Monday, December 30, 2013
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Elder RodriguezAnyway I love you all and wishy you the best.I'm excited to call my mom and dad and I wish I could call everyone but nope hahah.Anyway I hope everyone is having a good Christmas. It's going to be boring here. There is no one really to teach because they all are away with family then today which is the 24th and tomorow we have to stay inside after 6 becuase it gets really dangerous during the holidays. Well thats all really.Anyway I'm still kinda sick but now with a cough. My companion called the mission nurse and complained that I'm getting worse. I'm not. Everything is fine but I think he's just annoyed because he can hear my sickness now.So the drive from Quito and back was a long one. But they show movies which is so cool. I saw the movie Grown Ups 2 and some horrible Stone Cold Steve Austin movies. I thing Ecuador really likes his movies. Its horrible.Hey everyone Merry Christmas. I hope everyone is having a happy one.Well we had a Christmas dinner in Quito last week and that was great. The food was great and the company was good too. We did a white elephant gift thing and I got this sweet Ecuadorean coin purse. Coin purses are super useful for the busses here and since the money is mostly coins.MERRY CHRISTMAS
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Okay so this week was really bad for me and the greatest week also. First is I have been feeling sick in a different ways everyday. From just head aches to puking my guts out in the middle of the night to horrific stomach pain to a sore throat today. Its great..... Oh and I sharted one time and if you don't know what that is, I'm not gonna be the one to explain.Oh and I guy tried robbing me. It started out with me and my companion walking as we usually do then a tall black guy walks up to my companion and starts talking to him. Then the man looks at me then at my watch. He politely asks me what time it is, so I politely tell him. Then he tells me to take it off. oh sorry he yells and curses at me to take it off. So i laugh and say no and begin to tell him that I don't speak spanish. So at this point I can understand everything he is saying. And he is mad so he begins to yell and curse at my companion. But my companion tell him he only speaks this native language anddoesn't understand. Hahaha who asks someone to take off their watch. Yeah so we just walked away and it was fine.Well this week I had my first baptism. It was the most amazing experience baptizing little 13 year old Jose Ignacio. I taught him all the lessons and he asked me to baptize him. Oh I should tell you his story. So one day me and my companion are walking and we walk past a lady and think nothing of it. Then she calls us back and asks us randomly to come and teach her family. She has two girls, 9 and 16 and Jose Ignacio. All of them are amazing investigators agreeing to be baptized in the first lesson. The whole family reads and studies all the pamphlets that we give them. When we gave them some Books of Mormon Jose Ignacio read the whole book of 1 Nephi. Thats incredible for here in Esmereldas. Especially since if the person can read they will only read like one verse in a week. So anyway the rest of his family was supposed to be baptized on the same day but they wanted to push their date back. But not little Jose cause he's a champ. After baptizing him and feeling that joy I can truely say I know why people serve missions and I know what the joy is that the scriptures talk about.Anyway sorry I didn't write yesterday. Our Pday was really busy. We did a soccer game with our zone and our apartment got all new supplies so we were moving a whole bunch of stuff.Well Christmas is coming up and I'm really excited to call my Mom and Dad. I wish I could talk to the rest of the family but alas...Anyway tomorrow we are driving 7 hours to Quito for a Christmas dinner with the Mission President. That should be cool.Then on Christmas eve and Christmas day we can't leave our Apartment with the exception of going to call the family. I guess its super dangerpous on those days.Well thats all I guess. I love you all and wish you a Merry Christmas.I'm really missing the cold haha. I don't like sweating in December.Anyway love ya allPEACEElder Ivan Rodriguez
Monday, December 9, 2013
Monday, December 2, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
Okay I finally arrived in Ecuador. All the new missionaries stayed in Quito for three days just for an orientation type of thing. I really liked the city of Quito it was actually really nice. Then I met my new companion. Elder Luque is a nice guy from Peru and he speaks English (which is really good for me right now). Our area is about 8 hours away from the city of Quito by the coast. The area is called Esmereldas. I can't really see the coast from here though. Now when we drove here on a bus it took us 10 hours instead of the usual 8 hours. I still don't know why that is. So my area is known to cause a lot of missionaries to go home early. Now let me describe why that is. Well this area is the most dangerous part of Ecuador, it's hot here, and the people don't wear alot of clothes. Its actually really gross. Like yesterday we went to teach this new investigator and a little kid walks up to her. I'm still not even sure the kid was hers. Anyways during the lesson she just popped out her boob and started feeding the kid. I was just like "What the heck!?" If I were to describe this area I would describe it as a Spanish Africa. This area is known to have all the black people and it's dirt poor and freaken