Garrett in front of the Guayaquil Temple

Monday, March 28, 2011

28 March 2011 Machala, Ecuador

Hi Dad! Thanks for the recap of the week! Kason left for Russia today, huh? I thought he still had a week left in the MTC. Wow, that's super exciting! I think I know his email address so I'll have to send him a few lines! And isn't Austin Berenyi going to South Carolina? I can't remember if it's North or South...

It makes me smile whenever the LA Galaxy lose, especially against RSL! And it rained most of the game, huh? Here it is supposed to be the rainy season, but it has been abnormally hot here, something the members say is really weird for this time of year. They tell us it will probably start raining within a few weeks.

While I'm on members of the ward, I'll tell you some of their names and their callings in our ward. First is Gustavo Granda, he is the President of the Elders Quorum and he comes along with us quite a bit when we go to teach our investigators. Second is William Sarmiento, who is the Ward Mission Leader here. He helps us out with references and teaches awesome Sunday School lessons. He is very well-versed in the Bible and Book of Mormon, so he can answer just about whatever question in religion. Third is Daniel Salinas, who, on my first day in Machala, returned after serving his mission in Cuzco, Peru! He has been a great help to us as well in teaching our investigators. I would consider all three of them friends! They, like all the people here, are really humble and nice.

Our investigators had a tough week this past week. We didn't have the baptism as we were planning, and next week is General Conference, so we want to have baptisms on the 9th, but most likely we'll have them on the 16th. Oh yeah, I'll be sporting my Fast Sunday tie on the 10th and I'm giving a talk on the 17th!

I forgot March Madness was even going on... I'm surprised Duke isn't in the Final Four.

Other than that, nothing new is going on. We just keep pushing forward! Time flies by here!

Thanks for the pictures! I'll print them out! I've attached some pictures as well of when we went to center of Machala today!

Talk to you next week! Enjoy General Conference!
Love you,
Elder Garrett!

My Dearest Mom!

This email always will find me happy!
This week went by pretty quick as well. We unfortunately didn't have our baptism as we were planning, so we've had to push it back to the 16th of April. We've not had a baptism yet in the time I've been here, something both Elder Denison and I hope changes really quick! Patience definitely is a virtue!

I haven't met Elder Tait personally, because he is serving in the El Oro zone, and I'm in the Machala Zone, but I'll keep an eye out for him. The weather has been hot here, it should be raining about this time of year, but it hasn't, so it's been really confusing for us and the members to figure out!

Cody's parents are awesome people. I met his entire family when he went through the Temple some months back! And I'm keeping in touch with Cody while he's out in the mission. And Alden's parents as well! All is well with them I take it?

Time is really going by quickly here! It seems like some days are really long, but then I look back on the week and think "Wow, we did a lot in a little time!"

I'm glad all is well back at home! Tell everyone I say hi!

Talk to you next week! I'm sure I'll probably still be thinking "Where did this week go?"

Love you!
Elder Garrett!

Monday, March 21, 2011

21 March 2011 Machala, Ecuador--The Banana Capital of the World

Hi Dad!

The banana capital of the world is treating me very well! Down here, they're called Guineo, but they're still the same thing! And they taste delicious! There's even a banana factory in our sector!

Nice to hear that Chelsea have picked it up a little bit and that RSL keep winning! The Avs and Jazz, well, what can you say? Tough year!

10,000 dead in the earthquake and tsunami in Japan? My goodness, when we heard about it, it was at only 100! Unbelieveable.

We also heard about the conflict in Libya from some of the ward members, but what exactly is it over? The explaination we got was rather vague, and probably lost in translation a little bit!

I'm sorry to hear about Aunt Mary and Papa. I will definitely keep everyone in my prayers. By the way, how is the Beus family doing, especially Brielle and Shawn?

Happy to hear you all are doing well! The work is going great here. We have baptismal dates for this Saturday, 26 March, 2 and 9 April! Exciting stuff!

The pictures that are attached are: One of our district here in Machala (Top Row L-R: Elders Ochoa, Denison, Gaitan, Denning, Tabi, Bottom Row L-R: Elders Roberts, Bigelow and ME!) The second photo is of me with a chapel in the background! I'll definitely take more photos and send them next week!

Love you!
Elder Garrett, G-Train, G-Man!

Hi Mom! Last week was great and somewhat quiet! The field is great, but hot! The temperatures range from about 80-90 every day here in Machala. It's taken a little to get used to, but it's not too bad!

