Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Skype, Packages from Home Received, Preparing for New Years and Next Changes


Wow that is really great. You managed to get everything right for the camera and I did get some photos taken so I will be sending those to you guys. It was great seeing you in the call and I didn't cry afterwards but I really enjoyed seeing and hearing from you guys. I can still remember leaving to go here in June. Time has flown. The kids seemed a little quiet though but oh well.

I know it is supposed to get somewhat chaotic here for New Years. That is great to hear about the other missionaries. This week was a little lazier for us but we still managed to get work in. Basically from the phone call on Christmas Day we went straight to work so we didn't slack off too much. I enjoyed all the gifts and as I promised you will get more photos soon.

Today we just ate a nice lunch and cleaned our house as often we don't have many things to do here that aren't really expensive. So that is pretty much what we did. The Friday was interesting as we recieved a capacitacion (translation=Training) on Family History and the first half hour was like, you need to go to the temple. Well I thought, geez thanks I know we need to go. Say something else (mom's note-the Temple in Ecuador is in Guayaquil, so he won't be able to go there for his whole mission since it is in another mission altogether). So we spent a little time doing that. The sector and my relationship with Elder Paul are going well and we have changes coming up soonish so we will have to see.

Elder Throop

*Mom's Note
Tyler was able to Skype home Christmas Day, in the afternoon, so we were able to see him and talk to him.  He mentioned that he did receive both packages, one from me and one from the ward, for Christmas.  He had already made good use of the Nutella!  He also bore his testimony in Spanish which was great to hear.  He was a bit confused on my package, however, since he had forgotten that I had hidden his camera inside the box of soap.  I told him that he needed to go back home and open the "soap" box since that's where I hid the camera so it wouldn't get swiped by customs once it was inspected in Ecuador.  There have been many stories of items not getting to the missionaries because the boxes are searched before sending on and valuables are sometimes taken out.  So, after the call, Tyler was able to find the camera hidden in the box, so now we have the first pictures of him since Elder Goodfellow, his first companion, was transferred.

Selfie in his new Ecuador soccer shirt

Elder Paul's strange look

What passes for a "mountain" in Santo Domingo

View from apartment

Further down the street outside the apartment

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Spoiler Wanted for Star Wars VII, New Years is a BIG Deal, Dinner with the President, Ecuador Futbol Jersey


Wow that sounds cool with the Star Wars plot. Here in Santo Domingo the celebrations are a little died down for Christmas I think. I mean I have seen some parties and stuff going on but nothing crazy. They don't have too many Christmas lights. Mostly they go around with an image of Mary and light off fireworks causing some disturbances. It is during New Years that is the problem. Apparently the 31st people do lots of stuff here that is pretty insane. I have heard some things but I will be able to tell you guys more soon in the call. All I need to know now is your Skype info as it should be three here if I am thinking correctly.

I kind of want to hear the main spoiler as I have like 17 months until I will see it. I think my companion wants to know as well. I wasn't aware you were planning on getting me anything so thanks for those things. I guess it must be stuff I can only use after the mission. I recently passed a computer store and saw cameras and they were expensive so I will wait to see if those packages came in.

That is great with the Messiah. I have had a slight cold here but it is clearing up.

The main event of our last week was the dinner with our President. It was about a 3 hour bus ride to get to Quito. We left on Wednesday and had the dinner and everything on Thursday. It was really fun. So that was the main event we had. Today we had no activity but I did finally get an Ecuador futbol jersey (fake of course) for 8 bucks from my personal money. It looks pretty good and should last the mission. I think that is all I have to say for now. I hope you guys have a good week and I look forward to seeing you guys on Friday.


Elder Throop

Dirt Roads Get Muddy, Cow Stomach, Can't Bully Me Anymore


Well I did hear about Sister Young which is really sad. I knew she had heart problems but I didn't know she would die. That is really sad but we do know where she is now. She might even being keeping an eye on my mission.

It's great to hear grandma is getting a smart device. Hopefully she learns a little bit more about the twenty first century now. The area is going fine. We have been contacting like crazy. We had divisions with our zone leaders last week and I ran my sector for the first time. Everything fell (typical luck huh?) so we contacted a bunch. We are starting to see fruits of all those contacts as we had citas (translation=appointments) set up with many and we have many more citas planned for the coming weeks. 

As for the weather it rains almost every day but when it doesn't the sun comes out and bakes us. We have a lot of dirt roads in our sector so they get really muddy. As with the ward council well I think it is a normal thing here were it isn't the best but we still try to do our part. Here it is an obligation for us to be in ward council. So that will happen in this sector.

Well as for the foods I recently ate cow stomach. It looked really strange but didn't taste too bad. The rice part of that meal was worse quite honestly so we do have strange foods sometimes.

I don't know how exactly people get recommended to be senior companion but I do know it is inspiration as I know someone who just finished his training and now is training. Quite honestly I am alright waiting and learning as many people can remain junior companion for awhile but I have 6 months so no one will bully me and tease me as much anymore even if I am junior comp. I don't know if they want me to be senior comp or not.

Well it has gone well this week. This next week we are going to Quito for the Christmas dinner so two and a half days out of commission but you can see the pictures on Facebook if you look up the Ecuador Quito Mission as Hermana Christensen puts things on Facebook. So we will be doing that. I hope all is going well and I am looking forward immensely to the Skype.


Elder Throop

Friday, December 11, 2015

Dirt roads, Opening the Sector, Christmas is Coming


I am in a nicer cyber this week but still dinky. This sector has a lot of dirt roads and there are many people here that are uneducated or poorly educated here so it can be harder to teach. My companion is from California and he has been bugged in recent days to hear about the terrorist attacks on California. I also heard a little on what is going on with the political elections. We got to see the Christmas program yesterday (in Spanish) and that was great but it was unfortunate Thomas S Monson didn't speak. His age seems to be affecting him.

This sector is a little harder as we are opening the sector. Opening means that you and another Elder have to find bunches of new people and contact like crazy and learn the sector and you have a hard few weeks. What happened previously was a missionary decided to do something dumb and emergency changes happened after like two weeks and so my companion ended up working in the other sector as this sector didn't have people (thanks to missionaries being not the most obedient). So now we, as harder workers (and hopefully more obedient), get to open the sector. It has been rough. The ward council literally does nothing and only like 4 people went to ward council. We had 170 something people in church but our bishop most specifically didn't say too much other than ask about the numbers and ignore everyone's council on home teaching. So we got a rough sector, but I can deal with it. So that is what happened.

Today for Pday we played football which was really fun. Last week we did have lessons but we did a lot of contacts.

Well love you all and Christmas is really close as well as the phone call.

Elder Throop

Monday, November 30, 2015

New Area, Wall of Humidity, Turkey for Thanksgiving


Well we got transfers and I got transferred far! We got the transfers yesterday and Bum Bum Bum I'm in a new sector today. I got transferred to Santo Domingo which is the coast of the mission. I am in a place called Bomboli. So we are about 3 to 4 hours bus ride from Quito.  Quite honestly you need to be a missionary to understand the importance of transfers and of how nerve racking it can be. Still it wasn't too bad. I never thought I would go here but I am here in my second sector with my fourth companion. Getting here was rough but I had no trouble packing last night. You know me, shove and push and hope it zips shut. It worked really well.

