Monday, February 28, 2011


Hola hola hola!
In the mornings, I sometimes go with Hna Rosas to the church parking lot, which really is not a parking lot because the vast majority of people do not have cars here and almost everyone walks to church. Any ways, this parking lot is a multi purposed cement area for basketball/football/scout activities/running! Hermana Rosas and I have talked about organizing a basketball game for our investigators and converts. Currently though our investigators and converts are mainly people over the age of 70 or people who have physical limitations so we postponed the basketball activity. haha.

This week has been an adventure! Twice this week, I went with the mission nurse, Hermana Barker to her sector called the Penas (which is just about 20 minutes from our house). The Penas are suuuuper chevre
(awesome, cool, sweet). Remember the picture I sent from the Peru CCM where there are a bunch of colorful lego-like houses on a hill? Imagine this picture and the Penas is just like that. It is absolutely magical. It is like a whole different world with people living in these little houses stacked on top of each other. As we walked around the twisting corners and cobbly ground, it reminded me of Greece from the movie Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. At the top of the hill, you can see all of Guayaquil and the river! It is absolutely beautiful with the lights and barges on the river. I had no idea how beautiful Ecuador was until this week. From what I hear from Hermana Salmon and other missionaries, other sectors are absolutely gorgeous with
mountains and lots of greenery so I have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming transfers.

As I get to know the people and culture, I realize what a blessing it is to be serving among these people. They have huge hearts and are full of love and emotion. I think Grandpa`s teaching would go over really well here. The communication here involves a lot more facial expressions, hand waving, and sounds. The Spanish language often sounds musical. Sometimes when I am tired of listening to the words to understand the meaning, I just listen to the general sounds and it is like music!

We had Stake Conference this Sunday and I was touched as we sang, "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." I am convinced some of the hymns were meant for the Spanish language because they are beautiful. I am happy to be serving among these people who have such great desires. The church feels relatively new here and at times, I feel the weight of all that needs to be done in this work! I especially pray that my converts Gio, Karina, Narciso, and Patricia will be firm in the gospel and continue to build the work here. It is a huge blessing to not have worldly cares here--I don`t worry about money, work, what I am going to do this weekend, homework, dating, etc. With the lack of these worldly cares, comes the realization of the eternal matters. That what I am doing here in Ecuador has eternal implication not only for my life, but for other peoples lives. The work of a missionary, just as the work of parenthood, has long lasting eternal effects. I pray to have the health, faith, worthiness, and courage necessary to do this work in the way of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for your prayers as well--they strengthen and lift me!!!

We are planning to have three baptisms this weekend! MIRACLES ALL AROUND! PARTY IN THE HOUSE! The Mom of Dayanna signed the permission for 8 yr old Dayanna to be baptized. We prayed and prayed and our prayers were answered! Antonio, who claims he is 105 years old, came to the stake conference! His greatest challenge is attending church in his age, but now he will be baptized Sunday
afternoon as long as he comes to church again Sunday! I love teaching him. He is super happy and whistles at these tropical birds he has in his house. Olga will also be baptized Saturday! Woot woot!!!

Thank you for sending love for my companion Hermana Rosas! She goes home a week from tomorrow. Ahhhhhh locisimo. She has been a wonderful companion. I told her what you said and she is melting with happiness.

Your words uplift me...It reminds me of Moroni 8:1-3 when Mormon wrote a letter to his son. I just finished the Book of Mormon today! I know this book is true and I am grateful for the guidance. Truly when we read this book everyday, we will never go off the path that leads us to our eternal home. I testify the Book of Mormon is the iron rod. I feel it was written for me as a missionary! The words are comfort and counsel from Heavenly Father and become so personal as I read and apply it to myself, members, investigators. It is a treasure, treasure, treasure.

I love you!!!!

Hermanita Garlock

Monday, February 21, 2011

The bugs love me! The babies...not so much!

Hola mi Familia!

