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