So... you wonder why they teach us that Water and Electricity are bad mixes, that 'No johnny, you DON'T stick that fork in that plug or you'll get your face zapped off!' Haha well, here I´ve got an electric heated shower, it was plugged in to heat my shower, I got Zapped big time! and it doesn´t even heat my water! Haha trust science, not that whoever put that in your shower knew what he was doing...
So all, I am in Estaca Portoviejo, Barrio Los Olivos and I love it! A few things of my week, I´ll just go down the list...
A man has a wife that wants to get baptized, but this man has an issue cause HIS church is exactly like ours and why does he need to get baptized into ours if they are the same? Good question, we testified of the first vision, the importance of modern day prophets, and revelation, then he plays this card... Polygamy and the prophets not setting a good example for us. We had scriptures, we had quotes, we had the goods, but no go, this man was just angry. The moral to this story is you can have all the knowledge in the world, but a testimony is really what matters. Me and my comp both realized to stop. Stop. Just testify, we know, he doesn´t. We've shown him and testified, and promised the blessings of prayer, and that he will know the truth of all things if he just prays!
You can be faced with all the questions in the world and whether you have the knowledge or not (actual factual knowledge haha) if you don´t have a TESTIMONY FIRM IN CHRIST you will go nowhere. It is JUST like my favorite scripture in Helaman 5:12. That was a rough night, but we testified through the spirit, therefore we were successful.
This week we gave 5 different blessings of healing! 5! Well I don´t speak in Spanish, let alone give blessings! Haha all I can say is thank goodness people are healed off faith, not off words cause... yeah. My companion likes to say to the person 'you are sick, so you get the privilege to pick who annoints and who seals' They pick him to go first, CRAP! Haha, but faith heals, not the words from my mouth.
Oh and we were teaching a lady and she started asking about my family, I talked about you all and how awful you were and things like that, and she was just blown away, literally blown away at the fact that we are ALL members of the church! We are so blessed, realize that. Most of my days I am teaching investigators without the gospel, less actives who have moved away, or active PEOPLE that stand alone in their family. Realize the blessing it is, I have, but it took me until my mission here in Ecuador, in a house the size of our kitchen, to know just how lucky I am.
Also, we were teaching a lady for the first time, answering some simple questions about the church, and got to know more about her! She has one boy, don´t know about the husband but not with them, and her father was brutally murdered just weeks before. As we were testifying, she was very receptive and I´m hopeful for our next visit, but at one moment, in reading the scriptures and testifying to answer the question as to 'why such awful things occur in this world?' she just broke to tears, completely lost it. She muttered out how she needed this today, she truly needed us and thanked us from the bottom of her heart. She was completely happy (or so it seemed) to begin the lesson!
NEVER underestimate your power of simply gaining trust in a person, simply being a friend, simply saying hello, how are you and offering a smile! With THAT ALONE I am the most successful missionary in the world, as from D&C 18, how great shall be my joy! Oh that lifted my spirits!
Ah, to put a damper there... haha sorry, but here in Ecuador we´ve got some fun. Cock fights... there was a group of men up yelling and screaming and my companion turned to me and said the word 'roosters' in Spanish, I forget the word, and I just assumed he was calling them a bunch of roosters excited over some soccer match. We get closer, and turns out there are two roosters going at it! They have scales doing the weigh-ins, beer all around, I thought of the Seinfeld with cock fights for a moment haha.
They have here Mafia Verde (the green mafia) but I hear that the mafia like us, they respect us for our value of the family! Haha good. At least 5 or 19 times a day I hear 'Gringo, venga!' Haha, no no no bad idea Elder McGinn, Do NOT go over to the group of drunk men that beckon you to them. I´m quite the site here. The only north american for hours probably, no joke, I´m 6'2" tall haha and they either want me to speak Spanish so they can laugh, or want me to speak English and be astounded! Like I wrote weeks ago, I am sasquatch!
I thought I´d save the best for last, kind of like a surprise of WHAT? There's More?! But I´ve got my first baptism in the bags! I shouldn´t say it like that though, we´ve added another member to the Lord's kingdom! My comp had been teaching an boy named Jonathan, 17yrs old, a few weeks before I arrived and since I arrived wé've been prepping him for baptism and doing that last pushes. What a lift, what a true joy to see someone enter and come from the waters of baptism like our Lord Jesus Christ! I got to be a witness and truly did witness something amazing - the power in the priesthood, the reality of this work.
I love the work! It´s hard, but it´s rewarding. I´m trying to be patient with my Spanish, with my companion, and with myself. But what a joy I get out of the simple things, like a testimony. Realize what we have and STRENGTHEN YOUR TESTIMONIES! Nothing can stop a testimony founded in Christ, Nothing! That is why I´m here!
I testified of that to a boy we are challenging for baptism in saying pretty much 'why would I ever come to Ecuador for 2 years. I don't know Spanish, I´m a gringo, I am just lost. It is because I know this is true and I know it will bless your life in ways you cannot even imagine!' What a joy this work is, it has ups, it has many downs, and everyday is a battle. But so was hurdling, and each day I can look back and say 'I´m doing it.'
I love you all! I pray for you daily and thank the Lord for your impact in my life! Keep up the good work and remember, if I weren´t Limber as a Tree Cat or Nimble as a Lynx... these busses would´ve killed me ages ago! I´ve had many a close call, but never a crash and a boom!
Establezcan sus testimonios en Su Salvador, Jesucristo y nunca caeran! Cristo vive, yo sè que estas cosas son verdad y no tengo mucho tiempo, entonces... adios! Hasta semana!
Elder Griffin McGinn