Well, I just talked to ya Friday so there isn't too much to say other than today we went to the Zoo. It was fun, we saw all the animals and it was fun. Also this week I met a guy from Guayaquil who belongs to one of the richest families in Ecuador. He's a returned missionary and a super cool guy. He had some good ideas about the branch and we are going to see what we can do. He served in California and is currently studying in BYU Idaho, so hes fluent in English. He bought us a ton of pizza today so that was cool. He's a cool guy. Things are good out here., We are just preparing for new years. The zone is pretty down right now, so we are trying to build it back up to where we had it. It will take some work, but we will get there. We have good plans. Things are normal out here. We will see what happens here in the future. I love ya guys and I'll send the pics and talk to ya next week.
Hola familia and friends! This week was cool. We had a baptism in Carachupa, and it was awesome. It was a super cool experience, but what made it cooler was Elder Barnes watching for Boa Constrictors while we were in the water because the members said there had been one hanging around Carachupa. It was legit, but we didn't see anything. Bryan Steven Eras Rodriguez did get baptized though. He was very happy, and it was a cool service. It was one of the cooler baptisms I've had. I was happy. We had a good week. It was productive. We got to see some more monkeys running around. That's always cool but it's weird to say I'm almost accustomed to seeing that haha. Its been a great one of a kind experience in the jungle. I'm very grateful that God sent me here. Not many get this chance and it's been a life changer for me. I've been able to do things I'd never imagined I'd do. See things I never thought I'd see. It's been a great experience out here. Unfortunately the plan with the folders and family history work has fallen through. The members just weren't ready for it I guess. We tried so hard but we have reached the point where there is no more we can do, We hope the branch can grow still but it looks rough in the future, Elder Arrieta and I are getting along great. He has helped me out a ton and done a lot of great work here. I have pictures of the baptismal service. Today there isn't a ton to write about, but I love you guys, and I'll talk to ya Friday!
For our Christmas dinner we are trying to get a hold of monkey meat, Iguana meat, and Boa Constrictor meat to eat.
Hola Familia and friends! This week was awesome! We had a Christmas dinner, lots of sun, changes, and a baptism. The Christmas dinner was awesome. I can't believe it's my last one. It was weird raising my hand when president asked who was in their second dinner. Time is flying by. It was delicious though. This week Minerva Helena Hurtado Calderon was baptized in the Rio Coca. It was a good service and everyone was happy. She asked us if she can accompany on visits to prepare for a mission. It was awesome. I can't wait to tell you the story of her mother on Christmas day. Her mother is also getting baptized in the end of January or the beginning of February. It's powerful, so powerful I won't write about it because written words just don't get the job done with this one! Changes came in this Sunday and I'll be staying with Elder Arrieta another change. He is the best comp ever. He is pretty much my right hand man with a lot of things. The Branch is doing well, but there still aren't any fruits from the folders or trainings. Only one organization is completing with everything. It's a bummer, but we gave and are giving everything we have. I'm at peace with it. I have done everything my position allows me to do. Bryan Rodriguez is set to go this Saturday for a baptism, and he chose to go to the waterfall of Carachupa, and he wants me to baptize him so I'll get to baptize at the waterfall. That's kind of cool haha. He was a miracle. He came out of nowhere when we had nobody to teach. For our Christmas dinner, I don't know if we will be able to pull it off, but we are trying to get a hold of monkey meat, Iguana meat, and Boa Constrictor meat to eat. It's around here but it's hard to find. It would be the most legit Christmas dinner ever haha! This month in the Oriente Norte zone there is a chance to once again break the record but it's on the fence right now, we aren't sure if we will be able to pull it off. Either way the month should be alright. It's been fun out here. It's harder than heck sometimes but it's been a crazy awesome experience. I love this work so much! I can't believe my time is actually starting to look a little short. It's gone by way too fast, but there is still lots of work to be done. I love it out here, and I Love you guys. I'll talk to ya next week. Hasta luego
