Tuesday, January 10, 2017




1-9-17 LETTER

Thanks for the birthday wishes guys it means a lot. And sorry if this email looks boring its just that the exclamation point doesnt work on this keyboard hahaha. I passed the day pretty well dont worry I ate a super good lunch and even some cake at night. For lunch the mamita made us un parrillada which is like a bunch of grilled meats with rice and beans and patacones. Its probably my favorite plate here in Ecuador. I ate so much...and then we went on divisions with some of the leaders and the YSA. After that we went to visit the Rodriguez family and they invited us to dinner and made me a little cake that was super good.
And one of the members took a ton of photos that he sent me so you guys can see them all. 

Ask far as the work and the sector it has been good this last week. I am finally getting to know our sector because its honestly super huge. Theres a big populated downtown part, and then a part thats out in the country where everyone lives in houses made out of sticks and branches that all look like they are going to fall over. But I like being able to have a diversity of neighborhoods. And the majority is dirt roads and it has been raining a ton so they are all filled of water...and there are also a ton of stray dogs that like to bark at us and chase us so thats been pretty cool as well hahaha. A lot of the people are very humble and receptive to our message so it has been good. We brought 12 investigators to church yesterday so we are working with the ones that have real interests in the church. 

So my companion ELDER SALVATIERRA has 20 months in the mission. We also lived together when I was in Amazonas Centenario, and he also served in the same zone when I was in 25 de Julio so we already know eachother super well. He is from Cochabamba Bolivia. And for these next couple of weeks the APs have put us in another trio...so my other companion is Elder Gomez and he is from Peru and has 16 months in the mission. He is waiting for his companion to get here because he will be training. But I do have some experience in the trio in the MTC and in Cisne so no worries. The members here are great too...we had 152 in church yesterday so we started out the year strong here in Machala Central.

In other news this last week we had Mission Leadership Council and we got to take a bus to Guayaquil at 5 in the morning to get there by 9..and we were in the training all day and got back to Machala at 11 that night. But they made us a little booklet with information for the Zone Leaders and focused on how we can be Leaders just like Jesus Christ was during his ministry in Jerusalem. I enjoyed it a lot. It talked about how we need to believe in our missionaries..not just for who they are but for who they can become. Missionarys consecrated and dedicated to this work. It helped me a lot to see leadership from the Saviors aspect..it was a talk from President Spencer W. Kimball titled, Jesus, the perfect leader...I invite all of you to be able to read it and study it. And dont forget to keep going with your new years goals. I love you guys...until next week


1-2-17 LETTER

The last couple of days in San Cristobal were interesting....because Sunday I shared my testimony in the ward like we always do when we have changes. And then Monday-Thursday everyone was telling me it was going to be difficult to get a flight back to Guayaquil in this time. And then Thursday in the morning they call me and tell me that Friday I was going to leave. So my last two days all I ate was lobster because it was going to be the last time to eat it here in the mission. Literally all of the members offered us Lobster because in the next couple of weeks they arent going to be able to fish it anymore. 

Yeah so Friday was my flight to Guayaquil. I got in Guayaquil at about 3:30, and then we went to the bus terminal and I got on a bus with another missionary at 5pm, and we got to Machala at 9:30pm. I travelled almost all day and was tired of sitting down for so much time it made my back a little sore. So my new companion is Elder Salvatierra and he is from Bolivia and we are the ZLs here in Machala. So it is one big stake with 10 wards and 1 branch, but 2 zones. Our ward is called Machala Central and its a good sized ward. So far we have had a bunch of help from the members with references and them bringing friends to church so that has been nice. I do feel kind of weird being in a ward again and not having to worry if one of the people assigned to give a talk shows up or not hahaha. So Machala is actually a lot nicer than Guayaquil, and its not as dangerous. A lot of people here work in shrimp farms or fishing, but there are also a lot of factories and businesses. And everywhere you look there are banana plants, the whole 4 hour bus ride all I saw out the window was bananas. So Friday I didnt get to work here in the sector at all..and Saturday either. The 31st and 1st they had us in our houses at 7pm.

