What's going on guys? This week was an eventful one. I have some super cool stories. Ya this week Elder Valverde and I worked super hard. We found a lot of people and have six people with dates right now, but I dont know how many we will have real success with. Ya I had some cool things happen this week, Let's start with the funny and end with the spiritual. So Sunday night, we were returning to our house and the owner was outside. My comp wanted to ask him if he could turn on the water at 6:30 in the morning. He said no because too many people leave the faucets on and we just end up losing water. So were like "chuta," why do people leave their faucets on? Well walking up the stairs to our house we heard water. We were like cool the water came on. I opened the door and the first step I took ended with a splash. I looked at my comp and said " habla me enserio." We had water everywhere. Our faucet had been moved over the counter and water was everywhere. We spent the rest of our time Sunday night sweeping the water out of our house. That's the first time I had the problem of too much water in our house. That's the best funny story. This week we were eating at our mamitas house. My favorite mamita might I add. She is the best human being alive I feel like haha. She was telling us about when her daughter died about six or seven years ago. She said she was at the hospital and she was falling asleep. She said she had a dream that she will never forget. She saw this guy in a white suit, and he tapped her on the shoulder and said your daughter is going to a better place. Don't worry she is happy. You will be alright. she said she woke up and she was almost mad at God because she didn't feel deep, deep sorrow, and it was just different. She also knew at this point that her duaghter was going to die. Well the next day her daughter died at the age of 7. She said she always knew that her daughter was different. She affected so many people with the way she lived the gospel and the way she bore her testimony at church. It was different than the other kids her age. Well her husband reactivated at this time as well. So at this póint they were waiting a year to be sealed to their daughter who had passed. At the six month mark, the Stake President said she needed to travel almost 10 hours to Guayaquil to the temple and be sealed. She told the Stake President, "I'll go, but not because I want to, only because my Patriarchal Blessing told me to obey my leaders. She and her family went and when they arrived, the Temple President was waiting for them. He called out their names and in surprise they responded they were the parents of this girl. He said, "I have a letter from President Gordon B. Hinckley stating you can be sealed to your daughter right now. They were sealed and only three months later her husband fell away again. I dont know all the details just what I've written but it's powerful. She told us another story about her youngest sister. She said her youngest sister was born into one of the richest families in all of Esmeraldas because their mom had married a different dad after our Mamita was born. She said at the age of fifteen she recieved a testimony that the church was true and wanted to be baptized, but this family said they would kick her out if she was baptized. Well she was baptized and kicked out on the street at 15 giving up all the wealth of one of the richest families in Esmeraldas. She lived on the street for three months until hma fina took her in. She served a mission and she is now one of my best friends ever haha. Absolutely nuts though. Last story. My comp and I were contacting in the hot sun of Esmeraldas, frustrated becasue our appointments had all fallen through, and we didn't know what to do. We had this feeling to visit a less active. This less active lived far away from where we were at and up a huge hill, so first we thought we can call her. Then we talked a little more and decided, let's just go. We made the long journey to her house and were surprised to find her oldest son there. He's a fisherman so he's never home. He's 15 yrs old and his name is Darwin. Well, we decided to take advantage of this and teach lessson 1. Half way through the lesson we challenged him to baptism because the lesson was awesome. He immediately replied, "Yes but what date so I can plan for it.?" My comp and I were falling out of our chairs. This kid is so awesome. We commited him to the fifteenth and explained he nedded to go to church. He said I want to go but I don't have clothes. So the next day, Sunday, I took him a shirt, shoes, and a tie and my comp took him pants and he went to church with us wearing our clothes haha. He loved every minute of it and even participated in the classes. He is the coolest kid ever too. I'm so happy we found him; he's super happy about everything right now. He is the one that introduced us to our first. . . Sloth today. Ya that's right Marci and Brian. I met my first sloth today. It was awesome. In Spanish they're called Perezoso, which also means lazy so essentially in Spanish they're literally called lazy. Kind of a fun fact. But it was awesome, and I have pics to send. Also happy birthday Macee. Like what 28 now? I cant remember:) I love you guys, I'll send some pics and talk to ya next week. Hasta Luego.
