Monday, September 29, 2008

Nuns, Prostitutes, and Mormons

That is what we are looking forward to this week in the workshop that we´ll be teaching in the morning. We are teaching a group of 18 ex-prostitutes who have been taken in by nuns and are currently learning to cut hair and want to open their own barber shops. The area presidency approved that we teach this workshop and the nuns are going to come as well to learn about the workshop. That should be interesting.
We had 60 people who graduated from our workshop on Friday. It was so exciting to call their names out and give them their certificates. They were so excited! They were such an awesome group. It´s amazing how the people who have the least are the ones who are willing to give the most. They give the most love, but they are also so willing to share every thing they have. They would always go out and buy us drinks or little snacks when they have so little to eat themselves. On Friday, so many people came with presents for us to thank us for the help we have given them. There was one lady who had a cute purse (Ecuadorian style) and I just commented that I liked her bag and she said, okay, I will give it to you. I insisted that I didn´t need the bag but that I liked it. She started telling me how a former missionary had given it to her, but that she now wanted to give it to me so that I didn´t forget her or my experiences here in Ecuador. I told her not to worry about it, but lo and behold, at the end of the workshop, she´d emptied out the items in her purse – quite possibly the only purse she has and has had for years, and gave it to me.
You come on internships like this one to make a difference in someone else´s life, but they impact mine more than I could ever impact theirs.
Friday night was pretty fun at the dance. They are a little different here first of all because they don´t dim the lights at all! Also, you tend to dance with only one person and instead of the mormon dance circles we make, they stand paired off in a line and just all dance. Natausha and I felt so out of place at first, but then we got used to it and it was pretty fun. I took my first steps towards learning to salsa dance. I have a long way to go!!! But, we told the guys we were dancing with that if they taught us how to salsa dance then we would teach them how to country dance. It seemed like a good trade off. People here are NIGHT-OWLS! The dance got over at midnight, but apparently that was just the start of the party. Afterwards, we went to a little restaurant on the street and got dinner and just hung out. We finally got home late and were all tuckered out! On Saturday we just kept running as well. We got up at 10, but our friends came to pick us up at 10 instead of 10:30 like we thought, so we´d literally just rolled out of bed and they called saying they were here…haha, it was pretty funny. We went and cooked an awesome homemade American breakfast, that we ate at 2pm. It´s really hard to cook for 11 people with 1 frying pan, 1 cutting board, 3 forks, and no hot pads or towels – especially when we need to make fried potatoes, French toast, and scrambled eggs. We were so pleased when it was finally time for us to eat.
We played in the pool in the afternoon. I am proud to say that even with my gimpy arm, I still won a couple swimming races. Apparently I can swim with a broken elbow. I will count that as my physical therapy. We did a bunch of relays and my team dominated. It was awesome! We had a lot of fun.
We kept running after the pool over to the Johnson´s – a missionary couple in our ward from Provo – for a nice dinner and then to the Relief Society broadcast for spiritual nourishment. I always feel so inspired when I leave those conferences. I really enjoyed President Uchtdorf´s talk about creation and compassion. It was a theme that very different from the typical and I really enjoyed it.
Anyway, so that was the weekend. It was crazy and so busy that I didn´t have time to be tired or bored…or do homework.
Write me. P.S. I also accept care-packages


  1. Wow!! I'm thinking you are going to have some stories after this training is done. That's so cute how the lady gave you her purse. Ah. I will email you again with updates in mi vida.

  2. Isn't it so nice to be in South America not as a missionary, you can stay up late dancing?

    I loved the relief society broadcast too. Elder Uchtdorf is amazing and I love our Relief Society Presidency.

    PS. Good luck with the nuns and the ex-prostitutes.

  3. mom says:
    Good luck on the training. I also enjoyed the broadcast. I loved the talks. I think sometimes we get so busy we forget our divine potential. It doesn't sound like you get to bored. It's like a mini mission only with a social life. I could probably send something but I don't know if Fedex ships there or if the mail would even get there. The mail service to Chile they said was pretty ify. I will at least save you some of our dried fruit for when you get home.

  4. you should take a picture of this purse. Maybe you could give the lady something American...another purse so she doesn't have to carry things in a plastic bag. :) That is very sweet. This makes me want to join the Peace Corps.

    PS - my dogs say "arf."