Monday, December 19, 2016

No Bus Ride for Christmas This Year, Christmas Skype Arrangements, Better Week, Bowling as a Zone

12/19/2016

Yeah so when I was in Santo Domingo it wasn't really opening but kind of because what happened there was that the elder had worked a bit in his sector but they combined the sectors so he worked a lot in the other sector. he knew our sector at the time but there was no program which is helping me a lot so the experience is helping me a lot.

Normally we take buses since train is usually only for tourists. The buses are kind of uncomfortable but they have enough room. I am happy about no bus ride this year  (Mom's note.  Last year, Tyler was in Santo Domingo at Christmas so he had to ride the bus all the way in for Christmas at the Mission Home). Our Christmas dinner will be the last Christmas dinner and that will happen on the Friday and Saturday it sounds like we have a Christmas dinner with some members in the evening as we can't work that evening due to the risk to us. For the Skype call 4 should be fine for us here. We have a member set up to help us local time

To talk about our week we had a better week. It still has been hard but we have located all the investigators that the sisters left behind and we did find 2 new investigators (called the Loor family) So it went better for us. It still was hard and we did have some hard days but Elder Wilson still seems animated. He is learning Spanish better and that seems to help him a lot. He has improved a lot and I have learned from him as well. He has had some interesting insights. We are hoping to get things moving better now. next week seems like we will have a lot more. We have had more success with contacts and we will be working more with members. Today we had a zone activity were we went bowling. That was fun (although I did not do so great) But I still enjoyed it. I am enjoying it with Elder Wilson and he seems great. I just have to make sure I am patient even when everything is hard. It has been really stressful sometimes but I am enjoying it though. I hope you have a great week and look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

Elder Throop

Monday, December 12, 2016

Opening a Sector Can Be Stressful, Unmarried Investigators Slow the Progress, Training is Fun

12/12/2016

Well yeah it has been pretty stressful opening a sector. I knew some of the parts (like the church building because I was in Vargas but the actual sector I didn't know too well. There were two sisters working here beforehand and the ward seems very enthusiastic to help (bishop, ward mission leader, etc) are really ready to help. Our big problem this last week was a poorly kept area book. There were not exact addresses in the area book of really anyone and the maps were not very accurate. So a bit of last week we were trying to find the houses of the investigators and help people out. That was rather hard for us but we have found a good majority of the families.

Another difficulty which we might enfrent is that a good portion of the investigator families were unmarried and so they can't get baptized until they get married. We are unsure where they are in the marriage process, but I feel we will need to desperately find new investigators and especially families that are married or just people that can progress. so that is our main work. This ward actually seems pretty strong. We had members already helping us in this week and we have a new ward mission leader who is eager to help and also the Bishop was ready to help. We are hoping to receive some referrals because the members already seem to understand their missionary duty. This will indeed help us out immensely as I anticipate we will receive referrals(we have already received some here) and we will start to augment the program.

As for the part of training that was fun getting my trainee. I was in the capacitations (training) and there were a lot of trainers that I knew some incidentally from my own group (Elder Cox and Elder Rhees) so we had a fun meeting there. Elder Wilson is my trainee and he is from Highland Utah He is 18 years old and indeed he is a little taller then me. I found that very ironic. He seems very enthusiastic and animated to work. I don't want to disanimate him but opening the sector is hard and it might be hard to have success at first. I do see that he has a great disposition to learn and he wants to learn spanish pretty bad and he has made some great progress in these last days. I am helping him actively participate and I have enjoyed it. More than anything I am trying to avoid stress from opening the sector.

Our sector isn't too hilly in some parts but in one part there are some hills I just haven't gone there yet. We are still experimenting to see what ways we can find news and how to set up the schedule. I need to learn how to direct this sector and then help him to be able to direct the sector. I do have a photo and I will send that soon. To be honest I have not had any cuy recently the last time was in Santa Ana. I guess only really rich people serve that. We did have a turkey recently for a Christmas dinner as a ward activity. I really don't have any strange food stories. Quito is pretty tranquil compared to other parts. I hope you have a great week.

Elder Throop

Elder Wilson

Monday, December 5, 2016

Sixth Area, Opening New Area, Don't Have New Companion Yet

12/5/2016

Well we received changes on Sunday. I left Vista Hermosa. I am now assigned to a sector called El Dorado (which is in La Colon I feel like I have been here a really long time) I will be training and opening the sector which means that the two missionaries that were here before left. That is why I am writing a little earlier than what I expected. I don´t know at what time you normally write but there are a few occasions when this can happen. The thing is that I need to go with the secretaries tonight at 6 and normally we write from 430 to 6. However due to travel time we had to write early to give us time to be able to get to the offices on time. I am with two other elders of the district here. They are working in Vargas which was my old sector. El Dorado touches Vargas and is part of the same district. So it will be a little interesting. The things is I need to wait to receive my new companion who comes on Wednesday so I have to wait a bit. Still it should be fun. Our last week in vista Hermosa went pretty well. It still was hard with Elder Marquez but there was a great deal I learnt and I progressed greatly.

We had the stake conference there so that was also interesting. President filled out the ecclesiastical endorsement so that should be there. So that is the status there. it should be fun having Christmas in Quito. I just don't know what to expect in this ward because there were two sister missionaries working here beforehand. So this will make things rather interesting. I won't know who my companion is until the middle of this week so I will tell you then. Also about the ward because i have nothing to go on really. Still I am excited and this should be a great experience. I hope you guys have a great week.

Elder Throop

*Mom's Note
I got a sneak peak at Tyler's new companion, Elder Wilson before Tyler can post next week as Sister Christensen posts pictures of outgoing and incoming missionaries on her facebook group for Missionaries.  Tyler's new companion is actually taller than him, but if you look at their legs, Tyler still has the taller legs!


