Sunday, November 28, 2010

Again, More Good-byes Saturday November 27, 2010

The whole group at President and Sister Sloans Home.

The Yosts´, the Sloans´, the Roses´, Hna. Dreson, the Geldmachers´
Hnas. Naylor, Rogers and Grosbeck.

Going away dinner with President and Sister Sloan

Lunch on Thursday with us the Roses and Fernando Agurrie

Our group going to dinner on Friday night.

Ready to leave for home.

Elder and Sister Rose left Saturday morning. We got up at 5 a.m. to help them load up and head to the airport. There are such mixed feelings, she was anxious to go home but thought she would miss Ecuador and the misssion. I told her I was jealous, she gave me a big hug and said "we are so much alike, I'll miss you". Elder Rose was worried he hadn't done enough on his mission (he did an awesome job with PEF). They were among the first to welcome us here and Sister Rose and I became quick friends. She had been doing nursing in the mission with the young sister missionaries, and was so excited to find out I was a nurse. I think she felt better about leaving knowing there was now another nurse to help out. I will never be able to fill her shoes she did so much for the mission and the missionaries. We had a short time together but will remember them always. We are planning on getting together when we return and continuing the friendship.

Other Pictures

Quito Mission nurses, Hermanas Grosbeck, Rogers, Rose and Yost.

My first haircut here,I think when I put my fingers together indicating I wanted only a little cut off she thought I was showing her how short I wanted it. Oh well, this way I won't need many hair cuts before coming home.

Shortly after we arrived we went to dinner at a very nice restaurant called La Rondo. After dinner we topped the evening off by going to the Roses' apartment for flu shots. Dad and I didn't need one because we had ours before leaving home.

The wiring here is very complicated. It reminds me of some pictures Thayne sent home from the Philippines.

The herd heading to work in the rain.

The gang arriving at work.

Dad and I at work.

This one is for Thayne. These are the young men who installed our internet. They asked why we wanted a picture, when we tries to explain our son installs internet back home they asked what company he works for, but could not make sense of "Big Dog".

I thought Thayne and Travis might enjoy these, only two of many I have taken. There is lots of construction here but little in way of safety measures.

We live in an area of the city known as "gringo" land; I guess there are more foreigners in this area. Anyway this is an area known as "party central". We avoid this area on Friday night when we walk home from work. The guide books all say to avoid this area at night especially after midnight.

Census Sunday November 28, 2010

An eeriely quiet city.

Picture taken from our bedroom window, census workers getting organized.

The young women census takers.

Today is census day in Ecuador. The government issued an "Immobility Law" for today. No one is allowed out of their apartments, homes or hotel rooms today between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. We actually slept in until 8 a.m. this morning because there was no sirens, car alarms or traffic, only the barking of a few dogs could be heard. It is almost eerie, like a sci-fi movie where the city is devoid of human life and you are the only ones alive. Our census takers just left, they were two young high school girls who spoke pretty good English, although Dad answered most questions with Spanish. They asked how many children we had and when we said 7 there was an auditable "Ohhhh". We were joking if in a hundred years our descendants would think to look in the 2010 census of Ecuador to find their ancestors. Dad quipped only if they read your blog. We still have to stay in until 5 p.m. so I hope to get some pictures posted today. Have a good Sunday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Lemon Pie ala Ecuador

Many of you have said you enjoyed my description of baking in Ecuador. So I thought I might tell of my adventure in baking a lemon pie for our Thanksgiving dinner. First off there is no lemon pudding here. So I went online and found a recipe for lemon meringue pie from scratch. We had to find fresh lemons which I thought would be easy here since there is lots of fresh produce everywhere. But alas, we found only limons, a cross between lemons and limes. Finally I found what appeared to be lemons, at least they were yellow. I baked the crust, I must say the shortening here does make for a pretty good crust. It was a bit of a challenge rolling the dough since I have very little counter space and it is very narrow. Then I started to make the filling. The 'lemons' were more of a 'limon', they did not smell or taste at all like lemons. I had found some Real Lemon juice (form the states) so I added some of that. The mixture was not very yellow so I added some yellow food coloring. Then I had to send Fred to the store for corn starch. He forgot his dictionary and had no idea how to say 'corn starch' in Spanish. The clerks were trying to help, the neighbor was shopping and was trying to help, he did finally find some, and it even said 'corn starch' on the package. Then I cooked for what seemed like forever, the mixture did get thick but still seemed to thin for pie filling, finally I was tired of stirring and cooking so I just poured it in the shell, made the meringue and baked it. Surprise, it looked wonderful, and when we ate it, it actually tasted like lemon (thanks Real Lemon) and we didn´t have to eat it like soup, it had set up very nicely. Maybe I´ll tell you about funeral potatoes sometime, that is another adventure in the kitchen.
(Sorry I didn't take a picture)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving in Ecuador

