Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 16 - May 27, 2014 - And then we had a flood...

Hello everyone! Once again I hope everyone had a wonderful week ;) are my FUN FACTS of the week!
1. Alicia was baptized by her son Washington! It was the cutest baptism ever.
2. We found out Dallin H. Oaks is coming to talk to us in June, and I am SO excited!
3. A man ran passed Hermana Peralta and I the other day, and as we tried to start talking to him, we realized he was running from the cops! 
4. We refer to everyone as ¨Hermana¨ it is a habbit! Well this week we contacted a lady, and she told us we could not call her that because she is not our sister. I felt bad, but we literally could not stop! We called her ¨Hermana¨ about 5 more times before we ended the conversation.
5.On Friday before Alicia´s baptism, we could not find a member to fill up the baptismal font. We decided that we would do it ourselves, because it had to be done. When we got to the chapel, the font was full of dirty water. We starting draining it, and realized the dirty water was not coming out of its usual pipe. Well, to make a long story short, we ended up flooding the boys bathroom, and had a disaster to clean up before the baptism started!
This week we had two people commit to baptismal dates, and I am so excited! ;)

On Monday we met with a 10 year old and his dad. His dad recently returned to the church, and wanted his children to have the opportunity to be baptized. Fernando was super excited to learn about the gospel, and accepted a baptismal date. He is so smart for his age. He answers all of our questions correctly, and most of the time he is the one teaching us!
The other person, is Cesar. He is incredible. One day we were going to visit a less active, and a member called us. He said there was a man in the chapel that wanted to learn about our church. When we got to the chapel, we met Cesar. He told us that he had been searching the internet, and came across a page of the church. He thought is was interesting, so he searched for a chapel close to his home and ended up in our ward! We taught him about the restoration of the church, and he LOVED everything. He accepted a baptismal date right away, and is progressing so quickly. He reads all of the pamplets we leave with him, and always wants us to choose chapters of the Book of Mormon, that he can read. I am so happy for him, and know that he was prepared to hear this message ;)
Gina is so excited for her baptism this week! She came to Alicia´s baptism, and when she found out the water is not heated, she was a little bit worried. We tried telling her that it really is not too bad, but she was not convinced. Who knows...maybe we will have to heat the water for her! Cold water or warm water, she is excited for her baptism, and tells us she already sees the blessings of the gospel in her life! 

Week 17 - Transfers!

Hello everyone! 
I do not have much time (what is new) so I am going to go ahead and start with my Fun Facts of the week!

2. I finished my training!...I cannot even believe I have been here 12 weeks! Time flys...
3. I got a new companion!
4. My hair got stuck in a fan...It was pretty funny!
5. I decided I will never like cold showers!

Okay, last night we found out that Hermana Peralta was going to have a transfer...which meant I was going to get a new companion. I cried! Haha in the beginning, things were pretty hard with Hermana Peralta, because I did not understand a word she said! Plus, I had NO clue what I was doing here! Now, she is the only person I can understand perfectly, and she helped me with everything! I did not know what I was going to do without her. However, today I got my new companion, Hermana Flamm! She is also from Utah, and we actually wrote each other before the mission, so we are already friends! She is absolutely darling, and I am so excited to work with her! :)

Cesar and Fernando are still preparing for their baptisms, which is awesome! However, we have not had to much success finding new people to teach this week. This seems to happen a lot. We will have NO ONE to teach, and then the Lord blesses us with MILLIONS! So hopefully with a little patience we will find people :) 

We had a conference this week with all of the sisters here in the mission. It was so neat. Our president and his wife have so much love for us. They really stressed that we are daughters of a king, and we need to live up to our potential :) Soooo this week I hope  you can all live up to your potential! :) Love you all!

Week 15 - May 19, 2014 - YAY for missionary emails :)

Hello friends and family :) 
How are all of you?! Hopefully fantastic! This week we did not have too many crazy adventures, but the missionary work was great :) Anyways, here are my Fun Facts of the week...

