Tuesday, January 5, 2016
¡Feliz Año Nuevo! I hope you all had a great new year and are busy setting goals for the coming year. It's strange to think that all of 2016 I will be here in Ecuador serving the Lord, but I'm so excited. I am so exciting for the all growth that will come and everything I will learn!
So a little about New Years. So on Christmas and New Years we are imprisoned in our house and can't leave...haha it's okay though. Ok so the benefit of living in the hobbit hole, is that we live below the stake president so technically it's the same house so on New Years Eve we went upstairs to his house at like 8 and had turkey and vegetables oh and rice, never forget the rice...and ice cream, it was great! The next day we watched movies again and that was good (except for the fact that they were in Spanish and there weren't subtitles and so I couldn't understand that much...but oh well it was still fun). Also, I was sick again. Like what's up with that? I guess my body doesn't like being stuck in the house haha it was okay though and got a little better throughout the day. Also, we made Rice Krispie Treats and they were fantastic! My companions from Peru had never had them before so they tried them and they like them. Well, that pretty much sums up my New Years..oh and hearing fireworks throughout the whole night was fun too....
So, I just want to share something about the testimony meeting here in this ward. So on fast and testimony meeting there are so many people that get up and share their testimonies. Like, the stake president or bishop has to get up before and remind everyone to keep their testimonies short so that there is enough time to hear everyone. Really, there are so many memebers that get up and bear their testimonies and it really hit me. Their testimonies aren't long but they are powerful. They are all so strong and know that the chruch is true. It made me think about fast and testimony meeting in my home ward and how different it is. I encourage you all to share your testimonies. If not in sacrament meeting, then with other people just at other times. Be an example of Jesus Christ! Bear a simple testimony, that is enough. You can bear your testimony through your words and through your actions. Remember who you are and what you stand for! Oh and remember the words of this little kid that bore his testimony in sacrament: "We can't go to heaven if we aren't baptized..." haha it was so funny. that was all he said and then got down haha
Right now, we are looking for new people but also teaching Stefania. She is so great and I feel really close to her. Like, she's also 19 and likes to run and she is just so great and she likes coming to church so that's even more great and we are just trying to help her gain a testimony so that she will want to be baptized!
Another just fun thing, the other day we forgot to bring our umbrellas with us and it started to pour and we were pretty much soaking wet on Saturday...haha good times. I now bring my umbrella with me... :)
Monday, January 4, 2016
Family and Friends,
I hope you had a very merry Christmas.
This Christmas in the mission was so different than any other Christmas I have every experienced. It didn't entirely feel like Christmas because it's hot here and there's no snow but the decorations and Christmas songs helped. Well, Christmas day started out with a sick stomach so that was fun...merry Christmas to me...but it got better throughout the day so it was ok. We have permission on Christmas to watch two Disney movies on Christmas so we watched some movies, ate some food, rested, oh and one of the Hermanas in my house cut my hair..yeah..it was fun. haha Oh and talking with the family the day before was pretty great too!
So this year, like I said, Christmas was different.I really tried to find the spirit of Christ in this Christmas and I feel like I did. On the 23rd we were visiting with one of our investigators and we had a really great lesson and when I think back on the memory it was really special. The house was peaceful and calm and the liting was warm and inviting. I believe this kind of peace and calm was what it was like on the night of the birth of the Savior, which is what we remember at this time of year. The spirit was there and the prayer offered at the end really touched my heart. They live in a humble house as many of the people do here, but in her prayer, our investigator prayed for all those who are less fortunate than her. She said some other things but this really stood out to me. This is what Christmas is about. It is about thinking of others just as our Savior did. It doesn't matter what material things we have or don't have, it's about giving thanks to our Father in Heaven for what we do have and then asking for the well being of others. I am here to serve the Lord and the people of Ecuador by helping them come to a knowledge of the gospel, but that night, Stefania served me. She taught me what Christmas is all about and I am grateful for the experience I had of Christmas in Ecuador. I hope and pray that we can have not just the Spirit of Christmas but the Spirit of Christ with us all year long. Thank you for your prayers and support and HAPPY NEW YEAR!