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, October 27, 2014

Lesson In A Paneria

Hello Family!

This week was pretty good!  Nothing to crazy exciting but still good!  The not so good parts of this week were that the appointments with both Mirian and William fell and they both werent able to come to church this week.  So thats been kind of a bummer.  Hopefully we will be able to start teaching them again soon!

The best parts of this week however is that we have been able to find a few more people to teach!  Last sunday me and my companion fasted that we would be able to find some new investigators and this week we found some really good ones!  So thats a little testimony builder on the power of fasting!  So first a few days ago we decided to go buy some pan at one of the many panerias that there are here.  We do this quite often because the pan here is sooooo good!  But anyways we go into this paneria, buy some stuff and then we decide to contact this guy running the store.  His name is Marcos and is a super nice guy.  We ask him if we can come back and share a message with him and he said yea and you can come back later today too! Then later that day we come back and share a lesson with him and even the rest of his family in the back of their little paneria.  Their name is the Familia Oña.  It was a tight squeeze to get eveyone in there and it was quite messy but it was a super great lesson about the Restoration.  They really liked it and even accepted our baptismal invitation!  The only bummer this is that they work literily all day every day so they werent able to come to church this week.  When we visited them after church this sunday Marcos (the father) told us that he starting working at 3 am that day and hadnt stopped working.  I was really surprised about that.  They said they want to come to church though so thats good! 

The other success of this week is that we got to keep teaching this lady we contacted a little while back named Yolanda.  And this time her daughter (Sylvia) and this other lady were there too.  I think they actually all just live in the same house.  This lesson we taught about the Plan of Salvation and they all really liked that.  And turns out they have quite alot of family members that have died so that helped them like this even more.  Then at the end they accepted our baptismal invitation!  And then later this saturday we had a baptism of one of the investigators of some other missionaries in my district and we invited them to come and they did!  The next day on sunday we went over to their house to pick them up for church but for some reason they werent there.  So we went to church hoping that is where they went but they werent there.  Then right as sacrament meeting was starting Yolanda and Sylvia walked in!  So that made us really happy!  Im pretty sure they stayed for the whole thing too!  Or at least the first two hours.  

And thats pretty much the best things that have happened this week!

For p days we first do our laundry at this members house.  His name is Juan Carlos and is less active but actually came to church this week.  We never use a dryer though (a) because he doesnt have one and (b) becasue we dont want to pay for one.  So we just hang up all our clothes to dry after we wash them.  Then we either go play some fútbol with the other elders in our zone or just clean our house and then go to this mall thing to do some grocery shopping.  Today I bought some ritz crackers, some animal crackers, some yogurt, and a loaf of bread.  For breakfast i normaly just eat a couple pieces of toast (toasted on a pan because we dont have a toaster) with some jam that i bought last week.  But this week ill be also eating some yogurt to go along with that.  Then today we took a nap for about an hour.  Then we came here to email!  Also today, about an hour ago, we had probably the biggest thunder storm ive been in while being here.  The lightning was super close to us so the thunder was incredibly loud and car alarms would go off after just about every one.  And the rain was super crazy hard with a bit of hail in there too.  My legs got super wet.  So that was fun!  Then after this we are going to buy some super good pizza if they have it.  Sometimes they dont have any made or its just not open.  Then we are going to go out, teach some good lessons and find more people to teach!  And that is our p days.  I like p days.  We havent done any field trips yet but i think next week we will be going up that gondala thing that we saw that one travel tv lady go up.  

Well that makes me super happy to know that MVXC has been doing pretty great!  I definitely miss XC.  

Im pretty sure i can get ziploc bags here.  But most of the food so far has been really good.  Pig skin is really the only terrible thing ive been fed so far.  

Just a little side note.  Ive heard that alot of packages people send to countries in south america will get broken into.  And if you put stickers of the virgin marry all over the package it wont get ripped open.  So maybe you could try that when ever you send a package.  

Well that is pretty much everything for this week!  Have a good life everyone!

Elder Eastman

Monday, October 20, 2014

Working On Spanish and Piles of Food

Hello father! 

Things down here are going pretty good!  My companion is really nice and a great teacher.  He is also our district leader.  He always makes sure that we are doing the right things.  And always willing to help with spanish.  

