Monday, November 30, 2015

Chapter 12 - Transfers

Hi Everybody,

So before I talk about transfers, I want to tell you about some other things first. I'm glad to hear your Thanksgiving was good. Here, we also had a mini Thanksgiving of sorts. Since I am the only gringa in my house they told me I had to conduct. Haha we had patacones (fried good) and bread with nutella. I couldn't have asked for anything else. We ate and went around in a circle and said what we were grateful for. It was so good and so fun. We also had a picinic last pday in our house which was an adventure too. Good times.
So first, intercambios. On Wednesday I had an intercambio (I can't remember what it's called in English....) and one of the sister leaders came to my sector and worked with my while my companion went to be with her companion. yeah. It was really good. I was kind of nervous because our sector is huge and like they don't really have addresses in the lomas and I'm used to just getting off the bus when my companion stands up and I just follow like a loyal puppy or something but that day I had to know where I was going and it was kinda scary but overall it went well. I was a little bit worried about being the one to start the lessons and talk more than I'm used to but the Lord truly helps us when we need it and it all went smoothly. The sister leader helped me a lot. She is such a hard worker and by the end of that day I was soo tired. But all is well.
Transfers! Wow this time in the mission has felt so long but so short at the same time. We had transfers today and I got transferred...kind of. I'm still int he same ward and a little bit of the same place but I am now in a trio with the Hermanas that I live with and my companion got transfered. Wow. It was a rough night last night. So my companion has been in the mission field for ten months and she's been in the same sector and same zone for her whole mission...yeah...and so last night when we got the call, it was really hard for her. She is such a great missionary and I know this is hard but I know she is needed in other places and needs to help other missionaries and members in other places. Being in a trio will be strange but it will be good. We will only be in a trio until December 18 because Hermana Vera extended her mission and so instead of leaving tomorrow she leaves December 18 and so yeah. New things ahead.
I hope you all are having a great week. Enjoy some of that snow for me!
Hermana Roylance

 Thanksgiving Feast

Monday, November 23, 2015

Chapter 11 - ¡Feliz Navidad!

Hi everyone,
¡Feliz Navidad! So I know we still have a month until Christmas but we had our Christmas conference with the whole mission this week and so I've been thinking a lot about it and this time of year!
 It was so much fun to see all the missionaries in my mission and to see the Hermanas from my district in the CCM. I love them so much so it was fun to talk with them and see how things are going for them. I sang in the choir as well, so that was fun. We started the conference with some words from Presidente and Hermana Dennis and then watched the movie about Joseph Smith and the Restauration. I love this movie. I think it's one of my favorite church movies. It is so powerful and is such a strong witness that Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God and did, in reality, restore the Church of Jesus Christ on the earth. We watched this movie in the CCM as well and both times I've watched it on my mission, I have felt the spirit so strong. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God...Yo se que Jose Smith fue un profeta de Dios. I just felt this overwhelming sense of love for my Heavenly Father while watching it. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary and to labor in this work. Joseph Smith endured trials and afflictions of all kinds but he never gave up because he knew the truth. The things in this life that are of the most worth and never easy to accomplish. The Savior suffered so much for us. The prophets and apostles and really every member of the church experiences some sort of persecution. Why? Because it's true. We cannot know the joy if we do not know the sorrow. This week on Friday I was having a hard time and was feeling discouraged and beaten down, but God blessed me with a great companion who helped me through this difficult time. I thought of the Savior and Elder Holland's words about how it was never easy for the Savior and so how could we ever expect it to be easy for us? This life is not easy and we will experience many hardships and trials but never forget in whom you have trusted. I invite you to put your trust in God. He has a plan for each of His children and he will never leave you to go through this life alone. Pray to Him, He is listening. This month we have Thanksgiving in the US and even though there isn't Thanksgiving here, I have thought a lot about what I am thankful for. Every night with my companion we write 3 things we were grateful for that day and it really helps me see the hand of the Lord in my life. I am so thankful for my family and friends and the Gospel. I am infinitely grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for the Atonement. This chruch is true. Christ loves each and every one of us. Take time this month to really focus on what you are grateful for. Take time this Christmas season to remember HIM. 

