Monday, January 25, 2010


So I had this super long awesome email typed out and it was really fantastic and then MY SESSION TIMED OUT AND I LOST THE WHOLE THING. So now I can only write a short message. Quick review of the week: Marcos was baptized and confirmed although he couldn´t find a taxi and we thought he wasn´t going to show up but he did and we had a baptism.  Hna. López got really sick and we totally thought she had dengue but it turned out to be pharyngitis. But she had to miss Marcos´ baptism and was not very happy about that. We are still teaching Carolina and we think that this time she´s finally going to read the BOM, for real. I had a really good time at the zoo last week and there´s some sweet pictures, but I don´t have time to upload them so you´ll have to wait.  I have a ton of funny/gross stories from this week but don´t have time to rewrite so you´ll have to wait for those too. Way excited about the Colts in the Superbowl, totally forgot that the Olympics even exist, and can´t believe that Dad cracked and is buying a big screen. Cable is coming, you mark my words. Can´t believe also that we´re getting a drum set, who´s going to teach them to play it?? If box 3 was the one with all the wedding announcements then yes I got it, but if not then no.  (Sidenote: I can´t believe Jake Gerber is married. I totally thought we were going to get married. Jk.) The story about dad and facebook cracked me up. I wouldn´t want most of the people from my high school to find me either. They were all dumb. Craig, good luck with Fraze Tater Day, I´m sure it will go down in Carroll High School history.  Sorry I can´t write more. Next week will be long, I promise!!

Mucho Amor!! Hermana Chamberlain

Monday, January 18, 2010

EVERYONE Came to Church This Week!!!!!


Guess who had a CHEVERE VACAN CHAMPU week this week!! Gold stars for everyone who guessed Hermana Chamberlain!! First of all, we taught a ton of awesome lessons. I feel the Spirit way strong every time we teach, it´s ridiculous. We found a new family, Carolina and Blanca, and Carolina committed to be baptized in February!! YAY!! And it was my first time asking the baptism committment question!! Plus, we brought Marcos to a baptism on Saturday and he came to church on Sunday, and he´s so excited about his baptism that we moved it up and he´s getting baptized this weekend on Saturday!!! WOOOO!!! So now I´m totally scared that something terrible will happen and it won´t happen. But I´m trying not to be so paranoid. I think that paranoia is something that comes with being a missionary, but I´m trying to get over it.

So now I need to tell you the story of Marcos b-c it´s super awesome. So Marcos had been listening to the missionaries before he found us, but according to his teaching record, he hadn´t been keeping his committments and so they had to drop him. BUT, all this time that he hasn´t had missionaries, he´s been reading the Book of Mormon. And before this he had been drinking a lot and smoking and doing all this bad stuff but since he had been reading the BOM he had stopped doing all that stuff. SO he pretty much converted himself and he´s getting baptized and yesterday we took him to Gospel Principles and he was totally answering all the questions. Basically he´s awesome and I wish all of our investigators could be just like Marcos!!!

Anyway. Also, ALL OF OUR INVESTIGATORS CAME TO CHURCH THIS WEEK!!!! Rolando, Marcos, Junior, Jorge, and Fam. Pino. And Katie, I totally used your thing on Junior and Jorge, bc they had all these questions about church and the priesthood and we were like, why don´t you just come with us?? And they started making all the normal excuses and we were trying to convince them and finally I was like, you know what?? If you come to church, Heavenly Father is going to give you a lot of blessings, but if you don´t he´s not. Because He´s loving but He´s also just, and if you don´t come to church he can´t do anything for you." So when we came back, they came right out to the chapel with us. Yeah. That´s what I thought.

Another funny story about Marcos. So the deal last week when we didn´t go to church is that he had stepped out just for a minute to help a friend make a monograph, and when he got back we had already come and gone. Anyway the Spanish word for monograph is monografia, which sounds a lot like the Spanish word for pornography, which is pornografia, so I thought he was telling us that he had issues with pornography and I freaked out a little. But Hna. Lopez cleared it up and then we had a good laugh over it. Marcos doesn´t have problems with anything, bc he´s awesome.

