Monday, February 27, 2017

Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday to all! 

So weird to be writing on a Saturday! Just so y'all know, I'm not breaking the rules! We have to write today because we can't leave the house on Monday or Tuesday. Because I don't want to get covered in shaving cream, flour, raw eggs, water, etc etc etc. Whatever you can throw that will make a mess, that is what we would be dealing with! Yay for Carnaval! I actually did get a bit doused with some foam yesterday, but it dissolved right away so it was just funny. 

Not too much to write this week. I feel like its gone by SO fast! On Tuesday, we had 7 lessons! The most I've had in one day so far. Days like that go speeding by, we're just running from one lesson to another, hopping on buses or flagging down taxis and making people stop and stare... there go the gringas! One cita we had was with Vilma and Ramiro. They are this SUPER awesome older couple that we were very lucky to find a couple weeks ago. After having three lessons with them, here are the changes I have seen in them:

There is already more of a light in their eyes, more of a warmth in there little home. It's tangible. 

They are reading and praying! Ramiro is the cutest little grandpa-type guy. He jokes about the reading putting him to sleep and then proceeds to tell us about Mormon compiling the book of mormon an dthe nefites and the lamanites, and how Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. I was blown away! And then Vilma talks about how ever since she has been reading, she can't sleep super well, and how it must be Satan working against her because she is trying to do the right thing, so she just has to keep pressing forward! Um, yes! You go, Vilma! 

Instead of telling us we can only come on Sunday nights like they used to, they tell us to come back as soon as we can! They KNOW they need to change and they WANT to do it! 

We are going to see if they progress! Having to drop people is really hard. But it is a normal part of mission life. That is why we contact people alllllllll the time, so we can try to find new investigators every single day! 

Thursday at zone and district meeting, we found out about transfers, which happened yesterday because of Carnaval. And Hermana Adams and I are both staying put! I was expecting that and so happy that it's true! Because I was expecting to stay put in the last cambio too. Grateful for my companion, for my sector, for the ward, for my investigators. For the house I live in (which I am told is the nicest apartment in the mission). Grateful I get another couple changes here for sure! Next change Hermana Adams for sure has to go, so I know I will stay here and get a new companion. 

Yeah thank youuuuu for the package! You know the way to my heart -- chocolate! 

Oh another lesson. We taught Silvia about following the prophet, and I started crying as I testified about how lucky we are to live in times with a living prophet, and how we will always have proteccion if we just follow his counsel! That is my challenge for you all this week. Are you listening to, reading, and following the counsel of our prophet and apostles?  So yeah now Silvia has all the lessons! We are just waiting to resolve the marriage situation.... we are very hopeful that she will be baptized during this transfer! 

This morning we ran to a lesson in Ficoa (the SUPER ritzy part of town, we eat there every Friday in the tex mex restaurante and I am pretty sure it's my new fave day of the week just for that yummmm)  with an awesome family. They have three daughters who all dance. Thought a lot about Sydney! Theyre going to an international competition in Florida next month. But they also told us today that they're moving to a different part of Ambato, so we will have to pass them to other missionaries! Then we ran to Tatiana's hoouse and helped her clean for a couple hours. We taught her a quick lesson too! Also about following the prophet, because we taught her that a few days ago and she said, "Yeah sorry, I don't believe that" so we tried to help her understand today again that God loves us so He is always going to send prophets to the earth. Then we went running to another lesson with a new family, we had to climb up a fun steep little dirt path to get to their house. not sure how much they understand but we will see! Then we ran down the street and took a taxi to lunch, we were pretty late to that so the members weren't super happy. We ate as fast as we could, and it was their daughter's birthday so they also gave us cake, we shoveled it all down and then ran up a huge hill with very full stomachs -- we call them our food babies -- and then caught a taxi to this cyber where I am now writing you! As soon as we are done with this we are meeting Gaby, our cute ward missionary, and she is coming with us to a lesson with Santiago, and then we are going to the chapel for correlacion with the ward mission leader, and then we will teach english class, and then we are teaching Vilma y Ramiro, and then by that time it will be 9pm and we will get to sleep! We didn't have any time to study today but it has been a very full, very productive day! 

