Hola Mi Querida Familia!!
¿¿Coma estaís?? What a beautiful day here in Ecuador,... actually just kidding.. there's been rain all week. And I lost my umbrella in a taxi, and the taxi driver was being a grump too. I´d be OK if I lost it to a nice taxi driver, but he was trying to get more money out of us then the ride cost. Oh well. That was a really nice umbrella. The kids really liked to play with the linterna (flashlight) connected to the handle. I´ve learned to grin and bear it. I tried to buy a new one today but the cashier told me my 10 dollar bill was fake. I ended up using the bill at a restaurant like 10 minutes later and it was fine. So I am taking this as sign that my umbrella really isn't lost and it will show up in the house. Anyway! How is everyone! Its really cool to hear how great all the sports/march madness is going. For me, we are going to march Miracles. The only type of food here that seems to bother me is the lentil or lerdujas...I just take zyrtec depending on the family. If they are super poor and its all they have to offer I eat it and take the medicine later, if not then I just tell them I have allergies. But my allergies to leche, is basically gone. And I haven't suffered from any nose congestion or anything like the first time I was here in ecuador. This is a miracle. Because that was not any fun. Sometimes I literally just feel super dirty. There is so much dust and soot from the city. But we are all doing great!! Have no fear, I am being careful.
This week we visited a lot of less actives. One family in particular, I might have mentioned earlier, the family Martinez, came to church on Sunday!! Faubian Martinez had to come home from his mission early, so he´s been dealing with a little bit of mental issues, but we have really befriended him, and he told us yesterday that he wanted to take the role of ward mission leader while the bishop looks for one. Our mission leader moved the week I got here so its been a little tough. What if this is the reason he had to come home, so he could help the mission work here in Quito? I know I´m just speculating, but we had a noche de hogar with this family and two investigators, and when Fuabian shared a message on faith, it was beautiful and the spirit was so strong. I am so glad that we have been able to help him. We also had another visit with a less active, Betty, who is struggling because her husband is not a member and does not want anything to do with the church, he doesn't even let her go on sundays. We sat down, to visit with her, and I felt inspired to share with her Nephi´s Psalm in 2nd Nephi Chapter 4. This is a beautiful set of verses, that Nephi utters in the midst of the struggle with his brothers and right after the death of his father, Lehi. It touched Betty´s heart so strongly. She burst into tears, and said that this was written just for her. I wanted to cry right along with her, because its true. The Book of Mormon was written for each of us, and when we meet people who say no me gusta el libro de mormon, it breaks my heart because they don't even know. They don't even know what they are missing out on. I love how in Santiago (James 1:5) it says if any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God. The first step is to realize that you lack wisdom. We all lack wisdom, so why not ask God?
We had a beautiful lesson with a new investigator, Jessica and her husband Christian. They have a beautiful little boy, who is 3.. just like baby Jane, and he loves to talk and run around, and play with his cars. The lesson was on the Restoration and we were about a 1/3 of the way into the lesson, when Christians parent's walked in and listened to the lesson as well. When Hermana Madrid bore her testimony of the Joseph Smith, the spirit was evidently present. As we continued to bear our testimonies of the reality of this knowledge, and that we can know of ourselves that these things our true, Jessica expressed her interest to read the Book of Mormon. I have so much faith in this family, and there was such a powerful spirit present, that I can´t wait to go back tonight and teach them agian!!
With our other prospective investigators, we haven´t had a whole lot of luck. Mario and Ricardo were in Guayacil this week, and Alberto told us on Saturday that he hasn´t been reading the Book of Mormon. A couple other citas fell as well with other prosepctive investigators. So long story short. We have been fasting and praying a lot to find new investigators this week. We are saying specific prayers, and I have no doubt that because of this there will defintely be miracles this March.
I have learned this week, that I need to submit my whole self and heart to each day. I especially have been praying in the nighttime, to be able to wake up in the morning and be alert and excited for each day. And in the passed couple days, its worked. I know that God is with me, and I feel his love fill up in my heart when we are teaching. On tuesday, I had divisions with Hermana Hemsley, who is super cool.. and we were walking down Brasil (a calle or street) when we met Noemy. Noemy lives alone with her son, and works non stop. She hardly has anytime to spend with her son, and we just happened to pass by her. She told us that she had been a member in Guayacil, but when she moved here to Quito, she became inactive. But she told us that now, especially she needs the gospel in her life. I feel like God placed us in her path. This was a miracle. And even though we were unable to help her come to church on sunday because she was out of town, I have hope that we will be able to visit her this week.
I need to keep up the animo. This week Hermana Madrid is heading to the coast with Hermana Hemsley (both are sister training leaders) and they will only be here today, tuesday, and next sunday. I will only be able to work in the sector for half of the rest of the other days, and so I need to really make every second count. Also I don´t know if I mentioned this, but Hermana Madrid is fluent in English, so she´s really great at helping me study the language. When she´s gone, and I´m just with Hermana Gomez, its good because I have to learn how to teach myself, but our study isn´t as effective. Hermana Gomez is great, and she talks so fast, and I just can´t understand, and when she turns to me for my turn to speak, I just try to follow my heart. I have learned to depend on the Lord so much during these first few weeks. And I know that the Lord has placed trust in me as well. I know that as long as we give ourselves to him and work with all our hearts and have an eye single to the glory of god, he can work miracles through us. And so I´m ready, and I´m excited. Sure there are some times when the rain is pouring, and no one answers their phones, and we are hungry, but I know that the good in every day outweighs all of this. I´m so excited to take part in the miracles that God has in store for us this month!!
Fun fact: I have discovered the true technique to making perfect french toast.. You must soak the toast in the egg and milk for at least 2 minutes, and not merely dip it. Also, we were curious what would happen if we just through some sliced apples into a vanilla cake mix and its super delicious. Also... The avocados are super cheap here and my favorite treat. And... there is a fruit that I cannot describe accept that it is probably what the fruit from the tree of life in Lehi´s dream tasted like. Its called Chilimoya.. I probably didn´t spell it right. But literally, it looks like a large artichoke, and tastes like heaven. Attached is an avocado as big as my face and also a pic of Hermana Hemsley and