Monday, October 26, 2009

Angels and Demons

Mis Amados Hermanos,

Shout Out: Hughes. MOVING TO THIALAND! -or- THILANDIA! -or- TAILANDIA! Wow, I thought I had friends in exotic places, I thought I lived in a wierd place, but I never expected my family to live in Southeast Asia.

Because I never thought this would happen, I never made a list of things I would like to do while my family is there... so hopefully Amy and Dan can do them for me:

1. Find the White Elephant (I hear it brings good luck)
2. Shop at the markets (yes, I have a market here... but I don´t think I will be shoping there anytime soon...)
3. Eat spicy food with loads of noodles, chicken, and soup. (Food here is often bland).
4. Adopt a new child (not that children are ever old)
5. Carry your stuff on top of your head (or is that Africa?)
6. Carry Mary and Abram in a pouch on your back (people here do that every once-in-a-while)
7. Watch the religious chants in some far away rainforest (broo who who, broo who who... ah ah ah CHA!!!!)
8. Buy an Asian hat and carry sticks around all day (I don´t know if they do it all day, but I have seen pictures)
9. Play with a cobra -or- have someone inchant one for you. (you might need parent supervision for this activity)-(this activity can be done along with many other high risk- thrill filled activities, which include but are not limited to: Playing Hop-Scotch in the Freeway, Shouting "BOMB!" on a Japanese Subway, or fighting a land war in Russia)
10. Walk around with a bell and ring it at people if they look at you funny (I hear it works with evil spirits and monsters)


My Week: Was exelent. I must admit that I am blushing slightly at how much MAIL I got. I feel loved. The pictures were great, the food was awesome, and I love you all.

¿Adavina que? ¡Tengo veinte!

We have been having some great success with finding new people to teach. In the past two weeks we have found over 50 new investigatores. Our goal for the Change is 60 (4 more weeks to go to find 6 people...). Our problem comes with people not wanting to go to church, or feal that "God is Everywhere" and they just have to have a prayer in their heart.

Elder Robinson´s Book of Herecy and Lies: CHURCH IS SUPER IMPORTANT. Mandamiento cuarto nos enseño que el Señor ha creado el mundo en seis dias, y el septimo es el Dia de Reposo! Si, usted, tiene mas conocimiento del Señor y puede, usted, crear un mundo en seis dias, por favor, tiene sus propias mandamientos. (We will leave that untransaleted... as it is from a book of Herecy and Lies...)

So we prayed for a miracle. We prayed that somehow we would see a miracle, Sunday, at the church. And you know what... my God is a God of miracles.

-The Story of the Angel and the Demon-

Sunday Morning at 8:00 we had an appoinment in Cocha (roughly 15 minutes afuera -outside- of Pasaje. It is a beautiful little town with a DEAP river running down the middle of it. I can´t describe how beautiful. The river is not big, but it is DEAP, kindof like a canyon, but full of clear water. I will take a picture next time I am there.

We were late for our appointment with Familia Zari, but... Hermano Zari was there. He has 70 years and I thought he was just tired... well... he was actually cursed. I don´t know if ANY of you believe in Witches, but I am here to tell you that they exist. Not very many in Ecuador, but in the mountains... yes. Mermano Zari has had pain in his head for years and medicine was not working for him so he went to see a whitch. He traveled 9 hours in bus, to Peru, then 3 hours by horse up into the mountains. There he found the Witch. And that is all he remembers. He was telling us of seeing a moon on the horizon, stars, and darkness. But beyond that he remembers nothing. His speach was really slow, his mind was working... but not sufficiently well... he was thinking slowely.

So we did what all good missionaries do: we taught lesson one. He liked it. He told us he wanted to go to church with us. (He had only seen misioneros once before: us, a week before, when we set the appointment). We decided that he could come with us, but he would have to follow us around for 3 hours until church started. He was still slow, so we taught of preisthood blessings and blessed him to be rid of whatever the witch did to him. We told him that we would return in one hour and take him to Pasaje with us.

