Monday, October 26, 2009

"I'm doing great, and I've learned so much this past week!"

October 26, 2009
Hey family!
Hey how are you? It’s killing me not being able to get a letter from you guys yet. We still haven’t received our letters, but I think we get them tomorrow during our zone meeting. But ya, it’s been two weeks since that last letter I received from you, or from anyone. Ok, so first things first- I filled out that MTC survey and I am going to send it out today, along with a letter for Lili. I found out that it cost 2 dollars to send out one letter, so those two letters will cost me 4, but that’s ok. I’ll probably just be emailing you guys and not sending too many real letters. This is the fist letter that I have sent from here to Lili, and I feel kind of bad, so could you let her know about it. I’m only allowed to email family, so that kin ofa sucks, but rules are rules. Anywho, I have a few requests. I was wondering if you could send me some church music for the harmonica, and also some CDs for my CD player? Maybe some Josh Groban, and some good music like that. If you could send me that it would be great. Anyway, so I’ll tell you about my week. First I told you about the baptism right. Well it was supposed to be this week, but we changed it to next because José Madina didn’t come to church. So we are going to teach him about keeping the Sabbath day, which I believe we are teaching tonight. We also asked an older couple to be baptized, or the Barre family. They are way nice people. They said they would, but next month because they don’t feel ready, but we think they are. The people here are so amazingly nice. We get to teach so many people and they always let us into their houses. They are hardly ever mean. The members are so awesome, we visit them all the time. It was funny I forgot to tell you this, so we have family home evening every miercoles, with like all the members. It’s normally at someone’s house and everyone that goes to church goes to it. So there are like maybe 30 people who show up, give or take. But my second day in Ecuador we had this family home evening. Normally, they have a quick lesson and we play games and have some refreshments. We were playing this game where one person acts like a cat and gets on the hands and knees and makes noises. I really don’t know how to play it because it was in Spanish and I had no idea what was going on, but somehow I ended up being the cat and crawling on around. They were all saying things in Spanish and I was lost, but it was fun. Last family home evening was way fun too. It’s funny because somehow I always get picked on to do something while I’m there. They talked me into singing Armies of Helaman in English to them. They said I did a good job, but I think they were just being nice. They also tried to get me to sing the Mulan song from the movie. “Who is that girl I see?”, but I never did. Lol but really, the members are all so nice. I love the family home evenings. Ok what else can I tell you? My companion is cool, he is a really nice guy. My roommates are way nice. Elder Santa Maria and Elder Sadan. They really are so nice. The other day I was cleaning my clothes, and I didn’t have time to finish because it was companion study. So I left them there and was going to finish it later, but they washed the rest of my stuff for me and hung it up. O so guess what? We don’t have people who was our clothes. Nope, we have to wash them by hand, and it takes forever! No joke it takes me like 2 hours to do all my clothes. Actually, I haven’t washed all my clothes yet because it takes too long. Ya we do it outside it buckets. It’s so much fun! Oh I think you guys will like this. Ok so when we go to the bathroom in America we wipe and we flush the paper. Not in Ecuador, here you wipe lol and you put it into the trash right next to you. We take that trash out every week. Lol today was my turn to clean the bathroom and it was sick. But it’s better now. Lol. But really, it’s not as ghetto as I thought it would be. It is ghetto, but not too bad. We live on the third story of the building, so they have big buildings here. They also have mc-ds (I think he means McDonalds) here. I went the other day and got an ice cream. But where I live it’s really ghetto. They do have nice malls and stuff and other places in the town. I’ll definitely get a video of where we live pretty soon. I’ll try figuring out how to send it in a few weeks. Ok so the language is hard, but this last week has been a lot better. In the lessons I actually understand more then 50%. But when they are just talking about other things, most they time I am lost. But its coming, just coming really slow it seems. Ok so I almost forgot to tell you about this. Ok so I guess New Years is crazy here. It’s two months away and people are already getting ready. On the side of the streets they are building huge persons and statues of random stuff. It’s all made out of wood and paper. They look tike giant piñatas. Some of them are like 15 feet tall and 20 long. I guess on New Years they fill them to the top with fireworks! No joke I have been here for 2 weeks and I have seen like so many huge firework shows. I saw a church light some off two days ago. Lol they have concerts in the streets for some of their churches. Lol it’s awesome. But yah, if will definitely get the New Years thing on tape and send it home. I hear it is so crazy. There is so much stuff here that I want to tell you guys, but so very little time. But anyway, just thought I would tell you about that. I’m doing great, and I have learned so much this last week. I am having a great time, and it’s crazy how much faster the time is going by here compared to in the MTC. Anyway, I gotta go family, but I am looking forward to hearing from you guys. I hope its tomorrow, because I really need a letter. But I love you all very much, and I miss you all. I hope all is well and things are going great.

