Hola familia y amigos!!
Well. This week was really, really . . . . . . . hard. So I´m not going to talk too much about it because I just want to forget it happened. I will tell you a few things that happened but for the most part I´m just going to stick it in the past and hopefully we can all just forget about it.
Anyway, the hardest thing that happened is that Familia Pino possibly won´t be able to get married for another 6 months to a year. One person told them that they could get married as soon as the divorce was finalized, as long as they went outside of Guayaquil. Well, the divorce was finalized, the papers were signed and then they were told that actually, they had to wait a "prudent time" (because apparently, 4 years isn´t prudent enough) to get married, because Hno. Eduardo had initiated the divorce. Well I won´t lie to you all, when I heard that, I broke down and cried right there in their living room. Bueno, when I first heard I wanted to cry but they were still there so I fought the tears back really hard and we taught them a lesson about patience (Mosiah 24-read it, it´s bomb.) Like they need a lesson on patience-I will say to you right now that I have never EVER met a family that has more patience, long suffering, or faith than Familia Pino. They are examples of everything that I need to improve, and I wasn´t ashamed to tell them that. Well we ended the lesson, they went into the kitchen to get dinner ready, and I broke down and cried. Because really, I just thought it was so unfair, and I told my companions that, to which Hna. Morán replied that it is fair, it´s all in the Lord´s time and we have to be patient and wait for His time. Well I know that but I still thought it was unfair. So I was having an emotional breakdown in their living room but I didn´t want them to see, because really, they´re the ones that have every right to cry about it and they were totally chill and I was kind of embarrassed that I couldn´t control my emotions. So I got up to go to the bathroom and blow my nose and get it together, and as I´m walking to the bathroom I hit my leg on one of the chairs and now I have a huge bruise on my calf. SUPER. So yeah, we are super bummed. BUT there is a little hope. Thursday they should find out for sure whether they can get married right now, because two different people told them two different things and they don´t know what the truth is. Please pray like you´ve never prayed before for Familia Pino!!
Anyway, lots of other lame and upsetting things happened this week but I´m not going to go into it very much. Suffice it to say that it was one of the biggest trials of my faith and I hope that I´ve come through it relatively strong. It was funny because the thing with Fam. Pino happened on Friday, and Thursday was really bad and I remember thinking, what the heck?? I haven´t even been praying for patience!! But then I remembered that I had been praying for faith, so I got a super hard week full of faith trying experiences. But we´re excited for this week and I really hope that it´s better than the last one!! (PS: Familia Balarezo came to church again. This makes my heart happy and hurt at the same time. I´m scared they´re going to turn into another Fam. Pino and that would be really sad.)
So now I´m just going to talk about all the random, funny or weird experiences that I had this week. First off: I´m going to talk about Carnaval. Carnaval is the Ecuadorian equivalent of Mardi Gras, and and I´m pretty sure that it´s the dumbest holiday ever and that I hate it. Pretty much it consists of people throwing dirty water and paint at other people. Sunday and Monday weren´t too bad and we didn´t get wet or dirty at all, so Tuesday I told the other Hnas that my goal was to make it through all of Carnaval without getting wet. Well, Tuesday came, we were going into an apartment building to visit someone, and some obnoxious twerp on top dumped a bucket of water on me and Hna. Morán. Nice. Then when we came down, there was another obnoxious twerp watching the door and telling twerp 1 on top when to throw the water. Well we stood in the doorway debating what to do for awhile, and finally Hna. López walked out, keeping to the side so she wouldn´t get wet. Well twerp 2 yelled up to twerp 1 and he dumped the water, but he was TOO LATE!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHA. He just barely splashed her, and while he was reloading, Hna. Morán and I ran out from the building and we all took off. I was laughing like a maniac because we´d outsmarted them, until we went into another neighborhood and some other dumb kids threw more water on just me, because I´m the white girl and therefore have to get more wet. And then it started to rain. Hard. Hilarious, Heavenly Father. Really hilarious. Carnaval=stupid. Seriously, how is possibly considered okay to throw water, or really anything for that matter, at people you don´t know??
So this is my favorite thing that happened all this week, because it´s really super funny. We went to visit Familia Bacaluna, who were less active but now go to church more or less regularly, last Monday, but we couldn´t go in the house because all the women that live there were out of town, so it was just Marcelo, who´s 24, and Carlos, who´s 17. Anyway, we were talking to them in the doorway bc we couldn´t go in, and I don´t remember how we got on this subject but we started talking about fat and skinny, and I told them that their grandma always tells me that I´m getting fat (which is true but she doesn´t have to say it to my face) and they thought it was really hilarious. Well I didn´t, and they must have seen that on my face because Marcelo said, Oh Hermana, usted no es gorda, es muy delgado (you´re not fat, you´re very skinny). Then Carlos said to me, Usted es pepa!! Well I had no idea what pepa means, but Marcelo turned to him with a scandalized look on his face and said CARLOS!!!!, Carlos ran away into the house, and Hna. López and Hna. Morán burst out laughing. I´m still standing there wondering why everyone is laughing, so poor Marcelo had to explain to me that pepa is the word that Ecuadorians use when they like the way someone looks. Basically, Carlos had just told me I was hot. Well then I understood the scandalized look on Marcelo´s face and I was a little disconcerted myself, because, well, you just can´t tell a sister missionary that she´s hot, it´s just not okay. But mostly I thought it was really hilarious, because again, you just can´t tell a sister missionary that she´s hot!! Well then Carlos came back to the door with a really sheepish look on his face and said, hermana . . . . uhhh . . . . I just looked at him and said, Carlos, I´m ashamed of you!! It was really funny. I´ll sum up the whole situation with this thought: better to be called pepa by someone you know than other names that you don´t understand by the creepsters in the street, which happens every day.
I did do one thing this week that I was really proud of. I decided that I eat way too much bread and that´s probably why I´m gaining a lot of weight, so I made a goal that no matter how many times we stopped at a panaderia this week, I wasn´t going to buy anything, and that I was only going to eat the bread that we bought at the store on Monday, the stuff that comes in a loaf, and nothing else. Well this week we stopped at panaderias a LOT, and Fam. Pino gave us bread when we went to visit them too. It was really really hard. BUT . . . . I did it!! I didn´t eat any bread from the bakery this week and I was super proud of myself. This week the goal is no ice cream . . . . we´ll see what happens!!
So how is everyone doing?? I love the emails and I´m glad everything is good, because yesterday I was really missing my family and I started getting all paranoid and thinking that maybe something bad had happened and that´s why I was thinking about you all so much. But you´re all fine and I´m just being my usual paranoid self. I´m pretty sure I just missed you all bc this week was terrible and I really wanted a hug from my mom and for my dad to tell me that everything was going to be okay and that I can in fact do this and yeah. But yeah, I´m better now, and ready for this week and glad that everything is awesome with you all and that you´re all being good. Keep being awesome, keep writing me, keep thanking our Heavenly Father for all your blessings and doing all the right things. The church is true, Heavenly Father loves us and has given us so much!! MUCHO AMOR!!!