Monday, March 31, 2014

Week Nineteen In Ecuador - Monday, March 31, 2014 - Happy Birthday Mom

hey guys :) haha I'm so glad that you liked my present!! :) I thought it was a pretty creative idea. I remembered how much you loved the "Flower Picking Machine" I drew you when I was 5 years old, so I thought it would be fun to draw you an updated version for your birthday.  And you definitely deserve it mom, you've helped me so much and that was my small way of saying thanks for everything! Also, I wish you a very happy birthday today! Hope all goes well and I am glad you had a nice birthday dinner and got to see the new movie.


Thank Debra and Kathy so much for all of the packages and letters,  haha I'm excited to get them and ya, draw me a picture in your next letter haha:)


I am sorta adjusted to the heat. I mean it still is terribly hot but I don't feel like I'm dying from it anymore. But I do shower every day when I get home and I drink so much water, but I don't worry about the heat anymore. I just accept that it's always hot and do what I need to to survive haha like I don't sleep with any blankets at night and with a fan blowing straight at me because the nights are like in the 80's.


The food here is sorta different and there isn't too much. What I have noticed here is that the people are just more poor... they live in houses that are just like one maybe two rooms and it is all cement and they just section the different areas out like rooms, bathroom and kitchen with drapes. So usually a lunch is like a giant plate of rice and a piece of chicken so that's about what I have every day for lunch. In Loja there was more variety.


 We have two baptism dates for next week for conference and they are great! Their names are Investigator J and M. J is 69 and M is 60 and I love them so much.  J has traveled all around the world! He has been to France, Italy, Florida in the U.S and all of Ecuador. He talks to everyone in the neighborhood and everyone knows him!  He is super funnny and for some reason I think he thinks I'm like his best friend! He constantly is asking me questions about my family and what I did before my mission, and he is always inviting us to eat food which it great! We have taught him a bunch and he is super receptive. He wants to be baptized and I am so glad that we can give him and his wife that opportunity! 


I have honestely changed a bunch out here and I am starting to really notice it! For instance I really have joy for the investigators when they make the choice to be baptized and it really is the only way that you can be really happy out here; working hard and then being able to see the fruits of your efforts. It is still extremely hard out here and everyday I force myself to get up and study and to work but then to be able to see the spirit change peoples lives and touch their hearts makes it all worth it. 


I love you all so very much and guess what? Next week I will have 6 months out here... I can't believe it!


Love ya,
Elder Lignell

Updated Flower Picking Machine (Drawn by Austin at Age 19)

Original Flower Picking Machine on the Left (Drawn by Austin at Age 5)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week Eighteen in Ecuador - Monday, March 24, 2014 - Another Baptism :)

Hey Family :)

I'm so glad you got my letter!! :)

And you'll probably get the next one soon for your b-day mom.

Well another week down and I'm starting to get used to Guayaquil . Like it has been crazy hard to always have so much heat here but I think I am getting used to it by now. However, I have been struggling a bunch here being tired all the time... It's weird and I don't know if it's the heat or what but I am just always tired and I can't really snap myself out of it. Also the missionary work here is just different which definitely isn't a bad thing, cause in Loja it was so hard to get people to come to church and here it is a ton easier. I love it because we can get so many more baptisms from the people who actually commit and come to church with us! :) However the people here love to talk to you! All you have to say is one word and the investigator or member will talk for 30 minutes which is just a little different because I find myself falling asleep while they are talking to me... haha and I just have never really been the type of person who just likes to sit and talk and talk so it's been a little different getting used to that.

I'm trying to take more responsibility so that I can just do everything and I like Elder Flores and we teach pretty well together, I just have a little bit more of getting used to his personality and I guess just doing what he tells me because I'm still the junior companion.

Okay but anyways, guess what?.... I had another baptism this last Saturday!

His name is Investigator J. and he is 56 and he is great! I had the opportunity to teach him for  a  week and a half and he had already gone to church a few times before and he accepted a baptism date for last Saturday so that was great! :)

And so now I have six haha well Heavenly Father has six :)

And now I would like to talk about a family;  Sister E and Brother A. They are a couple that lives together and they have been going to church for over a year now and they are working towards getting married and they are absolutely awesome and maybe I could get to baptize them!  I will send you a picture of them. They are so hilarious and they have kinda taken over as my new family for this ward and I wish you guys could meet them!

Also, you asked what was the hardest thing I've had to eat that someone has cooked me and that would be hands down....sardine soup....I could barely choke it down.  Although, I have to say that I really like chicken feet soup :)

Well anyway, I'm doing pretty well the only thing was like the motivation to work here because I am always tired but I love you all to death and I am so glad that everyone is doing well!

Love, Elder Lignell
This picture is from a park close by our house and there are iguanas that live in the trees.

Investigator J on his baptism day.

Sister E and Brother A.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week Seventeen in Ecuador - Monday, March 17, 2014 - Guayaquil Is My New Territory

Hey Guys :)

So guess what?! I had my first transfer this week and now I am in Guayaquil!!! I am in the zone centenario and the area Maracaibo!!! And I love it here! So now I am living in the same zone as the president so I am close to everything and Guayaquil is great, however it is extremely hot... but I'll talk about all of that a little bit later.

That is awesome about dad I am so glad his arm is getting better :)And thats cool about the two kids that you had over for the Leadership Camp at Brighton:)  I got my package and I love the ties that you sent.  Thanks so much!

Okay so now about my week...