Buenas Dias familia! como estan! espero que todo bien. Ya entonces this week was an interesting week. With cambios and all that, it was pretty eventful. A lot happned this week including some awesome stories. First story, so remember Hermana America? She is the investigator that's getting baptized this Saturday. Well like I said in the last letter she has absolutley nothing for money. She lives in a tiny, and I mean like smaller than our upstairs living room, house with about 10 people. Well, she showed up to church yesterday in the best clothes she had, still a little under the standard of the members. This week we taught her tithing, and we were really worried about how she would take that. Well at church she came up to me and gave me about 50 cents, and said, "I want to pay my tithing can you help me?" I showed her how to fill out the slip and everything, and she was super excited to hand it to the bishop. It was so cool. She will be getting baptized this Saturday and I'm super excited. I just need to get my pants let out in the waist beforehand because I've gained 15 pounds in three months. The members are starting notice haha. I have a new companion, Elder Edwin Valverde, and I learned a little about him today at KFC. He's Bacansisimo. He's a convert of two years. He's been in my zone the whole time I've been here so I know him. Anyway he told me his story today. Two years ago he was with his family which is all catolico; he said super super catolico also. Well, he said one of his best friends reached out to him and introduced him to the church. She gave him scriputres and all that but he said he didn't read them one time. Then he said she introduced him to the missionaries and he still wasn't very interested. He said he knew their schedule, so when they asked him when he could meet, he told them 11 at night. He said one day he was at a store and they saw him. He was like " Oh chuta what am I going to do? Well right when they arrived he recieved a call from his friend. She told him, if you dont want to meet with the missionaries tell them. If you do, you can meet at a dfifferent friend's house. Well, he chose to meet at a different friend's house for some reason. He still didn't read much or pray, but he met. Well one night, in his words, he said he got a "respuestisimo" which means an answer with a little power ya know! He said he had a dream, and he could see the elders praying for him. His best friend was nudging his shoulder telling him to pray, and he didn't want too and he kept like falling asleep almost in his dream. Still, his friend kept nudging him. Anyway he awoke and prayed and knew it was true. Then a few days later he was at the beach (he doesn't swim much) where some of his friends and he decided to link arms and walk out on this rock. Well one fell and they all fell. He couldn't swim out and he told me, " I prayed and said, Heavenly Father, I can't get out of this myself I need help. Then he said when he opened his eyes again he had drifted toward the rock, but toward this spot where some smaller rocks formed almost like stairs, a pathway, and he was able to walk out of the water on this path of rocks. Crazy right? But there is more. His family is kind of poor and, so the missionary that baptized him was ending his mission at the time. He gave my comp all his shirts and pants and socks and church shoes and shoulder bag. He told him I'll give you these but you have to serve a mission. So from this point on, every Sunday, becasue his parents didn't know, he left his house to go to church in soccer clothes and changed into the clothes he was given at the church. His story is awesome. He's a way good guy. I'm really looking forward to this change. He's just super excited about everything and he said he knows with absolute certainty that it's true. So this week I learned something pretty interesting for me in the Book of Mormon. I was reading about Nephi and Laman and Lemuel. I thought "ya know, Nephi is known for faith, obedience, and standing up to his brothers, " but have you ever thought about how much patience he had. Imagine having two siblings always trying to tie you up and threaten your life while your trying to build a ship after a completely different manner than men. He had as much patience as he had faith. He always forgave them and tried to help them and teach them until the Lord told him to get away from them. It was just interesting to me. A different way to look at Nephi. Ya well, there is a chance is I will be changing houses within my sector this change so I hope so. The one were looking at always has water and is clean. Two things our house right now does not. But ya that's about what happened this week for me. Pretty good week. I'm looking forward to a good transfer. I love you guys. Hasta Luego.
"Its easy to pay attention to the words of Christ, . . . Oh my son, don't be slothful because of the easiness of the way."