I LOVE being a missionary! Sometimes I wonder how in the world I ended up here. But I am so grateful to be here, learning to think about other people instead of myself. Grateful to be done with my training! Although with Hermana Adams I haven't minded it at all! 

Letters coming your way this week since I've got nothing to do but sit and write you letters! 
Que tengan una buena semana! 

Hermana Hasleton

when you go twinning to zone meeting, yeah we're adorable

we are really good at self timer foots

hermana beutler is going home! Saying goodbye at zone meeting

and I GOT ANOTHER PACKAGE! The most random thing in the world, what the heck I still can't get over the stuffed animal pig!!!! You show your mom a youtube video once and it follows you all the way to Ecuador hahahah. Its name is Kim and it gets to sit on my bed oevery day. "

spot the rainbow! Beautiful Ecuador!

Hermana Echegaray had a baptism this week! Lourdes got baptized, and it wasn't my baptism but they asked us to come to help with a musical number, and i *almost* felt like it was my baptism because I got to teach her for the first 6 weeks of her conversion process! It was a beautiful night and a beautiful experience. I didn't get to stay to see her afterwards, but this is with Hermana Marianita. She gave us food every saturday in my old sector and was so excited to see me, which was so cute, and she wanted a picture! >Sorry it's a little blurry! 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Good ol' Ecuador

Dear Familia, 

Semana 6 of the second change, and 10 changes left for me! (Uh i think... who's counting? ;) ) We have transfers this FRIDAY (because we can't leave the house on monday, so transfers wouldnt actually work) and I am kinda freaking out! I don't want Hermana Adams to leave! I am fairly confident I will get to stay here this time, seeing as I only got one cambio in the last sector, but I do not want Hermana Adams to leave!!!!! I know we are both new in the mission and I can't say my Spanish has improved a whole ton, but I learn so much from her every day and I absolutely love being here with her! 

This week was fantastic. Thank you for your prayers, because TATIANA CAME TO CHURCH! We spent half an hour in her house helping her get her kids ready and then ran down the road and flagged down a taxi, and we got there 5 minutes late and everyone was freaking out because I am the pianist and also had to speak. But I was just on top of the world because she came! We only had one hour of church because Sunday was election day, and everyone in Ecuador is required to vote in the city where they were born. Some people have changed residence, but not many. So it wasn't as full as usual. I spoke on the importance of sharing the gospel, which is easy as a missionary. I shared a bit of my story of how I decided to go on a mission, and I felt the Spirit so strongly! I am so grateful every day that I made the decision to serve! I accidentally spoke for 15 minutes instead of the 10 they gave me, but that's what happens when you don't write out your talk and practice a few times like I've always done.... No time for that now! But may I say, I was quite proud of myself for speaking, in Spanish, without hardly any notes. I felt a little bad for going over because I know how stressed that makes Dad, but hey. Life goes on. 

On Saturday we did lots of service, including helping out with mutual! The YWs president is new and shes a convert, so she is really nervous and has no clue how to do a mutual activity. But we showed the girls how to make cookies! Yay for talents! Who knew I'd be able to use that one to bless lives in Ecuador? haha it makes me really happy. Theyre only no-bakes, but hey, I'll take it! That was the activity. One of the YW gave the message about talents, and it literally lasted 30 seconds. Short and sweet and to the point. Good ol' Ecuador! 

This week in my dreams, we go out contacting, and people make fun of us in spanish and with the typical english phrases we get, like "good evening" (uh its actually morning but thanks) and I woke up laughing. It's pretty hilarious in real life, too. 

One random misionary life fact: the missionaries here all play nose goes in the zone meetings. Its fantastic when one poor unfortunate soul (cough cough Hna Adams ;) ) isn't paying attention, so the whole zone sits there with their finger on their nose and waits for her to notice, and then she has to pray. But the missionaries have taught the members how to do it too! So I'll go into a members house for the first time, and Hermana Adams says, "can we start with a -----" and everyone already has their finger on their nose! And I'm always like wait I didn't know you knew that game! But yeah too late I have to pray! Again! 

For over a month we have been trying to teach Santiago. It's complicated because we always have to try to find a member to come with us, and he has so little time. He has three really little kids, so adorable, and their teeth are all rotten out. It hurts my heart. Lots of times when we try to teach him he is trying to build his house a little more. Its pretty much just cinder blocks and a corrugated metal roof, and I have no idea how it stays together. 