hot, like I said before. It's so wierd because there are dogs everywhere. Like the people don't even notice. Seriously random street dogs and cats walk into peoples houses and the people dont even care. But then again they do have random chickens in their house as well.Ha but its actually pretty neat here. Very humbling. Alot of the houses that we visit are either made up of cinderblock walls or thin wood walls and then usually just sheetmetal for the roofs. The people here are really nice to me and I'm like a teacher to the little kids. I help them learn english and they help me learn spanish. Just the other day I did this girls english homework. Her family was so amazed at how fast I finished it but I didn't tell them that it was 1st grader level.The food here is known to be the best in Ecuador. Ive had some good food. Like the other day when I was eating in these members shack of a house I had the best chicken and rice. with evey meal you can expect to have a full plate of rice. Some of the foods are hard for me to swallow but I have no choice. If you turn down anything here it is a big diss to the families.Me and my companion live in this apartment on the second floor. It's pretty nice except for the fact that there is no hot water. I never realized how lucky I was to always have hot water. Seriously it hurts me that it is so cold to shower in. But I must endure.The people here don't have much. There is only one paved road in this city. i haven't seen any houses with windows and some houses don't even have doors. But the members are all super friendly and willing to help the missionaries. And of course i have to explain to each person why I don't already speak spanish and why I'm not Mexican.But everything here is good. I don't really have any pictures of the area right now but you can expect some next monday.My old district was split up when we all got our new companions but I still see and Elder Lindeman. Its always cool to see him and see what crazy things we have experienced here.Everday here so far feels like an eternity but at the end of the day it feels like it was just an hour. Its the wierdest thing to wrap my head around.Anyway what else should I talk about???I don't really know.Elder Rodriguez
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Dear Rodriguez family,
We wanted to let you know that we are delighted to have met and spent the last three days with Elder Rodriguez. He shared his great love and appreciation for his family; we congratulate you on raising a wonderful son!
We assure you that we will do everything possible to help him have a positive experience here in the newly formed Ecuador Quito North Mission. This mission experiences a high number of baptisms, and success in reactivation. Our boundaries include coast, jungle, a native Indian area, as well as the highly populated city of Quito so our missionaries have a wide range of experiences.
The theme of our mission is translated “The Center of the World; Centered on Christ,” and we have a wonderful group of 24 missionaries that arrived with him. He will be serving in the coastal area of San Rafael with one of our newer but fabulous missionaries, Elder Luque from Peru.
We know you’re already planning on it, but we want to remind you to write your son a weekly letter. His preparation day will be on Mondays.
President Brian and Hermana Susan Richardson
Misión Ecuador, Quito Norte
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Hello everyone I'm down here in the Mexico CCM and everything is going great. The food is good, the language is coming and the spirit is strong.Its really good to hear from all of you. I enjoy seeing how the world is doing without me. So this week our district found out that we are going to be teaching 3 investigators every other day. The first, which is in the morning, is our Teacher. Shes a native to Mexico and a tough cookie to teach. She really doesn't give me and my companion anything to feed on. The other two which we haven't taught yet are some Hermanas from our class. So they're class mates. Oh and I have to be an investigator to some other companionship as well. On the bright side I'm actually looking forward to some more work.Speaking of work last night we had another TRC. Me and my companion went in expecting to help someone with spiritual needs. Yeah not really because the guys only problem was as he said " I don't have the patience to express my feelings." That was quite the tricky problem for us. So that lesson started off a bit rough but the spirit slowly started to come to us. As we were talking I slowly had a voice quietly tell me that I need to talk about Moses. At first I was like what the heck why would I do that? But then it all came to me, Moses also had a problem expressing his feelings verbally so God sent him the help of Aaron. It felt really good to have that revelation come to me in that time of need.I have been striving to be guided by the spirit so much while i have been here and I can now say that I'm receiving that guidance. Just on Tuesday for example. An Elder Daniel Johnson, an are 70 member, came and spoke to the CCM for our devotional night. He challenged all of us to pray that night and ask God 5 questions. Those questions were 1: Do you really exist? 2: Do you have a body of flesh and bone? 3: Do you know that I exist? 