A Record of Elder Eastman's Missionary Service in the Quito Ecuador Mission

A Record of Elder Eastman's Missionary Service in the Quito Ecuador Mission

Monday, July 25, 2016

Last P-Day Email and Happy Birthday Elder Eastman!

Hey mom!  It sure is crazy that this is the last time that I will be able to email you as a missionary!  These past two years I have had some really incredible experiences.  It's a bit sad that they are coming to an end.  But I am also really excited to be able to see you guys again.  
Unfortunately the baptism of Michel wont be able to happen this saturday.  Her parents, who are not supporting her very much in her decision to be baptised or follow any type of church, didnt let her come to church yesterday.  Michel is 20 years old so she doesnt need the permission of her parents to get baptised.  But she still respects and loves her parents.  So that is why she wasnt able to come to church.  She needs to come to church one more time and have her baptismal interview to be able to be baptised.  So it's a bit sad that I wont be able to see her baptism.  But I know that she will do it soon.  And that's really all that matters.  Being able to count it as "my baptism" doesnt really matter, because it really isnt "my baptism" at all.  So I'll be super happy if she is just able to be baptised some day in the future.  
Roger is also doing alright but wasnt able to come to church yesterday either.   We visited him last night and talked about the Book of Mormon and how to gain a testimony.  He hasnt been able to read the Book of Mormon for a long time but commited to reading and praying about it.  
Well thanks for the extra money! I dont think I really need it, because I already bought all things that I want to bring home from Ecuador, but thanks anyways!  I took it all out today.  
I'll definitely do my absolute best this last week.  I'll miss Ecuador a bunch, but I'm also excited to be able to see you guys again.  
I sure do love you mom!
Elder Eastman

Hey dad!  It sure is crazy that these two years are about to come to an end.   I remember thinking before coming on the mission how long two years seems like.  But they have been the fastest two years of my life.  I am so glad that I have been able to be here in Ecuador to serve the Lord.  I have learned so much and grown alot too.  Well I havnt grown very much physicaly (I still weigh about exactly the same as I did before the mission), but I have grown alot spiritually.  Thank you so much for all the love and support that you have given me during all this time.  I couldnt ask for a better dad! 
This last week will be a pretty normal week.  Trying to visit people, talking to people in the street and all that good stuff.  Tuesday and Wednesday will be completely normal days. Thursday will be my last district meeting.  On friday my companion and I will be going on splits with the zone leaders.  Saturday we will get to see a few baptisms, unfortunatly our investigator wont be getting baptised because her parents didnt let her come to church yesterday.  Sunday I will go to sacrament meeting, then I'll have to leave and go to the mission offices. Monday I will be in class all day, learning about how to be a good normal citizen and church member. On Tuesday I'll get on the airplane at 7am (ecuador time), then I'll see you guys at 8:30pm.  And I think that's just about it!
I sure do love you too and I cant wait to see you soon!
Elder Eastman

Us and a less active guy named Eddy Zambrano.  He is comming to church again now.

We had interviews with our president this past week in our house.

Eating food today in the mall.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Still Working Diligently

Hey dad!  I'm doing super good.  But a bit tired.  We just got done playing soccer and dodgeball.  I made one goal playing soccer.  I think I have been able to get alot better at it over these years.  But I wish we would be able to play more.  We are only allowed to play it maybe once a month for a P-day activity.  We are only allowed to do 2 p-day activities every transfer.  So today was my last p-day activity on the mission because it was the second one this transfer.  Next p-day is my birthday, so hopefully it will be a good p-day.  I think we are just going to cook some food in our house. 
Thanks for the advise about my studying decisions.  I know i'll eventualy be able to decide what it is that I want to do.  I guess I'm a bit nervous about having to study again after the mission.  I think I don't remember anything that I learned in high school.  Especially math.  Hopefully I'll be able to remember alot of the things that I have learned.  I also hope that I dont get lazy and not want to study like some times I did in high school.  Because I know that it'll be super important to stay focused on studying during college.  But I know that it'll all work out alright with the help from Heavenly Father. 
I sure do love you too!
Elder Eastman  

