Monday, January 26, 2015

Disappointing News

I will keep working on as many names as I can.  You may see some new hints attached to people you have already worked on.  The church just did an update last week on the hinting feature and added some new databases plus improved the feature so it will find more matches for people.

Are you still there?  I am waiting for you to reply to my other emails.

Sorry I was writing Kelton..... He wrote that he is going home..... It is hard to hear that right now and I want to help him.... Can you try to help me by keeping in contact and giving him support because it is going to be hard for him in the next little bit.....

That is sad that he is headed home.  I am sorry.  I will try to support him the best I can.

I wrote some advice for him that went to all of the other missionaries that are my friends as well and he wrote that 5 hours ago. I am hoping that what I wrote will help him out. I don´t know. Things like this make it hard for me when I want to help my friends, but I can´t do much more than write to them....

You can always pray for them and you can continue to be a strong example for righteousness and perseverance and faith and hope.  A mission is not easy.  I know there are hard parts about your mission that you don’t tell us about.  You will someday, just like Curtis and Clain are starting to do.  Every now and then they open up and share some of the difficult things they faced.  We pray that you will be strong and will be able to deal with all that comes your way, especially the hard things. 

I know when others go home it makes it harder for you to stay, but hang in there.  You can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens you.  I know you are tough and you can do hard things.  When the going gets tough, think of all the times on the soccer field when things weren’t going your way and how you just continued to work and kick even harder against the ball and their shin guards.  When you got pushed, you pushed back.  When you fell down, you got up.  You just fought back with all you had inside of you.  Keep doing that in the mission field and you will continue to be successful.  Please don’t get discouraged because of Kelton and others you know who have gone home. 

You have prepared your whole life for a mission and you can complete it, even if it is hard.  I am so proud of how you stuck it out with Elder Vasquez, even when you didn’t feel like he liked you.  You just kept trying.  Soon you will be a leader in the mission and training others to be good missionaries.  You will be a strong example of everything good.  I am so very proud of you and your desire to help others.

Thanks! I am doing what I can right now more than anything to focus on the work and the people and doing my best in everything. Sorry that I haven`t wrote a lot today. I have had a lot on my mind and trying to serve and work hard in all things.

I know.  Stuff like this makes it difficult to focus.  Can you tell us about your baptism, the package, your FHE on Wednesday and if you have the stuff to make crepes?

With people that were born in 1917 should I put dead or alive? They are like 2 years from 110 years.... What do you think?

Put them living.  Tell me their numbers and I will try to find death information on them.  Usually I can find something.  Not many people really live that long.

I know but it is the youngest child that is the only one that I can´t put dead..... I will send the number. It is a new person that I just found.  Find this code and then do the descendency view to find the record where he is missing, because I can´t create this last one. 9JR9-6ND

Okay.  I can do that.  Thanks.

We didn´t have our baptisms this week. Jonathan didn´t want to this week. He felt like it was too quick so we are working with him for this next weekend. Camila was out of town in Viña del Mar for her Dad´s birthday. Jonathan is from Columbia and Camila from Punto Arenas. We also have a new baptismal date that is Pamela and she is from Concepción and this next weekend is going to visit family, but wants to attend and said that she would the following week. I am excited for these people to work with them and help them accept the Gospel.

We don´t get to go to the temple. We only go if we have people from our sector going and up until now we haven´t gone. I will see about it in a little more time.

I didn´t cook this last Wednesday because they decided to first do one with Elder Correa´s cooking and afterwards mine. I am doing well and have plans to cook in the future, but I will look into it. The recipes are hard to follow because the supplies here are different and I don`t exactly have time to practice or prepare everything. I have been really rushed lately and trying to be focused on the work more than anything.

Sorry about your baptism.  It will work out this next week.  Keep on praying and trying.  I am happy you are so focused, but don’t forget to have a little fun and smile and laugh.  What did Elder Correa cook for them? 

The Crepe recipe should be simple.  The cookie package only needs an egg and some butter.  The cake recipe only needs a couple of eggs and some oil.  Any of those should be easy to make.  Stop stressing.  You can do this.  I obviously didn’t spend enough time on cooking lessons with you. LOL 

Did you get the package?  Did you have a party for Elder Correa?  What did he think of the gifts?  Are you happy to have your music back?

Arrepas. I don´t know how to spell it... Sorry they are Columbian and it was our Family Home Evening with Camila. Yes I got the package and it went really well. We had a party, but haven´t made the cake. He had 2 for his birthday from members anyway. He really enjoyed all of the gifts and wanted to tell you thanks. Yes I am really happy to have my music back. It helps me relax when I get stressed out.   (I sent him a new Blue Tooth speaker in the last package, because the one we sent with him will no longer charge).

Okay, I will try we had a lot of work this last week. We found Pamela from a reference and taught Jonathan the last lessons.

