June 6, 2016
|Service on Thursday cleaning the dustiest old house I've ever seen!|
Hey folks! we got like no time today because we ran to Guayaquil today to do some last little gift shopping for my family! This week has been good I've learned a lot! Last Monday, I prayed to God to help my companion and I to understand the importance of the Spirit in the work and lessons. ....Well, God heard my prayer and answered by allowing us to teach a lesson completely without the Spirit. We visited Leider Pulido who we have known for a few weeks. He explained to us that he is very Catholic and highly doubts that he will change. We tried to explain the importance of prophets and the restoration but the words did not come out at all and there was no unity in the lesson. I hope he lets us back at least one more time before we leave him because he would be a great member of the church! It was good because after I took advantage of the situation to help my comp and I to put goals to be even more obedient with exactness by patching up the weak points.
On Saturday we are going to Guayaquil again to have the conference with Elder Rasband! I'm stoked to hear from him as a missionary.
I love you all!
June 13, 2016
We went down to Panorama (my first area) again today and ate with the Jaramillo family so here's another brief, kinda rushed letter.
Elder Rasband came Saturday! It was great! We got to all shake his hand. The main messages were on the importance and the influence of the smile and having Christ's look in our eyes, and they talked a lot of loving Christ more. I got to talk to my two cousins too for like 5 minutes each. Elder Dalton in the south mission and Hermana Fish in the west mission. We're the same but I think we could see that we have all changed and grown a lot! Diana Ortega, one of our investigators originally had her baptismal date for this Saturday, but we talked yesterday with her and she wants more time to learn a little bit more and to work with her family because she hasn't really told them that she wants to be baptized and they are very catholic. It's hard for us to meet with her because she only will see us in the church or when she goes over to her boyfriends house who is a member and we teach her with the rest of the family. We also got two new young families that we are working with that have been to church a few times. One has their dates for the end of July but they aren't married and are really struggling with work and money but they are very willing to progress and have been doing great with their family prayers and attending church!
I still can't believe how fast the time has flown by, although at moments it didn't feel like it! Walking the streets of Panorama almost two years later is a weird experience. It hasn't change too much but I feel so much different. I'm not that same ignorant greenie gringo when I first arrived.
My group that I came with is going home next Monday but I'm staying until the 8th of July to go with Elder Dalton. See you all soon!
I love my Savior Jesus Christ and know he lives. I know the atonement is real and that miracles do happen when we accept Him and exercise faith.
June 20, 2016
Tubay Family Sealed
Last week we were talking to the dad of a family we found. He was nice but didn't seem too interested. He told us he had been very busy because he was in the process of moving locations of the tool store he had. We asked him if he needed a few more hands to get the work done and he replied, "I need all the help I can get!" So we set the day for Thursday and went and offered some service with 4 other elders that we got to help out to move the supplies. He was pretty impressed afterwards and invited us to his house Sunday night for dinner! He seems great so far and we will see if we can get some progress going with him!
Also the Tubay family was sealed on Saturday! I went down with another elder so my comp could get some work done here in Milagro. We just went with us two, the Tubay couple and the bishop Cruz and his wife. They did a special trip from Quevedo so I could be there. They will finish the sealings with their kids this next month when they go down as a ward. It has been such a blessing seeing the conversion of this family. Going from being inactive for 26 years and in just over one year turning around and making it to the temple to have an eternal family! it is a huge testimony to me about the reality of the atonement of Jesus Christ. I love this work. I love my Savior.
This last week was great with Elder Lafuente. Being a survivor in the
mission this last week and having seen most of the rest of my group leave, I
have felt very grateful to continue as an official representative of the Church
of Jesus Christ.
Two weeks ago we were looking for a member whose name we had on a list from
the ward. Since there's no exact addresses here we went asking people around the
indicated area. We never found the person from the list but while searching we
came across Fabricio Cáceres. Who is chosen and has been prepared! He accepted a
visit for that Saturday. While I went to the sealing of the Tubay family my
companion and another elder went to the visit and invited him to church. The
next day we went by to accompany them to church and he and his wife were there
waiting. They stayed the three hours and we continued to visit them this last
week with my new comp. This man has kept a copy of the Book of Mormon that the
missionaries had given him about 15 years ago. And he loves it. He tells us that
he has been waking up every morning at 5:30, says a prayer and continues to
study the Book of Mormon. His kids tell him as he spends so much time studying
and reading, "take a break, pastor!" But he is so dedicated to learn the Gospel
and he loves it. He doesn't have a steady job right now but the word of God has
definitely strengthened him. He attended all three of the sessions of stake
conference, was taking notes and loved it.
The mission is great and I'm grateful to have heeded to the voice of the
Spirit and stayed a few more weeks. I'm treasuring every moment I have out here.
I hope this week all of you will make some effort to follow the example of
Fabricio Cáceres by studying the Book of Mormon and allowing the treasures that
are found within this great book to enter and cause a change in your
2 Nefi 33.
Saturday night. His wife came out and joined us for the adult session