Monday, December 28, 2009

I’m starting to like the mission more and more every day!!

December 28, 2009

Hey Fam!

Wow I can’t believe that Christmas is over and that we already talked. The phone call felt like it was five minutes long and I feel kind of bad because I felt like I talked the entire time. When I got off the phone I realized that I had done all the talking and didn’t really listen to you guys or see how are things with you all. I’m sorry about that and I wish I had more questions for you. In 5 months I promise to have some more questions. You all sounded so great and I really enjoyed that phone call. I can’t wait for the next one. So Lili said we talking in Spanish? lol ya or more like tried. Lol I really don’t think she understood me very well, just like most people here. I know that I have a lot to work on to be where I want and to feel comfortable with speaking. Hey so I have a question, when I was talking did I sound different? Because when I called whit she said that my voice was higher and that I sounded more feminine! I really hope that is not the case, she also said that I had a little bit of and accent which I’m fine with. lol oh and mom thanks again for the presents and everything they are amazing. I like the shirts so much that I am afraid to wear them. And thanks for the food and candy, it’s way good and everyone is enjoying it. My favorite is definitely the calendar and the peanut butter. hey mom this is a web page thing that president and his wife made for the missionaries and the families.

I forgot to tell you about it in my last letter so I’m telling you now. I think that it has pictures and you guys can see all the zones and all the missionaries in our mission. Well what can I tell you guys about that you don’t already know??? Ok so we had a intercombio again for one day on sat. Elder Saban, one of the other elders in our apartment was my comp. we went out and taught a lot of lessons. My favorite thing about having changes for one day is that I have the opportunity to talk a lot more with the members and the investigators. Because to tell you the truth my comp talks so much and lots of the time I kind of sit back in the background listening. This is one of the things that Elder Johnson had troubles with also. He said that it was hard for him because he felt like he didn’t have a relationship with any of the people they were teaching because he couldn’t talk very well and my comp and his comp at the time talks a lot. He is a nice guy, he just talks a lot. But ya I really like having changes because I get the opportunity to talk so much more and teach so much more. But ya when me and Elder Saban were walking back to the apartment we walked by a shop that had air soft guns .lol really it was his idea and not mine to buy them, actually he made me by one. Really there was nothing I could do, so we both ended up getting one. Now we have air soft guns. Lol so to tell you the truth things are getting so much better. I’m starting to like the mission more and more every day!! Lol I think understanding the language and being able to teach more is I big part of that also. Oh something else that was cool is yesterday for the first time I taught the Restoration. For me that is a big accomplishment because I remember my first few weeks and I could even tell where we were in the lesson. ok before I forget or run out of time I want to tell you about Carmon Cortel. I told you a lot about her on the phone but we have the bap date set up for this weekend and I’m pretty sure it’s going to workout. She is doing everything that we have asked her to and she seems to be excited for the bapt. She went to church yesterday, which is great and all we need to do now is teach or a few more commandments. But she is doing so much butter. Really it’s amazing how you can see the change in ones persons life when they follow through with there commitments. When they do things like reading in the scriptures, praying every day, going to church and obeying the commandment you can see such a change in their continence. They are so much happier, they receive so many more blessing in there lives. I got to admit one of the best things to see for a missionary or for me, is when we go to an investigator’s house and they have the Book of Mormon open with a marker right next to it or when they have questions written in the back about what they read. This is when the missionary is most happy and definitely when the investigator is most happy. The other day we passed by Rafael Barre´s house to see how he was doing and to share a quick message. When we got there we looked through the window and he was asleep with the Book of Mormon on his lap. We always like to see that. Lol Anyway things are going great for me. The language is still hard and I still have a really hard time understanding everything, but with time and practice I know it will come. Anyway my time is about up and I’ve got to go but I want you to all know that I miss you tons and I love you tambian. I hope all is well with you guys and that you enjoy the rest of Christmas break. Love you all and miss you all!

Con Amor,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

...I took it off and found a fat cockroach or actually even better a flat cockroach...

