Monday, April 23, 2018

20 Months....????????????????????

Well it is kinda rough to admit but today I mark 20 months out in the mission field....
Time passes by just way too fast when you’re in the trenches and fighting for what you love...
Anyways this week was super super fast. We spent every day contacting our bums off and ended up meeting over 45 people who accepted an appointment this up coming week so it should be an interesting one for sure!
We also had 11 new investigators so we are defiantly searching diligently for the Lords elect!!
We also have planned 4 activities with the ward this week so were hoping to see lots of miracles in meeting new people and helping others meet the members and excite them to come to church!
We have 2 baptisms planned out for Saturday so please pray for Karla and Marianela Rios!!
No time to write more but just thought i'd invite you all to read "Judas 1:22" and think about how you can apply it to yourself!!

Love you all and hope that you keep perseverando hasta el fin!!
Chao!

It’s a bad picture but I made tacos and burritos for 12 people!! 
It was a glorious break from eating rice!! (You have no idea how much rice they eat here in Ecuador!!! it's seriously soooo much more than any other South American country.....)

 

Monday, April 9, 2018

MI HIJITO EL ELDER VALASQUEZ!!

Ok sorry for being weird there but don’t judge... I haven’t been around normal people for a long time...

So want to here about my new compañero?
His name is Elder Valasquez and he is from Perú! He is 19 years old and was baptized at the age of 10. He has had a pretty rough childhood and life but he is a very nice guy, which surprises me that’s how he turned out!


And MAN THIS GUY LOVES PREACHING THE GOSPEL!!! AND TO EVERYONE!!!! He is seriously a huge motivation to me to step it up and we are working like dogs out here!! This guy is so excited to be a missionary because he waited a year and a half to get his call.... a year and a half!!! He had some problems getting accepted by the missionary department but he is soooo happy to be out in the field!!! We are literally talking to everyone and anyone who we see... and if you’ve never been to Guayaquil, Ecaudor..... You see 1000s of people a day!!

This week we have 4 baptisms so it’s going to be a busy one!!! The blessings just never end down here in Banana Land!! But we are seriously seeing so many miracles on the daily that I cant believe how fast the time is beginning to fly...... 

 

1 Nephi 15:8 And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?

Monday, April 2, 2018

"ONE MORE DAY"

What an incredible weekend!!!
All I can say is that I had many questions answered and is so excited for the changes that are about to come forth!!! The second coming is dawning upon us brothers and sisters! What are you going to do to prepare for it?

Lets just start off with the biggest blessing and miracle I’ve received this week.... I GOT TO WATCH CONFERENCE IN ENGLISH!!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!
Second, President Nelson is a spiritual BEAST!! I testify that the spirit was poured out upon me as I sustained my dear Prophet, Seer and Revelator. Though he is not perfect he has been prepared and called by God himself to lead you and me in our day. What a Miracle!
Elder Utchdorf gave my favorite talk this general conference on Sunday Afternoon! Man he just rained some doctoring down and I felt the spirit was palpable in my beautiful isolated English filled room!! Ha-ha it was literally the best thing ever watching conference in English with the only 2 other white guys in my zone!
This week we continue having miracles. We found another couple that wants to accept the gospel but need to be married before they can enter into the "waters of Mormon"! 
We are expecting to have 5 baptisms on the 14th of April so get ready to see lots of white clothing!! Dickerson Loor, Karla y Marianela Rios, Melany Romero, and Brandon Vera are getting ready to follow their Saviors example and Be Baptized!!!
 
LAST REASON FOR WHY I AM SO EXCITED: I'M GOING TO TRAIN AGAIN!!!!!!

My new companion gets here on Wednesday so ill let you guys know next week!


Love all of you and appreciate your support! If you have time let me know which general conference talks were your favorites!!

Hasta la vista bebe!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Bautismo de la Familia Romero!!

Besides spending P-day in the hospital this week has been AWESOME!!!
Where to begin?!?!
Lets start off with the 5 miracles we’ve had this week
1. FAMILIA ROMERO SE BAUTIZO!!!! We had an incredible baptismal service and many new converts participated and gave some awesome talks/experiences! We have been through so much with this family but they finally made it to the baptism waters and it was such an incredible night! We really did see the spirit working within them and they gave some incredible testimonies after coming out of the water. Hermana Karla has really been throw a lot by Satan but she overcame it all and has taught me more than I have taught her! She has such a faith and trust in God that amazes me every time we pass by! Her son has also been asking us every day this week if he will be able to get the priesthood the same Sunday that he receives the Holy Ghost because he wants to pass the sacrament soooo bad haha!!! He is awesome! 