1. The ward had a late Mother´s Day activity, and asked us to sing...I cannot even put into words how horrible it was! Hermana Hansen and I forgot most of the Spanish lyrics, and the other two sisters did not know the tune. It went downhill really fast...
2. One night we had 5 minutes to walk home, but a member insisted that we take home food. By the time we got the food, it was way later than our curfew, so we had to RUN home with plates of rice and chicken! We looked like robbers! 
3. Whenever we give away a Book of Mormon we write a small message inside. This week I wrote the message, and later realized I had written it in English instead of Spanish! Hah ooops. 
4. We taught an investigator the Word of Wisdom, and she told us she was going to stop drinking tea. Well before we left her house, she made Hermana Peralta and I a cup of tea! 
5. On Saturday, I am pretty sure we were given rubber meat for lunch. The hermanas and I were laughing so hard, because we could not eat this meat! We could not cut it or chew it, so we ended up hiding it inbetween dirty dishes :) 

Unfortunately things with Estela did not work out, and she is not going to be baptized. It is okay though, because we had lots of success in other areas this week! On Tuesday we taught Katerine, and she asked if we could change her baptism date from the 24th to the 23rd. It was not a huge difference, but we were thrilled because in the beginning, Katerine did not want anything to do with the church. Later on that day, she called and asked if we could change her date to the 17th. We did not think it was possible because she had only been to church two times, but we decided to ask. Our president gave us permission, and she was baptized Saturday! 

Alicia is the mom of one of our recent converts, and she comes to church every Sunday with her son. She is really good friends with the bishop´s family, but has never had a desire to join the church. On Saturday we asked if we could teach her, and she agreed to being baptized! Her baptism is going to be this Friday, and we are so excited because her son is going to baptize her :) 

Gina is our perfect investigator. Everytime we visit her she shares with us something new she has learned about the church, and always wants to learn more. She loves participating in all of the ward activities, especially the meetings on Sunday! :) One of our lessons this week was with her cousin, and we asked him to say the closing prayer. He was super nervous, but said the sweetest prayer I have ever heard. He asked for a blessing to be upon all of those people in the streets who do not have breat to eat, and for more thankful people in the world. So I hope that all of you can be thankful for all of the things you have :) 

Well I love you all, and wish I had more time, but I do not! Soo...Have a great week!!

Hermana Roestenburg :)

Hermana Roestenburg and her companion with Katerine

Week 14 - May 13, 2014 - It's raining, it's POURING

Hello everyone! :) This week I decided that Sister Maeghan Peters is the smartest person in the world because she starts out her weekly letters with all of her adventures...Sooo, I am going to copy her :)
Here are my fun facts of the week!
1. Hermana Peralta and I got kicked out of a taxi after the taxi driver drove us to the wrong place
2. There was a rainstorm one night, and the city honestly looked like a river! We had to walk through 12 inches of water! 
3. We visited a member in the hospital, and the hospitals here look like something out of a WW2 movie. It was one big room with 50 beds lined up against the wall. 
4. I had two boys greet me with a kiss, and I was SO embarrassed! I know it is a part of their culture, but it was horrible! 
5. The elders in my zone found a Dominos add with a picture of a girl on it. They said she looks like me, and have asked me everyday since to bring them pizza.
6. I saw one man carrying a bucket of dead fish, one man carrying a dead chicken, and one man carrying three dead birds all in one day :)
7. I talked to my family for Mother's Day and realized I cannot speak Spanish or English! Oh dear...
As far as missionary work goes :) things went really well this week! In the beginning of the week, we dropped a lot of investigators because they just were not progressing. At first, I was really sad about it, but later, during my personal study, I read a scripture about people who are ready to accept the gospel with joy. This gave me hope, and I knew we just had to find these people! :) Well later that day, we met a lady named Estela. She invited us into her house, and loved our message. She had a hard time understanding me because of my acccent, but when I asked her to be baptized, she said "YES!" At first we thought maybe she did not understand me, so Hermana Peralta asked her again, and she said, "Yes, I want to be baptized!"
Later on that day, two other ladies accepted a baptism date! One of them we have been working with FOREVER, and I am soo excited for her :) The other, Gina, we met one day when we were looking for her brother. She loves the church, and is always so excited to learn more.
We had a conference with our mission president yesterday, and he stressed the importance of remembering who we are. He said that if we constantly live up to who we are, being obedient will come naturally, and we will be successful missionaries. He also told us that in July an apostle is going to come speak to us. However, only the missionaries serving within 2 hours of Guayaquil city get to listen to him! So we are all hoping and praying that we are one of the few that get to hear him :)
Well, I hope you all had a great Mother's Day! I love you all!!
Hermana Roestenburg