4: Do you know my name and were I came from? 5: Do you love me?So that night i knelt down in humble prayer and asked these 5 questions. As I started the prayer my head spun. I recall that the whole room felt like it was spinning as I struggled to collect my thoughts and ask those questions. As i came near the close I finished with "I need to know tonight". As I uttered those words everything just stopped. The room was still, quiet and my heart was at peace. I'm so grateful that my Heavenly father loves me and hears my prayers.Anyway everyone should try that.So the rest of my week was filled with the usual lessons of being taught and teaching. I'm having an amazing time here in the beautiful CCM. Every Wednesday the CCM gets a new flock of fresh missionaries and it is the funniest thing looking at there faces.Well that's all for now. I sent some new pictures of things around the CCM and I hope you get them all. The Elder in one of them is my Companion. And the weird spire things, i have no idea what those are they are outside of the CCM.Please send me more pictures everyone. I feel like I'm forgetting your faces hahah.I love all of you and every-night,every-morning and every afternoon I pray for the best for all of you.Elder Rodriguez Signing out.I forgot to tell everyone about all the mosquitoes. Oh they are just the greatest thing. I have yet to be bite by one this whole time while all the other Elders are bite at-least 5 times every night. I think they might bring me the most joy watching everyone else suffer Mwuahahaha.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Alright this week has felt like forever and at the same time its speeding by. I sent multiple pictures containing what it looks like here in the CCM part of my visit to the temple last Thursday, the earthquake circle and me after my new haircut. Oh yeah I got a haircut today and it was super sketchy since all the ladies don't speak English. I have seen some pretty bad haircuts come out of there so I was really worried. But the lady did a good job. And since I felt bad that we cant give tips i sweep up their whole floor. SERVICE BABY.This week has been a lot of fun but also really challenging. Most days we teach lessons to two people only using Spanish and for some reason I have been just freezing up. And yesterday we taught a old little Mexican lady and I felt like I was utterly demolished during the lesson. I didn't say more than a sentence the whole lesson. The only thing I said was, "My life is hard because my father is not a member". That was a lie my life is easy. I just had no idea what to say, I was lost. Every word she said just bounced off my head into oblivion. Even my companion said barely anything in that lesson.hahahahah It was bad. Luckily we were doing like a coop teaching with some Hermana's in our district and they totally saved us. Both me and my companion have kinda struggled this week, spiritually. I even fasted for a day but I'm just finding it hard to teach with the companionship of the spirit.But I know as I stay faithful and put my shoulder to the wheel, Heavenly Father will help me out. anyway last Tuesday we had a devotional by an Elder Lester Johnson from the seventy. It was nice of him to come down and speak to us. He was hilarious and was really inspiring with the whole language thing.Evey day I spend roughly 16 hours teaching, reading my scriptures and studying Spanish. Everyday I'm finding my knowledge of Spanish increase and I can say more.Its truly a blessing. Its funny because any latino that sees my last name asks if I speak spanish. So i obviously say no. Then they ask which one of my parents are Mexican. So i tell then neither then I have to explain my heritage. Its annoying but they always light up when they see my last name. I enjoy it because I get to use my spanish.
Uhh okay weather. The last two days it has rained. And thats not bad, Im not complaining but it did suck when the second I use my umbrella the first time, it flipped inside-out bending the bars. So now I have to bunch up with Elder Rubisch. Im sure he doesnt mind but it does kinda suck. Oh and its getting freaken cold here. Im so happy I bought that sweater, its a lifesaver.It blows my mind to think that the CCM experience is going by so fast. It is the wierdest experience seeing new missionaries come in and think "I was like that a week ago. I had no idea what to do or say just like them".
Well anyway what else......... Oh today we are going to play baseball with our whole district. Our district president, Presidente Torres( a fat little man with the funniest baby face) invited us to play some ball with his 8 yearold son. Im super excited and everytime Presidente Torres talks about it his face lights up.The food here is still good and now they have SALT!!! I have never been so happy to see salt in my whole life. I have been getting more sleep every night also. I think its just out of exuastion. But Im glad that i can fall asleep fast becuase those crazy Latinos have parties every night. I know Im gonna have to join them one of these nights.Every now and then I get a littile home sick just when someone reminds me of someone back home, but Im good. Im doing great here and I love the mission life.I have the greastest time just buying stuff at la tienda. I feel like a rich man with all these pasos. If your wondering it takes about 13 pesos to equal 1 dollar. And almost everything in La Tienda costs only 8 pesos.If anyone wants to send me something in the mail that would be great. Just dont send it through UPS for some reason they have problems with that. If you need to know my adress just ask my mom at email@example.comPlease also send me lots of emails I really enjoy seeing how everyone is doing and how the world is moving on with out me :)I really miss all my friends and family (especialmente mi madre) and I hope everyone it doing okay.With much love- Elder Rodriguez