Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It was really a sincere and true testimony...

September 27, 2010
Hey fam!!

Hey guys!!! How are you all?? OK- I am so glad that you got the CD that I sent you and that you enjoyed it. I am way excited for my new sector because I am sure that I'll be able to take so many more pics than I would if I was in Guayaquil. There are so many things to do here and so many places to see. I found out that our sector also includes two other little cities even smaller then the one we live in. On Weds we have a trip planned out to go to one of them and contact the people there. It's about two hours away so we will spend the whole day there contacted and talking with the people. OK that is the best news that I have heard in a long time. Taylor is working on his papers! I am so stoked to find out were he will go. After Cody's call I think anything's is possible. lol tell him I said keep up the good work. I am sure that Cody is starting to feel a little nervous just like everyone feels right before leaving. He is going to have such a blast in the MTC. and he is only going to be there 3 weeks and then he will go to the other MTC in Colombia or something like that. Man I am so pumped. lol
OK- so to answer some of the questions that you had mom. How is it with the Catholics? Well it's going great. We have one lady that we are teaching that has a date for the 3rd week in Oct. her name is Rosa and she is way cool. lol She always gives us food to eat when we teach her. oh Really there are a lot of Catholics but its normal. I thought it would be different then Guayaquil but it’s about the same. I know that we are going to have success here. It’s just going to take a lot of work and a lot of faith, but it’s not a bad sector because the missionaries before me had 3 baptisms in like 4 months. ok the members are way cool. There are so many members here, but only like 35 are active. It’s really sad because there really are so many members but they just don’t go to church. I heard that there are more then 200 but we only had 34 at church yesterday. The church building is so small! I’ll have to take pics and send them to show you all. lol it really is sooo small. I have gotten to know a lot of the members because everyday we eat with them. Oh and I have had some of the craziest food here. They eat a lot of different things compared to where I was before. So in this last week I have tried so many different foods. Some good and some bad. lol like yesterday we went to eat at this member’s house and she gave us this stuff. Really I don’t know what you would call it, but all I can say is it did not set well with me. It was like a huge pile of corn with potatoes and cheese all mixed together. lol after eating we went to church because the reunion was about to start. With about 5 minutes to the starting of the reunion I started feeling it. lol I had to take a long trip to the bathroom and when I was sitting there I heard them start the meeting. lol it was so embarrassing because I came in like 5 or 10 minutes late to the meeting and as I walked in the president of the branch presented me as the new elder in the branch. lol it was embarrassing because everyone knew that I was in the bathroom because there is only 4 actually 5 rooms including the bathroom in the church. lol so everyone knew that the food did me wrong. lol so that was my first impression that I gave to the members. lol no it really wasn’t that bad but I was freaking out at he time. But everyone is way cool here and way down to earth. lol what else can I tell you guys about? Oh, hey today is p-day so we have a trip planned out to go to a river that’s by our house and go swimming!!! Lol just joking- we are going to go fishing with some members. lol yup fishing- you all know how much i love to fish. I am so stoked. ok so I have something else to tell you guys about. So our house, like I was saying, is way rich and super nice, but at the same time there are a few things that kind of stink. First is that our house is right by a dirt road like the one going to Philbrook Lake and a lot of people drive on it. So in our house there is so much dust. lol no joke I cant do the Michael Jackson Moonwalk dance lake crazy. Everything is really dusty. OK other thing that kind of stinks is that randomly during the day and at night they turn of the water in our house. So we have to fill up a huge bucket of water in the shower so that we can wash ourselves. We don’t have any hot water so the way we shower is with that big bucket of water. We have a smaller bucket in the little bucket that we fill with water and pour over ourselves to shower. Really we just shower with two buckets of water and it’s always freezing!! But its cool- we get clean. lol so that’s another thing about the house. I’ll have to take a video of the house to show you all lol. and some pics. OK- so I am sending a pic that I took of our sector or of the city. We had just left a member’s house from eating lunch and that’s the view that they have. Oh so one thing more before I go. So on Friday of this week I did my first interview for someone who was getting baptized. It was an investigator of the sister missionaries in our sector. I had a nice little interview with her and she passed. She got baptized on Saturday the next day. It was really cool to be able to be the one giving the interview. It was an older lady and she was really nice. At the end of the interview I asked if she could share her testimony. She shared with me really how she felt and how glad she was to have the chance to be baptized and having found the sister missionaries. It was really a sincere and true testimony. She was soo ready for her baptism. Anyway I better be finishing this because I still have to write president. Fam, I love you all and miss you all so much and that also goes to everyone one else. Friends, family, and everyone, thanks for everything!!!
Love you all!!!