Week 13 - May 5, 2014 - BYE SWEET MEMORIES

Hello everyone!!! I hope you all had a fantastic week :) My week started off with some horrible experiences, but all is well now! Anyways, one night we were taking pictures, and I do not know what I did, but somehow I deleted ALL of my pictures! It was horrible. I wanted to cry! Three months of my mission GONE! I keep telling myself it could have been worse, but I am still a little bit sad about it :( The next day we went to visit an investigator, and I was super happy because we were preparing him for his baptism. When we got to his office, he told us that he had prayed real hard, and decided he was not going to be baptized. At first I was super bummed out about it, but I have to remember everyone has to make the decision for themselves. He said he wants us to continue reading the Book of Mormon with him, and he is going to continue coming to our church. So who knows, maybe one day he will be baptized! :)
On Wednesday we recieved a reference, named Alex, from a member. References are the best because they usually have a desire to listen to our message :) I called him one night to arrange a visit, and when I hung up I could not decide if I had understood his Spanish really well, or if he had spoken to me in English. We went to his house, and sure enough he was speaking English! Haha my poor companion could not understand a word the guy was saying. He speaks both languages, but English is more natural for him, so a lot of the conversation was English. It was so weird! Unfortunately he is not too interested in the church, but we are going to keep trying with him.
We have so many investigators right now, but none of them are progressing. A lot of them have accepted baptismal dates in the past, but for one reason or another, plans fell through. It is okay though. It just means we have to work harder, and find people who are ready to accept this message :) 

I do not know who decided I can lead music, but somebody did, and it is horrible. They ask me to lead the music all of the time! In baptisms, in church meetings, in zone meetings, EVERY meeting! I do not have anything against leading music, but I do not know it is a problem. I just kind of wave my hand around like a crazy person, and everybody seems to like it! :) Maybe I should try to learn, so I can do it the correct way.
It is still one thousand degrees here, and my house is still covered in all sorts of odd creatures, but I love it! Definitely an adventure everyday! I hope you all have a great week :)
Hermana Roestenburg

Week 12 - April 28, 2014 - 3 Months Tomorrow!

Hello everyone!! 
Guess what? Tomorrow is my 3 month mark! Time is flying by! Anyways, this week was great :) Yesterday we brought the Suarez family to church. They have been investigating for quite some time now, but each family member has a different belief, so we haven't been too successful with them. Anyways, during the sacrament, one of their daughters started choking on the water. It was kind of bad...but she ended up being just fine :) Later in Relief Society, Teresa, the mother, referred to us as "Mormons" instead of "Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints"...Well, let's just say some of the members did not like this, and we had a small argument in church. Haha oh dear. Hopefully the Suarez's allow us to keep teaching them :)
This week we worked like crazy to find people to teach. We literally talked to everyone we could see, and 90% are only here Monday through Saturday for work! It is so frustrating. The ward members try to give us references, but this week we did not have too much success with them. We have to think of a new way to find people though! Right now the majority of our lessons are with inactives, and investigators who are not progressing :(
Our house is infested with worms! They are tiny, white, and turn into moths! When we come home at night, our ceiling is COVERED in worms and moths. This morning we decided to have a major duty cleaning session. We started cleaning one cupboard, and found out that it was full of cockroaches! AH! It was the grossest thing ever. However, I think that we killed them all! Plus we cleaned the house really good, so now I just have to keep telling myself that everything is fine :)
We have a new Zone now, and our new leader is awesome! He is almost done with his mission, so he has a lot of experience. He gave us tons of advice, and I think it will help us a lot!
Happy moment! Yesterday I realized I was not translating words in my head...I was actually understanding the Spanish! I do not know when that happened, it is all so gradual, but the gift of tongues is definitely real!! :)
Anyways! As always, I have NO time! So have a great week!
Love, Hermana Roestenburg
The Roestenburg Easter Bunny made it to Ecuador! 

