Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Week 22 -- Christmas

Hola familia-

Bueno, I will start off by answering your questions:

1.  So, what did you end up doing on Christmas Day?  Did your Zone get together?
1- Well honestly nothing--we just slept at Elder Arias´ house with our district leaders and that was it, nothing else.

2.  Did you receive a tie from President and Sister Amaya for Christmas?  Did you hear about any Elders receiving ties for Christmas?  If so, those came from me! :-)  I mailed about 200 ties to President Amaya for him to give to all of the Elders in your mission.  I sure hope everyone got them.  Merry Christmas! :-)
2- No, I didn't hear of anyone who recieved a tie, neither did I recieve one.  And I did know that--it's cool.

3. Did you ever receive your Christmas package from us?  
3- No, I didn't receive the package but I am expecting to get it tomorrow.  Thank you in advance for the presents.

4. This week is New Year's.  Have you heard anything about the Ecuadorian tradition of the burning of the ano viejo dummies?  I remember that Layna Comsa told us about this tradition of when people build paper dummies that they burn on New Year's Eve signaling burning the old year and having a clean slate for the new year.  You will have to tell me if you see any of that on Wednesday night.  Take pictures if you do!
4- No, I haven't heard anything about the New Year's tradition but I am seeing a TON of paper statues and I know that they are going to be burned soon.

5.  Did Elder Cano have an interview with President Amaya?  How did that go?
5- No, he didn't have the interview but everything is all good.  I just have to be patient with him and he will change sooner or later.

Bueno, I will ask my questions now:

1- Do I really look like and act like Uncle Aaron?

2- Davis really got an i-pad mini?

3- The aunts and uncles really played out the story of Jesus?

4- Are these questions REALLY annoying?

5- Really, my spanish is good?

6- Katherine Wagner is really home already?

7- My compañero knows Michelle Wagner.

8- How is the new Hobbit movie?

Bueno, I will now tell you about my week: 

Well, this week was pretty standard.  Tuesday we talked together on the computer, and after that we went to Milagro because there were like 10 other people who needed to have interviews. Then we stayed the night with the other Elders. Wednesday was a day of rest because Presidente said so, so for Wednesday we were in Milagro and we slept in Milagro until Thursday because we missed the last bus to Simon Bolivar. Thursday morning we came back to Simon and it was a normal day--nothing too exciting.  We basically contacted the whole day in Jujan--a city in our sector.  It's about 40 mins by bus from Simon Bolivar.  Friday was just a normal day.  We visited people and taught the gospel.  Saturday we had a branch activity for christmas and that was really fun.  Sunday was a normal day also. 

A really cool and kinda funny experience that happened on sunday goes as follows: we were walking and usually all of the drunk people say "hi" to us. So we were walking and this guy was sitting down and we said "hello" and he asked us to come over to him so we did.  He looked kinda familiar btw, so we started talking and him.  He was super drunk!  He started telling me all about his life, he kept on saying "I want to change and become better", then he said that he was the brother of a person we baptized and he attended that baptism. The whole time he was talking he was on the verge of tears. We told him that we could help him change. He just went on and on and on about how he wants to change and be taught the correct way. So we planned a visit with him for an other day.  Then his friend came over on a motorcycle and he said that he had to go.  We had this really awkward hug, and he got on the bike and he just about passed out and took off.  After we walked away, a little ways down the road we saw him again but this time he was in front of a store and he told us to come over there, so we did and he told us that we could buy whatever wanted and that he would pay.  Oh sweet I thought!  So we got a Gatorade and we had another awkward hug and we went our seperate ways.  I thought that was really kinda funny and cool at the same time.

Bueno, if you guys feel like you should move to Prescott then you should do it.  I really don't care as long as my friends can be there for my homecoming and I can be there for their homecomings. 

Can you guys pray for the Familia Rodriguez Lopez?  They are a golden family but they just need to get married and then we can baptize them. 


Elder Farley_

Week 21 -- Opening the door with his mind!

Bueno pues!!
Well, to answer your very important questions:
1- I will call you guys through Skype at 4 in the afternoon.
2- I will call you from a computer store in Simon Bolivar.
3- We will have 40 minutes to talk.
4- No, I don't know what your Skype number is.  Can you help me with that?
5- This is most important! TUESDAY, I will call you guys at 4 in the afternoon through Skype.  That is TOMORROW, NOT WEDNESDAY.  I am calling on TUESDAY because Wednesday everybody is busy so it's best for me on Tuesday.   Tell me what is best for you guys.
Well I don't know what to say because tomorrow I will call you guys, but I will say what I can.
We have a baptism on Saturday.  It is this old guy named Segundo Arias so that is really cool.  This week there were some cool experiences.  Two of them come to mind.  First is that on Sunday we needed to get into our house to get a pamphlet for Segundo Arias but we were locked out.  So basically I kicked down the door with my mind and we were able to get the pamphlets and give them to Segundo.  I thought that was really cool.
The second experience is that we were door contacting and we knocked on this door and two women were drinking beer and we started talking.   They offered some beer to us and right then I said  "you guys are sinners, and that is an abominion in the eyes of the lord, have fun in hell.¨  Basically I said that because I was truly offended that they offered me beer.  After I said that we just walked away.
Well honestly that is all I have because TOMORROW we are talking on Skype. :-)
Elder Farley-

Here was my response to this email:

Are u calling at 4 your time? Search the Skype directory for Jenny Farley in Peoria, AZ. We will be ready! Ummm...I think u need to be more patient and loving with people when u door contact. Now their impression of the missionaries will be hostile. U want it to be a good impression. 