Kids every day have been running around, plastering each other with water, baby powder, and foamy stuff. All ready for carnaval! 

From now on we have lunch every Friday in the restaurant of a member. It's a "Tex-Mex" restaurant catered to Americans and it is sooooo yummy! 

Oh this week I got valentines cards from mom and dad, and the letter from Mike & Sarah and family! Thank you guys so much! I LOVE getting mail! I bet I will get a whole bunch more this week too! And they were almost right in time for Valentines, just a couple days after! We didn't do much to celebrate, cuz ya know, we're kinda missionaries, and it's hard to get your companion a gift when youre with each other 24/7, but I did wear a pink cardigan to celebrate! 

This week we had a lesson with a guy named Paúl. We've taught him once before, and until a few months ago he was an Athiest. It was honestly the hardest lesson I've ever had. I left so incredibly stressed. We taught about the Book of Mormon, but everything I said, he basically attacked me. He had a rebuttal for everything. His doubts were overwhelming. I just felt so helpless, like how in the world am I supposed to help him come unto Christ? The only point that I felt the Spirit during the whole lesson was when I testified that through Christ, he could start over and leave everything, all his sins, in the past. He didn't say anything to me at that, just sat and looked at me. I was at the point of tears for almost an hour after that. But, he was very interested in the Book of Mormon, and I know the power it has. Maybe that will help him to find faith. The next day, the zone leaders told us we had to give his registro, um i don't know what you would call it in english, his register? to some elders in our district because technically he lived in their sector and only worked in ours. I felt a little bad for how relieved I was. Just a reminder of how much I still have to learn, how far I still have to go! 

I think we got rid of our bedbugs by putting the extra mattresses under our beds in the broken bathroom! Haven't gotten any bites since then, so fingers crossed! Although I do like Dad's advice, "move" haha thanks, so helpful! 

So, that is my week! Lots of random stuff! We teach lesson one soooo much. We teach always about the book of mormon, about prayer, and about coming to church. We walk all over everywhere and I am so thankful for my awesome Dansko shoes. Actually I am thankful for all the little things Mom made me bring too, like crayola markers and a stapler. Mother always knows best, listen to her, kids! 

Don't forget I'm writing this week on Saturday! Love youuu!!!!!!!!

Hermana Hasleton

This is in Atahualpa looking down over Ambato. My old sector was wayyyy over there on the hill, and the line of trees is the river! I especially love the clouds here. 

kinda fun to get away from the busy city. the first house on the left is the house of Sylvia and Carlos. I may have told you guys about them already. Carlos (26) is a member, and Sylvia (39) is his... esposa, but they arent married. She has three ADORABLE daughters. And she Is FINALLY ready to get baptized!!!!!!! Like, she KNOWS its right, she has accepted that this is the right road for her, and she is reading the scriptures and praying every day! We just have to get them to get married, but we just dont understand because he doesn't really want to... we will see :) I love teaching her! 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Here goes Another Week! Woot Woot!



We spend tons of time on a bus, because one of our investigators, Isabel, works half an hour away in el Hotel Pradera so we go teach her there. Bus time is good time. Hermana Adams and I have started playing a game called guess the disney character. One of us chooses a character and the other one has to guess it with only yes or no questions! That has occupied a very good portion of our time walking and on the bus this week! My friends laugh at me for not having seen many movies, but you can bet I know my Disney trivia! 

So yeah we went all the way up there and cancelled on us when we got there. Super! So we went all the way back to our sector, and from that point, every other lesson also fell. We literally didn't teach a single person. But we did have ward choir practice! This Sunday was a special ward conference, so the bishop asked for a RS choir. I was the pianist, and Hermana Adams was the conductor. You think it wouldn't take that long to sing straight from the hymn book, but it took almost two hours! Yeah apparently the alto part is super difficult! But it was incredible how hard they were trying and how much they wanted it to sound good! I love this ward! So yeah we got our daily service in! This day our lunch also got cancelled, so we went to Subway. Hard day, but also so great! Pacience means not getting frustrated, annoyed, discouraged, etc. so when all the visits fall, I just try to have the best attitude possible! 

