February 23, 2011

Posted on 11:16 AM by Elder Messer | 0 comments

Well this week was a pretty good week. We had a baptism and found 3 new families so I can`t really complain. Our baptism was a 10 year old girl named Nicole. Everyone in her family is a member but they have been inactive for a while. Over the past couple of months we have been visiting them and little by little they have been coming back to church. They have a lot of problems in their home and to be honest are very prideful and hard to help but we have been doing our best and they have been coming to church about every other week. Hopefully Nicole’s baptism will motivate them to keep coming and to keep improving. The baptismal service was good and bad at the same time… let me explain. It was good because that same day we had an open house in the stake center so there were a lot of members there but it was bad because there were only 2 members from our ward…the bishop and his wife. I guess it’s not hard to see why there was only 1 baptism in all of 2010. But hey if you look at it from a positive perspective we`ve already baptized as many people this year as all of last year and its only February! All of the missionaries in the zone were at Nicole’s baptism so we formed a small choir and I played the guitar while everyone sang “Nearer my God to Thee”. It turned out really good considering that almost no one in Ecuador has any musical talent. Here I sing well…. Can you believe that?! Haha
Anyway like I said we had a open house on Saturday. We had been planning it with the high council member in charge of missionary work for a long time and had everything planned out wonderfully…. But it didn`t turn out that great because all the members got there really late and not very many people brought friends. Each ward was assigned to a subject to talk about for 3-5 minutes. For example 1 ward was assigned to the restoration, another to the book of Mormon, another to temples, ect…. The investigators were supposed to come in and go from room to room learning a little bit about each subject. But they all got there late and weren´t organized at all. One ward got there half an hour late and started to set up their room and by the time they were finished 2 and a half hours later the open house was already over. They were supposed to come at 11 am to set up and be ready to start at 2 but apparently nobody thought it was necessary to come that early… I`m not gonna lie…. I wasn`t surprised haha. But at least we learned a lot about how to make it better for next time.
Random Story: My companion and I were walking to an appointment on Wednesday and we ran into a random member from Colombia. He recognized us and came up and started talking to us. He said that he was a member from Colombia and that he used to be the elders quorum president. We asked him where he lived now and he told us that he traveled all around Ecuador selling trash bags on buses and in the streets. I thought that was a kinda weird thing to do but then he explained his story. Apparently he worked for the government in Colombia and somehow was involved in some legal case against a rebel group in Colombia so the rebel group tried to kill him but he escaped to Ecuador but can`t just live in one spot because the rebel group can find him and kill him. He is trying to get all his documents changed and his name changed and he is trying to get a visa to Spain to escape. My companion told me that a situation like that was normal and that almost all the Columbians that come to Ecuador come for stuff like that. Apparently the Ecuadorian government helps them a lot to escape.

On Saturday my companion and I were walking home at about 8:40 pm. We passed by the Chicazia family`s house and as we passed by I had the impression to stop by and remind them about church on Sunday. We knocked on the door and they came out and let us in. It turned out that the oldest son had come home drunk and started beating his mom and the dad had stepped in to defend the mom and beat up the son and called the police and the police came and took the son to jail. We were able to calm them down a little and help them restore peace in their home. It was a cool experience because we weren`t planning on visiting them but the spirit told us that we needed to.

On Sunday My companion and I gave talks in church. The ward mission leader was supposed to give a talk as well but never showed up. I talked about a talk that elder Oaks gave in 2001 called the challenge of becoming or something like that. It talks about how the gospel isn`t just about having a testimony… It is about becoming something. It isn`t enough to just know. It isn`t enough to just know and do. We have to know and do with real intent and real desires so that we become. We can`t just go through the motions and expect to receive eternal life. The gospel isn`t just to know or do. It is to be. I have visited a lot of inactive members that have very strong testimonies. The problem is that they don’t do anything to act on their testimonies. At the same time there are a lot of active members that have testimonies and that go to church and do a lot of good things but they don’t do it with real intent so as to let themselves be molded and changed by their actions. They never become something. Its like it says in Moroni 7…. If a man makes an offering or prays without real intent it doesn`t profit him. Joseph smith waited 2 years after reading James 1:5 before he prayed and received his answer. I imagine in those 2 years he strived constantly to change his desires and to make them pure and real so that he could receive an answer. God will always grant us the desire of our hearts. If we aren`t receiving something it is because the desire hasn`t been etched onto our heart. If we go to church week after week and don’t feel like we are getting better and becoming what we need to be it is because we don’t desire it enough.

Anyway, sorry for that little doctrinal spill…, that’s all I have for this week. But before I finish I want to ask a favor of everyone at BYU that reads my blog. I have to register for classes in April and I don’t really have that much time to research things and pick classes and teachers and all that. I have to take the civilization1 credit, 4 religion credits, and I’m gonna take Spanish 321 and I’m thinking about calc and chem 105. If anyone has any suggestions about what classes to take or which teachers to take them from or which teachers to avoid PLEASE WRITE ME through dearelder and let me know!!! i would be very grateful! Ok that’s all I have for now. I love you all.

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