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.
¡Hola a todos! Espero que encuentren bien y feliz y estén disfrutando su verano. Está haciendo mucho frio aqui.. jaja There was my little spanish for you guys :)
Well we had to travel to Quito this week so that I could renew my visa, but it was really cool, because I got to see all the gringos from my group, which was a lot of fun! It has been a year since we had all been together, so it was fun seeing the change and reflecting back on the year that has passed behind us. I have learned a lot and grown alot as well, and hopefully I can just keep growing and improving for these next couple of months.
My group with there companions
This week we had a cool experience. There is a girlfriend of a member in our ward, and no one ever told us that she wasn`t a member and we saw her a lot at church, so we both figured she was a member. Until we were talking to her and we asked her and she wasn`t a member.. and she lives in our area! So last sunday we set up an appointment with her to visit and talk with her. She has come to church 4 times, is reading the book of mormon, thinks it is the true church, and just loves anything and everything about the church. She is so awesome and has a ton of faith. We have had some cool experiences with her this week as well. The first lesson with her, we talked about baptism, to gage what she was feeling and where she was at, and she said she didn`t feel ready yet, because she wanted to know more. So I thought to share Ether 12: 4,6 and she was really touched by the scripture, she said that she had read it before, but it never really caught her attention, but she knew that it was a testimony that she only needed to believe. I knew that the spirit guided me to share that scripture, and I know that the spirit taught her more than our words could have taught her. Then the next day we met with her again, and we were talking about the prayer that she did the night before, about Joseph Smith, and she said that she had doubts of prophets, but as we kept talking to her we got out that her real doubt/fear was that she was scared of telling her parents that she wants to be baptized, so she was searching for a doubt to have to keep pushing back her baptism. As we testified to her that she will find true happiness in this gospel and that you need to choose God over family, the spirit entered the room testifying. We also shared with her Mosiah 2:41 and she really felt super happy by that scripture and commited to talk to her family on sunday about her desire to be baptized. She did talk to them yesterday, and they reacted really badly, she got annoyed with their reactions. But when we called her to talk about how it went, she sounded like she had a really big desire still to be baptized and to follow through with her decision to be an example to her family. She is a really great example to me and I am so grateful for this chance to help her progress to baptism and to have this happiness with her. We are going to put the date of baptism for the 25th, I am so excited for her!
Then this thursday, President Christensen had a meeting with our stake, so Hermana Christensen had called us and asked if she could go to an appointment with us that night. We were a little bit surprised, but grateful for her help, because the member who was going to go with us, wasn`t able to anymore. It was fun going with Hna Christensen and we were able to visit with her a little bit while going to the appointment. She is awesome and she was a great help with all the questions she did to get to know our investigator, we were able to learn some new things.
The trees look like pineapples here
We also had a mini-conference with our zone this week. We did an activity with a game and the object was to win as much as you could. A lot of companionships were going against everyone else trying to win as much as they could, but in the end we would have won more if we would have worked together. (For record me and my companion were trying that technique the whole time, so we were losing the whole time.. haha) But one thing that I really learned and struck me was the our personal gain doesn`t mean anything if everyone around us is losing. In the mission we have to work in unity with a lot of people; our district, zone, the ward, and most importantly our companion. I also learned alot about the importance of personal integrity and the importance of always telling the truth. Everyone is always watching us, as members and as missionaries, and we need to be true to ourselves and true to God, and hopefully that is the same thing. That was just some insight from what I learned.
I truly love this Gospel, I am so so grateful for this time I have to completely devout myself to the Lord and His work and the testimony I am gaining from it, will be a lifelong blessing. The people I am meeting are so important to me, and this beautiful little country is my home. I am so grateful that I still have a lot of time left to keep learning and growing and devoting myself to the Lord.
I love you all and I hope you have an absolutely fantastic week!! I invite you all to look for ways that you can help others to win so that in the end you all will win!!