So first I had an intercambio on Tuesday which means I was with a different companion in Loja and I was with one of the zone leaders working and we were in Catamayo which is a city one hour away from Loja and I was going to stay the night with them but around 10:20 p.m. we got a call saying that I had been transferred and that I needed to go to Loja to get all my stuff together to leave to Guayaquil in the morning so we luckily caught a bus and made it to our house around 12:00 at night and I had a ticket to leave for Guayaquil at 6:30 a.m. that next morning, so I packed up all my stuff that night and then just sat around talking to the zone leader because we had eight people in our house and only four beds... So I didn't sleep at all that night. Then we left in the morning and made it to Guayaquil around 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon. I then met my new companion, Elder Flores. He is from Peru and he is sweet and I like him a lot. Then we made it to my house and I put my suitcases in the room and we left right after to start working... haha so ya it was a crazy two days!!

But now I'm settled in here and I like it. The only thing is that it is constantly like 80 degrees or higher and like 80 percent humidity. So you are honestly constantly sweating... which is terrible but I'm already getting used to it and I'm drinking a ton of water so don't worry :)

And guess what else? We had a baptism this week of a little kid named Investigator J. He is 13 years old and I actually had the opportunity to baptize him! So that was awesome. We taught him for three days before and he had already gone to church a few times before and he asked me to baptize him :) so that was awesome! And I am loving the area here! The members are super involved and they have been helping us a lot so I am super excited to keep working here.

However I am a little sad that I left Loja... I mean I will always remember my first area and I loved the families so much there... but oh well it had to happen some time and I am excited about working here :) I have a good feeling about it and hopefully I can get completely used to the heat.

Love you all,


Elder Lignell

Investigator J at his baptism

My new casa.
I'm finally with some other Gringos!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Week Sixteen in Ecuador - Monday, March 10, 2014 - Interesting Week

Ok, so hi guys :) 

So actually Mom,  that is funny that you brought up the prayer thing and the importance of always asking Heavenly Father for help and I actually have been trying to do better at that. For instance this week on Saturday, I volunteered to perform a baptism on a day where it was raining like crazy and extremely cold.  However God must have a sense of humor because the church has a baptism font and they fill it with hot water that is heated by gas from some little shed outside. So, they were heating the water and the shed literally exploded and caught on fire, so the firefighters cam and put it out.  So, I had to baptize the investigator in freezing cold water, but it was a pretty spiritual experience :) 

Ok so I am glad that everybody is doing well :) I haven't got your package yet :( oh, but I sent you a letter for your birthday Mom, so if you get it before the 31st don´t open it :)

Tell Parker Breinholt I say hi and I'm doing great :)

Well anyways now about this week. So there honestly is not too much stuff that we were working hard but honestly nothing happened.  Now that I have been out here for a while I have high expectations and my happiness kinda rides on our success out here so it is extremly hard when none of our investigators work with us and stuff like that. But I am ready to work and ready to push forward :)

At the moment I am trying to really take responsibility for everything I want to be able to do on my own in Spanish and be able to be the senior companion and not have to rely on my companion to do everything :)

I realized that I want to feel the spirit more out here so that is what I will be working on this week... is to really listen for the small promptings and to be obedient enough to recieve the revalation that I need :)

You will have to keep me updated on Jacob's drivers permit :)

Love,  Elder Lignell

                                               Our Casa (Our Room is on the Second Floor)

                                                    View From My Bedroom Window
                                                    Investigator M on his Baptism Day
                                                    A Doll One of Our Investigators Made


Monday, March 3, 2014

Week Fifteen In Ecuador - Monday, March 3, 2014 - A Great Week!!

This week has been great! 

Well first off, thank you for your email....I loved the little quotes...they are great!

Anyways I am glad that everyone is doing well!

This week, like I said was very good. We had one investigator attend  church and she has a baptism date for the 15th of March :) and she is absolutely great!  Her name is Investigator B :) and I am going to talk about her for a little bit. So she is 23, she has two adorable children and a husband who is like 27 or so. Anyways so it's a funny story how we met them. First off we were contacting(knocking on doors) in an area and we met a man named Carl and he wanted to be baptized in his first lesson, so we were excited to go back and teach him more. But when we went back and asked for him his 4 year old little daughter answered the door.  When we had her go look for him she came back and said "Carl says he isn't here right now" hahaha  Then his wife came out and tells us "I don't know anyone named Carl who lives here"... hahaha so that was all hilarious. But we wanted to ask the neighbors about him so we went to the next house and that is where we found Investigator B and her family :)

Ok now about them. They are super poor right now and so we have been doing a ton of service for them like sweeping, doing the dishes and stuff like that and her husband just found a job in Quito so it is great that they are getting more money now, however we can't baptize her husband in Quito..... but she is still here so we have been teaching her and it has been wonderful! And, I just love that she seems so happy when we come over and I really feel like we are helping her! 

So this Sunday she came to church and she said that she liked it a lot and wanted to keep coming! Also her husband said over a phone call to her that he wants to go to church with us in a month when he gets back because he likes the kind of people we are and believes that the church can help their family :) 

So ya that was great!

Other than that the 1-4th of March here is a time called "carnival" which is where the whole population of Ecuador throws waterballoons and shoots foam at each other.... and not just the kids like literally everyone I saw was doing it.  I saw a 70 year old man throw a waterballoon at a car yesterday..... haha but it is so great!! And, we have a bag of waterballoons in the house to throw out the window because it is perfectly acceptable!  Yes, I have gotten hit with a few balloons and a lot of foam because I am like an attraction here because I'm a "gringo"  :) :)

And last, something funny is that the elders in my house were bored yesterday so they made a soccer ball out dishtowels and tape and the funny thing is that it actually works and so they have been playing with that the last few days :)

I'm still in Loja and loving it.

Love you all!
Elder Lignell