December 20, 2010

Posted on 4:44 PM by Elder Messer | 0 comments

Feliz Navidad!(if you don`t know what that means then shame on you). I can`t believe its Christmas time again. I feel like I was just talking to you all from Esmeraldas like a month ago and its already a year later. Christmas season in Ambato is definitely better that Christmas season in Esmeraldas. But everyone says that its not as good as it is in Quito. But hey I’m just glad that I’m not in Esmeraldas this year. Anyway, let me tell you a little bit about my week. I think there were 2 main themes for me this week: Talk with everyone and reprove at times with sharpness. Those might seem like 2 random themes but let me explain….
This week I`ve talked with more people than any other week in my mission. Taxi drivers, knocking doors, helping people in the streets, talking to people in the streets. We have been on a frantic search for new investigators. Let me tell you some of our success stories:
1) Rodrigo Garcia: on Tuesday we were hungry so we stopped at a little store (everyone sells stuff out of their house here) to but some snacks. While we were buying we started talking to the guy that owns the store and long story short we set an appointment to come back on Saturday and share our message with him. When we went back on Saturday we started teaching and about 5 minutes into the lesson inside his store he said “let’s go upstairs so my wife can hear too”. So he took us upstairs to his living room and we kept teaching there. His wife wasn`t feeling good so she didn`t come out. Rodrigo told us that she was pregnant but that the doctors said that there was a good chance that the baby was going to die. We started teaching a little bit about prayer and said a prayer with him to bless his wife and their baby. He told us to come back this week to keep learning more. It was interesting that we arrived right in the moment when their family was going through a big trial like that. The lord prepares people in different ways I guess.
2) Marcelo and Carolina: on Saturday we were late to an appointment so we were walking as fast as we could to get there. We walked by a couple that was sitting on a street curb and after we had walked about 50 yards past my companion stopped and said “I think we should go back and talk to that couple”. I said “I think we should too” so we turned around and went back. We felt kinda weird since we had just passed them and didn`t say anything. When we got to them we presented ourselves and asked if we could share a quick message about families with them. You should have seen how Carolina´s eyes lit up. It was like she had been waiting for us. She turned to Marcelo and said “yes we need to listen” and Marcelo agreed. It turns out that they are getting married in January so we talked about how a family established on the gospel of Jesus Christ is more likely to likely to be happy and have success in such a crazy world. They agreed with everything we taught them and we excited to set up an appointment to teach them in Carolinas house. We have an appointment with them tomorrow.
3) One night this week we left our last appointment at like 9:20 and had to take a taxi to get home on time. We started talking to the taxi driver and long story short he gave us his information to visit him at home (He lives in pelileo so it was a reference for the missionaries there) and when we got home he wouldn’t let us pay him and ended up giving us a free ride.
It was cool to see what could happen when we just opened our mouths. The lord really does but people in our paths. We just have to open our mouths and talk to them.
The zone hasn’t had much success this month so my companion and I were talking about what we could do to help the zone and we decided that we needed to perfect the technique of reproving with love like it says in D&C 121. On Friday in the leader meeting that we have every week with the district leaders we talked about how to reprove with love and did some practices. President Sloan is really good at reproving us with love when he calls us every Monday to see how many baptisms the zone had and how many new families we found. When we don’t have a lot of baptisms all he does is ask us questions like “What happened” or make comments like “maybe your missionaries don’t want to baptize every week” and just by the tone of his voice we feel bad and are motivated to help the zone do better. So we have been trying to apply what he does with us with the missionaries in the zone and our investigators. I tried it with the Suarez family and I think it made an impact. We taught about the Sabbath day and they told us that they couldn`t come to church because they were in charge of organizing a new year’s party in their little town and that Sunday was the only day that they could do it. I thought it was a ridiculous excuse considering their daughter has cancer and they want god to do a miracle for them but they aren`t really to make a small sacrifice for him. I said something like this, “that’s fine with us if you don`t want to come to church but I just want you to think… What are your priorities?... Is God one of them?... what do you want god to do for you in your lives?... and what do you think you have to do so that he can do it?...” Then I assured them that god loved them and wanted to help but he can only help us if we help ourselves. I think it made them think. Theres a lot of people in missionary work the frankly just give stupid excuses and they themselves know that their excuses are stupid. In a way, being a missionary is like parenting. I remember when I use to give stupid excuses and dad would talk sharply to me and then come in a few minutes later and reassure me that he loved me. It was effective on me and it is effective on investigators as well.
My new companion, Elder Pincay, is really cool. His dad is a counselor in the stake presidency in his stake in Guayaquil so he comes from a really solid family. It’s interesting to see the difference in companions when they come from a strong family and when they don`t. It really makes a huge difference. He is the first Ecuadorian companion that I have had so I’ve been learning a ton just from watching how he deals with people since he knows perfectly the culture and everything. It’s definitely an advantage to have a native companion.
Random note: There have been crazy parades all over the place since its Christmas time. It’s a catholic tradition that they have here. They worship the “NiƱo Divino” (divine child). Its totally idolatry. They walk around carrying a doll of baby Jesus with a band playing music behind. The catholic traditions here are pretty crazy sometimes. And it’s a huge obstacle with some investigators. They don’t understand why they can’t worship a doll in remembrance of Christ’s birth
Well that’s all I have for this week. Merry Christmas to all. I look forward to talking with you guys on Saturday!!!! I love you all!

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