Elder Keables

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

News From Ecuador!

October 20, 2009

Hola family how are you all¿ sorry if the question mark is upside down, I have no idea how to fix it. So guess what- I am still alive! can you believe that¿ lol ok so I have so much to tell you all. I forgot my thing of notes that I wanted to write to you guys about so I’ll have to try and remember. It seems like every time I write you I always forget something really important, and I always remember right when I’m done writing. First thing I wanted to tell you guys last week is that I found out about the mailing packages thing. Ok, so you can send packages and they get here pretty easy, but they need to be under five pounds. That’s really important because if they are over that then they cost way too much to get out. I also heard that the mail is pretty good, so no worries. Just make sure any package is under 5 pounds. Ok, so what could I tell you about Ecuador? Lol- not much. No,I’ll start off by telling you about my apartment. Ok so when we get up in the morning in Ecuador its actually kind of cold. I even sleep with a sheet over me sometimes. But the last few days have been kind of cloudy. So, we get up at 6:30 every morning and we all take shower. lol it’s my favorite. Lol there is no hot water and the shower is like a spicket coming out of the wall. No joke, it’s freezing and it’s one stream of water. I take the shortest showers ever! I wish we could just take showers at night, but we have no time. So we go to bed all sweaty, which is sooo nice. Lol ok then there is the kitchen, oh I cant wait to send you pics. They have these little bugs/ nats. I’m really not too sure what they are, but they are sick. They always get in my food. Yesterday I was studying and this fat beadle crawled up my leg. It was like half the size of my thumb, and it scared me so bad. We all sleep in one room with our beds all over the place. Today we get to clean it, which I’m looking forward to. Ok next is the food. We actually eat pretty good here. I have probably eaten like 20 pounds of rice since being in Ecuador. The pan is way good and way cheap. That’s bread. Lol for 50 cents you can buy like 8 little loaves of bread. Yesterday we went out to eat and paid 2 dollars for both me and my comp’s lunch. Though you gotta watch out if you have a lot of money. The other day I pulled 20 bucks out of a bank thing, and my comp told me to hide it quickly, it's not safe to be carrying around 20 bucks with you here. We have soup and rice with everything. Also, eggs are really cheap so we normally have those for breakfast. I really think I would have gained weight this week if it wasn’t for the five thousand miles we walked. No joke, we walked like 5 miles the other day to get some crutches for a member. The members are way nice here and they will do anything for the missionaries. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, we are holding my first baptism on the 24th, I think. Lol yup we have our first one in this area and my first ever! His name is José Madina. He is African American, and he is way cool. The Spanish is sooo hard! No joke, I still just sit there during the lesson and smile. When it’s my turn I just bear my testimony and look back at my comp for help or like, take it home. It is way hard not being able to say what I want to say when I want to. Really there has been so many times where I just want to tell the people how important this message is, or this gospel is to me and why they need it in their lives. I want to explain scriptures, but I can’t. It’s really hard, I feel like I’m never going to learn. But some of the Gringos or English speakers tell me just give it a month or two. It’s hard, but I really have no choice but to keep on studying, praying and practicing! I do feel like I have learned a lot just this last week, it just seem like it doesn’t show to anyone when I speak, not even myself. But anyway, It’s really cool here and really different. EVERYONE here plays soccer for football. No joke, they have a field painted on every street I turn down. In the evening they put up little goals and play. Pretty much on every block they have a pick-up game of about 20 people. It’s pretty crazy. The people drive crazy here. I think I already told you that, but really I couldn’t say it enough, they drive like mad men. But anyway, I gotta go now. I have a few more letters to write. I love you all very much, and I miss you all. If I have time I’ll write a letter for the mail and send it to you. If not I’ll talk to you next week. Love you all.
Con Amor,
Elder Keables.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Elder Keables is in Ecuador!!

