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, February 22, 2016

Week #82 - Otavalo, Ecuador - February 22, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

I had an awesome week this week!

Elder Jeffery R Holland came to Quito. We heard he was not planning on speaking in Otavalo but apparently he asked to go to Otavalo. So I was lucky enough to see him when he spoke at several different stakes: Otavalo, Imbabura, and the Ibarra district. We also heard him when he came to Quito and spoke to all the missionaries. We had 2 separate meetings during the missionary conference so I got to hear him speak twice, along with Elder Calderón and Elder Montaya (area seventy's).

In his talk in Otavalo, he shared that the faith of Otavalo is famous and legendary. It has been said by many LDS leaders that the people in Otavalo are descendants of the Lamanite people in the Book of Mormon and that this connection has helped in the growth of the church here. He said he couldn't come to Ecuador without going to Otavalo. But he also shared that since the faith in Otavalo is infamous, he expects there to be at least 5 stakes here and not just 2. And he expects between 40-60 percent of Otavalo to be members of the church and that we still have much work to do. He shared 3 stories. One of them was a story that Elder Boyd K Packer shared when he went to one of the islands in the pacific. While he was on a boat trying to get to port, a terrible storm came. They couldn't find the port because the lower lights of the lighthouse weren't on and they couldn't see where they were going. The people who were in charge of turning on the lights fall asleep. He told us that there are 2 lights in a lighthouse. The big lights and the lower lights. He said that even though the big light was on, it didn't help much because it didn't show the path to the port. In the same way, he told us that God is the big light and that he is always on. But we provide the lower lights to those who are lost in the world and we can not sleep when someone is depending on us! 

He also shared the story that he shared in a priesthood session of conference. It was of A.J. Roberts who was playing football when lightning struck him. Another young man was also on the field. His name was Bryce Reynolds and he was ordained an elder just a few days earlier. He felt prompted to give him a priesthood blessing without even knowing how and without ever seeing or hearing a priesthood blessing. He was truly guided by the spirit of God!

Those were very powerful stories! He also shared a story that I had never heard before and just as powerful. It was about a rebellious young member of the church who abandoned his home in Utah and left the church and took off to New York City. There he got involved with drugs, alcohol, and in gangs. After a few years, he left for California in the hope to fix his life. But he wasn't successful. In California he got involved in a motorcycle gang. To hide and protect themselves from the police, they lived in an shack on the outskirts of town and had giant guard dogs that they put in the front yard that attacked anyone that entered the gate. Elder Holland explained that the dogs had a chain on their neck just long enough to attack anyone who opened the gate and took a few steps in. Because of this no one bothered entering the house. But one day, a pair of missionaries walked by. The dogs scared them when they tried entering the gate and they began to walk away until the senior companion stopped, talked to the junior companion, and pointed to the man who was sitting on the porch of the house. The missionaries felt inspired to return and opened the gate to the house. Instead of attacking the missionaries, the dogs looked at them as they walked in the yard and laid down (which was something that had never happened before). The missionaries walked up to the man who was sitting on the porch, who was the man who left his house as a teenager. The missionaries introduced themselves and the man responded, "I know who you are." He then asked them, "Where are you guys from?" The senior missionary responded that he was from a certain city in Utah. The man responded that he knew what city that was and asked if he knew a family who lived there and he named the family. The missionary responded that he did know the family. The man then asked if he knew the head of the family because the head of this family was his father. The missionary responded that he did know the head of the family because that was also his father, too.

Elder Holland explained that when the rebellious young man left his house in Utah and went to New York, his brother was only about 4 or 5 years old. The man was reactivated and became a faithful member of the church again because his brother was guided to him. It wasn't a coincidence. Elder Holland bore his testimony that a loving Heavenly Father gives us miracles in our lives all the time and he cares about each one of us. Things were placed in order so that his brother would be able to find him. The guy moving from New York to California. Him being in California when his brother got his mission call. His brother getting his mission call in the mission where his brother was at. The Mission President getting the revelation to put him exactly in the area where his brother was living. And the missionaries walking by as the man was outside his house. The list is endless. He helps us in many ways that we never know. He is always there to help us and guide us.

Elder Holland shared many more things I would love to write but because of time I can't write them all. Overall it was a super spirtual experience. The church is guided by living prophets and apostles. I am so grateful I had the chance to hear one of them this week!

The rest of the week was pretty much normal. Except on Sunday, the bishop surprised me at the last second and asked me to give a talk because the 3rd speaker didn't come to church that day. I had literally 5 minutes to prepare my talk but it was actually probably the best talk I have ever given! I know that it is because Heavenly Father guided me. It really surprised me! I gave a 15 minute talk with only 5 minutes to prepare!

Have a great week everyone. Make your week a spiritual one!

Elder Dyal

 Elder Dyal and his companion Elder Marron in their apartment

 Meeting Jeffery R. Holland

 Meeting Jeffery R. Holland

Jeffery R. Holland with President and Sister Richardson and their daughter

Ecuador Quito North Missionaries 
(Elder Dyal is in the middle back but you can only see the top of his head)

No comments:

Post a Comment