Guayaquil Hill

Guayaquil Hill

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Feb 8 2016

Hey familia!
This week has been another good week full of walking and burning in the terrible Ecuadorian summer sun! And rain. So to explain how it works, it gets really hot. Like I can't breathe kind of hot. Then after like 4 hours of the extreme hot, a little wind kicks up and in come the clouds full of water. Then it pours rain. Then it gets extremely hot because all the rain is evaporating and making it even more humid.  Then you rinse and repeat. That's the schedule here. Its not an every day thing, more like every other. But it is bad.
The people here in Duran buy blow up pools and stick them outside to deal with the heat. But EVERY house pulls the pools out for Carnival. The holiday Brennan talked about when they have a giant water fight. It technically starts today but they do a pre-party so since Saturday it's been going on. Everyone buys foam in a can, basically shaving cream and fights with it. It is literally the shaving cream wars all over again. It should only be today and tomorrow but today it is raining so not may people are playing. I think the big day will be tomorrow.
Oh! The baptism did happen. Hno David was baptised. To explain really quick, we invited Hno Carlos and his family. He is a recent convert who used to sell beer but dropped it all when the missionaries taught him the word of wisdom. His wife isn't a member or his kids. He is 65 so his kids all live away. After David was baptised we had a few minutes while they were changing. I invited Hno Carlos to bear his testimony. His wife and one daughter were there. He bore one of the most powerful testimonies I've heard here in Ecuador. He is a stud too.
Other experience, Hno Bryan from the ward here got his mission call. They did a big ceremony in which his mom talked about Bryan falling away and returning to the church. It was very powerful. Then he opened his call. Chile, but I dont remember the mission... But it was funny, he was reading it and reads, you will report to the Chile MTC the 30th of March, but the word March was in English! He just kinda pauses and looks at it and moved on. He basically read, you will report the 30th of..... blah blah blah.. Everyone was freaking out, When do you leave!?!? He finally called me up to translate March to Marzo to be sure haha. I'm super excited for him though. He has a strong testimony and will be a good leader. 
Other than that nothing new other than rain, mosquitos, and sun. I did buy a new bag with my name and the mission and the flags. I will send a pic the next week. Love you guys
Elder Taylor

Feb 1 2016

Hey mama!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I've been thinking all week about how I forgot to wish you Happy Birthday, I feel bad. But por lo menos(at least), I did say Happy Birthday!
I told you guys about the service we did a few weeks ago? Well, we did it again. This time they did have a wheel barrow but it was raining so the mound was mud and stuck to your shovel. It made the shovel heavier and I got blisters haha. 5 big ones that all popped.
That's what I get for not working for 9 months. I was pretty happy to work.  Elder Johnson took the wheelbarrow and me, the shovel. Basically Elder Johnson and Elder Taylor did a service project. I will say there was one other kid shoveling who was working hard. Us three were soaked in sweat. It was fun.
Other than that, we have a baptism this week! His name is David and he is 24 and is reading the BOM and is super good. Saturday is the day. Super exciting. Other than him, we have been working with a recent convert, Carlos, 2 weeks ago he received the Melc. Priesthood and last week we helped him give a blessing to his granddaughter. He is 65 btw. His son isn't a member but now we are teaching him. But the blessing was suuper cool. He was super nervous, he forgot her name, we walked him through the words and then when it was time it got really silent. I think he was expecting my companion to continue helping him but after the first part a blessing is by the spirit. So after about 30 seconds he started to bless her and it was soo powerful. Having never given a blessing before he did it better than I could have. It was really cool. He is such a stud, he used to sell beer in his house, basically like a pallet a day but when they taught him the word of wisdom he said, ya no problem. His wife was really upset for a while that he didn't drink but he never had the desire again. He is a stud.
We didn't go fishing again and next week Hno Danny can't so in 2 weeks. But we did go to Guayaquil and I bought more watches!! I think I'm addicted to fake Chinese watches that look real. I'll send pics don't worry. We also ate at Wendys. It was alright. Then we came back and rested a bit and nothing else. My comp likes to sleep. With his last comp, they'd sleep like 2 hours every week. I work him good pdays so the least I can do is let him sleep 45 minutes haha. I like to be a tourist pdays and bargain with people on the street. I'm getting really good too! I paid 5 dollars for one watch and talked the other one down a bunch. I talked him down to his wholesale price, it is really easy. He wanted 25 dollars but I paid 16. It is a REALLY NICE WATCH!
Love you guys gotta go!

