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