Brenda,Sister Nayler, Sister Dresen, Sister Rose, Elder Rose,
Sister Geldmocker,Brother Geldmocker,

Ecuador doesn´t celebrate our Thanksgiving of course, so we had planned to do a dinner on Thursday and leave work a little early. Then one of our senior missionaries found out he has to have some surgery on that day. Then we thought we would have our dinner the following Sunday, since it is census day and we all have to stay at home until 5 p.m. We are not allowed to leave our apartment, they even cancelled church. However, Elder and Sister Rose leave on Saturday and we wanted them to be with us. So Saturday we decided to have our dinner on Sunday. We had a very good meal. I cooked a turkey and a ham, and even made a lemon pie that wasn´t too bad. Everyone else brought a dish or two and it was delicious. We are going to have the leftovers Monday night before FHE.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Our Home in Ecuador

My cozy kitchen.

Two views of the living dining space.

The new bed, taller larger but a bit to hard, (I sound like Goldielocks).

The old bed, to low to small and to soft.

I took some pictures of our apartment and the new and old bed. It is a pretty nice apartment,but the best part is all the Senior Missionaries live in the same building. I would like a bigger kitchen, but as kitchens go it is not to bad.


Tuesday November 16,2010

I have struggled to know if I should post this, but feel that I need to let you all know of the protection the Lord has given us and thank you for your prayers in our behalf. Last night we again had dinner at President and Sister Sloan´s home. They live high up on a hill; there is little traffic and virtually no pedestrians. It was about 7:30 and was dark and raining hard. The guard at their building had called for a taxi but said none would come up there. We needed to walk a few blocks to the main road and we could hail a taxi. So Dad and I along with Dr. and Sister Weidmer started walking. We gave them one of our umbrellas and we shared the other. After about a block and a half this car suddenly screeched in front of us and two young men got out shouting at us, then we saw the gun. It happened so suddenly and was confusing. Dr. Weidmer brought his umbrella around between them and us and began shouting at them. Dad was shouting ¿que quiere? asking what they wanted and was starting to get his second wallet out to give them. Suddenly they jumped back in the car and sped away. We hurried to the main road and got a taxi home. It wasn´t until I got home that the reality hit me. I started to shake and really wanted to cry, didn´t sleep to well either. I know the Lord was protecting us and watching out for us, but I also know He expects us to use some judgment and good sense. President Sloan has instructed the Senior Missionaries not to be out after dark, we have decided that we will question all requests to be out after dark and take additional precautions. We are so thankful for the Lord´s protection and your prayers. WE LOVE YOU ALL AND AGAIN THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS.

Our Week in Ecuador

Monday November 15, 2010

First off Happy Birthday to all those with Birthdays in November, Viona, Thayne, Talen and Travis we hope you have had or will have wonderful days. Last week we kept busy by working on more projects. We are still trying to get some closed but we have had a Neonatal project approved and will hopefully have it ready to go in January. Friday we visited the young women from Idaho who were injured. They are doing much better; they even came to church Sunday. They are flying home on Tuesday. While there we did about 5 minutes of sightseeing, thus the pictures. The Elder we searched for Wednesday night came in to the office Friday. He is doing well, feels much better. Saturday we walked all over doing some shopping. We went to Kiwi, a hardware store and got a new shower head. It is so nice to not get hit by the water with such force that it hurts. We also found a office supply store and got a flash drive. Sunday we went to church, this is the last Sunday for Elder and Sister Rose (they are from Roy, Utah) so they gave testimonies. We had a farewell dinner at President Sloan´s home for them, it was a delightful evening. Today we went to the airport to welcome the area Doctor and his wife to Quito. He is inspecting the hospitals and meeting the Doctors we work with in the mission. He is related to Judd Miller there in Idaho. It is such a small world. Tonight we are having dinner again at President Sloan’s so the nurses can visit with Dr. Weidham and get updates on what is needed. It has rained for the last two days and is pouring down right now. I have had a hard time keeping warm and can´t find sweat shirts here. I had the opportunity to buy flowers form a tienda today for the first time. I picked out some beautiful roses and asked her to make a bouquet. She added all kinds of flowers, baby´s breath etc. it was beautiful. I was a bit worried it would cost a fortune, we were getting them to give to Hermana Weidham, the Doctors wife and I didn´t want to spend to much of the missions money. Well when we asked how much she said dos dollars, I could hardly believe it, only $2 for roses. I told Fred she should be our new best friend, and that he could get me flowers as often as he wanted. (Which better be pretty often).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Thursday November 11, 2010