Tyler's new Companion (greenie)

Elder Wilson has the height, but Tyler's got the legs!

Monday, November 28, 2016

No People on Streets, All-You-Can-Eat Mushroom Pizza is Unfortunate, Changes this Week

11/28/2016

We did have a good number of appointments this week and we did get some more referrals from members. More than anything the problem was contacting as we normally knock doors in this particular sector because there aren't a lot of people in the street. The problem is that we have contacted a lot of the doors here and so there aren't many doors left to contact. And there aren't a lot people in the streets.

That also sounds like fun for Thanksgiving. After our district meeting which was on Thursday we went to pizza hut to do the all you can eat offer. The only unfortunate part is that they give you mushroom pizza or in our case mushroom tomato pizza and that is the only option. I feel it is designed that way so that people can't eat that much. You also are supposed to buy the drinks in the restaurant but the drinks are super over priced so no one can really win there. Still it was fun I got to 15 slices.

Today we cleaned the house a bit and played some football with the other elders in our district. So that was a lot of fun. Nothing more then that today. We have rescued a less active here as well and he baptized his younger sister which was really great to see. So we are seeing some signs of success. We did have a few investigators attend church. Just the thing is that the ones with a definitive baptismal date have it for the 10th which is the week after changes (we get changes this Sunday) So I am not sure if I will be here to see those baptisms. I am doing well enough with my companion it just requires a lot of patience sometimes. Still I have learned new things and I have seen a progress in him and the district which is really important. I hope you have a good week,

Love

Elder Throop

Monday, November 21, 2016

Good Week with Investigators, Referrals are Still the Best, Getting Better with Companion

11/21/2016

Well this last week has been pretty good for us. In terms of investigators we have had some more success and we have found an investigator recently who was really prepared for receiving us. He wants to get baptised pretty quick just the problem is that we have a stake conference and we have to go over the teaching to help him out. This last Sunday we did have some investigators go to church and two of them are set for a baptismal date. The third we weren't sure when to set the date as he was a referral from his wife (well they aren't married yet. They live apart but really close at the same time.) And we taught him yesterday. We know we know when to put a baptismal date to help him progress. He has a lot of desires and he does want to get baptised. Another investigator that we are teaching needs a little of a repass with the lections to help him understand better. The other person that was progressing is an old guy who was a referral and he has a lot of desires. He also was really rich and now he doesn't have as much but he has plans to make money. He also wants to find the true church which is great.

I really like getting referrals here which means that you invite someone to listen to the gospel and you invite them to go to church and everything. Here and really everywhere I think referrals are easier to baptise as they already have a friend in church. And they progress a lot faster. The people progressing were referrals and they all want to be baptised. There is one who was a referral that went. His difficulty is that he hasn't felt the church is true yet but he has improved and that is because of member help. I want to give you guys a challenge.

With my companion some things have smoothed over. I have asked for some help and everything and that has given me a great help to serve him. It still can be a little difficult with his personality sometimes and I can be a little frustrated but I am still learning. The other elders in the district will have their baptism this week. Unfortunately for them another family didn't want to get baptised yet. When I gave the interview the father said he didn't have desires. They are considering baptising his daughters to show a good example but they will have to see what he says. This week I did have an activity planned but there was a zone already there so that didn't happen. We did get Jose Luis confirmed which was also great and he should progress well. I hope you do well.

Elder Throop

Monday, November 14, 2016

Reactions to US Election, Frustrations with Companion, Capture the Flag

11/14/2016

Yeah I did hear a lot about the elections. A lot of people knew. On Wednesday we visited a less active person and that was the first appointment we had and they said yeah you know Trump won. There are a lot of unhappy people as they fear that Trump is racist. I am not sure on his policy but I know a lot fear him and don't like him either. Still you do hear a lot about those things as it affects even Ecuador. I don't really have any worries. I just hope that nothing too bad happens. There have been nothing too bad that has happened but we will see.

This last week we have been working hard to find new investigators and have more success. It has been somewhat frustrating with my companion as he is somewhat prideful and doesn't listen very well to any counsel or constructive advice I give him. When I was trying to explain things to him he said and what about the goals I put on you? I said well you can give advice but it isn't for you to decide goals. Afterwards I explained it a little better and asking well who gives goals to our mission president or the assistants or zone leaders or district leaders etc. It is a little frustrating. He does seem a little annoyed about some small things in my personality. I am trying to be funny and help members and we have seen some success especially yesterday. Yesterday we didn't have investigators show up until late but we did receive two references in church and we were able to teach one of those people and they were actually interested. More then anything I am a little frustrated right now as I am trying to help my companion he just seems to ignore me. I will be trying different things and i will be talking with our mission president and others for help  to help out. He does seem very irritated with me and he does seem to focus a lot on little flaws.

The sector is going well but I am unsure if we will have other baptisms in this change. Still we will continue working hard and helping people. Today we did have an activity where we hiked a mountain which had this big cross on top. It was rather interesting but it was fun. We played a round of capture the flag then we had to go down. It was pretty fun. I am hoping to do a district activity next week.

Love to you all,

Elder Throop

Pictures from the hike



Zone
Starting from the top is left sisters gutierrez and rios and then Elders Marques(my companion) Palacios Morris and Paiva(they are the elders in the district Elder Paiva is from Graham) and elder Yanqui
Next row Elders Socola, Chavez, Shaw(with the bandana) me, Valenzuela and Mooney. It was pretty cool

Monday, November 7, 2016

New baptism, Getting Member Referrals is the Best, Still Working with Companion

11/7/2016

The day of the dead is pretty tranquil here.  It's just that no one is interested really to hear us during that time. We had a lot of rejections during that time which wasn't so much fun for us. We did have a baptism last Thursday which was great for us. He seemed very prepared. His name is Jose Luis. He couldn't get confirmed yesterday due to the fact that he was working. He will get confirmed next week. So we were really happy. I do have some photos of that which I will send you guys. It was really great. We didn't have any one attend but we are seeing other investigators that are accepting a baptismal date and that are wanting to progress. The hope is that we can have more baptisms this change and help more people out.