With love, Elder Keables

The View in Catamayo

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I had to take a nine hour bus ride to my new sector!!!

September 21, 2010

Fam! How are you all? Sorry it took me so long to write you all!!. These last few days have been really crazy!!! Super crazy!! Hecka crazy!! Ok well I got changed yesterday! I would have written you yesterday but I had to take a nine hour bus ride to my new sector!!! lol I know 9 hours. So long. I am now serving in a small little city or village named Catamayo its about one hour outside of Loja. Me and my new comp are the only missionaries in the whole city. For district meetings on Tuesday we have to travel 1 hour in bus to Loja. My companion’s name is Elder Orozco from Nicaragua. He has about 8 months in the mission. He seems super cool and a very hard working. I am stoked to work with him. oh and his last companion was Elder Spindler, my comp from the MTC. lol ok, so to tell you about our sector or what’s it like. Well it’s a small little city like Hamilton but a little bigger. There are so many fields and mountains that are all around. Today is my first day working in the sector and they gave me a very warm welcoming. lol for lunch we ate at a member’s house and we had cow stomach with rice and this stuff called verde, which means green. It’s a lot like a banana and they eat so much here. Almost everyday in the mission I have eaten rice with verde. lol but is way good. oh also we talked with a lady today that is 110 years old. She was walking in the street without shoes on. Really it is so cool here, and I am so stoked to be in this sector because it’s out of Guayaquil and it’s way calm. The people don’t rob here as much. The only thing that I have heard about where we are is that almost everyone one is Catholic. There are so many Catholic churches here and I heard that there are a lot of people that don’t want to listen, but that won’t stop me and my comp. I am now used to the Catholics. lol jk ok so our house is soooooo big and only me and my comp live there. I’ll have to take pics and send them to all you. oh talking about pics, I sent a CD for you all in the mail last week Have you gotten it? Let me know when you do so I can erase all my pics and start over here in my new sector. ok so I have a some more good news. They called me to be the district leader!! WHAT WHAT!!!. I don’t know how I am going to do it, but that’s all good. I’ll just have to learn quickly. Today we had our first district meeting and luckily I didn’t have to teach, but starting the next week I am in charge of the teaching. Also calling at nights to see how the investigators are of the other missionaries. On Sunday I have to call everyone and get their numbers and a lot of more cool stuff like that. lol I am scared out of my mind. We will see how things go. I should have a lot to tell you the next week, because really I don’t know the sector all that well. I have only met one member or the fam. ok so right now I just sent pìcs of me and my new comp. Also a pic that I took from the window of the house and you can see that there are a lot of mountains. We have a really rich house lol. I’ll send more pics the next week also. ok so you asked me if I had advice for Cody. So this is for Cody. lol Cody, enjoy the food we eat back at home or what your mom cooks because that’s all going to change. Also start reading in the Book of Mormon so that you get to the point of driving it, or you know were some of the stories are. Practice your scripture mastery and all that. Most of all, studying the Book of Mormon is the most important thing you can do. If you have like 15 minutes or 30 everyday, read in the Book of Mormon. Also, Preach My Gospel is way good and important. Really that’s all I have to say, that and just enjoy these last 3 weeks and get prepared to have the best expereince in all your life and see some of the craziest things in the world. In 2 years you’re going to go home as a new person and with so many experiences to tell and advice to give. The mission rocks! The same thing goes with Taylor. Hey mom has Taylor started his papers yet? I know his b-day is in Nov. so he can start now. How is he doing? Jordan gave me a quick update on him. Tell him I said to tell him to get started, because I am dieing to find out where he is going or better said when he is coming here!!! lol broma no mas pero si seria tan cheverye!! ha. practicing my Spanish. lol ok well I better get going because I still have to write the president. Everyone, I love and miss you so much. Don’t worry about me. I am doing great and not a bit worried of all the Catholics. lol they don’t even know what’s coming. lol with a lot of faith, prayer and fasting I know the Lord will soften their hearts and prepare them for the message that we bring that’s so important. Pray for them and I will do the same. I am praying for you all always and you are all siempre en mi mente. i love you all. les amo muchisismo!

Con Cariño, me elder keables

Pictures from Catamayo...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I love this quote and picture!

