time right then to teach her and her husband, Jorge Sr., and of course we did.  So we walked into the house, and Jorge Sr. says, "I have a question for you - right now, does Jesus have a body of bones and flesh or just a spirit?"  We answered that he has a body of bones and flesh and he said, "That was a test.  A lot of Christians do not believe the Savior has a body of flesh and bones and I believe that he does."  Rosa and Jorge are really great.  They had a lot of questions and seemed to accept our message.  We have another appointment with them Tuesday. 
We have had a lot of other amazing experiences as well.  I just love being a missionary.  Even though my Spanish is not perfect, and even though I am not perfect, I just love this more than anything.  I would not want to be anywhere else right now.  I love my companions, Hna Morris and Hna Cantos so much - they are so wonderful!!!!  Even though things have been really kind of hard with whatever my heart is doing right now, I have never had the Atonement of Jesus Christ mean so much to me, because I am here, alone, without my friends and family, but it is okay because I am doing the work of the Lord and he is constantly with me.  And never before have I felt so strongly about sharing it with other people.
Also, I got the package!  It came on your birthday, Mom!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY yesterday!!!  I hope you had a great day!!  I ate some oreos for you!  Thank you for all that you do for me.  One day, I am going to be a great mom like you!!  I love you very much!!
I love you all and hope you are all doing well!!!
Hermana Ellis
P.S. you can put this on my blog.

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Transfer

First, I love you all so much!!  I am thankful for the letters and emails.

Second, I have been transferred!!!!  Quito with Hermana Morris and Hermana Canton.  Hermana Canton is from Ecuador and just served in the coast.  Hermana Morris is the mission nurse and is my favorite.  Hopefully my Spanish will get better with having a Latina comp.  Although, everyone says my Spanish is excellent for 6 weeks in the mission.  They are lying though.

Okay, so first, I just want to say that I love Ecuador!!!  I love it so much and the people as well.   But I have not felt well since I got here, really.  I have been to a few doctors appointments and had a little exam called an MRI and everything is normal!!!  Except my heart... It beats 30-50 beats per minute, and the normal is like 80-100.  My doctor, Dr. Thug, who is wonderful!, says it is because Ecuador is really high in elevation.  He prescribed me a two day vacation to the beach to see if the low elevation would help.  President did not approve that though....  Too bad.  So, I am going to have a little appointment with a cardiologist this week.  But, still, everything is great!  Do not try to contact my mission president, Mom.  Do not worry, because the only thing that is really wrong is like lightheadedness and like not having any energy.  It is fine though, because I love it here.  But three doctors have said that I need to go down to a lower elevation, and in the coast, north American sisters do not really serve, so I do not know what is going to happen....  I hope that the cardiologist can fix my broken heart.

Andrew is engaged!!! I am really excited for him and Julie!!  Hermana Norton refers to Julie as the cupcake girl and we both approve. I saw her and Hermana Giles this past week.  They are doing well!!  The first thing Hermana Norton commented on was how I look thinner.  Isn´t she the best?

My last days in Ibarra were great.  We were teaching a lesson on a front porch, and these little boys who followed us to the house were standing around listening, like 5 of them.  And during the lesson to a lady named Luz and her son, Christian, one of the little boys, Alejandro, comes up to me, wraps his arms around my neck so tightly, and gets really close and whispers, "¿como se dice blah blah blah en ingles?"  I had no idea what he asked me, so I told him it was "I need English classes"  He turned to his friends and stated that he needed English classes.... Oops...  It is like the time in the CCM when I told a guy that princess was really palace and so he went around calling elders palaces.    Anyway, later in the lesson, I started to here a crackling noise and it just got louder and louder until I realized it was a wild fire on the mountain side we were on!!  So everyone started gathering water to put it out...  It was insane.

I feel terrible that I have not written anyone back... But now that I am in Quito and have some post offices near by, I will write actual letters and send them off, I only get 30 minutes for emailing and I freeze up... So, sorry friends!!

Also, since I am a companion of the nurse, my p day is changing to Saturday.  And since that is when all the good shopping markets are open, I am very happy. Speaking of shopping go ahead and tell Fred Schut that I got a little nativity set for him.  I got an awesome deal, and when I told Hermana Umphenour I was not keeping it, she said I was a nicer person than she was, but then I told her that I had a huge crush on his son, and she understood.  Hermana Umphenour is the greatest, I am going to miss her.  I am going to miss everyone in Ibarra!

Have a great week!!!
I love you all!

Hermana Ellis

Monday, August 6, 2012

A problem with the shoes?

The Slide


It is the last week in the transfer, and I get to go to Quito and have a meeting.  I have been to Quito so much this transfer, which is weird, because I live 2.5 hours away.

So, you asked me what I do on P days, well we explore the city.  Today, we went to a little city in our area with some Elders.  We always see the slide in the pictures when we tract, and we always wanted to go on it.  Huge mistake.  So I climb up first and go down the death slide and I am just dying of pain and I yell up to Hna Umphenour not to go down.  So, she starts down the latter, but decides just to go down it.  Huge mistake.  She ends up falling on the ground and the wind is knocked out of her.  It was horrible.  Then Elder Galloway, our district leader, goes down the slide.  We are so foolish.  I am sure there were some locals laughing at us stupid gringos.

We also went shopping.  And, as it turns out, I am so good at shopping here.  I will give you an example of a conversation, and do not worry, I will translate it for you.

Me: How much is it? (it says $35)
Man: It is 40, but I will give it to you for 35
Me: Five dollars?!  I will take it!!!
Man: Haha no, no!  Thirty five!
Me:  Hmmm.... Okay... Throw in those little guys and I will take it for 35!
Man:  Haha you are smart, and I like smart people.  I will give you all of this for 45.
Me:  No.  Some other day.
Man:  Okay, okay.  How much?
Me: Twenty.
Man:  No, 40.
Me:  All I have is this.
Man:  Okay, it is a deal.

Sorry, I do not have a lot of time to write today!!
But I love you all!!
Have a great week!!!