So Saturday was cool though. Theres a sector in the mission called Huaquillas, which is one of the best sectors in the mission that isnt Galapagos. So Saturday I got to go with one of the Elders in our zone to Huaquillas because he just had transfers and was going back to baptise one of his investigators. It is right on the border with Peru and the church is super new there as well, it has 4 years and is already a super huge branch. Literally EVERY ELDER wants to serve there so I was super pumped to be able to spend a day and work a little bit. So if I dont get to serve there later I wont be upset because Ive already been there haha. So we ended up getting back to our houses at 9pm because its another 2 hour bus ride. The 31st we didnt sleep a wink because outside everyone was blowing up their new yearsa character. Here they make like a cardboard cut out of their favorite super hero or cartoon character and they fill them with fireworks and blow them up in front of their houses at 12am. Its a super cool tradition I want to bring back to the united states. They also make a mannequin¿ of someone they know and they also blow it up as well. The person they pick to blow up means this next year they are going to have good luck, its like theyre throwing away all the bad and starting their new year clean hahaha but they put so much detail in them and paint them so they look like their family member or friend or whoever it is. 

So Machala is almost as hot as Guayaquil..and it has been raining a lot so this week ill take a bunch of pictures to send you guys. 

These last couple of days I have been reading conference talks from this last General conference. For the spiritual thought I want to invite you guys to read President Utchdorfs talks in the first session of conference. He talks a lot about how we need to appreciate what we have, not take anything for granted and the Plan of Salvation. Anyways thats all the time I have I love you guys! Happy New Year and dont forget to put your goals for this year!!


CHRISTMAS DAY - Elder Solari was able to Skype with his family in Washington!!

 I spy _____ Iguanas!

 Blue footed boobie

 Christmas Tree

Church building

11-26-16 LETTER

As far as a letter i will not be going to Machala yet. The APs called me last night and told me they forgot to buy my ticket...and that now there arent any for another couple of days so I dont know when Ill be going back yet. So Im sure the Lord needs me here for a few more days..theres another family or two we need to find before I go. They said I might be going Thursday or I might have to wait until after new years..it just depends on when theres a seat available. Something cool that happened I forgot to tell you guys...We ran into members from Singapore the 24th and they bought us ice cream to celebrate Christmas! It was super cool because theyre both recent converts too. I love being able to meet and see members of the Church from all over the world. I love you guys a ton and dont forget to write down your goals for this coming year 2017!! 


12-19-16 LETTER

Well this last week was fantastic!!! Were still working with Jimmy, and he is progressing just he works in the airport and its hard for him to get a Sunday off. But he knows he wants to be baptised and has his testimony so we just have to wait until he can come to church. As of right now hes our only rock solid investigators...we have quite a few other but theyre not keeping with a lot of the committments so we are looking for new investigators! This Friday we are going to have our Group San Cristobal Christmas activity. Were going to cook arroz con pollo and have juice and toys for the little kids and bags of candy so its going to be a great experience for the church here. 

As far as the weather...is has started to heat up. January is when it is supposed to get hot..and in Guayaquil its when the rainy season starts. So since the government only lets us stay out here for 60 days...my 60 days ends January 4th so Ill only be out here for maybe 2 more weeks. It would be great to be able to stay longer so we will have to see what happens. 

In other news...I got a copy of my Priesthood line of authority to be able to share with the people here. Its honestly great being in an area where the church is so new!

As far as the skype I am going to be calling at 4pm San Cristobal time. So 2pm your time. I hope thats already so you can open presents and eat and then ill be ready to talk to you guys! But keep your skype open the whole time you guys are home so its up and ready when im on.

So these last few weeks I have been studying the New Testament and am in Hebrews chapter 5

8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

I love these two verses. They talk about Christ and the importance of our obedience to Him and Heavenly Father. He is the author of our eternal salvation ONLY if we are obedient. Its honestly something so important I have learned here in the mission. Obedience to Christ and His gospel should always be first in our lives. I know the Lord blesses us as we are faithful and serve others.   

