Monday, November 25, 2013

First Email from the MISSION FIELD

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


Last Day with District - Mexico City CCM
Landed in Ecuador
New Companion

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Email from Mission President and Hermana Richardson

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

MisiĆ³n Ecuador, Quito Norte


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Elder Rodriguez has landed in Ecuador

Okay I made it to Ecuador and everything here is great. Later today I should get my new companion but right now I'm just here in Quito. It reminds me a lot of Puerto Rico. Alright love ya & I'll email again on Monday. 

Elder Rodriguez

Monday, November 18, 2013

Elder Rodriguez leaving for Ecuador TODAY!!!

So right now it is Monday and we have to be at the airport at about 10:30. But our flight leaves at 1:15 in the morning. Yeah that's gonna be rough. Well here is my itinerary.
From Mexico City Juarez Int´l Airport
To: Bogota Eldorado Airport(Columbia)
From Bogota Eldorado Airport
To: Quito Mariscal Sucr Airport
Well that's it. I´m going to be so exhausted when I finally arrive in Ecuador but I really can´t wait. I'm also really excited to have a little lay over in Columbia. That will be a cool experience....hopefully. At this point I´m just really hoping we don't get straight to work when we arrive in Ecuador. I´m going to be in need of a little nap time.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Email 11/14/2013 Maybe the last Email from the CCM

Well this is my last week here in the CCM. I might be leaving anywhere from Friday to Tuesday but since I haven't been given an itinerary yet I have no idea. I'm actually really excited to go out in the mission field and teach the people of Ecuador. I'm also a bit nervous because I know the moment I step off the plane its going to feel like a new language. 
So far these last couple of days have just been a bunch of Spanish and review since the time is ticking down. Also our teacher Hermana Olmos left because of her schooling but she asked her old mission companion to teach for her. So that's pretty cool. Oh and she is the same age as my brother which is so weird to think about.(Happy Birthday Jordan, Ill send ya something nice once I'm in Ecuador). Then there is our other teacher Hermano Vera. He´s only been off his mission for 10 months, already has a wife and a baby on the way. He knows how to get work done hahaha. All our teachers are really cool and help us a ton.
So anyway today I went to the temple again. It was great because they finally got the new video in Spanish. That old one was pretty bad. Then after the temple me and Elder Rubisch did some laundry, bought snacks at La Tienda(which I had to spend my own money because the CCM won´t put more in my account) and now I´m emailing. Later we´ll have to teach another lesson as well.
So yeah all is well here as I'm sitting here emailing and drinking my orange Fanta. So what should I talk about. Oh I know I´ll talk about how my whole district has Diarrhea. It brings me so much joy to know that the code word (code Peach) means that someone has the runs. I have been lucky enough to not get that as well. And that´s the really weird thing to because I´m the one eating the stranger foods here in the CCM. Just the other day during our bathroom break we walked up to a stall that had poop everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE!!!! On the floor, on the seat. It was so horrible. When I beheld those horrors I almost puked. I actually feel bad for that poor soul.
Alright I´m really sorry about that last part but it is forever imprinted in my brain. Okay lets talk about the weather. Its usually really nice here but yesterday was the coldest day. I wore my long sleeves, my sweater, and my suit jacket and I was still freezing. The CCM even gave everyone 2 more blankets.
Once again its really good to hear from everyone and I hope everyone is doing good. Especially Baby Ridge, Jordan as you come up on your graduation (wish I could be there for ya) and my mom having surgery. I always think about everyone back home. Once I'm in Ecuador I´ll start sending stuff when i can. 
If anyone was wondering how long packages take its about 2 weeks, as well as letters.
Love all of you and pray for the best

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Email 11/07/2013

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.

Oh and here's my Address:
Elder Ivan Rodriguez
Ecuador Quito North Mission
Mexico MTC
Ave 510 #90
Colonia San Juan de Aragon
07950 Mexico City
Distrito Federal Mexico

Pictures of the CCM (Mexico Missionary Training Center)