Week 11 - April 22, 2014 - Tres Triste Tigres!

Hello everyone! 
Okay, this week P-day is on Tuesday because we had a zone meeting yesterday. Two Elders finished their missions, and we had lots of transfers. We were given a new rule, our investigators have to attend church 3 times now before they can be baptized. Before it was only two, so this is better, but now we have to wait longer to baptize. Also, we were told that President Dennis wants to change our computer time from 1 hour to 40 minutes because too many missionaries are getting onto Facebook. Hopefully this does not happen, because we have no time as it is!
Up to this point, I have been really lucky with most of my food. However, this week was fish was pretty brutal. I do not know what it is about fish, I just cannot eat it! Everytime a member placed seafood in front of me, the other hermanas would start to laugh. It was horrible! I was always able to eat all of it though, so that was a blessing :) 
The people here are so loving, especially in our ward. They love to laugh at my Spanish with me :) but it is okay! There is a tongue twister here that starts out 'tres triste tigres," and I guess North Americans really struggle with it. Anyways, everytime I go to church, someone will ask me to say the tongue twister. It is pretty funny. A lot of the ward members know a few words in English, so they like the practice with me...the only problem is, I understand their Spanish better than their English! Hah I always feel bad, because I have no idea what they are trying to say to me! At least twice a week, I get asked if I am from Chile. I guess I look like it!
Right now we have 3 investigators who were doing so good, and recently stopped progressing. One, his name is Ricardo, is pretty funny because he told us he believes everything that we have taught him. However, he does not like making decisions, so for now he does not want to commit to a baptism date. Jacinto is another, and he loves coming to church. He is there every Sunday, but wants to read the Book of Mormon before making a decision. This is great, except for he only reads when we read with him. He says he wants to read it for himself, but never has time. So hopefully he will have more time eventually! :) We have been working with a lot of inactives, and it is pretty hard. They commit to coming to church, and then on Sunday we cannot find them :( I guess we have to try harder with them! 
Anyways, I am still enjoying every second of this work! My favorite thing is visiting with the recent converts, and hearing their testimonies about the church :) Hope you are all doing well!
Hermana Roestenburg

Week 10 - April 14, 2014 - Robbed?!

I hope all of you back home are doing great! Let's see here, this week was quite the adventure! On Tuesday my companion had a meeting, so I went with other hermanas to drop her off. To get back to our sector, I wanted to take a taxi (way easy) but the other girls wanted to take the bus (way hard) because it is cheaper. I even said I would pay, but I lost the argument and we ended up taking the bus. Well, when we got back to the apartment Hermana Hansen went to make a phone call, and guess what?! Somebody stole our phone..ON THE BUS! So we did not have phone, and it was awful. 
Because my companion is a leader, we do splits all of the time. This week was the first time that I stayed in my sector, with another Hermana. I was so nervous because I do not know the area too well, but I only got us lost once :)

For the most part, our area is pretty safe. There are places that we cannot be in after 6:00ish, but it is easy to avoid them. The other night we were walking in an area, and I told my companion that I did not like the area. She told me that was because it was dangerous. Reassuring, right?...yeah, no! However, we had an appointment, so we needed to be in there. When we got done teaching, the lady told me that I had to tak off all of my jewelry before I left her house, because the people in her neighborhood are crazy. We started to leave, and she asked us who was picking us up, when we told her no one she looked at us like we were crazy. She ended up calling her son, and he walked us out to the main roads. The whole time I was TERRIFIED!! but I am alive and well, so everything is fine :) 
As far as missionary work goes, this week was not so great. We had a lot of baptismal dates planned, but they all fell through because our investigators did not come to church yesterday :( Hopefully this week is better! Have a great week! 
Hermana Roestenburg