This week fleeeeeeeew by! Saturday was the baptism of Hermana Lopez! It was a wonderful service and I am so happy that Hermana Lopez was able to be baptized. She is a very caring, loving person and is already friends with Hermana Espinoza who was baptized a month ago. The neighbor of Hermana Lopez is going to be baptized in another week and half and we are so excited for this. The neighbor, Olga, is 82 years old and is a delight to teach. Sidenote: in Spanish, to say something is small, to show affection, or to soften what you are saying, you add -ito or -ita to the end of the word. So, when we talk to Olga, we call her Olgita!!! The first time Hna Rosas called her Olgita, I almost died laughing.
The Spanish language is simply beautiful. Any ways, our precious Olgita is so receptive and eager to learn God´s plan for her. It is a joyous thing to share the gospel with those who anxiously accept it. Olgita has waited a long 82 years to hear about the good news of the restored gospel. Thankfully, her mind is clear and her spirit is sensitive. She understands the principles quickly. I only wonder, how it is possible she and others did not find it before? As the scriptures say, there are many who are kept from the truth only because they know not where to find it. I love reading the scriptures and seeing how the Lord´s prophecies and promises are being fulfilled.

On a funny notes:
1. I´m not sure what is up here but this week every time a baby saw Hermana Rosas and I, they broke forth into hysterical tears!!! It prevented us from teaching a couple of people we were contacting.... haha....There is a purpose in all things I am convinced.
2. We sing "In Our Lovely Deseret" every time we teach The Word of Wisdom. Ahhhh, who can avoid smiling while singing this song? I challenge you to try it...Tea and coffee we don´t drink, little meat we eat... or something like this. I can´t remember the words in English, but I love singing it.

3. Another hymn that is a hit here is Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd. I hope you will sing this and think of me. Most people here don´t know the tune super well, but when it comes to the chorus, everyone belts it. When we meet inactive members of the church and ask them if they remember a hymn or have a favorite, this hymn is most often cited.

4. The people love the DVD's of the church. What I really should say is videos that have been converted to DVDs. I had to stop myself from laughing yesterday in RS when we watched one about the church welfare program that was ages old. We watch the church DVDs all the time here--Sunday school, lessons, RS, baptisms, etc. I am convinced Hermana Rosas knows all the church DVDs there are.

My companion says to tell you hi and we get along great. hahah. We definitely see things differently at times, but this is good for me to learn how to talk things through. She´s like another sister. I introduced her to almonds and she eats them with everything! She will pull out her almonds and put them on whatever we are eating.
My sectore is really small. We almost always walk in our sector-- only if we are bringing an older person to church do we take a taxi.

I don´t know what the deal is, but the bugs here love me. I think the bugs in our apartment are fattening up.

OH! I almost forgot to tell you! I gave a 15 minute talk yesterday in church!!! It was on hearing the Spirit. It was definitely interesting because I could tell that the Spirit was helping me communicate during the talk so that the members and could at least feel the Spirit and understand parts of what I was saying. haha. Truly it was a blessing to give a talk in this ward. I feel my love grow for these people more and more and more and...more. I am thankful my Bishop had confidence that I could speak.

I love you and am so thankful for your support! I cannot tell you how much strength I feel from each of your examples and testimonies. They really build me up. 
Hermana Garlock

p.s. fyi the mumu lives's taking the mission quite well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Friendship, Hearts and Valentine Wishes!

Darling Family!!!!
How are you each doing on this day of AMOR? Here in Ecuador, it is also called a day of friendship! Clearly, I am in the right place as a missionary. I get to celebrate my friendships today. And for this I am grateful. I am making many friends here...When I read Elder Betteridge's email, I enjoyed that he said he was still have withdrawals from his last investigators he left. 
Gio, my first convert, asks me all the time when Hermana Rosas and I are leaving. He is nearly brought to tears every time he talks to me about this. There is a special spot in my heart for GIO because he has been with me the whole time in Ecuador! I feel the same way about my companion, Hermana Rosas. We both have our quirks and own ways of thinking, but have a lot of similarities.
Funny note about her-- she is deathly afraid of frogs and crickets! The crickets here are huge so I can understand this a little. Thankfully, she is not too afraid of spiders and cockroaches. So this week when I had a cockroach hanging on my blouse and she took care of it in a jiffy.