2. Karla’s sister Melany is progressing so much!! During the baptism of her sister she cried and said that she knew the church was true! She came to church this Sunday and loved it!! We are looking forward to her baptism coming up on the 14th!!

3. We have been sooo blessed by the Lord for working more with the members!!! They have seriously been bombarding us with references so much now that we don’t even have time to visit all of them!! But we have been given lots that really do want to progress and have 7 baptismal dates right now. Those 7 and our 2 baptisms have me super excited for this up coming week!!

4. Among our baptismal dates and references received we have been blessed to work with Karla and Marianela Ríos (they are sisters)! They are cousins of a member and we have been teaching them the last few weeks. They have gone to church 2 times and have loved it!! They are also preparing to be baptized on the 14th of April! Man they are fun to teach!!

5.  Our last miracle that we’ve seen this week is Dickerson Loor. This guy is 16 and is seriously one of my favorite investigators I’ve ever had in my entire mission!!!! I don’t think I’ve ever met someone more happy than him!!! He is constantly smiling and Loves going to church!! We have been teaching him for over a month now and he is SOOO excited to get baptized!! He tells us every Sunday at church that he wants to be a missionary!! I’m super excited to see him every week and cannot believe how strong his faith is growing!

Love all of you guys and want to thank you for all of your support and letters!!!
Let me know if any of you have questions!!
Chao!
1-3 is the baptism of Familia Romero
4. Marianela and Karla Ríos
5. Our stake had "efy" which is now "FSY"
6. La casa.... (My desk is the clean one ;)
7. Awesome view from the house!!!!
SaveSave

Friday, March 23, 2018

From Wilson Andres Avila Romero

Realmente toda mi familia aprecia mucho a Zack. El es un chico muy inteligente y humilde de corazón. Esperamos que puedan venir en diciembre para llevarles a recorrer mi pais... Que es muy chiquito pero hermoso... Tenemos desde playas, nevados, selva y las encantadas islas galapagos... Los esperamos amigos... Bendiciones y saludos a todos... Son geniales...
 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

obrando milagros aunque estoy enfermo

That’s right ladies and gentleman. We are LITTERALY SEEING MIRACLES HAPPEN BEFOR OUR EYES!! And yes sadly I have gotten really sick again.... but what’s the fun in life if its easy right?

We have been teaching this family for several weeks now and they have gone through so much!!! The father has a really bad marijuana addiction and we’ve been helping him overcome that. But then suddenly before his wedding (the want to get baptized but aren’t married so the have been saving money and we were helping them get ready for both) he decided to rob all the money and take off.....
Karla is the mom and she had 2 little babies and a 13-year-old son. Obviously devastated by the loss of her husband, wedding money, and source of income the have been struggling a bit. But not for one second they blamed God or asked why me? Instead they have decided to trust him and look forward to the future and she has put the goal of some day being sealed in the temple! Anyways they have been going to church and reading the scriptures everyday now and are going to enter into the baptismal covenant this coming Saturday! The will also be going to the temple with the ward and I am SOOOO excited for them and all the blessings the Lord has ready for them! We are also starting to teach Karla’s family and her sister now wants to get baptized too because of the example of her sister and seeing how much she has enjoyed the Holy Ghost in her life!
Talk about a sad but successful conversion right?!
We are also finally got the members to trust us and give us references and go on visits with us in this ward too!!
(When I got here there was literally no involvement with the ward and missionary work besides the bishopric) but now we are teaching more lessons with members than without them!!! That’s right we had 18 successful and spiritual lessons with members this week and they are promising to bring the investigators to church themselves and give us more references!!
We have so many people to teach now that it is often hard to find the time do visit them all and are having to go on divisions with the members so that we can visit everyone who is progressing!!
Shout out to my old Trainer (Elder) Humble for being a legend here still and leaving behind tons of investigators for us to teach. We have found endless families and friends from your converts and references that you gave me big guy!!

Omni 1:26
And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.

Have a great week and enjoy some March madness for me!
 
Mi compañero y yo siendo paiasos jaja!

Monday, March 12, 2018

What are you going to offer up unto the Lord today??