This sector does look a lot different. I am glad to be here as it is a new opportunity. The changes for the other missionaries from my sector were weird as one person who just finished his training is going to train. So they will have fun in Argelia. This change should be a lot different as I went far. Still I am looking forward to it and it should be a good experience.

The weather here is really humid. I got off the bus and ooooof I was hit with a wall. It is modernized but has a lot of jungle as well so it is weird here. The problem is it could be 50 outside right now and it feels a lot hotter. I am starting to adjust bit by bit and hopefully I get used to this place. My companions name is Elder Paul (gringo).

Well last week was harder and we had some activities. The numbers were the worse ever and I just did not get along  well with Elder Lopez.

The Thanksgiving here was pretty good as the Pday before the Thursday we got invited to a members house to eat turkey. I completely forgot Thursday was Thanksgiving as it doesn't happen here. Christmas is important here so I will notice that happening and we will do a lot during that time

Since the transfer, I may never get the packages.  The problem is that people only go once a month and there is too much stuff and not enough time. The secretaries aught to send it but they don't apparently.  But, I am smart so I will find a way to get my package if I can. I just have to be in the offices long enough the day beforehand as we have to go a day early for the day of Christmas dinner. It is a three four hour bus ride. My plan is ask for permission to pass by the offices the day beforehand but it depends on what time we get there. If I do it right I should be able to get one package. It just will be hard as they don't send packages like they are supposed to and the pouch (all the stuff that is supposed to go to Santo Domingo) normally never is sent so it piles up with stuff. But I will get you photos don't worry. I just have to figure out how.

Also, it looks like they might be cutting my mission one week short (and the missions of everyone) as the church is planning on changing the MTC time for native speakers from 2 weeks to 3 weeks. Due to this change, one of our changes will be 5 weeks and so I believe I could be going home as early as May 23rd as the changes normally put people two weeks before they hit two years. Now it is three weeks.


Elder Throop

*Mom's Note
Here's the mission map with a close up of Santo Domingo and the Bomboli ward.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Changes Coming?, Trek Sister News, No New Foods, Struggles in District, Mission Pres Interview


Well today we have an activity where we are going to a dinner with a counselor from the stake presidency so I will tell you about it next week and what happens with the changes. Unfortunately our apartment is a lot dirtier ever since the emergency changes.  We do have space with a room for us to sleep, a bathroom, a small kitchen with a fridge, and a room to study and that is our apartment. With changes close I don't know what will happen with my companionship. I believe it is a very real possibility that I could get changed and if that happens I don't know where to. I could stay in Quito or have a really long bus ride to who knows where but we receive the changes this Sunday.

Well I have some funny news my trek sister managed to track me down and she is in the mission field! She she sent me an email (pokie or mikayla for your information) What a surprise!
Apparently she is serving in South Carolina so she gets lots of cool stuff (ipad, car, computer, nice phones, etc) That would be cool to hear about her.

Well I don't necessarily need a hat or gloves but those things aren't necessary as it doesn't drop too cold. That is awesome to hear from Ben and I completely agree with him on the point of transition. The transition wasn't so rough for me as I was less a month from school then, Bam! Elder Throop. Still that is intense seeing him in the MTC. Must be close to Christmas and Thanksgiving break for you guys now huh? Yeah, thanks for the emails about the other Elders as that is extremely cool

As for this week no new foods. The weather is cooling down quite a bit and I need that long sleeved sweater most days and sometimes my rain jacket and umbrella so we are headed to colder times.

I don't think we will have any baptisms this change and quite honestly I feel it is a trial to see if I will be patient and wait the blessings of God in my life. I mean I had one baptism with Elder Goodfellow but then nothing. We kept teaching and I strive to be obedient and diligent, but it is quite the test of patience to have no results after so much work. Maybe I will get sent to Santo Domingo which has a lot of people from the coast and baptize a lot there as coastians are more sincere apparently. This sector has been hard and some of the investigators we had just don't want to repent too much. For example the familia Maldonado, the young paraja don't have many desires to get married as Javier (the man) fell into word of wisdom problems. I am really worried we will lose them as they kind of are hiding. We will have to drop a few people for not going to church and continuing to sin. So this is a harder sector. Still it is my first and I will remember it well.

We recently had our interviews with President Christensen which went well for me. I don't know how often interviews are as this is my first interview but I think every 3 months more or less depending on the transfer and what happens. He asked us to share a lesson of 5 minutes about the Book of Mormon and I think I did well enough and he said my accent is improving which is really good news for me as I have been striving to improve my accent and my grammar knowledge. He commented that when I came to the mission I had quite a bit of grammar knowledge thanks to the four years of French but I have improved which really cheered me up as it has been hard for me sometimes as I remember I had a great French accent. (Maybe I lack a bit in communication but Elder Lopez feels I talk too much. Highly ironic as Elder Goodfellow said I didn't talk enough.) We then shared a scripture we had meditizied (Mom's note-is this the Spanish version of Ponderize?) and our comments and anything we could improve on. I mentioned I had some problems with pride and being humble and he gave me some great counsel. President Christensen is great and very intelligent and helps out a lot when I need it.

Well with this next week I am kind of waiting for the changes as we are kind of mas o menos right now.

Lots of love,

Elder Throop

Skype home coming soon, Elder Lopez, Accent good, but Still Look Gringo, More Weird Food


That play of Daniel's sounds cool and I find that interesting with everything happening there. It must be nearing Christmas break for everyone and that also means the Skype home is coming up quick. I will hit 6 months and just the week after I get the Skype home. The first Skype home for the family but not the last.

I think thanksgiving could turn out great but I don't know what we will get for Thanksgiving. I will get food of course and be in this same sector but I don't know what we will do.

Elder Lopez is interesting as a companion. Unfortunately, it can happen in the mission with people with 18 months get really trunky as it is 4 changes left. Normally people get trunky their last change as it's basically been 2 years time to go home. I hope we can communicate better as we lack a bit in communication.

Today we went to the telefeleco for my second time and we got farther this time. I actually dressed appropriately this time so I didn't get too cold. I think my accent in Spanish is improving I just can't hear my accent as well as I did with French as I had a pretty good French accent at the end of my school. Still I have improved my grammar a ton and practiced a lot. So I should sound more and more Latino but I still look gringo every day. I do look forward to hearing from Ben as he is starting out and I can remember very clearly what it was like to start.

Oh one thing I forgot. Weird food story time! We did divisions with the zone leaders recently and we got to eat meriande with their pensionista. And we got to eat the tripas of a baca. You want to know what that is in english? Good I will tell you. I ate cow intestine that day. It wasn't too bad (as you freak out reading this email) it was really chewy and I had too swallow it. It tasted kind of like bacon. Have fun thinking about that (we didn't eat too much and the were in small little round pieces.)

 I hope you guys do well and wish you my love and a fun time with Star Wars.

Elder Throop

New Companion, New Food, Imperfect Subjunctive and Pluperfect


Well, Elder Chambi has regressed to his home in Bolivia. He did go home on Saturday and I now have my new companion. My new companion is named Elder Lopez. He is from California and has Latino heritage and has 18 months in the mission so it has been a little interesting with him.

We have done well in the sector and I believe we could have some baptisms this change. We just need to make sure the costs for their marriage are low or non-existent so as to ensure that they can get married quickly. The weather can vary depending on the days but we have had sunnier days.

