Elder Solari & Elder Jenkins
A family night
Bus ride to Cuenca
View of Cuenca
Yes everyone there was a big earthquake here in Ecuador. I didnt have a chance to experience much of it because Friday morning I had transfers...you guys wont be able to believe where I am. Im in CUENCA. It was a pretty scenic bus ride and is about 4 hours east of Guayaquil. Its so beautiful here, I am in barrio Tomebamba and the weather is so great. In Guayaquil I was just getting used to getting home every night with a super sweaty t shirt and here in Cuenca we barely sweat! The weather is perfect, and its not even humid here. You guys should pull up the weather for the two places and compare them. Here in Cuenca it rains almost everyday, but its like an ice cold rain that makes it super cold. There are also a lot of old retired people that live here, and a fair amount of gringos. Our area has the downtown more touristy part of Cuenca...so this next P day when we have time we are going to go and look around and take a bunch of cool photos. There are a ton of musuems, it kind of has a Park City vibe here, just minus the snow. So about the Earthquake....we were here visiting a sis. in the ward and it was probably 7:15pm when we could feel an aftershock. We were in a 2nd story and it was pretty cool, not brutal shaking or anything. But the sister was freaking out the whole 2 minutes we could feel it. So Cuenca wasnt really affected much but in Guayaquil a couple of bridges collapsed and like 300 people were killed. The church has already sent a ton of aid to help these people rebuild and help the refugees.
So the people here in Cuenca are a little more hard hearted from what Ive heard and seen so far. Theyre a lot more catholic so contacting is not very efficient here. The best is references from members. The sectors here are also HUGE compared to Guayaquil so we spend a lot more time walking. So my new companion here is Elder Vega, he is from Cuzco Peru and has like 23 months in the mission. He is from the same group as my other companion, Elder Jenkins. He is a HUGE 49ers and Giants fan so automatically became close friends.Im kinda bummed we were only companions for like a week and a half because hes such a powerful missionary and we got along so well...but I know im supposed to be here in Cuenca with Elder Vega. Also, the food here is so much better than in Guayaquil. Here they always give us vegetables and avocado and more meat...when in Guayaquil it was like a big pile of white rice and some beans haha.
So this last Sunday we had this cool Multi Stake conference via satelite. So it was all the member of the church in Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. More than 39 stakes and 27 branches! It was braodcast from SLC and we heard from Obispo Davies, Elder Oaks, Elder Hales, Sister McConkie and Elder Hugo Montoya from our Area Presidency! I think its a new thing the church is trying out and it was super powerful! The best part was Elder Oaks gave part of his talk in Spanish even though he doesnt know a lot of Spanish. It reminded me a lot of my first Sunday in the field when I had to give a talk haha. They talked alot about keeping the sabbath day holy, serving missions, paying a full tithing and rescuing less actives! A lot of the things that the church is struggling with here in South America.
So I am sure her baptism went well because she was super excited and prepared. Ill attach a photo of the Noche de Hogar the week before I had transfers. Also a picture with Elder Jenkins and some pictures from the bus ride to Cuenca. We passed just a bunch of farm lands and banana plantations. Anyways thats all the time I have! I am going to take a ton of pictures here!}
Love you mom!