Well as for Easter, I was disappointed with Ecuador but still made it worthwhile! Nothing of the Resurrection was mentioned in Church, OUR CHURCH, that gives you hope for the rest of the world down here right? Haha. I spent my nights after getting to the house reading of the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ and it was so great.
The best thing in the world was yesterday. We got up early to walk 30 minutes to church. It was overcast with rays of sun peeking through the clouds with palm trees and the smell of the beach. The first thing that popped into my head was 'Christ is Risen.' In seeing the sky and pondering of my Savior I was brought to tears in one of the most beautiful 30 minutes of my life.
It broke my heart down here at Easter. They call it 'Holy Week' and have crazy traditions. It was a whole week but now simply 'Holy Friday.' The devout Catholics (I saw no one) don't shower. They don't eat meat or you are eating the flesh of Christ. They don't work, weed, cut trees, no school, anything because when you do, you are making Christ bleed. Some punish themselves and walk miles on their knees, weird things like that. That is what I HEARD, cause I saw nothing. What I saw was beaches full of people, taxis and buses zooming with music blaring, and a world that seems to have forgotten the true happiness in a Risen Savior. But I can truly tell you that there was such a spirit that Sunday Morning, a morning that I hope to never forget. Ooh I forgot! I did miss the 'Pitbull' Concert here in Manta. He came. What a great celebration for Easter, everyone out dancing drunk or high in an awful pit of sin.
Anyway, this week was great! Our sector is really flying, we are now picking up pace and starting with this Saturday, we SHOULD be having baptisms weekly. But most of all I want to tell you of experiences that have really made me wonder. The other week I told you that we went singing house to house near some members AND telling them that if they had questions, go to the members so close! None of them really want to hear us anymore, why? One Word - Example. We went to visit a family where the parents are not members but ALL this kids are and even an Ex Missionary. The father used to go all the time, but now told us flat out that he doesn't want anything with the church. Why? Same Word - Example. It has broken my heart this week and could talk all about this, but follow the scripture and BE THOU AN EXAMPLE OF THE BELIEVERS! Your examples are so so so important. That is what moves the Gospel. Pres. Uchtdorf said that Missionary Work is the Blood Work of the Kingdom... Missionary Work goes no where without you all! Read your Scriptures, Say your Prayers, Have your Family Home Evening, Go to Church, Serve, Smile… you are happy being in the Gospel so you might as well shine and share and invite others to taste too!
But to end on the good side of being examples... we saw a miracle this week. A little girl asked me when we'd come by the other week, we finally went Saturday to meet the family. She wasn't there BUT had been waiting all week for us! As we were about to head back, we passed by a house and a lady called us over. She is a member of the church! She goes to the other ward simply because she never knew where her house fit in the boundaries. Her husband is not a member, but he goes with her all the time. They are married, they are happy, and to testify to you all of the simple miracles of living the Gospel... this man accepted an inspired baptismal invitation for the 28th of May... he then told us that that day is his birthday. May I testify to you all of the importance of members that live the Gospel. Why not live it? You get blessings!
I love the work, there is no better calling than that of being an Instrument in the Lord's hands as He plays so perfectly. THAT is a mission. A mission is seeking the spirit. A mission is acting upon it. A mission then is seeing the miracles that the Lord performs as you put your life in harmony with His. I testify to you all that that is the life of a member too, because every member is a missionary. I simply have the fortune to do it full time! I love you all! Happy Easter!
Elder Griffin McGinn