October 14, 2009

Hey family,
Ok, I am so mad right now because I just wrote a huge long letter, and the whole thing shut down on me. Anyway I’m here I made it! I AM SO LOST! LOL. Ok, there is so much to tell you, and I don’t know where to start or when to tell you because I already lost all my time writing you once before. So President Johns and his wife are awesome, so cool. They picked us up at the airport. We stayed actually on the temple grounds, which was way cool. The temple is so beautiful! We got there way late at night, like around 12:30. We ate and went to bed. The next day we had the opportunity to do a session in the temple, which was interesting. Lol The whole thing was in Spanish. Lol I was so lost! I thought it was hard before. Anyway, after that we all went to the president’s house to have dinner. There were like 8 English speaking elders and 8 Spanish speaking. Dinner was way good, too. After that, we went to our orientation. That was pretty much the longest thing of my life. But I learned a lot, even though it was in total Spanish. Finally, when that was over, we all got to meet our companions. My companion’s name is Elder Salcado and he is from Guatemala. He speaks like no English. After meeting my companion, we all got our stuff and went to our apartments all over Ecuador. We took a cab to our place, which was crazy. No joke I almost died like 20 times. This place is so ghetto. Lol they have no lines on the roads. So we got to our apartment right? When we get there, I’m like, ok I’m going to unpack. Lol Wrong! My comp is like, let’s plan for tomorrow. But he said it in Spanish, and it took me like 10 minutes to understand what he was trying to say. It pretty much took the rest of the night to plan out our day because it’s so hard to talk to each other. Anyway, so while we are planning the other companionship got there, and they are all from Guatemala, and they speak less English then my comp. So I’m pretty much so lost on what’s going on in my life. Anyway I’ll tell you about my comp, he is way cool, from what I know of him. It’s hard to get to know one another when you can’t even say ten words, but really he is so nice and so helpful. He made me dinner last night and breakfast this morning. I told him I wanted to help, but he said I need to work on my Spanish. He is like, “I want to help you. Let me serve you.” Lol he really is so humble and really wants to help me. My roommates are the same way. They pretty much made my bed for me last night. I still haven’t unpacked all the way because there is no time. We have 3 or 4 lessons we have to teach today and I have to teach some of it. I’m way scared. I so want to send you guys some pics of this place. Really, it’s so ghetto. We have no windows in our apartment. Ok we do, but there are random holes in the wall where I can stick my head through. It’s pretty cool. Also, when I was studying this morning I had to blow the bugs of my books. They are everywhere. I don’t know what they are, but I know that I slept with them. Anyway, I think it time to go. I will write you again on Monday, that’s our p-day. I am doing great. I love you all, and miss you all.
Con Amor,
Elder Keables

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Last Letter from the MTC, October 9, 2009

