Sunday, August 20, 2017

Goodbye Ambato, Hello Quito

Hey guys, guess what? 

yes, that's right, for the first time in my mission I am not in Ambato! I spent every night this week packing, because I was so not staying another transfer.  My new zone is Turubamba and my sector is Solanda. My companion is Hermana Valdebenito, she is from Argentina and finishes the mission in 3 months. The scary thing is that she is a sister training leader... which means that I am also a sister training leader.... and that we are opening this sector. which means we are both new here and we have no clue what we are doing. But hey, adventures, right? I am excited for the new challenge. I was really tired of the old one. But I will do whatever the Lord asks of me, even when it's not easy. 

This last week was very bittersweet. Bitter because leaving behind so many people that I know and love... not easy. Took lots of pictures because I want to be able to remember these people forever and ever. 

We were working with another investigator named Cristobal. He is an investigator of gold, thats for sure. He brought a notebook to every lesson so he could take notes on everything we were teaching him. Sorry if I have already told you about him. He will be getting baptized this Saturday. Knowing that I would be transfered, I was wondering if I would be sad to not be there. But I'm not, not really. It's the work of the Lord, not mine. I will work wherever the Lord wants me to be. 

Oh, cool story from this week. Several months ago, with Hermana Jimenez, we contacted a girl named Marisol in the street. She gave us her number and told us we could visit her, and said that her dad had wanted missionaries to visit them. We called several times and she never answered, so we went to her neighborhood and knocked doors forever looking for her. Nobody knew her and we gave up. 

A few weeks ago, we started teaching our neighbor, this cute little old guy who can barely see. He said that he knew the Restauracion was true but he refused to come to church. But before we dropped him (turns out he is a communist hahaha I don't think I've ever known a communist before), he told us that his cousin Edgar is a member of the church but stopped going a long time ago. We got the name and number. That Sunday, we mention the name in ward counsel and turns out that Rosario, the cousin of my convert cristobal, is also cousins with this less active brother. We set up an appointment, and Rosario and Cristobal came with us to visit Edgar. 

When we went to Edgar's house, I remembered going to that neighborhood to try to find the girl that we contacted but I didn't think anything more of it. Edgar got baptized in 1972 and left the church about 10 years later. It's his time to come back. He asked us to come visit his daughter who isnt a member, named Marisol. It's the same girl! We had literally knocked on his neighbor's door but not on his. The Lord works in mysterious ways and He remembers all of His children :) 

The hardest goodbye was Cristobal. He followed me around all day at church on Sunday. We went to see him as our last visit on Sunday night at Rosario's house. (They fed us soup with cow leg, it was really gross) when we walked in the door, Cristobal was already crying. I was trying really hard not to cry and to animate him, get him excited for the next hermana that was coming. He told me over and over that I was like a mother to him, that I changed his life and rescued him from the alcohol that has already damaged his mind and body, that I lifted him and that he would never forget me. DyC18:15. My joy is so complete for the chance I have had to see changes in his life. Although I worry that missionaries who come in the future won't have the patience to teach him in a way he understands, I know that God will look out for him and that Rosario will help him to get to the temple next May. 

I could go on and on about the members of this ward that I love with all my heart, but I will just see if i can get the internet to work to send pictures instead. Love you all so much! Have the best week! 

Quote of the week: (although i have never done this so its not actually of the week its just a quote) 

"Living the gospel is very simple, unless there is something we want to do more." --Matthew Cowley


put God above all else and LIVE THE GOSPEL! 

Love, 

Hermana Hasleton 

Clarita, my convert Maria's mom. Working on getting her baptized, too :) she doesnt know how to read and speaks quichua in addition to spanish. 

wherever you go in ambato, there is an amazing view

amilia bravo. we were working with Naty, the 15 yr old, as a less active. The couple on the right LOVED to come with us on citas. Hermana Bravo's hugs were the best. I am quite certain I knew them all before this life. Theyre amazing. 

karina ruiz, shes so cute, the rs presidents daughter

cristian, recent convert, and his wife silvana. theyre going to the temple to be sealed in november! 

everything over there is my sector.... a part of my sector....


 graciela is this cute little lady who got baptized in may, was a convert of the elders in our ward. I gave her a little hymn book because she didnt have one, here there arent hymn books for the congregation, you have to bring your own. She was so grateful, she gave me her hair clip hahaha I love her



 

this is Rosario, cristobals cousin, and I love her soooooooooooooooooo much! 


