I'll be serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 18 months in the Ecuador Quito Mission. I'm leaving my family, friends, and familiar surroundings behind to teach the message I have to share to bring others closer to Christ and help families be together for eternity.
So this was a very exciting week, because Elder Holland is here in Ecuador and we had a conference with our whole mission on saturday. And boy was that a very special experience. We had an apostle yelling at us for over an hour, but yelling at us with the spirit and a ton of love. We could just feel the love he has for the Savior, for missionary work, and for missionaries. It was a privilege to sit and listen and be taught by him and the Holy Ghost. He was very firm on the fact that we are engaged in THE most important work on the planet, and that is bringing the gospel of Christ to the sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. He was emphasizing how we take our calling very lightly, and don´t realize the importance of what a mission really is. He also was saying how when Christ suffered for us so that we could have the atonement, he was COMPLETELY alone. Now we, as missionaries and members, enjoy the blessing of the Atonement. But, we should never leave Christ alone again. And we can stay by His side when we help others know about this gospel. and thats the most important thing. We should not leave Christ alone again, we need to make sure we stay with Him. I also liked something he said about missionaries are shepards. We guide His sheep back to Him, and a shepard CAN NEVER LEAVE THE CHURCH. We made a lifelong commitment to stay faithful when we signed up to be a missionary, and we made a covenant when we went through the temple to go on a mission and we expect people to change on the mission and so we need to make sure we change and we stay changed. We cannot leave the church, because we have to show the importance of the church to the people we are teaching here. When a missionary leaves, they tell their converts that the gospel doesn´t matter. But it does, its THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. He also emphasized how the Book of Mormon is the evidence and the most important tool that we have right now! We need to use it and to testify of it and to always strengthen our testimony of it.
I hope all that made sense, because I am trying to type really fast, but really was a huge blessing we had to listen to an apostle of the Lord share his testimony and to really be blessed and edified by him.
I know that this is the true church, I know without a doubt. I know that this is the most important work, and I realize I have a lot to change to show the Lord that this really is important to me.
Also this week we started exploring a new area that´s called Ontaneda, its on a mountain and really high up! It has an amazing view and it´s gorgeous!! And we have found some really interested people and have found a couple of new people from exploring up there!!
Funny story: I was saying, when we were talking with some members, how if missionaries don´t get to the house on time at night, we turn green (like shrek) and then this member replied, and he said ¡Claro, por eso se llama gringo!-Of course, that´s why they are called gringo! (Pronounced green-go) I thought it was a pretty funny joke, and I hope you guys do too :)
I love you all and sorry that this letter is kind of all over the place!!!
My group from the MTC, first time we were all together again, since verification meeting in June!