I sure love you all and sorry it's a bit shorter this week, but I'm so excited for you all and for Cohen! Hope your Valentine's is just awesome cause mine is IN A NEW AREA. I am in a little town called Vinces, in the Province Los Ríos. It's 3 hours out from Guayaquil and really is exactly what I was told: 'a little village in the middle of nowhere.' Elder Salas and I are opening a new area, we have a tiny branch and we're right on the riverside, it's so pretty! It rains a ton, lots of bugs, and a lot of ground to cover. Elder Molina stayed put and this morning at 4am we took off to Guayaquil. All I can say is I'm really excited and please pray for this companionship.
The Lord gives us hurdles, why? So we can attack them, we can soar over them, and we can keep running with the confidence to attack the next one you know is coming. The Lord knows we will succeed, if we simply trust in Him.
My companion's great so far, he walks way fast and I'm really praying for the confidence in the Spirit and my loyalty to the Lord in this change. The good thing is President trusts me, I felt really great to hear that from his assistants. The Lord trusts me, and what a fun 6 weeks I have ahead of me!
This past week with Elder Molina was a great one ,I really am sad to leave the investigators I'm leaving. I want to tell you of two miracles that I hope are seen through and that I get word back on. One starts 10 years ago. A man named Jorge Perero went to New York to work as a painter and bring back enough money to help the fam. While in New York some sister missionaries ran into him and began to teach him, but didn't go too far. Talk about planting seeds. Four weeks ago Elder Molina and I were walking down the road and my shirt got caught and ripped on a fence, from behind we heard in pure English 'Hey Mister! Watch it next time!' He about caught me off my tiger toes with that one, we turned around and got to know a man named Jorge Perero, but he prefers 'George' haha. He told us to stop by his house some time and that was about it. We searched and searched in the following weeks but nothing until Thursday. He was walking home from work up ahead of us and we called him out. He about broke into tears of joy with a huge laugh and grin as he yelled 'My Misters!' He took us directly to his house saying how he'd been hoping to find us, how we'd never come by his place. We listened to his life story for an hour, The family, work, New York (and even listened to some sweet jazz tunes, haha) and he simply begged us to come by and help him change. It truly was a miracle and can't tell you how excited I am and yet sad for leaving George Perero. Elder Molina meets with him tonight and I hope to hear this miracle continue with a baptism, temple covenants, and a congratulations in the Celestial Kingdom.
The other story is on the importance of following the Spirit, even if you've left the appointment. Elder Molina and I went to some former investigators who really were in a time of need. A brother and sister in college and high school that are really seeking change. It was an awesome appointment, burning with the Spirit, burning with desires, I really felt like Elder Molina and i simply sat back as the Spirit took the show! Then the punch line, we're not going to waste any more time with them and introduced the Book of Mormon. To put a damper on the story, the boy said 'I'll be honest, I'm not going to read that book.' The girl said 'mmm... maybe.' I love the Book of Mormon with all my heart and was NOT going to take 'no' or 'maybe' as reasons to give them this grand treasure we possess. Maybe that was simply Griffin being angry, not Elder McGinn succumbing to the Spirit. We left with an appointment for the following week and the book in our hands. Elder Molina told me that the lesson was good but lacked something... we still had the book in our hands. That sunk deep into my heart and after a few more paces I stepped dead in my tracks and said 'let's go back, come on!' He laughed, but when he saw I was out of sight, came running to catch up haha. We said a prayer to guide our words, caught the girl with a surprise at our return, and promised her the changes in her life if she's simply read Helaman 5. We even said that the next week we'd take the book back if she's not going to use it. The spirit guides us at all times! Yes we want it, but will we follow it? Even when we're a few blocks away, leaving?
Besides a few families and 6 months in Los Olivos, those two families really hurt to leave and I sure pray that the Lord will continue to work miracles in their lives as He has with so many of is children.
I can't tell you how happy I am out here in Ecuador, even when a bird pooped a big one on my shirt this week. Every moment is to be enjoyed as we learn in 2 Nephi 2:25... but it depends on us, in verse 27. We're supposed to act, we're supposed to make our destiny, we're supposed to enjoy it too. Follow the Spirit, take advantage of the unplanned moments that God places in front of you. Pray for the people here in Vinces, neither of us know the area, we don't know each other, we're in for a ride.
Amo la obra y sé SIN DUDA que no hay mayor felicidad que la que es obtenido en el servicio del Señor. Cambien sus oraciones y oren no para los misioneros o investigadores sino que oren a fin de que ustedes reconozcan SUS oportunidades de servir con los ángeles, los apóstoles y todos los santos que buscan la salvacion. (I love the work and know without doubt that there is no greater happiness than is obtained in the Lord's service. Change your prayers and pray for missionaries or not researchers but to pray so that you recognize their opportunities to serve with the angels, the apostles and all the saints who seek salvation.)
Happy Valentines Day from Vinces and I love you all!