Monday, August 7, 2017

This is the Lord's work, and His vision is just so much bigger than ours.

Dearest familia y amigos y queridos, 

This week was significantly better than last week. Not perfect, and we didn't teach as many lessons, but we had 7 investigators at church on Sunday and that just makes my week. Last week of my companion's training, in which i just say all the time "I'm the new missionary and youre my trainer" and when she asks me questions that i know she knows the answer to, i just say "i don't know." shes not a fan of this new tactic, but i am enjoying it :) 

To start this letter of with the highlight of my week:
On Sunday I was sitting up at the keyboard as usual, looking out at the congregation, and seeing so many faces that I know and love. As a missionary, I have the privilege of knowing people personally, their struggles and dreams and desires. I have been in this ward long enough to know basically everyone. I saw the work of literally hundreds of missionaries over the last 30 years here in Ambato, Ecuador. I can't describe everything I feel for all of these people, but I am so grateful that the Lord let me be just a small part of His work in these people's lives. If I have touched just a few souls, helped just a few members on their way, then every effort of the past 9 months has been worth every minute. 

Last week we learned how to make buñuelos, colombian and ecuatorian, so you can be sure i will make them for you guys when i get home! if you dont know what they are, google it, you can probably find something :) 

Umm....yeah what else? Cristobal is doing so great. He follows us around everywhere in the church on sunday. he knows cambios are coming and hes not too happy about it. he likes to tell me that i should just stay in ambato for my whole mission, or just move here and not leave. its adorable. 

We have another investigator named Cristobal, who is also single and without children, also understands slowly, and came to church after only contacting him in the street. (... that NEVER happens) he has already come 3 times to church and we are teaching him the most frequently that we can so he can be prepared for his baptism on the 19th! he is amazing! he prays that nothing will take him away from this path, is already sharing the gospel, and asked us who he has to ask for permission if theres a time when he can't come to church. Um, ask God? haha it was really cute. Another one of those times where I feel like I am not doing anything as a missionary, the Lord does EVERYTHING and we just happen to be present for the baptisms! (well in this case I won't be present in the baptism, but that's irrelevant, this is the Lord's work, not mine!) Seriously, as much as we stress about being perfect missionaries and everything, this is the Lord's work, and His vision is just so much bigger than ours. 

We had a zone conference this week where we talked about spiritual power. I have been pondering conversion so much lately, too. DyC 50:24 talks about receiving light AND continuing in God to receive more light. It's like hearing the Spirit AND acting. It made me think about all the things that sometimes we get lazy and do half way. how many times do we... 

fast, but only until after church? 
read, but dont study
pray, but dont listen for answers 
pay tithing, but not fast offerings
go to the temple, but without family names 

the list could go on and on. It's when we recieve light AND continue in God that our testimony becomes conversion. Don't just listen to the Spirit. Act on the promptings you receive. 

Thats about all my time for this week. Who knows where I will be or who I will be with next week? I don't know, but I will submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord. I really really miss the temple, more than I can express, so everyone reading this, go to the temple. If you can't go to the temple, decide today when you will go back and work to get there. There is nowhere in the world where you will feel more peace. 

lots of love, 

hna hasleton

Monday, July 24, 2017

When we partner with the Lord, our burdens are easy and our loads are light

Hola, 

I am sorry last weeks letter was so short. Thats what happens when i do other things first and write the letter last! Time catches up to me. Will write fast today! This week, we taught lots of lessons every single day, except for the day when we specifically planned to only contact because my companion still isnt contacting. But we contacted 30 people in a few hours, so I still felt productive! 

Well, last monday we went to the mall as a zone and went to this place called Mr. Joy. Maybe I told you that last week. If so, you get to hear it again! It was fun to run around on jungle gyms and play laser tag and feel like a little kid. Today as a district we went to Parque de la Familia. It's kinda boring, actually, but the views are really pretty so basically all we did was take pictures! So i actually have some for you guys this week! Sorry I'm a slacker and don't take as many as I should! 
 
