Garrett in front of the Guayaquil Temple

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

28 May 2012 Another New Companion-A European!

¡Hola familia! Wow, what a good week this was for us here in the sector! I've mentioned this many times in the past, and once again, that with success come changes! Yep, Elder Castillo was transferred this morning in one of those "emergency transfers". He's actually in another sector not too far from where we are, so I might be able to cross paths with him sometime soon. Take note of this one, my 16th companion is Elder Burger, it sounds like an English name, but he is actually from Nuremberg, Germany! He has just about 5 months on the mission. I've definitely had my fair share of foreign companions, but I think this one takes the cake. I never thought while here in South America I'd have a European companion, but now I do! The list of stories I have just keeps on growing! This is certainly one of them. Luckily Elder Burger speaks pretty decent Spanish, that's due to the fact that his family is actually living in Paraguay, but he left from Germany. I know, sounds a little strange, but interesting nonetheless.

Interestingly enough, I actually felt a little of this "cold" the people talk about here in Guayaquil the last few nights. It's what we'd call cool, but it's nice change from feeling the heat all day and night! In terms of the mission work, all is going well, managed to find an interested investigator thanks to a member of the ward. It's a really good thing when the members bring their non-member friends to Church, it's one big step in them learning about the Gospel, and we like it because it means we have an investigator with one of two required attendances before they can get baptized. So this week we'll be doing a lot of the same, finding those and keeping those we can and have prepared to be baptized in the coming weeks. Who knows, maybe I'll learn a little bit of German too!

Well, apart from crazy transfers to an early edition of October Fest (ha ha!) all is well here in Guayaquil! And June starts this week! That means 17 months on the mission! The time just keeps winding down faster and faster. We're always reminded to keep track of how much time we have left, and I am about 224 days from ending, it sure is going to go by quickly.

Take care, love you all! Tell everyone I say ¡HOLA!

Elder Garrett Cederquist
Misión Ecuador Guayaquil Sur

Elder Castillo and Garrett

21 May 2012

¡Hola familia! Another week down on the mission, wow it sure was a busy one as well! Oh yeah, before I start, I did see Chelsea win the Champions League! I kind of freaked out watching the penalties, I won't lie. So I was pretty happy the rest of the day!

This week, as I mentioned, was pretty busy, meaning it was a good one! We have some more investigators to teach, who have family who are members of the Church, so that makes things easier for us in terms of teaching, because the investigators have someone to help them along as they learn more of the Gospel. We're also taking good care of our converts, who are doing great! It has been such a blessing to be able to find "the Lord's elect" while serving here in the mission. It's an awesome feeling to find those who are ready to accept the Gospel in their lives. I've seen many people who have made sometimes drastic changes in their lives to live according to the Commandments and Gospel. Not only for those who aren't members of the church, but also those who are perhaps less active. We visited a less active sister and her family this past week. She had been having some family problems and was giving up hope in that things would turn around. We then offered a prayer with her, asking Heavenly Father to help her overcome the challenges she had, just a really simple, heartfelt prayer. We also left the commitment for her to pray with her family in the night. Two days later, we visited the same family, and the difference in the sister's face was incredible. She had quite a big smile on her face, and mentioned to us how good she felt, that it had been a while since she had felt so good. Elder Castillo and I were taken back a bit by the response, and it built my testimony of prayer even more, that God really does listen and is ALWAYS willing to help, as long as we ask Him sincerely. Wow, I sure hope to have many more experiences like that in the seven and a half months I have left here in the mission!

Every day seems like it's the same thing over and over again, but there is always something new that I learn, albeit something really small and perhaps not important. I'm trying my best to keep my journal updated with these experiences, I recently started my second journal at the beginning of this month, so I'll be good to go for the remainder of the mission! But is May really starting to come to an end? I thought it just started! That's how it is when things are busy! Here in Guayaquil it's still trying to rain every now and then, a surprise rain shower almost left us out to soak, but we got inside pretty quick!

Congrats Ky on graduating this Wednesday! Wow, it's been two years since I graduated, I can't believe that! I want to see some photos! No worries, I'll try and get some more photos this week for you all as well!

Tell everyone I say hi!

Love you all, take care!
Elder Garrett Cederquist
Misión Ecuador Guayaquil Sur

14 May 2012

 Hey family, long time no talk to!

Well, this week's entry will be rather short, as I talked to you all yesterday! Yes, we did have the two confirmations yesterday as I mentioned, so that makes the lucky number 21 in confirmations for me! Attached are some pictures of the baptism and some others I've been able to snap in the last couple of days of the amusement park that is, well, was by our house. It's being taken down as I write this, so everything should be normal by tonight! Ah, the picture with the car and the singing kid I talked about is also there, the kid is kind of hard to see as the car is blocking him out. Elder Castillo was making fun of the kid, saying he was crazy, But the pictures I have there are pretty interesting, so I hope you enjoy them!

The only bad thing about having the two baptisms is that were really low, almost out of investigators, so this week we have to find a lot of new people to teach to keep our heads above water! So that's the goal for this week!

Not much else to write, but you all know how everything is going!

More next week!

I love you all!

Elder Garrett Cederquist
Misión Ecuador Guayaquil Sur

The Music Car

7 May 2012

Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooola familia! Wow, sounds like it was a great week back home! Thanks for the photos! The backyard looks great! It won't be so hard to mow the grass!

So this week wasn't the greatest, but yesterday sure made up for it! We went to church only having one investigator committed to go, but when we arrived, our bishop informed us that another investigator, who had been listening to the missionaries in the north of Guayaquil with his girlfriend who is a member, was going to attend our ward, and the best part is, he has a baptismal date already set for this Saturday! Our goal was to have one baptism this week, but now we'll have two!  I'd call that a nice blessing! We went around our sector this week getting to know more members of the ward, "gaining their confidence" as Elder Castillo likes to say. He says he really likes this sector, so we're off on a good foot in this transfer! I'm not sure how much my Spanish accent is coming along, but Argentinians talk with a different, Italian-like accent, and that accent is starting to come up a little with me! I'm sure you'll be able to pick up a little bit of the accent this Sunday, and speaking of which, we don't know anything as of yet. I'm thinking this week we will know (at least I hope to know this week, that'd be good!). I'm hoping to use Skype! It will likely be like Christmas, where I called the day before to let you all know. So be patient, I'll let you know one way or another!

I think I mention this almost every week, but time sure flies! I did some calculations, and I am now in my 71st week as a missionary. 104 weeks is equal to 2 years! 33 weeks to go! It will go fast! In July, I'll start receiving things about a return date and all that good news! But for now, I'll keep working away, that's what makes the time pass by so quick! I'll also get some photos for you next week too! I'm sure to have a few good ones!  Not too much to report on, slow week in all honesty. Next Monday will be a good report!

I love you all, can't wait to talk to you on Sunday! 

Elder Garrett Cederquist 
Misión Ecuador Guayaquil Sur