Anyways thats all the time ive got but ill talk to you guys soon!! And i couldnt send any pictures so ill try again next week! Love you all! Merry Christmas!!!🎅


Nancie baptism

 Charging sea lion

Huge iguana

12-12-16 LETTER

Yeah so I am sure you guys are all thinking that for my subject in the email Im a disobedient missionary and I went swimming in the ocean. So what really happened is that Nancy was baptised and she picked me to baptise her!! So we had the baptism service Saturday at 6:30am. We had to do it before all of the tourists got out there to go swimming. We do the baptisms in a beach called the Loberia. And it was full of sea lions sleeping in the sun and the ocean was super cold! But we were successful and it was a simple baptism, but the one where I have felt the spirit the strongest. We took a ton of pictures but the cyber where we usually go was closed and we are in a super slow one right now....so Ill try to see if I can get atleast a few sent today. A big sea lion almost attacked Brother Tarquino so that was pretty cool to see. It straight up charged him and then chickened out last minute. I got a photo of the mad sea lion haha.

But the baptism went great and even her family came out to support as well! And we did not get permission to change houses so we are going to be staying where we live right now. Also today we ended up not going to the Waterfalls, so we stayed down in the port and went and played Monopoly with Bro San Andres and his family instead.

OH GUESS WHAT!! Jimmy, the guy we were teaching in jail got out last week! And he is going to be getting baptised in the next couple of weeks. We had a super great lesson with him yesterday and his wife is now listening to us! Theyre the family so if you guys could pray for them that would be great. 

In other new...we did some service this last week! Painted some rooms in members houses and helped a church member make corviches and muchines to sell in her restaurant!

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible. Christ tells us what we need to do to really follow Him. I was able to give a talk yesterday in church about this scripture and what He is telling us..we have to reject the worldy things and our own will, and adopt His will. I know that as we follow Christ, he blessed us and gives us strength to overcome all trials in this life. I know that Christ lives, that He is the Redeemer of all mankind and that on the 3rd day he resurrected.

Anyways I love you guys!!! Merry almost Christmas!!



 LightTHEWorld package from mission home

The Island and Ocean


12-5-16 LETTER

Well theres a new rule in the mission. I think some Elders were abusing their P day writing time...We can only write for 30 minutes now. So Im going to try to write the letter as fast as I can and with everything that has happened this last week!

SO we found someone who has been going to church for over a month and my last companion told me she was a member..but turns out she isnt!! So her name is Nancy and she is going to get baptised this weekend. And her parents gave us permission so everything is going to be great! Her name is Nancy Lucitena pray for her please so everything goes well with her baptism. We have also found some other families to work with this week, but none of them went to church yesterday so we are going to keep looking. Yesterday we also put the Christmas Devotional in the church with a projector and a bunch of the members came out to support and see it with us.  

Also I got to preside and conduct the fast and testimony meeting yesterday!! It was a great learning experience and I enjoyed it! Sure I was a little nervous beforehand but it went very well! Also there was a family of members from Canada that came yesterday and the father is a great great great great grandkid of Wilford Woodruff and he even had the huge beard to prove it so that was pretty cool too.

So this next week Hno. Gary told us that he is going to take us hiking to some waterfalls next P day so that should be a cool experience too. 

DYC 108.7 Therefore, strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings.
This is a scripture super important for us. Its something that really has stood out to me being here on an island where the church is new and the members dont know a ton because everyone is a recent convert. We need to strengthen the testimony of everyone around us and we can do it through the example we show. Every day, every hour, every minute even every second we have these chances to serve and be a light to someone else. We need to take advantage of every one of these opportunities that the Lord gives us, and if we do it, the Lord will forgive our sins continually. Mosiah 4.26 

Anyways I love you guys thats all the time ive got!!!


