Monday, August 29, 2016
Today for our zone activity we went to Parque de la familia, the park on the top of the mountain here in Ambato, and it is still my sector! :) Haha even though it is like a 35 minute ride in bus up the mountain. It is a pretty park, and we had fun playing the olympics with our zone. Rio has nothing on us :) haha
We had verification this week for Hna Bench, since she is a new missionary, and it was fun! I really learned alot and I was reminded of a lot of basic principals that seem to get forgotten over time. Being with a newbie helps to remember how to love the work and just to keep it really simple. I love meetings with President Christensen, because it always reminds me of things that I can improve on and how I can become a better missionary. We also had zone conference this week, and that was great, I also learned a ton there as well. More than anything the importance of focusing on and commiting the people to read, pray, and go to church, and the importance of these three things. Hopefully I can improve on that.
We didn´t get to work alot this week for the many meetings and spontaneous trip to Quito monday, that I feel we didn´t do much this week, but reflecting we were able to get a lot done. One cool thing was saturday night, when we finally were working in our sector after having been with the stake for a blood drive, contacting and bringing people to the blood drive, it was fun and we got a lot of contacts, but we were happy to be back in our sector. Once we started working all of our appointments fell through, so I started praying asking the Lord to guide us, because there was no one that we could go to, so when we rounded the corner there was a mom with her kid going into her house. We started talking to her and she started mentioning a lot of questions about religion that she has had for awhile and as we were talking we were able to invite her to let us in to share more and she accepted and we got to share something with her. It helped me to remember that the Lord is always watching over us and wants us to find His kids that are willing to listen to our message. It was a good lesson and we are going to be returning next week to talk to her more and help her to know for herself if these things are true.
We were not able to find Mauricio like at all this week, but yesterday we had a very powerful lesson about the importance of baptism and that it opens the door to our salvation, between the wonderful testimony of my companion and the testimony of the members that were with us and my own testimony of the importance of baptism the spirit was really present and we could see in Mauricio the greater desire he had to find out if he needs to be baptized on the 10th. We are excited for him to be taking this step and I am praying that he finds comfort in this decision and that he can be strong with his family and can be an example to them.
We had a really powerful lesson with Jessica yesterday about the atonement, and how she can really feel peace about herself and with God, once the atonement has been completed, and that process included forgiving yourself and letting yourself be forgiven as well. We testified a ton, and I seriously love the testimony of Hna Bench, everytime she testifies the spirit just comes pouring in, I love it. Jessica really felt the spirit, and broke down when we shared with her the experience of Alma the younger with the Atonement in Alma 38, we asked her if she felt like him, and as she was crying and said yes, we could see in her the desire to know how to change, and we testified to her that it is through our little actions everyday and our desire to follow God and our obedience to the commandments. The coolest part of this lesson though, for me, was the overwhelming feeling of love I felt for Jessica. A love so strong that I know through God I was able to feel that love for her. She is making big steps and I know that she will be able to come closer to God.
Not only for Jessica, but for all these people here in my sector, I just love them. I love them and desire that all of them know and love the gospel for themselves. Ecuador seriously has stolen my heart and I will forever love these people and the wonderful love that they have so graciously shown me.
I also reflected this week on the scriptures alot and focusing on strengthening my testimony of them. I know that through the scriptures we can find answers to our questions. I know that the Book of Mormon does exactly what Joseph Smith testified that whoever reads this book will come closer to God than by any other book, because I have felt that change over my mission. I love the strength I can find from this book and all the other books of the gospel. I know that it shows how much God loves us, that we have these scriptures. And I know this because I have felt the truth by the power of the Holy Ghost. I invite all those who don´t know and can´t say these things with an assurity to read and pray to know for themselves, and I know that if you do it with a sincere heart, you will know for yourself. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I love you all! Have a great week!