Have a great week! Thank you for all the love and support!

Hermana Roylance

Merry Christmas from Hermana Phippen, Hermana Parker, and I. No this was not planned.....I guess when you're companions in the CCM for 6 weeks you have this bond and just show up to the Christmas Conference wearing the exact same outfit....haha 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Chapter 10 - Another Week Down

Cool Parrot Statue
Hi everyone,

Things have been good here in the mission, a little slow, but still good. It's hard work, but I wouldn't want to be anywhere else!

So this week there was a big soccer game going between Ecuador and Uruguay on Thursday and it was so fun to see everyone around town in their jerseys. Soccer is so big here, because hello, South America, but it was so cool to see. Also, usually there are a lot of people in the streets when we're walking around, but on Thursday, there was no one...the streets were so empty...haha thats how big soccer is here. haha everyone was watching the game. And Ecuador won 2-1 so that was exciting too!

So, on Thursday, the day of the game, when everyone was watching their TVs, we were headed to an appointment with one of our investigators and when we were going up to the house, we heard the game on and I thought, "why are we here, there is no way he is going to stop watching the game and listen to us..."  but as we knocked on the door, he was so happy to see us and willingly left the game and we had a great lesson and the spirit was so strong. I was amazed and also really humbled. God humbles me so much here on my mission. Sometimes my faith isn't as great as it needs to be but the Lord loves me enough to show me that all things are possible through Him. The Lord loves each of us so much and when our faith waivers, just keep going and He will show you the way. When that thought of doubt came into my mind, I just thought, ok, I don't know how this is going to go, but even if he doesn't want to listen, we have done our part. And the Lord blessed us with a wonderful opportunity to teach and I am so grateful for that.

Also, I have learned that God is in the little things. During one of our lessons, I had this thought to ask our investigator what he expected from our visits but I didn't know the word for expect. My bag was on my lap with my diccionary within reach and I opened the dictionary to a random page and the word I need was right there..on the the top. I was so thankful for that small but significant miracle. There are so many other times too, where I am just so aware of His hand in my life. It is through the small things that great things are brought to pass. I invite you all to look for the little tender mercies of the Lord in your life and you will start to see how much the Lord really does love you.

Have a great week!

Hermana Roylance

Here is a picture of my first baptismal service and the other is a picture of one of the girls in a recent convert family...she is so cute!

The apartment. Nothing fancy, but it's a bed!
Getting ready for Christmas - just a little early.
All the comforts of home!
Even Quizno's!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Chapter 9 - 2 Months!

 Hello all,
I cant believe Ive been on a mission for two months! It seems like just yesterday I left my house...but then again I remember how long the CCM seemed to last for and I am like, yeah, it has been two months...haha but all is well.

I am learning so many things here on my mission. One of those things, apart from all the spiritual things, is I learned how to do my laundry by hand...I mean it's pretty self explanatory, but yeah, my companion showed me how. It takes a long time to wash a weeks worth of clothes...and we could take them to someone to wash them for us but that takes a long time too so we just wash by hand. Its really not that bad.

Colada Morada. Ok so there is this thing in Ecuador called Colada Morada and it's huge. Its a purple juice drink with fruit in it...I dont really know how else to describe it. Its really good though. There are these big pieces of fruit, I dont know what they are, but they have a pit that you spit out. Anyway, its pretty good and its everywhere. The members make it, they restaurants have it and you just see everyone with it. It was interesting to try. I am trying so many new things here in Ecuador, it's pretty fun.

