I took count to give you all an idea of what I am doing daily cause I have yet to take pictures... but with a little story before the statistics! An investigator told us that 30 years ago it was a simple mountain, no houses, yet people started to try and build homes there. The Police got ticked off and simply burned down the wood houses that were just built or in construction. One man finally got to keep his house after the 5th try! Well, with that idea, there is no organization here, houses wherever they will fit! There are no organized stairs, or if there are... they don't go up all the way. The best staircase we found that goes almost all the way up has 500 steps... we go up and down at least 3 times a day. In Manta I'd eat an awesome lunch and not have hunger till breakfast the next day! Here I eat a normal lunch and have killer hunger the next hour for going up and down the mountain so many times! I will be buying many bananas up on the hills and that is why protein bars would do the trick... if you wouldn't mind haha.
I won't lie though, I love the sector! It is tough leaving an old one, but as I was telling Jeff... the work isn't that much different. Why? The majority of the people moved here from Manta and it truly seems like I'm in a whole different world above the city. I feel like I'm in a constant Pack Peddle Paddle haha. It has been fun racing my companion up and down the stairs (I surprised him with the shape I'm still in as a limber tree cat). Anyway, you will be hearing more about this mountain weekly, but it is huge and I sweat a lot and I sleep really great now. Our Zone is on the uphill climb, we have 14 missionaries and 10 of them have less than a year in the mission! Of those 10... 9 have less than 3 months! We're excited to get this zone flying with a lot of fresh blood.
Well I suppose I should leave you with something spiritual, not just gruesome hikes and jumbles and ingrown toenails that came AND went away with all my climbing (yes it is true mother). We truly have seen miracles this week. I try so hard to make up to the Lord all He has done for me, and yet He seems to one-up me every time! I work harder, He gives another miracle. It's a nasty joke haha.
But anyway, I simply want to leave you all with the confirmation that God exists and does love us. He does place the faithful in perfect situations to touch those in need. We went to visit a family I have yet to meet, they weren't home when we went and haven't been the entire week. But anyway, on arriving we spoke with a cousin who my companion knew, but had never spoken with. I was out of the conversation, on the ledge of a cliff actually haha, but had the strongest impression to speak with him, to make the most of the moment. My companion thanked him for the information and was ready to leave, and the Spirit jumped on my ingrown toenail or something cause I almost yelled to ask him if we could talk with him some 10 minutes. His name is Dave, he is 12 years old. His parents abandoned him, one passed away years ago. He had always been interested in the things of God and he accepted a baptismal date in October. The sweetest thing was in the next visit. In talking of the Restoration I was prompted to ask a strange question... how would he feel to be able to hug his mother again, who passed away 10 years ago? Upon asking the question, he waited, and waited, then broke into tears and sobbed uncontrollably. That was his biggest desire and felt completely filled with hope in listening to us. He accepted the message of the Restoration of the principles and ordinances that will take him back to his mother again. He came to church the next day, warned us he could only stay 2 hours, yet stayed all 3 happily. He was a chosen of God who needed to feel God's love. God touched us to make the most of the moment and the miracle was seen immediately. That has happened on 2 other occasions this past week.
Don't EVER hold back an impression. Don't EVER shy away from being direct, from speaking of the Gospel, from promising blessings of an eternity. God will guide the diligent and the obedient to those who need Him. Speak of baptism, speak of the blessings from having the Holy Ghost in your life, speak of the beauty of temple ordinances that will keep your family together forever. That is the Gospel, and though it may not seem like it, that is what we all need (members or not) to fill the emptiness that can't seem to leave us be.
God loves you, He loves me. This is His work and it will go forth. I have decided to help Him push and I won't ever stop, slacken or stifle. Christ is your Savior, go to Him, He shall not move, His Gospel is Happiness that lasts. Let us live it.
Love you Some! (not all...)