Week 9 - April 7, 2014 - Lizards and Chicken Feet

Hello everyone! 
Okay, this week was fantastic! We four baptisms! :) One fell through, but another boy ended up being ready, so he was baptized yesterday. Jose, the 72 year old, was baptized and afterwards he bore his testimony. He kept refferring to Hermana Peralta and I as his angels. It was really sweet! Most of our investigators came to conference, and they all loved it. I could understand the first talks of every session, but by the end I had to focus so hard to understand. It was amazing though. Everyone here wants to go to conference and see the Salt Lake Temple so badly, so all of you who were able to go are pretty lucky! 

On Friday we went to feel the baptismal font, and there was a lizard running around in it! I was terrified! There was also a lizard in our shower the other day, so I guess I should learn to love them. On Tuesday, we had lunch with the Arango family. I sat down, and my companion said something about a foot..I looked down, and there was a chicken foot in my soup! I almost had a heart attack! The whole time I ate the soup, I was thinking about how I was going to get out of eating this foot. Luckily the family was really nice, and told us that we did not have to eat it. They wanted me to at least try it, so I was gross. I have gotten really good at eating things I do not like, and pretending to like them :) it is quite a gift really! Hermana Hansen and I made French toast one night, and now the Latina sisters want to make french toast all of the time. They love it! They also love ketchup...on EVERYTHING! Hermana Delgado eats ketchup sandwiches everynight. I always tell her that is gross, and she tells me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are gross. So it is kind of funny how different cultures like different things! It is still one thousand degrees here, and I do not know how I have not melted away yet! The bugs do not bite my legs it is my arms :) I love it here though, the members are amazing, and help us whenever they can! This week we are hoping the find new investigators, because we have not taught anyone new for a while! Hopefully we are successful :) Have a great week! 
Hermana Roestenburg

Week 8 - March 31, 2014 - So much to say, no time to say it!

Hello everyone! 
Okay, so much happened this week, but we never have much time to write...such a bummer! First of all the other hermanas had a baptism for a lady who is eight months pregnant! It was really pretty cool, and we were excited that she did not want to wait until after she had the baby to be baptized :) We did not have baptisms this last week, but right now we have 4 scheduled for Friday. Three of them are certain, but there is one man who still has a lot of questions. I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens! Jose, the old man we have been teaching, is for sure going to get baptized, and he is hilarious. Yesterday when we went to pick him up for church, he was not even a little bit ready, and insisted that he make soup before church. We did not have time for that, so we told him we would make his soup while he got ready. He wanted to supervise though, and would not get ready for the longest time! Luckily a member came and waited for him so we could go to church, but we still ended up being really late. 

Testimony meeting here is so different! The bishop told everyone no stories, just testimonies, and then practically the whole ward got up to share their testimony. A member would share a 15 second testimony, and then quickly they would move onto the next person. I would guess 40 people shared testimonies! Crazy! The weather here is unpredictable. Some mornings it is blazing hot, and by the evening it is POURING rain. We come home soaked! I have a rash from the sun :( but it is okay! :) One member who fed us lunch this week had just returned from Columbia. He brought home so many candies, and wanted us to try them all. It was super nice of him, but they were way too sweet, so the other Hermanas and I had the hardest time eating them. He kept bringing out more and more and MORE! By the end, we were all laughing and cheering each other on, becuause we literally could not eat anymore! It was horrible! A man told me something this week, and since I did not understand I just smiled. Later my companion told me that he said we are getting married. Hah! Oops! I do not want that! Good news though, the Spanish is actually starting to sound like Spanish. They have a lot of different words here, but they are starting to make sense to me. Sometimes I get really excited about something, and half way through my sentence I realize I do not know the words to what I want to say. It is embarrassing! Oh well :) The computers here are awful, and I have not found one that let's me send photos! Hopefully soon! Anyways! Have a great week! 
Hermana Roestenburg