Yesterday, we did have kind of a weird food day. We had ceviche (a type of soup made with tomatoes and other things) of mariscos (seafood) among that seafood was octopus I believe. I am not sure if this type has octopus but I have had this type of ceviche before. It also had fish and other sea food. So that was weird food. I am still in the same area to answer your question. I am confirmed to stay in this area until the end of this change but I have a feeling president wants to transfer me out I just don't know to were. So next change I might be in a new area for Christmas. But I do get to stay in this area for Thanksgiving but I don't think Latinos celebrate thanksgiving. Still Christmas is next change.

I am definitely looking forward to the Skype home but of course I don't know how that works. It will be nice to have the Skype home right after my 6 month mark as I should have a better accent in Spanish. Apparently, I am improving and I don't know if that was from 3 weeks straight of Spanish and or the fact that I keep trying to learn more in Spanish every day. Trust me I never knew what pluperfect subjunctive was (as in French we only did subjunctive) but I got here and found out that not only is there subjunctive but there is an imperfect subjunctive and a pluperfect (imperfect subjunctive of the Spanish word haber with the past participle) so I learnt quite a bit. So that was what was interesting.

We didn't have any activities for Pday so slightly boring but restful. On Saturday it was hectic with Elder Chambi packing his bags and during the mornings on most days he was in his bed because of how sick he was. Well that was my week and look forward to next week.
Elder Throop

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Daily schedule, Elder Chambi going home?


That's cool to hear about Halloween there. We do sometimes get the Liahona but it's not like the missionaries get a regular subscription. You just have to ask for one that isn't going to anyone in particular. As for a normal day I will give you the rough layout.

We get up 6:30 shower, eat, exercise and at 8:00 we start studies. We start with personal study one hour. Then 9:00 is companionship study one hour. Then if we can one hour of language study. With me and Elder Chambi its 30 minutes English and 30 minutes Spanish. That lasts til 11:00. Then we leave. If we can we try to get citas (appointments) at 11:00 and 12:00. 1:00 is lunch which can last a while. Then we have citas between 2:00 - 2:30 and 6:00 which is merienda (that means afternoon snack its like dinner) then we try to get two more citas at 7:00 and 8:00. At 9:00 we have to head home unless we have a cita then the latest we should be at home is 9:30. Occasionally it can happen where we arrive a little later than 9:30 but not often. Then we do nightly planning. Do things we need to do in the night (like fill in the area book) and at 10:30 at the latest we sleep. Now this doesn't always happen. On Thursday we have district and zone meetings were we recieve different trainings. That starts 10:30 (in the morning) but we have to leave around 10:00 to get there on time. That lasts til lunch. On Friday is weekly planning which can vary in time depending how many people you have and how many problems happen between you and your companion. That starts at 10:00 and can last til lunch depending on what you are doing. If you are used to weekly planning it can take less time. Sunday is church which starts at 8:00 so that day is weird as well. Then you can have conferences with 70's and other random things that mess up your schedule. P day itself is studies until 10:00 then Pday until 6:00 then you have citas. That is what our normal week can look like. This pday we went to Mr Joy again which was funny as our ward mission leader came with us. That was basically our Pday and we ate lunch together as well.

I do have some unfortunate news. It looks like Elder Chambi might be going home early for health reasons. I don't know when exactly but it should happen during this week. It has been hard for him and it has stretched my patience sometimes. I kind of am worried as this means I have to teach someone else the sector and the people as I don't know if I am gone at the end of this change and that gives me 3 weeks. That was really the bad news.

We have some investigators really close to baptism but oh no marriage and paperwork. Quite honestly I am ready to tell them to lie about the kids and say all the kids are from one man so they can just pay and get baptized. Abraham lied (for a good reason) just an idea of course but maybe. So that was really what is important. I'll try to ensure to talk about weird food to freak you out and man I can't believe how close Ben is to his mission.

Love you all and look foward to next week,
Elder Throop

Still have a Gringo Accent, Potential Investigators, Weird Food


Well this week was interesting with my latino companion. We are doing pretty well and he is pretty funny. I am still waiting on a camera to take a picture of him to send to you guys. We had a slightly harder week in terms of those we taught but we have to endure to the end and keep trying to find new people. I am speaking about the same amount of Spanish (maybe a bit more) with Elder Chambi then I did with Elder Goodfellow. Towards the end and really all of last change to be honest I spoke lots of Spanish. I still think my accent is the same which is disappointing really. I know quite a bit of the vocab and am doing better with conjugations but all the time I still have an accent I believe. I mean I speak it so much but still accent. I don't know why I can't get the accent. I mean I had a good French accent towards the end of French claswhen I was still taking French.  Still with practice and time hopefully I will get it down.

Today was a little harder as we had to go to the offices as Elder Chambi had a medical cita and so we missed the zone activity of football and I just wish I had had the opportunity to do that activity. Still life goes on. We have some investigators doing well and I believe we could have a baptism or two this change. There is this couple that we have been working with that lack marriage to be baptized. The man of the house had a word of wisdom problem but he is doing a lot better. We talked to them about a marriage date and they are considering the middle of November around the 12th.We will verify that today and help them get to this goal and then baptize them. They will be awesome members. There is another lady that has the chance to get baptized. She just needs to obey the law of chastity and then she can get baptized. She has a powerful testimony. Those are people with lots of potential we have.

Well I guess its time for weird food stories to gross mom out. First really strange thing I had here was chicken liver. Not too strange but it tastes weird in my opinion. I have had that twice. Then there's chicken head. It actually has quite a bit of meat to it and doesn't look too bad when there are no eyeballs. It was hard to tell it was head but when I saw the bones afterwards I realized I had just eaten the meat off a chicken head. I've had that once. I probably might have more stories about stuff like that as this really rich lady has offered to give us food basically every Sunday (one Sunday per month a lady from the coast will give us food) and this rich lady who is a recent convert likes giving us lots of food and nice food (for Ecuador) so that should be fun.

We have gotten some rain here although it is a little infrequent. I really don't know when the rainy season proper will hit.

Well I hope you all do well and wish you all love and a Happy Halloween,

Elder Throop

Empindas de verde, New companion, Finished with Training, Investors issues


I don't have any photos for this P day unfortunately but once I can I will get you some pics. I just need a camera (Preferably mine). As for my favorite food one really good one that I like is called empinadas de verde (a type of banana if I remember correctly) con queso. Those are really good. They are kind of small and a little harder for people to make but so good. They are a favorite here and you won't find them in America.  I still have a gringo accent (I think) when I speak Spanish but I know quite a bit which is really fortunate considering what has happened.

Now for the big news. We got changes and Elder Goodfellow is gone. He went to the north (as district leader). I recieved a Latino named Elder Chambi who is from Bolivia so for the next 6 weeks I get to speak lots more Spanish and also help him in the sector. He is the compañero mayor but the problem is that he doesn't know the sector too well. I will help him learn the sector and the people in the next week. So for a while I get to be like the compañero mayor (senior companion). Our district didn`t have too many changes except another Elder, Elder Leonard is now district leader. He will be starting his fourth change now so after this change he will most likely be going as his trainee is finishing training this change.

I have now officially finished my training which is a little strange but it is nice as now study time will be different (unless I ever train) I will try to get you a photo of my new companion sometime. In case you were wondering we still are in the same sector so I know everyone that I need to know. As for last week we did pretty well. I have some personal goals for the sector for things to do in this next change.

