Thursday, August 1, 2013

"... then they started to try to take the mic from me." (Hilary)

Hi everyone! Thanks for writing!
Sean McClellan is in Ecuador in one of my old sectors
and ran into a family that knows me...
Sent me this picture this morning. hahaha
So fun to hear from you all! It has been a crazy week. And it flew by. I can hardly believe it. I hope I get to finish my mission here! There is a lot of potential in this sector and I am really enjoying the challenges as well. C A is a friend of a member here. He has been attending church for a couple weeks now and is really interested. He has absorbed everything and is very believing. Yesterday in Gospel Principles we taught about the church in ancient times and the church in these days. He understood well and was determined to later offer his own prayer to know if it was all true. E is doing well. He is a reference from a less active family. He is progressing and completing his commitments and has actually been a strong pillar for this family. He attends church and studies and really has the desire to do what is right. D is the boyfriend of a less active member. He is in the process of getting divorced so that he can marry his girlfriend (the member he is living with). We've spoken with them about obedience, chastity, the temple, and also many of the lessons to help reforce her testimony and build his. Yesterday D expressed to us his desire to be baptized. He is doing his part to get things worked out with his divorce and said that he wants to get married as soon as possible. He began as an apathetic investigator, but is actually studying and praying and attending church and little by little seeing the blessings of the Lord. He also really connected with the story of Joseph Smith.

This week we couldn't do divisions because I got sick again. But I am feeling much better and the mission nurse is aware and helping me. Today we dropped off little notes we wrote to all the sisters in our areas. The other day we were talking about what we wanted to do with our assignment: not just the basic, but all we are able to do (Doctrine and Covenants 123:17).
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; 
and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, 
to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

I had a really interesting dream the other day that I decided I want to share. Dreams never really make that much sense, so just bear with me. I guess I was asked to plan a ward activity here in Quito and I decided I wanted the theme to be the restoration/Joseph Smith. I had it all planned and a lot of people showed up and it was going really well but something turned wrong and some members started showing another church video which was not what I had planned. I was trying to exercise patience so I just let them do their thing, knowing that at least I would be able to close by sharing my testimony. But the video just went on and on and everyone started leaving because they were bored. I finally stood up at front and started to bear my testimony about Joseph Smith and nobody listened. They were all putting the chairs away and then they started to try to take the mic from me. It was so weird (I am laughing to myself as I type this) but they were not letting me share my testimony. I felt so strongly that I needed to testify of the importance of the restoration and the validity of Joseph Smith. Anyway, that is how the dream ended, they were like following me through the chapel and I was anxiously trying to bear my testimony in the mic. WEIRD. What does that all mean? HAHA. Since that day I have been doing my best to always testify of Joseph Smith. I really do know he was a prophet called of God to restore the church! I just wanted to share it because I remembered what was happening to me before the mission. I remember that article I was writing and all the research I had to do for it and how the adversary took advantage of the situation and really shook my testimony. I know today that everything is okay though. I am glad I have been able to strengthen my testimony and have these experiences.

Another funny story. My companion has accumulated a lot of things here in the mission and yesterday she called the assistants to ask for permission to drop off a package in a bus station (Quitumbe) just outside of the limits of our mission. The bus would take it to the station in her home town and her family would pick it up. The assistants gave us permission. Today we went to Quitumbe and it was a long trip. I didn't have any money because our dueña had just passed by the apartment to ask for the money for the light and water and I literally gave her all I had left. Hermana Cantos had almost twenty dollars and was paying for the bus (which is 25 cents) until I could get to a money machine and pull out personal money. Well, in the bus on the way to Quitumbe someone robbed Hermana Cantos without us knowing. We got to the station, couldn't send the package, didn't have any money to get back to our mission, and while we were waiting trying to figure out what to do, I realized I couldn't even go to the bathroom! The bathroom entrance fee is 15 cents and we literally did not have anything. I called the secretaries (secretly wishing that Sam were my mission secretary at that moment) and we all just laughed. We took a taxi to the offices and they paid for it. The good thing is we had permission, so it was just a funny incident. But my poor companion! Her $20 and her cedula (ID type of thing) and everything : Needless to say it has been a long day.

Well, Hermana C is finishing her mission soon, as you know, and she is doing a good job of really reflecting on what she has learned and also taking advantage of every second left. I have learned a lot from her. She lives with her inactive siblings and stepdad, who is sick. Her mom passed away years ago. She was a source of support for her family and siblings before the mission, but had the desire to serve a mission. She worried about leaving her family, but took the step. The Lord has been watching over them during her whole mission. Last week she received an email from a sibling saying that they had attended church that Sunday for the first time since she has been gone. It has been such a beautiful blessing for her. I feel so grateful to be her companion and learn from her. I have been very blessed during my life and feel like the mission is helping me so much to put things into perspective. I will never forget these experiences. 

Hermana Norton

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