I am out of time. Sorry! Thanks for everything.

Thanks Braxton. I love you. Have a great week and don't get discouraged. 

I found this recipe, photo and description for Colombian Arepas on 

These tasty cornmeal cakes can be found grilled, baked, or fried in several Latin American countries. We love this Colombian version—the outside fries up crisp and golden, while the cheesy middle stays wonderfully moist. They can be eaten as a side dish or paired with hot chocolate for an afternoon snack.

Monday, January 19, 2015

I need some recipes I can cook!

Do you have an oven?  I think you told us you did.  Don’t worry about your spelling, grammar or punctuation.  I always edit a bit before I post stuff on your blog.  It is hard to convert back and forth in your mind. Stop stressing over it.  We understand.

I know thanks for the help and I will probably be using them this week. Camila wants us to cook for a Family Home Evening this Wednesday that we are going to have with them. We are working hard and I know that they will both get baptized while I am here, but I want it to be sooner than later. Thanks for all of your help and both Jonathan and Camila attended this Sunday. Carlos received the Aaronic Priesthood.

That is awesome!  I was hoping he would be able to receive the priesthood soon.  Now he can experience helping with the sacrament.  Maybe he can even help baptize some of these people you are teaching.  I know that means you don’t get to use your white tie, but it may help keep him stronger if he were able to perform an ordinance like baptism.  Curtis mentioned how they did that a lot in his mission because it helped members to progress. 

We are looking to go to the Temple with him in March.  I have several people that I need to work to keep in touch with and Carlos was talking with me about going to the Temple in Salt Lake to be sealed. I told him if he wants me to be there he has to wait longer for me to finish my mission and I don´t know he might be serious about it. I have no idea, but I am really happy when we visit with them and help them progress more. We are working a lot with reading with Carlos because he doesn´t like to read a lot. We are going to do more Family History in a little more time.

It would be awesome if Carlos came to SLC to be sealed.  Then we could meet the family. 

Ya but also I don´t know how easy it would be for Elder Correa also. I don´t have a clue....

It will all work out, so don’t stress over it.  I am sure that Soley’s parents will want to be there also, so it might be best if they did it in Chile.  It would be cool to be there, but whatever works out will be what the Lord intends for them. They can always come to Utah afterwards to attend the temple.  It is important to have family and friends with them at the temple, so encourage them to make it work for their family.  I can’t imagine Soley would want to be sealed without her parents there to be with her. 
Do you have any pudding mix?

I know and her dad is leaving this Wednesday. Have you sent me pudding mix? I can´t remember.... I also found a new person for you to work with LVH2-JCF This is the code of the new person that I just created that was from a record.

I thought I sent you some pudding mix at Thanksgiving time, some pumpkin spice flavored pudding.  Did you eat it?  I might have also sent you some banana cream pudding mix.  I can’t remember.

I think that I still have them....

Then you could make that for your treat.  It just needs milk.  It is probably different than the type of puddings they eat there.  You could slice up some bananas in the banana pudding if you had some.

I will look into it. Thanks. 

I will work with what I have but I think that they want me to cook. There is the problem....

I know, but you can’t cook if you don’t have ingredients to cook.  Do what you can this week and maybe next time you can plan and have more to cook for them. 

Can you get hamburger, a can of pork and beans and some ketchup?  You could make meat and beans on toast.  It is not a desert, but it is easy. 

Meat and Beans on Toast
1 pound of hamburger
2 small cans of Pork and Beans
½ cup Ketchup
A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce if you have it
½ cup of brown sugar or regular sugar if you don’t have brown sugar

Heat till blended.
Serve over toast.

Bread and Gravy
1 pound of hamburger
Stir in ¼ cup flour till it soaks up the oil and makes a paste
3 to 4 cups of milk
Stir over medium heat till gravy thickens

If you don’t have flour, you can cook the meat, add the milk and then make a thickening from 3 Tablespoons cornstarch and a little water.  Heat the milk till it is really hot, but not boiling.  Pour in the cornstarch thickening while stirring.  It will thicken quickly. Cook for a couple of minutes so the cornstarch taste goes away.  Serve over toast.

This is a different topic.  I asked him last week to send me his SD card of photos.
First I need to find a Post Office here.... I haven´t yet and I just don´t get around to it very often. Sorry.... I am trying, but I don´t have a ton of spare time. Time is honestly the thing that I have the least of. I am busy every moment of everyday.... I try, but that is where emails are a lot better because I can say a lot that gets to you right after I write it.

I know, but you are only able to send a couple photos each week and I know you are taking more than that by the numbers on the photos.  Ask someone where the post office is.  Someone has to know.  You probably walk right past it and don’t even know it.  Make that your goal this week to send me the photos and you can proselyte at the post office.  People who go there probably live in the area.  It might be a great place to find people. 