I LOVED Garrett's response to me:

Mom... you know how Dad expands every little story into something huge?  Well, I did the same thing here. :-)  It was very loving--don't worry mom!  And yes 4 on my time--I don't know what time it is on your time.

2013 Christmas Eve Skype call with Garrett

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week #20 - Being a trainer is hard!

Hola familia como están

Mi vida es maravillosa, comenzare como respuesta sus preguntas (My life is wonderful, I will start by answering your questions)-

1.  What do you do for exercise in the mornings?  I would imagine with all of the walking you do that you might not need to do anything but lift weights.  

1- Usually I just do push-ups and some sit-ups.

2.  What has been the most interesting meal you ate last week?  What is your favorite food there?

2- This last week I ate a cow's elbow, and that was.....interesting. My favorite food here is called Seco de Pollo.  It's super good.  I can't describe it but it's really good.

3.  What is Elder Cano like?  We know he is from Tegucigalpa and that he is 6’8”, but tell us about his personality and how it is to be comps with him.  

3-  Honestly, Elder Cano is like a little kid.  It is SUPER hard to teach him.  At times I get sooo frustrated with him because he is like a little kid. But I have patience and honestly in my opinion I think at the end of December or beginning of January I will get transferred, but that's my opinion.

4.  G-ma Farley asked me to ask you if you could get her and I a small nativity set from Ecuador?  She collects them from all over the world and she would like one from Ecuador.  I would too if you can find them.  Thanks!  Did you receive our Christmas package and the Christmas package from the Farley girls?

4- Yes I received the package.  It was really cool. Thanks and I will look for a nativity set for Grandma. 
5. How was the temple?

5- The temple was awesome.  I saw the new temple video.  It was soooo cool. I love the temple here in Ecuador.

6.  Why can't you send letters? 

6- Honestly I don't know why I can't send letters.

Well, my week was a little crazy. Tuesday my comp had to go to Guayaquil for something. So me and Elder Arias were comps for the day.  That is when I ate the cows elbow. Tuesday night all the Elders and Sisters in my Zona went to Guayaquil for the temple.  Wednesday we attended the temple and that whole day was spent in Guayaquil. Thursday we came back to Simon and it was a normal week.  We walked, taught and had a baptism. The little kid that got baptized se llama Adrian and he is really cool.  A brother in our branch baptized him.  Then on Saturday we went to Milagro because an Elder in our Zona left his mission.  His 2 years were up so that was kinda cool to see that.  Honestly that was my week.

One cool spiritual experience is that on Sunday I had to give a talk but this week was so crazy that I kinda forgot about it until like 20 mins before church started.  The Presidente asked me if I was prepared and I said "claro Presidente" (clear President) then I said a quick little prayer and my talk was really good.  It was about D & C 4 and I thought it was really good.

Well that was really all my week. I am just absolutely loving my mission.  I am loving every second of it.  Thanks for all the support.

My questions:

1- Can you send me copies of my art work?

2- How is Morgyn?

3- How is George?

5- What does Kendall look like--I forgot?


Elder Farley-

Hang loose Elders!  Elder Cano on the right -- Garrett's comp

Pondering the significance of the temple or maybe just looking cool?

I love this picture!

Christmas fun with the Zone and President and Sister Amaya

Baptism of Adrian

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week #19 -- New Companion Elder Cano and Garrett is a trainer

Hola ¿como esta?

Well I will start off by answering your questions like I always do:

1- Yes I can skype you guys. The week before Christmas I will tell you what time I will skype you and then you can just wait. Pero es un bueno idea si ustedes saben the time differences (but it is a good idea if you know the time differences.)

2- No I did not recieve the package yet.

3- Yes I am still in Simon Bolivar and Elder Mercado is gone.  He is serving in Guayaquil and now I am a trainer.  I am training Elder Cano.  He is from Honduras Tegucigalpa, and he is extremely tall. He is almost 7 feet-- he is like 6' 8". And being a trainer is harder than I thought.  Especially because my Spanish isn't that good so I need to be patient and pray for the gift of tongues especially for teaching my comp and our investigators. 

4- Yes I watched the Christmas Devotional last night - it was really good. 

5- Yes I will send you guys a picture of my toe but this week I forgot my cord so I can't send pictures but next week I will send a bunch. Yo les promote (I promise).

Now I will tell you guys about my week.

Lunes y Martes (Monday and Tuesday) I was compañeros with Elder Arias and on Tuesday night we went to Guayaquil to meet our new comps. And wednesday in the tarde we came back to Simon Bolivar and went to work.  I am a trainer now so it's really hard because for a week or two I have to do everything pretty much and its in Spanish.  So other than that my week was really good. The rest of the week we just worked and invited 5 people to be baptized so that was really cool. Honestly that as my week, nothing really much happened.