One hour later we were teaching a lesson down by the river. Hermano Milton (the cursed man) showed up. He looked TONS better. His mind was faster (though not perfect) and he was ready for church. We told him that we had to finish our lesson and that he could wait for us at the bridge (the bridge is OVER the town and the river, you have to climb these really cool stairs to get out of Cocha). After our lesson, 15 minutes later, we climbed the stairs and found Milton -get this- SHARING HIS BOOK OF MORMON and telling his friend how excited he was to go to church with us.

We took Milton to Pasaje and to lunch with us at Familia Arias. From there we visited Ronald Ochoa at the Cemetary (he lives there) and then went to the church. Of ALL of our investigatores ONLY 2 showed up. Milton and Silvia. Now do you call that a miracle... YES!

Look at it this way: Milton had just been cursed, had traveled all night to Peru and back, the first people he saw when he got back was us, we taught him, gave him a Book of Mormon, blessed him. He then went to church, had lunch with members, had a cita with us, and then stayed all 3 hours at church. He has set a breakfast appoinment with us (for next Sunday) and now has a Baptismal Date. Miracle? I say yes. You decide.

-End of Story-

Weird News: I made my No-Bake-Cookies. Hmmmm... Thanks family SOOO much. (Why is this weird? I cooked something that was not noodles or eggs.)

Now for things of UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

1. Thanks to all who thought of me or sent me something for my birthday. I can´t reply to you all... because I have to travel to Machala to get letters out, and I can only do that Mondays and only if I travel to Machala...

2. Someone asked me what cultural things in Ecuador I love... or are just plane wierd... here is my list

-Coco Beans everywhere. They smell bad.
-Traditional Rap. Yeah, with marakas, tamberines, and rap (Boom, chicka chicka, Boom Boom, chicka, Boom Boom Cicka...!)
-Bugs in food. You get used to it after a while. Drinks, rice, soup... can´t let everything bother you.
-Blarring music. I don´t think you can be Latin unless you can tolerate music around 942 Decibles.
- Bamboo Houses and Dirt Floors. Love these. The people are much more receptive.
- House-stores on EVERY corner.
-Mimiking EVERYTHING that America does (this is slightly annoying). For Example: Latin-American Idol (with three judges, one of which is a jerk, one is a woman, and the other is smart), Who-wants-to-be-a-millionare! ("mill" in spanish is 1000, so the show is the exact same, but the top reward is 50,000), News Anchores (yeah, they look just like the famous News Anchores in the States), etc...etc...
- Toilet Paper... can´t flush it here.
- Markets
- Buses and Taxis

1. Interviews tomorrow
2. Conference in 2 days
3. 24 nuevos
4. Opening Cocha

Y doy fin a mis palabras,

os amo,

Elder Robinson

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Sorry, the Maas family is seriously slacking on the emails. We stay busy but don't do anything different so there isn't a whole lot to write about.
I didn't get much sleep last night H1N1 is in the neighborhood, and though my kids don't have it, they have been sick, and Ben was tossing and turning all night, sad not feeling well was wierd and exausting. :(
Hm our daily routine
6:30 wake up eat breakfast, wake kids
7:00 leave the house
Drop off at daycare
Study till class
Go to class
Study after class
5:30 pick up kids
Make dinner
Family activity (currenlty we are making a pinata)
Prayers, Brush teeth, Pj's, Scriptures
PUt kids to bed
Jeff & Ann Time (often doing more homework)
10:00 Bed time
   x7 and thats our week.
I am still looking for the pictures we took of your b-day cards. I'd be the slacker sister that didn't get it out on time, but to my defense, we don't live in UT and couldn't add them to the family's packages. Sorry, myabe they are still on the camera, I'll find them!
Have a great day, I have to get back to homework.


Family, Friends, Lost Friends

Hey! I have time this week. Weird. Here we go!

Cambio 2 Report:

Baptisms: 4
Confirmations: 4
Lessons Taught: 98
New Investigators: 60

It was a good change and we finished it with a bang.

Shout Out: Mary (or Mery as they spell it here, or Maria) Hughes. My little niece has broken her collerbone and is pretty sad.


