Monday, February 25, 2013


Hello, family!!
This whole week I was worrying and and dreading changes, because I felt like I was going to get a horrible companion... But Sunday night comes, we go meet with the elders in our zone and they start announcing the changes.  "Hermana Ellis, you will receive Hermana Norton."  I freaked out a little bit. Maybe that is a little bit of an understatement.  The elders thought I was insane, but I couldn´t help it.  I am companions with Hermana Norton again!!  This is going to be a good change!  We are already having success - the guard of our conjunto (apartment building) does everything for us... 
So, I heard that they are creating a lot more missions and dividing my mission...  So, later this year, I could have a different mission president.  That is weird to think about - President and Hermana Ghent are the best. 
Alright... Let´s see...  I don´t know what to say...
It was sad to say goodbye to Hermana Quispe, she is really great.  But, she is off to Ibarra, where Hna. Norton just came from.  And that is where Hna Quispe wanted to go, so I hope she has success and loves it up there.  I know all the members are going to miss her here.  And I am excited for all the members to meet Hna Norton, they are going to love her.  Yesterday, I was thinking that I was for sure going to have a Latin companion, because I have had North Americans almost my entire mission.  But this change is going to be a good one.  I am really excited.
Right now, we don´t have anyone with a baptismal date, but we are working with two families that we are hoping will progress.  They are really great and have met missionaries in the past.  I am so thankful for all the past missionaries that prepared the people here - it has made my mission just a little bit easier.  We have great members in this ward and we are hoping to get them a little more excited about missionary work and helping the new converts.
This past Sunday, our ward mission leader didn´t show up to teach the Gospel Principles class that the investigators and new converts go to every week.  The elders taught the last time this happened, and so they told us it was our turn.  We taught about the creation and I was just so impressed that the new converts were talking, sharing, and testifying about everything that we were learning.  The people who were visiting for the first time felt welcomed and all said they want to continue and learn more and follow the example of Jesus Christ.  Wow.  How amazing that these people who only have a few weeks/months of knowledge of the church can have such an impact.  It is because the teachings of Jesus Christ are simple and should be easy to understand if we are teaching them right.
The time doesn´t change here, we don´t have daylight savings - I think only the US does that?  I don´t know...
And my poor black car - that looks horrible.  Sometimes I wish we had cars here in this mission, but really in the buses and on the streets is where we met some of the best people.  And people here in Ecuador drive like crazies.  It isn´t as bad as Peru, though.
What else is going on back at home??
I love you all so much!!!
Hermana Ellis

Monday, February 18, 2013


This past weekend, we were expecting one baptism, of L S, but instead, we had three.  

We met with A this week, and asked her why her baptism date fell through the past Saturday, she told us her story and then we asked her if she would like to be baptized February 23, and she asked us if she could be baptized February 16 instead.  We said yes... Of course.

After the baptism, the three gave their testimony and all said how grateful they were to have the gospel in their lives and thanked Hna Quispe and I by name... It was so sweet.  It was a really special day.

Yesterday were the elections here in Ecuador, and they only hold Sacrament meeting if that. Then after sacrament, we had to go straight to our apartments and not leave the rest of the day.

This week was a little uneventful... I don´t really have anything to tell you guys about.

Well, I better go.  Have a great week!  I will be fine and happy!!
Thank you for everything!!!
Hermana Ellis

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hello Family!!

We had a baptism!!  We were expecting three, but a half an hour before the baptism, two of our investigators were m.i.a., and that was hard, but we are over the sadness and hoping that they can still progress maybe this week.  If they do, we will have 3 baptisms this week!!  We are working with some great people here.  I will send you a letter with more details about the baptism and stuff in like two weeks... But maybe you won´t get the letter until like May, who knows...
Oh, funny story.  Thursday, during lunch, I was having thoughts about an earthquake.  Strange... I don't usually think about earthquakes in my free time.  I told Hna Quispe about it after lunch and she told me that I was insane and then we talked about the earthquake we had while in Atacames.  Well, guess what.  Saturday morning, I was walking around the house, I stopped in the doorway to talk to Hna Quispe, and we both stopped... The doors were shaking...  I thought the windows were open and the wind was doing it, but no, they weren't... Then the ground started to shake!  Earthquake number FIVE in my mission.  Luckily they all have been small.
So, the packages.  THANK YOU so much!  I opened the one from my friends first... I could not stop laughing.  They send me chocolate covered pretzels and muddy buddies, I told Hna Quispe, "These are from Utah, I don´t care that they have been in the mail for a month, we are eating them."  I tried a bite of the muddy buddies and it burned my throat.  Haha, thanks guys!!!  And Kristen, thanks for the picture.  My companion was worried why you were so serious and had a dog on your head... After I was done opening the package, she said, "Hermana, now I know why you are so crazy."  She thinks I am an unruly American.  And thank you so much for your packages, Mom.  I needed everything in there.  After I was done opening them up, I split up the stuff and gave half of it to Hna Quispe - I feel weird only getting stuff for me.

I learned how to make arepas, they are so easy... Even Andrew could do it.  Don't worry, I will teach you all when I get home.  Also, a lady in my ward taught us how to make empenadas.
I am going to send more pictures in a second.
Hermana Ellis



This is how we keep our feet warm during our studies.
 No, we don´t have heat.  None of the houses I have been in here have heat, except the rich people.
This is how we get baptisms - Hna Quispe is really aggressive.

And this is little Diego and his brother and sister. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Three Packages!

First, I got THREE packages today.  Thank you friends and Mom.  You are all the best. 
Second, I got a letter... from Madeline Newhouse.  I forgot about it until I got to the bus station.  I opened it up and started FREAKING OUT when I read the words ENGAGED and ALEX CASEY.  It was like the time that Kristen told me that her and Steve were engaged.  Everyone was looking at me like I was insane, but I could not stop laughing and saying "oh my goodness."  I tried to explain everything to my companion, but all my Spanish left me.  Madeline, I am so happy for you!!!  And I am going to write you asap - do not worry!  And do not burn my invitation!!!
Okay, we have some baptisms coming up - this Saturday Ana, Nageli, and Diego.  Ahh, we are so excited!  And then the next week we have some too. 
Yesterday, we had a FHE with a less active family.  The little boy, he is 6 years old, kept saying that I was his favorite missionary and that he only wanted to sit by me.  The little girl is adorable, she is 4 years old, and for some reason reminds me of myself when I was little.  This morning, Hna Quispe and I were talking, and she said, "That little girl is so cute, but so loud, insane and disobedient."  That is when I realized why she reminded me of myself. 
I have pictures to send you... But I have decided to not send any pictures until you guys send me some pictures... Sorry.  Well, that and this computer does not have the capabilities.  So next week... Pictures please.  And, although it breaks my heart, I want you to send me a picture of my car...  And know that would never have happened when I was driving.  How did it happen, anyway?
The other day, we were eating lunch with the bishop's family and his little boy, who is about 8, asked me how old I was.  I told him 23, and he said, "Really? You could pass for 20."
Carnival is coming up and people are already getting into it.  Apparently it is a huge water/food fight for two days, Feb 11 and 12.  We kicked of the season by having a car drive by and spray us with this soapy water.  We are preparing ourselves for the next time with rocks.
I am going to write the mission president and then write a little more.
Mucho amor,
Hermana Ellis