I LOVE this quote from Spencer's last letter! It says so much about where he is at right now and how much he has grown this last year. ~Jeanette

The mission is the best experience in the world! Not because it’s fun but because it has changed my life so much and given me the opportunity to look at things from a different perspective. I feel like I now know who I am in this life a lot better and what I want, but more important I know who my Father in Heaven is and what he expects of me. The Church is true!! Love you all!

Also, I LOVE this picture!

Monday, September 13, 2010

the president taught us for 6 hours every day for 4 days straight...

September 13, 2010
Hey everyone what’s up? How are you all? How has your week been? That’s so cool what happened to Jordan, that he sold the trailer so fast. It’s always so cool to see your prayers get answered so fast! I am sure Jordan was stoked when that happened. So is Jordan looking for a job to help pay for school and everything? What is Jordan studying? I thought he wanted to do something in business. Oh hey, how much did he sell the trailer for? That’s so crazy that there are so many missionaries that are leaving and that are getting their mission calls. Are there any missionaries that are getting close to coming home?
Anyway so you wanted to know when the next transfers are. Well this week is the last week before transfers. I am pretty sure that it’s the last time I’ll be writing from this sector and with the companion that I have right now. I don’t know for sure but that is my guess. Not very often a missionary stays 5 transfers in one sector, but we will see soon. lol Well not much has happened in this week or nothing really exciting. lol We had a conference for all the elder companions, district leaders and zone leaders, in which the president taught us for 6 hours every day for 4 days straight. I went with Elder Thayne who lives with us and my companion stayed with the comp of Elder Thayne and they worked in our sectors while we were at the conference. President taught us about all the new changes that are going on in the mission with the way we teach the lessons. Its was really an amazing conference that got me so motivated to work harder and to change the way I teach. What the church wants us to do now is teach a lot more using the Book of Mormon combined with the Holy Ghost. We did a lot of practices and how to teach using to B.O.M.. Really it’s so important that our investigators have or get a testimony of the BOM. because if they do they will stay in the church and not fall away. Also he talked about how important it is that our investigators go to church, because in church is the best way that they can receive revelation and feel the Holy Ghost the most. The most important part is the Sacrament. Really he talked about 8 different topics or 8 things that we need to do a lot better or focus our teaching and the work in these 8 things. He said they are going to have these conferences every other month until the next year in July or something like that, pretty much until I leave. Really it was such a great conference and gave me the chance to recognize the things that I can to better and the things I need to improve in my teachings, and it’s a lot. The President Montalti is really powerful speaking and made just about every missionary scared to get up and talk. lol No really he is amazing!! Super funny!
Anyway I think I am just going to end it here because really not much has happened this last week. I am so sure that the next week I’ll have a lot more to say with the new changes. lol I’ll be sure to write all about it. Well I want you all to know that I love you and I miss you all. The mission is the best experience in the world! Not because it’s fun but because it has changed my life so much and give me the opportunity to look at things from a different perspective. I feel like I now know who I am in this life a lot better and what I want, but more important I know who my Father in Heaven is and what he expects of me. The Church is true!! Love you all!

Con Cariño,
Elder Keables

Monday, September 6, 2010

This time in mission has taught me so much...

