Monday, October 26, 2015

Week Seven - La Ciudad, Ambato

Hola from Ecuador!

Ahhhh! I love the mission. So as you already know, I´m serving in Ambato with Hermana Pace. This is her last transfer and I am the luckiest missionary in the world to be her companion. Her spanish is perfect, she is obedient, diligent, and is an amazing teacher! I´m so grateful that Heavenly Father knows us perfectly and knows who and what we need exactly when we need it. We are opening our sector here in Pradera which was stressful at first but luckily Hermana Pace served here in February so she´s familiar with the area and the ward. The ward! Oh my goodness the ward is amazing. The members are great here. Always ready and willing to give references or come with us to our lessons. I´m so grateful to be starting my mission here in Ambato. There´s no greater place. This is a place of miracles.

Our trip here was a bit stressful because we had to get our five bags onto the EcoVia. Just look that up on google. It´s a nightmare. But the hardest part was getting our bags from the nurses apartment where we stayed to the bus because of the sidewalks (which I have more to say about later). So we just prayed that we´d be able to make it and Heavenly Father sent us a few angels. So the men here are pretty creepy, and you stay away from them for the most part. However this super nice non creepy man offered to help us and we were able to get on the bus. He was one of about five that helped us that night. It was a bit of an adventure. But Heavenly Father definitely helped and protected us that night. We also met a young woman who is a member who rode the bus with us and let us use her phone since we didn´t have ours yet. So many miracles, and that was just the first night. 

So like I said opening the sector was a bit stressful and still is stressful, but we started out the transfer ready and willing to work hard and we´ve found people so ready for the gospel. We´ve had every day planned full of lessons and appointments but we also set really high contacting goals and we´ve managed to accomplish both. Every day we have a lesson fall through but it is always because we need to be doing something else or finding someone else. I wish I could tell you all of the miracles that have happened lately but there would never be enough time. 

I´ll tell you about a few of our miracle investigators though since they´re amazing!!!

First off Luis and Elvia. So we met Luis in the street while he was holding his baby and selling gum. We contacted him and he accepted an appointment for the next morning. The next morning, our first appointment fell through with a different contact and we were a bit disappointed about that but we started heading towards Luis´and my companion suggested we do some comp study while we waited for the appointment. However on our way there I felt like we should go straight there. So we went. We got to his apartment and he was there but his wife wasn´t there so we talked outside while we waited. Luckily my companion knows Spanish...turns out him and his wife aren´t married (very common here), they got in a huge fight the night before and she left, they are constantly fighting because they both were unfaithful and had kids with other people, he used to drink a ton, he´s about to lose his house, and many more worse things that I won´t share out of respect for him. But that should give you an idea of how broken this family is. We could tell that they didn´t have any food so we went and bought some bread and yogurt for the little toddler and let him use our phone so he could call his wife. She ended up coming back and we were able to sing their family a song and share our purpose as missionaries and invite them to church. And they came to church!!!! All five of them. It was a crazy three hours trying to control three children all under the age of three with only a tupperware container full of crackers but we did it! And I think Luis really enjoyed it. He is so ready to change his life and save his family and the gospel is exactly what is going to do that. It´s so crazy to think how just the other day he was just a man selling gum on the street. I know we were prompted and led to go contact him. 

More miracles...

So we didn´t start contacting doors until yesterday, some of our appointments after church fell through so we needed something to do to pass the time before our English lesson with one of the families in the ward so we started contacting houses. Well we knocked on our first door and no one answered, but there was an older lady outside just a few doors down. I knew we had to talk to her. Didn´t know why but I knew we had to talk to her. Well we contacted her and we could hardly understand her and she could hardly hear us. But she said she was free to be taught right then but that she said we could go to her daughter´s house who lived just around the corner. Her name is Carmen by the way. So Carmen led us to her daughter´s house and her daughter Martha answered and accepted us in. We came in and shared our purpose as missionaries and got to know them a bit more and sang them a song to start the lesson. Side note: so I thought she told us that her husband had died six months ago but it turns out he left her six months ago. And I decided to sing the song Families can be together forever......gotta love my spanish skills. But here´s the miracle!!!! She loved the song! She has two sons and we asked her to think of them as we sang and she absolutely loved it and the spirit was so strong. She was so emotional. Mom you mentioned in your email how powerful songs and hymns are and it´s so true! I have such a strong testimony of that now since we start each lesson with a song. It really allows the spirit to speak to the investigators of the truthfulness of our message. Well long story short we taught Martha the first lesson and she accepted the baptismal invitation and is set to be baptised on the 21st of November! Miracles I tell ya! Oh man. The mission is great.

