Sunday, February 21, 2016
Well, Happy Valentines Day everyone. Yes, Valentines Day is a thing here. Our Valentines Day was spent at church and then teaching some lessons, the usual. BUT one of the members in our ward made us pizza and so we went there and ate Valentines Pizza which was pretty great.
So, Carnival. I can't believe that Carnival was just this past week. This week has felt so long but so short at the same time. We didn't have hardly any time to go out and work this week because we couldn't leave Monday or Tuesday and then on Wednesday we had interviews with President Dennis which ended up taking a long time because we were misinformed about when to show up and yeah so that was fun and then on Thursday we had a multi-zone conference which took up most of the day so really we only had the weekend to work, but it was still a good week. I don't really have any crazy stories from Carnival. We did a deep clean of the house and studied and cooked and it was pretty fun. So the members feed us every day except Monday and so when we had to cook for ourselfes Monday and Tuesday it was pretty different. But it was really good. Hermana Reina, my companion from Ecuador, helped us make Arroz con pollo, which is an Ecuadorian meal and it was delicious. On Tuesday we made Spaghetti because it was Hermana Gonzales' birthday!! and it's her favorite meal. Other than that though, not much happened.
Oh, also, Johan's baptism was super great! I was so happy because during the little message that Elder Lee gave about baptism and the Holy Ghost, Johan was answering his questions and it really showed me that deep down, Johan really knew why he was being baptized. I felt somewhat like a proud parent....Sometimes when we left lessons with Johan I felt like all was lost and that he literally learned nothing- in one ear and out the other, but that night I got to see that all was not lost and that he really did learn the importance of baptism. All I have to say is Primary Teachers, parents, anyone who works with kids, don't give up hope! Your efforts are not wasted. Kids are crazy and sometimes (like a lot of times) don't listen to what we are saying, or we think they aren't listening, but they are. They learn and they know, deep down, what is right. So keep up the good work and keep on teaching them correct principles.
Anyway, this letter isn't too long but I hope you all have a good week! I love you so much! Thank you for all your letters and love and support!
P.S. I led the music in sacrament meeting on Sunday...that was fun
So yeah, it's Saturday and I'm writing you all because well, last week I forget to tell you that we would be writing today...sorry....It's because we have Carnival. Carnival is like, well I don't really know what it is exactly, all I know is that if you walk in the streets you will get all sorts of things thrown at you. For example, I have heard of them throwing water (and sometimes dirty water), paint, eggs, flour, and yeah. So basically we aren't allowed to leave the house Monday or Tuesday and we have to be in our houses by 6 today and tomorrow. Yay, good times. Sorry I didn't say that earlier.
Anyway, this week we had companion exchanges and it was super good. I learned a lot from Hermana Espinosa (a different Hermana in my zone) and am super grateful for the opportunity to work with her. Not a ton happened this week, but it was still a good week. We are looking for new investigators and less actives that we can teach and trying hard to work with the members to find these people.
So, we have another baptism this week, today actually! His name is Johan Weiss. He's 9 and is very excited for his baptism. He has a lot of energy and gets distracted easily and so teaching him really taught me patience but I know that deep down he really knows the importance of the gospel, it's just hard sometimes because he is distracted with differnt things. I think we can all relate to this, though. We have things that distract us and sometimes we aren't the most focused, but when everything is said and done and settles down, we have our testimonies. We have a foundation that we can rely on and continually build on. Yesterday, we had a lesson with him and it really was one of the most powerful lessons I've been in on my mission. We watched a Mormon Message called Dayton's Legs. If you haven't watched it, you should, but bring some tissues because it's a tear jerker. Wow, this video was so powerful and the spirit in that lessons was undeniable. Johan, who is usually distracted and fidgetty, almost cried..yeah..a 9 year old. I know he felt the spirit and I know the Spirit was there. He wasn't his usual distracted self, he listened and answered our questions and all I have to say is the spirit works wonders. I am also very grateful for Mormon Messages and all the other resources we have as members of the Church. I invite all of you to have a family home evening this week and watch a Mormon Message and then talk about it, learn from it, and apply it in your life. I know this Church is true, no matter what anyone says and I am proud to be a part of this great work. Have a super awesome week!