 Where the ship arrives with seafood

 Two giant turtles

 Will & new companion
Making Corviche

11-28-16 LETTER

Well it was great being back in the island this week. I feel grateful to serve the Lord in such a beautiful and blessed place. I know the Lord needed me here for a reason and I am able to find out every single day as we meet and find new people to teach here on the island. It has definitely been a huge change from Guayaquil...here the pace of life is slower and more peaceful. Its also a lot more secure and the people here are friendly as well. As far as new things this last week we have been looking for a new apartment to change where we live. Theres nothing wrong with where we live but the island has been having some problems with water rationing because it hasnt rained in almost a year. So we are searching and we have found some cool apartments..just theyre all too expensive for the budget they have given us. And we are looking for one furnished because the only things the mission owns in our apartment is a table, 4 chairs and an iron and ironing board..the rest is from our landlord here. 

So something funny...I had forgotten about Thanksgiving completely this last week, until our mamita reminded us Thursday..and she had prepared Lobster for us! With rice, of course and patacones which is fried platano. Theres also a recent convert who sells corviche..which is fried platano filled with albacore fish, so yesterday we learned how to make them..which includes grating platano. But they are super good so Ill be sure to make them for you guys someday. The fish here on the island is super good, the fishermen bring it to shore every morning and my companion likes to go down to the pier and buy and look at the fish. Another cool thing here is that we live 1 minute from a park where we go play basketball every morning as our exercise time!

This last week they also sent us new pass along cards for the new Christmas video of the church.. I think its called Light the World, Ilumina el Mundo so we have been giving out tons of those everyday, and we write on the back the direction of the church and the hour so people can come find out more about our church! Its interesting here because the church only has 3 years..so a lot of people dont know anything about the church. We have been doing a lot of contacting and knocking some doors this week and it has been fun. Just last night we were knocking doors in a part of the island where the missionaries havent gone before and we were able to find a new family to teach! La familia Torres and it was a powerful lesson. They had been having some family problems in the home and we talked a lot about the Holy Ghost and why it is so important to have in the home and the family. They should be coming to church this next week so Ill keep you guys posted on them! As far as Jimmy he is still listening to us..but we meet with him in the jail..the police guys let us pass to teach him the word of God so its going well he is reading and praying. We also met another family, the Pisha family and theyre from northern Ecuador so my companion and them get along super well. and we are teaching their family they are some new investigators as well. 
3 NEFI 12.48
Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.

One of my favorite scriptures...Christ is telling us what we need to strive for day to day. That we can become more like him..and through our faith and our prayers and our efforts we can do it and achieve everything. I love you guys!!


11-21-16 LETTER

Well guys I got back here to San Cristobal safe and sound! We got in Saturday at 11am. This last week was a little crazy with everything going on and the zone and leadership conferences with Elder Godoy. 

The training meetings were super great. He taught a bunch about Preach my Gospel and some of the things in which our mission needs to improve. It really opened our eyes a lot. Because the mission has changes a lot with the change from President Torres to President Moreno. Elder Godoy shared with us that the mission has a history of being the mission with the highest numbers in the area, and that the missionaries here have a tradition of being the most obedient and hard working. And his area are 25 missions from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Venezuela. But with the president change we havent been having as high numbers in the key indicators..but we have kept being obedient in our work. So we made some new changes to the mission that we are going to be putting into practice to keep baptising and finding new people to teach. He talked a lot about helping solve our investigators problems and digging to find out the root of their problem so we can help them more. It has already been helping us out so much here in San Cristobal.

So this last week I wasnt in the office...I got to work in my old zone and go on visits with all of the Elders to help them grow their sectors and their investigator pool. The APs told me to go there so I was super happy and I got to stay in my old house and they told me that Hugo and Xiomara got baptised and I got to see them so it was great!!!! 

So today we went to the high part of the island to the Galapagerua where you see the Giant turtles, and to Junco and almost to the beach at the end of the island haha. I took a ton of pictures but the internet is really slow here...so I think you might have to wait until next week to see them...its honestly not letting me attach them...anyways I gotta go but I love you guys Ill send a ton of poctures next week!