An experience that I had this week was really cool. On Firday we were teaching a sister that wants to be baptized but she can't because she isn't married.  We were teaching and during the lesson I felt promped to have a prayer on our knees and have her offer the prayer. We did and as she was saying the prayer I was praying that she would receive an answer and right when I finished my prayer she started bawling because the spirit was so strong. I almost started to cry! también holy cow that day was so strong in the spirit.  

So honestly that was my week. I love this mission with all my heart I couldn't ask for anything better. I know this gospel is true.  Oh btws - this week we are going to the temple.

oh my questions: 

1- So how does Kendall translate?

2- Where is the other Garrett from?

3- And I really don't know what I need, maybe more pencils with lead, another journal because I am about halfway through with the green one, and I don't know--surprise me and if you send me jeans I like LEE jeans and I am probable a 35, 36 ish


Elder Farley- 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week #18 - Transfer week

¿Hola como estan?
Well, as usual I will start off by answering your questions:
1. Name 3 things you are most grateful for.
1- I am grateful for food, sleep, and the ability to serve the lord.  Not only to serve Him but to dedicate my life to Him for the next two years.
2. What happened with transfers?
2- Yes transfers are this week so Elder Mercado got transferred but I don't have my new companion yet. I am staying with Elder Arias (his compañero got transferred as well) until Wednesday when I will know who my new compañero is.
3. If you are transferred, what will you miss most about Elder Mercado?
3- I will miss Elder Mercado as my first compañero.
4. How are your slacks fitting now that you have lost some weight?
4- Yea my slacks are fitting fine. They are a little loose but they still work fine. My jeans are really big on me though so I might need a new pair of jeans soon.
5. Tell me something interesting about Ecuador that I don't know.
5-  Something about Ecuador is that almost all the people are irresponsible. I really can't trust them but I love them so it's kind of hard when they say 5 minutes before church starts that they will be there, but then they never show.
Pues ahora mi semana: (Now for my week:)
Well, my semana (week) was really good. On Tuesday we had the corilation missional (missionary correlation) meeting with the mission leader in our rama (branch). Elder Mercado knew he was going to get transferred so he told me "you do all the talking". I asked "why" and he responded "because i am leaving muy pronto you need to be his friend." "ok" I said.  Our leader missional isn't very good. He doesn't really do anything to help.  He is a good person but a bad leader.  So we went there to his house and I told him all about our investigators and all their problems and it was going just fine. Then I don't really know how it happened but I asked him if he knew the story about Lehi's dream and he said that he didn't know. So I asked Elder Mercado to explain the story and he did a great job.  He explained about the 4 different types of people in that story. Then I basically macheted him with love and explained what a leader missional is and how he should help the rama. It was very powerful. I felt the spirit so strong.  After that, in the closing prayer he asked God to help change him and make him into a better servant. So that experience was really cool.
Another really cool story is that on Friday we found this lady and we started talking to her and she told us that her husband died and that she missed him really bad. So we taught her about the plan of salvation and again the spirit was really strong. Holy cow! I really think she will get baptized but we need to talk to her again. So this week was really cool for us.
Another story is that this woman came to me and said "I want to be baptized!" So that was really cool but she isn't married to her boyfriend so we have got to get her married. The boyfriend doesn't want to get married so that is a problem.

The rest of the week was really standard--we walked, taught, and testified.
Now my questions:
1- Is Kendall learning Spanish?
2- How is Chase?
3- And no, Christmas isn't really that big down here.
4- Just keep me updated.

Elder Farley-

Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 17 -- Simon Bolivar

Jenny's translations and comments in red.
The questions we asked Garrett are in blue.


Bueno comenzare contestar sus preguntas: (Well, I'll start answering your questions):

1.    Did you receive our 2 Thanksgiving packages?
1- si, gracias mucho gracias me encanta mucho (Yeah, thanks a lot much love)

2.    Did you ever receive my letter about my thoughts on General Conference?  What did you think of it?
2- si fue muy bueno gracias mucho (It was very good, thanks a lot)

3.   Will you celebrate Thanksgiving?
3- honestamente no, porque soy gordo y tenemos que trabajar en la obra misional (honestly no, because I am fat and have to work in missionary work)

4.  How is your Spanish?
4- no se me español es mas o menos, pienso que es terrible pero posible no es terrible, no se, ¿que piensen ustedes?  (My Spanish is more or less ?, I think it is terrible but possibly not terrible, what do you think?)

5.   Do you realize that we will get to talk to you, face to face, in exactly 1 month?  We are so excited!  Do you know if we will get to talk to you through Skype?  How long will we get to talk for?  Do you know where you will go to talk to us?  We can’t wait to know the plan.  That will be the best Christmas present EVER!
5- si es muy bueno estoy muy animado por eso fecha y la oportunidad se hablo. pero no se cualquier cosa sobre eso. entonces no se lo siento (I am very encouraged by the date and the opportunity to speak, but I don't know anything about it.)

6.   Do you think your machete talk made a difference?  Did you get any referrals from the members this week?
6- si el discurso machete fue bueno, esta semana obtuvimos 4 de un hermana, entonces es muy bueno. (My machete speech was good, this week we got 4 referrals from a sister, that was very good.)