The ward is doing well enough just only one member really gives us referals. Fortunately his referals are usually good. The other elders in the district are doing well and seem to be having more success. I went on divisions with them last week and went with a guy called Elder Paiva from Graham Washington. He is still in his training so it was interesting. Still he seems great and he likes to learn so I set some goals with him. Today I got a little small instruction manual about some duties of a district leader to help me out. There were some things I allready knew and some things that will help me out in the coming weeks. It has been a big learning experience and I have grown in many aspects.

I am doing well enough with my companion. I just sometimes get the feeling that he can be frustrated with me or some different things. I feel it is just him learning the sector. There are some things I do have to due for the assignment but I hope to help him learn the sector better so that he can direct it better. There are some teaching skills that I am trying to help him improve so he can be a better missionary. So that is what we have been working on. I hope everything goes well.

Elder Throop

Here's some pictures of the baptism.  Tyler's companion was asked to perform the baptism since there's such a height difference in the man getting baptised.

Ward Mission Leader, Tyler, Jose Luis

Jose Luis and his girlfriend, who is a member

Tyler and Comp

All dressed in white for baptism

Jose Luis, his girlfriend and her family

Monday, October 31, 2016

No Halloween, Just Dia de Los Muertos, Baptism Scheduled for Thursday, First Baptismal Interview

10/31/2016

Here Halloween doesn't really exist. I mean they know that it is a holiday but they don't celebrate it. What they do celebrate is Day of the Dead which is a holiday they celebrate in November. They take a thing of bread in the shape of like a child and dunk it in colada morada which is a drink made from a type of grain and lots of fruits. So we have absolutely no worries around Halloween. Only Christmastime and New Years. I will try to get a photo next week of the day of the dead tradition. My camera wasn't working due to lack of batteries so I had to get new batteries today. I will try to send some photos this time.

This last week went pretty great for us. We found some new families that seem rather interested and that we will be able to help in the next weeks. We were happy about that. We also have an investigator who will get baptised this next Thursday. This guy knows a lot about the gospel and he is really enthusiastic about getting baptised. He wants to get sealed to his girlfriend after being a member for a year so he has some pretty great goals and a big understanding. His name is Jose Luis. We are working with someone else as well who could get baptised soon. He just needs to get a testimony of the book of mormon first and he hasn´t been reading. He attends church and activities it just he doesn't read so he can´t get a strong testimony. We hope his member friends help him remember. We will be working with some more people to help people to keep progressing and be converted.

This last Sunday I performed the first baptismal interviews. It was two daughters of an investigator that the other elders are teaching. The investigator had some problems that he needed to resolve so he called a counselor of the mission president while I interviewed. Unfortunately the person can get baptised but still has the idea of the Jehovah's witnesses in his head so he believes he has to wait a year to get baptised. He has everything and he believes and knows it is true he just has that fear. Hopefully the other elders can help him as he has everything necessary to get baptised.

My companion seems pretty great. He just needs to improve on some teaching skills and a few other things. He technically is from a part of the coast of Peru so that is where is is from in Chimote I believe it is called.

I hope you guys have a great week. We ahve had some great success and I believe we will be having some great days coming up. This has been some great success here.

Love ,
Elder Throop



Monday, October 24, 2016

Worked Hard with "Dying" Companion, Made District Leader, New Companion, Looking Forward to Possible Baptisms

10/24/2016

Well this last week we worked pretty hard. Last Sunday, not yesterday but the one before that, we had someone that went to church who we taught on Tuesday. He is a new investigator from Venezuela and he seems pretty open. We also found another family that seemed very interested. We just can't teach them until November because they are busy. One investigator who we have been working with will probably have a baptismal date for not this week but the week afterwards. More then anything he wants to find a free day as he has work consistently and so he can be a little busy so he wants a day off work to get baptised and invite his friends. So we will be setting a baptismal date and then adjust to his schedule and yeah he should be great as he really does have a great testimony. We felt more then anything that he needed to attend.

Now to the changes because you know I got changed. I worked pretty hard with Elder Adams and we had a pretty great week.  Elder Adams went home of course. So on Sunday around 6:30, we met up with the zone leaders, so I wouldn't be alone, and then we went to the offices. Once we got to the offices we went upstairs and got the changes straight from the assistants. I am staying here as district leader with an elder named Elder Marquez from Trujillo Peru. He has like 6 months in the mission I think. The other elders in our district was an interesting change. Elder Groberg, who was training another elder named Elder Morris, was transferred to my first sector (Argelia) to train another elder. Then this Elder Morris, who just finished his training is now going to be training. So I am with him today to make sure he isn't alone.

The plan is tomorrow evening to drop him off with some other elders to sleep with them. He will be with us tonight and then tomorrow he is going to sleep with others as on Wednesday they get the new guys. Our district of four is going to have a lot of new people (with the exception of me.)

The goal that I have is to work hard with my new companion and hopefully have some people become converted and take the decision to enter the waters of baptism. There are at least two people that easily should get baptised this change. I hope we can find more and help more progress. The other elders might also have some success as one of their investigators needs an interview for some things that happened and so he will have that this week. If it works out he and his two daughters could get baptized which would be awesome for the other elders. So I am hoping we should have a great change and have success here and to help people progress. Plus the ward seems really enthusiastic to work and I feel its about to be really awesome here with lots more of referrals and ward help. This place seems pretty great. I still don't know what it is like to give a complete capacitation (I have only given small capaciations before) nor a few other things so this will be a fun learning experience.

I like hearing about home and I intend to serve and help. I do not want to have an assignment for any sort of honor nor glory. I want to serve and help here, and that is what I intend to do. I hope you have a great week.


