Monday, June 27, 2011


Hola Familia!
Today we ate DUCK! with minestra (beans), rice, and mashed potatoes. Olga Leon de Ruiz invited us to eat with them. I really actually enjoyed eating duck. Maybe not the healthiest meat there is, but tasty. I made Dad´s muffins that he loves. They are a great hit here, but have to be made without the blueberries. There are no blueberries to be found except in pictures on cereal boxes. haha.

Last Sunday, for Bishop Cercado´s family, I made enchiladas. The first time they had ever eaten enchiladas. They miraculously turned out well....I had to get creative because the same items are not here. It was fun to experiment a little....

This week was a whirlwind! Hermana Salmon came with me to my sector Friday because she has been having problems with her knees with the crazy amounts of stairs in her sector (her sector is a hill of lego houses). She has been diligently icing her knees and they are getting better. We had soooo much fun together Friday--we put two baptism dates. It was awesome to actually teach together and not just practice in the MTC. I LOVE Hna Salmon---she is an angel!!! We were laughing so hard in the lesson with Isabel and Theresa because they had this cat that kept jumping on us. Theresa took her shoe and hit it on the head a few times...It worked like a charm until the cat forgot (possibly due to brain damage from getting hit on the head a lot?) and the process repeated. Any ways, it was a fun exchange and I am thankful we were companions for even one afternoon. :)

Bryan Jeremy Araujo Celio was baptized this weekend! His family was inactive in the ward and Patricia Rodriguez showed us where they live and turns out Bryan had not been baptized (9 years old). The family is now active and committed to come to church. What a blessing! Now they need to work to go to the temple as a family.

Thank you for your prayers and love. I know this is the work of the Lord. It brings great joy and the Lord blesses His workers greatly.
Hermana Garlock

 P.S.  This is the little tienda (store) that is right by our apartment.  It is a perfect place to buy bananas, snacks or whatever items we may need.

CPR and Pigeons

Mi familia! Toda de mi familia!
The weather here is becoming a bit more bearable. :) Still humid as ever but there are moments when the sun hides and the temperature drops a bit. But whatever the weather is, the work goes on!
Our Pday this week was changed to Tuesday--today because we did a temple session and had a training with the new missionaries! Hermana Lara has one transfer, so we were part of the group that got to go to the temple bright and early this morning. I absolutely love love love this temple. It is beatimous. I wish I could adequately describe the peace and the tranquility that is found in and outside of this temple. It is a special place! The training was about our purpose as missionaries---baptize! President Montalti often says that if we came here just to serve and strengthen the church, that we do not need to be missionaries to do that. We can do this in our home wards and stakes. That's the truth. The only time of my life when I will be teaching and inviting people to be baptized is NOW. How awesome is that.
So we talked about how to set and reach goals....kind of like a Stephen Covey training, mom haha. We talked about how to invite people to be baptized---that they must be responsible to overcome their challenges. We should not pay for people to get married, buy their Sunday clothes, etc....These are children of God with divine potential and they can receive personal revelation- Revelation that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and how they can repent and change in order to be baptized. I sure do love training from President Montalti. He is a man called of God and holds the keys for this work. He received these keys from an apostle of God, whose keys come from Jesus Christ. Wow. What a marvelous opportunity this is to learn from a true servant of Jesus Christ.
I am finding great joy in the teachings of converts. It is so neat to see their progress. At times it is also really sad because they fall into old habits and temptations and I just want to help them sooo bad. We do what we can and then hope that members of the ward will continue to fellowship and love! I will continue to pray for these converts and hope that in time they will truly be able to leave their addictions behind. The only way we find relief from mistakes and sin is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know Christ heals us. His power to save us is limitless. Regardless of our past, circumstances, and problems, He knows how to help us overcome these and change. The changes can be permanent, but we must continually exercise our agency to follow Jesus Christ.
Funny story about Hector Vargas-- he was baptized in the end of April I believe. Hector has the biggest heart. He is about 82 years old and is like our grandpa here! He buys us juice, banana chips, etc when we pass by his house (as we do practically every day). I try to tell him no, but he insists! So we accept. :) Yesterday, we passed by in the night to talk to him about the work of the temple so that he can prepare the name of his deceased wife, who he still loves deeply. Well, we got to his house and he was so so so excited. He told us that just a few hours earlier a pigeon was flying around his house, got electrocuted, and fell down seemingly dead. His neighbor, Jeanette, ran and got Hector because she knows how much Hector l o v e s these pigeons. You would not believe what Hector did....He gave the bird mouth to mouth and did CPR. Seriously. And it saved the pigeon´s life! The bird was up and flying again before night fell. A true miracle. This week I also was shocked in my hand by an electric wire. It was not a big deal or anything--just one of those little shocks but when Hector told me this story, I could not help but think that if I ever seriously needed CPR, I would hope Hector would be near to save me. If he can save a paloma, I believe he could also save me.
 I was SUPER excited to see the rainbow chip frosting (the ligit stuff) and cakemix. HOLY COW! Thank YOU so much for sending that. This is like a little taste of heaven.
Hermana Lara and I are getting along really well also. She likes to talk a lot in the streets and joke around. She is also serious but is always up for a good laugh. We laugh a lot together about random things....our senses of humor are different, but this just gives us more reason to laugh. Hermana Lara is learning English so we try to practice English as well. I still have a lot to improve with Spanish. I understand people a lot better now but at times, they do not understand me! This is the most frustrating-- when I think I just explained something really, really well, and then I ask a question and the person says, NO entiendo. AHHHHHHH great. Restart. Square one. Word by word. The most basics...slowly....and then usually they understand. This is why it is best to use scriptures and let the investigator be taught through the Spirit. haha. :)
Any ways, I talk about Mom and Dad a lot to share my experiences-- about how the gospel has blessing your marriage and our family and my life. People are always impressed when I tell them my grandparents are also members. Nearly all of the members in our ward here are converts, or their parents were converts. I am thankful for the gospel and for the unity it brings into our family. I love you each and pray for your happiness.
Hermana Garlock