I know you are super busy and that is great.  That is the way missions are supposed to be.  I am very grateful for email.  I would not have been a very good missionary mom 100 or even 50 years ago when there was no technology.  I can’t even imagine how I survived Dad’s two year mission with only USPS mail.  I remember there being some very long weeks waiting for a letter to come.  You should be grateful for technology, also.  It has allowed you to stay in touch with family and friends. 

I am and I am doing my best to enjoy each moment that I have to write because I would be really bored writing by hand and having to do it the slow way and letters seem so slow compared to email, so I generally just email.

I know, but you really should take time to send a note to Grandpa and Grandma Goode.  They don’t use email.  Grandma is reading your blog, but Grandpa doesn’t get any information unless we tell him.  Send him a quick note through pouch telling him how much you love him. 

I will try to when I get a moment or two.

Thanks for all of the information on how things are going. I know what you mean and we still have 2 baptismal dates and the other one we haven´t visited for a little bit. She had surgery last Friday, so she didn´t go to church and we are going to try to visit her in the next couple days. We are working really hard with Jonathan for his baptism this Sunday and Camila won´t be able to attend for a family matter so we are looking to change the baptismal date one week later.

It will be pretty hectic this week. I have divisions tomorrow with Elder Bennett in Parque O´Higgens. Elder Fernandez from my first pention is training again. This time his companion is Elder Hunter.

I hope that everything gets better and it always seems like everything happens to cost you financially lately.... Sorry about that and keep working hard and enjoying the little moments. They are few and far between. I am trying to read the New Testament in a month I started 2 days ago and have read 26 chapters of Matthew so I am starting off really well and reading a couple chapters of the Book of Mormon as well.

That is neat that you are reading so much. We are still trying to finish up the Book of Mormon from last year.  We are not doing so well, but a few more weeks and we will be done and ready to start over.  They are studying the New Testament in Sunday School this year so I will try to read it this year.  Teaching the Family History lesson in Sunday School, I don’t get to the class, so I will have to do it on my own.  I have been studying the talks from Conference, so I haven’t been reading a lot of other scriptures on my own.  I am about 1/3 of the way through the talks. 

It has been good that Dad is selling some pigeons because it is helping to pay for all the other things that have gone wrong.  That is a missionary blessing.  We have issues, but it seems there is always enough to pay for what we need.  We never go hungry and I am always able to pay the bills.  The last two months I have not been able to balance the checkbook.  It shows we have more money than what we really do.  Either I am really poor with my math or these are blessings from the Lord.  It was that way the whole time Curtis and Clain served.  There always seemed to be extra money in our Checking Account that I could not account for.  I am grateful for that. 

I hope you are able to keep teaching these families.  I hope that Carlos’s testimony has been a help to these other part-member families to convince them that they should try the gospel.

There are always lots of fun moments and I am enjoying this year so much more than last year, especially at work.  It has been a much easier year that way.  I have done very little imaging and that is a blessing.  I feel like I am keeping pretty much caught up and last year I didn’t feel that way.  I was always swamped.  I do miss all the fun activities with you and school, but I am so grateful to be done with the public education of our children. 

I am too. I got out before things got worse.... But with how things are going for public education in the future it will be really frustrating for me. Oh well, thanks for all that you do and the help always. I am trying to keep up with you and get to other stuff.

Yea, I think you are keeping ahead of me today.  I still have three emails in my inbox to read.  You will be fine with your college education, but I wouldn’t encourage you to go into public education and become a teacher.  I think that is going to be a hard field to be in for the future.  You will be better to use your abilities somewhere else. 

I´m too impatient anyway... Elder Correa frustrates me sometimes because he is so laid back and here time passes faster than anywhere else in the City.

New topic.  We had several going on at the same time.
I know things are going pretty well. I wasn´t able to give Elder Correa anything for his birthday this past Saturday so I acted like I didn´t have anything planned for him, but this Wednesday I will get the package.

Cool!  I am sure he will be just as excited for a late birthday party as one that would have been on time.  I wish it would have gotten there earlier, but none of us can control the mail system.  If it had taken the usual 11 days, it would have made it, but this one took 18 days to make the trip.  Take photos.  I want to see the surprise in his face. Thanks for making him happy.  It will be a wonderful memory for all of us.
Thanks I am working on it. Thanks for all that you do and for doing little things like this for me.

You are welcome.  I love to do things for you.  I won’t send you as many packages as some moms do, but I love to put together fun surprises for you and hope you enjoy and appreciate them. 
I know the hardest part is figuring out what to do with everything so that it all works out without over-running my suitcases.

I am trying to send you stuff you will use up and not have to keep.  You will end up throwing out clothes and stuff over time and that will give you more room as you go.  Are you changing your toothbrushes regularly?

