Well this email will be a lot longer because this keyboard is way better. Why?? Because we didn`t go to the same internet cafe that we always go to!!!
Anyway, we just came back from Guayaquil again, because HNA Castillo had to go get her censo renewed. We left yesterday, had a family home evening with all the members from Bolivar, and stayed with HNA Wise and her companion HNA Perez, then the next morning we went straight to the immigration office and from there we went straight to the terminal. The rest of the day was spent on the bus, which for some reason, decided not to go back to Cuenca through Cajas and took the long way through Cañar-which meant that we were on the bus for five and a half hours instead of the usual three and a half or four. Needless to say, we never want to get on the bus again, but unfortunately next month we have to get on twice, because I have to renew my visa and my censo. Why couldn`t we just do it today, you ask?? I'd like to know too!!! But it's cool. At least we get to visit people when we come!!
Anyway, this week was AMAAAAAZINGG!!!!! The familia Chuchuca, that we found last week, is going to get baptized!!! November 13 is their date and they are SO excited. The HNO Luis has a few problems with alcohol and smoking, but as soon as he started listening to the gospel, he started to quit, Yesterday right after church we taught them the Word of Wisdom, and he was like, yes hermanas, I am going to quit it all so that I can be baptized on November 13 with my family!!! It was so awesome-this family is incredibly special and they need and want the gospel so badly in their lives that they're already making changes. I think that's my favorite thing about being a missionary-seeing the changes that the gospel of Jesus Christ makes in people, through the Atonement. There's no blessing greater than that, and that alone is a testimony to me that this is the true church. Seeing people get on the path to being eternal families is worth every single bad thing that we have to pass through on the mission (sidenote-I only have one pair of undestroyed shoes left . . . . . ) and I'll always be grateful that the Lord sent me here, to these people, to teach them the plan of eternal happiness!!!
But before that happened, we had a super cool/funny experience. Cuenca isn't as dangerous as Guayaquil, but there are a few parts that aren't so great. Well, we found this guy who lives in one of those parts, except we didn`t know it was dangerous, so we set an appointment with him . . . . . at night. We asked HNA Florita to go with us and when we came, she was waiting in the Feria Libre (it's like a flea market but at night it's also dangerous) looking like she wanted to run away. When we got to her she said, Hermanas!! I was just about to go home-do you know how dangerous it is here??? We knew that the Feria was dangerous at night and I had already been feeling like we should leave, but as we got further into where this guy lived, that feeling intensified. I was praying the whole time, please Heavenly Father, don't let anything happen to us!!! Finally we got to the clinic that's there and we just happened to find the police. We asked them how to get to this guy's house (he lives by the Escuela de Trabajo, which we didn`t know at the time, is basically juvenile detention. Great.) They were like, oh you have to go further in and up, but don`t go because it's really dangerous. Hey, do you want us to take you??? At first Florita was like no we can't!!! So they started to drive away, which is when we realized that there were a bunch of sketchy looking teenagers staring at us. AHHHH!!! COME BACK!!! So they came back and we got in the squad car and drove away. We still couldn`t find this guy (although we felt much safer in the back of the squad car, they turned the lights on and everything) so one of the policemen got on the microphone and started saying, IVAN, IVAN!!! THE HERMANITAS ARE LOOKING FOR YOU!!!! It was kind of embarrassing, but at the same time really funny. But then I thought wait, how are we gonna get out of here??? We can`t walk out bc we`ll totally get robbed!!! Which is when the policeman said, hey do you want us to come back and get you guys??? YES!!! YES PLEASE!!! And they did!!!! As soon as we finished the lesson we called them and within 5 minutes we heard, HERMANITAS!!! over the microphone. It was awesome and they even took Florita to centro to help her dad out. Just another way that the Lord helped us out when we needed Him!!!!!
Speaking of the Lord's help, I had a cool experience the other day that helped me see how important we really are to Him, even in the little things. We were packing to go to Guayaquil and I couldn't find my hairbrush, no matter where I looked. I was getting a little frustrated because I'd already bought one hairbrush here and I didn`t want to buy another, plus I knew it was in the house somewhere because I had used it, obviously. Finally I was like, Heavenly Father, can you help me find my hairbrush?? I felt kind of stupid for asking about something so little, but the first thought I had was, look in the trash. What?? Why would it be in the trash?? But I looked anyway, and it wasn`t in the trash-but it was right next to it on the windowsill!!! I was a little bit blown away, not gonna lie. Heavenly Father helps us with whatever we need, even lost hairbrushes. I was thinking about that just now and about how many times I don`t really care about little things-I'm pretty sure that when people ask me if I've seen something of theirs, I'm just like Nope!!! but I don`t offer to help them look for it. But even though I know that there are people praying for things a lot bigger and more important than my lost hairbrush, Heavenly Father loves me so much that he answered my prayer immediately. Nothing is too small for Him-and if it's important to us, it's important to Him too!!!
Anyway, that's the majority of the cool stuff that happened to us this week. We also put another baptismal date on HNO Juan Pablo Morocho, the brother of the friend of Flia Chuchuca. It was awesome bc when we tried to put it on him, he was like ohhhh I dunno, maybe later on (come on man, you've been coming to church for 2 years, how much more time do you need??) But HNO Luis was like, no Pablo, you gotta take this date so you can be baptized with me and my family!!! Just go for it!!! Yeah. He accepted the date. I love prepared, awesome people!!!!
Estoy muy feliz. Sé que estoy trabajando en la obra más importante que cualquiera otra. Sé que Jesucristo vive, que El es mi Salvador. Sé que Thomas S. Monson es Su profeta hoy en día, y que Jose Smith fue un profeta de Dios también. Sé sin ninguna duda que el Libro de Mormón es la palabra de Dios, y si vivimos los principios que se encuentran en el, vamos a volver a ver a Padre Celestial y Jesucristo, a vivir con ellos y nuestras familias.
NUNCA SE OLVIDEN DE SUS TESTIMONIOS!!!!
Ustedes saben que es verdad-yo sé que es verdad.