Monday, July 25, 2016

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


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


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!


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

Monday, July 11, 2016

Positive Results with Investigator, More Earthquakes, Ward Irmprovement


Well that sounds like some fun with your trip. I did forget about the road trip.

Last week we didn't have such great success with having lessons however we did see a miracle as we have been working with a pretty hard investigator and we had a dropping lesson ready to give him if he didn't go to church. We went there with our ward mission leader and he went to the ward baptism the next day with all his family (wife included who recently moved in. That was a surprise to see her there) and he enjoyed it. He then went to the self reliance class that night and loved it. Next day they themselves were already preparing. We did show up a little late as they were getting ready but I feel it was ok in this situation to help them progress and get ready for baptism. We still have to work hard but we have great hopes.

There is another investigator who is having a few marriage problems and his wife seems to be causing some of those problems. Still hopefully we can resolve that so he can get baptized. I hope that will calm her down. So we have seen some good results.

We might as well have some sort of catholic problem here though as a lot of people say no I have my church or all churches get you to God or I am catholic. So we can share but they are a little hard hearted. Still we can sometimes get a good contact but we are struggling. The economic crisis might have some effect but I feel they need a little bit more.

Last night there were two earthquakes, replicas to say. My companion was a little worried but I was like ehhhh whatever. Nothing bad happened. I wonder where it came from and if it will affect the mission in any manner or Ecuador. Hopefully people are a little more willing to listen and repent. Today I went to El Panecillo with Elder Hernandez as he has never gone. The cool part is it is in our sector. The not cool part is that there's a bunch of catholics here for the panecillo.

We are seeing more improvement in the ward. They finally started using a form that you are supposed to use for recent converts and less actives. Unfortunately they changed the time to the morning and we have to go as it is a rule from the area. I know a passage from Preach My Gospel that I want to use to try to get investigators as we always are getting investigators in the morning. Still we are doing well and I feel we could see someone else baptized before this change is over.

Love you all,
Elder Throop

Happy 4th of July, Some Hopes, Some Drops for investigators, Comittments


Well I know with it being Independence day you guys might have been a little busy. Well I did enjoy my day and this week was a little hard. Last week we worked hard to have members present in our appointments and we worked hard to get people to church. I apologize for bad spelling but this keyboard does not seem to want to respond to my typing at all. We did have only one person go to church and she isn't married and her husband does not seem to interested which is sad. We do have hopes as there is one investigator who is what we call a dry member or an investigator that takes a lot of time investigating going to church and reading the scriptures etc. We talked to him the past day about his work and the aid he hasn't bought religous items which was holding him back quite a bit. But now that we know that we talked to him about a specific date. He said he would prefer the end of July or this month he has to go to Guayaquil and then we will talk about a specific date. So we still have some hopes.

We unfortunately might have to drop an investigator. It is obvious that he is lying to us as he went with his family for an all day trip on Sunday when he said he had a futbol tournament. So we know that he isn't that interested and it probably isn't his time. We will have to do that this Tuesday most likely. We have had no luck finding new investigators. We have contacted quite a few people and even have contacted a few referrals and zip still next week we have appointments set up with some people that should be new as we have to tidy up our program a little. We don´t have to drop so many people.

Our activity today was we went to the church to play volleyball and futbol. The zone leaders talked to us a bit about being committed to our commitments and that if something someone does annoy us then we should not do the same thing. They used the example of not getting to a place on time. That happens a lot to missionaries due to the Ecuadorian time standards.

I had a little conversation with Presidente Christensen but nothing to worry about. Just a few worries and questions I had. I hope you all had a great week and a great Fourth Of July. Happy Independence Day. ´Merica! Send me photos of the fireworks, please, as we don´t have fireworks here.

Elder Throop