Love you all!

Elder Throop



Here's a pic of his new companion.

New companion, Elder Marquez

Monday, October 17, 2016

New Investigators, Working Hard with Companion, Pizza, and Immune to Rabies Now

10/17/2016

Well this last week went a lot better for us. We found a lot more new investigators in the form of a big family we found. There is a family of four that lives in one part that is super interested in the message and their sister was present and she also liked it. She lives in another part but we have to see with her husband. We found them Saturday and they weren't able to go to church. We have already taught them a bit and they seem really interested. We just need to get them to go to church and get them progressing. The only unfortunate part is that the dad wants to go to the states November 1st to get work to provide for his family. The thing is they probably would have a baptismal date for the twelfth of November (we haven't put the baptismal date) so we will probably have to teach the mother with the children with members once he leaves. Still he is super interested and they also are really interested and they understand a lot. The story they have was great as we passed by knocking their door and he had been praying to God to find a way to change his life because of things in his life. Then we found them in the street and that is when he realized it was time to talk to us. So they seem really great. We have been trying to help investigators to go to church just none that we planned for went. still one did go and we are hoping to help them out. There are other investigators that we will find this week and one that has been progressing well.

I am doing well with my companion and I am trying to make sure that he works hard and that we work well together and so we are doing a lot of work together. I have enjoyed it and I have learned a lot. Today we did go to Pizza Hut for an all you can eat deal. The only unfortunate part for me was the pizza had mushrooms and I don't really like mushrooms. I just took them off and ate the slices. I ate 14 and they are a pretty big size. Plus pizza costs a bit. It was 7 dollars for that deal so that was fun.

I got my last vaccination today so I am officially immune to rabies (yeah) and so less problems to worry about. I will send the pictures so don't worry I think my companion had a few pictures and I will try to get those as well.

Love you all,

Elder Throop

Here are the pictures from last week's trip to the waterfalls.

pictures along the trail to the falls






Selfie on the trail



small waterfall

selfie at the small waterfall


big waterfall


Zone


Tyler and his companion Elder Adams

Tyler wearing the hat a new family gave to his companion, Elder Adams because it was his birthday

Elder Adams with a cake face from his birthday cake

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Activity, but No Pictures, Rain, Rain, Rain, Success with Investigators, Helping Companion Stay Focused and Diligent

10/10/2016

Well  this last week we did have an activity. I left my camera in the house and while we were eating lunch it came raining hard so I was unable to get it back as the lunch took awhile. We got back late from the activity and so that wasn't so much fun as it delayed us a lot. We went as a zone to visit some waterfalls and we took a lot of photos. I just left the camera as I didn't think it would rain so fast. The rain is really cold here as well and the winds come in super quick making it even colder.

This last week we have gotten a lot of rain. One day it was so bad that the street got flooded and looked like a river. It just is not so much fun when it rains. Still we had fun today and in the activity we didn't get that much rain. So that was the main part of what we did today. This next week should be great hopefully.

We did have some good things in this week as we have been finding more new investigators and we have enjoyed that part. We had one person going to church and he has a baptismal date for the 29th which is the first Saturday in the next change. So we were happy about that although unfortunately we will have to drop some investigators as they are attending another church and are more interested in that church. So the sector seems to be going well and the ward seems pretty strong here.

We will be visiting the bishop and they seem very great. So that is pretty great. We have received many referrals just there wasn't much of a program here when I arrived. I guess the missionaries just didn't take advantage of the members beforehand or they just had trouble finding. I don't know but we are starting to see success.

I am trying to continue to help my companion stay diligent and focused. Considering that he has two weeks left I presume that could be hard for him. Still he seems to be progressing and the things they wanted to have him do he is improving and now it is ensuring that we really do work hard every day and that we don't satisfy ourselves with mediocre work or not doing everything that we could do. I believe  we can keep working hard and that we can have success. I believe we will do well. He is a funny person and I feel some of his past companions have been frustrated when he was less diligent or obedient and didn't want to help him. I am helping him know and I have learned many great things.

Have fun,
Elder Throop

Monday, October 3, 2016

Referrals from Ward are Great, Conference, Working with New Companion

10/3/2016

Yeah these changes were indeed interesting. It has been an interesting week trying to learn the sector and meet the people here. Unfortunately we don't have many investigators here (today we will drop a family leaving one family to work with who I have never met) so that is unfortunate.

Fortunately the ward seems very strong as we received a bunch of referrals from members this week. We visited quite a few members as we have no investigators to visit really. We tried finding news but I also am learning the sector but a lot of those appointments fell which was not fun. Our goal next week is contact more and also take out appointments with members with the referrals that they gave us to find new people. We do have great hopes with that part.

Ironically enough I haven't met the bishop well enough nor the ward mission leader due to conference. We also didn't have correlation, so this last week I was trying to learn the sector and get to know my companion. He seems like a good person. I do have to help him with some things in obedience but I believe I do have a solution as it seems small and he recognizes the problem and my attitude is more how can I help you? So there should be no problems. I just have to make sure not to mention home as otherwise that could be a great distraction to me and him and keep him focused. He does seem animated to work so it is just making sure we stay strong even if we don't have any baptisms this change (due to the lack of program.)

I did indeed have the opportunity to hear conference in english which was awesome. Elder Holland talked about home teaching (I thought he was going to hammer us pretty hard.) He explained a lot about the need to home teach and not be lazy with home teaching. It was a great talk. Then a 70 talked a bit about being a light to others. President Monson did talk after President Uchtdorf and Eyring but he seemed really unwell but gave a quick talk about the word of wisdom. We did enjoy the conference and I especially enjoyed it in spanish. It is greatly different.  In spanish believe in Christ could be Creo en Cristo and if you give a command like believe Christ it would be Crea Cristo (which wouldn`t be really pleasant to the ears. It is better to say creo or crea en cristo) which means you need the pronoun in that situation.

