Sorry I don't have much time, we went and played Beisbol (baseball) with President Amaya and his kids with the office elders. It was a blast! I cranked a home run, a few triples, it was a flooded field from rain, but it was a blast for all. There's the group picture.
Ecuadorians do NOT recognize St. Patricks Day, haha. You made me remember a funny story. Last year I was with an Elder Salas, from Guayaquil, Ecuador. I put on my green tie, we studied and everything, and just as we left the street (thinking he knew too...) I pinched him so hard and laughed. He didn't think it was so funny as he yelled, kicked me in the shins and pinched me back haha. I then had to go explain the rules. We are playing tonight, no one has remembered, but we are going to get the missionaries that live with us real good.
María DID get baptized. She is truly converted. That baptism was such an amazing experience. She is flying in her reading of the Book of Mormon (anyone who reads will be converted and will be secure), we showed up and someone had hit the drain switch on the Font. All the water in there was running out and we stopped it too late. There wasn't water to refill either. That is why you see me with a bucket. It was raining like crazy and us 7 elders got buckets and a long hose to fill the font with 'Water from the Heavens' haha. It filled up faster than we thought and it was a wonderful baptism.
We just changed up wards, we were 4 in the same ward and that gets complicated, especially with us in and out randomly. There is another ward nearby that has been closed since December that we just opened last night! We've got a ward baptism tonight and a ward leadership motivated and ready to work with us. We went contacting last night, doing our best to stay in the unknown sector limits and it really is a miracle and blessing to be there. Almost everyone received us and it is a rich sector. That doesn't happen. We sang a hymn with the first family and he said sincerely after our visit 'you know... I get a lot of religion pamphlets and never read them, but I felt something different about you two and I am anxious to get reading.' We will visit them Sunday.
This last story was great. We felt prompted to walk down a last street before hitting the road home. At the end of the street we knocked on the door and an older man came rushing out looking a little stern. We told him we were Representatives of Christ and we had a message just for him. We asked to pass and he let us in. We sang 'Where Can I Turn for Peace?' and he thanked us, with tears in his eyes, for the hymn we had just sung. He wanted to know what he was feeling, we told him the Spirit. He told us that he wanted more in his life and opened up about issues in his family. Not even 10 minutes into his house yet, we promised him that peace through baptism in the church and he accepted a date to prepare for for my birthday! I have never had a first contact like that and I would love to have many more. We are opening this new ward called Tarqui (like my time in Manta) and we are so stoked.
I am a firm believer in the importance and the blessing of the Holy Ghost in our lives. There is no greater guide, there is no greater gift, there is no greater blessing than to feel God's pleasure in seeing us touch one of His children as we follow simply promptings. Think of the last prompting you had and the blessings you saw. Let us seek more. As we are obedient, seek guidance and solutions, and move forward with faith we will see just how much trust God will place in us to perform miracles in our homes, in our neighborhoods, in our own families and with our friends. I sure love you all and have a great week!