Sunday, January 23, 2011

Junlge Preaching and Monkeying Around

Wow these titles are getting worse and worse.. Anyway, a lots been going on in Tena. Wednesday we went out in service for the first time. It was a group of about thirty people, and we´re headed into a small village about three hours from Tena (I think its only 60 miles from Tena, but the quality of the roads make it a 3 hour drive)We did territory on the way there to keep our time going. I worked with Saul, a 22 year old pioneer brother from The Oeste Congregation. He did most of the talking. People listen here much more readily than home,  i´ll come back to that in a minute. Because it was such a big group and few people own cars, we rode in the trailer of Tony Pratts truck (The Coordinating elder of the Oeste Congregation. He´s from New Zealand so he speaks fluent english):

This is Julie (England), Saul & Samuel (Local Cong.), and I on our way to the village. John, Julie´s husband took the picture. And no, my collar is not a fashion statement, Aaron had the sunscreen in his backpack in another car we had not come into contact with all day, so i was pretty much cooking in the sun. It was Fantastico!

 (movie equipment)

We stopped for lunch at a small river

We were told to try not to take pictures while in the village. We did not want to send the message that we were tourists. We were there to bring them information about the bible, and we wanted that to come across. This particular tribe spoke Woa (pronounced Wow) which no witnesses yet speak. Most though, spoke spanish and translated to the rest. After getting to know the people, and making sure they were comfortable with us, we set up the projector for the movie. Once it was dark, we put on the video about Noahs life, and the then the Whole Association of Brothers DVD for about 40 villagers (I think that was a majority of the tribe). Afterwards, Tony briefly talked to the tribe about the danger of modern entertainment and the importance of bible principals (this, oddly enough was very applicable to this tribe. Recently oil was found on their land. An oil company came in and appeased the tribe with modern convienences so that the tribe would allow them to set up to mine the oil. They provided them with electricity, and of course, a TV. Tony said that often times villages fall apart when electricity and TV are introduced) We distributed literature to everyone that wanted it, which was just about everyone, and packed up to leave. We wont return again for at least 6 months to a year. The experience was pretty unreal, its the kind of stuff I´ve only read about up to now.

Saturday was service again, i worked with Samuel. He started two studies within an hour. People have a respect for the bible, and respect for other people in general that is lost in a lot of other places. Even though he started studies though, Samuel placed no books. He will go back and study with them first, make sure they are willing to continue studying, and only then will he give them a book of their own. Very different than home. Nearly every single person would take a book if you offered it to them, and books are sparce here, so they have to use a different approach. It´s difficult still for me to have a full share because of my limited spanish, but we are learning a lot.

Friday, we went and saw monkeys!!!!!!! A small town called Mishualli, that for some reason (no one i talked to seemed to no why) has a population of monkeys that lives close by, that will come into the town in the morning to try and get food from the tourists

 And they love eggs!

It was pretty awesome! I wish i could post the videos but this computer is giving me trouble with them, maybe another time. Today we went to our second meeting, 830 Public talk and WT. The Oeste congregation has about 75 publishers, and is growing! Here´s the KH

Going to play soccer tonight with some brothers, gonna get schooled... Hope everyone is well! I´ll try to come up with a less corny title for the next post.

Giant Ecuador Adventure(r)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Welcome to the Jungle

Not only is that a Guns N Roses song, but that was my life today. And a harsh welcome it was! We arrived in Tena today, part of whats known as "El Oriente" down here, the jungle. But first, let me esplain. No. Too much, let me sum up: Went to our first meeting (in English) in Quito to the congregation of about 20 publishers. A nice kingdom hall with benches that could seat about 80-90  comfortably and an amzing view of the mountains encasing the city (unfortunately i forgot my camera, so no pictures of the kingdom hall) We also did our first few days in service. For the English group, service consists of going into every business, or ringing every gate bell (every single house/apartment is completely gated in) on a city block and asking if there is anyone there that speaks English. Met some very nice friends and had some enjoyable conversations at some doors, although again no pictures (I was cautioned against showing anything worth stealing while walking around if possible). We went to the center of the city sunday night to see the amazing architecture

Some really cool buildings! This morning though, things took a very sudden turn. As we packed the taxi full of our luggage at 5 this morning and headed toward our 6 hour bus ride, we didnt know what to expect. The bus ride was pleasant enough. Even though it was really long, there were some pretty cool views, including what looked like an ocean of fog:

Tonight we are staying at a hotel a brother from Holland owns. The coolest thing about it is that everyone staying here tonight (about 12 people) are need greaters hear to preach!

Except for this guy......

Looks fake, but thats a tarantula!! Tomorrow we go into a secluded village to bring literature, and bring the village a special surprise! Hope it goes well, can't wait to post about it!

Giant Ecuador Adventure(r)

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Hi everyone! We've been in Ecuador for about 30 hours now, and everything has been going great! Interenet is hard to come by, but I'm sure that will get easier as we get to know the area better. We landed in Quito at about 3 yesterday, got a phone, and called the brother that was supposed to pick us u from the airport, who spoke no English. That was tough. But! a few phone calls and about 3 hours later, we met up with Kyle France, the brother we are staying with in Quito. We're staying in his apt, modest, but its everything we need, and we're thankful to have a safe place to stay. Here's our room:

This morning we woke up, and headed out to Pichincha, a mountain that hovers over Quito at 15,000 feet above sea level. (Quito is at 9,000) We took a cable car up to an amazing view of the city

we started hiking up after the cable car and found some more awesome views...and horses...

So.. Naturally, we rode them..

That was amazing!!! a little painful, but nothing compared to what was to come. We rode the horses for about an hour, up to the point where they couldn't go any further, and thats where the hiking began. At about 13,000 feet we began hiking, and I've never felt so out of shape in my life. Every 100 feet my heart was beating out of my chest like i had just sprinted a mile. I underestimated the effect the altitude would have on me (my pounding headache is a constant reminder of my neglect in this area) Still with that said, it was amazing, the views were incredible at 4,000 + feet above the city, the pictures don't do it justice, but here are a few 

We hiked for about 4 hours total, much more than we had bargained for, but it was unbelievable. It was about 35 degrees at the highest point we got to (while the city was about 75), in fact a few hundred feet further up, there was snow..on the equator. Crazy! Tomorrow, we will wake up at 5 am for our first day in service. The group is going out from 6 Am to 12 in the afternoon to beat the heat. We'll get to meet some friends, and see what service is like (Tomorrow will be with the English Congregation) I'm excited, and exhausted! Theres so much more to say about the city and the culture, but I'm soo tired, and running out of battery. Hope everyone is well, i'll post again as soon as I can!

Giant Ecuador Adventure(r)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

T-Minus 2 Days!

Dear Mommy,
Almost exactly 48 hours from now, Aaron and I will be headed to the airport for a 3 month trip to Ecuador. This really works out that you're my only follwer, ive been meaning to ask for some new socks and underwear.. Anyway, im excited! And can't wait to share some stories and pictures with aaalllll the people that are following this blog (That means you Mom), and maybe Jimmy... ehh probably not.