I haven't had an opportunity to meet the ward yet but I will this week. The goal more than anything is work hard with members and animate people and find new investigators. There are a lot of things I have learned (like taking an informe) and also the importance to keep staying faithful in the work. I also have tried to work on my accent as my companion was born with a double rr but his grammar is well poor. Still there are things to learn. I have enjoyed it and I intend to work hard and show a good example. I hope you have a great week.


Elder Throop

Monday, September 26, 2016

5th Area, Emergency Changed (Again), Special Assignment by MP, Training to be a District Leader?, Helping "Dying" Companion

9/26/2016

Well I am doing well enough. In our sector in Vargas,we got some work done and we were able to find some people that were rather open. They seemed interested and I won't know too much more. The family that we were working with weren't able to go to church which stunk. We don't know why and hopefully the missionaries there are able to find out what happened.

We had divisions with the zone leaders on Saturday and I went with one to my sector and it went pretty well. The only real goal that I was able to get due to circumstances afterwards. We did well and the goal is to work hard on patience and love and having faith with people. We separted Sunday night and I was headed back to my sector with my companion. Then we got the call from the zone leaders. I got emergency changed! It was such a huge shock as we are starting week 3 right now.

I got sent to a part called Los Chillos which is a valley next to Quito. I am in a sector called Vista Hermosa. Even weirder about these changes is that President gave me a special assignment here. Basically I am to learn how to be a district leader in this sector and to also work hard with my companion so that he can finish his mission well. My companion ends in four weeks (his last change will be with me). His name is Elder Adams and he also comes from Arizona from Gilbert.

The goal they have for me is that we can work hard every night and that we can go above and beyond to give it his all at the end of his last change. That is my assignment with him. He also received instructions to help give me capacitation (Training) as apparently there is a possibility that I will be assigned as district leader soon. They say it is not certain but that is apparently their goal with these whole changes. That I can learn as much as possible.

I don't know everything it will involve nor how it all works. I don't know all the details but I do understand that these changes had this specific purpose. I got a few photos and I will try to get some more later. That is what happened with these emergency changes but I still will be expecting changes at the normal time in four weeks. That was really the craziness of my week.

My district leader was rather surprised when I told him I was leaving.  He said "No" and I said, "Si" he said "Noooo!" and I said "Yup". He was a little upset but well that is what happened.

So it will be interesting as I have never seen this sort of thing done. Normally when someone receives an assignment there is no real training they just give it to you. I am not in that current assignment right now. My current assignment right now is to help my companion and learn as much as I can from him and to help him work until the end. That is the plan right now. When the assistant called he explained but it was a little confusing how he explained it. That and bad reception.

I hope you do well.

Love,
Elder Throop


Mom's Note

Here's a map of the mission and the Los Chillos Stake and the Vista Hermosa Ward


Monday, September 19, 2016

Companion has a Different Accent, Potential Baptism, Dog Bite and Rabies Shot

9/19/2016

Well this first week went pretty fast for us. I am still learning a bit about my new companion. Our internet connection was a little slow which is unfortunate. Still I got into the mail. As I mentioned my new companion is from Honduras. His accent is a lot different from a South American accent. Not like huge but there are differences. Colombians and Venezuelans are different from Ecuadorians as well as Argentines and Uruguayans.

We did have a good week with the investigators. They are super animated for baptism and to hear the general conference. Even with everything that has happened she says well the people might not be perfect but the church is correct. When we asked about a baptism date she jokingly asked 'Well is the water cold?' We said hopefully not. So we are working for the 8th with her. They weren't able to go last week due to a commitment they had to help a family member in the morning. Still they are super animated and progressing well.

We have had trouble finding people and this week was a little rough as we invited some people to a baptismal date and they weren't ready for date. Hopefully we can help them overcome their fears. Today I had to go to the hospital real quick to get a rabie vaccine. A little while back a dog bit me drawing blood (which is just the worse that could happen to you with a wild dog) and then it went off.  And we haven't found it since. That means as a precaution I had to get the vaccine. The vaccine is super tiny and comes in a few doses which is nice. I always heard it was a stomach shot. So much for my love of animals.

We do get conferences and we get all Liahonas in all months. Since spanish is used by more than a million members they give a priority to spanish. We also got the version of the scriptures that had the modifications that the english scriptures got awhile back. They changed translation on a few words and corrected minor errors. Everyone when we got that (it was a little while ago) commented what is this? They changed the scriptures. But it was fine and now we give those copies out.

We have had some success with less actives and the ward does seem animated to help. They said they know the ward is hard and so they have to work to help us out. The ward mission leader is doing well enough . The slight problem is he still doesn't want to be ward mission leader. I guess he is really discouraged about some things so really doesn't like that part. We will see with him. We are seeing some progress despite all the difficulties and we are hoping for a baptism on the 8th.

Thats crazy they are making a new stake that doesn't happen all the time. Is there an apostle coming? That sounds fun with everyone coming in from the mission. I hope they have great experiences. Well that is everything from this week. I am alive and well and I keep working,

Love,

Elder Throop

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Good week, New Companion-Trio For a Day, Potential New Family

9/12/2016

Well this last week went great. We had divisions recently and I was talking with one of the zone leaders asking for a little help. He gave me some great advice and also placed a few goals on improving. I tried applying it but it didn't work out perfectly. Still I tried my best.

To mention changes, Elder Choque got transferred out. He went to Turubamba. I am with someone from Honduras. His name is Elder Zelaya. He has like 8-9 months in the mission if I am doing the math correctly. The changes were pretty tranquil. We are in a trio for today as an Elder in our district is training and so he doesn't get his trainee until Wednesday. So I am still in the same part but with a  new companion. We had to write early because someone had a medical cita and we also have to drop off some stuff.