Hola familia and friends! This week was rough. We had a trip to Quito for mission council and it was good. It took us out of our sector for most of the week so that was a bummer but it was alright. Minerva Calderon from my sector will be getting baptized on Saturday which is awesome. We are all excited for that. It has been cool to see her conversion. When I call I'll tell you guys the story of her mom. You won't even believe it! Her mom would get baptized but her husband doesn't want to get married so that's a problem but it's a powerful family. Bryan Rodriguez who was a reference of a recent convert family is doing very well, Actually the family that gave us the reference has a son that isn't baptized and we watched the First Vision video with him and Bryan was like a member who was accompanying us. He bore a super powerful testimony of the restoration and invited them to pray about it. It was nuts. He is getting baptized on the 19th, but he's already to do visits with us right now haha. It was one of the most powerful moments of my mission. It was nuts. Good things are happening here, but there is a lot of opposition. Two of the elders got robbed in Coca this week and lost everything, so we had to sort that out. The other elders have been super sick and it's just been a crazy week. Things are trying to come together, but it will be interesting to see how it comes out. We are working like crazy so that things come out good. We still aren't seeing a whole lot of progress in the branch. We are close but we still lack a lot, and we have reached a point where we now can't do almost anything. We did activities. trainnings, visits, and services to help them get on track and they haven't made it yet. I don't know what is going to happen in the future. I just hope things work out because we have given everything to this branch. We've accomplished what has never been accomplished, but we haven't accomplished what we most want to yet. I live and die for this work and I live and die for hastening it in the best way possible. It's been my goal since I was called in the Teacher's quorum through seminary and now in every zone as a missionary. If we pulled off this plan we'd move a mountain. It would be incredible. I hope we can. Until the day they take me out I'll be working for it. This week we have a Christmas dinner with `President so that should be fun. That's about all that's going on right now. I love you guys. Talk to ya later.
Sometimes we learn more about Easton's area and what he is doing through reading blogs written by other missionaries serving with Easton. Easton is not great with details. the following is from an Elder Dyal's blog entry this week. It gives a better description of the work Easton is doing.
This week has been a great week for us here in Coca.
To start off, Elder Nielson, the zone leader here in Coca, came up with a plan to boast up Rama Orellana so that it has better retention for our recent converts and reactivated members. We started with a training meeting that took place last week with the branch council. We talked to the presidents of the auxiliaries in the branch on how to use binders and files and how to fill everything out to make their calling more organized and simplified. The Sur America Nortoeste area leaders have trained and asked the stake presidents to use these rules to make their stake council more eficaz, so we thought it would be good to also have the branch use it as well.
Another idea of Elder Nielson's was to have a branch activity called "Vuela a Hawaii" which explained the plan of salvation but in a way no one was expecting. It was like this: Everyone started on a free plane ride to Hawaii and were given fake money and told to use it wisely. When we landed in Hawaii, there were a bunch of activities everyone was able to do. There was a movie theater, karaoke, basketball, and also activities that would waste time. In all these kinds of activities, one had to use their money to participate. And then there were activities that you could gain money instead of use it. These activities were a little more boring but had to do with reading scriptures or learning something new, like using your time well. After an hour or so, everyone got back on the plane to go back to Ecuador. But on the plane ride there was a "freak accident" and everyone "died". Then we were in the afterlife and we explained that there was going to be a judgement for their use of time and how much money they still had. Then they were assigned to either the Telestial, Terrestial, or Celestial Kingdoms.
The day that we were suppose to be at the church for that activity, Elder Perez and I had a bunch of difficulties getting there. As we were on the bus going to the church, there was a accident that delayed us almost 2 hours. We had an activity planned during the "money exchange" time, but when we finally made it to the activity, it had already started. So instead, we were judges for the final judgement. We changed into baptismal clothes (in all white) to be judges and then we were angels in the Celestial Kingdom. It turned out to be a really good activity. But some people were upset with the kingdom they were assigned to... :p
This blog is dedicated to Easton Nielson's mission to Ecuador Quito North Mission.