On tuesday we dropped an investigator, a cute little old lady named Mariana who just doesn't remember anything we teach and doesn't want to come to church. We went to the cita with a member present. The funny part of the lesson was that I kept trying to pass it to my companion, but she was falling asleep so she didn't say anything! The member we brought was Hermana Rosa, the cute lady in her 60s that accompanies us a lot. Basically she and I taught the lesson, it  was hilarious. 

We are teaching a man whose wife is a member and has two little kids so its hard for her to come to church alone, hard with two babies on buses. We taught Plan of Salvacion and he understood super well, then says he doesnt want to go to church. So maybe he actually didn't understand? Basically he knows he needs to change and hes not ready to start. We were super blunt with him, and he still wouldnt agree to come to church. But he will keep listening to us. We are going to see what we can do to get him there. Not giving up on him yet! 

On Wednesday we taught the guy who contacted us twice in the street. Basically, he's a third world hippie. has super long hair, teaches music classes, has never been married or had kids, believes only in natural medicine, and never stops talking. It was exhausting. We were on our way back to the house to have studies when we noticed that we had 15  missed calls from a member. She is a 22 year old girl who I LOVE so much. She called us hysterical because of something that was going on with her family. We met up with her and talked to her for an hour to calm her down. Well, I talked, that is. the last lesson we had on wednesday was with Isabel, our convert Maria's younger sister. So confident she will get baptized soon! She came to church on Sunday and everything. That baptism just might not be while I am here ;) but that cita, we found her crying as well, and just talked about the Atonement to help her calm down. We got home and it was one of those days where we just help people carry very heavy burdens, but that day I was frustrated because I felt like I was trying to help them alone. The Lord reminds me that they're not my burdens to carry, and I'm not capable of doing anything I do alone. When we partner with the Lord, our burdens are easy and our loads are light, even when they're not our loads to begin with. 

This week was lots of helping high school students study for their english tests because the school year already ended but theyre stuck in classes of the materials they failed. super funny. we also helped a less active teenage girl with math. How long has it been since i have done math? forever haha. Good review for me. 

I was thinking tons about the temple this week, and I miss it so much. So all those who are reading this, do me a favor and go to the temple this week! Theres no place in the world where you will feel more peace. 

Something crazy that happened -- in our zone meeting, we had just finished watching a video about the atonement and there was a very solemn tone and SPirit in the room. And that is when this lady walks in the back of the gym shouting and mutting and clearly not right in the head. Praying, crying. You could smell her from the other side of the room. Of course she comes right up behind me and kisses my cheek, then to all the other hermanas as well. She walks up to the front and is praying and just saying weird stuff. We were all sititng there frozen because nobody knew what to do. She refused to leave with the zone leaders. they told her she could sit and listen if she was quiet. She was mostly quiet. The zone leaders wrapped it up pretty quick and then asked for a volunteer for a closing prayer. THe lady chose me. Okay, then! Afterwards she was saying goodbye to everybody and she invited me to her house for lunch on Sunday. Muchas gracias! Why she was so attached to me, I don't know, needless to say it was creepy and we will be locking the capilla from now on!


Anyway, thats all the time I have but Ilove you guys and I love reading your letters every monday and keep praying and keep studying the scriptures daily and keep going to the temple! Work on deepening your conversion, not just your testimony!

Love, Hermana Hasleton

great view of ambato. i love this place! 

this is Deyni! She is 20 and less active, but we visit her when we can and she loves getting help with her english homework. Shes from the galapagos. its always a million degrees in her house. 


view of ambato! 


view of ambato! 


everything on the far side of the river is our sector

working on the bridge between knowledge and obedience ;)

Queridos, 

Well, this week.... we went to quito on tuesday, came back wednesday morning. Then we went straight to divisions with the hermanas lideres! I was with Hermana Gonzalez (CA)  in their sector and Hermana Salas (Bolivia) came to be here with my companion. They wanted her to have the experience of needing to take the iniciative, and I was grateful for that as well! The day and night I spent with Hermana Gonzalez were SO much fun! We walked all day and talked all day and we were wishing we could be companions, but she goes home in october, and also I would have to be an hermana leader and I would be fine not having that responsability, so it looks like we wont ever be companions! I learned so much from being with her. Also very much hoping that I at least get to have one more american companion whilst in the mission! 


