Saturday, February 21, 2009
Hello from Guayaquil Ecuador
I can't believe a month has gone by. We have been all over the place and back again. Currently we are in Ecuador and have been here for the last 8 days. We will leave on Monday and go home (Bogota) for about 5 days and then off again on the week end for a training in a town called Monteria in Colombia. Today is our last training here in Guayaquil. We have trained 9 stakes and have one more today. Darwin has also done an audit with the Mission President on a district and I have done training for zone leaders in 2 missions and seen several missionaries at the request of the 2 mission presidents here.
It is difficult for me to believe the things we get to do and the people we get to interact with. There are wonderful people here with great strength. The church is stable in this area and there is good leadership in many of the wards but often the branches struggle. Leadership turns over frequently and that means a continuous round of training. We have had a great time here in Guayaquil and gotten to know Presidente and Sister Gamboa really well. Presidente Gamboa was not traveling this last week so we were able to spend some time with them. My Spanish improved alot since they don't speak English. Presidente Johns was traveling so we had only one day with the Johns but it was fun to work with a North American Mission President. In the 21 missions that I work in plus the 2 CCM (MTC's) about 1/3 are North American and 2/3 are Latin. Most understand some English but it is really helpful for me to have Darwin to translate. I am now able to hold my own in a conversation as long as it doesn't get two complicated and they take it slow. I have posted a video about a hike we up to some historic spots in Guayaquil on my YouTube site http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLzq8X5i_1U It was great fun. The Music is from the Bogota South Mission CD. Most of the songs were composed by an Elder in the Mission and it was sung by missionaries in the mission. It is a great CD. I will try to post more pictures later for now the picture above is a look from inside the Santa Ana Climb (444 steps plus 50 more up into the lighthouse. I did just fine - 2 days later my legs told me I hadn't done much climbing lately but, the pain only last for the afternoon of the 2nd day)