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!!