Monday, January 30, 2017

The most hectic week of my life

To start off I’m sure most of you have heard about all the new changes and rules that the first presidency is about to put out, well yeah my mission is about to change a lot soon and everyone is super excited and anxious to see how its all going to turn out. Some of the changes were to the schedule itself, like how they created a new schedule for Latin America, and by the looks of it, I’m going to have a lot more freedom! Plus we get 2 more hours of P-Day each week, which I’m super, pumped about!!

The last month my Branch has been planning a trip to the temple. Which I had no idea how much I took for granted how incredibly blessed we are to have so many temples in the states, let alone Utah!! But yeah it was a TON  of work and like great teenage missionaries we waited until the last minute to do everything... so yeah this last week has been INSAINLY difficult preparing everything, teaching all the temple prep classes, preparing a family to get sealed and much much more. But yeah I cannot testify enough how fruitful our labors have been!!! Waking up at 2:00 am to chase every member down, wake them up and put them all on a bus for 2:30 hours was worth every complaint we held back. Watching this family get sealed and getting to confirm the Holy Ghost for the father of Manuel (my half Doctor, half Lawyer recent convert that I baptized) was an incredible experience!! I also got to spend the entire day with the assistances (they are super cool and were pretty tight, which is very unusual for them to be "friends" with anyone. they kind of got to act tough or at least a strong leader at all times or something like that)



We are preparing for 2 bautismos this weekend and I could not be more excited for them!! Plus we received permission to go to a waterfall for this baptism so I’m really hopping this will end up being an unforgettable event!!

Funny story of the week!
Ok so me and my companion were teaching this girl named Marina (shout out to Kyson Hancey) who is 22 years old. And so is my companion who finishes his mission this week.... but yeah we are helping her prepare to be baptized this Saturday and were teaching the Law of Chastity. Anyway were finishing the lesson and committing here to keep this commandment and wait until marriage to... hold hands... and yeah everything went well with the lesson. But after we cooked dinner with her family (all of them are investigators progressing which is super exciting!) and were eating when my companion said "what are your plans for this Saturday? cu we have a big announcement to make" (the family did not know about her decision to be baptized) Right away the dad began to yell "YOU TWO ARE GETTING MARRIED??" HAHA  he totally heard our lesson and just assumed that my companion was going to propose or something after his mission hahah!!! I bug him about it every day now haha, but seriously the dad was so sad when he realized they weren’t getting married hahahah!



Hope you all have a great week!
Congrats to Addy on the mission call!!


Monday, January 23, 2017

Spending a week with the doctor and in the house

Buenos tardes familia y amigos! Como estas??

Oh man this week has been a pain in the butt, however it has also been one of the biggest learning experiences of my life!! With spending 2 whole days in the doctors office in Guayaquil (the doctor is a super cool guy! he is a returned missionary and served here in Ecuador when it was only just one mission for the entire country! but yeah I’m healthy and happy again.)  And another 2 days in the house not being able to leave.... so yeah I spent almost the whole week in the house. But the craziest thing was that I loved it!! Not because I got to rest and relax for the whole week, but the opposite, I literally spent every second reading and studying. If you had asked me before my mission to study for a week straight without leaving the house or watching a movie I would have laughed. But I have found a new passion for studying and marking my scriptures that grows a little stronger cada did! 



We also had an opportunity to go to Machala for a multi zone conference!! Which ended up being super awesome!! We got to travel to another sector, which is pretty cool, and were with 50 other missionaries! I love having these meetings and getting to see all the other missionaries in my mission!

This week will be awesome because we have another meeting in Machala and then our branch is going the Temple this Saturday and all the missionaries here in Naranjal get to go with them!!


Hope everyone is doing well and I’m praying for all of you!

Monday, January 16, 2017

This week has been a week of learning

This week has been a week of learning.  It has been very rough but I have learned a lot from it and am definitely a better missionary because of it! I have been very sick the last few weeks and this week was the worst, its been super hard to walk this last week which is where I’ve learned to rely on the strength of the Lord more than ever. I have also learned a bit about humility as well, Alma 26:12 has been something I have read nightly, because of my own strength I am nothing, but I have been amazed by how much I have been able to do with the help of the Lord!

