Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24, 2017

Caleb didn't have much time to write a letter but we were able to email back and forth for a few minutes.

6 Elders in an apartment meant for 4..haha...crowded much?

The one with the green shirt is Elder Oyler.  Elder Oylers little brother had a birthday so Elder Taylor made a cake for him that we ate haha

Well Elder contreras went home as well.  the one with the yellow shirt is my companion and Elder Oyler is my companion as well, we are in a threesome.
 
ya it was bad we were living 6 before.  the apartment is made for 4.  Honestly its just so bad haha but its ok because we all try to clean as much as we can. elder taylor was our district leader.  he was great!! but he was in the ward next to me and the wards here in Guayaquil are really small.
We got a new bishop this past week.  wow the spirit is so strong in those meetings, hearing the old bishop and old counselors give their testimonies and hearing a new bishop testify with his new counselors! 
hey i got to go. had some great experiences with a lost elder.  it was kinda sad, he wants to go home, its a long story but we had some great conversation.  hey my flight plan came  😬  i think the mission sent it to you too. 

 
Just for some back story...Elder Taylor (far left in the black shirt) is from our stake here in Highland.  He and Caleb went to different high schools so they didn't know each other prior to serving together.  Elder Taylor completed his mission a couple of weeks ago (and still has a hint of a Spanish accent when he speaks English) and gave his homecoming talk on April 23.  Rob and I were able to attend and meet him afterward.  He is a great young man.  Very humble.  He shared some great things that the mission president, President Riggins, is teaching them.  When we introduced ourselves to him afterward, he was happy to hear about Caleb.  We were more happy since he has seen Caleb more recently than us!  Haha!  He said that Caleb taught him a few things and even taught him how to make eggs (which seems funnier now since I know he made the birthday cake). It was great for us to get a glimpse of someone who had developed a friendship with Caleb in the mission field.  We loved it!

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17, 2017

Wow surprise visit from an apostle!! Last monday in an assistants council with president, president mentioned that Elder Christofferson is going to be in town for the Guayaquil South Mission.  He told us that it would be weird if he didnt invite us also.  So we waited not really expecting anything and president got a call on Wednesday saying that he invited all the zones with in 3 hours of Guayaquil. Luckily the mission is super small so the whole mission was invited and we all got to listen to an apostle!! Elder Christofferson is really cool!! He speaks spanish so he did the whole thing in spanish!! And speaks well also!! That is a real testimony to me that the Lord counts on his children to continue useing their talents to hasten the lords work!!  Elder Christofferson served his mission in a spanish speaking country and i imagine that he still studied after he got home from his mission!  

Anyways he and a General Authority Seventy named Elder Montoya and their wives and spoke to us!!  They talked about a bunch of different topics but a few stood out to me more than others.  He said If we really love the people we teach we will teach them truth, We are here to teach not to be taught, If they dont want to listen make sure you are good with filling out the area book because maybe they will be more ready later on.  

He also spoke of teaching skills,  Sometimes we focus so much about covering material that we forget about the person that we are teaching!! I so glad the he said something like that because I am always worried about that in the mission.  Its just poor teaching... Getting through the lessons is like a homework assignment!! Boring They will never listen to us. We have to love them!! 

Anyway that was probably the highlight of the week because thats the second apostle that has came!!  We didnt work in the sector this week cause we were with president Riggins traveling for interviews.  Its really neat cause president has us interviewing too about some topic that he worries about and a lot of what we said in the few interviews before we listened to Elder Christofferson we spoke of some of the same things!! Obviously he said it way better but it was fun to see another testimony! 

