Mom, I imagine you are in your piano lessons or in the temple by this point. Dad, probably working. Mitch, also working. Sam, probably in una cita. And Adam, probably studying or learning something new. Sorry I didn't write yesterday. I hope Monday went well for you all. I love you more than I can say.
Yesterday we had a training meeting that we weren't told about until Saturday, so sorry I couldn't give you all a heads up. It was with Elder Waddell, a seventy, who learned his Spanish in Spain serving his mission in Barcelona and then later returning to be a mission president. I got a glimpse of what Sam's accent will be like. He began by talking about the organithathion de la Iglesia and lo que tenemos que hather para mejorar and stuff like that. No, but really, it was super powerful and exactly what I needed. I am going to include some of what I learned...
Our calling as missionaries is to recoger (D&C 29:7) those who are chosen, or, those who will listen to the voice of the Lord.
Exito en la mision es lograr su capacidad.
Saber + hacer = exalta. Saber + no hacer = condena
L has really had a huge change from the first day we met him, when he didn't believe in God. We taught him about tithing the other day and it was the first lesson that he didn't accept. But when we saw him Sunday, he said he had been thinking about it and would strive to pay his tithing. Previously (before we met him) he had problems with the Word of Wisdom and we have been contacting him daily to help him to keep from falling. He explained to us how Saturday and Sunday God helped to keep him from drinking. He had been doing his part, and when it got tough, Heavenly Father kept His end of the promise as well. We have another investigator that is searching for the truth like Joseph Smith. Her name is N. The other day she fasted. I have really learned a lot from how hard she is working to come to the truth and we are trying to do what we can to help her along the way. M is doing so well. Her baptism reactivated her husband's whole family. JM is doing okay. His daughter really wants to be baptized but isn't getting the support she needs. We are working really hard with her.
Okay, as for this week on the food update,Tuesday we had Cathso (escarabajo [beatles]). Eeeaaaaaarly in the morning, the Otavaleños hike up to the mountains and gather the white beatles and then we peeled off the wings and the shell parts and fried them and ate them with salt. I have some videos I am going to see if I can send somehow. Exciting experience!
Okay, please let Caitlin know that I love her, got her email, and I am responding tonight. And that I miss her. And that she is one of my best friends ever. And that I say hi to CJ and thanks for taking good care of her. It was fun to hear from her. I love receiving email and letters because it is so much easier to see how great our lives are from the outside.
Mom, don't worry about the flash drives. It will work. And although the first time on the mission I heard Christmas, it did make me homesick, now I am singing Christmas hymns all the time. So don't worry. I love you, Mom and Dad.
My red shoes are 6.5 and they fit perfectly. I hope the new ones you bought are okay. And the make-up is the Bare Essentials powder.
Okay, tell Bryce and Mel that I say congratulations. Yesterday Hermana Ghent told me that I have a "missionary family." It is so true. I love that we are all on different ends of this work. And I love the quote that Brother Berry shared. It is so true.
Okay, wait, Trevor is engaged?¿ I need to conocerla! Where is she from? Please tell Trev to send me a letter and picture.
Okay, Sam. I literally was laughing out loud when I read the first line of your letter. I tried to explain it to my companion, but realized it wasn't that funny. Just funny for me because I could see your face and hear your voice when I read it. I hope the work is going well for you. I love you and pray for you every day (and really you're getting double the blessings because you fall into two circles of the venn diagram ["Please bless my family.", "Please bless the missionaries serving at this time."]). I laughed when I read about the woman who was "active" in the wrong church. A while ago we contacted a woman and helped her and her sick daughter by explaining that she can receive a priesthood blessing. Now she is attending her old church, although she understands that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church that has the authority to offer this blessing. Somewhere there is a disconnect that I don't understand. Ha. Oh, and Kati's car was a PT Cruiser.
Yesterday, the closing song for the meeting was "La Luz de la Verdad." Yesterday's training meeting was with about half of the mission and I have never heard a group of people singing so loudly. It was so powerful.
Also, I saw Sam Harris yesterday!!!! She got to the mission like seven weeks ago and sent me a note and I wrote her back and a couple people have mentioned that she says hi, but it was so good to be able to see her! I love her and we feel like a little piece of home is here with us in Ecuador. I hope someday we can be companions.
Saturday was a baptism of some elders in our zone. We brought L and the elders knew he had been struggling with the idea of paying his tithing. They are so great. Our zone leader gave a talk and it was literally exactly what this investigator needed. These kids are great. I have a lot of respect for them.
Mom, please tell everyone that wrote me in October that I say thank you for the letters and advice. I don't have lots of time to respond, and I now have a list of 31 people to respond to. But let them know that I AM grateful.
Okay, I love you all. Live according to what you know. Live in harmony with your understanding, as PMG says. Be what God wants and needs you to be.