October 9, 09

Hey family!
TWO MORE DAYS! ok I’m gonna be honest about this, I’m getting way scared! Did I tell you that I don’t know any Spanish? LOL. Just jokin, but that’s kind of what it feel like, though. Anyway, I got the cinnamon rolls that you made for me mom, and everyone liked them. There were just the right amount for everyone, even both my teachers got one, so thank you so much, and to everyone who helped you make them. Mom I wasn't able to copy the flight plans, so I’m going to try to give you the information and don’t worry I have time this time. So it’s American Airlines, the first flight to from Salt Lake is flight 1456, the second is 1246 and the third is 933. I leave Salt Lake at 8:30 and get to ok Dallas at 12:10. Then I leave Dallas at 2:10-6:00. Then I leave Miami at 6:50 and get to Ecuador at 10. I hope that was helpful to you. Can you believe it only 2 days away? That’s crazy. Anyway mom I also got my money out today, so thank you so much for doing that for me. I always say mom because I know you’re the one who takes care of that stuff. LOL Thank you so much mom and dad for everything you do, I just want to say that I love you guys so much, and I am so grateful for everything that you have taught me. It’s crazy, I never knew how lucky I was until I was gone. I have the best family and the best parents in the world! Thanks so much for teaching me how to be a hard worker. Dad’s probably laughing, but really thanks! I do appreciate you guys so much, and I love you all. Oh, and I want to say thank you to all my friends too, because I owe a lot to you all! You all are amazing! Mom I got your survey that you want me to fill out on the plane, but I don’t know if I’m going to have time. I already decided that I was going to convert everyone I sit by. LOL, or try. No I’ll fill it out, and send it home, I promise. Ok, so I have a pretty cool story to tell you. So the other night I was trying to go to bed because it was way late. One of my roommates, Elder Hicks was snoring so loud it was crazy. I could not go to bed, so I picked up something off the ground and chucked it at him. It didn't even phase him. I mean he sounded like my pig when we were trying to put him in the dog kennel. It was so annoying! Anyway this whole time I was trying to say my nightly prayer. Finally, I decided to ask the Lord. LOL I know- funny, right? Well I remember just asking if he could help me get a good night’s rest. Now, just 2 seconds after I asked, he just completely stopped snoring. It was amazing! Most people would call that a coincidence, but I know it wasn't. It’s so cool to me how the Lord is willing to help me in even the small things. Ok- one more story. This was really the coolest thing that happened to me. A few days ago, I was writing my testimony in Spanish. I was writing about Craig and the whole experience that happened before coming on my mission, and how I know I will see him again. When I was in the middle of it, one of the guys told me that he wanted me to listen to a song. The song is called So Long Goodbye, by Ten Years. It’s kind of hard to explain what the song says, so you guys should listen to it. It’s a really good song, and I couldn't help but start to cry as I listened to it. I don’t know why, but I’m a big baby just like dad. LOL But it was really amazing to me that he showed that song to me while I was writing about Craig. I know some people would say that’s a coincidence, but I know that it wasn't. It just goes to show you that God loves us and wants to help us in anyway he can. I know with all my heart that I will see Craig again, and I can’t wait. Anyway, I just wanted to share those two experiences with you. Over this last week my testimony has grown so much, especially after conference WOW! Elder Holland’s talk was sooooo good.
hey Ryan thanks for the dear elder, its always good to hear from my main man! Just wanted to say thanks, tombien, I want to say thanks for the car, I like that a lot. I’ll take it everywhere. Did you like the ring I gave you? Well, I love you, and I’ll talk to you later.
Hola Melissa! Thanks for the letter, that was pretty awesome and I loved it. ok you asked if I was the tallest? I am definitely not the tallest. There are some giants here. LOL but I’m still the best at basketball. JK No, there are way good basketball players here. Everyone is way jealous, sobre, of the Winnie the Pooh sheets. They all lay on my bed; it’s kind of annoying sometimes. LOL Oh, I miss my own room, you’re lucky! My favorite things about the MTC are the friends that I have made and my teachers. Everyone is way cool here. Food is ok I’m getting way tired of it though. I can’t wait for Ecuador, I’ll just tell you that. But I just want you to know that I love you and miss you. write me again, if you want.
What up Julia! How are you? How is school going? How many boyfriends do you have? JK. Tell me what’s going on in your life. Anywho, I love you and I’ll talk to you later, and I miss you.
Janae how are you doing? What’s been going on in your life? How is Justin doing? LOL JK- hey do you think you could give me his address? I don’t believe I have it. Anyway Janae I just wanted to say hi and see how you’re doing. I love you and miss you!
Family I gotta go now, I think I have been talking too much, sorry. Oh, mom don’t worry about writing me on dear elder thinking I’ll get it tomorrow because we don’t get dear elders on Sat, so today’s are my last ones in the MTC. Crazy! Anyway I love you all and miss you way a lot! I’ll write you in Ecuador! Love you!