7.     What was the best thing your experienced this week?
7- pues la mejor cosa que paso este semana fue que obtuvimos 5 o 6 nuevo investigadores (The best thing that happened this week is that we got 5 to 6 investigators.)

8.    When did you feel the love of the Lord this week?
8- si sentí la amor de dios diario, es maravillosa (I felt the love of the Lord daily and it is wonderful.)

9.    Have you given away any pictures of the Savior that we sent to you?  Have you given away stickers or other stuff that we sent to you?  We are just trying to help. 
9- honestamente esos son bueno pero es ingles y nadie aquí hablan ingles, pero aun tengo esos entonces alguno día se usare, y gracias por todo me ayudan mucho (Honestly those are good but no one here speaks English but I still have them and will use them someday. Thanks a lot you help me a lot.) 

¿entonces que piensen sobre me español es bueno o malo? (Then what do you think of my Spanish, is it good or bad?) 

OK, I will write in English now HAHAHAHAHAH!!

Wow you guys had a big week! What day is thanksgiving? Se me olvido (I forgot) and I wish I could have been there for everything that has happened--Davis' game, Hayden's play, Cami's soccer stuff, Kendall's ....stuff, and the ranch with Dad, and to be at home with Mom and Chase.  But I am doing a greater work. Family is great but the salvation of souls is more important to me right now.  I miss you guys so much but in two years we can see each other.

Guess what?  I just got a comment on your mission blog from a woman whose son has been called to the Ecuador, Guayaquil North Mission.  Her son enters the MTC on January 15th.  The crazy thing is that his name is Garrett Dean Taylor. J  Isn’t that a crazy coincidence?  So, look for a new Elder named, Elder Taylor at the end of February and try to remember that his name is Garrett Dean as well.  Wow!

Really his name is Garrett Dean?  That is amazing!  I want to train him now. Where is he from? And how far spred is my blog? Speaking of training...this week is my last week of being trained so next week I could be a trainer.  After next week I am done with all my training and the only training I will still have to do is my Spanish. I am pretty excited for that.

This week was honestly pretty standard.  Monday is P-day. Tuesday we went to Milagro for District Meeting, then the rest of the day is work. It is like that for the rest of the week.  Sunday is church and then it starts over. So honestly nothing really new happened except that we found about 5 or 6 new investigators. That is really good. On Sunday a family came to church so that is really good, but they aren't married so we have to get them married first then baptism. We had inter cambiars this week so on Friday I went to Milagro for the day and helped Elder Barreda (ZL).  Well that really was our week.

 On Thursday an Elder de la setenta (an Elder of the seventies) came to Babahoyo for a conference so we went to that all day which was really good to hear. At this conference there was a teaching practice.  They asked two Elders to practice teaching in front of the Presidente, his wife, the area seventy, and about a hundred elders and sisters. Guess who did the practice? Yes, it was me and Elder Mercado who did the practice.  I was a bit nervous. HAHA!! But I think we did good!

Well, honestly that was my week.

1- I love you guys!

2- Yes, that statement is true.


Elder Farley-

I am not sure if this is what the Lord meant about putting on the armor of God. 

Garrett must be eating a lot of cereal.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Week 16 - Simon Bolivar


Well, as usual I will start off by answering your questions:

1-Yea, It was constipation so don't worry about that.  It's all passed and everything is back to normal as far as my bowels go. :-)

2- My toe is doing just fine.  The new nail is starting to grow in and it feels really weird.

3- No I didn't receive your packages but hopefully tomorrow.

4- I study my scriptures for an hour everyday and I am learning a lot.  Por ejemplo, (for example) I didn't know that Alma and Amulek were forced to watch women and children being burned and during that Amulek said to Alma that they should stop it from happening but Alma said "No--they are being saved in the kingdom of God".  So I thought that was sad but a cool story.

5- Oh my shoes are doing fine.  Yes, if I need new ones I can get them down here just about anywhere.

6- The next transfer day is in two weeks and I think that Elder Mercado will get transferred and I will probably stay in Simon Bolivar for another while.

Now I will tell you about my week--my week was pretty crazy by the way.

        Lunes was just a normal P-day.  Martes we went to Milagro for District meetings then we came back to Simon Bolivar.  Two hours after we arrived in Simon Bolivar we had to go back to Milagro because on Wednesday it was the conference of leaders and Elder Mercado is a District Leader so he had to go to that, which was in Guayaquil.  So Elder Mercado and the other District Leader and the Zone Leaders went to Guayaquil and I stayed in Milagro with Elder Juanes.  He is from Bolivia, Santa Cruz.  We did the normal missionary stuff in Milagro.  Elder Mercado and the others didn't come back until late Wednesday night and there were no more buses to go back to Simon Bolivar so we stayed the night in Milagro.  On Thursday morning we went back to Simon Bolivar. Thursday was a normal day.  Me and Elder Mercado just taught lessons and talked to people. On Viernes we went back to Milagro for a Zone meeting and after that was over we came back to Simon Bolivar. On Saturday and Sunday we stayed in Simon Bolivar teaching our investigators.

