Monday, February 17, 2014

Life Lately According to my iphone Pictures

We've been running around a bit lately. We travelled to Manta last weekend to go to the special day assembly, then stayed with the Guyton family (need greater family living in Manta) till Monday morning.  Matt gave the public talk for their English group on Sunday.  It was just what we needed.  The preceding weeks I had found myself wearing out a little and needing some encouragement.  My head had been hurting from trying to keep up with the language and culture and my patience had been wearing thin when it came to getting used to being a foreigner and everyone thinking you're rich, and getting ripped off by taxi drivers and yaddah yaddah. I needed some gringo time, American style chillaxin and that my friends, is exactly what we got.

We also got to meet Bruno from the 2012 WT series about those who have served where there is a greater need in Ecuador (wt 7/15/12). We met him and his wife at the special day and didn't put it together. We ending up grabbing dinner with them and somehow the Ecuador wt article came up...oh and i gushed and gushed about how encouraging it was, how MANY times i read it and as I'm mid sentence, Bruno's wife points to Bruno and goes...he's Bruno! Now how many times did you read that article?? That was a good laugh, but now for the record, I DID love that article, very memorable, but cmon, Bruno? That's like the most common name ever. :)

So of course, I interviewed him, in all my star struck giddiness about how one could possibly make this a way of life despite the challenges of living away from home.  He gave great advice about making your living place just as you would have it, within reason, if you were in your country. Make it an oasis. He also recommended taking a breather sometimes as needed to get together with others that share a similar culture and language as you. Great advice, I think.

Life here has been mostly about service and having fun sleeping in and deciding not to go in service:) jk, er sort of. But a day off is good for the bones every once in a while and Bruno said I could, so there.

But seriously, I've counted up and I've got 8 studies now with the possibility of starting a ninth (!) Whaaa?? I can't believe it, I'm one of those  people haha.

On to the pictures...

Special Day Assembly

 Getting laundry done by hand..very slowly. It's very common not to have a washer and dryer here and the locals can whip out their laundry like, "oh what? I'm cooking dinner and breastfeeding now, you still on your first sock?" Yeah like that.

Selfies on the beach. Most patient man I've ever met.


We made shrimp ceviche! It was just like the locals and we were so proud of us!

Our hall has been awesome putting up with mid service photo shoots. "No lean out a little more, no more, like leeaan...ok, sure, like that. just sit there like that, that's perfect."

Love them all so much already.

Miss you guys so so much♡♡♡

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nuestra casa...and other ramblings

We have now been in Ecuador for two months.  It's such a weird feeling to be somewhere completely different and not call it vacation. We are living here. For a short time, yes, but we do not have a house or apartment waiting for us in the States. So weird.  But sometimes I find I need to remind myself of this fact. That right now, Ecuador is my home...or I should try to make it home for the time being. I learned that lesson at Bethel. We were encouraged to make it our home, make our Bethel rooms the way we like it (within reason) and draw close to our congregation. These were the things that would help us adjust to all the changes, and help keep us in our assignment. I take this advice very seriously (imagine mischievous smirk slowly spreading across face). Yes making a place a home takes work, pain staking shopping sprees at times (hehe) and some creativity. Have we been up to the task? You bet you we have! So without further ado I introduce to you, our apartment...wait, wait! I mean, our HOME! (Full on cheesy smile now).

The upstairs, right outside our bedroom and before the terrace.

Our terrace in all her mustard colored glory

I always wanted one of theeese! It leads to the master bedroom and terrace.

Kitchen and dining room

Living room where we watch our beloved two English channels that only show forensic evidence shows. We can tell you who the murderer is in the first four minutes like nobody's business now.

Now, having an apartment is a big deal for both me and Matt as this is our first home that's like, nobody else's! Meaning if we accidentally start a fire, we'll be the ones manning the extinguisher. If we oversleep, no housekeeper will be startling us awake with her door knocking and no mom will be marching into our bedroom hollering that the school bus is leaving without us. Yes we are paying rent and everything! (And yes mom, I now turn off all the lights when I'm not using them, just like you always said I would when I started paying for things..:))

Now that we have our own place, I feel like I can really focus on the ministry.  I have a few studies that are slowly picking up speed. One is a door step study in the good news brochure. That one I can actually prepare for without getting a headache looking back and forth between the English and Spanish. Then there's another lady around my age that actually finished the bible teach book four years ago. Life got in the way, but she wants to give it another go. We're reviewing the bible teach using subtitles and review box questions. That one takes the longest to prepare for but, of course, extremely rewarding. And starting next week I'll start studying with her three kids all under the age of ten (which is my absolute dream come true to have a kids group study). And tomorrow's my first study in the bible teach book with a teen girl I met last week.  Jehovah has also answered our prayers to study with a married couple. One we do on Saturdays and the other on Sundays.  Some of the details on how these came about are kind of cool, so I'll be writing another post with more details.

So that's that. I'm still debating on writing more about the emotional side of this journey. The challenges have taken me a little by surprise, as the things I was anticipating having a hard time with, are not so challenging and the things I never even stopped to think about have been the sneaky little devils that have made me at times, want to swim back home and go shopping at...CVS or something:) after that comment, maybe I should fill you in because, like, who gets cravings for CVS?? Hope you guys are doing okay with all the snow. Be careful on the roads and go sledding for me please! Xoxo

I'll leave you with a few pics from service the other day...

 This was a great day in service. First time working with this sister and we hit it off right away.

 Photo shoot with my friend Elsa

Snuck this pic while on a study with this little boy.  He's watching a video here. He was captivated and it was so sweet.

 My favorite service partner.