So this email is probs going to be relatively short bc we´re going to the ZOO today!! But it´s time for the things that only happen in Ecuador. Last night I found a cockroach in the sink, which would be gross in the States but here in Ecuador we have cockroaches that are as big as our thumbs!! YAY!! NO. It was scary and really gross. And we also learned that when you don´t put pineapple in the fridge, it goes bad really fast and smells really gross. And gets fruit flies. Ewwww. And we found another bakery by our house that makes really good budin. Like it´s seriously amazing. And we bought another cake and it was really good, but it had strawberries on top of it and we had to throw them away. And I got my first round of Montezuma´s Revenge here and that´s all I´m going to say about that. It was pretty gnarly.

So I´m doing good!! Life is good. The people here are awesome. The food is awesome. We´re doing great things and eating a lot of bread. Sorry this email is so short but I´m hungry and Hnas. Glanzer and Montenegro really want to go to the zoo. So, chao chao until next week!!


Hermana Chamberlain

Monday, January 11, 2010

La Lluvia Ha Venida!! (The rain has come!!)

BAHHH!!! You found my Shox!! I am so excited!! Can you send them to me?? Pretty pretty please por favor??

Questions first!! I got the box with all the toys in it last week. It was really funny because we only get mail on Tuesdays at district meeting so before I even looked in the mailbag I asked Elder Cruz, the district leader, "Hay una caja para mi?" (Is there a box for me?) He was like, . . . . . ummm si!! His face was so funny, like, how did you know?? Hilarious. We went to visit Fam. Balarezo the other day and I gave them all one of those thingies that has the little ball on the string and you have to try to get it through the hole and Jimmito was SO EXCITED. He threw himself onto my lap and threw his arms around me and said Gracias!! Although that might have been because I gave him a few pennies so he could buy BonIce, I´m not sure. But it was appreciated, although I didn´t really know what to do bc there´s this whole section in the handbook about how we need to be really careful around kids and can´t let them sit on our laps or anything like that. So I was like, AHHH don´t touch me!! But it was pretty funny. Anyway, the toys are a big hit here and muchas gracias por me enviar!!

Entonces, la lluvia ha venida!! (The rain has come!!) Last night there was a thunderstorm and we had to walk around in it and by the time we got to the house we were going to I was literally drenched. I had water dripping down my face and arms and I just felt wet and miserable. And I just looked at my blog and the weather thingy says "light drizzle." MENTIRAS!! More like, "medium sized downpour." It´s not as bad today as it was yesterday but we went to visit Rolando this morning and we got pretty wet. Although we are luckier than Elder Cruz and Elder Hicks, bc when I called last night to give Elder Cruz our numbers for the week, he told me that their apartment was flooding (but I actually didn´t know that that´s what he said until after I hung up the phone and Hna. Lopez filled me in.) But, I will never complain about living on the 3rd floor ever again.

So I have a new companion, Hermana Moran. She is from Pasto, Colombia, which is very close to Ecuador and her ward actually goes to the Guayaquil temple. I´m pretty sure that I LOVE HER!! She is an amazing teacher, very sweet and best of all, she speaks a lot of English!! She studied English and French in college before she came on her mission, so she helps me out a lot!! She, Hna. Lopez and I work really well together and the Spirit is way strong when we teach. It´s awesome. En serio.

So this week was really awesome, we taught a lot of good lessons and our investigators were really progressing and then NONE OF THEM CAME TO CHURCH LIKE THEY SAID THEY WOULD. CHOOTICA!!! That sounds like a bad word but I promise it isn´t. Yeah anyway, Marcos was progressing really fast, he was there when we came to teach him, didn´t have any issues with the Word of Wisdom, (if I understood him correctly, he had already been living it. Chevere vacan champu!!), and he´s excited for his baptism and at our last visit he asked us when we were coming again, which has never happened before, usually we have to take the initiative. And he was like oh yeah I´m coming to church and seemed really excited about it and then when we went to go get him, he had left!!! BAHHH!!! And Rolando did the same thing. Bien bien frustrante (very very frustrating.) So once again, only Fam. Pino was in church this week, although they had to leave bc Hermano Pino´s brother is in the hospital (but they still came to sacrament meeting. Why can´t every investigator be as good as Fam. Pino??) Anyway, usually I get depressed when my people don´t come to church but yesterday I was just irritated. But I really am trying to develop more patience and Dad, your letter really helped when you said that the people who really want to find the truth will do everything we ask them to. I guess now we just need to find these people. Right?? And this is my question for the week: How can we get these people to come to church?? By the way, the only person who answered my question from last week was Katie. So Katie, muchas gracias!! The rest of you, QUE VERGUENZA!!

