What a week! So first things first... what a ride me and Elder Van Wagoner had in Guayaquil for 2 days haha. As mom saw... we did enjoy an ice cream. That P Day we just wandered and explored in our free time, we made the most out of a Gringo Companionship in a huge South American City haha. Then we came down to our last moments together as our companions flew in... I was nervous, not going to lie, more than anything with the language and responsibility but loved what an Elder Peña told us in the Office. 'If you're nervous, how's your companion going to feel?'
I've taken this opportunity to really trust in the Lord. If He trusts me enough to give me this assignment, why not lean on Him too? I truly have seen the Lord's hand in every aspect of the work. I need a bit more patience, but me and Elder Molina from Honduras are really enjoying this companionship! He is brand new, a bit homesick, but doing my best to keep him upbeat and participating in the work. With Elder Añorga... he knew the area, fluent in Spanish, had almost a year in the field and did a lot. He was really out going and when he took off I really felt nervous with my ability to relate with the people here, but the promises in D&C 11 and 84 really come to pass. You just study, you just trust, you just try. The words come, the love fills your heart, and you just get this excitement to talk with everyone!
Our area is okay, we don't have too many investigators, we're seeking lots of references and contacting and it really is an opportunity to grow. Proverbs 3:5-6 really has come to pass in this one week. Elder Molina is bold, he says what's on his mind and will be a great missionary. His shoes are terrible and I feel bad cause that's the ONLY fault in his clothes, shoes that really aren't comfortable. He walks real slow haha, but we're working, testifying, and having a ball. I can't describe the love I feel from the Lord and I'm sorry, if I tried I'd just ramble forever in this email!
In visiting, whether it's members or first time contacts, I just open my heart (that is the key) and when you go to open your mouth you don't even talk Spanish, you don't stress the doctrine, the words come fluidly and perfectly as you simply show them a true desire for their eternal happiness by applying the beauty of the gospel to their lives. I can't be happier.
We have a baptism planned for the 18 of January and oh how excited I am! His name is Jipson Mendoza, the boyfriend of a member (he's in one of the photos I sent). We've been teaching him since before I arrived and is an investigator that I will describe with one experience. I testified to him months ago with a real mean scripture in Alma 5 cause he told us he's 'done it all' in the church and just doesn't feel accepted. He's been to church, goes to institute, knows the members, really is quite involved, but doesn't feel 'called' (is the word he used). I felt real inspired and a scripture from Alma 5 dug deep into his heart that says 'The Shepherd is calling you and HAS been calling you, but YOU don't want to listen.' Wow. We ended that lesson months ago with him telling us 'when I'm ready I'll come find you guys, take it easy for now.' Well he sure is ready, he came to us saying 'tell me what I need to do to be baptized.' We told him all he has to do and it really is just a miracle.
Hno. Jipson really is testimony to me of the impact of the members, the timing of the Lord, and baptizing those that really, truly want and understand it.
This week has been like me, squished into a pizza roll, stuck in a blizzard that's taking place in a microwave. But the Lord placed me there and could not be happier. Pray for the people, pray for Elder Molina, pray to know what YOU can do to help the Elders in your area. The Lord calls us, the only fear we need to have is whether or not we act in our calling, cause if the Lord wants it done, it will be done. Let it be you!
Here comes week 2 with Elder Molina and Trainer McGinn... I love you all! Till next time!