Glad you all got a laugh out of my pictures, it is raining blankets here! The rain doesn't stop, the other day we had rain that filled the street AND the 3 steps up to the church and was about entering under the doors. The worst is yet to come.
As for me... We had one lesson this week. This week was full of old missionaries heading out, new ones coming in, training them with their trainers, travels with President, training the Zone Leaders here in Guayaquil and today we'll have a baptism! I am mentally exhausted, but boy was it fun. That is a fun thing about being here with President, we learn a lot about him and we never fall into a routine. We are always coming, going, learning, training, he is a great guy. Next week will be the same with interviews and Zone Conferences!
Miraculously we'll have a baptism tonight, she is a truly converted investigator. In the 4 weeks we've known her she is around page 150 in the Book of Mormon, has gone to church in Guayaquil AND out on vacation in Salinas, we have little to no contact with her. She didn't get baptized last week cause of family issues, but we got a hold of her and she is excited to get baptized tonight or tomorrow after church. In getting to know her, my testimony of fasting and prayer has truly been strengthened. We've fasted for her, we always pray for her, we talk about her and study and practice for her. We can say that we truly have given all we can to see a miracle and we are seeing many! She had an interview and knows her stuff and wants to be baptized, yet wanted to be sure. She said the ordinance depended on her praying to God and getting an answer that very night. We tried calling her the next day, nothing... for almost a week. We were so worried, yet continued in prayer and faith and she is so excited. I haven't given more for any other baptism in my mission! Thank you for your prayers for her and for us, please keep praying.
No cool experiences from teaching this week... we had one lesson and no falls. The tree cat is limber again, limpy, but limber. Just wanted to share something that has changed my life and maybe I've already shared it with you. If so, I have a little study with it. It is about Doctrine, Principles and Application. When we correct people we attack application, sometimes it works and many times it creates frustration. Application might be 'pray more, don't get angry, take out the trash, don't put your towel under the bed, etc.' Application is how we use our agency. It is best to attack the Doctrine, the reason behind it. That comes in correcting and congratulating someone. I have been able to see successes and failures with this in my relation with other missionaries and know it helps. To put it into context I really like D&C 121:34-45 on the Priesthood but it applies to all disciples of Christ. It says in verse 36 that the Heavens are governed under the Principles of Righteousness... we would like our home to have that heavenly spirit abound. 37 then talks about the 'principles of righteousness' or so it seems.
Doctrine behind the Priesthood or being a Disciple - Verse 45... Charity and Virtue (how are my thoughts)
Principles, which can be applied - Verses 41-43... a bunch
Application, how it is or is not put into practice - Verses 37-40
The key to being a better missionary, son, father, mother, daughter, brother, sister, friend is loving others in action and maintaining virtuous thoughts which invite the spirit, as we learn to master the Doctrine through study and prayer, it will be much easier to kick pride, not force things upon others, love others, and the list goes on. I hope this makes sense, but let us look to the WHY, not just the WHAT. As we seek the WHY in our lives and try to understand the WHY or WHY NOT in others lives, we will be more able to love others for WHAT they do and help them change their lives.
I love this gospel, I love being a missionary. I'm grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who understands why, gave us His Son to know how to come back and allows us to receive guidance from the Holy Spirit to know what to do.
Sure love you all!