Ok, so I don´t have a ton of words for an injured child, but hey! Mary, I love you, you are such a cute little niece. I will keep you (and all of my sobrinos, en mis oraciones).

My Week: So I lost Elder Benavides and found Elder Ludeña. Elder Ludeña is from Peru. He is the oldest missionary in the mission (27) and just left the office (was the Financier) (odd, Elder Benavides was, directly before he was my Trainer, the AP, Ludeña was the Financier... I think my next companion will be Elder Cambra, he is currently the Secretary to the President and his time in the office will be ending soon...)

Elder Ludeña is great. We work great together and our lessons are super powerful. and he has what I would call a "pure" testimony.

Spanish is coming along great for me. I am living in a house where I am the only person that knows english but for some reason I am able to communicate with people that know spanish. I don´t understand how it works yet but I think I am learning spanish. Odd.

Last week we worked hard. We had over 30 new investigators and 23 lessons.

Weird News: So I was teaching Andres Chichande the Palabra de Sabiduria the other day. As I was talking, in spanish, I realized I was saying things that I did not really know how to say, and that I was telling him to do things that really did not make sense to me... jist of my story: Elder Holland taught us that one of the signs that the spirit is in a lesson is when the teacher (me at this moment) learns from himself. I was definitely learning from myself. For some strange reason it made sense to me why we confess and ask the help of other people when we have grave problems. I can´t explain it to you now, but it makes sense why Bishops are the Common Judges. O´well. I hope one day you all understand what I am trying to say.

Now for things of UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

1. When you are sitting in a chair and you suddenly feel vertigo.... EARTHQUAKE. It lasted about 2 seconds.

2. Diana wants to get baptised. Odd, her mom hit her when she said that. Sometimes Catholics can be a little harsh.

3. CHALLENGE: We as missionaries have been reading the Book of Mormon and marking every reference to Christ, all of his words, his attributes, and any doctrine we come across. This is a cool assigment. I am halfway through el Libro de Mormon and I have learned a ton. One thing I have learned and noticed I would like to share with you...

Read the following versus and figure out what they all have in common. There are more, but I am not finished with the Book of Mormon yet...

Enos 1:10
Mosiah 2:22
Alma 38:1
Jarom 1:9
Alma 9:13
Omni 1:6
Alma 36:1


4. Rumor has it that the office has 5 boxes with my name on them. All white sticker... hmm...

5. The picture is one of the final times I was with Elder Benavides.

1. Gangs... yeah right
2. 30 nuevos
3. Piña puro es como el cielo
4. Andres Drunk and a telephone call to the mother of Katy Cedeño (Which I might note is challenging: to speak spanish over a telephone... 10 points for Elder Robinson).

Y doy fin a mis palabras,

os amo,

Elder Robinson


How was the fireside? Are you and dad still at the Temple every week? How is Mary´s collarbone? And white sticker... go green... thanks ;)


Nothing to respond to. We are having some difficutly to with the mail. I hope China is treating you well.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Birthday!!!

Ok I hope that this gets to you. I can't find the images that I was supposed to upload for you, but the whole Maas family is wishing you a happy birthday. Look in your inbox next week for your official birthday cards from us. (sorry they will be late)
Lots of Love
PS. your last email was WAY too short!

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-- Malcolm S. Forbes

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Livin´ la Vida Loca

Mis Amados Amigos y Familia

Shout Out: Elder Benavides. This Elder was my trainer and as of today he is going back to the States. He has finished his mission, fought a good fight, and is ready to go home. I love him to death. It is truely hard to explain... but I love him and miss him already. I don´t think anyone will truely know how much I love my companions.


Weird News: Today: companion left, took taxi, went to Machala, taxi was late, bus broke down, no companion, new companion, no zone leaders, cleaned house, have to work, wrote this email... no time...

Actually, weird news... THEY CLOSED MY CITY! PASAJE HAS BEEN CLOSED. Now let me explain. They pulled every missionary out of it EXCEPT ME! They have replaced all the Elders. Odd. Interesting. This means I have to show a few more people where things are.

