Well to answer Cameron's question and all your wonders about a Jack Frost in Ecuador with all your snow... there IS a relative. James Frost, or in español, Santiago ;). He's a bummer and it's really starting to heat up down here. The other day we simply walked to our first appointment after study in the morning and my back was completely drenched and THEN the members said that this isn't anything compared to how bad it will get. I'm hoping I get transferred after Christmas, they say that when it rains here, it pours and when it pours, it really stinks cause the roads literally turn to a river. We'll see what happens here soon.
This week was good! All the weeks are good, I really love this mission and couldn't be more blessed! I just try so hard each day to fill the shoes the Lord has given me. I did miss having Thanksgiving, but did have a great time explaining the Holiday to all the Ecuadorians. We even had a little Family Night and read in the Book of Mormon about Columbus the Pilgrims, the Indians, and the Revolutionary War in 1 Nephi 13 to show the Lord's hands in making a way for the Book of Mormon and the Restored Gospel which we enjoy!
Yesterday was El Censo. We had the Census of Ecuador yesterday and they do it weird haha. We were commanded (and watched by the police daily) to stay indoors until 5pm. Kids from the High Schools when door to door to fill out the Census, it was interesting, but a great day of rest haha. It was cool to tell the kid censing, that I speak 2 languages though! The Lord really has blessed me with the Gift of Tongues, I still lack a lot, but I am so blessed with what I can do with the Spirit. The Gift of Tongues is real, the Lord blesses those who try. We don't have to succeed in life as long as we can finish each day with a tired smile of giving our all, the Lord makes miracles from our efforts and our faith. 2 Nephi 25:23.
I was touched so strongly yesterday and grew greatly in my appreciation for La Santa Cena. 25 members gathered in the home of the Obispo yesterday to participar de la Santa Cena. We were standing, kneeling, sitting on laps (not us missionaries...come on now), as the Bishopric blessed the Sacrament, one deacon passed to all, and listened to two talks. One from me on the importance of our Savior and one from the Bishop's Second Counselor. I have never felt such a love for the Sacrament and the Life of our Savior. I can't tell you of my love for Him, for my desires to tell the world there is hope ALWAYS if they'll just come. We all grew in a love for our Savior that night, huddled in humble circumstances in a Christmas tree-lit room to hear the good news of Christ the Lord.
Remember a few things, there is no greater work on the earth than missionary work and ALL OF YOU ARE MISSIONARIES. Yeah I'm a full time missionary, but we all know the blessings that come from the knowledge we have. It was sad to hear an investigator ask us 'shouldn't the members of your church act up to their standards?' You all are the key to the success of Missionary Work! Go with the Elders to visits, Give them References, Seek to those who are Less Active or don't know of the joys we enjoy, but most of all LIVE LIKE THE SAVIOR WOULD. Would he hold back? Yeah right, he died for each and everyone of you. He didn't hold back one drop of blood, he gave it all for you. Remember that and make this Christmas the best one yet. See the blessings of the Lord, see his sacrifice, and try to give more like him this Christmas Season.
I love you all and stand FIRMLY in my testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. Èl es nuestro Redentor, nuestro Salvador, y a nadie viene la redenciòn sino por los mèritos de èl. Èl vive, bendice, expiò, y amarà para siempre jamàs. Cristo pagò su camino, ¿està dispuesto a seguirlo fielmente, hasta el fin? Soy misionero con un testimonio fuerte de mi responsibilidad. Tenga presente su responsabilidad como miembro de la iglesia, porque al ser miembro significa mas, lo significa que tenemos el derecho de la vida eterna SI obedecemos los mandamientos, SI perseveramos hasta el fin. Hagalo y SEPA que Elder McGinn no puede sentir una felicidad mayor que ahorrita. Les amo a todos y Happy Birthday this week to Grandma McGinn and Allie!
(He is our Redeemer, our Savior, and nobody comes for redemption but thanks to him. He lives, blessing, cleansing it, and love forever. Christ paid your way, are you willing to follow him faithfully, to the end? I am a missionary with a strong testimony of my responsibility. Remember your responsibility as a member of the church, because being a member means more, it means we have the right to eternal life if we obey the commandments, if we persevere to the end. Do it and know that Elder McGinn can not feel a greater joy than this. I love you all and Happy Birthday this week to Grandma McGinn and Allie!)