December 21, 2009


Hey! Four more days! Can you believe that? First of all, mom I want to say thanks so much for getting flowers for Lili, I was kind of worried about what to do, but it sound like everything turned out well. Ok so on Friday at 5pm here I’m going to call you guys from a member’s house!!! You said that there is a 3 hour difference, so I think you guys should be expecting a call around 2pm. Yahhh!! I am soo looking forward to that. Or that is my plan; it might change and you could get a phone call a bit earlier. Oh and mom yes I got the package that you sent with the presents for the other elders and thank you much! Ok, so I’ll start off by telling you about the most important stuff that happening this week. First off we had a baptism yesterday yahhh it was my second one! I know that I didn’t tell you guys about that and really I’s because I didn’t know that we were going to have it. Her name is Lilia Castillo. The reason I didn’t know that we would be able to baptize her is because everyone else in the family are members or she married into a family of members. Her husband is a member, also he is the one that baptized her. When we first taught them we asked why she did want to get bap. And she said it’s because she wanted to wait for her husband to be able to. This was my first few week in Ecuador. Well we tried a few more times but they insisted on waiting. Well Monday of this week we found out that the husband could perform the bap. So we taught her all the lessons this last week and she was baptized. It was really I cool experience because they have this thing called noche blanco and it’s when all the missionaries in all the stakes have their baptism the same day. So 5 people got baptized last night and about half the stake was there to watch and support those who were bap. It was really I cool experience to be a part of. One of the ladies that got bapt was 93 years old and her name is America! Lol and her fathers name was Spiritu Santo or Holy Ghost. Anyway so that is what happened this week. Right now we have 3 other with a baptism date set up. Jose Madina, Carmon Cortes and Anehla Mosketa, we are working hard to get them all prepare for the 2 of enero or January lol. I not to sure what’s going to happen with them. I can give you the rest of the information in 4 days ha! It’s hard to explain the situation through this letter because I would be writing forever and I don’t have forever, but I wish I did. Ok so my scripture reading is going pretty good. By the time I talk to you guys I’ll be finished with 3 Nephi. I can now read the libro de mormon and understand a lot more, I still don’t understand everything, but it’s coming. I have had a lot more changes with other missionaries that I haven’t really told you about because I don’t have time, but some of the other missionaries said that I am doing better than they were when they had the same time. I don’t know to believe them or not. Lol because it is so hard. I understand a lot more but there is still soooo much that I need to learn. Sometime people will ask me questions or say something to me and I just sit there like WHAT? I probably look really stupid because I don’t know if it’s a question, or a statement and whether or not a should laugh be sad shake my head and say si or should I be mad, did they make fun of me? Lol really I feel like I never know what’s going on, but normally I just shake my head and say si, . lol no its not that bad but really close, I am able to follow every conversation now and know what they are talking about. Sometimes I even try talking in what else can I tell you guys about…. Oh so this morning when I was leaving the house I put on my shoe and walked to the bathroom and back when I notice that there was something in it. I took it off and found a fat cockroach or actually even better a flat cockroach because I had stepped on it. It was pretty sick because it was all in my shoe and all over my sock. I hate the bugs!! Que mas oh this last week and a half my companion has had fungus on the bottom of his foot. That’s sick to because it looks like dead skin and all white and red. Actually it looks like mould on the bottom of his foot. Lol but it’s getting better. Oh I had a change again with the leader of or zone. I went to another sector for a day and night. It’s crazy I think I told you guys about this place but it’s called the izel and it used to be the third most dangerous place in the world. I couldn’t even wear the ring Jordan gave me because I didn’t want my finger to get cut off. Lol or the ring to get stolen. It was my second time going to that sector I think I told you guys about it the first time. It’s where all the houses are made out of wood or bamboo. It’s pretty crazy we drove around on this motorcycle thing to get around and once again they drive crazy here and I almost died like 10 times. Lol but ya it’s always fun to go to another sector and meet other people. I really like it because it’s a chance to talk with other people and practice my Spanish. Oh I gave another talk in church again. The bishop told us about it about 5 hours before church. I had about 10 minutes to plan it out while I was putting on my shirt and shining my shoes. Lol oh ya we wear our suits every Sunday here in Ecuador and for most of the meeting in church. Dad mom I got the last letter with the Butte College information and thank you so much. O it was nice to see the pic of the guys and see how things are going with Butte. I think the next letters I send, there will be one for Anthony Carter, so if you could find away to get that to him it would be nice. One thing that I miss sooo much is basketball! I mean I have played 2 times since being here but it’s not the same. I miss the screaming crowd and fans. I miss being on a team and all the guys working toward one goal! The champ! I miss finishing a game and walking out of the locker room and having family and friends to greet you. No matter if you win or lose they are always there for support. I miss the trips and the bus rides. Oh I really miss basketball and I can promise you that I will want to play after the mission, but for now I’m going to have to wait. But don’t worry dad I still workout every other day. It’s funny because being on a mission kind of reminds me of being on a team.. Me, my comp, the other missionaries, Jesus and the Lord are all on one team. We also have goals and things we want to accomplish. The only way we can have success is through trust and faith in one another and working together to accomplish the same thing… to accomplish our goal. To help bring the people in Ecuador and all over the world the fullness of the gospel. Help people find faith in Christ and act on the faith. I can tell you right now that this is the hardest game or hardest thing I have ever done. but I know that it well be one of the most important things I’ll ever do. I know it sounds weird to call it a game but every game has a goal and I just like thinking of it that way. lol I’m weird. So mom what’s going on with Jake? Did he take off? You are going to have to tell me about that when we talk. And does his first phone call get to be like 10 days after leaving if so that would suck! Lol I think I would rather wait a few months if I was him. It’s crazy that he is already talking off. And in about 8 more months it well be Cody Storm’s turn. It’s really weird to think about it but we are all growing up. lol Dad I can officially say that I need to shave every day now! Lol also I’m on my second bar of soap and almost finished with my first tube of toothpaste! Third deodorant stick number 3 and my aftershave is lasting pretty good. I think I’ll be able to use that for most of the mission, but don’t worry if I start a new one I’ll keep you posted. Lol man time is really flying by. Oh dad we had our first rain this last week and it was just about enough to get the ground wet then it stopped. Like one hour later I was like a million degrees and I thought I was going to die. No joke every day I sweat to the point were you could run you hand from my elbow to my wrist and your hand would be drenched. Constantly sweat runs down your face into eyes. Well my time is just about up but I just want you all to know that I miss you all soooooo very much and that you are always in my prayers. I hope all is well and I can’t wait to talk to you all on Christmas in 4 days at 2pm for you guys. I believe! I hope!! Anyway love you all and miss you!!!