Unfortunately, yet another day without a single visit. School vacation means everyone goes out of town. But I had a few firsts this day:
- we had invasions! All the missionaries in our zone go to a certain sector and just contact for a good couple hours! But again, vacations, so there were hardly any people on the streets! I swear all of Ambato up and went to Guayaquil! 
-This night there was also a baptism! A man whose wife has been a member for 14 years. Not our baptism, of course, but of the elders! And afterwards, the ward mission leader pulled all of us aside and exchanged some not very nice words with the elders. He was upset they had divisions the same day they had a baptism. Poor Elder Borda, our district leader, got chewed out for something that was very beyond his control. Our mission leader is awesome and very involved, but maybe just a little too involved! But anyway, after the baptism the sister insisted we go to her house for chocolate cake! We tried to tell her we didn't have time but she wouldn't hear it, and we didn't want to offend her, so we went. And we kept saying that we had to be in the house by 9:30 and she just kept telling us to calm down. So of course by the time they dropped us off it was 9:45! Hermana Adams and I felt SO BAD! It's the first time I've disobeyed that rule, and I am not planning on it happening again. But at least her chocolate cake was good! 
-Loordes, my investigator from Miraflores, came with the missionaries there to the baptism in our chapel! It was SO GOOD to see her! I so hope she will get baptized soon too! Her little 5-year-old girl is the most ADORABLE thing, her name is Maite and when she saw me she gave me the biggest hug! Warmed my heart! And made me miss my Macey Jayne!

This is the day I got my package! YAY! And after we finally got to teach Isabel in the Hotel. Maybe this week you guys can pray for her to come to church! Because she told us "Well I have to wait to get an answer from God that He wants me to go to your church." Well that's actually not how it works, you receive a witness AFTER the trial of your faith! She didn't come this week, but we have high hopes for her to progress in the future! Oh future reference for packages maybe, I would LOVE to have Dasani drops but it got a hole in it and spilled in the package! And it was a MIRACLE because it got on everything except for my himnario, and nothing got ruined! Yay! Prayers of gratitude! Also the prize definitely goes to Jakey-poo for making me laugh so hard with his letter! Thursday night we taught Tatiana. She is having a hard time with her husband right now. I got to share my testimony with her that no, I don't have a husband and don't really know how to give you an answer, but the Book of Mormon holds every answer to every question you have in life! Also, Mosiah 2:41. You want to know the secret to happiness? Keep the commandments. Yep, that's it. Joy and peace and happiness, for all eternity. 3 little words. Keep the commandments. 

Also one thing I learned: my personal study time is sacred, consecrated time to do all I can to learn, but every other hour of my day in the field is my sacred, consecrated time to APPLY it. When I wish I had more study time, I think that no other time in my life will I get to study the gospel 3 hours a day. Not until I am old and grown and serving a mission with my husband! 

Also things that are going on in Ecuador: 
The elections are this week and the campaigns are crazy, literally on every corner are flags and banners and posters. And Queen of Ambato eleciones are happening too, so that's pretty funny. 

The highlight of Friday was teaching Silvia. (I think we have 5 investigators named Silvia. We keep track of them like this: The Silvia who lives with Carlos, the Silvia who sells ice cream, the Silvia hermana de Fanny, Silvia mama de Fernando, etc its lots of fun to keep straight) 
But this Silvia is the wife/theyre not actually married of Carlos, who has been a member his whole life and they recently moved to Ambato and started coming back to church. Her three daughters are 17, 15, and 12 and are all members. Silvia is 39 and Carlos is 26 so we really don't understand their situation, theyve been together for 7 years. We can't figure out if theyre wanting to get married or not... All Carlos says is that divorce is expensive... But here's the kicker. Silvia has decided she's ready. She knows the Book of Mormon is true, she knows this is the path she needs to take. And she knows she can't get baptized until she is either married or living in a different house. So of course, our only investigator who comes to church and realllllyyyy wants to get baptized, we can't even give her a baptismal date! Haha such is life in South America. 