Im trying to teach as much as I can but it can be really hard sometimes.  I rarely can understand what a scripture says so i just have to find roughly what its about through picking out words i do know and what others say about it.  So it can be pretty hard to explain scriptures well.  And then i would say about 90% of the time when people say something to me I cant understand it.  And then i feel really awkward when i cant respond and have to look to my companion to know what they said.  Its really hard sometimes to not get super frustrated.  And alot of the time I think of how easy it would be just to be able to teach and talk to people in english.  But i try not to think about that because i know there is nothing i can do to change it except keep working hard on spanish and know that i will eventually be able to have good conversations with everyone here. 

Wow that is a really good story!  Sometimes if i want to pray for something i would think that that wouldnt be something that Heavenly Father would answer to and its a dumb thing to ask for so i just wont ask for it.  But this just shows that He really can bless us with anything if we have faith. 

Love you too!

Elder Eastman

Hello everyone!

This week was pretty good!  Spanish is still really hard and its hard sometimes not to get frustrated with not being able to understand people or say what you want to say.  Sometimes I wonder if ive even improved at all while being here.  But I definitely have.  I think sometimes i just compare myself to every one around me and feel like i should be alot better with my spanish than i am.  But i just have to remind myself that ive only been here for about 2 weeks and remember how very little spanish i knew before the mission and then i realize how much ive learned in the mtc and being here. 

So some of the cool things that happend today are these...

On thursday I got to eat some really interesting foods.  Both suprisingly really good and not suprisingly really bad.  For lunch me and my district ate at this familys house.  There name is the Familia Villacresis.  And theyre very nice people.  Our soup was a pretty normal soup with potatoes and some type of bean in it.  That was quite good! But then when i finished that and was waiting for our other plate I saw the mother slicing up this weird looking thing into squares that was thin, brown and floppy.  I had no clue what it was.  I thought to myself, oh no... is this cow stomach?  I was wrong.  I got the plate and what was on the plate was rice (of course. we litterly eat rice with every meal everyday except breakfast), a sausage with mayo on it (not what i would choose to put on it), regular everyday beans, and pig skin.  I very very very much did not want to eat pig skin.  But i had no choice.  And so far in my life pig skin is the worst thing ive ever eaten.  It has an absolutely horrible texture.  Its squshy, slimy and chewy and even just a little piece in my mouth makes me gag.  And just a little side note, when ever you dont finish even a little bit of the food people give you (which is always a ton) they get offended.  So you have to finish everything.  And this made me worried because i knew without doubt that i wouldnt be able to eat all of the pig skin they gave me.  So after i finished everthing except for the pig skin i waited for the oportunity when the mother and father werent looking to slip it way into the garbage.  And im pretty sure i successfully did this with out them seeing.  

Then later that day for dinner I was fed this plate of rice with a whole fish right on top.  So of course i thought to myself, oh no i hate fish, im definetly not going to enjoy this.  But then when i broke through the skin of the fish and ate a little piece of the meat i was very suprised at how good it was.  So that wasnt hard at all to finish.  And after the first few days here of huge meals ive gotten alot better at being able to finish all of it.  So thats good! 

Now moving on away from the food!  That same night we got to teach one of our investigators named Mirian and this other guy that we havnt really taught much named William.  I think William has just listened to parts of other lessons we have had with this family that made us this fish.  But this time we were for reals teaching him.  We taught a pretty good lesson about the Book of Mormon.  Then we invited mirian to get baptised on the 8th and also invited William to get baptised on the 8th.  And both of them accepted it!  So that made me really happy.  This sunday William came to church for the first time and even brought the rest of his family.  So maybe we could get the rest of his family to get baptized too!  Unfortunalty Mirian wasnt able to come to church this sunday for some reason.  But im super duper excited for the 8th!

And thats pretty much everything exciting that has happened this week.

Elder Eastman

Monday, October 13, 2014

Elder Hombre del Este

Hey guys!  

Quito is such an awesome place!  It really does rain here every single day!  Exept for some reason it hasnt rained yet today.  But im sure it will eventually.  Aparently it hardly rains at all in the summer months though.  But i really really like it here.  Its quite dirty but still really pretty.  The streets can get pretty crazy steep so it can be quite the workout walking alot every day.  

