Monday, August 29, 2016

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


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


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


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


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


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