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy :)

Wow!!! A lot has happened this week in your lives. First off, have the best parents in the world and I will be thinking about you both this Sunday.
Dad I am so thankful for your calming influence, your wisdom, and your efforts to always be improving. You and mom are always setting goals and moving forward and I love that.
Mom I just love you and am thankful for all that you have taught me. I have learned soooo much from you both and now I can see that it blesses me to be able to do the work of the Lord. Thank you mom for telling me that I am right where I should be. It´s always a good reminder.
This week was the week of finding those who are unmarried. I wonder if the Lord is trying to teach me the importance of marriage. All I know is that I do not think I have ever encouraged people to get married like we do now. Because it is part of keeping the commandments, we say REPENT, GET MARRIED, and BE BAPTIZED. haha. As I received an english copy of the Ensign this last week, I read a few talks that made me realize that we are preaching what the prophets are teaching as well. Most notably, President Monson´s talk from Priesthood Session and Elder Scott´s beautiful talk of the blessings of eternal marriage. I loved reading these and really should make copies for some converts and investigators. All I know is that I am in agreeance. Press forward in faith and get married! Easy to say for me because I do not need to follow this counsel for now. :)
I thought I would tell of a few random happenings this week in Ecuador:
-As we walked down the street, I stopped to admire the roosters and hens that were outside of a house. We realized the owners were also outside and began to talk to them. To our horror, Umberto and Maria were cutting off the red gobble and the crown of the roosters. We watched the somewhat bloody scene, but I was almost in tears. The only reason we waited and watched was because they said we could share our message with them after. This we did, Umberto accepted a baptism date (but SURPRISE---although living together for 23 years, they are not married). Any ways, it was an exciting afternoon to say the least.
-The other day we contacted a man and his child. As we talked, he asked if we were spies. I did not understand the word for spies, so I said Si si! Thankfully my companion quickly explained that no, we are missionaries looking for those who are searching the truth. And after she told me he had asked if we were spies. I wonder how many miscommunications I have had like this without even knowing....
I love this work of the Lord. My favorite part is that we get to read and use the scriptures so much. The scriptures truly come alive as we use and apply them. I love the Book of Mormon and know it is true. I know that every person who reads it with the desire to know of the truthfulness, will likewise gain this surety and testimony. The Book of Mormon combined with the Spirit of God are powerful tools. I invite all to read it and to pray and ask if it was written by prophets of God. Read it everyday and be uplifted by the words of our loving Heavenly Father.
WOOO HOO For Sound to Narrows. That´s awesome. Yes running is very different from walking, but there is great pleasure in running! Start training for next year and we can all run it together (ahh, me included).
Ok I must go but I love each one of you. Thank you for your love and support.
Hermana Garlock


Monday, June 6, 2011

No Cambios


THANK YOU for encouraging/guiding/teaching me so that I made the choice to be baptized! You are fabulous parents. Yesterday we were talking to a mom of a recent convert, Joanna. Neither of her parents are baptized and the dad does not support her whatsoever in her decision. I realized with gratitude in my heart that I am so blessed that you are my parents.
Baptism is the ticket to the Celestial Kingdom. I am thankful for you and for our faithful ancestors who have given me and my future posteridad this opportunity and blessing. Sweet.