Elder Peters is a fantastic companion! Hes been here for a year and his spanish is pretty great.  Hes really nice and really good missionary.  He is from utah.  I think park city.  But ya he is a really good companion.

Well thats kind of a bummer with the honda!

Church yesterday was pretty good!  I cant understand everything that people say so i didnt get a whole lot from it.  But still really good!  

So just some things about quito really quick!  The various breads and pastries they have here are sooo good!  The other food here is pretty good too.  One thing about the food that i wasnt expecting at all is this... So i knew they had soup ALOT here but i didnt know that one thing they really like to put in their soups is popcorn.  So that was a bit weird to have for the first time.  But its actually not horrible!  One thing that can be kind of horrible is the rediculous quantity of food people give you.  Last night this member family we eat with alot gave us this plate of rice with various meats mixed in it.  It was quite good but they fill the whole plate with it and then a good probably 5 inches above the plate.  And they get offended when you dont finish all the food.  So this is pretty difficult for me.  And we meet with members alot every day and every family we meet gives us a full meal.  

Yesterday we also got to teach this new investigator we just got named Mirian.  We had a really good lesson with her about the Restoration.  And i was actually able to say a good amount this time which felt really good because normaly i dont know how to say the things i want to say.  Or i just cant understand what is being talked about.  But ya i got to recite the first vision to her that i memorized in the mtc and say some more things about Joseph Smith and stuff like that.  She didnt quite accept our baptismal invitation we gave her this time but i really think she will soon.  

Ok it just started to rain which means its officially rained here every day since ive been here.  

Well im going to try to send a few pics now!  hopefuly they work

Love, Elder Hombre del Este

P.S. People here sometimes have a really hard time pronouncing Eastman so this is how we explain it sometimes

Some MTC Pics with Instructors and District

1st Apartment in Quito with Elder Peters

The Streets of Quito

Friday, October 10, 2014

From the Mission President and His Wife

10 October 2014

Dear Brother and Sister Eastman,
We are so pleased that Elder Eastman is serving in the Ecuador Quito Mission.  We welcome him with all our hearts and know that the special gifts he has been given from our Father in Heaven  and talents he has developed will bless the lives of those with and for whom he serves in a unique way only he can offer.  His dedicated service will further increase his abilities and character in remarkable ways.
There are currently 251 missionaries in our mission, serving in 13 zones.    Elder Eastman has been assigned to serve in Quito in the Santa Ana Zone with Elder Peters  as his companion and trainer.  Elder Peters is known by the other missionaries as being a great teacher, who loves the people, is patient,  a wonderful example, and a worthy representative of Christ .
 Attached are several photos including those that show Elder Eastman with his companion; the group of missionaries with whom he arrived;  his group with their trainers; and  with us.
We know and understand that there is sacrifice on your part both emotionally and financially to support him during this period of full time missionary service, especially since you also have a daughter serving at the same time, and we express our gratitude for your offering to further the work of inviting others to come unto Christ and to receive the blessings of the Gospel in their lives.
With our love and gratitude,
President and Sister Christensen

Hermana Christine Christensen
Misión Ecuador Quito

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Elder Eastman Arrives in Quito!

On Monday morning, we anticipated a phone call from Josh at the Salt Lake Airport.   It never came. We thought maybe he didn't have time to call, so we waited until the afternoon when he would be landing in Atlanta where he would have a layover.  No call.  But around 3:30, I went out to get the mail.  There lay a letter from him.  He wrote and mailed it on Saturday.  He said their travel plans got changed and he wouldn't be leaving until Tuesday.  Ah ha! That's why he didn't call.  He was still in Provo!

