You guys are lucky, the zone leaders almost told us that we had to wait till next week to write but we managed to convince them that we should be able to write today, haha. Anyway, hopefully nobody was too scared by my last email, because I do feel a lot better now. I still miss Cuenca a lot but I`m beginning to develop a love for the people here in Loja too. We`re working with a lot of cool people and especially families!!! My favorite!! So I am doing better, and despite what everyone might think, I`m not going to throw myself off a bridge or even sneak on the next bus to Cuenca. I`m good.
So yesterday we finally got back from Guayaquil at 10 at night. We had to go to renew my visa and in 3 weeks we have to come back to renew my censo. Why couldn`t we just do it all at once??? Elder Guerrero and I would really like to know that too. Ecuador is a red tape country for sure. But to make a long story short, the bus ride from Loja to Guayaquil and back is generally 9-10 hours long, although sometimes you can make it in 7 and sometimes it takes 12. I'm really hoping I never experience the 12 hour ride, that would be horrible. Sunday night we went all night long and got to Guayaquil at 4:30 in the morning. Uhhh . . . . Now what do we do?? We ended up hanging out in the terminal for a few hours and then went to the office, waited another 2 hours even though we got there on time and FINALLY went off to renew the visa, except we also waited there forever. But I did see my first district leader in the mission, Elder Cruz, so that was fun. He's going home in the middle of December, isn't that crazy??? Time flies when you're serving the Lord (Jacob 7:26). Then we had about 45 minutes to shoot off the quick email to our families, go back to the office to pick something up and fly back to the terminal. We thought when we got on the bus that we had just barely made it, but we ended up sitting on the bus for 15 minutes. Hableme en serio. We totally could have gone to McDonalds like we wanted. And THEN, when we were an hour outside of Loja there was a traffic jam and we sat there for another 45 minutes. I was just like you've got to be kidding me!!! Finally we got home and threw ourselves into bed and died for about 7 hours. It was really terrible and the worst part is knowing that I have to do it again in 3 weeks!!!
Anyway, enough Debbie Downer. Loja is very pretty and there are a lot of cool people here. We are working with 3 families and having a lot of fun. My companion is really funny-she loves to take pictures and videos and we just have a blast with it. One time we came to a door for an appointment, rang the doorbell and no one answered. We rang a bunch but still nothing. So we decided that we were going to have some fun. We now have a video of me ringing the doorbell obnoxiously and banging on the gate, then noticing the sticker on the door that says, this home is catholic, thank you for respecting our faith. Not to be deterred, I kept ringing and knocking, and finally HNA Bravo says, it looks like they're not here, and I said, it looks like they're catholic!!! It's a hugely hilarious video, not gonna lie. And we have many more. So I am having a great time with my companion, and also with getting to know the people here. The Flia Chisaguano is still AWOL although we heard that they're coming back soon from Quito and I just know that they'll be baptized this month, I don't know how but I know it. We're also working with the Flia. Ushca, who reminds me a lot of Flia. Criollo except they're a little bit more tranquilo. But the HNO Angel and the HNA Sandra are both really smart-they pretty much teach themselves and they have an 11 year old son named Orlandito, and a 1 year old named Erick. This past week they were going to go to Riobamba and not be able to go to church, so we prayed all week that they wouldn't go and that they'd come to church instead. On Friday we went to their house for an appointment and HNA Sandra said, ahh, I have to go, Orlandito's in the hospital!!! We of course offered to go with her and called someone to give him a priesthood blessing, shared a scripture with them and everything. When we left I looked at HNA Bravo and said, guess they're not going to Riobamba!!!! Haha, oops!! On Sunday Orlandito was still in the hospital but much better, and his parents were like I dunno if we're gonna be able to go but we'll try. We went to the hospital to pick them up and only found Orlandito, who said that his parents had gone home. By this time we had 10 minutes before church started. HNA Bravo was like, if we run we can get to the house and call them . . . . are you willing to run??? Of COURSE!!!! We booked it to the house and called, they said that they'd be late but they'd make it. All through sacrament meeting I was praying that they'd make it, and imagine the happiness that we felt went we saw them peeking through the door and waving-both of them!!!!! It was the best feeling ever.
Prayer works. It works in mysterious ways but it works. PS: Orlandito is all better now, he got out of the hospital yesterday on his birthday.
Anyway, I'm doing good. I'm getting used to my new place. I'm having fun with my companion and the other people in my district and zone. Elder Garcia is my zone leader and Elder Caro is here in the other district-sometimes after district meeting we reminisce about the good times in the office but we're all super happy that we're not there anymore, hahaha. And I have a couple of new favorite scriptures from Doctrine and Covenants (sidenote: I wish I had more time to study D&C, it's AWESOME). D&C 9: 6, and D&C 63:57-58. I'm learning what it means to really align your will with the Lord, and that if you do, He'll show you all the things that you should do-and bless you incredibly.
Les amo muchisimo. Amigos-ESCRIBANME POR FAVOR
Yo sé que vive mi Señor
Consuelo es poder saber
Que vive aunque muerto fue
Y siempre Su amor tendré