¡No agua! So on Saturday and part of Sunday we didn't have any water. It was a city wide thing..I don't know why...I couldnt understand the announcement that was made when we were walking down the street....all I knew is that we wouldn't have any water. Its ok though because we arent really home that much during the day and we filled up these basins (the basins we hand wash our clothes in) with water and used that when we needed water. We have water now though so it's ok.

50 Year Celebration! I don't think I talked about this last week, and if I did, I'm sorry, but there was a big program last week celebrating 50 years of Mormons in Ecuador! It was so cool! When I read the poster for this I thought, wow, 50 years isn't that long, yet the church is so strong and continually growing. And I am part of helping it grow! There were different dance groups and singers, all members of the church and it was so cool to see. The  dances were cultural dances and those were really neat to see. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have seen a part of their culture! The work here is going well and I am so grateful to be a missionary!

I hope you are all doing well. I think about you guys often and I can feel you love. Have a great week!

P.S. I think I'm ruining the Latinas....haha their favorite words are wicked, liar, and robber...haha I didn't teach them these words on purpose, they asked me what they were in English and I told them and its so funny to hear them use them. They dont know a ton of English but phrases often heard in our house are "Hermana Roylance, your companion is wicked" "Don't be a robber" "you are a liar" and so forth...its so funny.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Chapter 8 - Its Monday Again?

Hoooray!  The mission President's wife came through today on the mission blog and posted pictures of the new missionaries.  Thank you Sister Dennis!!!  So, get ready for Ashley picture overload.  Its now just a little bit more real that she's in Ecuador now.  I'll post her letter from this week, and then all the pictures.  Enjoy!
 Hermana Roylance y Hermana Gonzales

Hello friends and family,
I cant believe its monday again! This week went by so fast! Its still warm here but Im learning to manage...and good news, my ankles have reappeared...a little. haha
So right now I am sitting in a mall. Yes, they have this big mall called City Mall and its just like the US. Its so weird because you walk outside and its Ecuador with its concrete houses and lomas (hills) filled with houses and its just so different. Last week we ate Pizza from Pizza Hut in the food court so that reminded me of home. They have lots of stuff here that you can find in the US. I didnt think you could, but then again I didnt really know what to expect from Guayaquil, but I love it all!
English to the rescue! So I dont know if I said this but I live with the mission nurses and the other morning an Elder called saying he was sick and Hermana Vera (one of the other missionaries in my apartment-there are 4 of us total) asked him "do you want to speak in English, would that be easier?" he said yes and then she handed the phone to me...I talked to him and got to use my English and nursing at the same time! It was awesome. I felt so blessed to have had the opportunity to help another missionary and use my English. As for the Spanish, its coming slowly but surely.
Ok so I never said where I live. To put it simply, I live in a hobbit hole next to the Catholic church...yeah our apartment is a small little thing with no windows in the area where we study...well there is one window but it has a big curtain over it so all we have is the lights on the wall which are not very bright and so ok maybe every morning, I have to try REALLY hard not to fall asleep during personal study..and yes we live next to the Catholic church..Its pretty fun.
I am so grateful for my companion! She is so kind and patient with me and my Spanish. Oh and she finishes the juices that some of the members give us that I dont like...shes the best! haha she is so funny and helps me in so many ways. She pushes me to be a better missionary and to get out of my comfort zone. Im out of my comfort zone a everytime I open my mouth and try to speak Spanish..but I know the Lord will help me. I have faith!
So this week was good. We found some new investigators and one of our investigators that earlier in the week had said she wasnt interested showed up at church yesterday and said she wanted us to come over! Wow! It was amazing. We taught her and she said that she had been reading the Book of Mormon. Her countenance had changed..I could see it and when we left her house Hermana Gonzales just said "el Libro de Mormon es la clave" The Book of Mormon is the key! How true this is. I can see in our investiagators that read the Book of Mormon that they are happier and more willing to open up and talk. The Book of Mormon has power and Ive never seen how powerful it truly is until now. I know the Book of Mormon is true and you can find peace and guidance in its pages. Read it. Ponder it. Pray about. Its true!
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Hermana Roylance