This day during lunch we also taught a sister, Hermana Flor, who gives us lunch every Friday, and her husband left her years ago and she just wants to get married! So we taught her about patience, and showed the Good Things to Come mormom message, and she said, Okay, great! I will wait till heaven and marry Joseph Smith! Or Jesus! And it made me SO uncomfortable but it was SO funny!!!!!!! 

This night, there was a race. So we're walking the main road here to El Mirador to teach some people, and the road is closed, and just full of people everywhere! Lots of old men doing their stretches, groups of guys doing warm-ups, families watching, people doing sprints up and down the street, etc. We realized too late that it's one of the public events we're supposed to avoid! Probably thousands of people were in the street. Who knew running was even a thing in Ecuador?! We fought through the crowd pretty easily. And yeah Im a super tall blonde in a dress, carrying a huge green bag ( a tupperware we bought for our cookies we were gonna make that night) so yeah you think I stand out? I definitely didn't get the memo to wear my short shorts for the race haha. 

We taught Familia Tello. They are members of several years but are recently starting to reactivate. They are preparing to be sealed in May. But they arent reading their scriptures! So we had a very sweet, very powerful lesson about the Book of Mormon. How can you prepare? Let's start by reading the scriptures every day! I got to talk about one of my favorite topics ever! My parents have made our home a temple through the little things like scripture study, and you can have that too! 

That night when we came running home at 9pm we made 150 no bake cookies and finished at 10:30! Which means we also got to bed a little late (rough week on our obedience). But they were a huge hit in our activity the next day! 

The Feria de la Alegría was a hit! So many investigators came, and all our cookies got eaten! We made copies of the recipe in Spanish to give out to all the sisters who wanted one, but we didn't make enough! Tatiana came and brought her two little kids and her husband, and they had a great time and both participated in the games! I am hoping this opens her husband up a little to listening to us! I am so lucky to get to participate in the work of loving people! 

Random facts:
The sun decided to come back out this week so I got a little burnt!
The beg bugs found me.... grr....
The ward mission leader, in ward council, decided we should put yellow stickers on all the investigators who come to church! Hermana Adams and I are like... uhh, no. No way. You are not putting dork dots on our investigators! Cuz they don't already feel out of place! Haha it was great. 

So, that was my week! Info overload, sorry! But pray for my investigators to come to church! That's the biggest struggle in the world! 

I love you guys so much! Sigan adelante! 

Hermana Hasleton 

well first off.... I GOT A PACKAGE!!!!!!!!!!!! GOt it thursday morning in zone meeting, and seriously it made my whole day! 

mom knows chocolate is the way to my heart.... please excuse the gross looking picture though ;)

Red bananas! They are orange on the 
inside! and taste like normal bananas, except with less flavor! 

i put these signs up by my bed! YOURE THE CUTEST! The picture definitely made me cry! Thank you mommy! 

we had an AWESOME ward activity on Ssaturday called the Feria de la Alegria! So fun because so many investigadores there! Tatiana and her family came, and so did Wilson! Here is a selfie because why not, and the last pic is with Julia, an 11 yr old girl. We visited her family this week, I will tell you more about that later! 

we played minute to win it games and heres a pic of wilson our investigator haha it was great. and a pic of our capilla! that means chapel. in case you didnt get that out of context

aka where old men come to sit and do absolutely nothing haha. 

This is an hermano in our ward, he is really hard to understand because he enunciates not a single word but he shines shoes in the park for a living! So we stopped and got our shoes shined for 50cents and it was way fun! 

great view of downtown ambato! took us a million tries to get this selfie cuz the sun was so bright so appreciate it haha. and a pretty view unmarred by me in it

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sweet is the peace the gospel brings.

Hello all, 

So unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I forgot to bring my journal today! So I have no clue what happened this week.... Which means I will have more time to send you all personal emails cuz this will be short and sweet! 

Some random facts:
The rain here is so weird. I think it's just because of the altitude. But even when it's raining a lot, it isn't raining hard. Maybe just because we're so close to the clouds that it doesn't have time to gain momentum before it hits the ground? And if it's not raining much, that means it is just misting... yeah, it's weird. 
The sun here is weird too. As soon as it comes out you can feel it soooo strong! I sometimes get a little sunburnt but it doesn't actually burn and it goes away so fast. 
And the trees here are weird. There are normal deciduous trees youd see every day in Utah, but there are also these strange pine trees, and palm trees, and cacti. It's the strangest mix I've ever seen! 

