We had ward conference this past Sunday and I simply wanted to thank you for the family you are and for how faithful you are in the Gospel. Pres. Rodriguez talked about how the testimony of the children comes from the faith of their parents and that is so true and continues out here for me. Families are so important and so in need of hope out here.
Anyway... about me! Haha, I can't lie, it was really hard to see Elder Hasvold go. Goodbyes need to be done quick and the work must carry on. We had so much fun and I can't wait to keep in touch with him, a life- long friend there. My new companion is... Elder Gonzalez! He is from Nicaragua, is in his 21st month in the mission, and I'm training him to be a Zone Leader! We've got to make good friends BEFORE we hike the mountain today or he'll hate me too haha. I got to know him (like Elder Flores) when I first arrived in the mission in Portoviejo, it's fun to see old friends again. I'm nervous and excited to be with him and training!
Sunday was rough with the attendance at church, but we know where to go from here and November will be an awesome month! If all turns out well, we should be baptizing WEEKLY here in November! This giant mountain has been lifted and is moving! We are always looking for new people out here, that is the fun and tough thing of our mission in Ecuador, there are so many people who will listen BUT we want those who will act and progress. We literally fight to find those who are prepared and not simply those who will listen and feel happy. We are seeking the 'Chosen Vessels' as Moroni calls them and the Lord has put a few in our way!
I feel the need to share with you the simple joys that come in living the gospel of Jesus Christ. So we are visiting a lady named Erlinda and her son Alexander is also baptism age. It was so sweet as we passed by one day, she was on her way out, but she expressed how excited she was with the changes in her family... why? She and her son are reading the Book of Mormon together each night! She rereads it to understand, they are now praying as a family even though her husband won't, and she is excited to come to church. Whether you are a member or not, let us learn from this. She feels a change that is hard to describe (The Spirit more abundant) that is helping her overcome trials that seem too big to overcome (hope in the Gospel) and WHY... they have one, family scripture study from the Book of Mormon; two, they have personal study and strive to understand and apply what is read; three, they are praying as a family because they know what is best; and four, they are making sacrifices to be able to go to church (Make and Keep covenants that assure a Family Forever). I was touched in seeing how simply the Gospel changes lives and brings a new hope into the home. That is a promise for Members and Nonmembers for we are all under God's Radar.
The mission isn't easy, but neither is Salvation. The difference is maintaining the vision and the effort to be with God again. Christ suffered for ALL and loves us ALL but didn't simply die for us and say 'Go for it, good luck!' He left the scriptures, prayer, prophets, the church, the leaders there, family, priesthood, fasting, THE TEMPLE. Christ died for you and for me, He does say 'go for it, good luck WITH THE TOOLS I HAVE GIVEN YOU and we shall see each other soon.' There is no time to get down, there is no time to slack off either, simply time to secure our heavenly home and the hope in others that they may have the same.
'Dare to be a Mormon, Dare to stand alone, Dare to have a purpose firm, and Dare to make it known!'
I love you all so much! I haven't fallen since that one day, I'm still happy as ever, I may have lost weight, yet nothing stops ole Sasquatch from running! Love you all!