This week I learned a lot. I am being refined, every single day. Some days are really good, and others are a little hard, and others are really hard. But I love the work and I love the Lord. 

We had interviews with President Barlow on Thursday morning. It was fun to talk to him, to his wife, and to his kids. The kids are starting in an international school that teaches in english, and they are all learning spanish slowly. I admire them for their efforts. It would be really hard to get here with no spanish background or even MTC time at all. 

I realized this week (it was like a DUH type of realization) that I will just never become the perfect missionary that I want to be. And I need to let go of that. I won't ever be perfect at anything, but it's fine, because Christ is perfect and He makes up for my weaknesses! So many rules and numbers and I will keep holding myself to a very high standard, but I will also be nicer to myself when I don't measure up. I was reminded of President Butler's advice to me before I left, that whenever I am frustrated or impatient or upset, it is because I am thinking too much about myself. This is the Lord's work, and it cannot be frustrated. So this week I will just be happy, try hard, and still be happy, just knowing that my success comes through my obedience and diligence and that is all! 

Lets see, something interesting I can tell you: 

Things we learned on Friday: 1. The introduccion is still the best way to teach about the Book of Mormon 2. even though a guy may be drunk when he gets off a bus just to talk to you and tell you he wants to change, he is still worth teaching. That happened several weeks ago, and we never called him because he was drunk and we didn't take him seriously. But this week while we were waiting at a busy intersection for members to come pick us up so we could teach their granddaughter, the same guy got off the bus and came to contact us again and ask why we hadn't called him. Well, I felt bad and this time he wasn't drunk and we will visit him in the chapel this wek. 3. Don't eat bread before you have citas with members, because they are going to feed you (and you are going to have to eat fast so they can take you home and you don't get home later than 9:00.)

what else happened? I don't know. Our investigator Evelyn continues to be an eternal investigator. We are lost as to how to help her and we are sick of going to her house for confirmed appointments and then she tells us she doesnt have time or just isnt there at all. The hardest part is that I love her so much and I have been working with her since february and I don't want to stop teaching her. 

We had another funny lesson with an old guy who is catholic but 
he doesnt agree with most of what the catholics do. We taught the first lesson, invited him to pray to know if it was true, and he said that he doesnt need to pray because it is absolutely the truth. He also didnt want to come to church or get baptized. We will keep working on the bridge between knowledge and obedience ;) 

gotta go, love you guuys! thanks for the prayers, they work! 

love, 

hermana hasleton

This week was ..... i dunno, awesome? hard? amazing?

Mis queridos hermanas y hermanos, y padres, y abuelos, y tios y primos y amigos y cualquiera otra persona que este leyendo, 

This week was ..... i dunno, awesome? hard? amazing? Sometimes I feel like I am trying in vain to describe what my experiences are actually like. Yes, I can tell you funny things that happen like how I feel about the cat calls and the unwanted attention, but how do I tell you about the things that actually mean something? Still not sure, but I will keep trying! 

This week we found an investigator who I was teaching awhile back, but who moved to Quito Norte. But she came back! We are teaching her again and I am so excited. Her name is Gabi and she is super smart and super prepared. Her uncle and cousins live in Utah and are members. Anyway. She didn't come to church but I don't let that stop me! Does anybody actually come to church after only one week of teaching them? Well she did the last time but hey she is going to get baptized someday! Might not be while I am here but that doesn't matter at all! 

This cute hermana who I think is in her early 60s came with us for a few hours this week. Her name is Hermana Bravo. She and her husband, her daughter, and her granddaughter got baptized almost 2 years ago. They are sealed in the temple and seriously are just the cutest couple. She had a dream about me and was so excited to tell me. Her husband makes shoes. Definitely on my list of people I want you guys to meet when you come get me! 

We are teaching a family right now that just moved here from a different ward in Ambato. The hermano is 27 and a member, his wife is late thirties or early forties and an investigator. not the first time I have seen this exact situation, and I still don't understand it, but it is what it is! And those elders that have been teaching her for almost a year lost her registro so even though she has all the lessons, we have to teach everything again! Actually was really peeved with those elders. cmon, do you have to act like teenage boys? I know you are, but really. Anyway, the family is amazing and are actually considering getting married in august so we have to hurry and teach so she can get baptized after! 