Hello mom!  The work this week was pretty good!  Michel came to church again this sunday, so her baptismal date for july 30th is still good!  We have another lesson with her today at 6:30.  We havnt been able to visit the Paladines family again this week.  Hopefully we can soon.  We also found a new investigator this week named Roger Zapata, he's 19 years old.  We found him knocking doors but he has already listened to the missionaries alot about 3 years ago.  He has even come to church a few times.  He seemed really interested to listen to us again.  He said he felt something special when he saw us knocking on his door, like God is calling him again.  I hope that he will be able to progress well.  He is a bit scared of being baptised because the rest of his family is catholic and he would be the first one to change.  But hopefuly he will choose to do the right things and be a good example for his family.  
I will try hard these last weeks to take more pictures and do good at writing in my journal.  
Well I cant wait to see you guys soon!  I'm also trying super hard to keep working diligently.  I think next monday will be the very last time that you will be able to email me.  Because the monday after that I will be in a class all day learning about how to live a good life after the mission.  The day after that I will be able to talk to you all in person :)
I love you too mom!
Elder Eastman

Monday, July 11, 2016

An Earth-Shaking Lesson

Hey mom!  I'm doing super well.  Nope, I havent received any type of letter.  That's really awesome that your talk went well.  I'm not a huge fan of speaking in front of people but I have had to get used to it in this time that I have had on the mission.  Now I feel alot better about it.  
Well the Ponquebas kind of all left now.  One went back to Venezuela and another moved to the north part of Quito.  So we're not going to be able to teach them anymore.  But there still are a few more families that we have been able to get to know that live in that same house and who are neighbors.  Yesterday after church we were able to teach a family that are friends of the Ponquebas.  They havent been able to come to church yet but they are really interested in learning more.  Their name is the Familia Paladines.  Fun story about that lesson with them last night... So we went over with them lesson one again (the resoration).  The lesson was going super well and was just about to start talking about baptism so that we could invite them to baptism.  We had just finished commiting them to pray about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  Right in that moment a nice earthquake happened.  Similar to the one that happened a few months ago.  Except this time we were on the 6th floor of an apartment complex.  Being up that high makes the earthquake feel alot stronger.  So we were forced to finish the lesson a bit early and go outside.  It was around 9:00pm so we decided to just go home.  As we were walking outside to our house another earthquake happened.  We were right next to this big apartement complex when the second one happened and we could hear the building moving and squeeking.  It was pretty crazy.  
We also got to teach Michel again this week.  She's doing super awesome and has a baptismal date for the 30th.  She wasnt able to come to church this sunday but next sunday she promised to go.  
Well I sure do love you too mom!  Have a great week!
Elder Eastman

Hey dad!  I'm really good! That sounds like you've got a pretty sweet job!  I still dont know exactly what I want to do.  Well I havent really been able to think about it very much.  But I think doing something like you do would be pretty awesome.  It sounds pretty interesting.  Or maybe being a physical therapist would be cool too.  I dont know.  I just dont really know exactly what is included in all the jobs I could have.  Or even what jobs there actualy are.  Maybe it would be good to do a bit of research on all the medical jobs there are when I get back.  
I really like how your calling and your job are pretty much exactly the same.  Just one is helping people with physical problems and the other is helping people with their spiritual problems.  I think that is super cool.  
Well I sure do love you too!
Elder Eastman