I would say every missionary needs to know the basics about health!! It is a huge problem when the missionaries are sick and cannot work. Basic diet- LOTS OF WATER, etc and basic medicines-- the uses of ibuprofen, Pepto Bismol, etc-- to take when sick, stretches--the ones grandpa showed me are helping me a ton to feel ready for each day!, etc.
To give you an idea of how much things cost-- bananas- 5 cents, tomatoes 15 cents, avocados 30 cents, mangos 30 cents, watermelon-large 1.50. Delicious bread- 10-30 cents. A loaf of bread- $2 for the more expensive kind. I am not sure if I will ever be able to buy food in the US again! It will seem sooo expensive in relation to everything here. Another funny thing is that everyone has a paranoia about the money being fake. I am guessing this is a big problem. Hermana Rosas checks her bills over and over because she has a collection of fake ones. It is really funny. I have no background on how to check if money is fake, so I am probably a perfect target to give fake money.

I thought I would give you an idea of what we eat here...I can't remember how much I have told you! The typical meal is a large bowl of soup, rice with some kind of meat and pureed potatoes or some other random pureed vegetable on the side. I learned Sunday how to make a cream soup with all sorts of vegetables! I am going to try to make it. We drink a lot of juice and pop. The juice is made fresh and sometimes I love it and sometimes it's just odd! They make a drink here with oatmeal. It's kinda a syrupy consistency. The milk is a lot different
so the flavor of soup is different as well. We eat ricotta, mozzarella, or some other kind of soft white cheese. Ketchup is put on a lot of different things here. For example, I eat ketchup with my rice at times. How different right? Try it...I like it. There is a side of town here that smells like chocolate. Hermana Rosas tells me there is some kind of plant for the chocolate powders. All I know is that there is no normal/ delicious chocolate to be found, but the air smells divine.

We have a baptism this Saturday that I am suuuper excited for! Patricia!! She is wonderful--a bubbly happy 40 year old lady. She is introducing us to all of her friends and we have hopes that at least two will be baptized in not too long as well! We had six investigators at church this Sunday which was wonderful. I am loving my ward, district, and apartment.

Thank you for your love and prayers for me. I truly can feel them. I think of each of you often and look at your smiling faces daily! You are each an inspiration to me and remind me of who I am. I love picturing the rainy cold Washington. I can relate to the rain. The cold....well, lets just say I don't think I have been cold one single moment here!
Hermana Garlock

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Missionaries, Missionaries, and More Missionaries!

 My dear Family,

I am not sure how well I can concentrate to write this email right now. I am in complete shock still about Ashley's mission call and the calls of Diana and Brent and others. I am so utterly filled with joy at the thought of so many coming to join the missionary forces. This may possibly be the only thought and feeling in my brain and heart right now. I had planned to write about things but now I have nothing to say other than to express love and gratitude for those who are going and serving missions. I am just gleefully thinking of all of the people who will be blessed by these missionaries....just starting with themselves, their families, and the people they serve. The effects of missionary work are eternal.

I will try to compose myself to write a few lines about what's going on here in Ecuador. First and foremost, I have decided I love Ecuador. I love the sound, look, and feel. I love the people. I love most of the animals *I am excluding the dogs and cats. I'm not sure if I will ever love these.
Today for lunch we went to Olga Ruiz's home to eat lunch. We teach lessons in her house all the time and she invited us to come eat there today! She made some fancy soup with pumpkin, cauliflower, potatoes, and this ball of platano/banana stuff with meat and all kinds of things inside. All I know is it took a lot of work and this was just the first course. We ate a rice dish with shrimp as well. DELICIOUS. I made brownies and we bought vanilla ice cream//well ice cream of a sort b/c the ice cream here is really different. It's a lot softer and more like sorbet. I told Olga *I say Olga b/c I know how much Amanda, Em, and others are going to love that her name is Olga, that I was going to remember this meal for a long time. She told me, A LONG TIME? How about Toda de su VIDA? Oops....To make up for my mistake, I said I will remember it for my life and in the eternities I would come to her and thank her again.

