Monday, August 16, 2010

Me Gusta Cuenca!


First of all, I´m a huge jerk because I forgot to tell Kelly FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS!!!! You´re 12 now, wow!!! Hope it was awesome and sorry I´m so late!!!!

So I survived my first week in Cuenca with no warm clothes!!!! It was pretty tough, actually-everyone here says that it´s a lot colder than normal right now, and all I´ve got is a NorthFace fleece and a jacket that Hermana LeCates left here. I don´t actually really like this jacket, but I also don´t like being cold, so bueno. BUT-I LOVE CUENCA!!!!

It is very different here from Guayaquil, as I´ve mentioned before. We´re in the middle of the mountains and it´s cold, plus the accents are different and the people are a little bit more reserved than the people on the coast. They don´t open right up and tell you their life´s story within 20 minutes of having met you. But the difference is that when they say they´ll do something, they do it. If they say they´ll read the Book of Mormon, they read it. If they say they´ll come to church, they come (and they even come on time!!!). I love that about the people here. It might be a little bit more difficult to find people (although we did find 12 new investigators this week-woooow) but when we do find them, they´re a lot more prepared to receive the gospel. Our sector is HUUUUUUGE-we have to take the bus to a lot of our appointments and sometimes we´re on the bus for awhile-like a half hour. But it´s cool. We´re working with a lot of great people. We have two baptisms this Saturday, Gothy and Katty. Gothy is a 16 year old girl from Peru. Her parents are going to get baptized too but they have to go back to Peru and get married first and they can´t until October. But Gothy is VERY intelligent-pilas, as we say here in Ecuador. The first time we taught her HNA Wise and HNA Barker had left her a pamphlet about the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we came we asked her what she learned. She proceeded to teach us the entire lesson based on what she read in the pamphlet. When she stopped talking we just looked at each other and said, Amen!!! She´s pretty much brilliant. Katty is from Machala and is studying at the university here in Cuenca and living with her member family. She´s super great too-and they´re both really excited for their baptisms. We´re working with another jovencita too, Maria Jose, but she´s from Quito and is going back next week, so we´re just teaching her as much as we can and then we´ll give the reference to the missionaries in her ward. But she´s totally going to get baptized too-she reads and comes to church so bueno.

I realized something the other day-that I am incredibly happy to be here in Cuenca. The only thing that I don´t like is that at night it´s so cold that I can´t sleep sometimes, but we let HNA Montalti know and she´s having the office send some more blankets. Sometimes I miss my old district, bc they were awesome, and I miss my converts sometimes too, but I know that the Lord needs me here. When I imagined my mission in Ecuador, it looked almost exactly like Cuenca. I´ve seen houses made out of mud, walked down dirt roads, climbed a few mountains, and seen a LOT of people in traditional dress-cholas cuencanas. It´s super cool-I´m very lucky to be here preaching the gospel to these people here. It´s like a birthday present from Heavenly Father. At first I felt really bad because I knew that Hermana Barker was going to need a lot of help in the office learning everything, and I felt like I should be there helping her instead of here. It was really frustrating for a few days, but then as time went by Hermana Barker let me know that it wasn´t too bad in the office and Hermana Montalti called and let me know a little more about what I needed to be doing here. I had to send the cell phone back to Guayaquil but they´re sending me a new one that should be here this week-or maybe tomorrow bc that´s when zone conference is. That was kind of ridiculous too because when I left Guayaquil I tried to give the phone to the assistants THREE TIMES and they were like no keep it!!! But whatevs. I bought a pair of gloves today and I´m in search for a scarf and a few sweaters. I wanted to buy a peacoat but they´re hugely expensive, like 60 dollars, so that´s probably not going to happen for awhile. It´s kind of fun to be in cold weather again-it feels like the Christmas season. This will be the first birthday I´ve ever had in cold weather!!!! Weird huh??

So that´s what´s happening with me!!! I´m super bien. Maybe I´ll get to go to Loja with president this week and present in zone conference. HNA Barker said that she had to do that in the Guayaquil conferences but that she doesn´t get to come here because I´m here. Uhhhh . . . . lo siento. But I´m kind of expecting someone to tell me 5 minutes before ZC starts that I have to give a presentation, so I´m going to prepare tonight. Hope all is well on the home front. Just a thought-the only people who´ve written me letters lately are my mom and Hermana Haggard who´s coming in November. Hi Hermana Haggard!!! I wrote you a letter last week but then I got changed and it´s lost in my luggage somewhere. Can you send me your info again?? When/if I find it I´ll send it to you. Or I´ll just write you another one. The rest of my friends . . . . . HOLAAAAA. ESTOY AQUI ESPERANDO SUS CARTAS!!!!


Hermana Chamberlain

PS: Mom-can you send me my Purdue sweatpants too?? And long sleeved tshirts?? Gracias!!!

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