September 6, 2010
Hey fam!!
Thanks mom for the letter this week. I got the pics this week of the camping trip and also the trip to Virginia. The pics definitely made me home sick lol but I got over that really quickly. lol it’s so weird to see pics of you all because really I can see the difference in all of you or almost all of you. Some of you guys really are starting to look older and is crazy. Taylor’s haircut was pretty sick, I have to say and Cody is starting to look like a missionary with the short hair. lol man even they look really different. lol but thanks so much for the letter. Also, thanks for the little note about Chris Benton. Really it still seems hard to believe for me that he has passed away because I’m not there. To me everyone is gone and I have to wait another year to see them, but it’s weird to think that he has passed away. I don’t know if you noticed, I am almost sure that you didn’t, but Chris passed away on the 3rd of August and that’s the same day that Craig passed away one year earlier. I don’t know why, but I find that so crazy. I think it will hit me more when I get back home and realize that they are no longer in the group of friends that I will see. It’s true what you said. It sometimes takes times like this to realize how important the Gospel really is in our lives. It gives us a sense of calmness and a sense of peace in times of struggle. It gives us hope for better times and a better life.
Hey mom you don’t have to worry about the letters. I did get like 3 or 4 letters in the mail last week, so I’m good for the next month. lol ok so mom I am sending a picture that I took this week and I want to see if you could send it to lili. lol it was so funny like 3 months ago me and Elder Perez were walking down the streets in our sector and Elder Perez told me to look and read what it said on the wall. It said, “lili te amo” or “lili i love you!” lol when I saw it I was determined to take a pic of it before leaving this sector. Like three days ago we were going to lunch to a member’s house who lives by the wall with the writing. So I brought my camera, even though it’s super dangerous in that part of the sector. When we got there we had to take the pic super smoothly so that no one would see. My comp hid the camera behind his tie and I went to the wall bent over and tied my shoe when I got up I threw up a pose and we took the pic. After that, we took off before anyone would realize we had a camera. I didn’t die or get robbed so it was a success.- lol it all went good except for the fact that I didn’t see the other writing on the wall until after we had to the pic and gone home (We photo-shopped it out :-). lol its kind of inappropriate but it’s still a sick pic. lol that one of the things that I did in this week. Hey mom I am going to send this right now and try to write another letter after I write the president. But if there is no time I want you all to know that I love you all and miss you all. I know I say it every week but it’s just so dang true. Love you all!!

I’m back!! lol ok so I just wanted to write a little bit more while I had some time. ok so I just watched the video again of Cody opening up his mission call because I still find it hard to believe. lol it’s so crazy that he is coming here. I was thinking about that this week and how crazy it really is. Hey so if Cody wants to start getting use to the climate here I have a really good idea. What he can do is every day go to In Motion Fitness and sit in the steam room or sauna I think is called. lol if he does that maybe by the time he gets here he wont die of the heat. lol actually it’s crazy because almost one year ago from now I got here in Ecuador and I feel like it’s not nearly as hot as it was when I got here. I think I am finally getting used to the heat here. lol I think I am getting use to a lot of things here. Really I can’t explain how ghetto it really is. Sometimes it is so sad. The other day we were leaving the mall after having bought our food for the week. As we were leaving, there were so many people, really soooo many poeple. We took a taxi that brought us to the house. At one very busy intersection I saw a kid about 9 or 10 years old sitting with his back against a pillar. He had something in his hands that I think he was selling. But he was sitting there with his hands buried in his chest, with his head bent down. When he looked up I saw that there were tears rolling down his face. He looked like he was lost, but I am sure he was there because he had to sell what he had to make a living. As we sat there he wiped the tears from his face, but they just kept coming and he just kept wiping. I really felt so bad and I realized how blessed I really am. How blessed we all really are. It killed me inside to see him cry and I wanted to get out of the car and give him the bag of groceries that I had. It really is so sad the situation of some of the people here. That’s only one of a few that I have seen and I could tell you about a million more. Kids that have 7 years and are running up and down in the streets through the cars during school hours selling lottery tickets, kids sleeping in the streets or in corners. High schoolers who jump on the bus with a boom box on their shoulders and start rapping to a beat, just to make a dollar. One kid rapped about leaving his parents to live in the streets and others rap about a God above. Really it takes experiences like this or to live in a country like this to realize how lucky I am or we are. How lucky I am to have two loving parents who have taught me to be the best I can and to make the best decisions, a house to live in and food to eat, brothers and sisters to share with, and the Gospel which gives us so much hope. I have all the blessing I could ever ask for and sometimes I still manage to complain when something doesn’t go my way. This time in mission has taught me so much. How to appreciate what I have in this life and to not complain about what I don’t have or what happens in this life. I can’t imagine after seeing so many people with so many problems and so many challenges and imagine how Jesus Christ must have felt when he suffered for all of our sins and all of our pains. What a blessing it is to have an older brother who was willing to suffer so much for us so that we could find happiness in this life and for the eternities. He has made it possible that all of us can feel clean from our sins and our mistakes and feel a sense of peace and love in this life. It truly is a blessing for us who have the knowledge and have testimonies that we should help other find the same and know the same. It’s in our hands and no one else’s. That’s why missionary work is so important. It really is. Anyway I think I am talking way too much and that you all think I am crazy. lol The mission is a crazy thing. I love it very much. Well if think I should be finishing up because we are still going out and do some cool stuff. Today is p-day and we have to take advantage of it. Anyway I love you all and miss you all. Say hi to all my friends and everyone back in Chico. Love you all!!!

Con amor!!!! Elder Keables