Monday, July 4, 2016

Engaged In the Work on the 4th of July

Hey dad!  It sure does make me happy to know that you are enjoying your new calling and working super hard!  I'm so grateful that you are my dad.  
Sounds like a pretty fun 4th of July!  I remember just about exactly what I did for the past two 4th of July's.  Two years ago I was in South Jordan and I'm pretty sure I had to work, then I got home and you guys werent there.  I remember listening to all the fireworks that were going on out side.  It sounded like I was in a war with a bunch of bombs going off.  Last 4th of July I was in the city of Latacunga (part of the Ambato zone) contacting a bunch of people with a guy named Elder Hall (not my old companion) to help the missionaries there find new investigators.  I remember thinking, what will I be doing next 4th of July?  Now I'll ask that question again.  What will I be doing for the 4th of July of 2017?
Well I love you tons too!
Elder Eastman

Hey mom!  That's a bummer that dad got sick last night.  But I hope that you all are able to have a super fun day today.  Teaching this week was pretty good.  We were able to do a bit more this week than we were last week.  The lesson on wednesday didnt happen, but it did happen on friday.  Her name is Michel Asimbaya.  We werent able to teach her family.  We taught her in the house of her friend.  A little bit about Michel, she is 20 years old,  catholic but not active,  she had a time in her life were she didnt really believe much in God, but now she does.  She came in contact with the church when she saw her friends Book of Mormon, picked it up and started reading.  She has already read a few chapters so far.  Then last sunday she came to church with her friend (she wasnt able to come this sunday).  On friday we taught her about the restoration but we werent able to finish all the lesson because she had a bunch of questions.  Right now she doesnt want us to teach her family because her mom and brother are atheists, and her dad is catholic and doesnt like listening to other religions.  But hopefuly some day in the future the missionaries can visit them as well.  
This week we were also able to find a new family of investigators whose name is the Familia Ponqueba.  We were also able to teach some of their neighbors who were in the lesson.  The Familia Ponqueba is from Venezuela.  They moved here about a month ago because of the bad situation that is going on in Venezuela.  I wasnt actually able to teach them because that day I was on divisions or splits with some other elders in my district.  But my companion told me that they are really interested and want to learn more.  They werent able to come to church this sunday but I'm sure they will next sunday.  
This week we werent able to find the F. Chicaisa either.  I kinda feel now that they dont really want to listen to us anymore.  But I think we will keep trying to visit them a few more times. 
Some of the lessons that we taught this week include: tempations and how to avoid them (to a less active family named the F. Naranjo), the restoration (to a diferent less active family to help them get a testimony again), and opposition in our lives (to an active member who is going through hard times right now).  
Well I sure do love you mom!  I hope you have a great week!
Elder Eastman 

Today we went bowling, sorry this pic is a bit blurry.

Monday, June 27, 2016

District Leader Responsibilities

Hey dad! I'm doing really good. Wow that sure is a long time to be at church.  But that's good that you are enjoying it.  I am also enjoying my new assignment as a district leader.  It's pretty fun.  On saturday I got to do a baptismal interview for an investigator of some other elders in my district.  So that was the first time ever in my life that I have done an interview to determine the worthiness of someone else.  Pretty crazy that a little 19 year old kid can do that!  The interview went really well.  The investigator is a really good guy and super prepared for baptism.  So it wasnt that hard to do.  I was a bit nervous before, but as soon as we started I felt better.  
We havnt gone on splits yet because there are a few new elders in the district that dont know their sectors very well yet.  But maybe next week I'll get to do some. 
That's super cool that you did so well playing golf.  Maybe I would even like to go try and play some golf when I get back.  But just maybe ;)
I love you too!
Elder Eastman