A part of my sector is very bad during the rainy season. This is 2 days without rain and it is still sitting water. The mosquitoes are the worst part of the rain. We have to burn spirals every night.
And a random beach cruiser. I asked the people if we could take a picture haha
And a dog. I like to play with dogs and cats haha

Jan 25 2016

Hey Mama!
I don't really know what to say after the whole baby thing.. I was gunna start the letter with the announcement of 9 months but now I just keep thinking about how I could have given birth by now.. wow..
Well it has been a good week, I'm no longer sick, I think the trick is Trix. Yes the cereal. It is super expensive here and it is made in the old fashioned shapes but it does something to your stomach. It also turns your poop bright green! The best of both worlds!
This week, more like yesterday, it is my companions turn to be sick.  We did a service project and he now has stomach problems. The doctor said he probably strained his muscles but they are doing a scan tomorrow to make sure it's nothing serious. We went to the Kennedy though so that was fun! We didn't really do anything else today. It was kind of a pain to travel in the rain and I lost my new umbrella!!  I'm super upset! We were in Guayaquil calling a taxi and a member gave us a ride from Duran north. I left it in her car! But I know what ward so I'm gunna try to get her number because it was expensive. She is in the ward Primavera which is actually the ward of Hna Stucki! I did finally see her a few weeks ago. It was kind of fun to speak Spanish with someone I knew before haha.
Other than that, this week was another week of mission work. We have a family that is going to try to get married today to be baptized this weekend, hopefully it all goes well. He had a slight problem with divorce which always slows the process but I think they will be able to get baptized this week.
I gave dad advice on his kidney stone, then explained that that's the Ecuadorian way of life haha. Whatever problem you have, they always have advice no matter what. Yesterday, my companion asked someone if they knew about medical stuff and they go, no. Then they gave him a list of things to do haha. ¡así es ecuador!
Oh and the rain is terrible. It is apperantly really bad in parts of Guayaquil with buses flooding. The people say they look like submarines in the streets haha. Anyways, ya gotta go. Love you guys, I'll send pics!
Elder Taylor

I found this cd case in the house and I recognized RON SALTMARSH!! I thought it was pretty cool. My comp actually had it, but he found it here.
We did service. You can definately tell I worked haha. Shoveling dirt into buckets to put under a house.

Jan 18 2016

Hey Mom!
Well I'm really low on time today but sounds like you've had a rough week. 
I forgot to tell you I got grandmas package like 3 weeks ago! I got two SWEET TIES!! Other than that, it hasn't been a very exciting week. Fishing fell through today, so next week haha. But today was fun. We went to Guayaquil to a mall to go bowling, to buy an umbrella and to buy new shoes! I went to the Payless because I didn't want to deal with latin sizes and Payless is organized by american numbers!!  I did buy some new shoes, they should last me a while. They are comfy and hopefully waterproof. The water does heavy damage on shoes by the way, lots of missionaries the bottoms are missing in their shoes.
Other than that, we worked, we went to church, we have interviews last week with President and Hna Riggins. I asked them about my stomach and if it doesn't get better they said let us know so we can get some tests done. The next day I felt better so I haven't done anything yet.
Last week sounded like a typical week for the taylor family.  Basketball, Will succeeding in school, working on the house and plans for the next week. Just keep repeating to yourself, at least it's not raining.. haha, I don't know how but it gets sooo hot even when there's no sun!! I'm kinda used to heat but summer here sucks even worse.
Before I forget, I know what I want in my next package.. rootbeer extract to make rootbeer her, and a handful of smarties. And other candies as well haha! Well, I gotta go, sorry I didn't write too much I love you guys!

Bowling, a drawing of me.. The comment is something like, thanks to the BOM, I've been humbled from how much money is in my favorite sport.. Something like that, ask Dylan, although he might not understand pelucon, that's Ecuador Spanish.

Jan 11 2016

Hey Mama! Hey Family!
Well, I will start by saying I love you too Will!  Haha he's a good kid.
To start, this pday we did do something. We went to downtown Guayaquil and it was pretty fun. Went to the beach more or less.  It's like a shoreline of part of the river I think but we took a few pictures. We also went to the marcado artesenal, art market, where I bought my blanket. Just to look. Then we went to basically 52nd Street in New York, where they sell cool stuff. I bought a car speaker. It is super cool, lights up and makes car noises! We also went to see some turtles from the Galapagos. It was a good day. I still didn't buy shoes because next week the Bishop is gunna take me somewhere to buy good mission shoes he told me. Other than that we dont do much here for pday.
Last week was good, we had stake conference and had 8 investigators that attended. 2 of which is a family that has been waiting 3 years to get baptized. Everybody thinks they are members but they have been waiting on a marriage problem and finally can get married! We are planning to have them baptized this month. Other than that we have a few other families that are progressing and a few single adults. The work is pretty good here though.
Sounds like Emily is really getting into the basketball life, no? And finally getting time to show off haha. I'm also proud to hear Will is snowboarding again.  I'd do anything to go snowboarding. HEY I just remembered, next week we are going to go fishing! A member offered to take us. There's a little river really close! He has some wierd pictures of fish he's pulled out. Spiky, long, short, fat, thin. It'll be super cool.
My companion is about my height, he wears a white shirt every day, he has a nametag like mine, except with his name, dark hair, from Bolivia, uses black shoes. There you have it. He was my buddy in the MTC and is really nice. He is the District Leader.
Gotta go, love you Family!
Elder Taylor

