June 14, 2010
Hey everyone. Another week and another letter. We had 2 baptisms this week and they went really well. We baptized an 8 year old boy named David and an 11 year old boy named Carlos. Their parents are members but were inactive so we`ve been working with them and they have returned to church and are now active so we baptized their 2 kids. Carlos is deaf so his mom had to translate everything to him in sign language. He`s a really smart kid. He even gave his testimony after the baptism and his mom translated it for us. Then their parents shared their testimonies and they both started crying because it was such a special moment for them. I forgot to take my camera this time so unfortunately I don’t have any pictures but I’ll try and take a picture with the family this week and send it home next week.
On Thursday I got to go to a meeting with all the district leaders in the whole mission. It was pretty cool. It went from 8am to 8 pm but that included a trip to the president’s house to eat ridiculously delicious enchiladas. It was the first taste of purely home cooked American food that I’ve had since I’ve been here. They even had root beer floats with the root beer imported from the stated because they don’t sell it here. It was heavenly. Apart from that we just talked forever about a bunch of different stuff. I think we spent like 3 hours talking about baptismal interviews and all the different situations that can come up. It was a really cool meeting and I’m glad that I got to go.
Today we got to watch the world cup. We watched Italy against Paraguay. It was way cool because it was the first time that I have watched TV in 9 months. Next week we`re gonna watch Spain against Honduras. And there`re rumors going around that president sloan is gonna let us play soccer on pdays if everything goes well with the world cup. So hopefully those rumors turn into a reality.
There’s a new sister missionary in my district that is from the Philippines. She’s the only person in the mission that is from somewhere other than latino America and the US. She speaks Cebuano and English already and now she is learning Spanish.
That’s about it for this week. I hope everything is going well back home. I love you all.
June 28, 2010
This week has gone well out here in Ecuador. We`ve been working hard trying to help people progress towards baptism and all of that good stuff that missionaries do. We have a baptism coming up this week. It’s a 30 year old lady named Jacqueline. Her sister is a member and she just recently became interested in the gospel. We met her at church like 5 weeks ago and have been teaching her ever since. She`s really excited for her baptism and she doesn`t really have any problems so that’s good. But I’m sure the opposition will come sooner or later… it always does.
This week we took Ronald (a 13 year old kid that we baptized) out with us a few times. He wanted to come with us so that he could fulfill a requirement in his duty to god book. He’s really excited about the church and everything that goes with it. His mom is investigating as well but she is a little harder. She’s been to church twice and now has a baptismal date for the end of July but she still seams kinda hesitant about it so we have our work cut out for us. Her whole family is catholic and Ronald had to face a lot of opposition from them when he got baptized so I think she’s kinda scared of what will happen if she got baptized. Almost everyone here is catholic and they have some beliefs/traditions that are very different so some times its hard for them to leave everything behind and join the church. We have one investigator that says she can’t believe that what we`re saying is true because her family has always worshiped some virgin/saint lady that lives in Loja (some city in Ecuador). Apparently this saint person has done a bunch of miracles and healed a bunch of people. It was kinda weird to hear about…. And upon further inspection we found out that this “saint” isn`t even a person at all…. It’s some doll that they keep in a huge shrine and all the people go worship her and pray to her and claim that she does miracles. It’s pretty much extreme idolatry but everyone that worships her claims that it’s not idolatry at all…… Let’s just say that Satan has confused a lot of people…
And there are a lot of people that don’t accept the gospel because of “the traditions of their fathers”. We talked to a lady one time that said, “Even if I got an answer from god that your church was true I wouldn`t leave the catholic church.” or others have said, “I was born catholic and I’m gonna dies catholic and that’s all there is to it.” It’s kinda frustrating sometimes but that’s how it is so we just learn to deal with it.
Well I can’t think of anything else so that’s it for this week! I love you all!
July 5, 2010
Things have been going well down here on the equator. It’s been a good week for the most part. We were supposed to have a baptism on Saturday but it fell through because the ladies dad died suddenly and she had to travel to the coast to be with the family and go to his funeral and everything. Depending on when she comes back we’ll either have her baptism this week or next week. Its amazing how predictable things are when someone is about to be baptized. Something ALWAYS happens. I`ve had like 20-ish baptisms so far and I’m pretty sure there wasn`t a single one that didn`t have some type of problem or opposition. We always warn the people when they accept a baptismal date that it won`t go unopposed. We`re at war here with the adversary people! He’s not gonna let you walk straight into the kingdom of God without doing everything in his power to shoot you down. Adversity has never been as real as it has been while I’ve been on my mission.
Tarjelia (Ronald`s mom) has been progressing really well lately. Shes been to church 3 times and says that her enthusiasm to get baptized has been improving. Her whole family is really catholic and that’s our biggest challenge with her so this week we decided to teach a whole lesson just about the great apostasy. We spent like 45 minutes just read scriptures and prophecies about the false churches that were gonna form and all the doctrine that was going to be changed. There’s a scripture in 2 timothy that talks about people that forbid to marry and that forbid to eat meat which seemed to really strike her hard since those are 2 things in the Catholic Church.
We saw something interesting this week. We were walking to an appointment and we saw this old lady with 3 goats walking through the middle of a very crowded street right in front of the mall. It turns out that she was selling goat milk and she was doing it with live goats to make sure it was fresh. People would walk up to her and ask for a cup and she would proceed to bend down, squeeze some milk out of the utter and give it to the person. They would then pay her 25 cents. My companion and I had a good laugh about it.
I hope everything is going well back in the states. Write me letters! I love you all!
June 14, 2010