         On Domingo me and Elder Mercado gave talks in church. Lately the members aqui in Simon Bolivar don't really help with the missionary work.  It has been totally me and my compañero. So for our talks we talked about missionary work and how the members need to help us with the missionary work. I felt a little bit like Jeffery R Holland and how he is just so direct and says thing like they are.  When people are direct and say things like they are and kind of lecture other people we call that MACHETE. Yes, we macheted the members,  but we macheted with love. I did feel the spirit and I did notice a change in some of the members afterward. I really liked Sunday--it was a really good day.  

         We have one investigator named Luis and he has 21 yrs. Every time we teach him I know he feels the spirit and I know this because he asks the most questions during our lesson and that is an indicator to me that he feels something. He has a problem with drinking, smoking, girls, and with the police. I know that he feels something during our lessons but so far that hasn't been enough to change his ways for good. He lives with his cousins and one of them is a less active member. Can you guys pray for him specifically and pray that he will have a mighty change of heart, because I know he can be a great member?  I can feel that in him, but he needs some help and we are doing everything we can to help him.

Well, that was my week in a nutshell. Here are my questions:

1- Can you send me copies of my pieces of art work?

2- Can you send me a list of all my friends and everyone that is serving a mission that I know and their missions?

3- Umm...that's it just keep on sending me great letters


Elder Farley-

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Week 15 - I killed the toilet! - Simon Bolivar


I will start off by answering your questions:

No, I have not received the packages yet but tomorrow I should receive them, so I have my fingers crossed.

No, I did not have to pay the doctor for my toe surgery.  The church paid for it.

Oh I would say I have lost at least 10 lbs but possibly more.  I am not quite sure.

My favorite part of my daily routine is from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. because that is when we teach most of our lessons and it's cooler out so it feels nice.

One word I would use to describe my mission so far is AMAZING!  I have blessed so many peoples lives with the gospel and I don't want to stop.  I just want to baptize the world.

Well, for miracles I would say there are too many for me to write down, but here are a few that I have noticed.  For starters Elder Mercado and I were able to find Erika, a less active member, and we were able to teach her, her cousin, her mom, and her little brother. She and her little brother are members but her mom and her cousin aren't members.  We were able to commit them to a baptism date so that is really cool and a miracle. Another miracle I have witnessed is that Simon Bolivar is the biggest area in my mission and we have to walk everywhere because the buses are never reliable.  I have noticed that we have the strength to go throughout the day with a good attitude and enough physical energy. The gift of tongues is another miracle.  I am able to speak enough Spanish to really communicate the lessons.  Before my mission I was terrible at Spanish so this is a great miracle.

My week has been pretty standard. Monday is P-day. Martes (Tuesday) we go to Milagro and have our district meetings and then we come back to Simon Bolivar and preach the gospel. Wednesday is a normal day where we study and preach. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are normal days as well.  Sunday we go to church and then preach the gospel and then our week starts over again. Honestly my week was pretty normal.  Saturday was the birthday of a member so we went to go celebrate with them so that was kinda cool.  He has 11 years now and his name is Gabriel (I didn't edit this sentence because Kendall told me that in Spanish that is how you would say that Gabriel is 11 years old.  I thought that was funny that Garrett is now writing in English the way he is forming sentences in Spanish. He is so confused!).

One thing that is really making me mad is that none of our investigators attend church.  In order for them to be baptized they need to attend church twice but nobody does so it's kind of making me mad. But I will try even harder.

This really was my week--nothing too exciting.

My questions:

1-  I would like another CD that has a bunch of classic Christmas songs.

2- Can I also have an EFY 2011 CD?

3- Umm can you tell me about night stomach pains? Almost every night this week I woke up at 2 or 3 with really bad night pains.  I took medicine and then it stopped so I don't know what is going on.

4- How is everyone?

Well, sorry this email wasn't as good as others but my week was normal.


Elder Farley- 

P.S. Oh se me olvide (Oh, I forgot),  something did happen this week. Wednesday morning I had to go #2 so bad.  So, when Elder Mercado was done showering I ran in there and unloaded my package, if you know what I mean :-). Then I showered.  But because of my "package" it clogged the toilet so badly that I actually killed the toilet!  Water was everywhere so we had to tell our land lord.  They replaced the toilet but I felt really bad :( but I learned my lesson. 

 Yikes - I killed the toilet!

Super handsome

Gabriel's 11 year old birthday with the Elders

Exhausted after a long day of work

P-day fun

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week 14 - Garrett has the sillies -- Simon Bolivar


¿Como Están? Estoy muy bien soy muy feliz, y mi dedo de mi pie es muy bueno (I'm fine, I'm very happy and my toe is very good).  My toe doesn't really hurt anymore and yes I am back to normal doing normal missionary stuff.  Yes, we did baptize him. Elder Mercado baptized him. I will send some picture of that so you can see it. 

Let me start by answering your questions:

1- My toe is doing a lot better. The nail won't grow back to normal for a couple of months but it is feeling way better.

2- Yes, I started working again.

3- Yes, we baptized him.

4- NO! Nadie attended church but that is the only thing that is ticking me off because nobody attends church--NOBODY!  But I don't give up.

5- The weather is just cloudy and humid like always. Some days it's sunny and humid and those days are really hot!!