On Thursday we went with Fernando, our supervisor, to deliver some excess office items to a school in Quito. It was a delightful school. I love to see the children in Ecuador; they are so beautiful (bonito). I enjoy this part of the assignment. My job is to take pictures, which I don´t do very well yet, but I will learn. Guess what I found outside the school, murals that had been painted and didn´t have graffiti on them, so I stand corrected not every wall in Quito has graffiti. Can you believe it, it has been one month since we entered the MTC.

Missionaries for Dinner

Wednesday November 10,2010

Elder Vomocil and Elder Duarte, our office Elders, came by the apartment to bring some flu vacine for the Geldmockers to take to Ismarelda for the Zone Conference. Since they were there and had not had dinner we warmed up some left overs and had our first set of missionaries to dinner. I love being with the Elders and Sisters they have such enthusiasm and such a great spirit. I hope we can have lots of missionaries to dinner (as soon as I learn to cook here).

On the way to Work

Everyday on our way to work we pass a little police station. I took some pictures the other morning for one of the Senior Sisters who wanted to mail them to her kids. As I looked at them I thought you might enjoy them too. It is fun to watch them line up and do roll call. At times there are one or two that are late and come running in. I think life is much the same where ever in the world we may be, there are times we are late for work and have to rush.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pictures lots of Pictures!!

As promised here are some of our pictures, we have lots more but it is late so for tonight this is it. WARNING looking at all of these may become boring.

Meeting with President and Sister Sloan.

Arriving in Ecuador October 23, 2010.

Here is where we'll be tomorrow. Just ignore the date on the photo.

Grandpa dividing all his change. The final good bye, this was hard.

Our final morning at the MTC we attended a session at the Provo temple.

Near the end of our final day of training at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Visiting the Sick

I was asked to help with some of the nursing duties in the mission. The last couple of days has been really busy with nursing, it is kind of like home health in Ecuador. I told you about the Young Women the President asked us to check on, they were robbed and injured. All the other nurses are away at Zone Conferences, so we took a taxi with the Elders from the office to find them. It is interesting to find apartments in Ecuador since there are no real addresses. This one was above a restaurant. We had to go through the restaurant, and the kitchen out to the garage through a door then up the stairs and through a gate. The girls are fine, they are leaving next Tuesday for home. We are thinking of visiting them again tomorrow. Last night we got a call from Sister Rogers, one of the young nurses. She asked us to go and check on a new Elder that was just transferred here who has been sick. We don´t usually go out at night and we are not very familiar with the city, but she gave us directions to the apt. they went something like this: Tell the taxi driver to go to streets La Frenza and Rio Curaray, it is by La Iglesia Concepcion (a Catholic Church), turn right, the street goes to the left, it is about 40 steps and is the house with the green wall. Well nothing was as described. We called the District Leader in the area, he is the only Elder with a phone, he only speaks Spanish, but a new Elder was with him that spoke English,(a tender mercy) he tells us to go to the wall with graffiti on it and turn left and we should find the house. Well - Every wall in the city has graffiti on it. The Elders were on their way to where we were because they were doing transfers last night (another tender mercy). We went back to the main street and waited for them. I now know what it is like to stand on the street in the dark. We found we were in the right place but the green wall was a green metal gate, in the dark it looked black, the apt is the upstairs of a home and you had to ring the owner to get in. When we did finally get there the sick Elder was out teaching. I left instructions for him to call but never did get a call last night. It was an adventure and we have now seen some of Quito at night. It actually looks pretty good after dark. We did contact the Elder today, he is feeling much better and had an appointment with the Doctor today. All in a days work as a missionary.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We Are Now Legal

