Hola mi querida familia!!!!!
How's everybody doing this week?? Everything here in Ecuador has been great. The big news this week was the earthquake/tsunami in Japan. It caused a really big scare here in Ecuador. In the morning on the news they were saying that gigantic waves were coming and that at 530pm they would hit the Galapagos and probably wipe out EVERYTHING on those islands. And they evacuated everybody from those islands and from the entire coast of Ecuador. People were especially scared in Salinas. Salinas didn't have enough buses to get everybody out of there, so they sent the city buses from Guayaquil to Salinas to get everyone out of the coast for free. They completely filled up the inside of the buses, and some people even climbed on top of the buses cause they were desperate to get out of there. They said that the waves were gonna hit Ecuador pretty hard. There were a few people that refused to leave their homes, and everybody was saying that they were crazy and that they were going to die.
But, it turns out that the people who stayed in their homes ended up being the smart ones...cause almost nothing happened lol. Out on the Galapagos, there was some damage and flooding..but NOTHING like they had said it was going to be. And on the coast of Ecuador (at least from what I've heard) almost nothing happened. Just some boats tipped over when the waves came in to the harbors. I haven't heard of any damage done on land. But it scared a lot of people pretty bad...hopefully they'll take the decision now to work on emergency preparedness, cause that pretty much doesn't exist here... Here in Duran, Guayaquil, etc. everybody was fine and calm. Just some people worried about their family members that live in the beach-parts. We haven't heard anything about if they evacuated the missionaries from the beach sectors or anything.
Like I wrote in the Subject, Carnival is over. If you remember from last year, that is the holiday where the people throw basically any kind of liquid on other people in the streets... Last year, we got pretty lucky and nobody got us wet. But this year, we weren't quite as lucky.. We went to teach a family, and we always sit outside on the porch, cause inside the house it is even hotter than outside. We sat down and the kids came out with buckets of water and poured them all over us lol. But we grabbed a couple of buckets from the smaller kids and got the whole family wet too. After they got us wet, they came out with baby powder and covered us with that... And that's basically what people do here to 'celebrate' Carnival lol. Finally the kids calmed down a bit and let us share a lesson...covered in water and baby powder ;)
Last week I was super-excited about the 9 investigators that came to Church..but this week I was even MORE excited!!! This week 14 investigators came to Church...that has got to be some kind of record!!! lol And almost all of them came by themselves (members didn't have to go by their houses to go to Church with them). So, we've got a few people that are progressing well :)
And yesterday a member from the ward named Alejandro presented us to 2 of his friends. Alejandro is married with 4 kids and the family has recently started coming to Church again. Right now he can't really participate in Church cause of some stuff that he did when he was inactive (what is the word for that in English????? I only know what they say in Spanish lol). But he is super-excited and working hard so that he and his family can be sealed in the Temple. And part of that hard work is helping the missionaries :) He shared his testimony with the 2 friends that he presented us to and it was really powerful. His testimony strengthened my testimony of the atonement, repentance, and forgiveness.
Well, that's all the news for this week. I hope all of you have an incredible week in the Northern Hemisphere. Don't do anything TOO fun for Spring Break...save it for this summer when I'll be home ;) haha I love each and every one of you SOOOOOO much!!!! I couldn't ask for a better family. Thanks for all of the support and love. I LOVE YOU!!!!
Love, Elder Beck