Spencer is from Canton, Michigan and is called to serve in the Ecuador Quito North Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from July 2014 - July 2016.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week #63 - Esmeraldas, Ecuador - October 12, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Elder Cabezas and I had a good week this week.

During the training meeting that we had with President Richardson the week before General Conference, one of the things he told us was that we needed to store water in our apartments to prepare for an emergency. It was interesting because at first when he started talking about being prepared, I thought he was going to tell us about Phenomenon del Niño, where it rains super hard for days and sometimes weeks. It usually effects the areas of the coast the worst. But instead he mentioned Cotapaxi, a volcano close to Quito that is due to erupt soon. So we listened to his council and we bought a super huge jug of water. It's never a bad idea to be prepared...for any kind of emergency! And this week, President and Sister Richardson will be back for more training meetings.

Our investigators are doing alright. Elder Carlos Godoy of the Seventy came to visit our mission awhile ago and one of the things he talked to us about was that if we spend 50% of our time visiting and teaching those who are less active, our baptisms will double. We have been trying to take that advice the last few weeks and we have really seen that happening! We've recieved a lot of references these past weeks from less actives. Some of which we believe have a lot of potential.

Although the biggest problem for us, and just about everywhere in the mission, is your investigators attending church on Sunday. And not just every 2 weeks or so, but consistent attendance each week. Also we find that the law of chastity is a big issue and people not being willing to commit to marriage. I have also learned that on Sunday you can't always expect that your investigators will show up to church, even if they say they will. If you are set on it happening, and they don't come, it's depressing. For example, this Sunday, the investigators that said they were going to come to church, didn't end up coming...and the ones we didn't really think would come, actually came. So you never know!

One of the investigators that came was Ricardo Saavedra, the father of Jhonny Saavedra who was baptized by Elder Huber while I was serving in Quito. It's starting to look like he is progressing a lot. We just have to continue encouraging him to keep coming every week and commit him to marriage. I know he will be baptized someday. Maybe not when I'm here but I believe he will sometime in the future. I'm starting to realize that my spiritual gift as a missionary has been finding people who want to learn about the gospel. That's why maybe I haven't baptized too many people because I find (or try to find) new investigators with potential, and then pass them off to the missionaries after I leave the area. For example, while I was in La Luz and Vergel, I was able to find a lot of people who ended up being baptized or are still investigating!

Anyway, the people that are currently progressing in my area are:
Ricardo Saavedra
Karmen Quiñonez
Manuel Montaño

Please keep them in your prayers! :) I would appreciate it! Thanks everyone. Have a great week. :)

Elder Dyal

 A few weeks old, but here is Elder Huber and I with Edison Ángulo before his baptism

Again, a few weeks old but Elder Huber and I with La familia Tello.
The guy next to Elder Huber, named Ariel, just left on a mission to Columbia.

 The Esmeraldas Zone with President and Sister Richardson at training meeting a few weeks ago.

 Elders listening during the training meeting

 Elders singing during the training meeting

 Elder Dyal giving his testimony and a spiritual thought at the meeting.

Everyone splits up into companionships to do practices.
The mission president, his wife and the assistants watch, give praise and suggestions.

Practices with companion (Sister Richardson takes lots of pictures!)

Afterwards, they have cooking lessons with Sister Richardson. 
Spencer is peeling potatoes to make french fries! Sister Richardson said they were awesome! :)

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