We had a very interesting week in terms of investigators going to church. We had an old lady and her son who we have been working with. They have gone before but they go infrequently. This time they went on their own after we invited them which is awesome. Her daughter didn't go and her daughter, Lupe, is someone that needs to obey the law of chastity to get baptized. What was really neat was her sometimes really drunk brother showed up. He has major problems with the word of wisdom but we told him you need to go to church. And he went. He looked unwell but he seemed to get a lot out of it and he might be baptized someday. Another really strange thing happened. We had this investigator family who are golden. All between them now and baptism was marriage. Like he had a word of wisdom problem and didn't want to get work. Then he got work stopped drinking smoking both read the Book of Mormon daily went to church as a family accepted the message well etc. Well we had a cita with them on Friday. A cita fija as we say (a cita guaranteed to happen more or less). They didn't show. Next day we meet him semi drunk smoking in the calle. He seemed off. What was weirder was her. She was acting different and was dressed inmodestly and just watched him. So we set up a cita to see what happened. No show. They didn't go to church and it was a nightmare more or less. Then today he called me to set up a cita and give me his number. So obviously they fell and want to repent which is great.

Well today was a little longer. Elder Goodfellow had to pack last night which was funny as his bags were basically empty. I have some stuff out with what I need but it wouldn't take me as long as he did (I hope) to pack. Then we left at around 8:00 to head to a nearby terminal called Quitumbe where transfers happen with missionaries (they receive companions coming in or head out themselves) It is the spot in Quito where you go if you are getting a non new missionary (training) or heading out. I ended up being there until like 1:30 because my companion came in from Riobamba which is far south and also he left around 10:00. Elder Goodfellow actually got his companion before I did and his came in from Santo Domingo. I think that guy left earlier. But I basically spent most of my day sitting in a terminal talking and getting really bored. Still now I have him and we still managed to buy a few things and he managed to unpack. That was my day and the important things that happened. I hope you guys do well and wish you all love,
Elder Throop

Monday, October 19, 2015

Some Good News, Possible Baptisms, District Changes Coming


That is cool with the conference quotes and thanks for those. I understood most of the talks but some parts were harder to understand due to idiomatic phrases or things like that. For our investigators there is some good news. One of our investigators recently found work so he and his wife can get married. They are planning on getting married at the end of November so they will get baptized. I just don't know if I will be here when they get baptized which is sad as the next change ends on November 30th and I don't know when exactly they want to get married. It would be nice to see them married and baptized but I know they will progress magnificently. It just might be that another missionary gets to be there at the end of their process. Still that would mean I played a great role in their progression which is important. And quite honestly the numbers are not what are always important, it's the people that those numbers represent.

Another investigator of ours gave her testimony in the testimony meeting which was awesome as she had a very powerful and heartfelt testimony. She says she wants to get married with her husband in December which is in the change after this coming up one. The changes in the mission are coming this next Sunday so we will see what happens. Most likely Elder Goodfellow will be sent out and I will remain here and receive a Latino companion. That is most of everyone's predictions. I don't know who could be the future district leader but it will most likely be someone in my sector as the other two sets of Elders are in training. It is possible a district leader could be called among them but it might be easier for the district leader to be in a companionship not training as that district leader has many responsibilities if they are training.

We did have a rougher week and we are struggling to get lessons taught with members present. Our ward has members (not lots but still has member) it's just the people we try calling almost never can help us or always have an excuse. Sometimes to me it seems the Ecuadorians are the best at making excuses. Still we do our best. We also have had a lot of our plans fall so it ends up that we sometimes have a hard time finding someone to visit. Also since I have started leading it is a little harder as I am not perfect with the sector and I still have things to learn. Still I hope we can finish the change strong and also I will be finishing my training soon which is really exciting.

We didn't have the opportunity to do anything too exciting today due to the fact that on the last P day in the change missionaries can't have district or zone activities so it is often hard to figure out what to do. Also the first P day in the change can get fried as it is when changes happen so that P day can be hectic. So today we hung out at the house for awhile and just going to a few places and not doing too much. So hopefully we have an exciting week.

I probably will read the talks in English or listen to them in English. That will take me some time but I do look forward to it.  Well I wish you all love.


Elder Throop

Monday, October 12, 2015

Rough week, Conference Dubbed, but Still Good, Meeting with First Missionary in Ecuador


Well I got a soso cyber again. This time the mouse is kind of horrible. We spent some time looking for a cyber because we wanted to be with the other companionship as they wanted some of the photos that Elder Goodfellow had. We had a rough week as conference destroyed our Saturday so we visited no one that day. Sunday we did get some visits. We had a lot of visits fall which was sad but we did work hard this week. We have no one progressing at the moment which is really disappointing as it would be really hard to get anyone baptized right now unless they do what they are supposed to. There is this one couple with a lot of potential and if they get married we could baptize them before the end of this change.

We did some pretty cool things this week. On Saturday we went to a nearby hill called the Panicilo to see the first missionary that served in Ecuador. His name was Elder Robinson and he was really cool and humble. He kept making a point that what he did was really no different then what other missionaries do. He talked with us and the other companionship and seemed interested in us. A lot of people wanted to take photos with him as he was kind of the main interest. It was a special event right before conference and it was in celebration of the church being fifty years in Ecuador. So we got to do that before conference on Saturday which was just awesome. I do have some photos of that so I will see about sending you some as that was really cool.

We listened to conference in Spanish which wasn't the worst as I understood what they were saying. It just wasn't the same to not hear the prophets voice. Still the cool part was when we heard Elder Christofferson as he translated his talk into Spanish and we got a recording of his voice. So I got to hear (and understand) Elder Christofferson in Spanish. His Spanish was amazing and a lot better (in my not so humble opinion) then the other translators. That was cool. I did notice Thomas S Monson looked more tired then normal and his age might be affecting him. Also considering the stress of being a prophet. I just hope he lives for awhile. The three new apostles were cool but again Spanish translations. Hopefully in April we will hear it in English because I don't know what the new ones sound like. I did like that talk from the seventy about memorizing and studying the scriptures. I can't remember what word it was in Spanish but I was like huh? That talk was funny as well. Here are two methods that will help you. One will help financially one spiritually. Then he said can you imagine. So that talk was really cool. It definitely was a great experience. I felt that conference went really fast and I don't know if that was because I was really excited for conference or really ready. I definitely enjoyed it.

There were a lot of talks about day of rest (in Spanish día de reposo, thing is I can't remember what it is in English exactly because I teach it in Spanish so much) and the importance of sanctifying the day of rest. I guess some people don't get it. Elder Holland`s tribute to mothers was awesome and I really enjoyed hearing that. Hearing an apostle talk so much about love and mothers was great. This conference definitely was great. There was one talk from the Priesthood Session (I know it is for men but I recommend it anyways because it was epic) was him talking about obeying the commandments. He said, I am going to make my theme very simple and clear Obey the Commandments (more or less if I remember correctly) and he gave this magnificent talk about obeying the commandments. There was another talk from Carol something that applies to our investigators and can help people. I definitely enjoyed conference.

Today we had a zone activity were we basically played games as a district and played different sports. Then President showed up from no where and everyone was just panicking and acting just a tad better. I think his purpose was to talk to one specific missionary but he greeted us all and talked with different people. It was nice to see him. He could also have been there to encourage us as the zone apparently had a rough week as well. I don't know the reasons but it was nice to see him. The activities were fun. We did a variety of sports including Ultimate Frisbee Ecovolly (a type of volleyball played here. Three on three with a soccer ball and different rules) sharks and minnows and other things. So we had a fun time. We then went over to our pensionistas house and they gave us lunch which was really nice as they don`t have to feed us Monday at all. We then watched our pensionista make brownies (which we ate later) and now I have a recipe for brownies! We did some shopping then came here to write home.