Tuesday November 9, 2010

Well today all of our paperwork was completed and we went to the Ecuador Immigration Office and got our Censos cards. These are essentially green cards stating we are temporary residents of Ecuador. The Elders came with us which is always nice. After, as is tradition, we went next door and got a doughnut. While we were there we received a call from President Sloan requesting we find some Young Women from Idaho who are serving here with a charity organization. They apparently had an incident where their camera was stolen and they where knocked down and injured. One of the Mother´s had phoned the President and he was anxious we find and check on them. We did find them and all was well. Blessings were given and they were feeling much better when we left. Understandably they are anxious to get back to Idaho.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Our First Official Project Closing

O.K. so everyone has been anxious to figure out just what we do, including us. Last Friday we were able to visit Casa de Refugio Matilde. This is a shelter for women and children from abusive situation or refugees mostly from Columbia. They do some really good work here in Ecuador, and have been doing it for more than 20 years. Several months ago the church donated a new refrigerator to the facility. We went to close the project. We submitted the final report today.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Serving the Elders

November 4, 2010

We have been busy the last two days with preparing and serving food for the District and Zone Leaders of the Quito Mission. I wish I could post some pictures, but alas we still do not have Internet at home. The Senior Missionaries do a lot of cooking and baking for the Elders in our mission. Then we take all of this food to the curb and hail a taxi, load it all in the taxi and head for the Stake Center. I am sure the people of Ecuador must wonder about these funny Americans taking so much food in a taxi.

We then set up and feed Helaman´s army. It is so much fun to be with the young Elders and Sister missionaries. They are an awesome sight. Dad really enjoyed attending the meeting, it helps him learn his Spanish. I just enjoyed associating with such wonderful young men and women. They can really pack the food away and seemed to enjoy every bit of it.

Tuesday night we served dinner with Elder and Sister Rose at the Mission President´s home. They had asked us to give a testimony, since we are new and the Roses´ are leaving soon, so we prepared our testimonies. Of course when it came time all I could do was cry, I am such a cry baby. The sight of these young men serving God made me think of how proud their mothers would be and I lost it. I did try to read my Spanish testimony. I asked Dad if you could understand anything I said. He told me no. I did try! Dad did really good though, his Spanish is really coming along great. He can get us where we need to go and knows the way home. I am still very lost even walking home, and we have been walking for over a week now. Of course we change our route every day for security reasons. There is such a big group of us I really don´t think anyone would mess with us. I kind of feel part of a herd. But it is great to belong. I´ll post some pictures when I can.

Last night on the way home we stopped at two shops. One was an artist shop, he had some very interesting paintings and carvings. I think we may go back and buy one or two. Then we stopped at a very nice (expensive) shop. It was delightful to just see all the art, weavings and wood carvings. They have some very beautiful things that I would love to get but we have decieded to wait for a bit and explore some more before we buy suveniors.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Baking In Ecuador

November 1, 2010

The mission is having Zone Conference Tuesday and Wednesday. The Senior Sisters do a lot of baking and cooking for these meetings to feed all the missionaries. So, I was given the assignment of 3 dozen cookies and a cake. Saturday we went shopping at Super Maxie (that`s the name of the grocery store) and attempted to purchase the ingrediants for the cookies. There are many things not available here and many things that are a little different from home. The shortening comes in a bag and is very soft. The butter comes in a large cube and is very hard. The sugar has much larger granuals than at home and doesn`t taste as sweet to me. We couldn`t find crasines but did find some cranberry snacks in a very small bag that I could use. Then we had to go to Mega Maxi (this is a bigger store) to buy a hand mixer. When we got everything together I started to cook. My kitchen is the size of a closet and no counter space at all, very cozy. Anyway I got the cookies put together and started baking them. At home it takes about 10 - 12 minutes to cook. At about 5 minutes these were buring. I really for some reason thought it would take longer at 9,000 feet but that is not the case. This is another thing I miss, my stone baking sheets. The other Senior Missionaries said they tasted good, but I thought they were a little flat compared to back home. Tonight I am trying a cake. We`ll see how that goes. We were suppose to get Internet Saturday but the installer did not show up. We are in a holiday now until Thursday, so it may be another week before I can post some pictures.