I worked hard with Elder Choque trying to help him out. He seemed a little nervous as someone mentioned his next companion is a little inicuo (unrighteous) so he did seem nervous. We did get people in church with one family. They are a part member family and they are married. The husband has been a less active for a while and the wife is not  member. They enjoyed it but apparently one of the counselors to the bishop offended the sister a while back pretty bad. I do hope we can get them to go to church and reconcile. I explained forgiveness very clearly to help her be able to understand the importance of letting go. She seemed a little calm. The hope is that we can help some more people out and that we can get a baptism by October.

That is everything.

Elder Throop

Love you lots.
Elder Zelaya, new companion

Monday, September 5, 2016

Hardest week yet, Some Small Success, Zone Conference

9/5/2016

Well that sounds like a lot of fun. I am glad that you could enjoy your weekend. Our last week was quite honestly one of the hardest weeks we have had. I do not know if we suffer for disobedience or if it is God testing us. Still we did have success in small ways as we found a family from Venezuela that are looking for a religion. They were really open and they do seem to want to progress. They were open and hopefully next week they go to church.

No one went to church again which wasn't really fun as we have been trying super hard with some families and we are working on working a lot with members to get members to go to church. We have been striving with that but we still encounter a lot of opposition. I have placed goals for us to work on having shorter and more efficient lessons as sometimes we can have trouble staying a tad longer then we should in an appointment. That is one of the goals we have.

I still am trying to love my companion and help him out. I still feel there is some things that lack with respect etc. Still I will have to be patient and loving. The changes come this coming Sunday so we will see what happens with us. I am not entirely sure but I do feel that Elder Choque will go to a new sector. I am not completely certain. I believe we have divisions with the zone leaders next week.

We had a zone conference with our mission president last week and he talked a lot about obedience and also the need to be diligent and firm. We had some great capacitations (training). This week is the last week in this change and well it is possible to see some changes ere. I am not certain but I feel it could happen. The ward is improving gradually. The ward mission leader had a 180 from his old attitude as he didn't want to work with us and now he is extremely eager to work with us. That is extremely good for us as I was extremely worried as he seemed to be on a path that would not have helped us. Now he seems very eager to help us. I do feel happy as I wanted the ward mission leader to work and now he is helping so hopefully we can see some progress in the ward.

Still it has been really hard in this sector and it has been hard to get people to progress or for that matter to find the people. Most contacts we have to do are door contacts which are not super efficient as people reject us all the time. We had one day where we went down one part of a street and we had 10 contacts but with no one that wanted to listen. But the unfortunate part is that there aren't many people in the streets. So we do have to encounter a lot of opposition. Still we continue with hope and the hope is that next change we can see fruits of our labors here.

I hope you had a great time and continue enjoying yourselves.

Elder Throop

Monday, August 29, 2016

US Elections a concern in Ecuador, Comp Problems Getting Worse, Married People, but Not Ready for Baptism, Service Day

8/29/2016

Well that sounds rather interesting with the elections. Quite honestly I haven't heard that much as we don't get told that much. A lot of people ask whose side you're on and I say well I am not sure because both aren't good options. I don't know exactly all the plans but I am aware that both aren't great options. I don't know who would be the best option if it is that bad. People do concern themselves about elections in the states as it affects them even here. Really interesting. Quite honestly I probably would end up hearing who won and feel sad either way. Still we have to keep working and hoping that we can help people come to Christ.

I have been working a lot with the goals my district leader gave me and if anything I feel things have gotten a little worse with us. I feel sometimes my companion can be really demeaning. I have warned him that he could get a potentially bad missionary his next change and he thinks he could be ready. I feel that could be his wakeup call. I like him a lot but sometimes he tests my patience to a limit. No more asking God for patience in prayers because he gives it to you all right. Still I am working hard. We will have divisions with the zone leaders this next week and we have a zone conference with our mission president. That should help a lot. I hope the zone leaders can help give good advice to me and also help my companion out. This will be the first time I have divisions with them in awhile.

Last week went pretty well. We still are able to find people but unfortunately we are unable to get them to church. We have been trying to work more with members to help people go to church. We have been focusing on one family in particular and we have been trying to help them out a lot with the members.

We had a service last Saturday where we helped move some dirt from a little hill to another part in a yard. We didn't finish with the hill because it was huge but we got a lot done. We also helped last week with a family with a recent convert in it move houses to another part in the ward. That was pretty great.

Today we visited the Basilica and I took a few photos. Ironically enough in this sector we have found a ton of married people but it is requiring a lot of effort to get them to progress. Normally people have people that live outside of wedlock that do go to church but can't get baptized. Quite the irony.


Love you all have fun,

Elder Throop

Lower part of new sector


At the Basilica

Elder Choque

It was really bright out

view with the city behind

another view, a little blury

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hard Time with Companion, More Ward Problems, Got No Volleyball Skills

8/22/2016

We had a lower week contacting there just didn't seem to be people in the streets. My companion can be a little stressful sometimes and quite a bit critical. That can cause me to lose my patience sometimes. I am trying to show a great example but he always wants to be really defensive about things he does and a little on the attack on things I do.

The divisions we had on wednesday helped a lot. The district leader went with Elder Choque and I went with his companion. It was a little interesting as the district leader here is also the financial secretary so we had to start a little later than normal as they had office things. The companion of our district leader is pretty funny he is named Elder Potter. His story is interesting as he started awhile back went home for 11 months for health reasons and came back and now will finish with my group. He also trained.

I was talking a bit with him and he mentioned I should try completing my companion more which I have been working on as well. Then I talked with the district leader after the divisions and he mentioned I could try smiling more as even though I am funny normally I have smiled a lot less. I feel it is due to stress so it can be a little hard to smile. He also mentioned that I could try doing small acts of service which I am working on doing. Hopefully it works out.