Tuesday morning came.  He called my phone around 8:40, and we chatted for about 7 minutes.  He sounded happy and excited.  He said he had ten more minutes, so I told him to call dad.  But Matt was in with a patient and missed the call.  We tracked his flight that morning and into the afternoon.  Matt was really hoping that Josh would call him.  And finally he did!  Josh told Matt that he talked with the lady next to him on the plane a little bit.  She had a thick southern accent, and he couldn't understand her very well (get used to it buddy!).  She had asked him if he was "in the service" (probably because he looked so clean cut and official), and Josh didn't know what she meant by that.  But he said "no" and that he's a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Good answer, Josh.  I'm sure he didn't talk a whole lot (he's still the same Josh), but before getting off the plane, he knew he should say more.  So he asked her if she knew about the Book of Mormon, and she said she didn't.  He had bought a paperback copy at the MTC bookstore before he left, so he pulled it out and explained a little about it.  He said she could have it, and she accepted.  What a great start in the mission field!  Way to go, Elder Eastman!

Because we were tracking his flight, we knew it had landed on time at 10:30 pm Quito time... 9:30 our time.  We were getting ready for bed then, and we were a little emotional thinking of our son so far away in a foreign land.  We had faith that he and his companion were being welcomed there by members of his mission, and that all would be well with him.

Now we had to wait again for official word that he had arrived.  No email all day Wednesday until around 6:30 pm.  Here's what he said.  It's not much, but that's ok.  We are still hoping to get an email soon from his mission president with a picture.

Hey family!  So i am aloud to email you really quick just to let you know that i made it to quito just fine.  Its super cool here.  Not exactly what i was expecting but still super awesome.  the traffic here is pretty crazy.  Kind of reminds me of what its like in india but just not quite as crazy.  I am pretty sure im getting my companion assignment tomorrow so im pretty excited about that.  right now we are having dinner at the presidents house.  So ya everything is going good here!

Elder Eastman

Saturday, October 4, 2014

MTC Choir

Josh's tender mercy from Heavenly Father...
Elder Eastman had the once in a lifetime opportunity to be apart of the MTC choir which was invited to sing during the priesthood session of General Conference.  He sang 2nd tenor.  The choir sang Rise Up Oh Man of God, a medley of missionary primary songs, We Thank Thee Oh God For A Prophet, and Ye Elders of Isreal.  He looked so handsome with his missionary haircut, suit, and name tag.  We are so very proud of him.  (bottom row, fourth elder from the left in the middle section)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Week 5 MTC

Hello family!

It's been super cold here lately too!  The little bit of snow in the mountains is super awesome.  

I got that pic of christian.  It's pretty awesome.  I'm not sure if my mission boundaries goes of the actual equator.  But if it does i definitely want to do that!  Sorry I haven't sent much pictures!  I just haven't taken much here.  And i dont have my camera right now so ill just have to send some more later.  And that picture I did send awhile ago wasn't actually of my district.  Sorry i didn't tell you that when i sent it.  it was of me and my companion and the other district in my zone that got here a few weeks before we did.  They were a really cool district.  We're taking pictures with our teachers today and yesterday so ill send you those when i can.  

So I got some good news!  I guess my visa did come so i'm going straight to Ecuador!  I'm leaving here on monday at 4:35 am.  First we're flying to atlanta and then to Ecuador.  I think we get to Ecuador around 10:30 pm.  So I'm super excited for that!  And i guess i get to call you before I get on the plane so be expecting that!  I'm not sure how it'll be possible to make everything less than 50 pounds so maybe you should make sure that ill have enough money on my card.  I think the over weight charges are like $150 per bag.   and even more if its alot over 50 pounds.  Ill try really hard to make it under 50 though.  

I'm very excited for General Conference too!  Also i'm singing second tenor in the choir.  And i think ill be on the left side of the middle section in the stands.  Pretty sure that's when you're looking at it on tv.  So technically ill be on the right middle section.  Choir practice has been super fun!  Except one of the songs (rise up oh men of god) has an incredibly high note so that's a bit difficult!  They say the camera people try to get a pretty close up shot of every missionary so It's very likely that you'll see me (father).

Well I gots to go now!  have a good week!

Elder Eastman  

Hey father! 

So i have no more time to email.  But i wanted to write something really fast.  Everthing has been going great here.  im super excited to leave here though and get to ecuador!  I got my visa so thats good!  Im singing second tenor and will be in the middle left section.  I explained that more in the other email.  I really liked your spanish letter and actually understood a good amount of it!  ill try and write one back tonight.  

well gotta go!

Con amor tambien, 
Su hijo, Elder Eastman