I have to tell you about Cecilia too! So last night we decided to do some house contacting around our neighborhood and we set a bunch of citas (appointments) but we really wanted to teach right then and there. But it was getting late and we were pretty tired. We got to a house at the end of the road and I was so distracted. I was thinking about how we probably wouldn´t get anything from this house and I was already looking around for somewhere else to go.My companion and I were talking about what we had planned for p day and weren´t really focused on what we were doing. Luckily my companion heard a voice from the other side of the door since there wasn´t really a fence (its really hard to explain....its so different here). Well we introduced ourselves to Cecilia who turned out to be a devout Catholic who studied theology for six semesters. However she accepted us since we offered to talk about our beliefs and answer any questions she had about our religion. I have never been so nervous for a lesson in my life. First off I don´t know spanish. And secondly I sure don´t know the Bible as well as she does. But we taught her the first lesson and I got to teach her about Joseph Smith and share the first vision with her and it was an amazing experience. The spirit was so present, and I know she felt it too. I could see her eyes fill with tears. She is struggling right now because her two children who are older and live in different parts of Ecuador don´t really visit her and show her that they care. She didn´t know she was looking for something more but she is so ready for the gospel. I can´t wait to teach her again. It´s going to be hard but I know she is going to be receptive to the gospel. Before we could even invite her to church she asked us where it was! Ahhh! Miracles.

These are only a few of the marvelous things I´ve seen in my time here. The work is hard. It doesn´t take very long to fall asleep at night. We´re working hard and its taking a toll on my body. Like I mentioned earlier the sidewalks aren´t my friend. My ankle is proof of that. We had to take a taxi to one of our appointments the other night because my ankle was swollen and bruised from the rollercoaster ride of the sidewalks here. I was in a ton of pain and I tried to play it off but I couldn´t by the end of the day. I was really discouraged about it. And honestly frustrated. I questioned why it was happening because I had been doing my best and I needed my health to keep helping my investigators. My companion helped me so much to remember that I needed to remind my Heavenly Father that He called me to do this work, that I needed some help, and that I was going to continue working regardless. So I prayed and prayed. I woke up the next morning and my ankle is still a bit swollen, I can still feel some soreness, but it hasn´t stopped me from working since. Complete miracle. 

I love the mission. I love Ecuador. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I love the miracles I get to see each and every day.

It isn´t easy, and it takes effort and obedience, but it is ALL worth it. Keep striving to be obedient and read the scriptures! Serve those around you! We´re all brothers and sisters! The trials of this life are all worth it because of the lessons we learn and the individuals we can become through the Atonement of Jesus Christ!

I love you all so much! Thanks for all of the emails and prayers!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana B

PS. So my mission rules changed before I got here and I can email people outside of my family but I don´t have anyone´s email address! Shoot me an email! I´d love to hear how everyone is doing!

PPS. The scripture my Hermana Pace shared with me when I was struggling with my ankle. Prayer is real and Jesus Christ lives! I know it with all of my heart! Mosiah 24:13-15

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Week Six - Arrival to Ecuador Quito Misión

Arrived in Ecuador on Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Columbian MTC to Ecuador Quito Mission via airplane (732 miles)

Read arrival email from Hermana Beutler's mission president to the Beutlers.

“Dear Brother and Sister Beutler,
We are so pleased that Sister Beutler is serving in the Ecuador Quito Mission.  We welcome her with all our hearts and know that the gifts she has been given from our Father in Heaven and the talents she has developed will bless the lives of those with and for whom she serves in a unique way only she can offer.   She has impressed us as an outstanding young woman.  Her dedicated service will further increase her abilities and character in remarkable ways.
There are currently 204 missionaries in our mission, serving in 10 zones.    Sister Beutler has been assigned to serve in Ambato with Sister Pace as her companion and trainer.  Sister Pace is known by the other missionaries as a hardworking, friendly, positive missionary.
Attached are photos that show Sister Beutler with her companion; the group of missionaries with whom she arrived; and with us . . .