Still it can be hard many times as my companion does call me hypocritical and says I don´t know anything about life or the mission. That part is no fun. Quite honestly I feel he probably will get a super hard companion next change perhaps to help him learn from experience. I am trying to be a great example but I feel the only thing I can do is be an example as words don't seem to work. I have talked to him in companionship inventories. He also sometimes tries to use things against me. I don't want to be negative but it has been a rough few weeks. I don't know why the Lord gave me this assignment but I do feel it has a good reason. I hope that I can change the culture of the mission in a small manner.

The ward continues along. One investigator went to church but he went to BaƱos so we are rather sad. The ward mission leader hasn't shown up for a while to the ward and if he doesn't show up soon enough he may become less active. Apparently he has some problems in his life. The members pulled us aside to mention that some members are saying that missionaries are entering facebook here in the last month and other iniquities. I don't know the truth of it all but it is worrying how they consider missionaries. This possibly could be a ward that is extremely difficult. Still I hope the capacitation we received a little while back helps.

Today we went to a park to play volleyball a bit and to discover we really can't play volleyball. We also played tag but using a soccer ball to tag people as there were two sisters present. That sums up the week for me.

How is it going for you guys? Love you lots,


Elder Throop

Monday, August 15, 2016

Finding People to teach, Church Attendance is a Must, Learning Patience with New Companion

8/15/2016

Well this last week went well with a few things. We found a lot of new people so we can actually get a smoother program going. We have what is called a weekly process here were you find teach and baptize. The start is study then find then teach then baptize. The whole point is you have people at different stages progressing to baptism and that you can always be having baptisms. That is the point. Unfortunately it can be really hard as either you could spend a lot of time finding or a lot of time teaching and trying to baptize. But we have found a lot of great people and a surprising amount of people who are married or want to get married. That is great for us as it can be really hard to get people married here so I hope we can put a big focus on helping those people out.

No one went to church which was sad. We have to see what we can do to get people in church. That normally is not a problem but has happened a lot more with us, So we are working on improving the sector and ward. Ward council still is struggling in some aspects. We had a capacitation (training) from President Christensen to all the bishops and ward mission leaders. He talked a lot about the need to work together and also things that they needed to start doing. The stake president also talked a lot and he explained greatly over the need to work hard.

I am doing well with my companion. It still can be frustrating at times but I am well aware that this also can happen a lot training someone. It is just because a new missionary can sometimes be robotic in lessons and also think they are well aware of everything. I sometimes find it a little hard as I explain something to try and help him and he says well I know preach my gospel or he says oh you know nothing or shut up. He is indeed very forceful on those points. I just try to be patient and show him the great example. I have noted changes and I believe my patience will pay off in the end. I do feel there are things that could still come up. I guess after having so many different companions I have gotten kind of used to different attitudes and so now I can help him a lot better. Still I know this is a sacred responsibility of God and that I will try to do my best to help him. I feel he will probably get someone with experience in the mission after his training. Then perhaps after learning some more who knows but I feel it might take a little time for him but I don´t worry as he should be a great missionary. Still I feel sometimes he views me as immature and really young. It is true I am young. But I have changed in this brief time as I have focused on Jesus Christ. It really can change you and mature you and then being assigned to lead can change you even more.

I hope everyone can stay safe. That sounds awesome for Caleb. I hope you can hear about his mission.  It is true that the Book of Mormon is awesome. You also get a favorite apostle during your mission as well and you study a ton their talks (ie Elder Holland) sometimes you also have a favorite apostle who allready died. I know a few examples there as well (Elder Mcconkie, President Packer etc) I hope you have a great week.

Elder Throop

Monday, August 8, 2016

Thrown in the Deep End, Trainer now, Getting lots of Training to Train better, Ward is struggling in new area

8/8/2016

Well with the emergency changes things did indeed change around as it was the last week of the change and so I wasn't really expecting it.

I am farther to the north a bit and more to the east than anything.We have to take a lot of buses here as our sector starts on the mountain so I am in a really hilly sector. The training is going very interesting to say the least as a few things have changed since I was trained. They have put a lot of emphasis on studying every day and making up studies. With Elder Goodfellow we didn't always have the time to make up studies.

Last Wednesday I received some training for trainers (ironic isn't it). They explained a lot about being a leader and how sacred the assignment is as we can change the culture of the mission for better or for worse so we better be an example.  My mission president saw me and with wide eyes he said well it seems you got thrown in the deep end of the pool to see if you could swim. And now we are throwing a life preserver to help you out.

As I got changed on a wednesday the week before and I had to train Elder Choque in the twelve week program not really knowing all what was needed to train someone. Then a week later exactly they taught me more what I need to do. President Christensen placed a lot of emphasis on obedience. The assistants placed emphasis on setting the example. One assistant said he has never trained so he doesn't know how it feels exactly but he understands kind of the anxiety we can feel. There were two other people finishing the training of someone but they only had really two days of training. So a little of a direct experience training.

It has been hard sometimes when he doesn't want to listen. I try to be extremely loving and patient as he is still new. Since he is a latino he also likes trying to correct on the little things on rules and spanish. So I just sigh, smile, and keep working. But I think things should go great. I never thought I would train, but here I am.

This ward is still struggling from what I can see. In my last sector I heard they have at least three people with a baptismal date for this month. Here we have no one. There is one who could have baptismal date but he needs to go to church and he has health problems. Other than him the program is a little dead. So I feel we might have a hard time getting a baptism this change. Just sometimes I feel like I'm a fix it guy to fix sectors get the program going and then I don't get all the fruits. But still I am happy as those people are still going to get baptised.