I am doing my best to and am on my third I believe.

Thank you.  Swapping toothbrushes will keep you healthy.   A lot of germs build up on your toothbrush and in your mouth.  Keep your teeth and mouth healthy and the rest of you will stay healthy, too.  It was one of the things your dentist suggested.  Simple, cheap and very effective. 

I am doing my best but I am not perfect about it all the time, but I am trying a lot harder to do it and be focused on it.

Is Columbian food bland?
No, not a lot but some things are. I don´t mind peppers. I just don´t like when they are crunchy. When they are cooked well into everything, they are fine. Like Salsa or something along those lines. Columbians eat a lot of rice but it tastes a lot better than anything that they make for rice in the States.

You will have to figure out what spices and stuff they are adding to the rice to make it taste better and send me the recipe so I can try it here or at least send me the names of the rice dishes.  There are tons of recipes online.  I found a different recipe for the Marquettas Pan that I am going to try today.  We tried the salad with lemon juice the other night.  I liked it a lot.  I am sure it is healthier for you than putting Ranch or Thousand Island on it. 

Sometimes they put oils on it but I like lemon better. I will try to figure it out with Elder Correa what they do differently. I think it is just the type of rice more than anything because in the States it is really bland.

Yea.  I never realized how many different kinds of rice there are out there till recently.  It also makes a difference if the rice is fresh or has been kept for a while to transport. 
How far do you have to go to the grocery store?  It looks like there is a small market just a few doors away from your apartment building.  Do you ever shop there? Do you have a hand mixer?

This recipe is best if you use real salted butter and not margarine.


Mix together:
1 cup butter softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
½ cup cocoa powder
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups flour
Spread in a 9” X 13” pan. 

Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 20 minutes or a little longer or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.


Mix together:
½ cup butter softened
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir in enough powdered sugar to make a thick frosting.  Spread on cooled brownies. 
You may be able to find a package of already prepared frosting down there.  I don’t know.  There is a cake mix and frosting mix in the package you are getting this week.  You could make that.

I don´t have any of the things that I would need or let alone know where to find them here. I am trying, but I don´t have a hand mixer.
Cake Mix Cookies
2 eggs
1 cake mix
½ cup vegetable oil
1.    Mix together cake mix, eggs and oil in a large bowl.
2.    Make little balls with the dough and set on ungreased cookie sheets.
3.    Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 4 - 10 minutes.

Try mixing up the cookies then and the cake and frosting from the package this week.  I can send you some more easy mixes.  Your last apartment must have had some things because Elder Vasquez made all that food.  Do you have any flour or sugar or staples like that in this apartment? 
I honestly can´t remember if we have them or not and he borrowed a lot of things from the members. I will look into things, but something basic that I can do quickly that still comes out well would be amazing because I never remember recipes or what I am doing in regards to cooking unless it is basic....

Have you done your shopping already today or do you still have to go?  Where do you shop?  Where do you go to do your email?

We have gone shopping today. We go to Lider in Santa Rosa a little bit North of our pention and we go to a cyber in the street Marin close to Tocornal. Carlos lives in the Building at the corner of Argomedo with Tocornal.

Did you find out what part of Portoviejo Carlos is from? 

I will look up those addresses later today. 

Jello Salad
1 small box of Jello, any flavor
1 container of cottage cheese about 16 ounces
1 container of cool whip or whipped topping, 8 to 12 ounces
1 can of fruit cocktail, drained well
Stir everything together in a bowl. Let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. 

Green jello and pears works well
Orange jello and fruit cocktail works well
Red jello and berries of any kind work well. They can be fresh berries.
Or you can leave out the fruit and it is fine without.

Don’t use fresh pineapple.  It messes with the jello and it won’t setup right.   You can use canned pineapple, just not fresh pineapple.

When do you need to make this desert?  Can you stop somewhere and get eggs and oil so you could bake the cookies or the cake?  Do you have a cake pan to bake the cake in?

I have not seen Cottage cheese or whipped topping let alone fruit cocktail here.....

I am not surprised.  You could use cream and whip it, but that would require a mixer, which you don’t seem to have.  I would send you some, but they wouldn’t make it without spoiling.  I was trying to think of something simple. 

You could always do green jello with grated carrots in it.  That is a famous Utah dish.    
It is pretty hard for you to make something without any ingredients to work with.  Look around the store a little more and maybe you can find some ingredients you can work with.  How far do you have to walk from the Lider to your pention?

2 minutes I think. But going up and down with elevators and time with everything ends up like 5 or so.

Oh, then you are really close to the store.  I was hoping that you didn’t have to carry stuff a mile or two from the store to your pention.  You said in your last area you didn’t like to buy a lot at the store because you had to carry it so far.  This is better than that.

