There was a bunch a fireworks as well for the day of the dead, January sixth. About an 8th of what was before.
It is getting so much easier to talk in Spanish. Some American missionaries have quite a hard time speaking in English now. But because I have been helping out Elder Tafur y many of the other missionaries learn English, translating back and forth and such, I´m learning speak English again.
This week was not a normal week but although it felt smooth. I cleaned up the decorations of christmas, sad to see it go. We realized with Hermano Villacrés that missionaries don´t really have a separation of time like normal people because there are not vacations or holidays and the days just continues as normal. It´s true that the year doesn´t feel any different. What helps too there is no change in the weather yet. I have heard that in the middle of February is when it gets super wet. Our area gets flooded to the thigh in some areas :S. Some houses, we have to step over a concrete mini wall in their doorframe about 2 feet high that way the water doesn´t get in the house. In any case, I am going to love it ;D
Something I have learned at ton, this week is paying attention to myself if I am starting to get impatient. Sometimes, people just might need a second to chill.
Gabriel, who is 10, is really progressing. He comes to church and every time we come over he mentions to us and to his mom how much he wants to be a missionary! We have permission to baptize him! He is going to be baptized this Saturday! We are so excited, we hope that his mom, Carla, will follow him in that path! The grandma, Hermana Amalia has sugar cane on the patio. She got out a machete and chopped down a branch (is it a branch or a rod or something? hmmm) And chopped it up. We helped get it out of the ground, there were many little spines that pricked my hands, what luck that none of them hurt! After the outside is chopped off, we tossed the chuncks in our mouths and chewed them and sucked out all the juice of them. There is no describing the taste, it is like sugar water, that doesn’t taste watery. The higher up the plant, the more it tastes like a plant.
My farewell was a talk in church 3 weeks before I left or something. A similar thing happened for Jorge, he is leaving this Wednesday at 2 in the morning. But I absolutely loved his farewell. He had a fireside, and wow there were a lot of people there. The video of him throughout his childhood was precious to see before he left. How inspiring, a fireside it was.
Sometimes it is discouraging how many appointments we set but they end up falling. Jaime Garcia, who we baptized not too long ago always has a perfect attitude about everything. When things go south, he is always like, “ok tomorrow will work out” His efforts in missionary work are astounding. The amount of family home evenings he has set up to share the gospel with the people he and his wife know is absolutely inspiring.
Our bishop is trying super hard to help us out with the missionary work and it has allowed me to be a ton more involved during church, setting appointments, assigning commitments. Which leads to…
The Missionary Journal! Back in Sierra Verde (which now I now how to say the Español way) we had a journal of missionary experiences that the members would write. I bought a journal, which ended up being pretty fancy, says 2018 on it with a map of Ecuador inside, and established that every week someone different would write in the journal what they had for a missionary experience! Already 3 people have written in it.
Random fact about Guayaquil, none of the roads are of asphalt. Everything is concrete. Roads, bridges, ramps (even small ones that cover the gutter).
A thought on the differences of meanings of words in Spanish and English.
It is super interesting to see the differences in how much people use different words here. For example, alimentos means foods, but people use it like refreshments and goods and nutritions, all in one word. Another word is Gozar, which means “to do joy”, which doesn’t have a perfect match in English. Because if you translate it to English, it is “enjoy”, but “enjoy” in Spanish is “disfutar”. My point is, is that there are some words that you can translate to English but if you translate English to Spanish, gozar will never be found. I have confirmed with the people here that this is the case, but sometimes people get confused.