So this letter isn't going to be super long because I wrote like half way though the week last week but yeah, some pretty great things happened this week. So, to start off, this week my companion completed one year in the mission! Obviously we needed to celebrate, so we ordered pizza (yes, we can do that here) and they brought it to our house and we ate it after our nightly planning and it was so good!
She is seriously the best. There is so much I learn from her every day. I feel like she always has answers for people and it just blows me away. We will be sitting in a lesson and the person will say something and I'm like, wow, I don't know how to respond to this or I don't know what to say to try and help you...but Hermana Gonzlaes know! She is so intune to the spirit and knows lots of good scriptures to use. That is one of my goals. I want to increase my knowledge of the scriptures so that I can be ready with one to share in whatever circumstance I am in.
So, our investigators are doing really well and we are working with them, but we also need to keep looking for people. We can't be content to just work with the people we are teaching right now, we need to look for new peole and keep asking for references. We received a couple of references last week and we went to go contact them and wow, there were some really good people that we meet but they have like really big desafios (challenges, like law of chastity or word of wisdom) and so its like AHH we found some super great people that are accepting but have other things that we have to work out but this is how missionary work is. It wouldn't be missionary work if no one had any problems or things to work on. This life is not easy and everyone has their own problems and weaknesses and we are here to help these people overcome those obstacles and help them come unto Christ.
Baptism! Yay, ok so our baptism was soo great this week. Diana and her daughter Maholy were baptized and honestly, I gained a new perspective on baptism that I didn't have before.
Diana has been through a lot in her life but she has truly utilized the Atonement to help her overcome these things and finally enter into the waters of baptism and start a new life. With other baptisms, I usually would just sit and watch the baptism from a chair or something like everyone else, but this time we went and stood at the side of the font and got to watch from that angle and wow, it was so different. I could really see in their faces, the joy and love that they felt. I feel so blessed to be a missionary here and to have meet the people that I have met. They are such great people and I love helping them come unto Christ. I testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, that He lives, and that he truly loves us. I know that this church is true and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Read it. Learn from it. There are so many things we can learn from it. I love you guys!
Hi, sorry that this letter is so late and on a Wednesday night...we went to Guayaquil on Monday for a Sister's conference and then stayed there on Tuesday as well because my companion is a rockstar and is a sister leader (as well as a mission nurse....) and she had a leaders conference on Tuesday. I obviously didn't go to the leadership conference because I am not a leader but I got to work for the day in my old sector in Florida instead! I was with some other sisters and it was pretty fun.
There are so many things to write about. I realized that my letters are a lot better if I take a post it note and write down things that I want to say in my letters during the week. A few random things first:
1. Some members came with us the other day on visits and one of the members was this older man who reminds me of my grandpa Roylance and it was just a really great day. He is so great and really helped us a lot in our lessons. The thing about lessons with members is that sometimes I feel like It's really hard or something to coordinate everything and have members to come with us, but really it's not hard-it's a phone call. And they really add a lot to our lessons. There are things that they say that I would have never been able to say, so basically if you ever get the chance to accompany the missionaries, do it! You have your own experiences and you say things that the investigators and other members really need to hear. Don't dobt the role you play.
2. I drank avacado juice this week. I don't like avacado that much and I know what you're thinking because I was thinking the same thing-ew that sounds awful, but it was like a smoothie which probably sounds worse, but it was SO good. haha
3. I made French toast this week for all of my Latina companios and they loved it! I also really enjoyed it (yes, family, I actually have come to love breakfast)
4. Sometimes Spanish is still hard and one day this week we were teaching a lesson and the word for Atonement and the word for spy are very similar and so I asked if they knew what the Atonement was and our little investigator, who is a little 9 yr old responded and I didn't understand his answer but then they just all started laughing because he was like uh, is it someone who is a spy? haha I didn't realize until after but it was pretty funny. I had a moment like in the movie the best 2 yrs when he says something like I also know Joseph Smith was a pamphlet....haha good times with other languages....