Does Elder Correa have oil and eggs you could borrow?  If you do the cookies or the cake mix you will have to have oil and eggs.  Sorry, I can’t send you a mix that contains those.  What ingredients do you have to work with?

I don´t think so..... I could try to buy what we don´t have but it would be on an only if I need to basis. I think that it is Wednesday.....

I think that Elder Correa has vegetable oil, but we don´t have eggs. I think I could find a few at a corner shop on the way to the pention one of these days.

Then I would do the cookies or the cake since you have the mixes.  You will just have to find a pan to bake them in.  I think you can stir them well enough by hand to mix it up.  Spend a little time looking at the grocery store next week to see what ingredients you can find.  You may have to buy a pan to bake with.  I will send you a few more mixes so you can make a few things easier. 

Which recipe is it that I have to use to make the cookies if I were to make Chocolate Chip cookies?

Just use the cookie mix I sent you.  It will have instructions on the package.  Was it a chocolate chip cookie mix?  I think so, but can’t remember for sure.  Can you find chocolate chips in the store?  I can send you more, but I don’t know if they will melt on the way.  I guess I can try sending them and we can see how they travel.  I think the cake mix is like a white with sprinkles in it and blue frosting with sprinkles.  And candles to go on top.

How many lessons did you have this week?
How many people came to church?
Have you spoke in church in this ward?

18 Lessons with 137 people which was lower and no I haven´t spoken here, but I bore my testimony the first week here as a new missionary. We had 162 the week before attending.

Wow, that is a big change from week to week.  I thought that your attendance would go back up after the holidays were over.  Why the difference?  I am glad you bore your testimony.  It helps the members to get to know you and become more comfortable with meeting with you.  18 lessons is a lot better than you were having before.  Congratulations!

It could be a lot better. We are working to improve on everything.

Yes, but look at the progress you have made from when you arrived in December.  You were only getting about 7 lessons back then.  Keep trying.  You are having success.  You started with not a lot in your first area and built it up and you are doing the same thing here.  Keep it up.  I am proud of you. 

Thanks I am out of time sorry. Thanks for everything. In the few minutes that I had I added a few new people to the tree but you will need to go back through everything and find those that I added I didn´t send everything. I just finished all of the stuff from Benjamin Morton´s first wife and started on the second one so go looking through those and preparing. If you have names ready anytime soon let me know I might have opportunities to go to the temple soon with converts to help strengthen them and maybe do some names as well. Thanks.

Okay, thanks for working on the Family History.  I will try to get some names ready for you.  Will you need any female names?  I still have some of those that we haven’t done baptisms for.  I will try to get some more ready for you to do.  I appreciate all you do and I love you so much.   Have an amazing and awesome week!

Love always and forever,

Monday, January 12, 2015

An Amazing Baptism! Carlos!

Thanks. everything went well with changes and Elder Correa and I are staying together for another change. Carlos got baptized two days ago and confirmed yesterday and I confirmed him but his father-in-law baptized him. Soley`s maiden name is Oñate, the Oñate family. They are from Babajoyo. I don`t know which part but I will talk to them about the wards because they know the parts really well. Santo Oñate Medina is the name of the father-in-law. He is going back to Ecuador the 21st of this month.

Don`t worry about the Rubic`s Cube I figured everything out and have it all memorized. Thanks. It is nice to have something I can play with a little at times. I can solve the cube in less than 2 minutes now.

Congratulations!  I am glad that you had your baptism.  I am sorry you still haven’t gotten to use your fancy white tie, but maybe next time.  It is neat that you got to confirm him.  I will have Curtis read the blog and see if he knows the family from when he was there. 

Congratulations on figuring out the Rubic’s Cube!  You can blame your Dad for your ability to memorize and solve that.  You get much of your analytical abilities from him.  I imagine if I spent the time, I could eventually do that, but I am not sure I want to or have the time.  Someday!  Curtis just came in.  He said he can solve the Rubic’s Cube that fast or faster.  You will have to have some contests when he gets home.  That would be better than wrestling matches! 

You promised photos today!!!!  

I`m doing good. Just that in this sector time passes really fast. It is in the center of Santiago with a lot of traffic and getting to everything takes a long time. We lose a lot of time and are always low on numbers, but doing our best. I`m just tired all of the time..... I am not sleeping the best lately, but I am doing all that I can.

Why do you think you are not sleeping well?  Every area is going to have different challenges.  I am sure your Mission President is aware that this area is lower on baptisms and teaching just because of where it is.  Try to contact all those who put you off in December and see if any will listen now.  Try different places like hospitals, doctor offices, dentist offices, orthodontists, gyms, libraries, parks near elementary schools, bike and skate parks and grocery stores.  Find places where the people who live there would frequent and try to build up your teaching pool.  When you got to your last area, you didn’t start with 20 people that you were teaching.  You had to build it up bit by bit.  You will have to do the same thing here.  
I am sorry you are not training this time, but maybe next time.  I am glad you will be able to be with Elder Correa on his birthday.  The package was delivered to the post office box this morning at 6 AM.  I was hoping you might be able to pick it up when you went in for the transfer meeting.  Are any of your CCM buddies training this time?