Monday is Preparation day when she has internet time to read emails you send as well as write to you.  If you would like to send letters or packages, these are mailing instructions:

All mail should be sent to the mission office.  Any letters or packages are then sent by pouch to the zone leader where each missionary is serving. 
Missionary Name
Ecuador Quito Mission
Calles Robles E4-151 y Av. AmazonasCasilla: 17-03-078Quito, PichinchaEcuador

The mail system here is very frustrating.  It seems very random that some packages make it through and others don’t. The green customs sticker must be filled out and packages must be under 8 lbs. or they end up in what we affectionately call “Mail Jail” and are either returned or are subject to heavy fees and the officials go through and take out what they deem unacceptable. I understand that food items are not to be sent and are often confiscated but missionaries get food (candy, peanut butter, jerky etc.) all the time, so it appears that it just depends on who is the attendant that day.   The closer we get to Christmas, the longer packages take to get here and the more likely they are to be held in customs.

We know and understand that there is sacrifice on your part both emotionally and financially to support her during this period of full time missionary service and we express our gratitude for your offering which furthers the work of inviting others to come unto Christ and to receive the blessings of the Gospel in their lives.  May your family be blessed during this time.

With our love and gratitude,

President and Sister  Roger G.Christensen
Misión Ecuador Quito”

New missionaries at airport with President & Hermana Christensen

Hermana Beutler with her mission president and his wife, the Christensens

Hermana Beutler with Hermana Pace, her trainer from Arizona

Hermana Beutler at Ecuador Quito mission home

New missionaries to Ecuador - October 2015

New missionaries and their training companions - Oct. 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

Week Five - Bogotá Columbian MTC

Hola everyone,
Wow, I can't believe I'm leaving my Colombian home in just a few short days. It feels like I've been here for an eternity but at the same time it has flown by. I'm going to miss so much about being here in the CCM. I won't miss the food because the portions are way too big but I will miss the chefs. They are hilarious. They really like the Nortes. I think they think they don't feed us enough, cause one of them brings us oreos during personal study every once in a while. The same chef today told me that he was really confused cause "You eat all the food but you didn't get fat!!!.......Not sure how I'm supposed to take that. I guess its a compliment. But it makes sense because I play volleyball everyday...which is another thing I'm going to really miss. Presidente Gallego (the manager of the CCM) is great at volleyball and I always get a really good workout in when we play. I'm also going to miss the temple. 

Today was our last trip. I probably won't get to go to the Guayaquil temple since its too far. But we'll see. I'll also really miss all of the maestros (teachers) and Presidente and Hermana Duvall. They are all so amazing and have helped me progress so much. Presidente has told me a few times now that I speak really well, as if I've been here for 2-3 months. Those were his exact words. Which makes me really nervous because he also told me yesterday that he spoke to my mission president about me...and my mission president is really looking forward to having me. I hope he doesn't expect me to show up speaking fluent to the mission....Cause I sound like a child when I talk. Haha. But I really appreciate the encouragement and compliment because some days the spanish feels like russian and I all I have to do is remember his words and keep pushing forward. And those are the times when I love the spanish. Well, I always love the spanish, its just that sometimes we're friends and other times we're best friends. I prefer being best friends with the language. 

Yesterday was somewhat of a difficult day. One of our Latina Hermanas went home out of nowhere. One second we were in our room talking and laughing with the other Hermanas, we went to our devotional about preparing for the mission field, and then when it was over she was gone. She is the only active member in her family and she was SO excited for the work. She was one of the most friendly hermanas I've ever met, and it breaks my heart that she's back in Chile. My only guess is that there was a family emergency. Her companion didn't even know she was leaving until she was gone.Every two weeks here we've lost one missionary for health/family emergencies. Please not only keep the missionaries serving in your prayers but also those who have to go home against their own wishes. It's so hard to hear about people going home, because here on the mission you can't imagine doing anything else. I didn't even get her email or anything so I can't get ahold of her. I'm still quite in shock about it. These people become your family in such a short amount of time. This particular Hermana picked me up when I was having a really hard time. She is one of my angels. 
During the same hard time that I was having, I was praying and praying to receive some comfort about something I was going through and I was in the bathroom when I heard one of the Hermanas in my district humming a song. The song where it comes the comes the sun...and its alright...
I just about started crying right then and there. It was an answer to my prayers and a reminder that the Son (our Savior Jesus Christ) is always here and its going to be alright. What makes it even crazier was the fact that I got the opportunity to share this experience with her when we were in class and had to share our testimonies (in spanish) about receiving revelation through prayer and she started crying. She told me after I finished that she felt prompted to sing that song and to keep singing it when she saw me because she felt that I needed it. That specific song. She didn't think much of it until I shared my testimony with her.