On Friday, we had a multizone conference because our new presidente is here! Presidente Barlow. It was an amazing conference, basically just to get to know him and his family. His wife doesn't speak any spanish, and their two youngest kids dont either. They have a 16 yr old daughter and a 14 yr old son. It's an adventure and a sacrifice for sure for those kids to leave everything and move to Ecuador. I had to play the piano in the conference, and also I had to lead the choir. We sang 2 verses of joseph smiths first prayer in spanish and 2 verses of come thou fount, all to the tune of come thou fount. Directing a choir with half your choir tone deaf or not speaking spanish well or not speaking english at all makes it a fun experience! It turned out well though :) afterwards I got to have an interview with Presidente. I know that there are lots of reasons for why mission presidents are assigned to where they are, but I honestly feel like he was assigned here just for me. I know I will learn so much from him and his family in the coming months of my mission. 

The ward asked us to help with a mutual activity for the young men and women. On saturday morning we took the youth out with us to contact people in the streets. The elders did divisions and were lots more effective. As for us.... thats asking quite a bit of my still new companion, so we stayed together and took small groups of young women out in turns. It was an interesting experience. Afterwards they asked us to share testimonies with the group of why we served missions and why it would help them. You know, I have never ever been one to tell girls that they should serve missions. I always HATED being told that. With a passion. But there I was, telling those youth that well, for the boys it is a priesthood duty, and for the girls, everyone has the responsability to ask the Lord if He wants them to serve. There is no place in the world I would rather be and I wouldn't change this experience for anything, not even for a week at the beach with grandma and grandpa! I mean, I would love to be there, but there is time for that when I get home. 

This week I was reading the words to More Holiness Give Me on a long bus ride to Quillan Loma, and I realized that everything in that song I have improved while on my mission. I still have lots to learn and lots to improve, like meekness in trial, for starters, but I am learning. Dad has always told me that I need to learn to have patience for people's faults. Well, this week I realized that that doesn't mean that I need to patiently help them correct their faults. It means that I need to love them in spite of their faults, no matter their imperfections, because thats what the Savior does. Sometimes I get frustrated because I feel like I am supposed to be teaching people to fish but they just aren't learning. I am not teaching correctly, or they don't want to learn, something is wrong. But the important thing is that I keep trying to teach and don't settle for just giving them fish after fish. I am doing the very best I can. The Lord enables me to do that, and He also makes up for many times a day that I fail. 

This week we are going to Quito again, and also we will have divisiones with the hermanas lideres, which i am looking forward to quite a bit. 

Anyway, have fun, friends and family, in California, switzerland, lake powell, the grand canyon, and whereever else yall are traveling this week! My challenge this week is to read Alma 42 and put your own name in when it says my son. Que tengan una buena semana! 

hermana hasleton

"I know sarcasm isn't Christlike, you'll have to forgive me."

Good morning! 
(yell the drunk men when I walk by. Me:It's 8 oclock at night! Learn spanish and then we can work on your english) 

This week was..... interesting. Highs and lows. But overall a good week! Last monday we traveled to Quito for a meeting with all the new missionaries and their trainers. It was great, we learned a lot, but the worst part is doing practices. Of ALL the missionaries here, why in the world did you pick me and my companion?! In front of President. And 30 plus other missionaries. It was AWFUL and I wanted to die but we got through it and I just try not to think about it and life is grand. 

At the end of the meeting, we sang a musical number that we had practiced as a surprise for president and sister christensen. We sang More Holiness Give Me, or Mas Santidad Dame. it was beautiful, and they cried. They hugged us (or shook our hands) at the end, and I cried, too. Although it is hard to see them go, I'm super excited to meet Presidente Barlow and his wife! 

On tuesday after the meeting we left the mission boundaries! #inicuos. Doctor's appointment in the Quito Norte mission. We left that super late, and we didn't have time to make the 5 hour bus ride back to Ambato, so we had to stay in the nurses apartment again tuesday night and travel back on Wednesday morning. I was really frustrated, because I just wanted to be working. The nurses told us we could go to bed early while they went out and worked. Uh, please please please can we do divisions? Luckily they said yes and I didn't have to sit in the apartment. I went to the mission offices with Hermana Sjovold, the mission nurse. She is from Norway and she is adorable! I put together emergency kits and I at least felt useful. 