I know Christ Lives i love him very much and i want to please him!!  I know that he suffered for me on the cross and died and then resurrected on the 3rd day. That gives me a lot of hope because the death has no victory!! Imagine! Something so cruel, dark, and mysterious like death cannot win because Christ already beat it!! I know he lives and loves us and forgives us for our mistakes! love you guys a ton and i love you dad!! I know it was your birthday on Saturday!! I thought about you all day and i really appreciate having a loving earthly father and loving heavenly father! Wow im really blessed!
hey i got to go! but i love you guys so much and i pray for you daily! The Sarco family is not going to be baptised for another year but the good part is is that he is going to get divorced to his last wife the bad part is is that his last wife doesnt want the divorce but doesnt want him. cause if something bad happens to him she gets a bunch of money... Evil.. she'll know judgment day... anyway because she doesnt want to he has to wait a year to be married with the women that he is with now. 
bye love you guys!!

April 10, 2017

mom, your going to make me cry.  I think ive gotten that same promting... its not that ive lessend the love i have for them but im defitevly not focusing on increasing the love i have for them

ya you almost made me cry...

hey ive got to go im really sorry i didnt say any thing

Monday, April 3, 2017

April 3, 2017

Hola Familia

Hey guys this week has been great! I absolutely loved General Conference!! We actually had a few conferences this week.  2 zone conferences, leadership conference, and the general Conference!! haha full conferences.  But i cant lie a lot of spiritual experiences!! In the leadership conference one of the bigger points that we touched was what are we doing as leaders to help the companionship's that are not getting along.  We showed a demonstration of a companionship teaching but not getting along.  my companion and i got to do the demonstration.  My companion was teaching and on the projector behind us it showed my thoughts.  they were  thoughts about the experiences in the week that were not so unified.  For example in one picture i was cooking and my companion was reading a cook book, in another picture i was ironing and studying Spanish at the same time and my companion was playing with toys.  but in when i started to teach (i started off by saying what my companion wanted to say was... showing that i really didn't trust in him) the projector showed the my companions thoughts.  me sleeping, my companion cleaning. me eating pizza and my companion filling the area book.  it was super funny...  So the point of all this is that we CANNOT just think in our heads, "oh he´ll never learn" or "my companion is just disobedient and i´m going to be obedient". It doesn't work like that.  It always effects our teaching always!!  The holy Ghost does not reside in un holy places.  Holy is his name.  

I really loved that you guys both mentioned elder Rasbands Talk.  I really enjoyed it too!! It funny because he basically gave the same talk when he came to visit us.  It was very inspired, but the cool part is, is that he dove into the doctrine a little more with us.  He basically explained that there are a few influences that persuade us to make decisions, whether they be good or bad.  The Holy Ghost, The Light of Christ, The Natural Man, and the Devil.  Sometimes its not necessarily Satan that is persuading us to make poor decision, or just not make good ones. It is sometimes our natural man that is an enemy to God.  And other times its not necessarily the Holy Spirit promoting us to make decisiones, but it is good influences that surround us.  

I´ve been reading the book of Mormon lately and it was in 1st Nephi 4:12-14. The Lord dramatically tells him to slay Laban. Nephi being a just and righteous man that truly loves righteousness and hates sin said no. but i love how the Lord desided to place the word ´remembered´. One of the main purposes of the Holy Ghost is to remind!! Ive literally heard words just like the ones Nephi heard!! He was just reminded to keep the commandments!! and then in the verses the follow he thought then he knew then he obeyed!! The questions that we must ask ourselves now are, am I thinking (meditating) about, knowing, and obeying the ´reminders´ that the Lord is giving me?  That is what the Lord does that is how he works.  He allows us to choice whether we are going to obey him or not.

I really love this work! Im really grateful that the lord letts me be here!  I hope the lord keeps his promise and keeps reminding me of his commandments! Cause i got a bad memory haha.  i love the gospel and love what it has given our family and i love you guys a lot and love the Lord!! I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet!! 

Have a great week
 
oh and read the living Christ!! the apostles mentioned it twice in the conference!! that means something!!
 
read it as a Family
i got to go bye love you guys

March 27, 2017

the week was pretty nuts.  Something im doing with the book of mormon lately is marking all the attributes and cariteristicas of God and of a leader. there are a ton. In almost every verse in the Book of Mormon has at least one attribute.  