So we had a world wide missionary conference this week on Wednesday and it was really good. One thing that I really loved that they said was that we should always have the name of Christ on our lips, meaning that we should be ready in any moment and in any place to bear witness of Christ. We made a promise with the Lord when we were baptized that we would be witnesses of Him and therefore we should be willing and ready to testify of Him in whatever situation we may be in.
So, more than anything, I want to share an experience I had this week that really strengthened my testimony concerning the priesthood. So we were on the bus going to an appointment and everything was fine but as we were nearing the place where we needed to get off, my companion just kind of laid her head on my shoulder and started to cry and I could see in her face that she was not okay, like was about to pass out and she couldn't really talk, all I heard was to call the sister that we were going to visit so I called her and in this moment I feel like all my Spanish that I knew went out of my brain and somehow was able to communicate that I just needed her to come, and to come quick. We got off the bus and walked to her house and the whole way I am just praying because I have no idea what is happening to my companion and I have no idea what to do and I am just walking and praying and we get to her house and sit my companion down and we are helping her try and stay awake and I called my zone leaders and they came and when they came they gave her a blessing. In that moment, I was so grateful for the power of the priesthood. After the blessing was over, it wasn't immediate, but after about five minutes she was able to sit up and talk which was like 100 percent opposite of how she was before. The priesthood is real. It is truly the power of God given to men on the earth to act in His name. I know it is real and I am so grateful for all the worthy men that I know who hold this sacred power.
I'm sorry that this was so long but I hope you all have a good week!Thank you for all the prayers and support!
Hi Everybody!So this week in Portoviejo has felt really long but has been really great. I think it was long just because it's a new place and I'm getting used to it. There are a lot of great people here in Portoviejo and I am really enjoying it here. It is so different than Guayaquil. Guayaquil is the city and it so busy and there's so much noise and ahhh and I didn't realize that it was like that until I came here. Portoviejo is still a fairly large city but it's not like Guayaquil. It's a lot more calm and "tranquilo." Like, we will be walking in the street and a couple cars will pass but in Guayaquil there were cars and buses passing all day long and I don't know, it's just different, but I like it.
Anyway, that's a little bit about the work here. It really is progressing. I feel like we are really using our time effeciently and are constantly looking for new people to teach. Never forget that our Father in Heaven loves each of His children! Have a great week!
So this week went by really fast. I honesty can't really remember a lot of what happened this week, but it was good. We had good days and bad days but it all ended up okay at the end of the week. The Lord really does help us in this work!
So, Stefania. She is super great but earlier this week we went to visit her and we were teaching a lesson and she told us that she really isn't sure about baptism. Ah, it was so hard to hear because she also explained that she had her other church that she goes to and has gone there for a long time and just didn't konw how she felt about being baptized in another church and stuff like that and oh, it was hard. But we just listened. We wanted her to know that we were there for her and that all we wanted to do was help her. She is so great and she would come to church and she would read the Book of Mormon and didn't really have any other problems, only a testimony. She did say, however, that she has never prayed about the Book of Mormon which is really important so we asked her to continue to read and then to pray to know if it's true and we know, as it says in Moroni 10, that if we pray about the Book of Mormon, we will receive an answer and that's what we want for her. She still meets with us, we are just trying to help her along.
So, goodbye Guayaquil....yeah, I got transferred! Wow. It was crazy. They called last night and none of us in the house thought that we would be transferred, but here I am, sitting in my new sector with my new companion...well she's not really a new companion...it's Hermana Gonzales!! Yeah, I'm back with my mom haha I am in a place called Portoviejo and I have heard great things about it! My sector is called Doce de Marzo (which yes, is literally 12th of March, don't ask me why, I have no idea). I am so excited to see what this new sector brings. It's a lot different than Guayaquil but I think it will be really great.
I hope everything is going good for you guys and that you keep reading your scriptures. Thank you for all the love and prayers!