Hey mom!  Thanks for the hugs and kisses!  
It sure has been pretty fun to be a district leader.  I can defenitely feel the extra responsibility.  I enjoy getting calls from all the other missionaries in my district every night, seeing how they did in the day and trying to help them get better and reach their goals.  Then I have to call the zone leaders after talking to the other elders and tell them how my day was and how the day of the other elders went.  Doing that takes away a bit of the time I have at night but I still enjoy doing it.  And every thursday I have to give a training kinda thing to my district and teach them about some part of the missionary work that we could get better at.  I think putting that together is the hardest part of being a district leader.  But it's a good thing I like teaching people.  
Elder Chavez is super awesome.  He is really good at staying diligent throughout the day.  And he is helping me alot at talking to more people everyday that are in our path.  He is also really good at cooking.  We have made some super good tacos two times this week.  He also knows how to cook alot of food from Peru.  So we are getting along really well.  
Yep I think last week the F. Chimba gave us some cow stomach.  It was terrible.  I have gotten better at eating it, but I still gagged a few times.  
So this week was a bit rough with being able to teach investigators.  There was almost nobody that was able to recieve us and let us in to teach them.  We have a few investigators like the F. Chicaisa, but they are pretty much only available on saturdays and sundays.  But this saturday and sunday nobody was available.  We are trying really hard to find new investigators that are available more often.  We have been asking everyone for references and contacting like crazy.  And this sunday we were given a little blessing.  A member lady brought one of her friends to church and we will be able to teach her and her family this wednesday.  So I am really looking forward to that. 
Well I sure do love you mom!
Elder Eastman
PS. Question... Is it alright if I sell my little camera to another missionary that wants it at the end of this transfer?  I'm thinking $50 would be a fair price.  

This is Elder Chavez
Fun fact... That little house with the red roof in that picture is where the F. Chicaisa lives

Monday, June 20, 2016

Last Transfer/District Leader

Hey dad! I'm doing really good.  Sounds like you had a really fun trip.  I sure would like to go to a cool baseball game when I get back like those that you went too.  I kinda miss going to games or other types of events.  
Wow that does sound like a pretty tough calling.  But I know that you'll be a great bishop for those young people.  
I would love to go get some good food when I get back.  Whatever good mexican place would be nice.  Or maybe In-n-Out, or 5 guys, or some other good burger place.  I ate McDonalds today, which is mostly the same here as it is in the states, but they dont have as many things on the menu.  But most of all, I think I would first just like to eat some nice green chile enchiladas at home.  
Well today was the official start of my last transfer here in the mission.  I'm still here in Turubamba but now I'm with and new companion named Elder Chavez.  I have also been made the district leader here.  Which I'm pretty excited about.  It'll be something new to do and to learn from.   
I love you lots dad! 
Elder Eastman

Hey mom!  Yep, today is the first day of my last transfer in the mission.  I feels pretty weird to know that I'm now in my last transfer.  I would always look at the missionaries who had alot of time in the mission and think, wow, they have been here for so long, I cant even imagine me being where they are right now.  But now that moment has come, pretty crazy!  
I'm still here in Turubamba.  But now I'm with a new companion named Elder Chavez (not the same elder Chavez that I was with in Ambato) but this elder Chavez is also from Peru.  He is 21 years old and has 6 months in the mission.  He seems like a really cool and funny guy so far.  I think we will get along very well and be able to work hard.  Some other good news from this transfer is that I am now the new district leader of my district.  The district leader last transfer finished the mission,  and I got made the new one.  I'm pretty excited to be able to have this responsibility.  Even though it'll just be for one transfer, it'll be a good learning opportunity for me.  
This week we werent able to visit the F. Cadme.  They werent home alot of the time and were really busy.  Hopefully this week they will be more available.  I'm pretty sure they are already married.  Their children are all youth ages.  
This sunday the F. Chicaisa came to church.  So they are the investigators who are progressing the most right now.  It seemed like they could tell that this church is alot different from all the other churches.  But I think they liked it.  We havent been able to talk to them yet to really find out.  But they stayed for all 3 hours of church.  The mom (Erica), Erica's mom, and Erica's 3 children all came.  So that made us really happy to see them come.  Hopefully all keeps going really well with them.  
This week we visited the F. Idrovo.  But they have stopped progressing for a long time now.  So we talked a bit about odedience to God's commandments and also told them that we wont be able to keep visiting them if they dont do their part.  We can only help them to a certain point, and for us to be able to keep helping them, they have to start keeping the commandments and doing their part.  This sunday they didnt come to church, so we wont be able to keep visiting them for a while.  It's a bit sad to have to stop visiting a family that has so much potential.  But it's something that has to be done.  Hopefuly they will start progressing again in the future and be able to be baptised and then go to the temple.  
In this week I have really been able to feel my testimony of the Book of Mormon grow.  I love teaching people about it.  Even if the people dont always want to accept it,  I just love talking about it.  I really know that it is a true book of God. 
I love you mom!  
Elder Eastman

