Monday, May 23, 2011

Temple and Baptism of Hermana Villao

Birthday Gifts

Birthday Gifts

 Familia de mia!

I had a WONDERFUL birthday week! THANK YOU so so so much for the packages. Ok I just received one of the three I think you sent but I LOVED IT SO MUCH! Thank you for the dark chocolate. ahhh to die for.

Chocolate here is hard to come´s different and very expensive. Thank you for the funfetti cake mix and frosting. I nearly started crying of joy. There is no sight of that here---there is not vanilla frosting here. It went perfectly with the homemade oreos Hermana Salmon made for me. I will treasure this can of frosting as I hope investigators treasure the words of the scriptures. DELIGHT in them. Thank you so so so much for every little thoughtful thing in the package. I appreciate it so much!

My birthday was wonderful because I was surrounded by people I love and who love me too! The RS President Hermana Moran made a delicious caramel cake with walnuts (dad would have loved it...I asked for the recipe). Our mamita also made a special lunch for us. Hermana Salmon made me breakfast--muffins and a smoothie. But better than all this was the baptism and confirmation of Nancy and the investigators at church. Truly, these were the greatest gifts. I felt the Spirit testify of the truthfulness of the gospel, and this filled me with happiness! Heavenly Father surely is blessing me with many gifts during my mission. It is a joyful work.

We also went to the temple again this week with our zone for a session and conference with president Montalti. I LOVE the temple here. It really is absolutely beautiful. It motivates me to share the gospel because I know what beauty people can have in their lives. There is such a contrast with the Lord's Holy House and the houses of the people here. Although in the humble circumstances I often see beauty, it is in the House of the Lord that we realize what He offers us is greater than the offerings of the world.

Thank you for your prayers. I am amazed as I learn more about the gospel how well Dad and Mom and our Grandparents have applied the gospel in their lives. Thank you for your examples. I have had such wonderful leaders all throughout YW, Primary, and college. I am thankful to each one of you for how you strengthen me.

Hermana Garlock

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Golden Birthday!

Today is Morgan's Golden Birthday!!!  22 on the 22nd of May!  Happy Birthday!!! :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Marriage, Meat, and Maturity

This week went by super fast.....What is new to report?
I was trying to notice today the things in Ecuador that are so normal that I do not realize that they are unusual or different if you were not from here. For example, there are meat shops on the corners with huge sides of cows, lamb feet and pigs hanging, exposed to the air, heat, bugs. Also, in people´s houses they likewise have parts of red meat hanging. All I can say is it is a good thing that I am not sensitive to things like this anymore...Probably the 10 year old me would faint at the sight and smell of all this. Oh I LOVE Ecuador.
We had a special experience this week as we taught Gladys and Felipe. I think I have mentioned them before. They are a lovely couple. They are working through some difficult things in their marriage. I was touched as they expressed gratitude for the gospel, for this guide in their lives. They have found renewed hope for their marriage and a sense of confidence in their ability to change. There is a great joy in sharing with this couple! They want to serve a couple mission together and I can just picture them doing this.

Maybe the reason I needed to take marriage prep BEFORE my mission was so that I could have a basic knowledge of how to help people in the marriages here. Definitely the answers are in the scriptures and the Spirit can teach us all we need to know, but I have applied a few of the principles of this class to the various couples we are and have taught. Ahhh I am just waiting on pins and needles to find out what happened today when Roberto and Mariana Coello went to the registro civil--where they are going to get married. They are trying to get all their papers in order so they can get married and baptized!!!!

Thank you soooo much for your prayers for my success and safety. I truly feel them and know that I am being protected as a missionary!
Dayanna, Our precious nina is baptized!
People tell me that in Guayaquil it gets cold in July and August....I want someone to define cold. I am thinking cold must be 75 degrees, but I will take it! haha.

Have a fabulous week! The gospel of Jesus Christ is so full of hope and happiness that I can´t help but burst with these feelings as I am sharing it.

Hermana Garlock

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Baptism of Hector and Raul!

Brother Vargas was baptized!  He is a very special man.  He lives on the corner with three large busses, 2 dogs, 3 cats and tons of beautiful birds!

Baptism of Raul with his parents!  I love this wonderful family!