My new car speaker and a new case I bought for my camera.
Here is my favorite plate, Churrazsgo. It is  meat with onion and pepper, rice, a fried egg, and french fries.  Also a dinner my companion ate, the fish head and some of the guts were all that remained. This was the same day and I was still stuffed after the HUGE plate of churrasgo they gave us (they brought out another egg to add after I took the picture.)

Jan 4 2016

Hey family!
Well, I'm still alive so that's good. I'm gunna start with a story that I know will worry you mom but just know I am absolutely fine. I feel great now.  Well, last week, Wednesday, we woke up and did our studies. I felt a little uneasy like I knew something was gunna happen.. Like butterflies in my stomach kind of thing.. We left the house and I figured out what was up. The so called butterflies I had, those were my parasites acting up again haha. I was suuper sick. We went to this house to eat, and I look at the Hermana and ask for a tiny portion of food. I got like a tiny handul of rice with a little pasta. The first funny part of the story, my companion beat me. He eats soo fast! Anyways, we ate, somehow I finished and we kept going.  We did a few visits and we were walking down the street and I felt it coming. I look at my companion and say, ''where can I throw up?''  Pretty good question right? haha, Anyways, he points to the side of the road and says, ''there.''  I look, shrug and threw up. I don't know why but he watched.  Anyways, we went to the house I fell asleep then I woke up a few hours later and called the nurses. They told me to go buy something like pepto bismol. We walk outside and around the corner, I look at my companion and go, here it goes again! Anyways, I threw up twice in the street, drank like a whole bottle of pepto bismol and was better the next day. Missionaries get sick here every change, it is just normal.  Just the whole change and all.
Anyways, then Friday night came along, I'll send a picture of that one, but the rain came. We were running home in like a foot of water.  We got home and there was a river coming down the stairs to the roof.  The door doesn't seal and the water puddles on the roof, so we had a good 2 inches of water in the house. We stopped the water for the most part and pushed as much out as we could, then went to bed. Bad day.  My shoes are pretty hammered. Oh and my bed was by the window so it was soaked again. My big blanket still isn't all the way dry.
And last, in the house here, we had the attachment of a electric shower head. So today, I bought some pipe and some wire and now we have hot water in our house! I'll send pics, although it might worry mom haha, It works fine though. Basically cold water comes in the shower head and the wires heat it up and hot water exits :).  I wired it to a plug so you just plug it in when you want hot water and unplug it after. It is a lot safer like that.
Well, my new sector is great, my companion is a stud. He is the new district leader. He is a little timid but he is being trained by the Lord. I have no doubt that he will be a future leader in his wards when he returns. He's a funny guy. We are also having a lot of success. We both came from wards in Guayaquil where no one is home. So to come here, I feel like we can conquer the world!
Ya I got to go, Love you guys!
Elder Taylor

Hot shower head
New Year

Rain and the flood

Dec 28 2015

Dearest Family Taylor,
I would like to thank you for the 20 letters I received. I used the first 30 minutes printing them, so I will have to write fast haha. I'm super feliz that I had the opportunity to talk with the entire family last week. I would also like to inform you all that I had transfers. I am now in Duran with Elder Lafuente. He is one of my more favorite missionaries, so I'm super happy actually haha. Last week, I talked with him and said, when we're companions, I'll help you with your English.. and here we are. Pretty funny how that worked out haha. But Duran is pretty cool. It is right outside of Guayaquil, it's like 30 minutes away, so it isn't super poor. There are more dirt roads, and stray animals so far though. It is like a mix of guayaquil, and Vinces.
So the upcoming week will be super fun. The año viejo muñecas are going to be lit off. Basically that means old year dolls, but they are giant paper mache that are filled with explosives that they pour gasoline on, and light off. The old ward had planned on burning a whole ton painted as missionaries outside of our house, but now no. So I don't know how crazy it'll be but I'm still pretty excited.
Well, out of time. I love you guys, and next week I'll write more ya?
Elder Taylor

