Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve

Hello, Family!!

So, like I told dad, I had TWO transfers last week.  But, I just have to tell you, when I was with Hermanas Cooper and Harris, people just came to us wherever we went.  It was crazy.   But it only lasted for about two days, because President sent home another sister, and that left Hermana Quispe without a companion.  Do you remember Hna Quispe?  I was companions with her in Atacames.  So, here I am, in a little sector called Calderòn, with a Latina companion, and I realize just how horrible my Spanish is... 

But, along with that, I have a quick story.  There are two sets of missionaries in this ward here in Calderòn, elders and hermanas.  Well, an elder who just got transferred out of here, a gringo, had 13 months in his mission and could not speak Spanish like at all.  So, when I came here, with only 7.5 months in my mission, everyone was amazed and said my Spanish was amazing.  I appreciated it.  I am very thankful for that elder.

My first day here, it was Hna. Quispe, the sister who went home, and I and we all went to grab something to eat before we took the sister to the airport.  I was the last one to leave the house, so I locked the door... But later I found out that I wasn't supposed to lock both locks, and we were locked out.  So, that meant that I had to climb a ladder through one of our windows (we are on the second floor) in my skirt!  It was alright, I am alive, but there is a church across the street from us, a "Skate Church" but really it is just a skate park that holds a Sunday service.  And when I climbed into the window and looked down at my companions, I realized that a bunch of people from the park were watching me.  It was embarrassing.

Also, another embarrassing story...  We had a ward activity where members acted out Christ´s birth.  Well, before it started, the bishop asked me if I would lead the opening and closing song.  I said yes, and when it was time for the opening song, I asked Hna Quispe if I needed to say "uno, dos, tres" or just start singing (because we didn't have music).  She said just to start singing and people would follow.  So I went up there, and raised my hand to lead the music and started singing.  Well, not one person started singing with me.  So I stopped, laughed to myself a little bit and then said "uno, dos, tres" and started singing again while waving my hand to lead the music.  Well, not one person started singing again.  Well, Hna Quispe did.  So, I was standing in front of most of the ward, SINGING A FLIPPING SOLO while waving my hand like an idiot.  It was horrible, Hna Quispe was trying to get people around her to start singing, but it didn't work very well.  Everyone just sat there and smiled at me while I made a food out of myself.

The other day, we were walking to an appointment, and an old man yelled something at us.  I am not familiar with people in this sector, and I have previously mistaken members for people I thought were creeps before, so I told Hna Quispe that we should go talk to him.  When I walked up, I saw that he didn't have teeth and I realized I wouldn't be able to understand him.  Neither could my companion, though, so whatever.  But we did get a few things from him.  First of all, he kept asking me why I was here in Ecuador.  He was kind of hostel about it, and I thought he was racist.  But then he went on to say that he was single and he lived alone and just weird stuff.  We ended up cutting it short and walking away.  Hna. Quispe said that the old man wanted to marry me.  And while we were walking Hna Quispe looked back and told me that we needed to walk faster.  I looked back and the man was following us!!  We made it to the corner, turned and ran for a little bit.  We made it to the house that we were going to, but the mother of our investigator told us that she wasn't home.  The man was getting closer and closer to the house so we asked if we could come in because of the man.  The lady let us in and we saw the man walk up to the gate of the house and stand out there for a while and then leave.  We taught the family a little bit and then left.  

Here, we don´t have a lot of investigators, and with it being the holidays, no one has time for us, so we have been getting to know the members, and they are the best.  I love Calderòn!  The ward is the best I have seen here in Ecuador.  The members are so nice.  And the family who we are spending Christmas with are the best.  So funny and they live in a beautiful house - it is really nice, like USA nice.  It made me a little homesick when I walked in...  But I am better now.  It really doesn't bother me being away for the holidays this year. - it is my first and only one.  I am kind of excited.

Yesterday, we were out caroling with some members, and we went to a house of a member family - the mother and a little girl were sick with a fever.  We sang and then the Stake President shared a little message and then said, "Has the little girl received a blessing of health?"  The parents kind of looked at each other and said no, then the president said "Then let us do right now what Christ himself would do..."  He pulled out oil, they brought the little girl to him and he blessed her and the mother.  It was really simple, but our president here is so powerful when he talks and when he acts.  It is amazing.

We also met with a lady who lost her husband about 18 months ago.  I don´t know how he died...  But while we were there, she started crying.  And I don´t like death, so I started crying.  Then, my companion was talking about the temple and eternal families, and her parents aren't members, so she started crying.  We were there for a long time just crying together.  It was worse that the movie Charly.  I just cannot give comfort, especially in Spanish.

Let´s see... What else... 

I am so excited to talk to you all tomorrow!!!  Not only talk, but SEE.  Hermana Quispe thinks I am trunky because I am so excited.

I love you all!!  
Have a good Christmas Eve!  I will see you tomorrow!

oh, side note:

I have to be in my apartment today at 4:00 p.m., tomorrow at six, and New Years Eve at six as well.  I think I will spend this time sleeping...  And writing letters, of course.  And during that time, we can go over to a members house for an hour each night.  That will be fun.  The family that I am using their skype tomorrow says they have presents for us.  Oh, and I have pictures I want to send you, but this computer doesn't have a place to plug in my memory card.  I will show you tomorrow.

I am so thankful to be here in Calderòn with Hna Quispe!  I love being a missionary and working all day (I loved being with Hna Morris too, but this work is a lot more fun than being at the hospital).  And I love this time of year.  I am thankful for this gospel and for the Savior, that He suffered for our sins so that we can repent and become stronger and better people.

And I am thankful for all of you!

I will see you later!

Hermana Ellis

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