Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week 36 - Ibarra, Ecuador - Sept 8, 2014

Mi Querida Familia,

This week has been one for the books! We had a great turn out on Sunday… finally after much hard work. One of our recent convert families brought a ton of friends to the church who are interested in the gospel. Their friends live in the other sector, but still, its amazing to see how the Lord works even with his newest members. I guess it makes sense because Christs apostles were basically recent converts if we really think about it. Also! Today we start another change, and I`m staying in Ibarra with Hermana Pinto! This is our 3rd change together and we are growing so much. It will be pretty cool now to just be normal companions instead of trainer and new missionary. I guess there really won`t be that much of a diference... just that now we lose that extra hour of studies that the new missionaries get for their 1st 12 weeks. Also more crazy news, I have been called as Hermana Leader, which basically means that I will go on divisions with all the sisters in the 5 zones of Imbabura in this change and for the rest of my mission to help them reach their full potential. I feel a little bit inadequate, but I know that the Lord will help me know how to act and what to say and how to help the other hermanas. Hermana Madrid, my first companion is Hermana Leader too, and I learned so much from her. As Hermana leaders we will get to see each other more often in the mission conferences for leaders, so I guess you could say I`m a little excited. Anyways! I`ll just get right to business now with our investigators with baptismal dates:

Bilma Patiño. Bilma is the sister of Andreina. We had a really interesting lesson this week with Bilma and Andreina, We were teaching the Plan of Salvation and at the end we were talking about baptism. Andreina started to get really defensive for some reason saying that she was already baptized and such. Every moment that she opened her mouth the spirit just left the lesson. And then the phone rang and she left the room to take the call. We started talking to Bilma about the Restoration and the importance of baptism. The spirit just whoosh.. came down, and Bilma accepted baptismal date for the 27th. She also came to church with her 6 year old son on Sunday. Her husband had to work all night and was too tired to come but they are a definite propsective family that could progress and be baptized. Whats even better was that Dirrian, Bilma`s son, was super wiggly during sacrament meeting but then realized that two of his schoolmates and friends were sitting 5 rows ahead of us, children of strong families in the branch. He was so excited and the member children even more. Dirrian ran off to primary like the happiest kid in the world with his member friends, and Bilma was able to stay for Gospel Principles and Relief Society. I`m so grateful for mini missionaries in the primary!

Roberto Santacruz. Roberto is a reference that we contacted earlier this week from a member that, I will admit, is slightly crazy. So we were a little hesitant to contact the reference. But to be honest, I am so glad we did! We contacted Roberto where he works. He is a money collector in a public bathroom of a catholic cathedral in or sector. Roberto was super excited that we came and brought out a couple stools so we could teach him, but in the bathroom. Probably one of the strangest places we have ever taught someone. After the message of the Restoration he accepted baptismal date for the 27th and also came to church on Sunday, man of his word. Roberto is very sweet and definitely prepared to receive the gospel.

Luis Cuenca. Luis is married to a less active and they have two little kids. Usually Luis travels to Guayacil because he is a fishermen, and is only home every 24 days. But this month, we are super lucky because he is home for all of September. He used to have a very hard heart but it is being softened because his wife and him almost separated but when we ran into them in the street a month ago (the same night that Marco didn`t show up to his baptism) we helped them get back in line through assigning them scripture study, prayer, and giving the family proclamation. Luis came to church with all his family on Sunday and really liked it.. it was our little miracle. He has a baptismal date set for the 27th of September as well. I just would like to say that I know that everything happens for a reason, and even though Marco put us through a lot of pain when he didn`t show up to his baptism, we were able to find this family.. .. and now in the long run Marco was baptized, and we have found even more people ready to receive the gospel! The Lord works in mysterious ways that sometimes we don’t understand at first!

Alejandra Vila. Alejandra is doing so great! She is reading the Book of Mormon, and even though we don`t get to see her a whole lot for her work, we leave her notes of encouragement when we go to visit Silvia. We are also teaching her little boys (Silvias grandkids) and even though they`re not 8 we talk about being obedient and loving others. I believe its helping little by little. These little boys love us so much, and Alejandra will be able to see a change in them and be fortified even more in the gospel. We will be having another lesson with Alejandra this weekend. She has baptismal date for the 11th of October.

What a fulfilling week. I know there are some weeks that it seems like we never see the fruits of our labors, but then there are weeks like this, when we can see progress! We did have a couple other familes fall through with us this week. But that’s OK, because it just lets us be able to find others that are ready to receive the gospel. I am so grateful to have another change here in Ibarra. Hermana Pinto and I are ready to work! I know that all of these miracles are only possible through fasting, specific prayer, diligence, obedience adn more than anything the help of our savior Jesus Christ. In my studies this week, I came across a little bit of revelation. I was studying about our purpose in life, as children of God and I was reading the 4th missionary, an excellent talk on missionary work. The answer I received was Change. Change is our purpose. To keep on changing and improving and never staying lukewarm. To choose the right and pass through challenges and be changed for the better. We are spirit sons and daughters of God and we have been placed in bodies that are always changing, this world is always changing, every day we are faced with little changes. If we do not strive to improve we are not fulfilling our purpose in life. And how do we improve? Through trusting in Christ and his atonement. He came to earth so we can repent and CHANGE. Those who say they can`t change are neglecting the purpose for which Christ came to earth, they`re neglecting their own innate potential. Anyway! Deep thoughts from Hermana Powley! I know that we can change first and formost from scripture study each day and personal prayer and obedience. Through doing these things we become more humble and diligent.

I invite us all this week to strive to make little changes each day. Maybe in moments where you have the decision to be angry and treat someone with less respect, you can choose to be like Christ and express kind words and love in exchange. Or maybe if we have the option to stand up for a standard, we can choose to lift our voices and not hide behind friends, phones, or fear. Let us be like Christ, and reach our full potential! I love you all so much, and I know that each day as we learn to trust more in the Lord, He is making us more into what He needs us to be.

Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana Powley