6- Yes, I did receive the package and I loved it!  I really do love it. Thank you :)

7-  Yes, I did have another interview with President Amaya the day before my toe operation.

Ok let me tell you about my week now:

Well, on Tuesday we didn't really do anything because of my toe, but we went to Milagro for the District Meeting. Wednesday we tried working and we did as much as we could with my toe. Thursday we had an intercambiar (exchange) with the Zone Leaders but it was only for 5 or 6 hours, so me and Elder Barreda stayed in our house and cleaned, while Elder Alfaro and Elder Mercado went to have an interview with the 14 year old kid that we baptized.  Friday we worked all day because the doctor said my toe was healing just fine and on Saturday we baptized Rosendo the 14 yr kid. Sunday was just a normal day; we went to church and tracked all day. That really was my week in a nutshell.  Oh you were right, they do celebrate the "day of the dead" but its not called that.  What they do is that everyone goes to the cemetery and eats a meal by their dead loved ones. Then they drink this purple drink and they only drink it on that day and it's out of respect for the dead, That's kinda cool.

A funny experience that happened to me this week was when we did work I couldn't wear my normal shoes so I had to wear one flip-flop and one normal shoe. I looked really goofy. I will send a picture of that also. 

Ok, so this week I have been craving so bad to see "The Phantom of the Opera". That is probably going to be the first movie I see when I get back. Just thought I should let you know :-).


1- I don't care what I get for Christmas.

2- What is the best way to kill a mouse?

3- How can I become Batman?

4- Where is the fountain of youth?  I gotta beat Jack Sparrow.

5- I have a confession to make .......uh..........I stole the cookie from the cookie jar!

6- Umm can I have another Christmas CD?

I love y'll tons!


Elder Batman Farley-

I wrote Garrett right back after I got his email and we were able to email back and forth for a few minutes. What a treat!  I told him he sounded like he was in a silly mood, that he looked skinnier, and asked him if he liked the t-shirt that I sent him.  Here was one of his silly responses:

Yes, I feel a little silly today :-).  I have lost weight, and until I can find where I lost it, I will need a size large shirt instead of an XL.

Then I asked him if his mission is the best thing he has ever done.  This was his response:


1 shoe + 1 flip flop = 1 hard working and dedicated missionary :-)

Garrett, 14 year old Rosendo, Elder Mercado

Rosendo's baptism with Elder Mercado

Garrett cleaning his apartment -- I think?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Week 13 - Oh my aching toe! Simon Bolivar


Ok, let me start by telling you guys about an experience that happened to me this week. So on Lunes (Monday) I got a small in-grown toenail and I thought nothing of it. On Miércoles (Wednesday) y Jueves (and Thursday) y Viernes (and Friday) we walked 20 miles to visit this 14 year old kid who is getting baptized on Saturday. We walked 20 miles each day this week and each day my in-grown toenail got progressively worse. So, on Friday Elder Remington (AP) went on compañero inter-cambiars with us and he told me to call Presidente to get my toe checked out.  My toe was pretty bad!  I was even getting blisters on my other toes because of my in-grown toenail. So after lunch on Saturday I called Presidente and he told me to go to Milagro to the clínica to have it checked out. We went and on the way there I was thinking about what they were going to do to my toe. I thought that they were probably going to give me a shot in my toe and that would numb it so I really wouldn't feel anything. I really thought it wasn't going to hurt very bad.

When we got to the doctors office they told me to wait a couple of minutes.  After two minutes they took me back into this operation room and I took off my shoe and sock and they laid me down on the table. The doctor gave me three shots in my toe and they freaking hurt! Because of the shots I was kinda screaming a little bit.  Then they started cutting my toe nail off.  This hurt soo bad that I was screaming and cussing (I wrote Garrett back yesterday and told him that I hope he cussed in English so nobody could understand what he was saying :-).  Elder Mercado was holding me down because it hurt so bad.  I don't even remember what they did but it felt like a chainsaw was attacking my toe. So after they removed my whole toenail I think I was in shock. I couldn't feel my hands or my legs and I was whiter than snow and I was totally out of it.  When they were done I was just laying there in agony.  Apparently they gave me a shot in my butt--I don't really remember that part. All I remember is that my pants were undone and my shirt was flapping around. So after I came around to it, they gave me some meds and we went home.  The doctors said that I can't walk for a week so I am not working for a week. I am alright though--don't even worry about me. Well, that is the most interesting thing that happened to me this week!!

Now let me answer your questions:

I email you from these little stores that have computers.  We go in, email, pay, and leave.  We have an hour to email.

Yes, I did get the letters from dear elder.

I don't think the people here celebrate that holiday. (I asked him about All Souls Day--November 2nd).

Elder Mercado has taught me to remember everything that happens during our day. I am not perfect at it but every day I try.

I really like that blog thing you are doing for me.  Keep up the good work!!

Ok, now let me tell you the good things that happened this week.  We challenged a 14 year old kid named Rosendo to be baptized and he said yes. So on Saturday he will be baptized.  We also challenged a 21 year old girl named Maria Diaz to be baptized the same day but she didn't come to church this week so she can't be baptized on Saturday.  So not this week but next week hopefully.  There is this woman named Flor Torrez and she has read the Book of Mormon and she knows it's true but she works a lot and she can't go to church.  Until she comes to church she can't be baptized so hopefully we can get her to church soon.  

