First of all, I would like to wish a halfy birthday to my dear, old DAD!!!!!!!!!! HALFY BIRTHDAY, PAPÁ!!!! How do you feel to be half a year older? Boy, does the time FLY! I also complete 8 months today. It´s weird to think that just in one month more, I will be half-way through the mission. Who knew?
Second of all, I wanted to send pictures, but it´s not working because we're using the computers in the Terminal in Guayaquil. We had Consejo de Líderes (Leadership Council) today, so we´ll be heading back home in about an hour and a half. Then a 4-hour bus ride back home. Woohoo!
This week, we had 3 baptisms. Three baptisms de oro. A mom (Cecilia) and her 2 daughters (Noelia and Fernanda). They were prepared by the Lord, and they have inspired me so much. They are an evidence to me that the Lord has people prepared every day who are ready and willing to listen and accept the restored Gospel in their lives. These three had attended many churches, looking for the right one, but hadn't felt a pull to any church. The cousin of Cecilia is a member, and so she told her cousin to come to church with her. She and her daughters all came, so we met them and made an appointment for a later date in the week. In that lesson, we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they immediately accepted a baptismal date for this Friday. They went to church again, then we taught the Restoration. In that lesson (the second), we asked them if they wanted to be baptized instead Saturday, the 28th. They accepted and were baptized that Saturday.
They said that this is the only church in which they felt the Spirit, and that they know God was leading them to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were a gift and a tender mercy from God. I know that God loves all His children, and wants all of them to hear the Gospel, but He has people ready and waiting to accept it NOW. We just have to open our mouths to find them. This church is true! It changes lives. It´s changed mine. And I¨m so glad I get to help others find this happiness, as well. : ]
Funny things from the week, Luis (who got baptized last week) went to Quito for a couple days and brought us back a little regalito(gift)---a scarf and gloves. No, they don't say Ecuador on them. No, they're not special colors or designs. Just a very functional gift that you could buy anywhere in the world and that I won't use for at least another year. Made me chuckle.
Also, they hermanas in our apartment and I bought pjs from a grocery store here. Mine has cats and music notes on it. It's so cool. Also, one of our mamitas gave us a little treat after lunch one day (which doesn't happen here. Dessert? Whaat??). But I realized that it's better to just not eat anything sweet because what she gave us was a cookie that was in reality just a giant after-dinner mint. It was burning my throat by the time I finished. The desserts/sweets/candies here really are horrible. Save the calories.
We invited a man to church this week who is Catholic and has a son who is a member of the church. He said, "No, I´m Catholic." We explained to him that there are always people who go for the first time and just want to see how it is. He declined again and told us, "No, because what if I go and then I like something. And then I have to go through the hassle of changing religions..." Um, you're happy? You´ve found the truth? What's wrong with liking something?? There are so many people here who are Catholic because they are. They were born Catholic and will die Catholic because that's the way it is. It makes me so sad they deny themselves of finding the truth just because of the false traditions of their fathers. In order to change, we just need to give up all our sins, and then we can come to know God. (Alma 22:15-18) He's right there waiting for us to make the changes necessary in our lives to receive the blessings He has prepared for all of us. So give up one sin today. Give up one bad thought. Give up one negative feeling. And let Christ heal your hearts.
This week, I really learned the attribute of patience. I realized that I lack a lot of patience. I really love the story in Mosiah 24, especially verses 15-16 . When we are patient, our burdens may not be taken away, but we will be strengthened to bear the trials that come.
I love you all and hope you're bearing with patience all the trials and burdens in your lives. The Lord is with you! And I'm praying for you!
LES AMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :]
P.S. Our Líder Misional (Branch Mission Leader) is going to the temple next week to be sealed to his wife. He´s so excited!!!
P.P.S. We had the best trip ever with Presidente Torres and his family to eat pizza!! The first time I've had it in 8 months. It was soooo good. I love my president! And not just for that reason! He's awesome! And his wife is hilarious.
P.P.P.S. The 26th of this month was el Día de la Bandera.(Flag Day) Just so you can store that holiday in your memory, Dad.
P.P.P.P.S. I'm glad I don't receive revelation through dreams, because I have the weirdest dreams on the mission. And I dream every night... Every night.
P.P.P.P.P.S. I tried lots of different fruits last week: guava, cacao, y maracuyá.
Mosiah 24:15. Alma 26:12.