Let me tell you about the workshop. There are 2 different workshops that we can teach and they have asked me to teach the Self-Employment Workshop. It´s a rather big assignment since we only talked about it for 3 hours in Salt Lake during my week long training. I have plenty of practice with the other one, but none with this one. So, last week, I studied up so that I could teach it. I love the workshop which a lot of the people here refer to as the microenterprise workshop. For any of you who have talked to me about that subject, I love the idea and success that comes through microcredit and microenterprise! We showed up at the workshop and 75 people showed up as well. We were honestly expecting maybe 10 or 15. When we went to divide up the workshop, I found out that they all wanted the Self-employment Workshop so I have been teaching a group of 75! It´s an awesome experience to teach such a big group. They are so excited and so desirous to learn and apply the principles. I am teaching right now in El Cisne which is one of the poorest areas of Guayaquil. It has been a humbling experience to drive there every day. The pictures that I have posted previously are nothing compared to what I am seeing now. The houses are made out of canes or cinder blocks or occasionally a wood sheet. There is nothing inside the houses and most of the roofs are not complete. Most don´t have windows. In spite of the circumstances, the members in our workshop come polished every day. I would never look at them and think that they came from such circumstances. It´s amazing when the stake president in that area, or bishop comes in with a white shirt and tie. It is also amazing that even though these people have nothing and the area is rather poor and dangerous, that there is a beautiful church. The church is the same quality as the church anywhere. Heavenly Father doesn´t discriminate.
It has been so exciting to teach the workshop and to watch the people´s eyes light up as they learn new concepts that will bless them and their families.
As for the rest of the week, we are finding it hard to get everything done. I tell you what, latinos sure do know how to make a person feel special and important. We´ve been very taken care of and already have some great friends. Yesterday we went to the top of a hill in the middle of the city called Cristo Redentor (Christ Redeemer) that had a beautiful statue dedicated to the Savior. It is on top of a hill because Christ was crucified on top of a hill. Therefore, on the way up the steps, we are to remember what Christ did for us as he ascended the hill and was crucified on the cross.
We went with some news friends – one is actually a friend from my mission – Victor. He was my first district leader and later a zone leader. What a small world!
I went to the doctor yesterday for my elbow. I must admit that I prefer doctors in Chile to the doctors here. Apparently I went to the best doctor in the country…The good news was that he supported my decision to not get surgery on my elbow. He said that it is healing properly. They took my x-rays and everything is as it should me. He does want me to do some physical therapy while I am here so that I have proper movement in my arm. So, we´ll see, but Heavenly Father blessed my elbow too.
This picture is for Zach with 5 or 6 guards 3 doors down from our house with big guns. 3 doors down there is an investigation center for DrugTraficking. They bring the people in to investigate so if it´s a big drug bust like the other day, then we get lots of guards and guns and crying families.
Lots of blessings!Well, until next time….Chao.