Each day my Español improves--not a lot but it still improves.  I can understand about 1/4 or so of the conversation and my talking is coming along good.  Well that really was my week.  This week was a different week for sure.

Here are my questions:

1- Do you sill have my Disneyland shorts and my red sweat pants?

2- How are you doing Mom? Give me dets.

3- How is our extended family doing? 

4- I like your 8 question "send me pics!"

5- Please keep sending letters from my friends.


Elder Farley- The picture of the little red thing in the bag is my toenail.

We can't tell if he is covering his mouth because of anxiety and anticipation of the procedure, or if he is covering his mouth out of pain.  I am guessing that it is from pain after the toenail was removed. Isn't that an ancient form of torture?  What a brave boy!

His poor toenail--Ouch!

I think Elder Mercado is trying to give Garrett some sympathy

"Chilin" on P-day while Garrett rests his toe

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week 12 -- Simon Bolivar


Let me start by asking questions:

1-  Why haven't I seen any pictures of Kendall and her car? What do people say about it?

2- Why haven't I seen any pictures of Hayden?

3- What about pics of Cami? 

4-  How are my friends doing? Por ejemplo Coleman, David, Tyler, etc

5- Tell me more about the family?

Well, those are my questions. BYE!!!!

JK :-) 

My Spanish is way better than before I left, but I feel like it is still bad.  I can say a variation of what I want to say.  It's basically what I want to say but not exactly.  Y puedo entender mas de la conversasion (and I can understand more of conversations) but it's not perfect.  I think that in a couple of months it will get there. Elder Mercado is still my compañero.  I think he will be until I am done with my training.  Nope, nothing scary has happened to me yet, but I have talked to about ten drunk dudes and it's hilarious every time I do. We were walking across the street and this drunk guy rode up on his bike and he stopped right in front of us and he started yelling, "Shut Up!" We just walked right past him and he just stared at us for about a minute and then he rode off.  I thought it was hilarious! Yes, the ZLs do bring us the mail and I don't mind that you send it through Dear elder.com.  One food that I am missing is Indian food.

Well, this week was way better!  We had a baptism which I got to do. His name is Harold Summer Vargas Morina and his is a good story to tell.  He is a member of the church!  He was baptized in May of this year and he holds the Aaronic priesthood.  His whole family is also members.  Well, his sister is one of our investigators and she wanted him to baptize her so we were making sure that he could do that and we found out that his papers were lost.  So technically he wasn't a member!  So we had to re-baptize him and I got to do that (it was in the river too). 

Well, what else happened this week?  I don't know--every day is pretty normal.  We walked, taught and testified.  One thing I learned about my camera is that everyone likes to use it.  I don't think I have taken a single picture on it yet.  Everyone else, especially Elder Mercado takes it from me and takes a bunch of pictures.  I don't mind it as long as I get it back by the end of the day.  So, just know that I probably didn't take any of these pictures myself.  

Hey, I don't know what else to tell you, so if this isn't a good email just let me know.


Elder Farley-

Garrett with Harold Summer Vargas Morina and family

Garrett and Harold after his baptism in the river

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 11 -- Simon Bolivar -- Finally, some pictures!


¿Hola familia como están? Well, let me start by answering your questions. Pues, our baptisms that were scheduled all fell through.  Nobody got baptised!  This month has been hard for baptisms.  So far, in the month of Octubre, we have planned 1 baptism. No bueno pero tratamos (not good but we will try). It gets a little discouraging but I wont stop working. 

Yes, I did find out about my card.

Well, I try not to eat dinner because lunch is so big. For breakfast I usually eat a sandwich with mayonnaise and ham. That is about it that we buy because almuerzo (lunch) is so big.

NO we cannot drink the water. I filled up a picture with water from the tap and the water turned black when it was full!! We buy this huge purified water jug and we drink that, and I just buy water bottles.

I cannot buy dark soda like por ejemplo (for example) cola or Pepsi. For food I think we can eat everything. I haven't heard of anything I can't eat yet.

No, I haven't done any sight seeing.

Our branch has about 40 or so members.

Yes I did receive your packages and I loved them so much. I learned that I cannot send letters or packages so I can't send anything back to you guys, but I encourage you guys to send me more. I especially loved the photo album Davis sent. Keep sending them.

Yes, I did get sick but it was only a bad cold--nothing I couldn't handle.

Yes and no; the humidity is always there and if I am outside I really feel it, but if I go inside I don't anymore.

Well, my favorite part so far has been everything!  I love everything about my mission I can't tell you enough that my mission is awesome!

My week this week was really hard. Thursday we only taught one lesson the entire day. We walked all day with no one to teach it was really hard and really discouraging.  If I had tear ducts I would have cried but for some reason I don't cry.  The rest of the week was a lot better.  We taught a bunch of people and challenged people to be baptized and a lot of them accepted.  In order for them to be baptized though they need to attend church and no one attends church so it's a bit frustrating.  But I don't lose hope.  