Now for things of UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

1. Not enough time. Must work. Must sleep. Must... must... mu...

1. I love my mom
2. I thought about mom this week
3. Mom? Where are you?
4. Mom is purple? Someone explain that to me?

Y doy fin a estas palabras,

Elder Robinson

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-- Malcolm S. Forbes

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fwd: Conference 179

Mis Amados Amigos y Familia

Shout Out: Dad! Wow you are... um... I wont say your age, that might be rude... but you had a BIRTHDAY! I know you hate it when we celebrate your birthday, but hey! I am in Ecuador. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELATED! Thanks for your support and time. Thanks for being my dad.

My Week: Crazy. Preparing for Conference was way more difficult than it should have been. But there is some silver lining to everything... CONFERENCE! It was a blast. Even though it was in spanish and I was having a REALLY hard time understanding everything it was amazing.

All the Latins were buzzing with how great Elder Hollands talk was, I thought I should rewatch it in english. I did. Wow. Talk about AMAZING. I am constantly impressed with the role that the Book of Mormon plays, and should play, in our lives. The testimony of a great Apostle is no surprise at this time in the worlds history.

Ruth Chichande is now the newest member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the picture she is the person with curly black hair standing directly above me. She is amazing and is so excited to be a member (she will be confirmed next week). Her neice, Diana, really wants to be baptized but cannot because her parents will not give permision. Diana was practically crying afterwards because her parents have promised her a "first communion" instead of a "mormon baptism" because she wants to be baptised soooo badly. "first communion" is some made up "other church" things for those who are repenting for the first time. She knows it is false and told us that she is going to bug her parents all week so that she can be baptised like her Aunt next week. Talk about powerful.

Next week we plan to baptise Sebastian and Kiara.

To end this section I would exhort ALL of you to reread chapters 29-31 in 2 Nephi. If you are really lazy and dont have time then just read 2 Nephi 19-20. I read these chapters in Spanish this week and they were super powerful to me. I hope you all feel the spirit as I did when you read these words.

Weird News: Liver. I hate LIVER and Guatita. If you dont know what Guatita is... well, I will never tell you. I will give you some. Whoo... I am getting chills already. We were teaching a lesson at the home of Ruth when they invited us to eat with them. We agreed. We should not have. It was Guatita and Liver. But, I love these people so much, and I did not want to offend them... so I looked for a way out of it.

At first my companion tried to tell them that we cant eat pig... well it was not pig liver. Then my companion tried to get his bag so we could shove it inside when they were not looking... the baby had his bag. Then they noticed we were trying to get out of it and asked if the food was making us sick... I could not tell them that it was.... SO I ATE IT! It took me over and hour and we were late getting home, but I did it. I about threw up 3x, my companion thought it was disgusting, but we did it!

My montra the entire time: Perfect love casteth out ALL fear. It did. I lived. They were happy.

Now for things of UPMOST IMPORTANCE:

1. Nature Walks. These are important. I love doing them here in Ecuador, but I never have time. I have added some pictures of one we took Tuesday with Family Segarra. Enjoy.

2. Sugar Cain. I love this stuff, but I cant eat to much of it at a time, it is much to sweet.

3. We are now teaching lessons in a Cemetary. There is a family that runs it and they LIVE there. Talk about "Living among the Dead." Cemetaries here are... ugly. All the bodies and boxes and stuff is ABOVE ground. Kinda creepy. I cant wait until we talk about the resurection, we might scare them half to death. "And now we would like to make sure you understand that ALL of these people will be walking around again... you might want to move..."

1. Hermano Sanchez 3x robbed in 3 days.
2. Prayer works every time.
3. If you ever wonder why I have this crazy format for every email... it is for you. If you want to read about my week, read it, if you want to know what is crazy, read it, if you want to try to figure out my thoughts.... read it. Just thought I would through that in for those of you who have not figured it out yet.

Y doy fin a estas palabras,

Elder Robinson

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-- Malcolm S. Forbes