Well that sums up my week and I hope you guys have a good time.

Elder Throop

Here's some pics

Close up of Virgin Statue

Companionships with husband of the Pensionita

Companionships and the ward mission leader (beard) and Elder Robinson

Being silly with the statue

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2 weeks (updated) Elder Scott, Ward Council, Got the Contact Message Down, Rain (Finally), Marriage is A Rare Thing, Visiting Waterfalls


I did here about Richard G Scott's death through our pensionitas. It was really sad to hear about and I think you are right about the fact that the year 1906 was the last time it happened where they had to call 3 new apostles. I am looking forward to conference immensely. I believe we get the opportunity to watch some if not the majority of the sessions in English. I think at least one session we have to go a little ways away to watch it because our Bishop scheduled ward council for like 515 that day and conference ends at 5. He also made a big point of watching conference in the capilla (meeting house) and not in your homes. Quite honestly that just is dumb. In America our meeting houses are empty in conference with the exception of priesthood session. I think that even the missionaries aren't there.

This ward council we got the side entertainment of one of the Bishops counselors trying to catch a fly for about an hour then pulling out a pen and making lightsaber noises and swinging it around. Evidently we could improve. Still it was funny to see one of the counselors to the bishop doing that. Quite honestly there is a lot of internal conflict in this ward among the Bishop and the ward mission leader. Our ward mission leader decided that we should see if the Bishop and the other ward counselor members would actually do something and made us a plan to call them every day to go with us to citas. I hope they actually help because we have not done so well in lessons taught with members present.

Our week went fairly well. We had divisions with the Assistant to the President which was unusual but helped a lot because we have greatly increased our contacting. I am actually pretty good at making a contact. We made a joke about making recordings for contacts to make it more efficient. We thought it would be easy to just have recordings for morning afternoon and evening for families individuals and drunks. For example "Hola buenas (tiempo de la dia). Somos represantes de Jesucristo y tiene un mensaje sobre (familias, como Dios puede ayudar usted, ahhhh... chao tenemos cita)" We didn't actually do it but it was an idea we had. The divisions went very well and we have been trying to continue with what we learned and continue acting like we have the assistant at our sides.

Today we went to the offices to pick up the pouch for missionaries and copies of the Book of Mormon for people in our zone. We also planned on buying soccer jerseys but none of the good shops were open which was a bummer. Still one day. We're planning on helping the Hermana out today as they had emergency changes so we have decided to help them move their stuff.  I hope you have a good week and enjoy conference.

Elder Throop


Well in terms of weather we have finally have gotten rain, so I got to pull out my umbrella and rain jacket. We normally get rain in the afternoons so we can plan for it but often we have to just bring our rain gear because it can get really miserable if you are not prepared. Sunday was really crazy and was more like a monsoon in Phoenix instead of just raining as it came down in buckets.

As for our investigators, well let me put it this way, it would be easier to find the gold plates then to find a couple living together who WERE married before you found them. Every single couple that we have found so far have been living together unmarried. Our investigator that finally revealed in the interview with the Zone leader that she wasn't married is having more problems. Apparently the man she is with has two women so he is completely unloyal to her. He had 4 kids with her so she really doesn't want to get married (for obvious reasons) and doesn't want to get separated which would be the best for her in this situation as her youngest kid is 17. Another family that we found and that went to church we also found to be umarried. They were in their 50`s and they were unmarried!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This country really has some law of chastity issues. Still they have desires to get married but they are really occupied over their menos active son who has quite a few problems. Another family that we are working with actively has problems as well because the man doesn't have work and has some word of wisdom problems so he can cause some strife in the family and that has caused some stress and sorrow for the women. So people don't get married here and often have problems. Perhaps they have so many problems because they aren't married.

Still it isn't all bad as these people do have desires to change. It just means we have to make absolutely sure that people are married and ask them directly as we often seek families (as you get more people in families and there can be union) the problem is that most are unmarried and not all of them want to get married. Still I hope we will see some progress with these people.

Today was another cool day. We had a zone activity were we went to see some nearby waterfalls in a place called Los Chillos. We saw Cotopaxi again and it looks more active. The ash was coming out a lot so we will see. This activity was great though. We got pretty close to the waterfalls and got some photos. I will see if I am able to send you some photos because this activity was pretty awesome.

This week was a nice week although we struggled a bit and especially with me learning what I need to do to improve. Thank you for sending me that email about that other missionary as it is cool to hear about how other missionaries are doing. I hope you have a good week and look forward to next week.

Elder Throop

Here's some pictures.

More activity from Cotopaxi

Our Entire zone (lots of missionaries, but one guy looks like a Jehovah Witness with his hat as all the Jehovah Witnesses wear the same hat.) I'm in the back, as usual.
Zone Missionaries
Tall Waterfall

Standing at the base
Looking good
Tyler and Elder Leonard at a smaller waterfall

Monday, September 21, 2015

Trip to the Volcano, Investigators, Are You Married or Not? Really?


I don't know what we will be doing for conference yet but I figure we will get an opportunity to watch it of course. I believe we will see all sessions but I don't know yet as it will be my first conference. Elder Goodfellow is very good as District leader and it was rather interesting as he led the district meeting. Every night he gets calls from every single companionship in his district giving a report on the work and how it went. That is rather interesting and he got this long sheet of plastic to record all the information down on for each companionship. There are two new missionaries in our district now and both actually came from Bogota. One is named Elder Niu (pronounced new) and he is from Gilbert, Arizona which is really cool. He is actually younger than me as he had to wait some time as he turned 18 during the summer right before his mission. That was interesting. He is in the sector next to ours being trained by Elder Leonard so I get to see them every day more or less as they work in the same ward as us and have the same pensionista. The other Elder is named Elder Choque and he is a Latino. I don't know too much about him other then the fact he spent 2 weeks in the MTC before coming here so he is really new.

My Spanish is coming on really well although I still probably have an accent. The problem is that I can't hear my accent well. Still I understand conversations better and also I am better at understanding some of the jokes made. I am still in training still of course but that is going well and I will be done soon. Today was really cool. We had a member offer to take us near this volcano named Santa Anna. This guy is really cool has lots of money and really likes the missionaries so it was a neat experience. We got to see the volcano Santa Anna and we also got to see Cotopaxi from were we were. It was billowing out ashes and it was really neat. It wasn't extremely close but we got a good view. Apparently the internal activity is starting to subside and the external activity is going down as well so it is highly unlikely that it will explode.

That is neat to hear about Kinebritt. Quite honestly you pick up pretty quick who is drunk who is really drunk and who is high. I kid you not. We have a menos active and well he has a serious drug problem. Another one of our investigators (well former technically as we could never contact him well) drinks a lot and you can tell by just how they speak and act.