Arrival at the Airport: President and Sister Dennis there to meet them

Group photo at the airport

Hermanas group photo at the airport
Catching taxis back to the mission home

I don't think that Ashley has ever been in a taxi in her life

Instruction at the Mission President's home

Lunch at the Mission President's home

 Lunch at the Mission President's home

Group photo at the Mission President's home

Hermanas group photo at the Mission President's home

Mission Office : Waiting for their interviews with President Dennis

2nd day in Ecuador : Training

2nd day in Ecuador : Training

2nd day in Ecuador : Lunch

2nd day in Ecuador : New missionaries with trainers
2nd day in Ecuador :One last group photo

2nd day in Ecuador : New pillow and new mattress cover

 2nd day in Ecuador : Catching a taxi on the way to their area

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Chapter 7 - Where to start?

I've been holding on to this entry for a week now.   I was really hoping that Ashley's mission president's wife would post the pictures that they take when the missionaries arrive in the mission.  But, my wait was in vain.  I know she'll post them eventually.  And then Ashley didn't bother to send any pictures with this letter either.   Either way she sounds good, and is doing well.  Oh, and BTW, when she says that she's in Florida, it is Florida Ward in Guayaquil.

Hello Everyone!
Wow, where to start? SO much has happened since the last time I wrote....Im in Ecuador and I love it! It is soo different than any place I have ever been. Wow, but I love it!
I just need to make a list:
1. Im in Florida (Flor·eee·da) Im serving in Florida and its wonderful, when I heard the name of the place I was like, Hey! Florida, but you say it different. Anyway, Its wonderful.
2. My comanion is Hermana Gonzales and she is amazing! She has been here in this sector for her whole mission, which is 9 months! WOW! But its so great because she knows everyone and where to go which is good because our sector is really big and most of the time I dont know where I am but Im learning! She is so sweet and helps me with my Spanish. Its funny because sometimes I forget that like I dont every speak English...just because she talks in a way that I can, for the most part, understand what shes saying. Also, when people are talking and I dont understand, which is quite often, I like to her like shes gonig to translate it into English haha but she doesnt...she just says it in a simpler way and Im very grateful for that.
3. There are dogs everywhere... I probably see, on average, 25 dogs a day, depending on where Im going that day...They are seriously everywhere. But its okay because they dont really bother us. Oh and there are stray cats too, but not as many as well as chickens..yeah its pretty crazy.
4. Ok Florida is full of hills. Im climbing hills every day and its hot here and its crazy. We walk a lot, but its a good thing.
5. We take the bus all the time. Since our sector is so big we have to take the bus to different parts. Its different here than in Utah. Here you just stick your arm out and the bus stops and you hop on and then when you get to where you want, you just say stop and hop off, its strange. Ive never ridden the bus more in my life...
6. THEY HAVE LACTOSE FREE MILK HERE. I am saved! Thats all I have to say about that.
7.So its hot here and sometimes my feet turn red because theyre hot and a lot of the women in the ward are like, Oh my gosh, your feet! Haha they are all really concerned with why me feet are red but I just tell them that its okay..
8. Kankles. Ok so I was just sitting in Church on Sunday and I looked down and my anklese were gone! haha my ankles are so swollen because of all the walking and the heat. But Its okay and hopefullly the swelling will go down.
9. Matrimonio-marriage! Marriage is what brings us together today! Hermana Rocio got married the other day and it was way awesome!
10. Baptism! So Hermana Rocio got married and then baptized on Saturday along with her two sons! Ah, it was soo awesome! I feel so honored to be a part of such an amazing work!
The work is thriving here and Im so glad that I get to be here. Its not easy but I wouldnt trade it for the world. I may not be able to speak very well but these people are so kind and loving. Anyway, theres a taste of my life in Ecuador. I hope you all have a great week!
Hermana Roylance