Monday, February 24, 2014

Week Fourteen in Ecuador - Monday, February 24, 2014 - Two More Baptisms!!

Hi Everyone:

Hey guess what....I have a huge suprise for you guys!!!!

I got two baptisms last Saturday!!!

We baptized the two sisters that I was talking about and I got the chance to baptize one of them :) Her name is Investigator M and she is 11 years old and the hillarious thing is that she looked up Jacob on Facebook and  was talking to him the other day. I baptized her and my companion baptized the other sister, Investigator E who is 17! So I now have four baptisms here in Loja and I am so very happy!

It was an absolutely amazing experience to baptize her and it was all in Spanish and I don't know I just loved it. I'm so glad that I got the chance to baptize her and I love the fact that Jacob was talking to her on Facebook the day before her baptism! :)

No I have not gone to the Ecuador temple yet and I probably won't get the chance until I train someone new because I will have to go to Guayaquil and stay there a night if I get that opportunity.

We haven't actually done any service projects yet but we have done a ton of service. For instance on Saturday after the baptism we helped a member's husband, who isnt a member, move these giant bags of cement into a truck and then dumped them off a cliff. It was crazy hard but it's sweet because if we can gain his confidence maybe one day we can baptize him :) and other than that I just pretty much do everybody's dishes everyday... haha... something I thought I would never do :)

I only talk Spanish to my companion and we talk a lot. He doesn't speak any English so I can't really speak English to him... but ya, I can speak Spanish pretty well now. However what I am lacking is being able to understand other people... it is so hard with all the words there are and if you have any advice I would be happy to listen :)

Yes it is a million times easier right now with my companion and I enjoy my time with him. He is a great kid and he tries to be obedient and work hard but he is also fun and wants to have a good time here so I think it is pretty much a perfect balance! 

And with me I am doing great and I love it out here. I am excited to keep helping people and learn so much more!

I love you all.

Elder Lignell

Investigator M and Investigator E on their Baptism Day!!

A "mini me"

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week Thirteen In Ecuador - February 17, 2014 - Still in Beautiful Loja

Dear Family:

Ok so I will update you however not too much is new. I am still just hanging out here in Loja and I am loving it here however like I said earlier, Loja is literally the hardest place in the entire mission to baptize. It has the lowest average for baptisms for every month and year.  I didn't know that before but I guess it is good that I am here for my first area so that I can really learn how to handle a hard area. Also it´s cool because I do have two baptisms here so if I can get a few here then I can baptize anywhere!! :)

Yes I am still with my same companion and he is from Colombia and from a city that is one of the most dangerous in the world! I love him and we are getting to become better and better friends which is nice and I am really enjoying my time with him!

Okay other than that, the week was good but we didn't have any of our investigators come to church, but Investigator M and Investigator E are progressing right along and have a date for the 1st of March so I think I will get my third and fourth baptism then!!! I am so excited they are just great girls! I don't know if I told you but Investigator M is 11 and Investigator E is 17 and they have been going to mutual and everything and I love the fact that they are progressing and that we can just be their friends and help them along!!

Valentines day was good. I gave my companion a big kiss when he woke up..... hahahaha ......just kidding..... it was normal and I didn't have anything to celebrate :) haha

And a funny story for the week was that I was walking on the side of the road and I wasn't looking where I was stepping and I literally stepped into a giant pile of mud and sunk in about a good foot or so and was completely covered in mud!! We weren't  close to our house so I talked to people like that for a good hour or so and got some pretty funny looks :) haha ....ya.... not too funny but oh well :)

Love you guys so much! 

Elder Lignell

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week Twelve In Ecuador - February 10, 2014 - No Transfer Yet

Dear Family:

Ok so thank you so very much for sending out that package and I will be so happy when it arrives! Haha I love you guys so much you all truly are the best. 

Ok, so last week I talked about having transfers and I am not sure if I am going to have them at the moment I am still in Loja. Nobody knows anything about the transfers. For instance our whole zone hasn't had anyone call them or anything so we will see what happens.  I might get tranfered tonight and be in a new area for next week! And I kinda hope that I do get transfered because I would like to get to know a new area and meet new people and also have more success. Loja is a very difficult area in this mission. In fact I have heard that it is the hardest area to get baptisms.  So it is cool that I have at least two here, but I want a lot more! I want to be able to help as many people as possible and at the moment I have decided to put a goal of 50 baptisms in my mission ( haha so I have a ways to go :)

All in all this week was good. We have two investigators that are progressing, Investigator E and Investigator M and they are two sisters. Investigator E is 17 and Investigator M is 11 and they are great! They have been listening to the lessons and have both gone to church two times Investigator E had a really serious relationship with her boyfriend and just barely broke it off hopefully because she realized through our teachings, that it was for the better. They both say that they want to be baptized and have dates for the 1st of March. Whether I am here or not, I am pretty sure they will get baptized, and oh well, if I get transferred, they will kinda count as half baptisms :) haha What matters is that they go through with it and I think they will so I am very happy about that!

Two quick funny stories: One morning I guess the Elder in my house had switched his name tag with mine as a joke and I didn't even take notice and had no idea until we were contacting on the street and I went to introduce myself and said something along the lines of " Hola, much gusto, mi nombre es Elder... aww crap..." haha because the name tag said Elder CasteƱeda who is native to Ecuador haha. I know kinda lame but I thought it was funny. So anyway I was a native Ecuadorian missionary for half the day before I got the opportunity to switch back for mine.