Dec 21 2015

Hey Mama! (and fam)
Haha this letter's gunna start out fun but only cuz my day started out fun. Woke up this morning with a run to the bathroom. Yep it's back and it's bad haha! Been almost 5 months since I had it this bad.
Anyways, the package was actually something I figured out last Wednesday. Basically, the laws here are stupid. Stuff that they can make here is illegal to send here. Such as shoes or food of any sort.
They are trying to be self sufficient. So there are 2 options. Customs sends it back to you guys (the better option) or some guy goes through the package and takes out anything illegal and sends the rest to me (the bad part is this option will cost around 100 dollars).  Basically, Elder Gemmel said it's best to send it back, I think it is free. But as for future packages, as long as it's under 4 kilos (8 pounds) it'll make it, shoes or candy or whatever else. So next time, stay under the limit and the stuff should make it haha.
But don't worry too much, Elder Melzer's mom sent him 2 helicopters and they are sooo cool!! They have a plastic cage, so they are basically indestructible. Also, I took out 50 dollars last week and today bought a few presents. A tiki man for my incense and a 25 dollar alpaca blanket. It is huge and super comfy! I also bought 2 temple ties last week for 10 dollars each. Some guy from Peru sold them to us, kind of a once in a life time moment.
One other thing, Dad said that you gave a talk for the funeral, just wondering if I could get a copy of that :) And I loved the grand kid picture! Although Andrew was facing the wrong way haha. Seems like it was a pain for you guys to set that up.
Well, I can't think of anything else to say haha. I guess we'll speak in a week haha. Love you guys super duper much!

Elder Taylor

Dec 14 2015

Hey Familia!
I have a lot of thoughts on the pictures and the last week you all had but only like 10 minutes to write.. Sorry..
Well last week has been fast but good. To start off, I got super sick Monday night and the next day. I kept working but I wanted to die. My stomach was killing! Like I had been stabbed in the stomach and the knife was still there being turned. I felt it in every step. That is called a stomach infection I guess. I was a little skeptical at first cuz I thought diarrhea was necessary to be an infection but Hno Peña came to visit. Let me explain that conversation. He is a doctor..
Elder Taylor, your lips are shiny. Thank you Hno, just trying a new color. Elder Taylor are you sick? Yes, how did you know? Do you have diarrhea? NO HNO! What about stomach pain? I want to die... Let me go buy you this medicine my wife takes when she has painful periods..
That is pretty much what happened in a short conversation.. It was super weird.. He did laugh at my first joke though so that's good haha. Anyways, after that, my stomach hurts but not like it did. Yesterday it hurt a lot again but today no.
Other than that, tomorrow is my comps birthday so the family Peña took us to their house and gave us cake. They live far away, that is actually why we are late.. sorry about that otra ves..
Other than that, all is well here. I really enjoyed the pictures of the kids in the truck, I can't wait to come home and replace Will (no offense but that's my spot) It looked like I missed a good family reunion and a good funeral for a great man. Anyways, I really gotta go.. We are already late. Love you guys so much, and I'll be better next week!

Elder Taylor :)

Dec 7 2015

Hey Dad
Well, I wasn't sure what to expect today honestly haha. Mom didn't get a letter out but I understand completely. A funeral is kind of a big deal and I can't imagine the stress she is going through. I hope all goes well today and that the family can have some closure. Honestly I see it almost as a celebration. Don't take that the wrong way but he is more than 10 times happier now. I only see it that way because I have been raised in a house that taught the plan of happiness and I believe 100% that it's real.

I am happy to hear that the storage unit is going well and that the building is done. Wait, is the building done or are you still waiting on that 12 inches bottom? Either way, the storage units can now be emptied. Which brings me to a side thought.. what are your plans for all my boxes? Haha now I feel like Dylan in his mission asking about my stuff but I know they will be moved soon and I'm curious what are your plans for that.

As for the dogs, you know, you could have her sent to a doggy training place.. I know Roscoe went and now he doesn't care but it'd be worth a shot haha. Every week I hear about her accidents. But at least you're not renting anymore haha. Are you planning on putting in new carpet too? We just had a family put in new floors here. Just a nicer looking tile was all though. Carpet doesn't exist here. Only in hotels and the Temple. It is super sad.

Here's a question, did you guys watch the devotional last night? It was pretty good but there was a bit of a miscommunication... Everyone here was told at 7 it started which is 1 hour behind you guys. But, daylight savings changes that... so it started at 8. Everyone was thinking it was starting but the screen came on with a timer. But it was alright because everyone was running late anyways. That's Ecuador for ya. So we sat till 8, then watched then went home a little late. We had to take a bus so that was fun.

We also had a few meetings with President this week which are always super good. We have to prepare for the niño phenomenon though which means we had to buy emergency food. Cans here are super expensive. It was 4 dollars for a can of fruit, 2 dollars for beans. I also saw Cambells soup clam chowder and it was 8 dollars for 1 can!! Super pricey!

Anyways, make sure mom doesn't worry about writing me this week, not a big deal, I'll talk to her on skype in 18 days :) Love you guys! Don't have my camera today, next week ya?

Elder Taylor