August 8, 2011 - Last post

Posted on 2:07 PM by Elder Messer | 0 comments

Pues…. Me es dificil creer que ya se me acabaron los mejores dos aƱos……It feels like yesterday I was saying goodbye to everyone in the airport and getting dropped off by Lindsey at the MTC and here I am at the other end of the spectrum about to finish my mission. It really did go by fast. I don`t think I can even began to describe how I`ve been feeling in these last couple days. I just feel straight up weird. I`m happy because I get to come home and see my family and friends but at the same time I feel like I`m leaving family and friends here in Ecuador so its hard. I love the people of Ecuador. It’s been hard to say goodbye to everyone this week.

But anyway, It was a good week. I did my best to show Elder Whitlock the area. And the most exciting news is that we have a baptism coming up this Saturday. I`m sad that I won`t be there for it but I still count him as my convert. His name is Luis Flores. He is the father of Kristina Bonilla Flores (The wife of the family that we baptized last month). He has had a drinking problem his whole life which has caused a lot of problems but hasn`t drank for over a month now and has come to church 4 weeks in a row. He says that during the week he always wants Sunday to come faster so that he can go to church. He doesn`t speak very much Spanish and has almost no formal education so we have been teaching him like we would teach a 4 year old with simple words and really basic concepts. We have been working with the bishop too so that he can translate what we say into Quichua and help Luis understand better. He doesn`t understand much but he says that he feels peace when he prays, in church, and when we teach him. He should get baptized this Saturday.

At the beginning of my mission I thought that God and Christ had done so much for me that going on a mission was the least that I could do to try and repay them but now I realize that my debt to them has grown even bigger because they have blessed me so much over these past 2 years. It really is true what King Benjamin said in Mosiah chapter 2; we will always be unprofitable servants. The more we try to pay off our debt to Christ the more he blesses us and the bigger our debt because. Going on a mission wasn`t a sacrifice. It was a privilege and a blessing. I have gained a simpler but more profound understanding of the Gospel. I feel like I gained like 50 years of life experience with all the people that I got to help and all the problems that I got to see and try and help solve. I got to see and be part of miracles. There was absolutely nothing bad about going on a mission. It was the best decision I have ever made in my life.

I`d like to close my last letter with a scripture. Its in 2 John 1:12. It reads, “Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.”

God be with you till we meet again!

August 1, 2011

Posted on 6:46 PM by Elder Messer | 0 comments

Hey everyone! I`ll start with the good news… Michelle got baptized and
confirmed this week! It was basically a miracle. Last week we thought
that there was almost no way that she could get baptized this week
because of the opposition with her mom. On Sunday night Antonio and
Michelle had basically told us that if she got baptized that it would
start ridiculous legal problems and would be a very bad situation. We
basically just testified to them of the importance of baptism and told
them that if they really had faith and tried that the lord would
provide a way. Then we went back on Wednesday and they told us that
they didn`t care what the consequences were, Michelle was going to get
baptized. I don’t think her mom knows yet and hopefully when she finds
out it won`t cause to many problems. But they didn`t break any laws
and they did what the lord wanted so he is “Bound” to help them with
whatever challenges do arise. There was some opposition on the day of
the baptism because Antonio had to stay longer at work for some reason
(A work that owes him 3 weeks salary still) and his dad was really
sick and needed to be taken to the hospital. But long story short he
made it to the baptism and michelle got baptized and all is well.
At Church this week an American family showed up that just moved here
and they invited us to dinner on Tuesday. I`m pretty excited.
I got a new companion today. His name is Elder Whitlock. He`s from
Wyoming He was in my district when I was a district leader so I
already know him. He only has a week to get to know the biggest sector
in the mission so hopefully he can pick it up quick.

I finished all my souvenir shopping today and I really hope you all
like what I got you. It was kinda hard to pick stuff out for everyone
but I did the best I could.

Our zone broke the record this month for baptisms. We had 15 between 4
companionships. The old record was 13. And the mission broke its
record too. We had 288 baptisms this month which is ridiculous!!!!
When president Sloan first got here he said the goal was 70 in a month
and know one thought it was possible. And now we baptized over 4 times
that in one month. I`m pretty sure our mission is the highest
baptizing mission in the area. If its not the highest its definitely
pretty high up there. Next month we`re gonna hit 300 for sure!

Well this week is gonna be my last real week of work as a missionary
because next week we have to travel to Quito on Tuesday for zone
leader council on Wednesday and then I have interviews and meetings on
Thursday and I come home on Friday. It feels weird that my mission is
coming to an end. Its kinda surreal still. I don’t really know how to
explain it. I think it might be hard to adjust to normal life again.
Hopefully I can adjust quickly. Thank you all for all the love and
support that you have given me over the last 2 years. I`m really lucky
to have such a good family that supports me and encourages me so much.
A lot of missionaries don`t have that. So thank you! Last week will be
my last letter home from the mission. That’s all for this week. I love
you all!