This week was pretty cool and we have some investigators progressing well. We had one who attended church this Sunday for the 3rd time but she still needed some lessons to be ready for the baptismal interview. We taught everything she needed to know to be ready for the interview and she had the interview yesterday. One of the Zone Leaders interviewed her and he said it was the most spiritual interview he had ever had in his mission. It was because she has a strong testimony and just knows that she has to get baptized. He said everything was going fine until he hit law of chastity. She told him (in Spanish) that she couldn't lie any more and that she wasn't married. That stunk because we thought she was married. She was with her man for 24 years and had 4 kids with him. What the heck??!!!! Still she knows she has to get married and that is the only obstacle in the way of her getting baptized. I believe she will get married soon and then she can get baptized. I mean we teach people living together unmarried a lot and help them work on that but we usually know that they aren't married. So we felt a little silly. I am pretty sure she will get married soon as she looked just devastated that she couldn't be baptized this Saturday. We had another 2 investigators who aren't married but went to church for the second time and they have great potential. So yeah we did well.

There was another man who showed up who was a real shock. He is one of the eternal investigators. He has received missionaries for years but never done anything. Then yesterday he just shows up after our meetings were finished and he went to church for the first time in years I believe. He is kind of crazy but loves speaking English and he actually did something important. So we will see about him. That was some of the highlights in my week. I will try getting you some pictures of the trip we had today as it was awesome. I hope you guys have fun and I love you all,

Elder Throop

Here are some pics of the volcanos


Cotopaxi (closer view)

Tyler with Cotopaxi
Santa Anna-non active Volcano

Tyler at Santa Anna

Tyler, Elder Leonard, Elder Goodfellow, and Elder Niu at a lagoon nearby Santa Anna

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rough Day, Toe Cut, District Changes


This week was pretty interesting and it was the last week of the change. We had a really rough day one of these days where we only got one cita the entire day as everything fell. We had a district study that day (Saturday if you were wondering) but by 7:00 in the evening we had nothing to do except go to our correlation which was scheduled at 8:00. We ate at the family's house as the ward mission leader is the son of the relief society president who feeds us. So he is in the same house as her. So that day was not fun.

On Friday we went to a medical cita were they cut my toenail. He did it on the big toe and the toe next to it,as both were unwell. The mission paid for it but it cost only 30. My toes feel a lot better now and I still will have to take care of them of course. Still it was simple although he didn't numb it all. He just cut both. It hurt a bit but he didn't go to the root which was strange, but I hope that it just gets well. So my foot now should be well.

We had the changes in the mission. I am staying in the same area with my same companion. The twist is that he is the district leader now which should be interesting. That probably means that he will go to more meetings and I just study and we might have to go to the offices more often. Does the ward send things to missionaries monthly or how often is that? And have you sent anything to me yet? I am wondering because I haven´t seen anything come in yet and I was curious to that system.

In the sector next to ours which is called Argelia as well I believe one of the missionaries was sent to a sector in our zone to open a sector their and he will be the district leader. He was our district leader for this district here. The other missionary will receive a new missionary and will be training a new person which should be interesting. I am still going to be trained of course but it should be neat to see a new missionary under training.

I can't think of anything else right now and today was different due to the changes. I probably will have more to write next week.


Elder Throop

Jergas, Toe Problems, Investigators, and Conference


Today was a simpler PDay and we just went to the church offices to grab some things and ate some food. We haven't done too much else and probably will just relax until the P day ends and go and teach some lessons. Still we did some cool things. My companion hit the one year mark in the field like a couple days ago. He didn't burn anything though, so I guess he is unique. Granted at his 6 month mark he burned a shirt that was extremely damaged as he was attacked by a dog. That was cool to see him hit one year.

The weather is pretty constant here. I think it rains sometimes at night but we have yet to have it rain during the day. The weather does stay the same mostly throughout the day with a lot of cloud coverage sometime which is so strange. Still I think we might have some rain later on in the year but right now it is technically winter here. I think they get more rain during their summer. Quite honestly though their seasons are based on rain and not the names of the seasons. I still don't know the names of the seasons in Spanish as they really don't have seasons here.

I have learned quite a few jergas (slang words) from some people and also some local words. The family we eat with and some of the missionaries use a lot of the jergas. Also they are not so formal here. You shake hands with ward members usually but with missionary to missionary or to someone you are more familiar with they oftentimes do like fist bumps of high fives of combinations of the such which is really interesting.

My feet are doing relatively fine although I might need to get my toe cut because it is starting to develop an infection. It bugged my in the MTC but I did a treatment on the advice of the doctor and the treatment worked and it was fine. Then one day here it got irritated then Bam! Infection. I believe the mission would pay for the treatment in this case as it happened in the mission and it wasn't really preexisting as it was completely healed then got un-fun. Both sets of my shoes are broken in and I ensure to keep them nice and polished (one of the things I had to learn how to do. That little book from Pomeroy's was really helpful) and I learned how to sew rips in my pants because one of my pants got a hole in it. That was neat to do.

This last week we had immense success. We got several new investigators and had 5 assist to church although we should've had 10 as we have some very solid investigators. We did some great contacting and one thing that surprisingly worked very well was doing an invitation to baptism in each first lesson. We thought it was completely dumb but we started really doing it well this week and we saw immense success. Plus we have investigators with a baptismal date that kept the date. We had one new family called the Family Rivera and the mother is awesome. She basically said to us in one lesson that she wanted to be a member of our church. She was one person who went to church. her daughter has a few problems. She is 16 and fell in love with a cop. Well she then decided to go to this cop to a hotel room and majorly break the law of chastity. Now she is in a lawsuit with the cop but he has a very nice lawyer because all the other cops are helping him out. Thing is he broke the law but this is a cop we are talking about. Taking a cop to court and having a lawsuit about that sort of thing is just bad. She needs some work. She in one lesson asked what happens when we break the law of chastity too much. So we have a few things to teach her still. But the mom is great. So yeah that was one of our investigator families.

We have another set with a couple that live together but aren't married (very common here) but they were very accepting. They are Javier and Erika. They are a very good couple with 3 kids so it is strong.  They asked in one lesson if they had to get married before the 19th (the baptismal date for them) so they are very good. They are very accepting and are thinking a lot about marriage. They assisted as well with their children.  I believe we will have a marriage date for them soon.

That is some of the investigators. We did have to drop a few people unfortunately but we keep looking.

Now the highlight of this week was our conference with President Soares. He was awesome and talked about why we are here in Quito. It was awesome to hear him and there were a ton of missionaries in the chapel with him. He was great and I got to shake his hand and in Spanish he said "Bueno repuesto, Elder" as I had answered one of the questions. Trust me standing up in a hall of a couple hundred missionaries facing someone who could be one of the twelve one day was a tad nerve wracking. But it was awesome. He was asking about why we were here and I talked about intelligences and being chosen and saved. So awesome and scary at the same time. We got to hear him for 2 hours and the conference was a blast. That was so great.

Look forward to hearing from you again,


Elder Throop

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

More Studying, Relying on God, Hiking, and Golden Contacts

*Mom's Note.  So, I guess I'm really behind on updating the blog.  My schedule's been crazy since the kids went back to school.  I'll post each letter separately.*


I am definitely looking forward to General Conference and I think that weekend will be great. I will still be in training when general conference happens so that might interfere with studies but we have had some trouble getting our full studies in for various reasons. Either we end up having service or a meeting a conference or a lesson to teach in the morning something happens a lot sometimes and we don`t usually get our full studies in.

I have a hard time doing the studies right now but I think I can improve my attitude towards them as I will have to study for my whole mission. Fortunately after my twelve weeks of training I should have 3 hours of study max per day and sometimes that can change. Still it is not the end of the world for me but I just prefer doing the actual work. I guess the studies remind me a lot about the MTC where I felt like I was in prison more or less getting taught classes and studying a lot. My companion is the opposite. He loves studies and doesn`t like doing the work too much. Weird huh?