Here on the mission ive learned to study to understand the true God.  Because when we understand him and know him we are truely converted.  If i could give a missionary just one tip before his or her mission i would tell him KNOW GOD. Be like him. ive honestly learned so much from that. and that is something that President Riggins has stressed for almost 3 years now. and it converts missionaries. 

this week we went to Quevedo Sur, and Milagro. and Ventanas for a meeting haha so much traveling.  I think i was in a bus for at least 12ours this weeks. but it gives me time to reflect and study

March 20, 2017

hey family Im doing good over here i really love it here.  We couldnt find this week, its kinda sad cause we need to be finding more but thats alright.  We are really looking for the less active families that have members of the family that are not members.  that is ideal because more baptisms come out of partial member families!  

We are about to have Zone conferences again. Im pumped we are going to talk alot of teaching because the mission has gotten alot worse at teaching.  And the mission numbers show it.  In may we had over a 100 convert baptisms, now in December we had less than 40. but we found more in december, put more baptismal dates, and there were more people attending church. So its the way we are teaching them.  According to the interchanges that we did with the zone leaders we saw a reflection of that. Even some of the zone leaders are struggling in the way they are teaching.  So these zone conferences are really going to be focused on that!! thats exciting.  Also we did 2 interchanges this week one was with Duran norte and the other in Quevedo norte so in my last 2 sectors.  It was fun seeing all of the people again.  I kinda feel sad because do you remember Medardo?  Well we found him and it looks like he is not taking the right roads. he picked up the habit to drink again. I really feel sad for him but on the other hand i really feel happy.  because i know that my savior died for him and that makes it so he can repent and jump on the right road again.  A video really brings me a lot a peace in my mind. its called why we need a savior. it came out christmas 2015. 

Even tho it came out such a long time ago its i still remember the first time i watched it because it really simplifies the saviors atonement so that even a little child could remember it. We showed the video to a family that is a little uneducated a while ago and here there is a lot of people like that.  I dont think Ecuador has that great of a education system.  In Guayaquil its better but either way its kinda sad.  So the people like that we need to use a lot of videos and pictures so they can understand.  We asked them before we turned it on to look why we need the saviors atonement.  We made sure they understood the question and played the video and the spirit filled the room.  I wanted to ask them the same question that i gave them from the start but i was prompted to ask just how they felt they responded that they were really grateful. we asked why and they said because thanks to him we can turn around and start over. 

 I know that we dont have to dwell on the same sins that we have committed before.  He gives us a chance to forgive and forget and start with something better. I love the savior i know that he surely loves me more than i love him because he is always focused on the goal of getting me to the fathers kingdom.  Im trying to be better everyday and i know that i have weaknesses and alot of them but i have to work on them.  I love you guys alot and just by your examples to me you guys have shown me what a true leader is and trust me more than once i have felt like a parent here hahah i love you guys so much 

March 15, 2017

It's official!!!

Monday 12 June 2017
American Airlines AA 902 Departure 12 June 10:59 PM Guayaquil, (Jose Joaquin De Olmedo)
(+)
Arrival 13 June 04:24 AM Miami, (Miami Intl) (+)
Tuesday 13 June 2017
American Airlines AA 1002 Departure 13 June 07:10 AM Miami, (Miami Intl) (+)
Arrival 13 June 09:18 AM Dallas, (Dallas Ft Worth Intl) (+) Terminal: 0

Tuesday 13 June 2017
American Airlines AA 1597 Departure 13 June 11:10 AM Dallas, (Dallas Ft Worth Intl) (+) Terminal: 0
Arrival 13 June 12:53 PM Salt Lake City, (Salt Lake City Intl) (+) Terminal: 1 - Terminal Unit 1