Anyway, we started teaching two brothers this week, Junior and Jorge. They were really receptive and asked a lot of good questions, like, so when I pray, God is really going to give me an answer?? We said yes and then I said I know that God wants you to read the Book of Mormon. So when we came back and asked them how it went, Jorge said, well I prayed but I didn´t read. We were like . . . . . . ummm, you have to do both, because Heavenly Father is not going to answer your prayer that the BOM is true if you didn´t read it!! And then Jorge was like, well you said God wants me to read this book so I prayed about that!! We just started laughing, and then we told them that they needed to read and that we would come back that night to see how it went, so they had all day. Well we came back after walking through the monsoon and they weren´t there. So we taught their mom instead. And this is cool because we were just going to teach her the first couple principles of the first lesson, but we ended up teaching her the whole thing, and the Spirit was SO STRONG. I seriously thought my heart was going to explode, and Hermana Moran said that when I was talking about Joseph Smith and the First Vision, that the Spirit was really really strong!! Good to know!! Anyway, Patricia, Junior and Jorge´s mom, was really receptive and she was like, I know it´s important to read the words of new prophets. We were like . . . . . . BAHHHH!!!! So we´re really excited about her. But we´re not very excited about Fam. Balarezo. It was weird bc over the past couple weeks, Hno. Balarezo had been really happy to see us, always coming out to shake our hands and talk to us, but Hna. Balarezo was acting like she didn´t want to talk to us, and usually it´s the other way around. So we finally talked to the Hna. and she told us that Hno. Balarezo doesn´t want her to go to church or talk to us or anything, and that his family is the same way. I thought there was something shady about his new attitude toward us and turns out I was right. It´s SO FRUSTRATING. I really am trying to have Christlike love for everyone, but some people just make it really difficult. Anyway, we just keep visiting them when we can and praying for them and hopefully someday sooner than later Hno. Balarezo will have that mighty change of heart that the scriptures are always talking about.

So we taught Rolando a lot last week and turns out he was having some doubts about the gospel, so we told him to read and pray and that he would get an answer. Hna. Moran thought that he maybe had issues with the law of chastity, which we hadn´t taught him yet, so we taught him that this morning. Turns out he doesn´t have issues with it, and that he has been reading and praying and when we asked him how he felt he said "tranquil" (I think that means peaceful.), and that he knew it was true. So hopefully he´s good. I´m starting to realize how difficult it really is to get people baptized. Satan works hard, so we just have to work harder.

Well what else. I am good. I hear a lot about how positive my letters are, and I feel a little bad because I do get really discouraged a lot of the time, and I really am not happy all the time. But I also feel like it would be pointless to complain in letters because what would that accomplish?? And despite all the challenges, I really am having a good experience here (although sometimes I do complain in my head, like, Heavenly Father, YOU WANTED ME TO COME HERE, WHY ARE ALL THESE THINGS GOING WRONG??) But He is patient with me too I think, and when I´ve sufficiently humbled myself, that´s when things start to slowly turn around.

So now I have a challenge for everyone!! My barrio is reading the Book of Mormon in one year, and they are marking it in a special way. This is the challenge I am extending to all of you: Get a blank Book of Mormon (ask the missionaries, I know they have tons) and read it everyday. And when you read it, mark all the names of Jesus Christ (the Lord, The Lamb of God, The Almighty, etc) in yellow. Mark all the times when the Lord is speaking, whether for himself or through the prophets, in red. Mark all the attributes of Christ in green (mercy, goodness, powerful), and mark all the doctrines (faith, repentance, baptism, etc.) in blue. I am doing it too and it´s amazing what you´ll find and learn. So, will you all commit to read the BOM and mark it in the way I´ve outlined above?? You will?? Great!! I know that when you do you will learn so much about the gospel, the Atonement and our Savior, and I promise that you will receive incredible amounts of blessings, that your understanding will improve and your desire to live and share the gospel will increase.

Well my companions are waiting, so Chao until next Monday!! I love you all and miss you but not too much!!


Hermana Chamberlain

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Pictures and New Year's Stories

"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth."  Isaiah 52:7.  That's Mom's caption.  Mine is, "My feet are HUGE!"