On Wednesday we got back and got to work. We ate lunch with an Hermana. It was our first time eating with her. She talked our ears off for an hour until we had to leave. She has been a member her whole life and moved here a few months ago from Guayaquil because she got divorced. They were sealed in the temple and they have 3 kids. It's a really sad story. But she is a great example of faith and conversion. She has 4 siblings that live here in Ambato and now I know all of them! 

One sister and her family were in Barrio Miraflores in my first sector.

One brother just got married and his wife and daughter got baptized a couple months ago. 

Another sister we visited this week. Her husband got baptized when they got married 16 years ago, and promptly stopped going to church. She is just reactivating and we started visiting her husband this week. It's basically like having a new investigator, because he knows nothing about the church, it's just that he doesn't count in numbers because he is already baptized. We had a really powerful lesson with them this week to get to know them, and we read part of the family proclamacion and talked about what they have to do to get to having an eternal family. Another great part is that he works for Pinguino, the most popular ice cream company in ecuador, so of course they gave us ice cream after. score. Anyway, it reminded me that I am not here for numbers and this isn't just missionary work. It's the work of salvation, and I am privileged to be a part of it. 

Another brother is living with his girlfriend. We also visited them for the first time this week and its fantastic because they are very willing to get married so she can get baptized. But she has also been taking the discussions off and on in a different ward since last october, so we will see if we can make any progress! 

Another fun thing that happened, we have investigators that have a son who has a disability. I'm not sure what it is, but it isn't severe. The kids here are all in their final exams before summer vacacions, and he needed help with his english homework. Helping him was so much fun. So was hearing his mom say "so how much do i owe you?" well, lets see, you can read the book of mormon, and come to church this sunday! Before they had said they weren't going to come, but after helping Anthony, they said they would. We left that house very happy! (they didn't come to church, but what else is new?)

We were walking in the street on Saturday morning when i hear someone shout HERMANA! We turn around, and it's Narcissa! She's the investigator we had awhile back whose husband is from Italy. They almost got baptized, but threw a fit when we taught tithing and didn't want us to come back again. Well, apparently they want us to come back now. Almost makes me want to cry. I hated teaching them. Lots of prayer on that one, I will do what God wants me to do! 

Well, that's about all I have for you this week. Not much else is new. Just a district leader who likes to remind me that I should give my companion opportunities to take the initiative when we call at night to give our report. I just smile and say okay and am glad its not in person so i don't hit him. Hmmm the thought never occurred to me, great, thanks! I'll get right on that! I know sarcasm isn't Christlike. You will have to forgive me. 

Love you! Thank you for your prayers!

your favorite missionary, 

hermana aleston :) 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

'Yoo-hoo! Hermana Hasleton! Child of God here who needs to get baptized!'

Dearest family, 

this week was interesting in lots of ways, but the highlight for sure was Saturday when Maria got baptized! 

Maria is 28 years old. She is separated from her husband, who actually claims to be a member but we have no proof of that, and they have a 7 year old daughter named Angela who I love to talk to. Maria works in agriculture, meaning she picks crops or plants seeds, all day, every day. She doesn't know how to read, but she brings her Book of Mormon with her to work every day, anyway. Sometimes her boss teaches her to read from it during her lunch hour.

 I met Maria at the beginning of Abril. We had contacted her brother, but he totally lied to us, gave us a fake name and number and everything. We saw him again a couple days later and Hermana Jimenez ran up to him and wanted to talk to him, asked him if there was anything we could do to help him. I didn't want any part of it because honestly I HATE being lied to. But he gave us a different number. According to Maria, that night he went home and told everybody he had a gringa friend who wanted to come help him work in the fields. Which is interesting, because I didn't say a single word to him. Maria had seen us so much in the streets and wanted to meet us, so she convinced her brother to call us the next day. We went and helped them pick green beans in their fields for an hour that day. I didn't think anything would ever come of it. 

