Finally, here are a few pictures! I hope you enjoy a few baptisms, the Museum at Montecristi, and the J Dawgs of Ecuador! Mandingo! That is a baptism treat, haha. Well I hardly have time, so I apologize now, and I'm a bit ticked off cause the computer I'm on is in Spanish, and so Word underlines all my words in red... saying that it is incorrect. Oh well, the sacrifices for a family who doesn't know Spanish.
First off, that made me so happy to hear about your temple trip and temple goal, there is no better place on earth and we are so blessed to have so many temples nearby. If you are worthy GO! If you are not worthy, GET WORTHY and GO! It is not hard, may be heard to break a routine, but there is nothing so sweet, rewarding or uplifting as living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I just want to share a few experiences that lightened my week. First is the importance and value of members. Yesterday we had a 16yr old boy go visiting with us. As missionaries (if we are obedient) we will always have the spirit, but there is something different, something sweeter when a member comes and shares their testimony. In 3 visits we put 3 baptismal dates and most of it was thanks to the Priest who came and simply shared his testimony. There is a power in the members of the church. I really feel terrible for never going with the missionaries back home, and YES it may be tough in Utah, haha, but do visits at all times possible! If you can't with them, snatch someone from your Quorum and visit a less active or someone who didn't go to church! I didn't realize the importance of members until being here in the mission, you are the key to what we do as missionaries. You are the door to many baptisms, temple sealings, and experiences that will last a life time.
Now you have the 'What do I do?' now here is the 'How do I do it?'
In one of our visits, there was an 18yr old boy in the back that was, but wasn't listening to us. He was eavesdropping! Haha, so we ratted him out and invited him over. We shared a message about the Sabbath Day and asked some questions so the family could apply it to their daily lives. What came next touched me so deeply. We asked Jonny how he had felt as we had conversed. The Spirit filled the entire room as he responded and taught me my calling as a Servant of Christ... 'I felt listened to.' We invited him to be baptized, he accepted, we are preparing him for the end of August.
He is an 18yr old boy without parents. He lives with his Sister in Law and grandparents. He would have been a missed opportunity had we not invited him over. I learned a huge lesson, a simple one that touched me forever. I am a servant of Christ. He invited, I will too. He served, I will too. He didn't simply teach, but He listened, I will too. We may not have the right words to say, we may not have the perfect message, we may not even know WHY we were prompted to go or do, but we may have the complete assurity that as we follow our impressions, we will be guided. As we simply listen, not even share a message, that is the best gift anyone can ever be given... a listening, loving ear.
Sé que mi Redentor vive y me ama. Él demuestra Su amor hacia ustedes también. La única cosa que nos pide es que guardemos Sus mandamientos. Y ¿para qué? 'para que viváis y os vaya bien...' Deut. 5:33. Les amo a todos, José Smith sí restauró la iglesia sobre la tierra hoy en día para que la tengamos, para que vivamos los mandamientos, a fin de que bendigamos las vidas de los demás con el espíritu de amor que tendremos al obedecer!
Go to Jeff for what that says... love you all