Con Amor, Elder Keables

Monday, December 14, 2009

When we eat at a member’s houses its rice and soup...

December 14, 2009

Hey family.
Hey family- how are you all? It was good to hear from you in the email. Ok- so I don’t have too much time to write today because we didn’t leave the house for a long time this morning. I spent the morning writing a letter for you all and one for Lili. I am going to send the letter to you and to Lili today. And I put my disc of pics in there too, so you can be expecting that. Ok to answer some of your questions I do have enough money from the church, actually I have more than enough. I still have 60 dollars from the plane flight over here. Actually because I have more than enough money I think I am going to make a goal to save 500 dollars over the 2 years and that money can go to someone who doesn’t have enough money to pay like I did. So dad when I eat breakfast every morning it's eggs and bread. And when we eat at a member’s houses its rice and soup. They eat rice and soup for every meal every day. I wish I had more time to write you but I have to make the CD so I can send it today. I promise my next letter will be a lot longer. ok so I just got you other message and the baptism didn’t go through but i gave more information in the letter i wrote.

Julia happy birthday, how old are you now 12 or 13 I can’t remember lol jk. Julia, I hope that you have the best birthday and you get all the things that you wanted. What did you get for your bday? Julia I miss you and I wish I could be there to see you open you presents. I promise that I will be there for not the next but the one after! lol Happy Birthday!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Actually, there are two kinds of language here in Ecuador...