Also something else sorta funny is that for one lunch we had what the people here call spaghetti and  it was just the spaghetti noodles without sauce and with a mountain of rice... ( I don't know if I have said it before but here in Ecuador they eat so much rice it is a joke.... definitely more than in China so all the rice jokes about China should get switched around for Ecuador... ) anyway, the noodles with a ton of rice and a tiny piece of chicken on top and that was their version of spaghetti.  And I know I have been here for too long cause I actually really enjoyed it... hahah :)

Anyway, I love you all! I am so very sorry about Miles Lignell and I will pray for the people that were close to him. I am glad Dad is healing and hope that he can get back to work soon! Also I hope you can find someone for Tracy´s spot. I will pray for both of you and I guess for Jake too since he is my brother :) haha 

Elder Lignell                                                

The Fajardo Family.  They have
have been like my second family while
I've been here.  Sorry've been
replaced for a bit :) :) :)


Monday, February 3, 2014

Week Eleven in Ecuador - February 3, 2014 - Feeling Much Better!

Dear Family:

So you honestly all are the greatest and I am so very thankful for every single person in our family :) haha.....I am alive!! I survived and it was definitely the hardest week that I have had out here with everything. I literally felt like I was dying but I am alive and I made it and I feel good right now so don't worry :) 

I had the worst stomach pains of all time, however I never threw up once so I take a lot of pride in that! And after the pains went away it was the weirdest experience of all time because I literally had no energy. Like it was so weird I couldn't do anything at all. But I have slowly been getting all of my energy back and although I don't believe I have absolutely all of it back, I feel so so so much better today!

Again, thank you for everything you do Mom, you are truly the greatest and I am sure that your prayers helped because I am better now.

You are right about the struggles and it is true that it did make me stronger and I feel stronger now in my testimony.  I can make it through anything out here and you`ll just have to keep missing me for 20 more months or so :)

While I was in Guayaquil I got your Christmas package. No, I did not get the birthday card from Aunt Kathy and Grandpa :( I also did not get the Christmas package from Aunt Kathy :( but I did from Aunt D.D. :)

Yes, I did get the Christmas package from you guys. Thank you so very much and I loved it. You know me too well that I was going to ask for you to send me cliff energy bars! So thank you so very much. I loved it all and I am still eating it :) the cliff bars and the jerky and the trail mix and the Mike and Ikes were my favorite ;)

My companion was good while I was sick. Yes and I still like him (haha). Elder Quintero is great I am really enjoying my time with him.

I have no idea how I got sick... also they don't know for sure if it was Salmonella they don't really know too much. They had me do a bunch of tests and lots of my blood was drawn (my favorite!)
Thank you for the package and I would love some new ties and don't forget the socks cause I am getting holes in the ones that I have. 

I would stay away from eggs and buy cereal but it is like 4 bucks a box and I am so hungry in the mornings I need the eggs... so I think I am going to keep eating them and hopefully I will be okay.

Okay so now I will tell you a little about the week. I didn't actually do too much because I was sick and I was at the zone leader's house for that. But then I started working Thursday and we worked very hard... haha sorry mom I didn't really rest the whole week. But the thing that was so hard is that we hardly had any success. Everyone here is Catholic and that is all that we got: "Yo Soy Catolico" over and over and over I swear I am going to have nightmares of that saying... haha.
 But then Friday I just randomly decided to try to be more obedient because when I was sick it was easy to fall out of my routine. For example, after my morning prayers I would lay in bed until the last possible minute and I wasn't exercising and on Friday I still felt kind of sick so I just thought to myself that I should be obedient and even though I don't feel 100 percent, The Lord will bless me for being obedient. So,  Saturday I got up at 6:30 and didn't go back to bed. I did 25 push ups and studied a little Spanish before my actual study time and that day while we were working I felt a million times better! And, the best part is that we made two new baptism dates so it was absolutely awesome! It strengthened my testimony of obedience with exactness!

All in all I am doing okay out here. I have a lot of ups and a lot of downs but it´s okay cause I am doing it one day at a time. Right now the things I am struggling with is really being able to speak Spanish. I can understand about a good 50 percent and I can get across a message to anybody about what I want to say, however it is very hard to really participate in conversations and understand jokes and also just to understand everything that people say and I hate when I just don't understand anything for like 10 that stinks.

Also it is very hard for me to thoroughly teach the lessons smoothly in Spanish and I am struggling with being fast in speaking and not having to think about every word beforehand.

However, other than that I am doing okay and I am excited to learn more and progress!   This next week is my last week that I have a "Trainer" so I will probably get transferred out of Loja and have another new companion and if it all happens on Monday I may not get to write so keep that in mind.
 I love you all so much I am glad everything is well at home.
Elder Lignell                                         
                                                    Me and Elder Quintero
At a park in Loja

Week Ten in Ecuador - The Trials of a Mission - Monday, January 20, 2014

Dear Family:
Ok, so I am on the computer and this week has been absolutely crazy and hopefully I remember to put everything in. 
I went to Guayaquil on Tuesday and I was extremely sick so that was terrible to have the 9 hour bus rides (both ways) when I had a terribble cold.  But, I had a meeting with my mission president while I was there and he is awesome and I just love him. 
But then after that after when we got back to Loja my stomach started killing me I had so much pain and Thursday night I called the missionary nurses and told them what was going on and they were very worried so they checked me into a hospital. So, I had my first experience in an Ecuadorian hospital and I ended up staying there over night which was a pretty crazy experience. Anyways they diagnosed me with salmonella and I still am not better today and I feel pretty terrible actually. It has been really hard this week to be so sick.....I have no energy whatsoever!
However some cool scriptures that I found yesterday were 2 nephi 31:19,20 and D and C 121: 7-9.
I didn't work really at all this week because of everything.
I love you all so much but I don't have the energy to type more so hopefully I'll hear back from you quick!
Lots of love,  Elder Lignell