 You asked about our door approach. It depends, but usually we take a moment to get to know the person...Talk about their family or what they are doing. Then we say we are missionaries and we bring a message of hope and joy for their families. We know that we are the children of God, He loves us, and He has a plan for us. He has revealed this through prophets in these days, and we know that we are members of the same church that existed when Christ was on the earth. We may ask questions like What is your belief about God? What is your purpose in life? Why is your family the most important thing in your life? Etc. If we have time and they let us in, we teach the first lesson about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We always sing and pray. It is amazing how this can change the negative feelings in an instant.
This week we met Raquel....She is 65 years old. We were sitting in her little garden with the mosquitos and spiders and well...any ways.... Raquel was saying how we were too young to have left our families (especially here people live with their parents until they are married and often after this. Its normal for a 30 year old to live with their parents if they are not married) and what if our families needed us, what if something happened to us here, etc! But then we sang and prayed and after the prayer she was telling us how we are protected by God and our families would be blessed for our service, and more. It was an amazing change. I believe music and prayer go together. Both are ways we can express love, adoration, and praise for Heavenly Father.

You asked about what I do to get up on time! What has helped me is start praying!  When I immediately start praying, I feel a lot of strength and that extra little push to get up and start working. If I am tempted to sleep more, I start asking for strength to get up and do! I don't know...I think it helps to go to bed and get up at the same time everyday. There is no deciding every morning or night when I am going to bed or whether I am going to get up in the morning. The decision has been made and it is just a matter of doing it. It's much more tiring to decide day after day if I'm going to be obedient. It's easier to just say YES. I think on a mission too, I just think that if I do not get up or if I am not obedient, the Lord cannot bless me. D&C 82:10  "I the Lord am BOUND when you do what I say but when you do not what I say ye have no promise". The Lord keeps His promises.

Sounds like you're working super hard dad and mom at work, trek, home, and more. You are fabulous examples to me. Thank you for your prayers and love. I really felt an increase of support yesterday during fast Sunday and I was reminded that there are many people praying for my success and happiness and health. Thank YOU!!!!

I got a letter from CHERI!!! WOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO! She's pregnant!!! I am thrilled for this and cant wait to see the little red headed tike. Crossing my fingers for red hair. I got two letters from Grandma and Grandpa this week!!! Your letters are as delicious to me as Grandpa's candy. Seriously, I could just eat them up. The miracle of this was that Grandma sent $5 and this very day we had run out of cash and we not able to get to the bank to take out more money from our cards for February. It was truly a miracle of timing. And a miracle it made it to me. We were able to live off that until we got to the store. $5 buys a lot here in the little stores.

My dear family, I just love each one of you so much. I tell people about your experiences and examples all the time. You are a strength and example to me and many people here in Ecuador. Thank you for
sending your love to me!

Hermana Garlock

Lots of rain and warmth equals a lot of mosquitoes.
Highlights of news we sent to Morgan regarding missionaries:
For some of you who know these people--they received their mission calls this week:>
This week had been full of missionary calls being opened!  Some we have been waiting for....others we have been shocked by...and all of them are so exciting and make us so happy!!!

Christian received his call to Mozambique, Africa.  He will speak Portuguese!  His mission also includes Angola.  He will leave June 8th,  
Aunt Diana and Brent received their calls to Romania, Bucharest mission to serve with the young adults.  It is the same mission as Bryce!  They leave  for the mission training center April 18th!  They will learn the language in the MTC and head to the mission just as Bryce is leaving.