Cambios--transfers came and went. I AM IN THE SAME SECTOR! Woo hoo!!!!! This is possibly a greater test of faith than a change. Our sector is relatively small, so now it gets really exciting. I feel more like a detective. Where oh where is Waldo (or the elect who are ready to be baptized). The truth is the more time I am here, the more beautiful it all is-- relationships with members, joy in seeing converts, houses, etc. As we try to discover new places, homes, and people waiting, it really becomes an adventure!

My companion did change---Hermana Reyes is in Milagro (one hour from here) and Hermana Lara, also from Honduras is my companion! She is wonderful! Hermana Lara came in the same group with Hna Reyes-- so has one cambio. She is gentle, and quiet, but also liberally talks with the people and has a strong testimony. I am excited we are companions.

Hermana Garlock

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Surprises and Delights!

This week was full of surprises and delights! The baptism of Gladys and Felipe  finally went through and they are going to be a powerful couple in the gospel! I am excited to hear about their progress and hope they maintain the peace they have found. They have made huge changes---Felipe has stopped drinking and they are started to change their travel plans so they can go to church more. They both visibly are different people. The gospel has the power to change who we are into who our Heavenly Father knows we really are and can become.

Petita also was baptized and I can hope that her daughters and grandchildren follow her example. Her husband passed away over 10 years ago and left Petita with 4 young girls. Often times, I can feel the desires, presence, or approval of those on the other side. What I mean is that I believe that the family members who have passed away are personally involved in bringing to pass the great work of the Lord here on the earth. Petita is a very special person and has been very generous and loving to Hermana Reyes and I.

We also had a surprise baptism of the nephew of a ward member. How many times does a missionary get to say that someone become a new investigator and is baptized in the same day? It was pretty neat. Jose David Sanchez (Chichi) has been coming to church and his aunt asked me what he needed to do to be baptized! Facilito! Permiso bautismal, guardar los mandimientos, y tener el deseo. Done and done. He will be a wild child to teach the lessons......Maybe Grandma Masters can pass along some more tips from her primary class? :)
 The last surprise was Elder Walter Gonsalez of the Presidency of the 70 came and spoke to our mission and the north mission (over 400 missionaries). It was a wonderful fireside. Before it started though, the assistants talked to me and said, *If Elder Gonsalez asks for volunteers to do the baptism invitation, you will raise your hand. Right? Right.* Sooo the moment came in the fireside, I raised my hand among many other eager missionaries, and somehow, I was called on! It was a really neat opportunity. How many people can say they have invited a 70 and his wife to be baptized? haha. It was fun to do...their ¨challenges¨ were he likes to watch soccer on Sundays and she drinks coffee. Thankfully, they were receptive *investigators* and said YES to be baptized 11 de Junio. :) This is the gospel of Jesus Christ and the best way and perhaps the only eternal way to come unto Him is through making and keeping covenants.
I enjoyed your story about Home teaching and new lesson discussions.  It takes some converts a long time to grasp what the missionaries have taught them and to apply it in their lives. At times I have seen with those who I have taught that they have a hard time adjusting to a whole different religious culture. This is certain with those who pray in different ways and are used to a whole different form of worship that includes clapping and standing, and even shouting. Many converts feel embarrassed often or don´t feel like they know anything about the gospel. This is where the member friendship and fellowship is ESSENTIAL. This kind of change and understanding often takes a great deal and time. Oh, I love those members who reach out and help along the newly baptized. I am so glad for your perspective and your desire to help her become truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The missionary farewells and homecomings sounded fabulous. I am excited for those elders!!!
Hermana Garlock
 A Columbia Feast
A member of our ward

On the streets of Guayaquil

 Goodnight, from Ecuador