In front of the chapel in la Padera.  Looks like Ellen's got at least a foot on her companions!

At the Guayaquil Temple.  Que lindo, cierto?

I fell asleep while planning and didn't wake up until Hermana Laime took a picture.

When the lights get turned off in our area we can't leave our house because it isn't safe.  This is us being sad because we can't go out and teach the gospel.

Feliz Año Nuevo everyone!! I´m sure you´re all dying to know how New Year´s in Ecuador goes down, and don´t worry, I will tell you. In a minute. First of all, BOO to the news about Boomer!! I was totally rooting for him to make it until David got home. But if he was in pain I suppose it was better that it happened like it did. And of course he is in doggy heaven, because really where else would he go??

Yeah, entonces, I made it through my first change in the mission!! (They call transfers changes here, BTW). That´s the good news. The bad news is that I´m down one companion!! Hermana Laime was transferred to Loja today, which ironically is where Hermana Lopez was before she came to Huancavilca. However, we are also getting another companion from Loja tonight, Hermana Moran, who was one of Hermana Lopez´s companions when she was there. Hna. Lopez thinks that Hna. Moran needs to be here because she has problems with the circulation in her legs and needs to be closer to good medical care. But Hna. Lopez also says that Hna. Moran is "muy muy buena" and I know we will have a great time together teaching the gospel!!

Time for the good news about our people!! Rolando recommitted to be baptized on the 23 of January and said that he really wants to make it to this date this time. However, this weekend we went to visit him and he wasn´t there. So we went back in the night and he was like, oh yeah, I had to leave because my aunt died!! We were like . . . . are you serious?? So I forgave him when he didn´t come to church the next day. And none of the other ones came either but I didn´t get super discouraged like I usually do, so I´m getting better at that!! And Familia Pino came like always. OH GUESS WHAT??? Fam. Pino is most likely getting married and baptized this change!! They should be getting the divorce on 15 January. It turns out that they had been paying this lady for almost a year to get it taken care of and she hadn´t been doing ANYTHING!! So they hired a lawyer and he´s taking care of all of it for them. YAY!! They are so good and so ready. I am so excited for this change. I think that every new missionary needs a wake up change first so that they can see how it is in the real world out of the MTC. But now I´m excited for this change and ready to help change the world!!

Entonces, New Years aqui en Ecuador. I can sum it up in one word . . . . . LOCO. Trying to go to bed was pointless, so we just laid around until midnight, then got up and watched the fireworks and muñecos burning outside our house. There were fireworks right outside our window and they were amazing!! Then we sat under the table and ate grapes, one for every desire that we have for the new year (Peruvian tradition) and made hot chocolate and ate bread. Era muy muy bueno y divertido!! But the next day we were really tired. I took a video of it and I also tried to take a video of us lighting off sparklers inside our house (PS: Craig, Eric, Curt, James, Uncle Morgan, Daniel, Travis, Zachary and Tyler, don´t you even think about trying this) but my camera quit working which was probably the Lord telling me that I should be obedient and not take videos on my camera anymore. But the video of the burning muñecos is pretty awesome. The next day there were ashes EVERYWHERE, the remains of the muñecos. The bishop´s family made one of Optimus Prime that was taller than me, so of course they referred to it as my "novio" (boyfriend) and we took lots of pictures of me pretending that Optimus was my novio and that I was very sad that the bishop´s family was going to kill him off that night. Sidenote: EVERYONE asks me if I have a novio here, it´s ridiculous!! I just say "no lo tengo porque no lo necesito" (I don´t have one because I don´t need one). I don´t even want to get into my dating history, it´s too complicated to explain in Spanish and moreover it´s nobody´s business. So I just smile and tell everyone I don´t have one.