Prayer is real. God is real. He loves us so much. And he will answer our prayers through feelings in our hearts, scriptures, or through the angels around us like my hermana in my district. This just also goes to show how important it is to follow a prompting, no matter what it is and no matter whether or not you see the result of it. It's so important. You don't know who you can help.
These six weeks haven't been easy, but I'm a much better missionary because of it, and I'm really going to miss my home here in Bogota. I've made some really great friends here. And there's only two elders that I know of going to my mission. Which is really really sad. Also, my teacher Hermana Cuellar just told me to tell my family that I've made some new Colombian friends. I'm really going to miss her. Ahhhhh. So sad. But time to go the mission field and get to work!

I'm so lucky to be a missionary! I love this work and I love all of you!

Hermana B

P.S. Ponderizing scripture of the week is Moroni 7:47. Keep reading and ponderizing! The scriptures can be your best friend! You just gotta take the time to read them!

Two of my favorite elders. They're hilarious. Please ignore my sun deprived legs.
When I first saw her I thought of Aunt Ali. What do you think mom?
Hermana Roylance. One of my favs.
Our last time together at the Bogota Temple before we are off to our mission locations.
Group pose

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Week Four - Bogotá Columbia MTC

Today was a great day to ride a llama.  Yes, I rode a llama today, well, I sat on it and got my picture taken.  But!  It was really awesome and one of the highlights of my time here!  We rode this telefenco (I believe that is what it’s called) . . . up the side of this mountain to Monserrate.  At the top we got to see an amazing view of Bogota.  The city went on as far as you could see and apparently that was only a third of the city.  The culture here blows my mind.  I’m definitely not in America anymore.  We got to go shopping for probably 40 minutes or so and it was really fun seeing all of the different crafts.  Everything is so colorful.  The people are also really nice. 

We went to the temple again this morning and I met some great people after the session.  It’s nice finally knowing enough Spanish to have an actual conversation with someone.  We met this lady outside the temple named Camilla.  (I got so excited!  I told her my sister’s name is Camille.  Not exactly the same but close enough.)  She introduced us to her friend who isn’t a member whom she brought to show her the temple.  Her name is Lucienda I believe?  Names are really hard for me to pick up in conversations.  But she was really nice and let us ask her questions in our Spanglish.  She also has a daughter named Camilla!  I love talking to the people here. 

Oh! Speaking of talking to people, so last Friday we went proselyting/contacting for a couple hours in another part of the city and it was awesome!  Our goal was 18 referrals for the 3 hours, which was a huge goal for us because my companion is still working on her confidence to open her mouth and speak.

So I knew I’d be asking most of the questions and doing the majority of the talking, so 18 was A LOT!  Then by the time we got to the area, we had only 2 ½ hours, so I wasn’t to sure if we were going to reach our goal.  But I decided to not focus on the number and focus on each person we talked to.  We ended up getting 21 referrals!  We also gave out all our Books of Mormon and only had 3 pamphlets left when we finished!  Our district in total got 43 contacts.  The idea that two of us made up nearly half of that number blows my mind.  The number doesn’t matter to me so much as the fact that we surpassed what we thought we were capable of and we were able to meet some AMAZING people along the way.  The Gospel is for all of God’s children, and that means everyone!  I wish I had more time to tell you all about some of the amazing experiences we had that day but for now just know that I am loving this work.  Being a missionary is the hardest and the best thing I’ve ever done. 

General Conference was amazing by the way!  I took more notes than all of the past conferences combined!  I went in with 10 questions and came out with every single one answered, and then some!  It was as if every talk was custom tailored around what I needed to hear.  I hope you got your questions answered or received the support you needed from conference.  If not, go online and watch the talks!  They’re amazing!  My favorite was by Elder Durrant on ponderizing!  My goal is to ponderize one scripture per week my entire mission.  You should join me!  My scripture this week is D & C 6:36-37.  It has already helped me so much even after only two days.  The scriptures contain so much hidden treasure, we just have to go and find it!  Use the footnotes!  Start your scripture study with a question in mind.  I know you’ll receive an answer!

I can’t believe Ecuador is two weeks away! 

Much love and prayers from my Columbian casa to yours.

As always,
Hermana B.

Bogota buildings

Variety in architecture

More architecture with variety
Colorful shopping
Riding up the mountain
Heading up the mountain
Look how beautiful!

