Well this week was interesting, we taught a lot of lessons, the familia Chisaguano FINALLY came back but it looks like they took off for Quito again, we found out that one of our investigators went to jail, you know, just another week down here in the mountains of Ecuador.
I guess I`ll start at the beginning. The Flia Chisaguano finally got back from Quito on Tuesday or Wednesday and we went over on Thursday, but it was really depressing. They were all really sad because HNA Glanzer had left, like bawling their heads off about it sad, which of course made us sad and then they were like, ohhh we don't know about baptism, we have to pray about it and think about it. Sighhhh . . . . okay. HNA Bravo was really upset about it, obviously, because she'd worked with them for so much more time than me, but I also felt really depressed because they're a great family and everyone had worked so hard with them. We decided to give them a couple days before going back, and when we returned we watched the Emma Smith movie and it turned out to be AMAZING. Emma Smith passed through some really tough stuff, just like the Flia Chisaguano, so they were really affected by it. By the end of the night they were all smiling and saying see you in church tomorrow!!! But the next day they got a call from their family in Quito and apparently HNA Silvia's dad got worse (he'd already been sick) and so they didn't go to church and when we passed by afterwards there was no one there and worse, the phone was turned off. Soooo . . . . we're not sure what's going on. But we will find them. If it takes the rest of my mission and kills me, we will find this family and baptize them.
The Flia Ushca is doing really well, but they're afraid to be baptized. Bueno, HNA Sandra says that she was already baptized but that she's going to pray to know if she should be baptized again, and HNO Angel says that he's afraid to be baptized because what if he fails God afterwards?? We were really frustrated afterwards, but what do you do when all else fails?? Call in additional reinforcements!!! Tonight we're going to go with the zone leaders to have a family home evening and we're going to teach the Restoration with emphasis on the apostacy and how the authority of the priesthood was lost and then restored. Then the zone leaders are going to put a baptismal date on them. It's gonna be awesome, I just know it. Yesterday they didn't come to church, and when we went over afterwards they apologized for not coming!!! That's never happened to me before!!! It gives me animos to keep on truckin' with them.
So then, in the third family that we're working with, HNA Monica and her son Richard are pretty much ready to be baptized, the only problem is that Monica's not married, she just lives with HNO Ramiro and he doesn't want anything to do with us, although he is friendly. Plus they're having a lot of problems and I don't think she even wants to marry him (I understand, I probably wouldn't either, but it is necessary so that she can get baptized so we're working on the whole chastity issue.) Anyway, this Sunday Monica and Richard came to church with us and we asked her about HNO Ramiro. She was like, oh he's in (insert name of random city two hours away from Loja, don't remember the name but it's long and hard to say.) Oh, cool. Well afterwards we went to teach her a lesson and she started telling us about all the issues she was having with him, that he gets jealous and sometimes hits her and all kinds of stuff, and then she was like, uhhhh I lied when I told you he was out of town, he's actually in jail. Apparently debtor's prison still exists in this country, who knew?? But we felt really bad for her, because she's so awesome and comes to church every Sunday with us and reads the BOM and prays and she's got all this lame stuff happening in her life and now her lamesauce boyfriend's in jail and can't get out until she pays the money. I thought about telling her to just leave him in there but decided that wouldn't be hugely tactful (although if I was in this situation, it's possibly what I would do. Not important to the story.) But she is living the law of chastity now, so I guess we'll see what happens, haha!!!
So this week was pretty difficult for us. We worked incredibly hard but had some ridiculously difficult challenges to face with all our investigators. Last night I was thinking about why were having all these issues, why the opposition was working so incredibly hard against us. I've never felt so clearly that Satan has put a picture of me and my companion on his dartboard in all my mission. Then it came to me: We're working with three families, three really awesome families. Think about what's in a family: the priesthood, something that Satan will never have, a marriage, something else that Satan will never have, children, something ELSE that Satan will never have, members of the Relief Society, Young Men's and Women's, Primary-something that Satan will never be a part of. Love, charity, respect, happiness, and the hope of being an eternal family, living together with the people we love most of all for all time: and with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. All these things are made possible when a family gets baptized together-and it ticks Satan off. A LOT. As I sat there thinking last night, I realized that this was why it was so incredibly difficult, why the devil was working so hard against us and why we were feeling it. BUT-that the powers of evil will never defeat the power of God (another thing that ticks Satan off!!!!) One time I was listening to a John Bytheway talk and someone had asked him, if Satan knows he's going to lose eventually, why does he still try so hard??? John Bytheway said that it was because he wanted to take as many of us with him as possible when he lost. Or something like that-I don't remember exactly.
But my point is this-don't EVER let Satan drag you down to where he is. He may tell you that everyone's doing it, that the commandments are out of date, that no one will know, that no one will get hurt. He may tell you that the church isn't true, that Joseph Smith was crazy, that he made everything up. He may tell you that God doesn't exist, and that if He does, He definitely doesn't love you. He may tell you that you're not worthy or able to pray, or that if you've messed up you'll never be able to fix it. NONE OF THAT IS TRUE: Satan is the father of ALL LIES. If you let him drag you down, people will get hurt, and not just you but everyone who loves you. Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. He restored the true gospel on the earth. The priesthood of God resides in it, and the people chosen by God to lead us also. You are worthy to pray, and if you've messed up, there is always a way back through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Through Him we have joy and peace. Though Satan, all we have is misery.
Heavenly Father loves you. You are His child and He wants nothing more than for you to come back into His presence-together with your family. Work as hard as you can to get there-it's the reason we're here on the earth. And be thankful that you already have the gospel in your life, because you have no idea how hard Satan works to make sure that Heavenly Father's children who don't already have it don't receive it. But I know that every single one of these families will be baptized-it might kill us, but they will be able to receive the blessings of the gospel.
Les amo muchisimo. Oren por mi y por mi compy, por favor. Estamos trabajando durisimo pero necesitamos toda la ayuda de los cielos que podamos tener!!!