Elder Allen is training this time. Elder Ballard is a District Leader finishing training. Hermana McQuinn is finishing training. Hermana Tolk finished the training of a companion this last change. Hermana Kioa is Senor Companion so right now 5 of 12 are Senor.

I was not able to pick up the package because Elder Bertanga hadn`t picked up mail today yet, so it hadn`t gotten there.... Oh well a late present is better than nothing.... We do a lot of contacting and things like that usually with parks and little open spaces, but in the streets everywhere contacting.

We ate with Peruvians and had Cancha that is like corn seeds but cooked and it was amazing. We had ceviche. It was really awesome.

I tried everything including the red pepper there that was really spicy but my companion was dying from the heat and I was fine. It was funny.

I am proud of you for trying the peppers.  You were not a fan before your mission.  Maybe when you get home I can cook with a few and you won’t turn your nose up at what I make.  Is Colombian food bland?

I am going to send a picture of this last baptism and explain. This is the picture with the whole family. Carlos really wasn`t sure he was going to get baptized until the 26th of December when we stayed and shared with him a little bit longer before our Skype call. Because we stayed when we could have left to talk to our families, to set the baptismal date that took 15 or 20 minutes extra, he felt our love and said that he felt the date, which he kept a secret and only told us like I told you about the papers.

He was baptized on the 10th of January because it is his wife`s birthday and it was a surprise for her that she didn`t know he was getting baptized that day until he was in his baptismal clothes. It was a really awesome experience and we had told the family the 17th of January so that they thought the next week, but we planned it all out so that it worked perfectly. This last Fast Sunday and the day he was baptized he shared his testimony of why he was going to get baptized on Fast Sunday and after he got baptized he shared again about the experience of the 26th. It was a really special experience for me.

Share this one about Carlos getting his answer about baptism and the importance through love and sacrifice of the missionaries because both my companion and I were crying when we left that lesson.   Share the experience about Carlos telling us about the importance of us staying.

I really like the salads here. It is really simple but take lettuce and you can put a little bit of shredded carrots in a large bowl with a lot and you won`t believe me but try it.... Squeeze lemons over top of the salad and mix the juice in and you can put red cabbage or other types as well but that is what I like a lot is the salads. is a neat photo.  I assume Carlos is the one holding the baby, Soley is on the right and her parents are on the left side?

I see a lot of Chilean salads that are just tomatoes and onions.  Do you eat that much?  Is the lettuce an iceberg type lettuce or is it more of a dark green?

I tried last week to make Marraquetas, or Chilean rolls.  I think the dough was okay, but then I put it in an oiled bowl to rise and I think I got too much oil in the bowl.  I had trouble shaping the rolls.  I am going to try it again this week.  I learned some things making it.  When it was done, I thought it needed more salt in the dough.  Do you eat these a lot and if so, what do you put on them when you eat them? 

I don`t know if I have had them yet. I have had the salad with tomatoes and onions and I don`t like it at all....

It is like iceberg lettuce, but lighter green. You can also put oils with it but I like it more plain with lemon. Usually 1 or 2 lemons depending on how much salad just figure it out and it should work out great. That is something simple that I really enjoy.

Okay.  I will try the salad with lemon. 

Here is a picture of the Marrquetas.  They are supposed to be crunchy on the outside and soft inside and pull apart in four pieces.  Have you had these?

Yes! They are the best. From the first day in Chile. They are really nice and we eat them a lot here. do you call them?  What do you put on them when you eat them?
Have you learned to love avocados?  Do they make a lot of guacamole with the avocados, or just slice them up to put on things?  What do you like best on the bread?  When do you eat Marquetas most?  Do you buy them in the street markets or in the evening on your way home?  Or do you just buy them at the grocery store?  Are they better when you buy them fresh and just eat them right then?

Pan Marqueta and you can eat them with ham and cheese, butter, avocado, and honey. Basically like making a sandwich but the bread is really great and it all depends on how you want it. Sometimes we would put hot dogs in them but I don´t make it like Completos with avacado and tomatoes just ketchup. Something like that but I eat them sometimes like Completos. Ya, this one you question, but Chileans love avacado.

I like avocado. They don´t really do avocados and there are not really tacos or burritos either which I miss. They basically use it like guacamole. I don´t like the bread just like that. Sometimes they put guacamole with meat on bread to make sandwiches that they call churascos. The breads are best fresh so that they aren`t too hard and I don`t eat a ton of them because sometimes people feed us bread with lunch but I don´t seek them out.

