But first of all, I want to clarify the point of my funeral story from last week. The reason I talked about how I had to play at the funeral was because something funny happened. As a little backstory, the Bishop always calls me Hermana Yesterday instead of Ayer. So at the funeral, he told the hermano directing the service that I was going to play. When the hermano went to open/begin the meeting he said, "Y en el piano, la Hermana Yesterday." I about died...no pun intended.
Also, this week, an elder from UT tried to make the point that his state was the best and said, "Por lo menos vivo en un estado que existe." Oh, don`t you worry, I defended my tierra (como Moroni...Alma 46:12, 48:10). I opened my mouth and it was filled (DyC 33:8). This Sunday we ate with the Bishop, and I showed him and the elders where it says New Hampshire on the movie Joseph Smith: Profet of the Restoration. Conviction feels good. I would have to agree with John Kerry on this one: I love NH.
But more than NH, I love the Gospel. And I love my Savior Jesus Christ.
This week when we had our Consejo and capacitaciones, all the liders talked about our Jesus Christ and how we need to be more like Him. I felt like they were talking to me. He came to this earth so that we can be saved, but not saved in our sins, sino from our sins. That`s why we have the Gospel! Thanks to Jesucristo! The Gospel is the ONLY thing that will save the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. It`s the only thing that unites families for eternity. It`s the only thing that will give us happiness in this life and a fullness of joy in the world to come.
In the capacitación on Saturday, Elder Oaks was supposed to be there. He wanted to have a meeting with the three missions/líderes of Guayaquil (Sur, Norte, y Oeste), but wasn`t able to make it because of a delayed flight. Elder Waddell from the seventy (who`s in the Presidencia del Area) came and told us to think about it...Elder Oaks wanted to have a meeting with the three missions, but God knew he wouldn`t be there. Why? It`s not like He got up this morning and said, "Oh no, Elder Oaks`s plane didn`t make it! Why didn`t you tell me sooner? Now what are we going to do?" It was funny, but very true. (All the missionaries there were very disappointed to not hear Elder Oaks...including me.) But God has a purpose in everything: He needed all three missions to get together anyway. We have NEVER had a meeting like that before.
Elder Waddell said that Guayaquil is the city that baptizes most in the WHOLE WORLD! (And since Guayaqil Sur always baptizes more than Norte and Oeste, he basically told us that ECUADOR GUAYAQUIL SUR is the BEST MISSION IN THE WORLD.) He congratulated us for our efforts and that we`ve been an example for the world. Then he said that now we need to convert ourselves into the city who most retains and reactivates those people who have been baptized. If we want to have more baptisms, we need to reactivate more people, and retain the fruits of our labors. "Misionero 2.0 convierte, retiene, y reactiva." We need to become those kinds of missionaries.
He also said that baptisms aren`t the measure of our succes--it`s the person we become on the mission. I feel as though I haven`t had as much éxito as I would have liked here on the mission in terms of baptisms, but it`s not about the numbers. It doesn`t matter if I never got to serve in the best places in the mission (aka Galapagos). It`s not about the place. I need to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I need to have His attributes. I may not be able to do what He did, but I can do it like He did. Elder Waddell said, "Dificultat es una excusa Dios no aceptará." The trials of this life are to make us grow stronger, to be more like Jesus Christ, to refine us into that pearl of great price. Hermana Waddells shared Helaman 5:12, and said that this [the mission] is our time to build our foundations en Cristo, because it will strengthen and carry us throughout the rest of our whole lives! I hope that in this last month of my mission, I can give it my all and really come to know my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ, and become liek Him. More patient, more humble, more diligent, and most of all more charitable. Because charity is the PURE LOVE OF CHRIST and it endureth forever. Moroni 7:45-48.
I love you all!!!!!!!!
P.S. Guess who`s giving a talk this Sunday?? HAPPY FATHERS` DAY!!!!!!! The tradition lives on.
P.P.S. Who`s the presidente of BYU? Someone told me it`s not Cecil anymore...?!
P.P.P.S. Everyone in Consejo told me I talk like a Cuencana! Ahhh! No!! Except I don`t say my "rr" like "zhh". That`s the only good thing. The Cuencan accent is a mix of Mexican and Bolivian. It`s very distinct. I don`t say "azhhos" o "comprarsh" like they do, though...just the fluctuation of my voice is the same.