These last few days have been really rainy, but it looks alot different than rainy days in Indiana. Although there are clouds in the sky and rain falling, the sun is still shining and it doesn't downpour. It is the kind of rain that falls lightly all day long, and you just don’t seem to mind to walk in it! I love the smell of the air when I walk outside as it is raining or after it has just let up. It just seems to be so refreshing to everything and everyone!
On Friday Grant and I spent almost our whole day at the Church doing Church Administration learning. We learned alot of interesting facts about the Church and we learned some behind the scenes work that goes on in order for all of the ministries to happen and for Sunday's to run smooth! This was also the first day that Grant and I went to meetings and did some work projects without someone with us that spoke English. That is right, we sat in three meetings that were all in Spanish, and we actually did an ok job. In our last meeting, Grant and I took a taxi to Marcielo Avielo's office (He is the man at the Church who runs the Sunday School for the kids), and we sat, just the three of us to talk about Sunday School. As we were sitting there drinking coffee and conversing in Spanish I had this overwhelming sense of being a grown up! It was so funny, we are beginning to be able to do things here independent of others, and every little step is a big accomplishment for us over here! We also had our second meeting with the S.O.S. ministry at the Church. The Friday meetings are more like a hangout and form relationships time. I met some interesting people and had some good conversations. Friday was definitely a day that ended with the feeling of accomplishment.
Saturday, El Dia de San Valentine, was quite the hopping day around Cuenca. Apparently, Cuenca loves Valentine's day just at much as the girls in the dorm with boyfriends do! But, my group of other Taylor students had a small trip to some of the smaller cities around Cuenca where we did some shopping, went to a delicious smelling fruit market, and got to taste some interesting foods. At one of the butcher's that we went to we got to taste Pig Skin. Literally, they just torch the pig skin until it is very hard, like a potato chip, and they scrape off the burnt part and then just eat it. If I hadn’t known what it was I would have thought it was a thick potato chip, but one side of it was a little slimy...so I was a little grossed out! Anyway, in the night time we went to Maria De Lordes' house where as a whole group we were able to just talk about our experience so far and eat some American Food (Pizza Hut Pizza!) We had alot of fun and it is always good to catch up with our other team members because they all have class together, but Grant and I are very separate from them. One of my favorite things to do when we are all together is to share stories of our families or experiences that have been different or maybe even a little weird for us!
Sunday, The day of rest...or not! Sunday's are generally one of our busiest days throughout the week, because we get to serve and spend most of our day at the Church again. Today we had our first experience with the Sunday School ministry for the kids ages 5-12! Although it was really interesting and seems to run really well for the amount of kids that they have, 50-70 each service, this week was not a normal week. There was a special service happening downstairs in regular Church so most of the teachers were helping with that and not at Sunday School, so we did worship and then we just showed a movie. But, when it was done, we held a little simon says for the kids. It is ALOT more difficult to think of things fast and tricky for kids who speak the language MUCH better than you do. But, it was a fun challenge!
My favorite part by far of today was eating snacks with my mom and sister here in my sisters bed, having us all three fall asleep on a full size bed, and wake up an hour later all kind of in a daze. My family here is so close, and they have definitly taken me in as one of their own. I feel so blessed to have an amazing family and feel really encouraged by them! As I look forward to tomorrow and Tuesday, please pray for...
1. Our first experience going into the homes of visitors of the Church with the ministry of Consolidation. Please pray that Grant and I will have confidence when entering the homes, and that God will give us ears to really hear the needs of the people and also the words to speak back
2. Our emotional stability, as the time seems to be coming when reality sets in a little more that we still have three more months to go before we go home. Please pray especially that our entire group will learn to live in the present and see this experience for the gift that it is.
3. That I will continue to learn Spanish, and especially that I will see the progress I am making as such a rich reward from God. I know that He is doing alot of work here!
and 4. Please pray that The people of the Church and especially the People of Ecuador will see God and be open to the amazing plan that He has for their lives!