Monday, August 15, 2011
Email - August 15, 2011
I apologize for writing quickly, but it seems that as I have more time in the mission, I have less time on the computer. Got to report! Got to work! Got to teach! Time is something I wish I could Indian leg wrestle away.
Yes it is hot here, but I've gotten used to it, every day is like a normal summer day in Utah. The good thing about Manta is that it never rains and there is an awesome ocean breeze that makes it alright. The members do leave with us a lot, but the only ones that speak English are the returned missionaries (from whatever decade haha) and the future missionaries. Almost no one likes English, it is mandatory, but I tell them it's okay cause I hated Spanish in high school (that's why I went for German!) Anway... I sure love you all and I guess I should leave you with a quick spiritual thought and how my week went!
We had stake conference yesterday and I loved the final talk on Faith. It was a banger, I love the talks that really give you the 'Machete'. Pres. Luna spoke on faith when it comes to 3 things... Tithing, Sabbath Day Observance (with work most of all), and Temple Attendance and it was awesome! It was such a joy to see my friends and converts from Eloy Alfaro (my last ward 3 changes ago) that are still active!
We have seen so many blessings in these past weeks, miracles really. Elder Franco and I are working so hard and it kills us when we have huge baptismal goals, but as the end of the month comes... church attendance hinders their dates. We are nervous, more than anything with the Zone, but if all goes well, we should have 6 baptisms in these next 2 weeks! By simply working hard and doing so obediently we have seen miracles, there are people, they want baptism, they accept dates and progress, but the friendships and rumors really impede their progress. Haha, one lady who is preparing for baptism showed up to a baptismal service simply to see if it was true that we baptized with Cat Blood! She told us 'that must be a lot of cats! I had to see if it was true!' Satan works in many mysterious ways to stop this great work... well we ain't stopping!
Please continue to pray for Lenín. He is working a lot now and his excitement to visit with us is dying due to his environment. He has completely dropped drinking, which is an absolute miracle, but really feels that he will have nothing to do and no friends if he joins the church. Please pray for Jean Carlos, Joao (Joe Aoh), Steven, Gloria, Pedro, Leo and Cristian. They are all working towards baptisms these next two weeks, but have really rough environments. We are hopeful, they will be baptized, but your prayers will help.
Most of them are youth and I want to share 2 simply stories of the strength of the youth and the blessings of living the Gospel. One comes in what Joao (13 yrs) said of reading the scriptures. He said something I had never heard before... reading the scriptures is like a self cleaning because every day you read, you find out how to repent more effectively. Wow! He is already inviting friends and family to his baptism, he has softened the heart of his mother who is listening to us.
The other comes from Leo. He is 17 and reminds me of Cam, he is big and likes the Gym, haha and many other things that make them alike. He told us of the troubles in high school and his temper. Also of his pride and how it is so hard to say 'sorry.' People pick on him to get him mad, he does, the others pay for it cause he blows up, but I had one of the sweetest moments in my mission as he accepted to attempt his first prayer ever and did one of the hardest things... he asked forgiveness of God, told Him sorry for what he has done and how he wants to be better. That was the sweetest prayer I'd ever heard! He told his mom he wants to be a missionary like us (I don't know if he realizes he has to be baptized first) but he even turned down his friends on an Ecuadorian Holiday Night to wait our visit!
The youth are strong, in and out of the church, in wickedness and in righteousness. Let us keep on the good side. Strong in the church, in righteousness! It is not hard, it really is quite easy, and the blessings sure do come. Read the scriptures, say your prayers, listen to God as you pray for He wants to talk with you. Go to church, magnify your priesthood young men and fathers. Be who God wants you to be, be who your children, friends, or parents see you as. Live the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I am so happy here in the mission field, there is no greater joy and YES it does come... after much trial. God loves us, never hold off an opportunity to serve, to become, to magnify, to lift. This is the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and what a blessing it is to walk in its ever strait path!