Letter Home- October 2, 2009

October 2, 2009

Hola mi Familia,
Hola, como estus! That’s about all the Spanish I know. LOL Ok, I just got done sending an email to you, but I only have 30 minutes, and the way I type, it’s never enough. I also wanted to send these Hacemos lo justo rings, which means Choose the Right in Spanish. I thought that Ryan, Melissa, Julia, and Janae would like them. Dad and Mom if you want one, I can get for you guys, too. LOL Sorry they are kind of cheesy! I can’t wait to talk to you all in about 1 week. I have a lot to tell you about. I can never write enough to you. I am writing in my journal a lot though, don’t worry mom. It’s turning into a book. So I heard about Ecuador from a teacher and from some people who lived in Ecuador. I guess the food is amazing, especially the fruit! They said I’m going to get fat. I don’t know if I want to get fat, but I wouldn’t mind getting bigger. I also heard that for the rainy part of the year, we will wear those big rubber boots. He was telling us all about it, and it sounds so crazy. People live in those houses that are like chicken huts. Also, they build them like five feet off the ground because of all the flooding. Anyway, I’m excited! I am sorry if sometimes I don’t answer all the questions you have, it’s just really hard to remember all of them. Mom and Dad, I just want to thank you for being the best parents ever! You guys are amazing! I don’t know if I say it enough, but I love you. Everyone else, I love you all very much. I even love you Julia! I know, that’s crazy! LOL Ok, so I was at a devotional on Tuesday, and the speaker gave an awesome talk. I remember him saying,

“Here is what we are teaching, A. Joseph Smith saw God the Father and his Son, and the gospel has been restored, or B. Joseph Smith was a fraud and our entire church is a lie. If it’s A, then we have the most important message in the world. We have something that could change or save many people’s lives. It it’s A, then the true gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored. I know that it’s A with all my heart, and I want you to know that. I wish that every single person in the world would listen to your message. I know that if they did and they prayed about it, they could all know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and he did see both God the Father and his Son.”

I might not have known that before I came here, or I might have, but I know now. It seems like every day that I have struggled with something in the MTC, God has always put someone or something in my life to help me. He has answered so many of my prayers since I’ve been in the MTC. I owe everything that I have to Him. I love this gospel, and I can’t wait to share it with the people in Ecuador. I KNOW the church is true. I probably sound too much like a missionary! LOL It was a good talk, and I just wanted to share it with you all. If you have any questions about my flight plans, dear elder me. I’m starting to get nervous; I’m not going to lie. Anyway, I’ve got to go. I love you all very much! Can’t wait to talk to you all. Asta luego!
Elder Keables

Friday, October 2, 2009

October 2, 2009

Hey Fam!
Hey everyone! How are you all? So guess what? I got my flight plans today! Yup! I got them in the mail about 2 hours ago. ok so on the 12th, I leave from Salt Lake at 8:30, and get to Fort Worth, Texas at 12:10. Then, we have a layover for 2 hours, and then I leave Texas at 2:10 and get to MIAMI, FLORIDA baby! at 6:00. At 6:50 we leave there and get to Ecuador at 10:00. Those are the plans and I am stoked! It’s going to be way cool, and it’s only about 1 week away! Anyway, just thought you would all like to hear about that. Next week is your last dear elder. Mom, I have got all your dear elders, so don’t worry, if it’s too long the rest comes on another paper. lol So no worries. I did get the letter from you that had tanners letter. The language is going well, it’s a lot of work though. We are teaching the second lesson now and it’s going pretty good. I’m still going to be so lost in Ecuador, though. It’s amazing how cool and helpful the teachers are here, too. They are honestly the nicest people in the world. We have the coolest teacher his name is Hermono Bradley, and he is a straight up g. lol ok, so I’m guessing that you put these emails on my blog page, so I wanted to say hi to everyone. So for all those people are reading this, I just want to say thanks for everything. Machete guys- how are all you? How is machete doing? I miss you all. N...H..... lol Also, I just want to say hi to everyone else and let you know that I’m doing great. Hey mom I was wondering how much money I can take out because they want us to have 100 dollars for flying, I think. But I’ll wait for you to tell me before I take any money out. I’m kinda broke at this point because I spent it all on supplies. I probably don’t need 100, maybe less. Ok, so one of the teachers here was telling us about Ecuador, and it sounds pretty crazy. I’ll have to write another letter and send it in the mail about that. Tell dad thanks so much for the sports updates. I am so glad Brad is doing so well. I have been praying everyday for the Lohse family. I gotta go now, so I just want you to all know that I love you so much. You’re all the best. Mom and Dad, you the best parents in the world!