That is also great to hear that Daniel wants to do Zion`s Camp as I really enjoyed the program. Granted nothing can truly prepare you for the spiritual, physical, emotional and mental hardships you go through on your mission as on your mission you truly feel like you are facing an impossible task sometimes and that can bring you down a lot. On your mission you truly face the temptations of Satan and go through some of the greatest trials of your life. It is all part of the refining fire but it sure is a lot of stress and you have to deal with that stress. You can`t escape it and on your mission you really learn to rely on God. Still it is not all bad and there are a lot of great times on your mission. The Zion`s Camp gives you a taste of what happens and really lets you look forward to the experience of actually teaching the gospel and sharing the gospel. Because until you enter the actual mission field you will have done practices. The mission field definitely is worth it as you invite people to come to Christ and you get people that actually accept and change their lives.

As for me today we went and hiked a nearby mountain a bit which was fun but super windy and it was at a really high altitude. I will have to get you some pictures if I can as it was really neat. We took a bus to take a little cart thing (can`t remember the name) but that took us up a ways. We then started hiking and we got a pretty good distance and I think I might have gotten close to 14000 feet above sea level. I made the mistake of wearing shorts and bringing only a sweater so it was hard for me but it was great. That was our main activity today and that took quite some time. We had to leave the apartment early then we normally do on P days but it was well worth it.

This week was pretty good and we had a good number of lessons and contacts. We have these two investigators who seem just golden. They are progressing really well they accepted the baptismal invitation they went to church with us  and it was just great. Hopefully we can gently guide them to a baptismal date and if we can get them to accept the baptismal date we should have 2 baptisms pretty soon. They are a mother and her 30 something year old son and they are awesome. So it was a good week overall I think and I look forward to helping those 2 progress. Have fun and lots of love,

Elder Throop

p.s. I am attaching some photos of me at the top of the mountain. You might notice the low hanging clouds on the mountain behind me. It was really cold thanks to the wind. I'm also including a picture of us at a service project.  We helped move sand to the top of a building for a while.  There was a lot of sand if you can't tell by the photo.  The other two Elders are named Elder Leonard and Elder Smith.  Then, there is the Latino we helped.
Tyler at the top

Tyler and Elder Goodfellow

Quito from the top
One of the mountains

Tyler, Elder Goodfellow, Elder Smith and Elder Leonard at service project

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Feeling Better, Conferences, and Ash in the Air


Today we played futbol as a zone which was really neat. The Hermanas in our zone were making food with Hermana Christensen today as there is a verification for new missionaries tomorrow which lasts most of the day so I will tell you about that next week.

As for my health I am a lot better now and it was probably some sort of bug I got with eating the food as the food is not always clean. Here you have to eat everything they give you and I am not in a place where I am allowed to refuse some dishes. Still it isn't too bad and I manage fairly well. Usually on Mondays we try to get some American food at the recreo although it costs a little more which is why it is only a once a week.

Just for me the time is definitely faster out here than in the MTC and I think that is because I am doing the Lord's work now. I think it is definitely true that Satan likes attacking you on the mission. I have heard it said that when you put your name tag on you are putting a big target on your chest for Satan and I think that is because the work you do is destroying his kingdom and he doesn't like that. I do write in my journal and try to daily and with one exception I have been perfect. One night (while I was still sick) I felt absolutely horrid and forgot to write but made sure the next night to write about both the days to not forget. I usually write about what we did and any neat experiences I have and I think it will be cool to one day just look back. I sometimes read old entries now. I write about milestones as well as those are the experiences that compose a mission.

For me I study my scriptures in the mornings and I usually read some verses out of the Book of Mormon out loud in Spanish. I then sometimes might try translating them into English. I also usually read some scriptures that go along with the lessons we have planned for the day and I am planning on adding just writing down things that stick out to me as I got a notebook to write some things down.

I have been able to listen to music however they don't have CD players here. I am not sure if I would ever find one either. My companion has an MP3 with a little speaker that he plays music with as we do have electricity and plumbing. I am living in the city right now not the jungle. But yes I have listened to music and the Spanish uplifting music is neat even if I don't understand all the words. I like the uplifting music and he (my companion) has this Spanish guy that sings uplifting songs and that is what we listen to. We sometimes listen to English hymns or songs and I have heard a few talks. I really look forward to conference where everyone speaks English. I look forward to seeing who are the 2 new Quorum of the 12 and hearing from Elder Holland and other speakers. It is still hard for me right now but apparently I am actually pretty far along and by 6 months I am told that you usually have a great understanding of the language which is awesome because 6 months for me is in December right before I Skype home for Christmas so that will be great.

We recently had a conference for the zones in Quito with a guy named Elder Waddell (if I remember his name correctly) He was actually about an inch taller than me and he was really cool. He talked to us about some various things to help with missionary work and we heard from some missionaries and Hermana and Presidente Christensen. We have more conferences coming up including one where we get one of the Presidency of the Seventy I believe talking to this mission and Quito north so it will be a huge conference. It is definitely cool to have the conferences.

We did get a storm here and I guess technically it is winter here. The thing is that the seasons aren't based on summer or winter but rain and not rain as currently it really doesn't rain too much. 

In the country, a volcano near Quito called Cotopaxi, which is the tallest active volcano in the world, has spewed out some ash recently. I don't know what the current situation with it is but if that thing actually really just has a big eruption we could have problems here. For now it is only spewing out ashes so it is neat. There has also been some protesters of the indigenous people. A group of about 200 indigenous went to the President's area and protested but I highly doubt anything will come of that as the President is popular and apparently has some pretty good policies but I really don`t care about politics right now.
I hope you all do well and I love you all and look forward to hearing from you next week.


Élder Throop

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

First Baptism, Shopping, Under the Weather, and Hello, Is Anyone Out There?


We had our first convert baptism and I stood in on the circle for the confirmation which was neat. He is a kid named Anderson Cedeño. I think that will make some people excited to hear about my first baptism as a companionship. My companion was chosen to baptize Anderson as Anderson knew my companion better.

So today is a little weird with writing home. We were hoping to get my hair cut then write home but there are a lot of people in the two haircut places that are open and a third that is nearby is closed. So I get to write some more now.

Today we got to visit a nearby Catholic cathedral which was really neat. We had to ask permission to exit our zone from the zone leaders as it was actually out of our zone. It was a nicely sized place although it took them I think 100 years to build and it is smaller and less magnificent than the Salt Lake Temple. It has a lot of graffiti everywhere and some areas have patchwork and also they have done a lot of renovation. Still it was very neat. We climbed a bunch of steps to get to the top and I will send some pictures of the place so you get an idea of what it looked like. We got a nice view of the city from it. It was about 350 feet high. That was what me and my companion did this week. We then went on a bus to come back here ate some food and did some shopping. We then cleaned our house a little and just sat a bit as we had about 30 minutes to ourselves.

A lot of the stores here on the street are smaller, sometimes not more than a hole in the wall. But, shopping is easy as we have a shopping center near where we live where we do our shopping. The items are usually cheaper than American products and we get like 120 dollars per 2 weeks to spend on food and transport and items we need for cleaning and things like that. Some things are more expensive though. I saw a jar of Nutella that was priced at 11 dollars and it is like the normal sized ones in America so some things cost more.

