Hey guys! It's ssmmmmmeeeeeeee! How are you all doing? From what I see on the news you should all be human popsicles by now! I know that no one wants to hear it, but I am soooo sad that I am missing out on all of that snow! I heard that my cousins and aunt and uncle and brother's family all went sledding the other weekend...boo hoo...I missed the family sledding adventure.... hmph...the odd things that really make you sad.
Oh well, enough belly aching, I know, I know, we are really suffering here in our 70 degree temperatures!! Things are moving along here in good ole Ecuador. We had a whirlwind last 6 weeks because as many of you know from Beth's blog, we had their son Aaron, and his 2 friends Peneti and Chase visiting us! Let me tell you, it was non-stop fun and activity!! (Maybe at times a little too much!! I think I am seriously sleep-deprived!) But, sadly, they went home on Sunday night...so we are a little down, but finally, I am catching up on things I have been neglecting (like this blog haha).
Ecuador is currently having their zone visit from the branch. So this past weekend, they had a special program in Guayaquil in the morning and the brother visiting from Bethel gave a talk. His name is Brother Dellinger (don't remember his first name..is it Randy?) Can't remember. He gave his talk in Spanish and did really well, so not sure if he serves in Spanish, or just practiced his talk really well!! Anyway, because the Kichwa congregation uses the assembly hall in Guayaquil, we were invited to the program and were able to go! It was in an outdoor stadium that reminded me of the old vet stadium in Philly, but not so big. There were 30,100 in attendance! It has been a long time since I have seen that many brothers in the same place...actually, not sure if ever, because I think we only used to have 25,000 at the Vet! It was super cool. (and no, I did not remember to take pictures...boo hoo). Anyway, there was no roof, so we sat through heat and rain at the same time, which made for some severe humidity! My hair was huge and gross, and my fingers swelled up like little sausages, but boy did we have fun!!!! haha
The one talk was mentioning the advancement that has been made here in Ecuador, and they interviewed a missionary sister that arrived here in 1953! There were around 200 brothers here in all of Ecuador when she arrived!!! Last year we reached a peak of 69,000 and this year a new peak of 73,000!!!! The growth is just amazing! And the real growth has been in the foreign languages...we have Russian, English, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Chinese, and then the indigenous languages of Kichwa, Chapala, Shuar...I am sure I am forgetting some... (To be honest all of this is from memory...have you ever tried to take notes while there is sweat dripping down your arm? and you are holding an umbrella for the rain? Not an easy job...) Anyway, we had fun and it was a nice change of pace.
This weekend we have our Special Assembly Day in Kichwa, and the cool thing is it is here in Cuenca, so we don't have to travel for this one! There are many brothers and sisters coming from all over, so it will be really neat to see all of the native dress and meet new faces!
Things are moving along in Kichwa.. We have started a few Bible studies on our own, and have inherited quite a few from brothers who are either in the states for a few months, or have moved to other areas, which has been a HUGE help. Chad currently has 7 Bible Studies, and I have 8, which considering a few months ago we were back down to 2 each, we are pretty happy. One of the students that I inherited attends all the meetings and is progressing nicely, so it has been a real joy to be able to be with her!! I hope to take pictures of some of them at the assembly this weekend!!!
Chad's work has been steady, the hours dropped a little after the holiday season, but he is still working about 15 hours a week. So, between trying to make up the field service time we missed in the states, working, preparing parts every week in Kichwa and being one of only 2 elders in the congregation, he has been super busy!!! I said yesterday that I am glad to have taken advantage of the last 3 years here spending every minute of everyday with him, because now I don't see him as much!!! haha
Well, I guess that is about all for now...sorry there aren't any pictures with this one. I do hope to have some from the assembly this weekend...especially of Chad's Jedi Knight poncho!!! haha
Missing you all...hope you stay warm!!