I hope you do well. Love you lots,

Elder Throop

Monday, August 1, 2016

Emergency Transfers, Fourth Area, Another Baptism

8/1/2016

Well changes came but a little earlier than I expected. It was tuesday around lunch time and we had just finished eating and we were about to head to teach a recent convert. Then the zone leaders called us. They asked us how we were and what we were planning. Then they said you have a change to your schedule. I said huh? Then he said the words you have emergency changed. So I got emergency changed right before the normal changes that was a big surprise for me. I don't know who went home but a few people got moved around.

I am now in a ward called Vargas. I still am in the stake La Colon so I am in the same stake but a different sector. I got emergency changed to finish the training of an elder. I arrived just at the end of his first change in training. So I was a little shocked. So I am now training in Vargas. It is a lot of fun and I do have to learn a lot of new things. I am surprised how inadequate I feel. This Wednesday I will receive some training to help me capacitate (train) my new companion. I have done well so far with the twelve week program. So when normal changes nothing happened to us. So I now am in my fourth area. Crazy things.

I didn't know that Andrew was returning already. man that is crazy. i knew Katy was coming up. When does Jarom return I know he is soon.

Also Mikaela and Kinebritt must be close to their last 6 months if they aren't already in that period of time. That makes me feel weird. The person that returned from his home to the mission wasn't the knee problem. I don't know what happened to this elder but he is already here. That was pretty happy for us.

We are doing well. We had a baptism here in this ward last saturday. A Venezuelan. The first baptism of my trainee in his mission. I will send you those photos. I hope you all do well and you enjoy school. It seems like yesterday when they started their summer vacations.

Love you all,
Elder Throop


Elder Choque, Tyler's new trainee

Family of new baptised members

Baptism photos

View from the new apartment

Monday, July 25, 2016

Renewing Visa, One-Year in country, Housing Visits by Mission President

7/25/2016

Well the photos got in fine so there was no worry. More then anything for us is the problem of sending photos due to slow internet.

We actually had a better week in terms of finding new people that actually want to progress. Unfortunately we have to drop some investigators due to lack of attendance. That is a little of a hard blow as I liked them a lot but still they need to solution some problems and when they do that they can progress in the future. That is the hope. I was happy we could find new investigators as that has been a slight struggle. Some were more open than others.

I can understand that trips like that can be stressful. Summer vacation must be ending soon right? For me it goes by really quick as everything is measured by changes and quite honestly once you past the one year mark time does indeed seem to go remarkably faster which isn't always fun as you enjoy it but you know that the time is running out bit by bit.

This last week we had an interesting week as we renewed my visa. Seeing everyone from my group was fun and we talked a lot. I remember when my trainer had that happen. Really weird for me. So now I got my visa renewed and I got to see some of the people.  Unfortunately a few were missing. One has returned though which was great news for us.

We also had interviews in our houses with President Christensen. That was extremely interesting. They checked our houses and inspected our houses to make sure it was clean. Since we moved recently it was still a little of a mess. Today we cleaned the parts of our house that was dirty so it is a lot nicer. Today was the last monday of the change so it was more cleaning and getting items we needed. I printed out photos for some people as I might get changed as I have been here three changes. President says he still hadn't it planned it perfectly. But we will see this sunday.

We won't have another baptism this change which is unfortunate but we will still be working. I have enjoyed it this change and I am doing well with my companion.

Love you lots

Elder Throop

Monday, July 18, 2016

High (high, high) Hike, New Families, Helping People Progress

7/18/2016


Well today we did have an activity where we went as a district to teleferico which is a tram that goes up super high and there is an opportunity to hike. We went actually pretty far and there were some really rough trail parts. We went past the cave where most people stop and we had to climb over some rocks to keep following the trail. The air kept getting thinner and it got windier and harder to hike. We finally made it to this very sandy part and I legit had to do some mountain climbers to not fall and to keep going up. The surface was extremely slippery and I had to practically crawl up some parts. We finally got to a peak where there were a bunch of clouds passing through. There was a crater behind us but we couldn't see it clearly. At that point we were really ready to go back. So that was today.

This last week went rather well for us. we found two new families of people in this last week. Both were references surprisingly. The first the parents aren't married which was a disappointment so we couldn't put a baptismal date on them. The other was an interesting situation. They are members of this one church that has a lot of beliefs similar to ours. They seem to want to warn people about the second coming and they also put a huge emphasis on teaching Hebrews. I am not even sure if there is one Jew in Ecuador though. They were a little big on that part saying a lot of strange things and saying that there would be no way the Jews would believe Joseph Smith. They also didn't seem to believe that Elijah already came to the earth the very day that the jews are waiting for him every year. They have a belief that the jews are waiting for a prophet born in 1940 because of some comet. It was a little strange. I told them well we have a living prophet. That kind of shocked them and they said ohhh maybe he can preach to the jews as well. There leader seems to be some glorified pastor. Still this made things a little complicated teaching.

We do have to drop an investigator unfortunately. His name is Pedro and well he hasn't gone to church so we will put our trust in God and drop him. We have been dropping some people recently to try and get a good program going. We might have one more baptism but it is a little uncertain as Reynaldo needs to work some things out still and we are running out of time with this change. Hopefully we can also help him. The zone leaders seem to be pushing hard on that as they wanted to put the goal of at least one baptism in this month with the vision of four baptisms. It can be really hard as many people use their free will to chose not to do the things they need to do and well that really isn't our fault. We are doing all we can to help people to progress and we are teaching and testifying and putting in the effort. We just might not see all the fruits of our work.
I will try to get you some photos.

Elder Throop

The Tram up the mountain

View back down 
Sites along the way up

Selfie on the tram

View of the Mountain they hiked to

Selfie on the hike


Starting to get colder!


Going through clouds near the top

Starting to leave the clouds behind

Can you tell they're suuuuuper cold?!

Pic of the rocks of the mountain

Tag pic

We made it!

Tyler

Elder Hernandez (Tyler's comp), Elder Zoller (District Leader), Elder Lambson (Zoller's comp), Tyler