My scripture study is coming along. I normally read out loud a chapter in the Book of Mormon in Spanish and I can generally understand what is going on. When I read to myself I have to really focus or I get nothing.  My language skills are progressing and apparently I started a lot further along than most missionaries according to my trainer. He is neat and he is a good trainer.

We also did a service project on Wednesday. We helped a family move out of their home. They were out of our sector but it was nice helping them out.

I have been a little under the weather here and got diarrhea for the last couple of days but the plan is for me to go on a 24 hour liquid diet and it should go away. I don't know how well I will handle no food for 24 hours but I should get better. I unfortunately also soiled my pants just because of how bad it was but I got to a cleaner to clean them. That was no fun, but I've heard that many missionaries have had these same issues, so I guess I'm not alone.

Thanks for praying for me and I do enjoy it here even if there are trials.


Èlder Throop

Here's the picture of Anderson standing between my companion and I. His mother and sister are to the left of my companion.

Me and My Companion at the top of the Cathedral

Me, pretending to fall

A view of the city from the Cathedral looking on a hill that really doesn't belong there as the city is in a valley

A view of the cathedral from the ground

One of the towers of the cathedral.  It has 4 towers total, 1 tall, 2 double towers and one shorter one
This is the shorter tower

Here are the double towers

* Mom's note:  I gather from some of Tyler's comments in his emails that he is only getting letters from me.  He was asking about his grandparents emailing him and his brothers, who didn't get a chance to email him this week because my laptop is having issues.  I guess he was sitting at the computer in the store for a long time, not really doing anything, feeling a little silly because he only had one letter to read from me and he had already written back to me.  So, if you have the chance, please send him a quick note.  I'm sure he would really appreciate it.  


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Life in Argelia-Baring Testimony, Investigators, Steep Hills, No colon on the keyboard


First of all, thanks to the ward for the package they sent at the end of June!  I got that in the MTC which was a nice surprise and kind of shocking as I didn't think you could get packages in the MTC. It might seem like a small thing for you guys but it makes a world of difference out here and it is nice to eat some things from home like Beef Jerky or Nutella. For packages now, use the mission home address.  

Here's the official mailing address for packages and instructions.  The district or zone leaders get a packet each week to take to the missionaries which includes anything you send.

Packages sent from the U.S. to Ecuador may not exceed 8 pounds and must carry a green sticker, even if the post office workers suggest you use a white one. It must have this customs declaration on the package, or it will not be accepted in this country. 

The packages must be addressed as follows: 

Elder Tyler Nelson Throop

Misión Ecuador Quito 
Calle Robles E4-151 y Avenida Amazonas 
Casilla: 17-03-078 
Quito, Pichincha 

Do not send packages by Priority mail or FedEx or UPS. These will automatically go to “mail jail”, requiring a special trip to the post office and payment of a large fee. All of which, will cause a long delay for your missionary to receive their packages. Also if packages are over the limit the country starts charging for overweight and what the package contains(incoming taxes charge) which means you have to pay to send it and then to receive it (generally $30-$80 to take it out of ¨mail jail¨). The church does not cover this cost. The time and money the church spends on postage is enormous in order for the missionaries to receive their mission mail and personal mail, your cooperation in this issue is highly valued, thank you for your help.

President and Sister Christensen were nice and very good people and President Christensen was fun to be around and they will be the mission presidents for the entire mission. So I look forward to that. I started working in the field really on Thursday. I didn't get my companion until Wednesday evening as we had training and were learning for awhile. We did some things on Wednesday but Thursday was the first real day which was interesting.

My trainer is named Elder Goodfellow and he is a good trainer. He put me to work on the day he got me just a bit and I have been working ever since and he is definitely good. The time zone is the same as Colombia which was nice. I think it is odd that I am now slightly south of the equator. This is probably the farthest south I will go in my life for awhile unless I get an area more south from here. I am working in the city of Quito right now. Argelia is the name of the ward that I currently serve in, which is in Turubamba North Zone

It is different here and the schedule has changed but I enjoy it more because I actually get to do work and help people out.  It is neat here in the mission and my area specifically is Argelia.  I did bear my testimony in Spanish on the fast Sunday here but they invited me up as I am a new missionary. I am not sure how frequently we bear testimony just because even in a ward with just about 98 people attending (that was how many attended last week) there still isn't really much of a break in the bearing of testimonies. I am not sure how much Spanish I have learned in relation learning it in school as most of the Spanish we learned at the MTC was focused on teaching the gospel although I can do fairly well in conversations.  It's just that they often use words I don't know. The people I am teaching here are neat. One is an investigator struggling with drug problems and he wants to change so hopefully he will do well. Another person is a guy who spent some time in America and actually prefers speaking English with us which is interesting and when we taught him my companion had a hard time apparently and he has been out just under a year. I think he hits his one year mark in 5 days. I don't know if I will have the same problem as I am fairly good at switching between English and a foreign language and remembering both. I think some people have problems because they don't have that experience of changing languages back and forth with ease. Still it depends on how much English I use. We have a family where the children are all to be members soon as the last son has his baptism August 16 at 700 in the morning so I get to get up early that day so we can prepare for the baptism. They are good kids it's just the mother doesn't want to hear the message. We have some less actives as well that we try to teach and one very promising investigator who needs help finding a new job so he can attend church. It is really nice teaching real people although it is a little hard as I don't always understand and it can be tricky to focus. My trainer usually takes the lead with lessons but I can still teach. Sometimes I can be really quiet just because I can`t understand what is going on.  

There are a lot of hills and a lot of really steep hills. I don`t think I have done this much hiking in my life! But it is good. The weather stays very consistent and we haven`t had much rain yet. They really don`t have seasons but I think technically it`s winter right now being south of the Equador (barely) still the weather stays at about 70 during the day and can get to about 60 at night. I haven't had it rain yet so it has been great. Is it strange having me gone yet as this is now the longest time I have been gone from home for any duration of time as Camp Raymond was only 6 weeks and now I am close to 7 weeks. It has been good and should be very interesting for the next 12 weeks with my training as missionaries get specific training for the first 12 weeks in the mission. After that studies are important but can be replaced by service to others and doing missionary work. So far it has been teaching for me and talking with people and no service as I think service can be harder to do here or find.

P days are always on Mondays here in the mission field and I believe for at least the next 6 weeks I will be able to email between 400 and 600 in the evening. I of course have to email the President I believe but I am a fast typer.  The first P day here was interesting and we started with studies and the day officially started at 1000 and ends at 600. (I can`t find a colon on this keyboard as I am in this little shop with some computers typing on a keyboard where all the letters have faded away and they had to tape letters on to the keys).  Once my P day ends I get to teach more until the end of the day which will be interesting. One of the harder things is just hearing about the times you can go without food and you are not fasting. That is just hard for someone as skinny as my. I think Sister Christensen was concerned for my well being as I was so tall but also skinny. 

I was looking through some of my forms that the tentative date for my release is May 30th 2017.   I feel like this was the best time to leave for me and I feel everything is nicely spaced out for me as Conference is just after 3 months on the mission.  Christmas is at 6 months which I heard is when you really gain mastery of the language (I really hope they aren't lying to me.) The April session of conference is at 10 months so nothing too big but then Mothers Day is right near the one year mark so I like the setup. Then you just add a year to each of those numbers when you consider the second time it happens. 

Èlder Throop

(Mom's note -Here's the map of the Quito Mission and then a close up of the area where Tyler is serving now in the Argelia Ward.)