We thought we got rid of our bed bugs, but last night before we fell asleep, I said, "Don't let the bed bugs bite!" (I thought of you, Mel) and she woke up with a bunch of new ones! 

I think after my mission I will not ever want to eat anything with cilantro ever again haha. Every day we eat soup with cilantro and it is all you can taste!

I want to thank you all for the prayers. You know why? Because I haven't had an exhausted day since last Monday when I asked you to pray for me. And that is absolutely amazing. I feel so much more able to get up, get to work, and be excited about the day. I can't wait to get out and teach. And we taught so much more this week! We only had a couple days where citas cancelled! I will tell you about some of my favorite lessons in a sec! 

This week we had an incredible multi-zone conference with Elder Montoya of the 70! Apparently Hermana Christensen put some of the pictures on Facebook. The Spirit was incredible. I do have my notes notebook so here are some of the things I learned! 

I have the right to call all of my companions to repentance for the rest of my life, and they have the same for me. It is my responsibility to check up on them and keep them on the path of righteousness! 

Elder Montoya used an apple as an object lesson. We cannot vote on how many seeds an apple has. It has 5 seeds. If you plant a viable seed, a tree grows, and of the countless apples in that tree's life, each apple has viable seeds that you can plant and grow more trees. We can count how many seeds in an apple but we cannot count how many apples come from one seed. Think about the fruits of our labors! 

He talked about a talk Elder Holland gave about returning home from your mission. I am just a tad bit away from that point in my life... but his words struck me.  "You think you will leave the mission and go home to normal life. THIS IS NORMAL LIFE. There is no going back. He used Elder Holland's talk that I used in my farewell talk too. We will never look back! Every day in your house should be like a day in the mission to keep you from being contaminated by the world. 

Anyway.... that was zone conference! The next day Hermana Adams and I had just started estudio compañerismo when Elder Borda our district leader called us and said, "Where are you?!" Uhhhh... studying? Apparently we had another zone meeting on friday and nobody told us! So we ran out the door and took the bus to the stake center. And they gave us our new schedule! Its sweet, we get to plan citas for the mornings too and we can study in the afternoon if it works better with our schedule. And yes when we get home we can go right to bed! So cool! 

Okay quickly some lessons this week:

We taught Isabel in the Hotel Pradera. And it was absolutely the most spiritual lesson I have had. Even though it was in the lobby of the hotel (she works there, she is in her 50s and her husband died a couple years ago) and there was music in the background from the pool, and people kept coming in and out. I didn't even notice these things until after. We have only taught her one other time, but we just went over the restauracion again and taught her Libro de Mormon. As I testified of the Spirit and how we receive answers to prayers, I told her about peace. An answer from the Spirit for me sometimes is so much peace that there isn't room in my body for anything else.The Spirit was so powerful. And I told her that is what she was feeling right now. She started to cry and nodded. I told her this is an answer from the Lord. This is the truth. And she nodded and said yes, it is true! It was incredible! In that moment I was not the teacher, not at all. Not that I should ever be the teacher. It is just my hope and prayer that I can be an instrument in the hands of God to help these people feel His love. 

We are teaching so many people. But I know that doesn't mean they will all progress and get baptized. And when lessons get cancelled, or members don't show up to help us so we can't teach cause there isn't another woman there, or when people refuse to listen to us or give us fake numbers on the streets, I have just been filled with peace. This isn't about me, or what I want to do. I can just work as hard as possible and be as obedient as possible. This is the Lord's work. He knows who of all His children is prepared to follow Him. He knows who will progress. And it will happen in His timing. I am so loving missionary life right now. With Hermana Adams, I feel I have the confidence and the strength I need to rely on the Spirit, forget myself, and just teach. Although I love you guys and I love school and I loved life at home, I am finally at the point where I can confidently say there is no place I'd rather be! I am at peace! 

Mucho Amor, 

Hermana Hasleton


This is TOTALLY el campo, which means the country, with more cows and dogs than people. But it is super pretty and makes me miss living in a small town where its calm and not constant cars and people! This is about an hour away by bus from Ambato, but its still in our sector... thats how big our sector is