Hi everyone! My first week here has been great. I am serving in the Acacias sector, Huancavilva Zone. It is the northern most part of the mission. So we have just south of Downtown Guayaquil. It is a pretty rough place, south of the city in the ghetto. The apartment we both live in is pretty nice for the area, we have a small kitchen, bedrooms and a blue bathroom. Our sector is pretty small. About a mile wide by maybe 600 meters long. There is such a high concentration of houses though. The weather is always hot and muggy, but it cools down enough at night to sleep because we have a lot of fans in the apartment. We also sleep under huge mosquito nets, even though there are not a whole lot of them in our area.
The mission president is a great guy! He has about 10 months left out here to serve and gave us some great training. We learned about the formula for success out here on the mission, Charity + obedience + the spirit is how we have success. As a mission we have a goal of 600 baptisms every month...we have not hit the goal yet but we always get very close. We are the highest baptizing mission in the world as of right now. We do have some more strict rules because they hold us to such high esteem. We are not allowed to play sports, even on P day. And on P day we are to stay in our proselyting clothes all day. At first I was bummed, but then I figured out that we need to make sacrifices and give in to the Lords will in order to help the work progress more rapidly out here.
The flights out here were great. We went smoothly through Colombia and got out here to meet my companion. His name is Elder Tomlinson and he is from the Portland area. He is gringo just like me and has about 10 months left out on the mission. He has a great spirit, and is teaching me how to work and more importantly, more spanish. And guess what....He has served in the Galapagos! I asked the mission president about serving there and he said its like the Celestial Kingdom...only the most obedient and hardest working missionaries get to go there. So I have something good to motivate me!
We had 3 baptisms this week! I attached some pictures. They are some people they had been teaching, and we interviewed them this last week and finished teaching and they were ready for baptism! I got to baptize Jeremy this last week. He is the younger boy. And this is the family in the ward who we got the references from! The members always have the best references for us to teach. And Gabriela and Nicole, the other two we baptized, have more friends and family we can teach! We are so excited and ready to get to work.
We have a goal to give 8 invites to be baptized everyday in our mission. Each companionship. I love having such motivated leaders and mission! It has helped me to want to work so much harder to reach those goals. There are something like 250 missionaries in the mission, and if we all manage 3 baptisms a month, we can achieve the goal of 600 baptisms a month. 8 invites a day is what 56 a week? That is a lot of potential baptisms! We also have a large pool of investigators and potential baptism dates so we always stay busy!
My first Sunday was great! The ward is full of friendly people who know I cant understand the language when they speak it really fast. I also found out on Sunday I had to give a talk in Sacrament and had only a couple hours to prepare. We talked about missionary work and it went great! I almost took up too much time. The members out here love the missionaries. When we are walking on the streets they always yell AYYY MI GRINGO AMIGOS and come talk to us. Everyone here for work mostly has little stores in their house, so people are always on the streets to talk to.
The food is not bad. Every week we eat at a members home for Lunch at 1, which is the big meal of the day. Our mamitas usually cook rice, sometimes pasta and some kind of meat, whether bologni, beef or chicken/turkey. The first course is also always a hot soup which is funny because it is always hot outside and I never stop sweating. Not that many places out here have air conditioning. They also always make fresh juice for us. There are a lot of good little stores here that cook fresh bread so sometimes we have that for dinner or for a small meal later that night. Breakfast is usually a banana or some cereal. Today we are going to go to the store and buy some groceries! We do also take the bus a little bit because my companion is our district leader so we have more responsibilities and are always busy!
Anyways an hour sure does fly by on the computers because my trainer is strict which is good! God is good and the work is progressing. Thanks for all your prayers. Ill talk to you guys next week!
Love you guys!!
Packages and letters can be sent to this address:
Elder William Joseph Solari
Mision Ecuador Guayaquil Sur
Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador
Packages have to be less than 8 pounds, and sent in padded envelopes will get them here the fastest. Make sure they send it with the green sticker. Also...if you are going to send anything important, hide it in something in the package and cover it in pictures of Christ or the Virgin Mary