 Cerviche with squid, lobster, shrimp

 El Ciebo, a big treehouse

Ran into Elder Soto

11-14-16 LETTER

Yes I heard the news about Donald Trump..this last week a bunch of the members here were complaining to me and telling me that now they are not going to be able to get visas to come to the United States because theyre latinos. Thats super sad about all the riots and protests..it really shows a lot about how the world is changing no?? I think hes going to do a great job...I mean if hes a super successful businessman, he should be able to have success as the President of the United States. 

So today my companion has changes and is flying to Guayaquil..but I am going with him because a general authority 70 is coming to visit the mission this week. El Elder Godoy is our area president so Thursday and Friday we have meetings with him. And tomorrow arrive 28 missionaries so I am going to be in the office to help the secretary (Elder Barba) get everything ready and go receive them. So Saturday in the afternoon I should be back in San Cristobal. My new companion is going to be Elder Anrango..Hes from Otalvalo and the people from there are 'pure lamanites' so its going to be cool having him as a companion here. 

We had some investigators but they disappeared this last week...We think they might have been some illegals, or people that arent residents here. So we think they had to leave the island or got kicked off. We are also teaching Jimmy who is an investigator of the Elders who is in the jail here and should be coming out really soon, but progressing we dont have any yet but really soon we will!!! 

We also went up to El Progreso this last week and took some cool photos..dont have much time because we have a flight to catch but ill talk to you guys next week!! Love you all!!


 Colada Morada

Elder Davila & Elder Solari

 Las Tijeretas


11-7-16 LETTER

My week has been great here in San Cristobal!! I love the island and the people and the members are great. There arent a ton of members so Ive already met almost everyone this last week! My companion and I get along super well he only has a couple more weeks than me in the mission...Its funny because his last sector was Las Acacias, where I started my mission so we have been talking a ton about that area. Here we live in a cool apartment, second story. Elder Davila told me a couple of months ago we had a sweet view of the ocean but recently they started construction on the house next to ours so now there isnt a view...bummer! The weather is super nice..its always windy, and the sun usually comes out around noon. And the part of the island where people live is big..we walk a ton and its hilly which has been cool because all the parts in Guayaquil where I served have been super flat. I honestly dont know how many people live here in the island..some people we asked told us like 3000, and others have said 10000. But a lot of people that live here work on boats or in turismo. 

So here on the island there are 5 Melquisedek priesthood holders, 2 of them being us. They are the group leader, his counselor, and the YM Presidente. So I am actually the 2nd counselor here in the group and my companion is the secretary so its a cool experience being here. And none of the other brothers could go yesterday so we presided the meeting and we got to conduct it as well, and we gave the classes the 2nd hour!! Here in Group San Cristobal we only have church for 2 hours!! Its how the area wants us to do it. In this sector President Moreno told us he wants us to focus a lot more in the new converts and the less actives so we can become a branch..also there are plans to build a chapel here because we are only renting an old school hours. So we spend a lot of time visiting the less actives and converts but they do need to be strengthened a lot. We always read the Book of Mormon with them and we have activities. Another cool thing about the island here is that we can play soccer! Here they call it indoor and its on a basketball court, and we can play Fridays when we have the group sport activity. The only sector in the mission where we can play soccer!!

As far as investigators we do have a few... There names are Michael and Dayana and they live next to members. They didnt come to church yesterday but they are interested so we will see! Also Bernardo who is going to be baptised real soon so if you guys could pray for him as well! 

This last Wednesday was dia de los difuntos, day of the dead, so they make this purple drink..I dont know how to say it in English but its called Colada morada and its super good. They cook like a ton of fruit and it has an oatmeal base and this whole last week all the members were making it so I drank it like 10 times every day haha. It has pineapple, strawberries and cinnamon in it.

I read a quote in Preach My Gospel from President Hinckley that said something like: ``Great will be the day when the members of the church not only pray for the missionaries in the whole world, but for the missionaries serving in their own wards`` It left a pretty great impact on me..dont forget to pray for the missionary work happening in your wards back home! Pray for them specifically so that they can find the Lords elect...I love you guys! until next week!