Well a big hello to you all from Ecuador, the land that parties more than Griffin and a package of Fruitsnacks! Today starts Carnaval... there is no work until Thursday. It is against the law to dump water on people... they don't listen. They color the water with everything and anything that stains. We live at the riverside. I am a Gringo and wear a bright white shirt... let the races begin, haha. Wish me luck-- in the past President kept the elders inside, this year we are free to roam. This... Syd, is when I put my tree cat action into play.
What a week! I'm excited for the adventure of Carnaval. I haven't decided who we're going to be this week, Samuel the Lamanite as water passes from side to side in the form of water itself, water balloon, water gun, mud, or beer; or if we'll play kinda like Moses and separate the waters and the people as they come haha. But today starts a week of no work and soaking anyone and everyone in sight. The good thing is that we're missionaries in bright white T Shirts haha... I'll fill you in next week.
This week was AWESOME, the Lord really blesses you as you not simply pray, not simply read the scriptures, not simply go to Church or the Temple, but as you put it all in practice and Endure HOPEFULLY to the end. I have been looking for the way to really make friends with my companion. It's hard for him, he is from Ecuador, he loves the music and dancing, he's negative. I was real impatient at first, it really got to me, so I changed. That's the key to life. When he dances and sings, I do too, I sing 'How Firm a Foundation' at the top of my lungs haha, sometimes he joins in, sometimes just ups his volume too, but whatever it is, we laugh. When he's negative, I act like an annoying teacher, 'Now Elder, what words are we not going to be using this week?' tip for all of you. Don't simply endure, enjoy. If you can't enjoy, pray for the help and humbly keep your mouth shut when you'd rather jump on the situation in anger or frustration. Simply smile. Humility is a worldly weakness, but a spiritual strength. 'Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it too; for after the bend, the sweat, and the smile, comes life's victories after a while.'
We have 3 or 4 baptisms prepared for this week and should have 7 by the end of March. President is really going to check up on us... the Young Women really work and give us so many references, with the 7 baptisms we have planned... 6 are young women, haha. Anyway, I love the work. Yeah it's a challenge, I hurdled. How did I do well when started at the beginning in tears of frustration with an hour of practice without clearing one hurdle? Patience, optimism, persistence, changing my outlook to see the sunny side up. And when push comes to shove, you just limber like a tree cat and hope all turns out, haha.
Anyway, to finish up this Epistle, the Lord loves you all, He has your lives in His hands. Go to Him in prayer, then seek the answers during the day. The Lord guides us, but how many times do we pray and go our own way. The Lord put a man in our path this Sunday. He simply came into the church cause his Aunt in Colombia is a member. He has no money, clothes, or food and was looking for the way home. He's been here 4 days barely surviving. His past is huge, but that should satisfy this story. We simply talked to him outside, he didn't want to enter. We taught him to pray, we said a prayer for him, us three on our knees. I love you all so much and am having the time of my life in Vinces!
Wish me luck with Carnaval!