Dia de Preparacion & Transfers 4-18-2011

Dia de Preparacion.  Volleyball con our distric and our apartment. 
It is a delight to live with these Hermanas!
The new Hermanas with their trainers and the mission nurses.  Mis Amigas!  Hna Valazques goes home at the end of this transfer.  Hna Dennison came the transfer before me.  She entered the MTC-Provo with me but came straight to Ecuador because she spoke Spanish.

Hermana Salmon and I with our new companions from Honduras!  We needed to go shoe shopping for my companion :) 

Special Baptisms

Baptism of Hermana Narea with my new companion

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day: Unique, Fun and Faithful Family

Dearest Family,

It was soooo good to talk to each of you yesterday!  Thank you for your unfailing love and support. I am very thankful for our family. We have a very unique, fun, faithful family!

This week was excellente! We went to the temple with a small group from Guayaquil and had a training with President Montalti after. President Montalti is very focused on the results of the work. Here is one thing he said, "Why is the poor man poor? Because he learned it from his father. Why is the rich man rich? Because he learned it from his father. If you want to leave poverty then you must learn to plan, set goals and MEASURE the RESULTS." In this work, the Lord is our great boss. He is very loving, merciful, and wants us to succeed. He truly helps in the work.

Dayanna Salaza, 9 years old was baptized yesterday!!! Wooo hooooooo! Thank you Hermana Rosas for helping me find this beautiful child. The legacy of Hermana Rosas lives on.

All is well here. I feel so happy to have heard each of your voices yesterday. You are each doing such good productive things with your lives!!! I am so happy! I love this gospel. It unites and uplifts.

Hermana Garlock

Monday, May 2, 2011

All Dressed in White

I have loved teaching the Ayala family. 

Nina, Momacita, and Abuelita

Querido Familia,

I had an experience this week that reminded me of how wonderful mothers are.
We ate lunch with three little boys under the age of 5. Wow. Sister Arreaga really has it together....I have no idea how moms do it!!! All through lunch the boys were throwing food, laughing, and running around. I have no idea how Sister Arreaga even made the rice and beans with these energetic boys. haha....Anyways, it gave me a new appreciation for moms and a new appreciation for this special time of my life as a missionary. Of course, I look forward to the day when I will be a mom, but for now I am happy to be a missionary.

Marcelo, Sami, and their nine year old daughter Marcelita  were baptized Saturday! It was a wonderful experience, and at the end of the baptism Marcelita said that when she was baptized she felt like Jesus Christ was at her side. The remarkable part is that He was! When we are baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, it is by the power and authority of Jesus Christ. I know the effects of His power are real!
This week was a whirlwind with whether this Family was going to get baptized or not, but they overcame their doubts and went forward in faith. It strengthened my testimony as well. Marcelo listened to the missionaries when he was 19 years old, but worked Sundays so never went to church. When we contacted them, Marcelo told us to come every day because he had been waiting for about 20 years to finally find the truth. How neat is that.

I love the people here. It is truly in our relationships with people that we find joy and satisfaction. I have observed here an interesting difference in culture. The people here call people what they are--- for example, we are teaching a 60 year old woman, Nancy Billon. She calls me NiƱa. At first when people called me nina, I though it was demeaning, but now I really enjoy it. To Nancy, this is who I am, a child! And it is appropriate for me to call her abuelita- or grandma if I would like. Gladys Jubile calls her husband Gordo (fat). Really, this is equivalent to calling him Amor, which she likewise calls him. Gordito or gordo is a very common term of affection here. How funny is this! I believe in the US this would be offensive, but here it is normal and accepted! LOVE IT.

Also, voting here is mandatory. Everyone is assigned a different place to vote and then you have to go to that place to vote. For many people it is in their home town so people have to travel. If you don´t go, you get fined! I am not sure how much, I asked and someone told me $70. The Coello family is going to vote, they will get a paper for voting and this paper is needed to get married. Then they can get married and get baptized!!!! Woo hooo!!!! May 7th is a wonderful day. Thank heavens people have to vote here.

I shared my testimony this week in testimony meeting. I felt a powerful witness of the beauty of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful that He has made it possible for us to return to our loving Heavenly Father. For this reason, I share the gospel every day! I love you each so much! I pray for you and think of you and draw strength from your examples.

Hermana Garlock