Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 7 - Life is More Fun On the Dangerous Side :)

Hola everyone! 

I hope you are all doing well. This week was pretty exciting. First of all, let me explain why my subject is what it is. On Tuesday we were waiting for a taxi and a random car pulled over. Well Hermana Hansen explained to me that random cars act like Taxis here, but we usually do not take them because they are not safe. As she is telling me this, my companion hops into the car, and Hermana Hansen says, ¨Well I guess we are taking this one!¨ I was terrified the whole time, but we were fine and I have been in others since, so no worries. Also, we have a list of things we cannot eat (It includes basically everything) one of the foods is berries because they carry a disease here. Well we went to a members house, and they gave us some really good juice. Later I asked what it was, and it turns out they had made it out of berries! OOPS! However, I am still alive, and the experiences were great, so all is well! 

This week we had lunch at a members house. She lives on the 14th floor of her building, and the elevator was broken! Haha climbing those stairs was fun. Now the important stuff! We had a baptism! I did not know it was going to happen, because I did not understand completely! So I was super excited when my companion told me we had to plan Victor´s baptism. Other missionaries found him, and we have continued teaching him. It was amazing! We are teaching Jose, I think I wrote about him last week, he is 72 and is going to be baptized soon. He is sooo hard to understand. Usually I can pick out a few words, but with him, I have a REALLY hard time. Yesterday when we taught him, Hermana Peralta had to call someone real fast. He talked to me, and I just sat and hoped that I would not have to respond anytime soon, because I did not have a clue about what he was saying! The Spanish does not feel like it´s coming along, but I know it is :) One of the sisters we live with helps me a lot, I am soo thankful for her. We have a lot of recent converts in our ward, and I love hearing about the ways the gospel has helped them. It is amazing! Anyways, I love this work...even if I cannot understand it! :) Have an amazing week!

Hermana Roestenburg

Week 6 - Patience, Patience, and Then More Patience

Hello everyone! 

I am finally in Ecuador! How crazy is that?! Okay, so when I first arrived, the heat absolutely took me by surprise. It is soo hot here, and soo humid. We cannot even wear our hair down (I hate wearing my hair up!) because it gets frizzy and sticky. So gross! My first day was great. We went to the mission home and ate and stuff like that. The next day we got our companions. I am with Hermana Peralta. She speaks only Spanish, so communicating with her can be hard. She is 22 and from Argentina. In July she will go home. I love watching her teach because it is so natural for her, and I learn so much...when I can understand. She has been training her whole time here, so she was hoping not to be a trainer. I feel bad! Spanish...ahh! I can hardly understand anything here. I can understand gospel words, and that is about it. They speak SOO much faster than my mom´s family does, and they cut out most of their letters. So it is a bunch of mumbling! We live with another companionship. One of the Hermanas is from Utah, she has only been out 3 months and is already a trainer! When I asked her and other Americans for advice on learning, they said to pray for patience, and then pray again, and then some more. Ah! I want to learn things right now, but I know I have to have patience :) 

Our apartment is nice...but there is TINY brown bugs that run around everywhere, kind of gross! We wash our clothes by hand, so that is a fun new experience. My sector right now is right in Guayaquil. There are so many bugs, and no matter how much repelant I wear, I come home covered in bug bites. I have seen two rats here..gross! Iguanas are everywhere, they are pretty fun to look at! The streets here are pretty dirty and have random holes everywhere! If you are lucky, they will be covered with a piece of wood. People are crazy drivers, and I constantly feel like I am going to get hit by a car! There are lots of hills here, and soo many stairs too. I am going to come home with muscle legs! Haha! We make our own breakfast, and then a member feeds us lunch everyday. Some food is good, some is...well...not so good. We have white rice with every meal, and then meat, that is usually salty, and vegetables. Sometimes they give us a drink that is similar to apple sauce, but it is soo sweet/sour/weird! and it has corn things in it..hahah way different than anything I have ever had. They feed us SOO much, and eating it all is hard because we have to eat so quickly. The members are so nice though, I really like them.Everyone here loves everyone, and I think it is funny that the woman always greet with a kiss when everyone is so sweaty and gross! Ha oh well :) We have little vans that take us to the top of the hills, and you sit practically on other people's laps. No personal space here! Most of the homes are made of cement, and because nobody has airconditioning, many do not have doors or glass windows, just bars! OH! The other day I was in a house, and it started shaking, I think they were yelling "earthquake" but I am not really sure! Oh well, I am alive :)

We met a man named Jose yesterday and I asked him to be baptized, he said yes, and then I could not understand anything else! I was so excited though! We also have a 15 year old boy who is supposed to be baptized the 29th of this month. He did not come to church though, so I do not know if he will be able to. It is hard to find people to teach here because most people work in the city and live somewhere else. Hopefully we can find more people, and hopefully I can learn the language quickly! Anyways, all is well!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 5 - Ecuador Here I Come!

Hello everyone! 

I leave the CCM tonight at 9:00, and then I am off to Ecuador! I am sooo excited!!! Everyone let me know how much I would hate the MTC, but they were all crazy. It has been amazing. One of the nights this week, we returned to our house and there was a sign on our door. It said that our water was going to turn off at 10 that night, but it would be back on by 6 in the morning. Well, at 9:40 our water turned off, and by 6:30 the water still was not on! So that was quite an adventure :) I had to pack this week and realized I forgot something very dad! I do not know how to pack by myself, so that was quite a problem. We had in field training on Friday and that was really fun. We learned how to find people and work with members.We were able to take a lot of pictures, and got lots of last minute advice! I wish I had more time to talk more about this week, but I have to go for now! So I love you all! Have a great week!

Week 4

Hey Everyone!

Sooo if rumors are true, I leave next Monday to this is my last P-day in the CCM!!! The time has flown by. I cannot even believe it. Being a missionary has been amazing though! Sometimes I see elders and think, "Oh there's the missionaries!" and then I remember I am a missionary too! 

This week was great. New Latina's came, and I love them. Talking with them helps me with my Spanish more than anything else. One of them told me that she cannot understand Ecuadorean Spanish because it is too fast...that was comforting...not! This is kind of embarrassing, but this week, I got stuck in my skirt! Hahah! The zipper on it broke, and all of the girls in my house tried to help me, but we kept making things worse...eventually I got it off, so no need to worry! Then I turned into a professional sewer and sewed the zipper shut! I have to put it on over my head now, but it's worth it because I love it :) 

For our service activity we had to fold blankets for an hour. I have never folded so many blankets in my life. Hermana Huff and I folded at least 300!! Good news everyone! I have officially figured out how to do my laundry correctly. I have had all sorts of horrible experiences with that, but I finally am a professional :) Our fake investigators are starting to throw us curve balls all of the time. The worst part is knowing what you want to say, but not being able to say it in Spanish. It is horrible! We have Devotionals on Tuesdays and Sundays. They are amazing. I love when we get to watch old devotionals from members of the Twelve. Last week we watched Elder Holland. He is my Favorite!...and his talk was so motivating. It made me want to study for the rest of my life. I am definitely turning into a weirdo missionary! I think it is pretty funny though :) I am learning so much, and cannot wait to learn more. I love and miss you all soo much!! Have a great week!

Happy 1 Month!