Monday, December 30, 2013

Email 12/30/2013

Well Christmas was good since I got to see and talk with all the family. That was much needed for what came after.
Our water pump to our house broke so we didn't have any water for 3 days. That sucked because I had to take a shower using water jugs. Then to get the pump fixed I had to pay $10 and I'm pretty sure the church won't reimburse that.
Well this week has been pretty good besides that. I'm over my sickness and we have contacted some new families to teach. So it's all good.
This week we had our first changes but luckly my companion and I are staying where we are. I relieved for that since my Spanish still sucks. Our District leader finished his mission this week and went back home to Mexico. So we had his companion with us for Sunday and Monday.
Oh my companion got attacked by this little dog. It was freaken hilarious. So we are both just walking down the street when four little dogs run up to us while barking. But the thing is they all just walked right past me and went in to bite my companions ankle. And they only bite his ankle once then walked away like nothing happened. Hahaha that was great.
Ugh what else. Oh so our bedroom door got jammed and we could not open it. We tried everything even tried to jimmy it open with a knife. So being the Spiderman I am I climbed up to our second story apartment and jumped onto the balcony and went inside to open the door. So all was well with that.
Also for Christmas I bought a little soundsystem to listen to some music. Having music is so nice.
Well now the New year is coming up. In Ecuador I guess they make giant paper mache people and burn them in the streets on New Years. I don't know why.... Anyway it's pretty cool to see all the different characters that they make.
Well thats all for now I guess.

Love you all
PEACE
Elder Ivan Rodriguez

12/25/2013 First Christmas in the Mission Field

Elder Ivan Rodriguez was able to Skype his family in California & Arizona on Christmas Day. When Ivan saw his brother Jordan he cried. Ivan loves his older brother. We passed the phone around and we all got to see, talk and wish him a Merry Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Photo's








Email 12/24/2013 First Christmas in the Mission Field "Feliz Navidad"

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.
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.

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. 
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.
I'm excited to call my mom and dad and I wish I could call everyone but nope hahah.
Anyway I love you all and wishy you the best.

MERRY CHRISTMAS
Elder Rodriguez

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Email 12/17/2013

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 all
PEACE
Elder Ivan Rodriguez





Monday, December 9, 2013

Email 12/09/2013

This week has been a whole lot better. Especially with my companion. This week we both got 12 people commited to Bauptizm. It was a very cool experience and I just hope they continue their progress.
Oh I just wanted to clear something up. Im not sure everyone understands why its humbling to be here. Its not becuase they are poor. Sure they have dirt floors and houses that could be kicker├žd down. Its just humbling for the things that I appreciate in the world. For example sometimes they dont have food to feed there kid but their kid is playing with an Iphone while watching TV on a flatscreen with an amazing sound system. Its my values of whats important that is so humbling for me. 
This week on sunday we had a stake conference and I was so surprised as to how many members are in the stake. Oh and our mission president came down from Quito for it to. During the meeting the stake president called for 2 missionaries to come up and talk about how to get the members involved. None of the other elders went up so my companion decided to go up. So ofcourse I had to go up and speak infront of everyone.
It was amazing how well I spoke infront of all the people. The presidente was so impressed. He was bragging about how I only had 3 weeks there. It was wierd.
I also saw the Christmas devotional video but for some reason the gift of tongues want with me during that. So I didnt get much out of it in spanish.
Something not so cool happended to me this week. So me and my companion were walking as we do. And as we are walking a man infront of us holding an empty beer bottle smashes the bottle into this other guys face. So me and my companion just turn around and walk faster. It was pure sketchiness.
Everything else is going good. We get new investigators everyday. Im still struggling with the language but everyday is an improvement. I cant wait to call home on Christmas. Then a couple days before Christmas we are going to the Presidentes house in Quito for a big dinner.
Oh and Im continually doing better with the food here. Everyday I like something that I have never liked before which is a huge blessing.
 
I miss everyone alot and I love you all. Please email me alot and give me some updates on the world. Well thats all I got for this week.
Much love
Elder Rodriguez

Monday, December 2, 2013

2nd Week in Ecuador


Okay so this week has had its ups and its downs. 
 
The work here is great and for some reason everyone seems to want us to teach them. This week I already got 5 commited for baptism. I just hope they go through with it. We had a service activity this week as a zone but I didn't do much of it. See I was smart about it and broke the shovel right away so I could just sit and relax. Then the people fed us the most awesome meal. It was some bomb chicken with rice and beans. Oh and I actually like beans now..... Pretty impressive I know. Then we began teaching this 16 year old kid and hes awesome. He already has such a strong spirit about him. And he said that after he met me he has been having reoccuring dreams of an angel visiting him. The only thing is he does'nt know what the angel says to him. It gave me the chills when I heard that but it was awesome. Then we had a really difficult lesson with this less active member. He has two little kids and his wife wants a divorce. But that wasn't the difficult part of it. He asked us what happens to people who commit suicide. That was a difficult point. But we just reassured him to stay faithful and rely on the Lord.
 
Okay what else. Oh I think...I forgot to mention how weird the shopping here is. We went to a store today and they make you put bags in lockers. Then there little hand baskets are like roller backpacks. Its so weird. The fruit here is also really weird. Next week I´ll try to take pictures cuz I can't describe it. Oh and they don't sell milk in cartons. Its unrefrigerated milk in bags. I have no idea why. When We did service me and a missionary I knew in the CCM ate some cocua. Its the fruit they make chocolate out of. Its about the size of a football and has these little balls inside. I don't know how to describe the taste but the texture was like yogurt. It was really sweet and left me wondering how chocolate comes from that because the taste and the texture and color where no where near. Okay thats all bye. Love you all and wish for the best. Pray for me out here as I pray for all of you everyday. 

Elder Rodriguez

**Elder Rodriguez's mom sent a quick Email to Ivan. Elder Rodriguez was still online and sent this Email to her....
Oh hey mom Love You. And I forgot to tell you about how random people on the streets yell at us and call us Comegratis which means free eaters. Because they always see us eating at the Mamitas houses.


Some of my area. 
The walk to this place was horrible!





If we could all just remember to include Elder Ivan Rodriguez in your daily prayers. We, his family would greatly appreciate it. The first couple of weeks in the mission field can be hard. A new country, living with someone new who also is from a different country & learning a new language can be a hard difficult adjustment for anyone. Ivan is doing good & happy but needs some extra prayers. Thank You!!