Monday, March 21, 2016
Week #86 - Otavalo, Ecuador - March 21, 2016
Dear Family and Friends,
I had a pretty good week. On Tuesday, we had a zone conference with President Richardson. At the end, everyone sang happy birthday to me and also to Elder Roberts. I forgot that he had the same birthday as me because the same thing happened last year when we were both in Calderón. Then the sister missionaries brought a cake for me. It was a great surprise!
My companion, Elder Vail also wanted to celebrate my birthday with me and he bought some hamburgers from an American who lives here in Otavalo. He makes awesome hamburgers just like they taste in the states...I think. It's been a while since I've had a burger and I know it sounds weird, but it's hard to remember what they were like. :p But it tasted really good! I also got the package from my family with lots of my favorite treats. It was a pretty great birthday all in all.
The investigators that we've been teaching and less-actives that we've been visiting haven't done so well this week. But it was nice to attend a baptism of a little girl on Saturday. Her mom is already a member, but her dad isn't. We've been trying to work on helping him progress but he has been quite grumpy about it. He seems frustrated by our visits and doesn't like to participate in our discussions or answer our questions. The first time I saw him even crack a smile was during his kid's baptism which was nice to see. We hoped that the baptism helped to touch his heart and feel the spirit, but then he didn't come to church the next day to see the confirmation, so that was a bummer... :/
Another investigator that we've been teaching isn't progressing either. His wife is also a member and he isn't. We tried having a spiritual lesson at his home, but he wasn't paying attention and was very distracted by his baby. His wife became very frustrated during the lesson and took the baby away from him so he could pay attention. But even without the distractions from the baby, he refused to answer any of our questions and would turn to his wife and say, "She is the member of the church, so ask her!" or "I don't know!" Anyway, these experiences along with other ones have really worn me down emotionally this week and it's been hard.
Although, this month I have felt my conversion to the gospel grow stronger. I made a goal to fast every Sunday this month and wake up early to do more studying. I've also made a goal to read the BOM and the New testament everyday which has helped to strengthen my testimony of the gospel even more. I invite each one of you to make a goal to do something to strengthen your testimony of the gospel and gain a stronger grip to the iron rod. As I have found, it must be done on a regular basis or it may not have the same effect. It is important to find ways to grow stronger in the gospel each day so that we don't become idle. I see people each day who stop trying. I see how easy it is lose the battle to endure to the end. I have a strong testimony of the importance of a long lasting conversation to the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Have a wonderful and spiritual week! Thanks for your prayers.
Looking in amazement at these yummy and juicy American hamburgers!
Got my birthday package!
One of my favorite treats from home!
Today (3/21/16) with one of my former trainers -- Elder Cabellero
We've changed a lot in 1 1/2 years!
(See picture below of the day we first met in October 2014)