In regards to the address, the one listed in my call packet is for the mission home. Mail goes to the mission home, and we receive mail every Tuesday. It takes about 3 weeks for the mail to get here, and sending packages is expensive, between $16 and $30. Also, for packages, make sure there is a green sticker on it, which signifies that you paid for it at the Post Office. If not, I'd have to pay for it, and in reality, I wouldn't have time to pick it up because of the schedule we have.
Time is starting to go by really fast here! I can't believe it's Monday either!
You'll have to let me know how Alden's farewell went! I'm so excited for him and for all my friends who are in the field, in traning, or about to leave! Tell Auntie hi! Everything is going really great! Also tell the ward family hi!

Yes, I like the picture of Pres. Montalti and I as well. Funny story, when we arrived in Guayaquil on the 8th, we met him in the airport. When he saw me, he said "Oh, mi chiquito", which means "little boy"! He is a very nice, loving man.

Everything is great here, I'll send Ky some photos for you to look at!
Love you!
Elder Cederquist

Hi sis! You are quite the rebel for staying up late! I love Mondays too, so I can write and here about the goings on the "normal world!" The field is great, but very hot here in Machala! As of yet, I've not tried any different foods. In fact, I had McDonalds when I was in Guayaquil last week for Elder Denison's visa renewal. Lots of meat and rice down here, but it is always good and something to look forward to! Today we were in the shopping district of Machala and ate at Chili's! It was very good, a break from the ordinary! All is well here! I've attached some pictures for you to look at of Machala and the view we have from our house!
Oh yeah, take some pictures of the family and send them to me so I can show them to the people we teach, they're very family oriented down here and love to see photos of our families.

Glad to hear you're keeping busy! Did you hear anything about Kent's yet? Keep up the good work in soccer!

Love you Ky! Have fun!
Elder G-Train

Monday, March 14, 2011

14 March 2011 I made it to Ecuador-last week!

Hello family!

Wow, this has been an amazing and absolutley crazy week! We arrived in Guayaquil on Tuesday the 8th without any problems and we stayed the night at the house of the Assistants to Pres. Montalti, which is in Guayaquil.

On Wednesday morning we left for our respective areas- I am in a city called Machala, 3 hours south of Guayaquil, in the Puerto Bolivar ward. About 2.5 hours into the 3 hour bus ride, the gas line on the bus decided to break, so our bus came to a halt in what felt like the middle of nowhere. A definite "Welcome to Ecuador!" We waited for about half an hour for another bus, and we finally made it, bags and all! I met my companion, Elder Denison, from Riverton, UT when we arrived. He is a great missionary, always ready to work!

Thursday was our first full day of working, and we taught some great lessons to some very humble people, who were ready to hear the Gospel. That's where the normal part ends... Because of the massive earthquake in Japan and ensuing Tsunami, we were evacuated from Machala to the mountainous city of Cuenca, three hours east of Machala by bus on Friday morning! We were able to see some of the news reports of the damage the quake and tsunami did. Luckily, since we're far enough away, the tsunami had dispersed and nothing happened in Machala. Yet another "Welcome to Ecuador!" We made it back to Machala Saturday morning and got right back to work!

The people here, both members and investigators, are great people. I know I'm definitely in a great place! It's been a little tough getting used to some things here, but it's becoming more and more normal every day!

Everything is fine here, so no need to worry! Glad to hear everything is fine at home, and I'm happy to hear everything is good with Chiaki's family. When I heard earthquake and Japan, I immediately thought of her and her family, I even said a few prayers.

P-Days here are on Monday, so I will write to you then!

Love you all!
Elder Cederquist

Your child is in Ecuador

Cederquist Family

Greetings from the Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission! Your child Elder Garrett Cederquist has arrived safely and is currently serving in Loja.  The experiences Elder Cederquist will have in there will not only prepare him for the mission, but for life. We are so happy to have Elder Cederquist in our mission and are looking forward to this grand experience of service in our Lord´s work.  We sincerely pray that you will be able to see all of the blessings that will come to your life as a result of this service.

With warm regards,

(Mission) President Javier R. Montalti

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

2 March 2011 Last Peruvian P-Day!

¡Mi Familia!
I hear everything is going good back home! Awesome to hear! Everything is super here as well! Less than one week left until Ecuador (finally!!!) Not a whole lot new going on here, just getting really excited to go into the field.
I am flying to Ecuador likely early Tuesday morning, we don't know our schedule and probably won't until Sunday night. All I know is we are flying on TACA Airlines, which I've heard is a good airline.
I'm excited to hear RSL is still on their winning ways, and some of the Elders freaked out when they heard D-Will was traded. Sounds like a crazy sports world! I've heard that the Middle East is going crazy as well, especially in Egypt. Maybe that will be the start of the Gospel being able to be preached there!
Yep, kind of a boring email (sorry), not too much exciting to report this week. Oh, and if anyone wants to write me via DearElder, have them send it to my mission, Ecuador Guayaquil South. I'm glad to hear all is good, tell everyone I say hi! Enjoy the RSL season!!!
Con mucho amor (With much love),
Elder Cederquist!