Hola Mi Querida Familia,
This week was a great week! Along with thanksgiving, I truly gained a testimony of the power of being grateful. Sometimes not everything goes the way we want it to go, and instead of being hard on ourselves we just gotta dig deep and say all the things we are grateful for.. out loud! Success isn't about numbers, success is about happiness. Happiness comes when we are grateful. Lets just be grateful and successful then! Last week we didn’t have anyone with baptismal date. But its OK! This week we are going to rock it! Today we had changes and I bid farewell to my dear Hermana Dillman, but now I am with Hermana Espinoza. She is sooo great! She’s from Nauvoo, Illinois, and is an amazing missionary. I met her when we took the bus to Quito a couple months ago to pick up our daughters, We both trained missionaries fromt he same group, and so we got to know each other before. Hermana Espinoza hails from a family of 12, and she is the oldest sibling. She is very patient and humble. I am so excited to be with her!
Rosio is still going strong, her baptismal date just fell through because her sister was hospitalized on Sunday and she went to go see her instead of to church. That was a real bummer. But Rosio keeps reading and praying, and wants to be baptized. Last week she even received a priesthood blessing for her bad knees because she took a bad fall a couple days before. That was quite amazing. Our ward mission leader who is a convert of 1 year, recently received the melchezedek priesthood and came with us to give her a blessing. The Elders Quorum President also came to accompany him and helped him out. The Elders Quorum President, Luis, is also a convert of 4 years. The cool thing about this branch is that everyone is a convert. And the branch is very strong, a branch that has truly felt and experienced a great change of heart as the Lamanites once did in times of old. We hope to visit Rosio tonight and challenge her to be baptized for December 20th.
Luis Guevara. He’s great. He is reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and going to church. He says he most certainly will be baptized, but that the month of December is just too hectic for him and he wants to be baptized in the new year. We need to pray and fast for him that the spirit will touch his heart enough to commit to a baptismal date. I fear that perhaps he will become an eternal investigator. He knows the book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet, just maybe now he needs to show true fruits of repentance. We are going to focus on the doctrine of Christ this week with him.
This week, Hermana Dillman and I were brainstorming on how we can help the recent converts in our sector. There are probably about 12 of them, and many have inactivated. It makes me really sad. We have visited them several times and have been unable to gain their full trust. I think the majority feel guilty, or just have let that great and spacious building steal their gaze from the fruit of the tree of life. We have decided to go about teaching them in a new way. We will go and visit our inactive converts with the sole purpose being to read the Book of Mormon with them. Then we will testify and invite them to pray. If one prays and reads each day, they will be excited to go to church every week. That is the key to progressing investigators, and the key to conversion. Prayer and scripture study bring about true humility and repentance.
Thanksgiving was fabulous. Definitely a thanksgiving to remember. Hermana Dillman and I woke up early to make pie and pie and pie and pie. It was delicious. Our zone enjoyed it. We just stuck the apple pies in the church oven during district meeting and the whole church started to smell of cinnamon and pie crust. Every companionship brought something to share, We had choclo (corn on the cob), peas and carrots, turkey sandwiches with mayonaise, apple pie, banana cream pie, mashed potatoes, and apple soda. It was great. Then after we went to eat even more with our mamitas. You could say we were stuffed. Then, after the second lunch, Hermana Dillman and I went home to change because we had a service activity! We went to help our less active who is returning to church, Ana Maria, clean out her yard. It was really hard work. We were cutting grass with spades. Imagine that. Sometimes you just take for granted lawn mowers in the states. But it felt really good to serve! Ana Maria truly is one of our miracles, she keeps progressing. Its been so cool to be a part of her rescue.
I am so grateful for the scriptures and for the gospel in my life. I love the tiny blessings we receive each day, even the cool wind that blows in our faces as we wait for the buses in the sun. I am grateful for the power of the Holy Ghost. When it can be felt in a lesson by the investigator and missionary, we are successful. That is the key. I know that through faith and repentance we draw more and more close to our Savior. And I am so grateful for that process. I am so grateful to be a missionary.
But here's an Ecuadorian Turkey!