Another week has passed. It was cold and rainy, and I couldn´t convince myself that it is July! Especially because the time is going so fast. It is crazy. I forgot to say Happy 4th of July last week, so happy 4th of July! We ate root beer floats that night, that´s pretty good for being in Ecuador. I also went ahead and wore a blue skirt, tan sweater, red headband. So I did festijar a bit here in Ecuador for the good ol´ U.S.A.
This week we have grown really close as a companionship. I think we have a special chemistry, the three of us. Three can be hard, but we don´t have problems, and that is the amazing thing. We laugh so hard, and we all really like to work. I am learning so much from Hermana Rial. As well as Hermana Cooper. I am pretty sure this coming week President is going to change us, but we are so happy! I love them a lot. But change will bring new opportunities and challenges. I always know that I will be staying, that´s the one thing that doesn´t change :)
Ernesto is still on for this weekend. Teaching him the Word of Wisdom was probably the funniest thing I have ever experienced. I don´t think I mentioned that he´s also hard of hearing. So we have to practically yell at him when we´re teaching. But also, it is amazing how much it seems that his hearing has improved ever since we started visiting him. I am serious, he hears so much better now. I think it is the Spirit. But anyway, he was debating with us hardcore about the Word of Wisdom. He is so intelligent, and it´s not like he debates to contend, but he debates to understand. We had to explain every nook and cranny of D&C 89, and he really did understand it. He accepted to live it! He´s not an alcoholic or anything, but he likes to drink a little wine for his birthday parties, or once in a while drink a coffee. I wish you could´ve been there. We left with his coffee and disposed of it down the sewer drain, and he promised to give away his wine. He really is such a good guy. I wish you could hear his dramatic, poetic prayers. He didn´t want to do it forever because he felt he wanted to do it in perfect prose. But he has expressed to us how different he has felt and how much joy he feels thinking about Joseph Smith and how that could be possible. I would really love to see them go to the Temple.
Hugo and Cecilia have done everything necessary for their divorce papers. The only thing they don´t have is the money to pay for it. We are planning to do a fundraiser selling cakes, popcorn and drinks and showing a church movie on a projector. Think it will work? They did that in Iñaquito to raise money to go to the temple and they made about 150 dollars. That´s about how much we need. The amazing thing is that they are very proactive about it, and they have done all the paperwork. I think it shows they are achieving a true conversion. They are showing their self-sufficiency in their spiritual well-being, which is rare among investigators. I think that God had really prepared them, as he has all people who accept the Gospel.
We met a special family this weekend, and I am really excited to go back and teach them. They are from Manabi, a town in the coast of Ecuador, where Lourdes is from. They had wedding rings on and a picture of their wedding :) Also, they were really receptive and let us in to teach. The Dad let us in! We were really happy. We were looking for someone else´s house and ran into them. We´ll see what happens. Their names are Francisco and Vanessa, and they have three kids Nicole, Maria Victoria and Jonathan.
One thing I have been thinking about this week is what conversion really means. I remember reading D&C 18 recently which talks about saving souls. It is used a lot as a missionary scripture, but what hit me is that it talks about the joy we will have in the kingdom of the father. Not here on earth. That means that the point of missionary work is not baptism, but temple covenants and enduring to the end. Or: CONVERSION. Then we will really receive the benefit of that true joy when this life ends. I hope and pray that we can all have part in someone´s conversion. People we teach here are all different. There are some who tell you everything you want to hear, and even accept a baptismal date, but are not sincere. People who are honest and share their problems with us can overcome them and little by ltitle put in practice repentance and the atonement. As humans we never want to own up to things or accept blame for something. I think this is a dangerous part of our nature, because really if you think about it, the only people who cannot receive the saving power of the Atonement are the dishonest. If we cannot admit our sins, we can never repent, and never progress. We can never enter into the Kingdom. We must learn to be responsible for our actions, and realize that this is the only way to improve.
Next week I will send you a picture of Ernesto! I don´t have one yet, but I will get one. He is so awesome.
Love to all, and take care!
Until next week,
Back from the dead
4 years ago