View from the top of a cable ride up a mountain

Look at the sky and mountains.

Panoramic view

A view from the top 

Our district with a view of about 1/3 of the city of Bogota.

A selfie with the mountain view.

My llama moment :)

What do you think of the mountains in Columbia?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Week Three - Bogotá Columbia MTC

Hola mi familia! 

It feels as if it’s been an eternity since my last p-day, but at the same time, I don’t know where the time has gone.  I’m already halfway done here at the CCM.  It’s been a rollercoaster ride.  I absolutely love it here.  Ecuador still feels like a dream, but I know it’s going to come sooner than later.  And I can’t wait!  I’m feeling a little cabin fever coming on.  We got to go outside the fence this morning for our trip to the temple, but it’s still not the same as being able to walk around and talk with a bunch of strangers about the gospel and how awesome it is.  We’ve only done that once and it was only for an hour, but it was the best/most nerve-racking hour of my life.  Tomorrow we go out for three hours and I can’t wait.   Especially since I know like 3x the amount of Spanish than I did last time. 

Speaking of Spanish, the gift of tongues is so real.  I’m pretty sure I’ve said that already but I had an amazing experience with it earlier in the week.  We were having a devotional about receiving revelation through prayer.  I was having somewhat of a rough day.  Our lessons didn’t go as well as we hoped, the Spanish was particularly foreign, and all I wanted to do was go to my room and pray.  So we’re in this devotional and our maestro (teacher), who speaks zero English, asked me to come up and do the demonstration with him.  (He was showing how to teach someone how to receive revelation through prayer).  What I thought was going to be a tutorial turned into a very real and spiritual experience for me and for everyone in the room.  He began speaking to me; using words I had never heard/learned before.  Half way through, I realized that I understood every single thing he was telling me, even if I couldn’t translate it to English.

Not only did I understand everything he was saying, but also everything he was saying was so inspired.  He had no idea that I had a rough day, but the words he shared spoke directly to my heart.  The sprit in the room was tangible.  He then invited me to pray on my knees, and express my sincere feeling and desires to my Heavenly Father.  I was really nervous because he was asking me to sincerely pray in Spanish in front of 15 nortes, including Presidente Duvall, while I was crying.  But I did it, and it was the most powerful and spiritual thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.  I got to testify to all of those missionaries of the reality and power of the gift of tongues.  And there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.  This was a very personal experience for us, but I’m sharing it with all of you to remind you that you have a loving Heavenly Father, who wants nothing more than anything for you to pray to Him and to share with Him what you’re going through.  Prayer is not a one-way communication with God.  It is and always has been a two-way communication, we just sometimes forget to have patience to receive and feel an answer or feeling from God.  So I invite you all next time you pray with sincerity, and once you finish your prayer, pause for 30 seconds, and listen to the promptings from the Holy Ghost.  And if you haven’t prayed in awhile or don’t pray at all, I challenge you to do so.  I know that if you pray with a sincere heart and real intent you will feel the love of your Heavenly Father.  We are His children and He loves us more than we can comprehend.

Satan doesn’t want us to pray.  And I’ve also known in my time here that Satan really doesn’t want me here.  He’s tried to discourage me on multiple occasions whether it’s having a head cold for two weeks, or several paper cuts from my Preach My Gospel, or my investigator that he could receive a remission from his fish.  Satan works his hardest right before something great is going to happen.  So, if you’re feeling or facing a trial in your life, don’t give up.  Keep praying, keep striving to do good, and by all means kick Satan out of your life.  We have an amazing occasion just this weekend during General Conference. 

I hope you’re all as excited as I am!  I can’t wait!  I challenge you all to write down your life/gospel related questions and take them to conference.  I know you’ll receive an answer.  That’s why I’m on a mission today.  Last October I took my question to whether or not I should serve a mission and I received an answer and here I am!  In South America!  I’m loving the CCM and I’m loving being a missionary.  Thank you for all of your prayers and support.  I love each and every one of  you so much!  Don’t forget that faith is an action word.  Practice a little more faith today than you did yesterday and you’ll be happier for it.

Much Love,

Hermana B

P.S. We are taking a tour next week and I get to ride a llama!  So stay tuned for that!


Companions :)

Hermanas in our group

Ammon District

An awkward family moment of the Ammon District

Another awkward district moment

Latinas at the CCM for 2 weeks