Tuesday: we were so blessed to have a long interview with our mission president individually and I learned so much!!  My favorite thing about my mission president is how fun he is and at the same time how powerfully he invites the spirit! Its defiantly one of the greatest lessons I’ve been trying to learn and master here in the mission field!! Learning how I can stay happy and always break a joke, but at the same time, having the divine companionship of the Holy Ghost with me!
Wednesday: we had a super long zone conference that lasted 9 hours and we only talked about Planning..... Nothing else. Just daily and weekly planning. But we really did learn a lot and I clearly understand that the way I WAS planning is not the Lords way. But we made the changes and are seeing the fruits come fast!!
Friday: Baptism!! We had Nallely Cedeños baptism and it was awesome! We are starting to get through a bit more to her family and during her baptism she straight up invited them to all get baptized as she gave her testimony!!! Man I’m excited to see how much she can grow in the Gospel!
Saturday: Capilla Abierta. We held a special event in one of the zones churches and spent all day inviting everyone and anyone to enter and get to know the Mormon Church and what we do. Every organization had a special room decorated and set up so that we could take the investigators on a tour of the chapel. As missionaries we got to do the contacting and I was but in the baptismal font room to invite others to be baptized like Christ did!
Sunday: I got really really sick and didn’t do anything all day....
 

James 1:2-4
2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (joseph smith taught us that this means many afflictions)
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
I really liked this scripture this week because I got a little frustrated with always being sick here in Ecuador and this helped me a lot. Sometimes I just got to have patience in my "many afflictions" and keep going every day with a smile.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Barrio Los Rios

Que tal mis queridos amigos?

Lo siento por no haberles escrito la semana pasada pero estaba llenando una aplicacaion para una beca! Ojala todo sali bien porque necesito plata para irme a la universidad jaja!
Me di cuenta que casi nunca les escribo en español entonces voy a ahorar un pocito de tiempo para mi y hacerles traducirlo jaja ;)

Bueno esta semana fue muy interesante... la primera semana de cada nuevo sector siempre es un poco extraño y deficil. entonces senti un poco confundido esta semana de como me parece esta barrio. habia muchos moments duros pero a la vez muchas mas fueron felices!
para empezar voy a describir mi sector un poquito. es pequeño pero a la vez hay bastante gente y ellos siempre estan en la calle el cual lo hace muy interesante. en verdad estoy awesombrado cuan humildes son esta gente.... pero no como lo hacen pero siempre aparecen felices y reunidos como familia. hay muchos miembros que son demasiado buenos y estoy esforzandome durisimo para animarlos a trabajar mas en la causa del Señor el cual es la Obra Misional.
estoy gozando cuanto tiempo que ahorro ahora viajando entre el sector. hay bendiciones por tener un sector pequeño! tambien nadie tiene una excusa para no irse a la iglesia jaja... bueno con la excepcion del sueño y cuando llueve durisimo en la mañana....
mi compañero es el Elder Santacruz y el tiene 24 años, tambien es de Ecuador, Quito mismo entonces voy a poder visitarlo dispues de la mision! me llevo muy bien con el y ya estamos trabajando durisimo para tener un program chevere porque realmente no habia nada cuando llege aqui....  tenemos ahora 5 investigadores con fecha bautismales y esperamos poner 5 mas esta semana!! pero ha estado lluviendo cada mañana los domingos entonces casi nadie va a la iglesia ni hacen nada en la lluvia aqua.
no tengo fotos para enviarles porque mis llaves van a quitarme la camera si lo llevo en la calle jaja... ojala que aguantan hasta puedo tomar mas.
nunca se olviden a leer el libro de Mormón todos los dias!!

Translated:
How about my dear friends? 

I'm sorry I did not write to you last week but I was filling out an application for a scholarship! I hope everything went well because I need money to go to college haha! 

I realized that I almost never write to you in Spanish so I'm going to save a little bit of time for myself and make you translate it haha;)  

Well this week was very interesting ... the first week of each new sector is always a bit strange and deficient. Then I felt a bit confused this week of how this neighborhood seems to me. There were many hard moments but at the same time many more were happy! To begin, I will describe my sector a little bit. It is small but at the same time there are enough people and they are always on the street which makes it very interesting. I'm really amazed how humble these people are .... but not as they do but they always appear happy and reunited as a family. There are many members who are too good and I am striving hard to encourage them to work more in the cause of the Lord which is the Missionary Work. I am enjoying how much time I save now traveling between the sector. there are blessings for having a small sector! also nobody has an excuse not to go to church haha ​​... well with the exception of the dream and when it rains hard in the morning .... My partner is Elder Santacruz and he is 24 years old, he is also from Ecuador, Quito, so I will be able to visit him with the mission! I get along very well with him and we are already working hard to have a cool program because there really was not anything when he arrives here ... we have now 5 researchers with baptismal dates and we hope to put 5 more this week !! but it has been raining every morning on Sundays then almost nobody goes to church or do anything in the aqua rain. I do not have photos to send  because thugs are going to take my camera away if I take it in the street haha ​​... I hope they hold on until I can take more. 

