First off... what a change it has been this transfer! We got a phone call Sunday night, Elder Elliott took off as a Zone Leader for his last few months. We got a second call and I got changed too! I was excited and got all packed up, we got to Guayaquil early this morning to switch everything up. What fun it is to see good friends again, I feel like Alma who said how great his joy was to see his brethren again... that they were still his brethren in the Lord.
Sitting with the Assistants I was told that my companion is waiting for me in Manta, 4 hours out from Guayaquil and an hour away from my first sector in Portoviejo. We are the beach, it is hot, it is dry, there is a nice breeze, but what fun in Manta! I forgot which sector exactly, but I'll get that to you next week. I was excited, simply waiting to head out to Manta until the Assistant came back to tell me 'Hey by the way, you're going to do great as a District Leader.' I'm a District Leader out in Manta. My companion is Elder Barcia (another elder from Guayaquil). I know him from my first Zone, it'll be fun! I'm nervous for the new calling, but know all will turn out just like my smoothies for breakfast... breaking the blender and making everyone in the house mad! Haha no, but the Lord always pushes us out of our comfortable zone so we can truly be molded into the Representative that He called. He molds us with the faith we put in action. We can pass through the tough or awkward or challenging times complaining and worrying the whole time and that is just how we'll end up; but as we simply act in the faith in knowing the Lord has called you, He molds you into the instrument He wants to play. The Lord plays masterpieces, He needs instruments, He calls us daily but do we allow Him to mold us by enduring to the end?
I'm excited for the new change, Elder Salas is back at Vinces and I sure hope for the best for him. We improved so much and I was touched as he was upset for my change. I learned a lot about myself that change. It isn't enough to simply pass through time. We need to make the best of it! It isn't enough to walk by 'your companion' and endure his faults, we need to learn to recognize AND TELL 'our companion(s)' their strengths. It isn't enough to recognize the blessings of God in your life, but to apply the end of Alma 34 and have an Acción de Gracias, act and thank the Lord.
This new experience has really been on my mind AND I left my agenda at the house with my notes of the week, but I'll share this with you in closing. Simply keep the commandment. I can't tell you how many times Alma tells Helaman, and then reminds Shiblon, and then counsels Corianton on simply keeping the commandments through Alma 36-42. Just do it. We know them. It really hurts me as I think of 4 investigators (3 siblings and a boyfriend) that we progressing so well and then simply fell off the map. A girl that went from a Baptismal Date and Personal Progress to living in Unión Libre with her boyfriend and whatever dark, sleezy, easy sin that accompanies it. We visited them last night and we asked them what they need to be to be happy - Keep the Commandments they responded. We asked them what they had learned in this time and responded about Prophets, Chastity, Prayer, the Scriptures, Sabbath Day, hey alright! But it just breaks my heart as I asked them one question that I knew the answer too and they wouldn't say it 'If you know it and you know what it brings... why don't you do it?' It breaks my heart.
As a missionary you see the highs of highs fall to the deepest and darkest pits of the adversary. Don't let that be you. We always say 'the primary answers.' Why? Because the primary answers of reading the scriptures, saying our prayers, going to church really help us stay firm in moments of great temptation of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, The Easy Things. We are blessed with the knowledge. It assures investigators of the truth if they simply do it, it assures members of the church life eternal... if they simply do it. Simply do it and be saved.
Yo sé que la iglesia es la verdadera y que la única manera de lograr la felicidad eterna como familia es guardar los mandamientos de Dios con toda diligencia. Sabemos que Cristo nos va a salvar si hacemos 'cuanto podamos' (2N25:23). La vía es preparada (2N9:41) y sencillamente nos guía hacia la paz en este mundo y la vida eterna en el mundo que viene. 'Siempre obedece los mandamientos, tendrás gran consuelo y sentirás paz.'
Love you All!