Thursday, July 3, 2014

Week 26 - Ibarra, Ecuador - 30 June 2014 (plus pics!!)

Mi Querida Familia

Wow what a great week! With zone conference in Otavollo, new investigators, a huge heart to heart within our own zone, and por fin correlation with our ward mission leader. Its been a week of blessings for sure. 

  I will start off answering a quick question...concerning details to a recent robbery. It wasn`t that bad. I was on a bus with Hermana Espinoza and we were on our way to Quito. We naively placed our bags at our feet. We keep our money in little coin wallets and we had taken out our wallets to buy chips from the bus venders and then hastily placed them back into the top of our bags... I thankfully always keep my camera in the bottom of my bag so it wasn`t stolen.... As the bus jostled along on the journey, a cunning thief sat behind us and unzipped our bags, grabbed our coin wallets and zipped our bags back up. When we got off the bus.. no money. Oops. Luckily Hermana Espinosa had a reserve stash in her white bible (the Mission Manual) in order to take us to our destination in taxi. And we were kindly reimbursed by secretary elder Hess.. my old district leader de Zona Quito. 

Anyway... Now to the real news. Our investigators!

     This week Marco continues to progress! He came to church yesterday in white shirt and tie without us even having to tell him. He surely is a gift from God. He`s preparing for his baptism the 12th of July.

    We have had a lot of success this week finding new investigators. Mostly through contacting references. I am beginning to receive a testimony of the power that members have and their ability to feel the spirit in order to know who is ready for us to teach. We contacted a family of 4 the other day…. The husbands name is Ryan and you guessed it, he`s from the United States. He works with one of the returned missionaries in our branch, and she gave us the reference. His wife, Malu, (Maria Luisa) is from here in Ecuador but they both speak excellent english, Malu actually also works with a member from our branch as well, Anita Perez, they are both English Professors in the Universtiy. Ryan and Malu are super sweet and they seem to be pretty interested in the Doctrine of the church especially when we talk about families and how they can be eternal. They have many many questions,  but are also very interested in El Libro de Mormòn: That's gonna be key for their conversión more than any way we can answer a question they have for us.   

   Also, we contacted another reference, that the other sister missionaries made when doing an activity with the young adults who are preparing for their missions (We all got together in the church building one day, and we as missionaires shared a little capacitación de la obra misional, and then we split up on divisions with members to practice contacting… why didn`t we ever do this in Utah? Its so awesome!) Anyway, Hermana Pinto and I were able to contact a reference receveived from this activity: Jessica Morales and her 2 sisters, Maria Josè and Fernanda,  and now we are teaching them. They had accepted the invitation to be baptized July 15th, and sadly weren`t able to make it to church yesterday… But they are absolutley wonderful and we hope to see them progress.

   We had a really cool experience this week, contacting and following the spirit. On Thursday, we were outside the door of  a less active`s house because we had planned a lesson with her that night. We called her, and she told us she was going to be late by 30 minutes, I looked at Hermana Pinto and we decided it would be best if we went and visited a family of recent converts so as not to waste time waiting. We told Paty that we would visit her a different day and then crossed the Street. But as we were talking to Paty on the phone, I had noticed a little family get out of a taxi. They looked super familiar to me but I could`t place a finger on where I had seen them before. They crossed the street and walked over to an apartment complex. Then Hermana Pinto and I crossed the street and we began to take a few steps towards a different street where the Familia Vinueza lived.  In my head I kept thinking, we need to contact that family. I said aloud, “Hermana I feel like we need to contact them," pointing to the young parents and little pair of twins. We confidently, began walking towards them. When we got to the entrance of the apartment complex, they were still outside fumbling with keys. We quickly introduced ourselves, saying that we had a very improtant message centered in the family, and to my felicidad, the father said, “Si! Venga porfavor!” Hermana Pinto and I looked at each other surprised, and followed them, up to the top floor where they lived. We later found out, that Ronny, The father, was part of a family of members but he himself had never been baptized. His Mom, a strong members, had recently passed away. He told us he knew that God had brought us to his door and that he was ready to change. The spirit was so intense in this lesson, and I felt a huge immense happiness.

    I know that God is preparing souls to accept the góspel, and he brings them to us, we just have to be ready, listening and taking head to that still small voice.  Wow, and can I just say, I love Hermana Pinto? She is teaching me so much. We are learning to trust in the spirit even more. We are experiencing the fruits of exact obedience, and she is such a strength for me. I feel like I am learning more from her than her from me, but that`s just how the misión works. I am so amazed each week from the blessings that we continue to receive, and the only explanation is that someone much greater is in charge. We are like one grand orchestra, instruments in the hands of God. We must learn to blend, learn to listen, and learn to shine when directed. And who is the director? Our heavenly father.. and if we follow the sheet music he has given us (The scriptures, the words of prophets) and moreso his directing hand (the spirit, obedience) we can create a beautiful harmonic symphony. l know that Christ lives and that we can be even more like him each day, learning from each other and from the experiences He gives us through his Holy Spirit.

 I love you all so much, have a great week!

Con Amor
Hermana Powley 

Me and my hipster companion Hermana Pinto
Eating duck feet  :-)
Our apartment
Surprise! Fantasma del Opera.. Ecuastyle