Monday, June 13, 2016

M&Ms Baptisms and A Yellow Shirt

YAY!!! That's so cool that you got made a bishop yesterday!  I know that you will do a fantastic job.  I'm sure it'll be really crazy sometimes and maybe even a bit stressful.  But what you said is true, just do what the Lord tells you to do and all will go well.  
Yesterday I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting.  One of the bishops counselors called me right before the meeting started and asked me if I could give a talk about the Holy Ghost.  So I didnt have very much time at all to prepare something.  But I definitely felt the guidence of the Holy Ghost while I was talking about the Holy Ghost.  The time went by super fast while I was talking and I think I went a bit over my time to talk.  But I actualy enjoyed giving the talk.  I didnt really feel nervous before it or while I was talking.   It was a nice experience.  I definitely have gotten alot better at talking in front of people while here on the mission.  
Well everything is going wonderfuly here.  I feel good and healthy.  
I love you dad! Good luck in your new calling!
Elder Eastman

Hi mom!  That's super super duper cool that dad got made a bishop!  I'm sure that's a pretty crazy calling to have.  I know he'll do great.  
I also think it's super cool that Emma is working hard in XC.  It's definitely not easy but it's worth it.  It's the best thing in the world to be in good shape and be able to run fast for a long time.  I was never that great but I'm super happy that I did it.  
The baptism of Martha and Mery went absolutely wonderfuly.  It was a cool baptismal service because there were 5 people in total who were getting baptised.  Martha, Mery, Martha's dad (who lives in a different ward but wanted to get baptised with his family), and two investigators of the other elders in our ward.  So there were alot of people in white.  I got to baptise Martha and my companion got to baptise Mery.  Pretty much every thing went really well during the service.  Except for one small thing... I forgot to bring and extra pair of garments, so had to do my best to dry them off with my towel and then I had to put my normal clothes back on with wet garments.  It wasnt very comfortable.  Other than that everything was perfect.  
Yes, we still get to visit the new members after their baptism.  We have to go over all the lessons again and help them stay strong as a member.  We also get to visit the less active members and help them get back on track.  Right now we dont have very many less actives who are progressing very well.  There is only one family who is starting to slowly get back to church.  Their name is the familia Naranjo.  
This week we found a new family named the familia Cadme.  It's a family of 5 but we were only able to teach the mom and dad this week.  They seem really cool and interested in the restored gosple.  They didnt come to church this sunday but hopefuly they do this next week.  Our mission president has taught us that we should work like and escalator and not like an elevator (when it comes to finding, teaching and baptising people).  An escalator can always have people going up at all times, but an elevator has to go all the way down, pick up one set of people, go back up and repeat that process.  So the goal is to always be finding people, have people progressing towards baptism, and have people getting baptised every week.  But I think that we have fallen a bit into being like an elevator instead of an escalator.  It's been hard to find people to teach every week here, and have a few of those people progressing.  We worked well with the F. Chimba, but now they got baptised and we are left with nobody else whos progressing.  But we are not perfect missionaries and we cannot take away  peoples agency and make them come to church.  I know that we can get better and find even more people to teach, starting with the F. Cadme.  
Well I love you a bunch mom!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! have fun on trip to DC!

Elder Eastman