I have also learned a great lesson of perservance this week! Just because something does not come easy or quickly does not mean it is against the will of God. When we pray to receive an answer and do not receive one just means that we have to keep searching, praying, so that we may receive a trial of our faith (Ether 12:6) I learned this lesson through an investigator named Jennifer. I found her about a month ago with Elder Humble, and she was SUPER excited and happy to listen to us!! The day after we met her she went to church all 3 hours and was super friendly to everyone. The next lesson we had with her she gladly accepted a baptismal date and agreed to take all of our lessons! She told us that she was going to pass the holidays in Guayaquil and would be gone for a while, unfortunately this ended up being for 4 weeks straight... and every day I made my companion pass by for her. After 3 weeks I was super upset that we could not find her and help her progress, but I never doubted the timing of the Lord. But this week I was pretty sick and was told I didn’t have to leave the house if I didn’t want to, but I decided I needed to work and as we passed by for her she was just getting back!! But the best part of this story was that her first question was "when can I be baptized?" I cannot describe how happy I was!!!



It was also my companion’s birthday this week, which was super fun!! People here go so hard for the celebration of birthdays. Like we had to eat 3 dinners that night, 2 other people made him an entire cake, and another made us a huge pan of flan! 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Photos!

This week has had its downs but it also has had some super great highs! We’ve found 3 families to teach this week and have a fecha de baptismal con algunas de ellos!! This last week we had the president of the mission come to our ward for Sunday (which is a really really big deal here, like it was the 2nd time in my mission to have him there for sacrament) and not only that but we also had the President of Mission Guayaquil Norte come and visit us too! Which was awesome cuz we taught all the classes that day and they both participated a ton in these classes, and man they were good lessons!! These 2 and their wives are super Powerful! The reason they came to visit us was because technically Narajal is not within our mission boundaries but I’m not sure why Mission Norte allowed us to come here and start a Rama, but they were visiting (I think) because they want to take it back. Like honestly it would be kind of cool to say that I served outside of my mission and baptized 4 people there!!

I’ve been pretty happy this week even though I’ve been sick, today was rough but I’m felling a little better each day.

Les Extraño mucho!!!

Sorry there’s no time to write my group email this week. Hope my goofy face makes up for it!

These things are called Maduros, there like my favorite thing to eat here!!



Here’s a pic with my Branch President sleeping after the craziest Sunday of our lives! (We had the Mission presidents of 2 missions there and the most people we ever every had attend by far!!)

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017!!!

Ecuador defiantly parties harder than the states! It was honestly such an incredibly fun week! All week everyone has been in a good mood preparing for the end of the year. Everyone here has been making these big things called Monigotes. It’s like paper-ma-she done by artists, and then they fill them up with explosives and wait for the New Year to blow them up!! We had to be in the house super early the last couple days so we decided to make a party of our own and had a super fun night! All the Gringos made hamburgers and French fries and lime-aid, while my new companion taught us to make carne asada! We spent all night on the roof enjoying the food and laughing!



My new compañero is Elder Rodrigues; he turns 22 on the 11th and is from Colombia. I love this guy soo much!! He is super funny and loves to be loud. But honestly my Spanish has been improving so much this last week because we are always talking and joking with each other which has been super awesome! Shout out to my cousins Taylor and Nick because my companion is literally a mixture between the two of them!! He only has one more month left in the mission until he finishes too, which is part awesome and part sad. He will be the 3rd companion of mine to finish the mission with me which is awesome because they have all been super experienced and obedient missionaries! But at the same time it's sad cuz I won’t get to see them latter in the mission. Plus its hard for them not to get excited at times to finish, and starting a mission with this is a little hard but it just has taught me how I want to end my mission with no regrets and working hard until the very last moment.


My New Years Resolution is to memorize a new Scripture every week!


Hope you are all doing great and I’m praying that you’re all feeling the spirit every day and can recognize the hand of God in you lives!