What else happened this week. I don´t even remember!! I´ve been so tired lately, I´ve started to fall asleep during my prayers at night and in the morning. It´s terrible but I´m just really tired!! Oh. I did have a cool experience yesterday. We have a recent convert named Stephany who told us the other day that she´s thinking about not going to church anymore because she´s the only member in her family and her grandma doesn´t like us and she feels really alone at church because her family doesn´t come. Also the Young Women in our ward aren´t very nice to her (sidenote: I´m not super pleased with the YWs in our ward right now because they´ve been doing the same thing to another girl who was baptized a year ago and I really wonder how they expect people to stay active when they don´t feel welcome or accepted at church. Okay, done venting.) Anyway, we talked to her about it and the next day we wrote her a card. I was writing and all of a sudden this scripture came into my mind, John 14:18. It´s very short and in English it says "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you. I wrote it in the card and then looked at it in Spanish. The Spanish translation is, "No os dejare huerfanos, vendre a vosotros." Guess what huerfano means?? Orphan, or fatherless. It was PERFECT!! Another manifestation of the brilliance and realness of the Spirit of God. Cheverissimo, no?? It´s moments like that that make my mission.

So I´m kind of sad that nobody answered my question from last week, so I´ll ask again what´s the dumbest reason you´ve ever heard for someone not coming to church. I haven´t had one that topped the one from last week yet but I´ve still got 15 months left here so who knows what people will come up with?? But I can honestly say that I love it here. I love the people in Huancavilca and I´m pretty sure that when I have to leave them I´m going to cry my eyes out. I love doing what I´m doing and sometimes during lessons I think "This is the best job in the world!!" It´s hard, sure, but it´s awesome too. Grandma, you wanted to know what my days are like. I get up at 6:30 every morning, pray with my companions, and shower and eat breakfast. For breakfast I usually eat cereal with either milk and a banana or yogurt. Then we have personal study for an hour and companion study for an hour, and I´m supposed to have 30-60 minutes of time to study Spanish but a lot of times I don´t get it because we have to go visit people. But if I do, after that we start visiting our investigators, our recent converts and the less actives in our barrio (ward). We have lunch at 2 with the mamitas (that´s what they call the ward members who feed us), and it usually consists of chicken or beef, some kind of vegetable and a small mountain of rice, and it´s ALWAYS good. I don´t think I´ve had a meal that I didn´t like here. And they always give us pop or juice to drink, never water, which is kind of weird. After that we go back out and visit more people, as well as talking with people in the street. We don´t usually eat dinner because a lot of times people that we teach or visit will give us food. And whenever we´re at the house we´re eating, it´s kind of sad but the food is really good!! We come back to our house at 9 or 9:30 and plan for the next day and then we fall into our beds at 10:30 and die for 8 hours.

Then we get up the next day and do it all over again!! On P day we go to the mall, write our families at the internet cafe, eat at the food court, buy groceries, and if there´s time we go do something fun. Today we´re finally going to the faro, or lighthouse, and I´m super excited.

Other things. Mom I got like 15 letters last Tuesday and the zone leaders made fun of me but I know they were just jealous. I loved getting all that mail!! It was awesome. Plus I really missed Dad´s letters. Dad, I´m sorry to hear about your mission president. It sounds like he was a great man and did a lot of great things. I have not gotten any other packages since the first one with the facewash and sunscreen and all that, but I´m looking forward to getting them, especially since you say that I´ll be so excited about them!! Plus, Elder Irwin, the zone leader, tipped me off about customs forms. He said that you can just write "missionary supplies" and that works, and then I won´t know before I open the box what´s in it. Awesome right?? Can you send me some American candy?? They don´t have Hershey´s bars, Reese's, Milky Ways or Tootsie Rolls here and it´s really sad. I know you´ve already sent a lot of boxes so it doesn´t have to bee soon, but whenever you feel like it, I wouldn´t mind them :).

Yay for Aunt Jenny being cancer free!! Anthony Duckett has a kid?? Yay for Purdue Men´s Basketball, Tyler´s mission papers, Ryan Septon in the MTC for the next 3 months (Have fun with that!! The food´s going to kill you!!), and Craig going to early morning seminary. He´s going to love it. He doesn´t know that yet, but he´ll figure it out soon. I´m so glad my family and friends are being so blessed. It helps me a lot when I´m discouraged or things aren´t going the way I´d like them to to know that my family and friends are being very blessed because I´ve dedicated 18 months of my life to the Lord. It´s very comforting, more comforting than you think it is, so please tell me all the good things that are happening in your life!! Por favor!!

Well family and friends, I love you and miss you but not too much ;). Be good and read your scriptures and pray and go to church and be nice to the people around you and especially the new members of the church and the missionaries, and work hard and pray for the Lord´s help in all things and He´ll give it to you, I promise!! MUCHO AMOR!!

Hermana Chamberlain