December 7, 2009

Hey Family!
Hey how are you all? Another week has passed by! I can’t believe in less than three weeks I’ll be able to talk to you guys. I am way excited about that! Ok so I have a lot to say. First, I have a confession to make!!! My comp is not as nice as I made him sound or helpful. I didn’t want to write you guys and tell you all the things that were bothering me or the things I was struggling with. Mostly because I didn’t want mom or any of you to get worried. But I’ll be honest now, because things are a lot better. Really the first month or month and a half I wanted to go home. Actually, the first week wasn’t so bad, but the rest were really hard. But things are getting a lot better now that I can understand the language better. But really my first month or so I wanted to go home so bad. Really I don’t know how I didn’t. Lol I know it’s bad, but it was hard. I don’t have to say much about my comp to explain the type of person he is. All you need to know is that his favorite movies are Lord of the Rings, Star wars, and Harry Potter. The music he likes is the music of these movies. So at sometimes in the apartment I feel like we are about to get attacked by goblins, and the other I feel like we are fighting to save the galaxy, and another I feel like I’m flying with unicorns on clouds. Lol Let's just say I dislike the music a lot! I’ll just say he is very unique in his own little way. But really I don’t think he is as bad as Elder ______, because some days we get along great, but not a lot. It’s funny because Elder Johnson is one of the missionaries in our district who had my comp for a trainer. When I met Elder Johnson for the first time at the beginning of my second change, he gave me a big hug and said how are you doing? I looked at him and was like, “Wait does he now how I feel? Did he have the same problems as I do?” That was two weeks ago and I found out that he did feel the same way. I was able to talk to him again today at the church. We played basketball at the church today with one of our investigators, Jose Madina, and it was way fun. But ya so I talked to him, and he really is like the nicest coolest guy in the world. He has two more transfers than I and he can talk in Spanish so well. Oh and he is one inch taller than me, I think. But ya we talked today and he was able to give me some tips. He said he had the same problems with Elder Salcedo. He said there had been times that he would lock himself in a room and just start crying, and I’ll admit that I have done that. But mom I want you to know that I am fine and everyone else. Things are way better! I put this at the front so if you wanted to not put it on the page it would be easy. Lol Anyway I want to tell you about José Madina. Ok so once again, we didn’t have the baptism, because we need to work some things out with the bishop and the mission president and also with the zone leaders. They all had different opinions on what to do with him, because he didn’t go to church every time we wanted to have the baptism, but the last two weeks he has gone. Yesterday he went to church and the Christmas devotional. Today we played basketball with him at the church with 4 other missionaries. But he is soo ready for the bp. Really he is way excited for it, and so am I. I love going to his house to teach him because he always is so excited to see us and tell us what he has read. When I call you guys in a few weeks remind me to tell you more about him because its hard to explain in a letter, when you have so much to say and so little time. Carmon Cortes is doing great we have her bp set up for the 20th I think or 21st. We still have to teach her a lot before her bp. Ok so I’ll tell you a little bit about the language. It’s hard!!! Actually there are two kinds of language here in Ecuador and one I know really well, and the other his really hard. First, is gospel related language, when we are teacing lessons and I’m in church I can understand almost everything that is going on. In church yesterday I was able to understand practically everything. The other language is more difficult. This is everything outside of gospel related subjects. I’m getting to the point were I can almost always follow these conversations. I know what they are talking about, but I don’t know everything. I miss a lot and it’s very annoying. The worst is trying to talk in this language. Talking is so much harder than listening. Really I can’t talk, it’s so hard to conjugate every single verb, and know the vocab and do all these things at the same time. I thought when I first got here that I would just pick all that stuff up. I found this not to be true. I didn’t study much my first month because I thought that this would all come. But it still hasn’t and I’m still struggling. I think everyone one else that I talk to learns more English in the conversation than I do Spanish. There is this guy that works in this little teinda or store by my house. When I first got here I don’t think he knew any English, but instead of my learning how to get stuff in Spanish he just learned to works in English. He is always asking me how to say this and how to say that. Lol anyway so everyone says in about 2 or 3 months more I will start thinking and talking in Spanish. They say u understand first and then you learn how to talk. All I need is to wait or have patience. Ok so I though of what I wanted to say. So what else can I tell you about??? This week was kind of normal for me, not too much happened, it went by way fast. Oh I almost have used one more bar of soap. Lol and my shoes look like someone have actually worn them a few times. Lol only thing if need now is to know Spanish. Oh I still don’t know about the phone call, but I’ll know all the information by next week. The one thing that I do know is that we have 1 hour to talk and I don’t think any more. It’s so weird because people have their Christmas trees out and their decorations, but its still way hot. Like way hot. I have a feeling that this Christmas is going to be way different. Oh hey so I listened to the CD that was Jordan’s favorite, and now I know why. It’s amazing! Really it motivated me so much. Actually, I have almost listened to it twice. Tell Jordan thanks because I love it, and it’s a lot of help. Well we gotta run now, but I hope all is going great back at home. Mom, Dad hermanos yo extrano usteds mucho! I am doing great here in Ecuador, and this time I’m serious, love you all!

Con Amor, Elder Keables

Hey again! I have a little more time, so I just wanted to share my testimony with you guys. I want you all to know that I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he restored the gospel of Jesus Christ through the power of God and that he translated the book of mormon throught the power of god. I know that when we read the Book of Mormon and the Bible, we grow closer to our Heavenly Father, and we can feel his love and his hand in our lives. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God. I know that Jesus Christ is our older brother who loves and cares for us. I know that he is our redeemer and through him we can be freed from sin. Through him we can return to live with our Heavenly Father and our families for eternity. I know that Jesus has felt or pains or sorrows and he knows or weaknesses he knows our struggles. I know that he has walked a mile in our shoes because he loves us, because he wants us to have the opportunity to live with him and our Lord and our Father again. I know these things to be true with to do mi corazon, with all my heart. I have felt the hands of my older brother and my father more times than I can count in these past few months. I know that prayer works and that it’s an opportunity we have to put our faith and our trust in our Lord. I know that through our prayers we can receive help and guidance in our lives. Through prayer we can learn of our Heavenly Father. I know that God answers our prayers when they are sincere and true and from the heart. I know that this is the work of the Lord, because he has magnified my words to have an effect in ways know I could not have done by myself. I know that he is watching and protecting every one of the missionaries and their families, and that he knows and loves me and you personally. I know that everything I am, and everything that I ever hope to be is because of the Lord. I know that all the blessing I have in my life are gifts from the Lord. I’m so grateful for the gospel in my life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission for the Lord and share the happiness and joy and blessing that the gospel brings in my life with the people here in Ecuador. I am so grateful for my friends and my amazing family. I am so grateful for all these blessing that the Lord has given me in my life. I love you all, and miss you all.

Love, Elder Keables