This past week was a little bit tough, but we did manage to have a baptism of Karim, whose parents are less-active members, but a really great family. (I do have photos, but I left my camera at the house, sorry!) The baptismal service went really great, quite a few members attended in support of Karim and his family. We're looking forward to a really productive week to kick December off. Yesterday we got hosed by our investigators, who said they were going to attend church, and when we went to pick them up, nobody! Ouch! Of course, it doesn't help anything when church starts at 8:00 AM (6:00 AM there in good ole Utah). Nobody, including us as missionaries, are really awake, thus making it rather difficult to have many people attend with us. This is something President Montalti has expressed concern about in the past few weeks, and he mentioned he's trying to change some schedules to make it more convenient for us and our investigators to attend. But if I manage to stay here for the New Year, the schedule changes to 10:00 AM for us, so as it stands with four or so weeks left in the year, I think we can manage the 8 AM time slot. That's another thing that is surprising to me, in the six wards/branches I've been in, one has started at 8 AM, four have started at 9 AM, and one at 3 PM. I prefer the morning meetings, just so you know! :)
I feel December is going to fly by, and we'll be at that year mark before we know it! Don't worry, I'm not "trunky" as they say here in the mission, but it really did hit me this past week how fast the mission goes by. It feels as if just last week I started in the Provo MTC. Every day has been an experience, and I've sure had my ups-and-downs, but many more "up" moments than "down". I'm trying to keep up my day-to.day happenings in my journal as well, but lately it's been hard with having to talk to the District and Zone Leaders almost on a nightly basis.
Last night we were able to catch 45 minutes of the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, which started at 8 PM here. Only managed to see Pres. Uchtdorf's address along with part of Pres. Eyring's address. I felt kind of empty not hearing President Monson speak, but General Conference will be here again really quick in April, so that will be a good time.
Well familia, got to get going, but I'm glad to hear that remains well back home, even though the temperature seems quite cold! December through March or so is the hottest time here in Ecuador. People are kind of backwards here, when they talk about winter, they always mention how hot it gets, and that summer is the rainy season! I was confused at first about that too!
Write ya next week! Chao!
Elder Garrett Cederquist
Misión Ecuador Guayaquil Sur