BAHHH!!! You found my Shox!! I am so excited!! Can you send them to me?? Pretty pretty please por favor??
Questions first!! I got the box with all the toys in it last week. It was really funny because we only get mail on Tuesdays at district meeting so before I even looked in the mailbag I asked Elder Cruz, the district leader, "Hay una caja para mi?" (Is there a box for me?) He was like, . . . . . ummm si!! His face was so funny, like, how did you know?? Hilarious. We went to visit Fam. Balarezo the other day and I gave them all one of those thingies that has the little ball on the string and you have to try to get it through the hole and Jimmito was SO EXCITED. He threw himself onto my lap and threw his arms around me and said Gracias!! Although that might have been because I gave him a few pennies so he could buy BonIce, I´m not sure. But it was appreciated, although I didn´t really know what to do bc there´s this whole section in the handbook about how we need to be really careful around kids and can´t let them sit on our laps or anything like that. So I was like, AHHH don´t touch me!! But it was pretty funny. Anyway, the toys are a big hit here and muchas gracias por me enviar!!
Entonces, la lluvia ha venida!! (The rain has come!!) Last night there was a thunderstorm and we had to walk around in it and by the time we got to the house we were going to I was literally drenched. I had water dripping down my face and arms and I just felt wet and miserable. And I just looked at my blog and the weather thingy says "light drizzle." MENTIRAS!! More like, "medium sized downpour." It´s not as bad today as it was yesterday but we went to visit Rolando this morning and we got pretty wet. Although we are luckier than Elder Cruz and Elder Hicks, bc when I called last night to give Elder Cruz our numbers for the week, he told me that their apartment was flooding (but I actually didn´t know that that´s what he said until after I hung up the phone and Hna. Lopez filled me in.) But, I will never complain about living on the 3rd floor ever again.
So I have a new companion, Hermana Moran. She is from Pasto, Colombia, which is very close to Ecuador and her ward actually goes to the Guayaquil temple. I´m pretty sure that I LOVE HER!! She is an amazing teacher, very sweet and best of all, she speaks a lot of English!! She studied English and French in college before she came on her mission, so she helps me out a lot!! She, Hna. Lopez and I work really well together and the Spirit is way strong when we teach. It´s awesome. En serio.
So this week was really awesome, we taught a lot of good lessons and our investigators were really progressing and then NONE OF THEM CAME TO CHURCH LIKE THEY SAID THEY WOULD. CHOOTICA!!! That sounds like a bad word but I promise it isn´t. Yeah anyway, Marcos was progressing really fast, he was there when we came to teach him, didn´t have any issues with the Word of Wisdom, (if I understood him correctly, he had already been living it. Chevere vacan champu!!), and he´s excited for his baptism and at our last visit he asked us when we were coming again, which has never happened before, usually we have to take the initiative. And he was like oh yeah I´m coming to church and seemed really excited about it and then when we went to go get him, he had left!!! BAHHH!!! And Rolando did the same thing. Bien bien frustrante (very very frustrating.) So once again, only Fam. Pino was in church this week, although they had to leave bc Hermano Pino´s brother is in the hospital (but they still came to sacrament meeting. Why can´t every investigator be as good as Fam. Pino??) Anyway, usually I get depressed when my people don´t come to church but yesterday I was just irritated. But I really am trying to develop more patience and Dad, your letter really helped when you said that the people who really want to find the truth will do everything we ask them to. I guess now we just need to find these people. Right?? And this is my question for the week: How can we get these people to come to church?? By the way, the only person who answered my question from last week was Katie. So Katie, muchas gracias!! The rest of you, QUE VERGUENZA!!
Anyway, we started teaching two brothers this week, Junior and Jorge. They were really receptive and asked a lot of good questions, like, so when I pray, God is really going to give me an answer?? We said yes and then I said I know that God wants you to read the Book of Mormon. So when we came back and asked them how it went, Jorge said, well I prayed but I didn´t read. We were like . . . . . . ummm, you have to do both, because Heavenly Father is not going to answer your prayer that the BOM is true if you didn´t read it!! And then Jorge was like, well you said God wants me to read this book so I prayed about that!! We just started laughing, and then we told them that they needed to read and that we would come back that night to see how it went, so they had all day. Well we came back after walking through the monsoon and they weren´t there. So we taught their mom instead. And this is cool because we were just going to teach her the first couple principles of the first lesson, but we ended up teaching her the whole thing, and the Spirit was SO STRONG. I seriously thought my heart was going to explode, and Hermana Moran said that when I was talking about Joseph Smith and the First Vision, that the Spirit was really really strong!! Good to know!! Anyway, Patricia, Junior and Jorge´s mom, was really receptive and she was like, I know it´s important to read the words of new prophets. We were like . . . . . . BAHHHH!!!! So we´re really excited about her. But we´re not very excited about Fam. Balarezo. It was weird bc over the past couple weeks, Hno. Balarezo had been really happy to see us, always coming out to shake our hands and talk to us, but Hna. Balarezo was acting like she didn´t want to talk to us, and usually it´s the other way around. So we finally talked to the Hna. and she told us that Hno. Balarezo doesn´t want her to go to church or talk to us or anything, and that his family is the same way. I thought there was something shady about his new attitude toward us and turns out I was right. It´s SO FRUSTRATING. I really am trying to have Christlike love for everyone, but some people just make it really difficult. Anyway, we just keep visiting them when we can and praying for them and hopefully someday sooner than later Hno. Balarezo will have that mighty change of heart that the scriptures are always talking about.
So we taught Rolando a lot last week and turns out he was having some doubts about the gospel, so we told him to read and pray and that he would get an answer. Hna. Moran thought that he maybe had issues with the law of chastity, which we hadn´t taught him yet, so we taught him that this morning. Turns out he doesn´t have issues with it, and that he has been reading and praying and when we asked him how he felt he said "tranquil" (I think that means peaceful.), and that he knew it was true. So hopefully he´s good. I´m starting to realize how difficult it really is to get people baptized. Satan works hard, so we just have to work harder.
Well what else. I am good. I hear a lot about how positive my letters are, and I feel a little bad because I do get really discouraged a lot of the time, and I really am not happy all the time. But I also feel like it would be pointless to complain in letters because what would that accomplish?? And despite all the challenges, I really am having a good experience here (although sometimes I do complain in my head, like, Heavenly Father, YOU WANTED ME TO COME HERE, WHY ARE ALL THESE THINGS GOING WRONG??) But He is patient with me too I think, and when I´ve sufficiently humbled myself, that´s when things start to slowly turn around.
So now I have a challenge for everyone!! My barrio is reading the Book of Mormon in one year, and they are marking it in a special way. This is the challenge I am extending to all of you: Get a blank Book of Mormon (ask the missionaries, I know they have tons) and read it everyday. And when you read it, mark all the names of Jesus Christ (the Lord, The Lamb of God, The Almighty, etc) in yellow. Mark all the times when the Lord is speaking, whether for himself or through the prophets, in red. Mark all the attributes of Christ in green (mercy, goodness, powerful), and mark all the doctrines (faith, repentance, baptism, etc.) in blue. I am doing it too and it´s amazing what you´ll find and learn. So, will you all commit to read the BOM and mark it in the way I´ve outlined above?? You will?? Great!! I know that when you do you will learn so much about the gospel, the Atonement and our Savior, and I promise that you will receive incredible amounts of blessings, that your understanding will improve and your desire to live and share the gospel will increase.
Well my companions are waiting, so Chao until next Monday!! I love you all and miss you but not too much!!