Ashley, has received her mission call to Argentina!!  She kept it a secret until she got the call!!!  I couldn't believe it when she called and said she had big news!  She certainly shocked us all!!!  She leaves for the MTC March 23rd!  She is very happy to be a Hermana!!!  I can't stop smiling just thinking of Ashley with a cute name tag on preaching the gospel in Argentina!!
Brady received his call a couple of weeks ago but I wasn't sure that we told you. He is headed to Brazil along with Kevin Brady from Oregon who is also headed to Brazil!  They both enter the MTC in Brazil June 8th! So many mission calls!!!
Elder Jolley has been called to Pennsylvania to serve!  He will be great!  Not the same mission as Elder Masters but right next door.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Life in Guayaquil

Hola!This week was wonderful! I was with Hermana Barker, the mission nurse, for a couple days while Hna Rosas went to a different sector for divisions. The bonus of this was that Hna Barker´s responsibilities includes an orientation for the new missionaries. I was able to meet the 3 new North American Hermanas who are super great! We also went to the temple!!!!! AHHH I love the temple. It was really special for me to go and be spiritually rejuvenated and to feel so much peace being here in Ecuador. The first transfer had its ups and downs in the adjustment period, but now I feel like I am loving so many things about being a missionary and being in Ecuador.

A few thoughts on what it is like to live in Guayaquil---
1. There are little stores and panderias--kind of like a bakery-- every few streets, Also, there are people in the streets pushing carts with fruits like coconut, guava, mangos of all types, grapes, apples, watermelon, etc. Hermana Rosas and I joke that if she asks how much something costs, they will tell her half the price that they will tell me. But I do my best to bargain down....The method I currently use is to do math quickly in my head and make a deal before they realize that I actually got the better deal.
2. We just take our garbage down to the corner and leave it there. We don´t have to stomp on any bins or wait for trash day. What a miracle.
3. During the week in this sector, we usually walk places, but when we go to the real store to buy things, or to the mission office we take a bus, taxi, or monorail. A 20 minute ride in a taxi may cost $2 and by bus its only 25 cents!
4. In Sacrament Meeting at church, the electricity went out including the microphone. As far as I could pick up, none of the speakers said a word about it. The meeting just went on as though it was completely normal. LOVE IT. Eventually it came back on for the 3rd hour of church.

Hermana Rosas asked me this week, "Have you written your parents and told them that you can speak Spanish? This made me laugh. So I decided I better write you on my Spanish update. Hna Rosas is convinced I understand everything---I definitely know better than this. Maybe I'm just good at faking that I understand. But I did realize this week that my Spanish has improved since I first got here! It is sometimes a little scary when I am talking and the words in Spanish are just coming because I wonder, What in the world did I just say? I have really been blessed with the gift of tongues on my mission. I have a long long way to go and at times people still don´t understand me. It was a joy to hear a child whisper to her sister, "Why is she speaking Spanish? Isn't she from the US?" because this meant that she understood what I said! If people don´t understand me, they usually think I am speaking English... It´s really funny because they will say, Oh wait one minute, my daughter speaks English.¨ Sometimes their English is harder for me to understand than Spanish, so I usually prefer just sticking to the Spanish....

Narciso was baptized on Saturday!!!!!!!!!!! We met him outside of his house back at the end of December. He sits on the corner in his wheelchair and makes friends with everyone. The missionaries have talked to him before, but he was not quite ready to hear the gospel. Now the time was right! The baptism service was really special. There were just a few people there due to LOCO rain.
I realized how much courage it must have taken Narciso to be baptized. He lost his leg in an accident just about one year ago. His willingness to overcome his difficulties to be baptized, come to church, and change his life is inspiring!!!! We have loved teaching Narciso. He loves it when we sing, and just says que linda, que linda! Which is like how beautiful. It is fun to share the gospel when I love the people we are teaching.
Hermana Garlock