So you DO NOT like the guacamole on the bread with meat?  Is it like lunch meat?  Do they put peppers in their guacamole? What do you like to put on your bread?  Can you find tortilla shells in the grocery store to make your own burritos? 

I think I can get tortilla shells, but there aren´t a lot of them and I like it with bread and meat with guacamole. It all depends honestly. Not really like lunch meat look up what a churasco is on the internet and they don´t put peppers in the guacamole.

Okay.  I did look up Churasco.  It looks good. 

There are a lot of things like that are really amazing. I am really happy with visiting Carlos he has a gift when it comes to cooking. The food that they have shared with us has been amazing. They always want to share with us and most times that we visit them there is food.

That is neat that they are so generous.  Are they well to do?  Why are they living in Santiago?  Are they students?  Where do they work?  Is Soley able to stay at home with the baby?  Is it a baby boy or girl?

Baby boy, They are well off for Santiago and Carlos works as a Pharmacist.  They aren`t studying right now, but they could. I don´t know all the details and yes Soley stays home with Derek. you have 1 photo that I sent already but I don`t know if you have gotten it yet and more information. We have 2 baptismal dates Jonathan and Camila. They are from separate families but in both cases their spouses are members and they have attended Church. Jonathan one time and Camila two times. Their baptismal dates are for the 25th of this month. I am really excited because more than anything it is verifying that they are living the gospel and that they have their testimony and getting rid of their doubts and then they will have their baptisms.

Jonathan is from Columbia and they got to our sector recently but before were being taught in the South Mission and they came to church yesterday.

Camila is a Chilean that we met in the church and taught her one time to see what her needs are and she has come two times. They are really awesome and have a lot of support, but just need to strengthen their testimonies to be baptized. Both are Catholic, but have Mormon spouses and are progressing really well. There is also another like this that is Natalia and we are trying to have more contact with her because it is like Camila because she isn`t a member either and has attended 3 times that we know of. We are working really hard to complete families and take them to the Temple.

That is exciting.  That is what the Pilot Plan is supposed to do as far as I understand it, to find part member families and bring the rest of the family to the Savior.  It will be really cool if you can baptize all three of these and if they will stay strong in the church because then in a year from now you could go to the temple with each one to be sealed.  That would be such an amazing blessing on your mission.    Keep working with them.  You are already ahead with these because they have the attendances at church which is what you were struggling a lot with in your last area

I know and they all pretty much know how they have to live as members and it is just verifying that they are willing to do it and make covenants which is a lot easier, but they all have doubts which I enjoy getting rid of.

There were 24 new missionaries in our mission that are going to arrive tomorrow.

That is sweet.  Just keep bearing testimony to them and it will happen.  Three more baptisms this change would be amazing!  It would be good for Elder Correa as well to experience some more success.  Has Elder Correa been a trainer yet? Is he Senior companion?

Yes he is my Senior companion and he has not trained and doesn`t think that he will. It happens Elder Vasquez never trained and today he got changed from Lo Espejo to be a Zone Leader as well as Elder Chuquel that was a District Leader in Peñaflor to be in Olimpo as a Zone Leader. Elder Smith that trained Elder Chuquel is a Zone Leader in Talagante and before was a zone leader for 3 changes in Peñaflor above Elder Chuquel. But now 2 of my 3 companions are Zone Leaders.

Well that is pretty awesome!  Soon you will be a leader in the mission as well.  Enjoy the time you have now because it becomes harder and harder as you have more responsibilities to take care of and more missionaries to be responsible for.  I hope you get to serve under one of these fine missionaries as your Zone leader sometime.  You will be a leader, I have no doubt.  Just learn as much as you can from watching your current leaders and learn what to do and what not to do.  Learn how to motivate without making others feel bad.  Lift and build others up.  Praise and congratulate and show love in many little ways.  Practice that with your companion now. 

We took pictures from the 24th floor of our pention for New Year´s with all the people outside for everything. It was really awesome you can see how large the city is and we have a good part where we serve. at least you got to experience it a little bit. I am glad.  That is awesome!  Were there a lot of fireworks?  Did the people go out in the streets to celebrate?  Dancing and drinking? 

Ya, but we stayed in the pention, but took photos it was great.  It was really nice with Fireworks I will have to show you and explain in more detail a lot of things after the mission.  It will be like the Jamborees.

Yep.  I wish you would share more photos and experiences now.  I don’t want to wait for everything till you get home.  Tape your camera SD card inside a card and mail it home to me.  I would love to get hundreds of photos at once.  You have lots of backup SD cards now.  I haven’t gotten a paper letter at all from you.  It would be a real surprise to find one in my mailbox.  J`m out of time thanks for everything and I will talk to you next week. Thanks for everything and I will see what I can have ready for next week. I am not getting a lot of Family History done because I am typing the entire time in emails. Thanks for everything!