This was really my week in a nut shell:  Martes we went to Milagro for the district meeting and then we came home and taught people. Wednesday we did practically the same thing. Thursday was really hard--we taught no one and we honestly did nothing.  Friday was a lot better. We went to Milagro for a zone conference and then came home and taught people.  Saturday and Sunday we did the same thing and taught people. That is really all we do and it's AWESOME!!!

Let me tell you a funny story that happened to us this week: So, Friday we were having a zone fast.  The whole zone was going to fast to accomplish our goal of 60 baptisms by December.  So, Elder Mercado and I started our fast and all was well. Later that day, like 3 hours later, we were visiting an investigator and they asked if we wanted a banana.  She took out these chocolate covered bananas and both of our eyes got huge and we were saying YES, YES!  We took a bite and it was sooo good.  Oh my goodness it was good!  As we took the second bite we both remembered that we were fasting and we both said "Dang it!!!"  So, that was kinda funny :-).  
Well, that was my week. 


Elder Farley-

He gave us no explanation about these pictures nor the names of the people in them, but we will leave that for another day.  It took us 5 weeks to get these pictures, so we are just going to enjoy them.  We think he looks great!  To us he looks happy and even a little tan. :-)  I have to admit that I cried when I opened this first picture because I have been so anxious to see him.  This was total salve to my soul.  I sure love this kid!

Elder Mercado and Elder Farley taking a selfie

Garrett with his Birthday cake.  He looks a little warm, don't you think?

Another selfie :-)

Love the hair!  We are guessing that he is riding in a truck and has wind blown hair.  What a goof-ball!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week 10 -- Simon Bolivar and General Conference

Jenny's comments are in red


Let me start off by answering your questions:   Yes, I did watch all the sessions of conference.  Me and Elder Mercado had to travel to Milagro and go to the estaca capilla (stake chapel).  That was fun, and since the conference was all day on Saturday we had to stay the night in our zone leaders house. That was really fun! Then on Sunday we stayed in Milagro and watched the rest of conferencia.

The names of the missionaries in my zone go as follows; ME, Elder Mercado, Elder Rounds, Elder Arfaro, Elder Frandsen, Elder Sanchez, Elder Juanes, Elder Arias, Hermana Lundin, Hermana Vidrio; Hermana Parry, Hermana Monrroy.

No, I did not receive the packages yet.  MOM, I haven't figured the camera out yet but I will try. I haven't received the letters from Dear Elder either.

My Spanish is still terrible but I try everyday to work better at it.  I have a really hard time understanding people.  It is so hard! But if they speak slow enough I can get the jist of it. My pronunciation isn't that great either but I work at it.  Everyday it gets better, I just have to be patient and try my best every day and it will come sooner rather than later.

No, there are not other missionaries in Simon Bolivar but the other day we were walking around the town looking for houses with the AP's (Elder Remington y Elder Magill) and we were looking for a house for some new missionaries to live in. So next week sometime there will be new missionaries in Simon Bolivar.

I didn't know that about Simon Bolivar but that's cool! (I told him that Simon Bolivar was a man who gained independence from Spain for most of South America. He is known as the "George Washington" of South America. Garrett is working in a town with his name sake and the country of Bolivia is also named after him.) Yes I am very excited for BYU Idaho.  I am so excited to start after I get back in the winter and spring (we found out this week that Garrett was accepted to BYU Idaho and he got the Winter/Spring track). And finally, no I haven't used your magic trick yet or your stickers because I am waiting until my Spanish gets way better so that I can actually communicate with the kids.
Well now let me tell you about my week.  

OK let me just start off by saying that my week was pretty normal. Monday was P-Day. Martes (Tuesday) we went to Milagro for the district meetings. Meircoles (Wednesday) we just tracked and taught and walked and invited a bunch of people to conferencia. We did the same thing on Thursday. On Friday we went around and reminded all the people about conferencia and then on Saturday and Sunday we were in Milagro watching conferencia--a pretty normal week.

I gotta tell you something funny...so one night we were sitting in the house of a member and we were talking and we were getting referncias de ellos (getting references) and I don't really remember much about what was being said but they asked me how my family was acting when I left. Keep in mind my Spanish is terrible, so with the best of my ability I told them what everyone was like and then they all started laughing. So this is what I told them: "My mom was bawling her eyes off crying and my siblings were like see ya in two years and my dad was like good luck son with a thumbs up." So now every time Elder Mercado sees the picture of the family he always says "GOOD LUCK SON" and he has his thumb up. I think it's hilarious because that's not really how it went, right? (no, that is not how it went at all :-)!  We are not sure if Garrett was trying to make that story funnier to the member family or if his Spanish was so bad that they misunderstood what he was trying to say.  What actually happened when he left is that he just gave us all a quick hug and said, "I will see you all in 2 years" and then he was off.  He didn't hang around long enough for me to cry, so the story that he told was totally different than reality.  However, I did cry as I watched him go through security, but he doesn't know that :-))  

Well, that really was my week.  I will try and figure out how to send pictures. I just want to say that I really appreciate what you guys do for me.  All the prayers and everything you do is amazing!  Thank you for everything. I love you all lots and I will keep that in mind mom (he mentioned that he was gaining weight because he was eating so much at their lunch meals and so I told him to just take smaller portions so that he won't offend the people but also to protect himself from gaining weight).  


Elder Farley-