Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Missing Ecuador Already!

I think you all know that I am going to MISS Ecuador. I love this country, people, and place. Even before I got here, I decided I was going to love it and knew that it would hurt to leave this place. So many memories and so much love.
Saturday afternoon we saw a group of kids playing. I could not help but laugh when we saw that they were playing with empty plastic litter bottles on long strings. I am not sure what the game was but I think it had something to do with seeing how loud you could hit your plastic bottle on the ground and how high up you could throw the string. I love it! The kids here have to get a lot more creative.
I know that I belong to the Lord´s Church on Earth. I am called by a true prophet of God, President Monson. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and is another testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am thankful for our Savior because He did what none of us could do. And He did it because He loves us and He loves our Heavenly Father. He is our perfect example. He leads this Church and has blessed and guided me all my life. My mission has been the greatest blessing and choice in my life.
Hermana Garlock

Ecuador Fruit    April 16, 2012
So much to say...so little time.... in so many ways....so much to do!
Let`s just say the reality of going home is somewhat overwhelming, but never fear, I am excited for the next journey in my life. I know that there is always a great adventure to be had. In my moments of doubt, I repeat ¨The BEST is yet to be* and I know it is true! My mission will be the foundation for my life. As with the foundation of a house, no one sees it nor knows how it is made. The true test is in how the house holds up. I have never heard anyone comment on a house foundation to say just how beautiful it is-rather they comment on the actual house. But without the foundation the house would never exist. So, I am thankful for the experiences I have had. ALL of them. I agree with the Lord in that all things work out for the best for those that trust in Him.
The week started with the biggest thunder and lightening storm I have seen in my mission. It was incredible! We first heard thunder and thought that we were being bombed or something! It was insane. The streets all flooded and we prayed that the cars would stay on the road. We were protected. We faced the rain with our oversized jehovah witness umbrellas and big smiles.
I am trying to enjoy all of the fruit that soon will not be so available. I am also discovering possible reasons that the fruit is not exported to the U.S. The list I have come up with¨
1. When the fruit gets ripper and is on the verge of going bad, little clear worms appear. How are they born inside of the fruit¿ I still do not understand.
2. The cost. Some fruit here is very expensive. Also very delicious and excellent for the digestive system.
3. Ecuatorianas do not like the fruit that they have too much of. They think that it is normal and take it for granted! So I imagine they do not even offer to have it exported because to them it is as common as potatoes in Idaho.
4. The first time I tried some fruits I did not like it. BUT now I love it! SO. There is a flaw in the taste testing system. One dietitian attests that kids have to try the same exact food 16 times to even begin to like it. The taste testers are like kids! They do not understand just how good the fruit is. They only tried it once. Personal example-The first time I tried mango in the US, I thought it tasted like shampoo. And anyone who has eaten mango in Ecuator knows that it is as enjoyable as eating a piece of choclate cake. Seriously. I would choose mangos over chocolate cake. And mangos do not taste like shampoo.
Yesterday I talked in Church. I talked about how I worked in my Dad`s office before my mission and got to know him and his work. It is the same now. I am in the Lord`s work and I have gotten to know my Heavenly Father. There is only one way to know Him--it is to work with Him. In His work I have experienced great joy! Heavenly Father lives and loves each one of His children. I love Him and His work.
Have a fabulous week!
Hermana Garlock

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Easter from Ecuador!

Dearest Family,

I am feeling a whole lot of emotions right now and it is somewhat overwhelming! haha. First off, as I am writing every word is being underlined in red saying that it is mispelled. That is interesting....A reminder that I am still in Ecuador! :) Another reminder is the nightly garbage truck that passes. It is so funny because I believe the music that plays is a tune from Disneyland. It is a really loud, happy song. It puts me in a really good mood...like I am in Disneyland when really I am in the city streets of Ecuador...What do the two have in common? I am not sure apart from the music!

I remember that when I started my mission, I lived in the apartment where all of the hermanas who were ending their mission would arrive just before going home. I got to see the difference between how the missionaries ended their missions. I made the decision that I would finish strong and give it my all! It is true, at the end of a mission, one feels a bit more tired and often has a bit of odd health things happen (stories to come in the future), but I also feel like a brand new missionary again in some ways.
I feel like a brand new missionary because every contact, invitation, lesson, Sacrament Meeting, is a reminder that I will soon no longer be doing what I do now! I do not know how to explain it, but yesterday as we taught the Word of Wisdom, I wondered to myself, How many more times would I teach the word of wisdom and testify of the blessings?! I know I will always share the gospel- with family, friends, and others, but it will just not be the same. I wonder if I will end every conversation with ¿Se bautizar√°? :) I am striving to complete with the life changing calling that I currently have. 

The rain is dying down a bit-- it is not raining every day all day anymore, but rather spontaneously. It has given us a good opportunity to serve others. We carry our large umbrellas with us and then when we see a person getting wet, we run up to help them and share with them the gospel. We found a great youth doing this. I love how the Lord works. 

This morning I was thinking about how thankful I am for the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His priesthood authority. I am thankful for the worthy priesthood holders who have shown me the righteous, humble way to serve the Lord and exercise His power. Not all of those who have the priesthood treat it with the same respect or treat women with such love and respect. And I am thankful for Dad and Grandpa and many other priesthood holders who strive to do as Christ would and be as He is. 

I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I know that He lives. His hand is in His work and I cannot deny it! I have witnessed His miracles often. He is all powerful, all knowing, and certainly merciful and loving. 

Hermana Garlock