Never forget to read the book of Mormon every day!  Elder Stidham

Monday, February 19, 2018

20 years old never looked so Ecuadorian!

Yeah yeah yeah I’m Old-ish I get it... thanks to everyone for reminding me that... but just to let you all know, I’m still a 10 year old kid at heart.
Anyways this week was awesome and FLEW by!! So lots happened I guess I’ll go by day:
Miercoles. We finally got out of the house and into the street to teach. But as you already know it was a half p-day after all of our studies so we didn’t end up doing much. But it felt soooo great getting out of the house and back to preaching the gospel! And yes I did celebrate Valentines Day by buying a pineapple and chupe la piña!! (Only some of you will understand that reference ;)

Thursday: MY CAKE DAY WAS JUST THAT!! A DAY OF CAKE!!!! I had 4 different families give me a cake for my birthday and then the Zone leaders surprised me with a birthday watermelon with candles ha-ha!! (They asked me what I wanted to eat for my birthday and I just decided you cant beat a good ol birthday watermelon) I got to celebrate my birthday with several families and converts and the bishop and couldn’t have been happier to celebrate doing the Lords work!

Friday: my district (of 10 missionaries and 6 of them are sisters....) decided to go clutch and made me "papa a la huancaina" ohhh baby I love that goodness!! If you haven’t tried it I strongly suggest getting on the next plane to Peru to go get yourself some!!!

Saturday: we had a super long Multi Zone conference, which lasted 7 hours!! We were spiritual fed by our President Moreno and his wife for hours and then we were physically fed dinner and went to work! We were super inspired to have the Divine Companionship of the Holy Ghost with us in every hour of every day. Man I learned sooo many things and have really been trying my hardest to apply them in my life! Who knew you could have the Spirit with you as you jogged or worked out in the morning?? We ended the night celebrating my birthday with another family of converts/investigators and ended up placing 2 baptismal dates with the parents and they are super excited!!!

Sunday: well I have spent almost 5 months here in Machala, diesiocho de octubre ward and I was assuming I would be having transfers this upcoming week..... But no one called me and told me... so I got extremely excited and figured that I would be staying even longer! WRONG. I got a call at 4:30 pm on Sunday and learned that I would be going to Guayaquil again serving in sector Los Rios, of the Huancavilca Zone! 
But tbh I was kind of upset and super bummed that I would be leaving the sector... and worst of all I had almost no time to say goodbye to the 9 converts that the Lord has blessed me with!! I spent the whole afternoon trying to say goodbye to them and the ward and the other 4 investigators who will be baptized next week... and of course as luck would have it there was a stake meeting tonight so none of the converts were there... 
But as you all know I only look on the bright side of things so I knew that I would be coming back in December with the family so it didn’t get to me. HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: ANDRES AVILA GOT CALLED TO BE ELDERS QUORUM PRESIDENTE (and he’s only been a member of the church for less than 3 months!!)

Monday: long and early bus ride back to the good old hot and wet Guayaquil!  My new companion is Elder Santa Cruz (holy cross) and he is from Quito, Ecuador!! He is my 15th companion in the mission and broke the tie of 7 North Americans and 7 Latino compañeros! (Now its 8)
Besides being dead tired from late night surprise packing and a long early bus ride there’s not too much to write about... 

Just wanted to end by saying thank you to all of you who sent me happy birthday wishes!! It meant the world to me!!

Ps. want to know why I’m so happy all the time?? Read Mosiah 2:41 and you’ll find out!!
Chao!

Familia Cabrera knows how to throw a party for elder Stidham ha-ha!! And yes they found my name by stalking me on Facebook ha-ha


Celebrating our last district meeting! Even though 2 of them weren’t there.
 

Idk where I’m looking but this is the only good pic of celebrating with the bishop....

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Saludos Hermana from Joseph Danilo Izquierdo de la Cruz


Buen día hermana allí le envío un recuerdito de su hijo, por el día de su cumpleaños.

Saludos Obispo Joseph Izquierdo

Enviado desde mi Huawei de Claro.

Good morning sister there I send a little reminder of your child, the day of his birthday.

Greetings Bishop Joseph Izquierdo

Sent from my Huawei Claro.