Hola everyone, ¿qué mas? This week was a hard one for me. My comp has been sick the whole week, and so we did a whole lot of nada after Tuesday. I had divisions Tuesday so I got to work. I was with Elder Montesino, and we had "la mama de lecciones" about the Book of Mormon. You need to understand that me and Elder Montesino are a lot alike when teaching. We're both pretty straight forward and bold. anyway we were teaching this guy. He is evangelical but not super evangelical. He told us he just believes in Christ and that Christ is our only way to be saved. He said we were welcome as long as we teach the palabra of Christ in the Bible. Ya they love their bible. I told Elder Montesino going into the lesson the Book of Mormon would be a challenge for him and boy was I right. We were almost to that point in the lesson and he asked about José Smith and the Book of Mormon. So I pulled it out but didn't say anything, I just wanted to listen with Elder Montesino, who knows a ton of scriptures in the Bible. Well the only thing this guy was worried about was if we were preaching the word of God and about Christ. This is when is started getting good, I stepped in here and read 2 Nephi 25:26 "we speak of Christ, we teach of Christ, we rejoice in Christ. . ." Then I asked him if he believed that we as Mormons belive in the same Christ he does? He said "yes," so I said I know this a testimony of Christ and a few other things too. Then Montesino stepped in with like 4 scriptures from the Bible that answered some other questions he had. We ended with 2 Nephi 33:11-12, that says, "Believe in Christ, and if you don't believe in these words believe in Christ, for if ye believe in Christ you will know that these are the words of Christ. . . Judge ye for yourself if these are the words of Christ. . ." It was the most powerful lesson I've ever been in. We layed the hammer down and it was awesome. I really want this guy though. He's a major family man. He just wants what's best for his family. Still, knowing what we as missionaries have, it is driving me insane knowing he can't quite see it yet. I'm really hoping he sees it's true cause he's awesome. I did learn one thing this week though. That in all reality, it is not that hard to stay strong in the gospel. The gospel isn't hard. What's hard is life, but reading the Book of Mormon for 15 min a day and praying about is not that hard. It says in Alma 37:44,46, "Its easy to pay attention to the words of Christ, . . . Oh my son, don't be slothful because of the easiness of the way." Pretty crazy right? but it's true, if we always read the Book of Mormon, pray, and go to church we will be fine. That's only 15-20 min a day at the least, and three hours Sunday, and we will be fine because those three things form a really solid foundation to strengthen us throughout life during hard times in life. For example, two weeks ago while searching for a reference we came across a 70 yr old lady named America. Easy for me to remember. She told us when we showed up she had been thinking about what God wanted for her in this life. We have given her the lessons and she attended conference both Saturday and Sunday, and church yesterday. She has absolutley nothing and I mean nothing. But she told us when she attended conference and read the Book of Mormon and listened to us, that she felt peace. She is awesome. I'm so glad we found her because I want to help her so much because she lives in a house with 10 or so people, no money. This house is tiny and super hard to get to. I feel so badly; it's sad but I'm just glad she's been able to find peace in our message. This gospel truly is amazing. Our ward had a primary program yesterday. It was awesome because the primary kids are amazing. These little 8 yr olds get up to that podium with confidence. They were assigned a scripture and they each gave a 3-5 minute talk on it. It was crazy. They all did a great job. Ya I'm loving it here. I hope I dont leave the coast if I leave this week. I love my area so much. I'll send some pics later. Love you guys. Hasta Luego.
This week was a short week due to general conference and not a whole lot happened this week. I did have a battle with cockroach this week that was huge. He wasn't to excited about leaving our house, so he fought back. We saw him in the middle of the floor when we walked in our house, and we tried to kill him. Well he went inside a propane tank inside our house we never use cause it's empty. About 10 min later, he came back out. By this time Elder Nogales was in the room unaware of the situation. So it was 1 on 1 with a grande cuckaracha. Well I took 1 step toward him and he ran into the shower. I grabbed some old shoes in our house and went into the apartment, but he was up against the wall and the toilet was in the way, so I decided to throw an old brush at him. Well I barely missed and he decided to charge so I made a hasty retreat to the kitchen and regrouped. I girded up my loins and chased him into a different room and pinned him agianst a wall. Then I hammered him with a shoe and the battle was won. It was a persistent son of a gun though. We did have water three times this week which I think is the most in any one week since I arrived here. That was nice. General Conference was awesome. I watched it in the gringo room at a different chapel. We did watch the two spanish talks in the spanish though and I actually was able to understand them both so that was cool. General Conference is the best though. It was the fastest two days. When the seventy named Jorg K. (I dont remember his last name, its crazy) anyway one part of his talk was about eating right and taking care of our bodies. Ya this was like the second talk in the second session. In between the sessions, we all went and bought two giant hamburgers with double the meat and double the bacon with an egg in the middle for lunch. We returned for the second session and the second talk we heard was that. Needless to say we felt we could give a better effort in that department. This week we got one more person with a baptismal date. We hope to be able to help him along and make that date. We showed up to his house Wednesday and asked him about the pamphlets and everything and he told us he knew they were true. I hope he really does feel that way because that would be awesome, but a part of me has cause to wonder becasue he didn't seem that enthusiastic about anything and he didn't come to conference. Still, we will see in the future. I'm almost through with my training. That will be a good day. Only two more weeks and I'll be done. It will also be my 3rd month in the field. Time is going pretty fast right now. Ya well, this was a short week so that's about what happened. Hasta Luego, love you guys.
This blog is dedicated to Easton Nielson's mission to Ecuador Quito North Mission.