We saw Maria again a few days later and set up an appointment to visit her. She told us that I had talked to her once with another small gringa (Hermana Adams). That day in my journal, I wrote, "I contacted a girl named Maria forever ago with Hermana Adams but I don't remember that, and we never followed up. But we keep seeing her now and it's like God is trying to get my attention. 'Yoo-hoo! Hermana Hasleton! Child of God here who needs to get baptized!' Yeah sorry I'll get right on it!"  It took a couple months, but we got there eventually :) 

Maria is a better person than I am. Literally, she has the purest and most loving heart. She has the highest standards of modesty. She is so incredibly forgiving. You can see the change of heart in her countenance. It is a privilege to have been able to help her come unto Christ and to find the truth. She had her interview on Monday with Elder Moreno, the district leader. When she left, he told us that someday she will have a mormon message made about her. Maria is amazing. 


Well, other than that, I just have stuff about my week to say. Tuesday we were in Quito for the visit with the psychologist. Apparently everything with my companion has been happening for anxiety. She has another visit tomorrow, and they are giving her one more week to see if it gets better before making a decision about sending her home. Tuesday in the offices I got to talk to Hermana Christensen for awhile. It was amazing to talk to her. Sometimes you just need to talk to someone who has that conversion, ya know?  

On Thursday our district leader got emergency transferred, because he was also training and his companion threw in the towel and said he was done, he was going home. So they brought in two new elders. Poor guys, its a hard sector to open and they were pretty lost. On Friday we had to show them where the chapel is. Elder Moreno was super upset to be leaving. The saddest part about Elder Moreno getting transferred was that on Saturday, his convert Marco Cevallos also got baptized. He is also incredible. He is actually famous here in Ambato, he's a singer. Look up Marco Chino Cevallos, I don't know if you'll find anything , but you can try! He was really sad to see two new missionaries instead of the ones who had taught him. The change in his life is also amazing. 

On thursday for lunch we were fed cuero, which is basically soggy pig skins. I hate it with all my heart. You just have to cut it up into little pieces, mix it in with the rice, and eat super fast to try not to taste it. But my companion refused to eat it. 20 minutes after I had finished eating, she was still sitting there looking at it. The Hermana that had fed us kept looking at us, all suspicious. I whispered, "Hermana, why are you not eating?" Sometimes eating gives her anxiety, and talking to the members gives her anxiety, so I was trying to gauge the situation. But then she said, "No me gusta." or, i don't like it. I was like, are you serious. "Well, Hermana, you have to eat it." She just looked at me. Not even about to eat it. I honestly felt like a frustrated mother that was telling her child that she couldn't get down until she finished her dinner. You are 19 years old. I don't care if you don't like it. If you are full and feel sick, that's a different story. But just because you don't like it? If these members get offended, they are going to stop feeding us and all the missionaries in the future. The hermana was also asking her questions, and she was giving one word answers or just not responding. I was so incredibly frustrated. We were blessed to have the member not get offended that she didn't eat her food. 

Nancy and Evelyn continue to come to church, they just won't accept baptism. They just aren't ready to sacrifice everything for the gospel. Evelyn doesn't want to give up going to parties in the university or drinking coffee. She feels guilty that she isn't reading the scriptures every day. We are a little lost knowing what to do to help them progress to baptism. 

This week was a little rough, I was a bit depressed. I feel a lot of pressure to have good numbers as the senior companion/trainer. Other than a baptism, we did not have good numbers. I know that in the long run it's not about the numbers, and it's just about helping other people, even if the only person I can help is my companion. I am trying to stay positive and have a good attitude and keep being as diligent as I can possibly be. Every single day we talk to people I have already contacted or old investigators. I am definitely feeling my time in this sector. I have 6 more weeks here, and then I will have 9 months in the mission so I will hopefully be leaving Ambato. 

I could use your prayers to help me have patience and a good attitude! I love you guys! Sorry if this was the most negative email ever. Don't worry about me though, there is still no place in the world I would rather be than right here in Ambato El Recreo. 

Love, 

Hermana Hasleton



here is maria and her daughter angela. This is their house. Dirt floor, everything sheet metal, only a lantern hanging from the ceiling as a light. 


Us with Maria and Marco! It was a great day! 


And with Hermano Vinces, of course. He is the ward mission leader and I respect him although we don't always see eye to eye. He gives us good laughs.