I haven't sent any pictures in a while so here you go. The first picture is the baptism of a great man named Luis Ramirez. He is honestly one of the most humble people I've ever met. He has had so many trials in his life (divorce, drugs, alcohol, depression, tough tough stuff) and yet he has never doubted or lacked faith in the Lord. He made some incredible changes in his life and now he truly is a completely different person. The Gospel of Jesus Christ transforms lives and literally saves people. I distinctly remember that in his baptism when he came out of the water he paused for a second... had an indescribable look of satisfaction and joy and then gave me a big hug. Wow! It truly is a privilege to serve these people and watch every single aspect of their lives improve. The second picture is two goofballs trying to cook lunch together. Elder Lopez is hilarious man. I really love the guy. He's always got a smile, he's positive, he truly loves the people, and he's a powerful teacher. We really feed off each other and have a great chemistry working hard together we're almost always on the same wavelength and both communicate together really well and that's crucial in a companionship (marriage and any other relationship too).
|Elder Remington and Elder Lopez|
I realized the other day that I haven't shared much about what its like to live in Ecuador... so here I go :)
Food- Ecuatorianos eat a ton of rice with every single meal, a mean a ton of rice every day and every meal. If you're in Ecuador serving food and you're not serving rice...you got problem! haha but its great because I'm always hungry and eat a lot and there's always plenty of rice :) they eat lot of sopa de pollo (chicken soup technically but its much better than your average can of Campbells trust me) and they eat bananas in every single way, shape, size, and form that you could possibly imagine. Haha and they have like 5 different names for every type of banana depending on how you prepare which was very confusing for me at first but I got it down now. Lots of vegetables and lots of fresh fruit :) its great!
Culture- Extremely friendly, down to earth, and humble people. Empalme is a little tiny town and so some of this might be more Empalmeño than it is Ecuatoriano. Yes its cliche but its still true, the people here have almost nothing but they give you everything. They are givers and they just want you to feel welcome and they want to know how you like their country. The majority of people have lived in the same place their whole life and their family for generations and generations has lived there as well so they know their town very well. Also there's lots of people that when they see me immediately want to try to speak English with me, ask me questions, tell me about their family or friends that live in the US, or just stare at me with a fixed gaze (gasp) gringo! I've heard that in big cities like Guayaquil there are more Americans so its not quite as intense but here in little Emplame its pretty funny just walking down the street and getting lots of shouts of "Hey you my friend!"
Fun Facts- The doors, buses, and lots of other things are not built for tall people...thus there have been several times when I'm not paying attention and then...¨Whack!" I hit my head on something haha but no worries its much more funny than it is painful. There's a lot more to tell for sure and I'll be sure to include more fun facts or stories about Ecuador in future emails.
This week has been the best week of my mission. We had lots of lessons with members, tons of referrals, lots of investigators that attended church, and we surpassed nearly all of our goals for the week. We're happy working hard, being obedient, and enjoying our mission.
Remember to do the little things every day (study the scriptures, pray sincerely, and serve others) its constant diligence in doing the little things everyday that allows us to continue growing, progressing, and improving and eventually become who God wants us to be.
Upward only :)