Thanks for answering my questions today.  Please have a happy and safe week and enjoy all that you do.  Tell Elder Correa Happy Birthday from us.  I am sorry the package didn’t arrive soon enough for a party on his birthday.  Have a late one for him when it does arrive.  Maybe one of your families can help you celebrate with him. 

I love you so much.  Hugs and Kisses!

Love always and forever,

Monday, January 5, 2015

Carlos from Portoviejo, Ecuador

Thanks for always helping when I ask you to look into something on Family History. I don´t always have a lot of time but I am good at finding a few new openings to work with. Thanks for all that you do.

Carlos’s Baptismal Interview will be this Thursday because our zone leaders want it closer to the date of the baptism. We had 121 at church this week, which is really low.

For our Visas, we had to go to 4 different buildings to do different parts and parts were in the North Mission and other parts were close to my sector and one was in my ward. It was good, but long lines and the forms weren´t too horrible just long waiting for them to call the numbers like they do at the DMV in Farmington, only there are hundreds of people waiting to be called. It was fine though. I am doing great.

It was my whole CCM group and yeah they were all there, too and we have to do it 2 times during the mission, once for the first year and once for the second year. It was a lot closer to my sector than the others, so it was faster for me. We sat there in the building and waited. I had my Rubic´s Cube so I wasn´t horribly bored, but we talked to people and contacted and things like that while we waited, but it all worked out.

With our group it was just for the one day and our companions were with us. We have to do it 2 times for our own during the mission, but if I have a companion at some point that needs to do their Visa I will have to go with them. But I won´t have to do it again for another year for my own.

I bet it was fun to catch up with your CCM buddies. 

Yeah, it was. 

On the Rubic’s Cube, I know how to get one side and up from there to 2 rows but to put the line and cross on the last side and then fix the corners I don´t remember all of the steps. But I know how to do the majority and I almost finished it once so far.  The directions for the Rubic´s Cube for me are confusing. I get the general steps, but they don´t always work.... Oh well I will have to print the last few pages and see if I can learn how they work. Thanks.

Alright.  Don’t get too distracted with the Rubic’s Cube.  I want it to be fun, but not to be a huge distraction for you.  There are lots of videos online about how to work a Rubic’s Cube, but you probably can’t watch those.  I will try to email you Dad’s directions next week and you can see if those work any better for you.  I have never taken the time to learn how to work one. 

I will print these out and test them out I learned a lot of the steps from practice and I have 2 thirds of it done without any aids. The last steps are the hardest so that is where I need to have the helps. I will learn it and practice these until I can recognize the patterns.

Looks like a lot has passed, (happened).  I hope that the package shows up this Wednesday as well.  Thanks for everything. I´m sorry that everyone seems to be sick or not feeling well. There are moments when I feel bad because I am perfectly fine here serving with confidence that I won´t have problems because I am serving a mission, but everyone else seems to be suffering.... The time passes quickly and we will find out how many actually are coming to our mission this next Monday and I will let you know what happens with changes and everything. Thanks for always writing a lot and I hope that going back to school wasn´t as bad as it always seems to be. I don´t like going back either, but lately their aren´t breaks so more than anything a break for me would be nice and I am certain that I will have a break for a little bit after the mission, but who knows. I might start working, dating, who knows there is a lot of time before that happens. Thanks for everything and always being available to write.

Are you still there?  Write more and tell us about your week.  At least a paragraph or two, please.

It has been good mostly the routine. We are working like normal and I am doing well. There isn´t a lot special for this week, just working to have Carlos´ baptism this week and it was pretty awesome yesterday because Carlos bore his testimony as the last one in the meeting and it was really special.

I hope you wrote about it in your journal.

Ya I am working on keeping up with everything and remembering all of the experiences. Ask Curtis if he knows where Portoviejo and Babajoyo are. Also ask him if he tried Mate in the form of Terere. Thanks for everything that you do.

Okay. Thanks for everything. I have been a little slower today writing and it has taken quite a bit of time. Sorry I am trying and I am not going to get to Family History today. It gets harder and harder to get around to it. I still have to do a few other things as well. Thanks for all that you do and I am trying to keep excited about working but it is a little hard at times.

I am sure Curtis will know both of those places.  I remember them from when he was there.  Why?  Is that where Carlos is from?  Does Carlos have any family in Chile with him other than Soley?

Carlos is from Portoviejo and Soley´s family is from Babajoyo. That´s why I asked and no he doesn´t have family in Chile but Soley´s parents are visiting here until the 21st.

Hey I´m out of time but I will be on next week. Sorry that I didn´t send photos this week but I will next week and more. Thanks for everything. I love you!