Monday, November 3, 2014

Spirit Stronger Than Ever

Date: November 3, 2014
Week: 19 Ofelia, Ecuador
Companion: Elder Macalopu, Peru
Me and my zone.  Ofelia, Ecuador November 2014
Well another week down! Time seems to be flying now.
Okay so we have this investigator named Victor. He has gone through like ten different sets of missionaries. He totally knows everything about the church. He won't read the Book of Mormon because its confuses him but he loves the Principios del Evangelio book (Gospel Principals Book). He just knows a lot. We want to get him to start progressing but he mainly jokes around with us.

He calls all the missionaries by where they are from. So he calls Elder Macalopu, Peru and me, Texas. He has asked me to ask my parents to send him an NBA hat. He is handicap but he doesn't have a wheel chair so he literally hops around with one leg. He is a gardener for a gated community. He will let us in and I'll do some service while Elder Macalopu talks to him. This guy knows everyone! Literally everyone. We will hang out with him and teach like 3 lessons to each of his three friends. We found one of our investigators this way. Victor will be like "Hey Texas aren't you going to give my friend one your pamphlets?" So then we will start teaching his friend. It's pretty cool. Victor has a lot of potential in the church. He says the reason why he isn't baptized is because he doesn't have faith.

In this new area people live in houses. I know that sounds like, well duh everyone in the world lives in a house, but these houses are pretty nice. We actually ring doorbells which is weird. The only thing I wonder is why we don't have cars? I actually feel more in danger here that I did in Esmeraldas. This past week, we were walking down a hill and I saw some guy come sprinting around a corner with a bag.  And of course stupid Elder Kimball is thinking about contacting the guy. I thought he was a jogger. Then a few seconds later a police man comes sprinting around the corner with his gun in hand. I pointed to where the guy went finally realizing that I had just been witness to a robbery getaway. After that I felt like I just let Uncle Ben die. (The Amazing Spiderman)

Then this morning we saw some dude punch a woman in the face and sprint off. The woman had a huge black eye. We helped the woman up but that's about it. We can't really get involved in that sort of stuff.

Honestly, people here are educated. They actually know who President Spencer W. Kimball is. They want to know the exact name of the relationship I have with him. I just say in my broken Spanish "El esta en mi arbol" HA. Letty, the lady that served her mission in San Antonio is leaving at the end of the month. Apparently she has a house in New Jersey and she said one day she is going to visit her old mission and find Elder Kimball. She reminds me a lot of home, which is nice sometimes. I'll miss her.

Things that are different here from the U.S.?  Hmmm. Well seeing that our Church has a parking lot with cars in it is so cool. In Esmeraldas there sure was none of that. You know there aren't a lot of differences. I mean the roads aren't perfect and the food isn't McDonalds or anything, but hey I'll take Quito and everything its got. I am trying to be a really diligent spender. I have only eaten lunch the past two weeks because I don't have any money. That was hard but it made eating all of the mamitas food a lot easier. The mamitas won't serve you rice every time which is really nice of them. They serve us this hot jam drink which is pretty good but four times a day is sometimes over doing it.
Hermana Hancey's birthday was today, Ofelia Ecuador November 2014

What have I learned about Elder Macalopu? He might have to serve a mission longer than two years. Just the way the changes work out he might serve 25 months. He has served in every zone in the mission except Otavalo. He might go there this December. He likes to talk to everybody but me. I just try to follow him and be nice. Sometimes I get frustrated inside but then I think of why I am frustrated and realize its not worth it. He has a girlfriend at home, but he tells people he doesn't cause he doesn't want people to bother him. He says he is a convert but he was baptized when he was eight. His oldest brother died at the age of one and the missionaries found his family and now they are all members. He had a brother serve in Bolivia and has a younger brother serving in Brazil speaking Portugese. His trainer is getting married in January. Well that's literally everything I know.

This past Saturday I conducted a baptismal service for Jorge Gangua. He has a hearing disability and his family is inactive, but he wanted to be baptized. I conducted the whole thing which was an honor.  I never taught him because he was in the sector of the hermanas, but I grew to love him in just one night. It really was touching to see so many people at the baptism for this little boy. The next day was Fast and Testimony meeting. Jorge received the confirmation in which it said he would serve a full time mission. A tear came to my eye during that prayer because I could feel how much love the Lord has for Jorge. I then bore my testimony on what a great example Jorge was to me, and how blessed I am to be serving this ward. It was a great Sunday, but then the first Counselor stood up at the end and said church would be at 2pm from now on instead of 9am. Only two wards meet in that building but the first ward is at 9am and now we are at 2pm which makes no sense.

Halloween Reunion with President and the Ofelia North zone, Ofelia Ecuador, November 2014
Last Friday (Halloween), we had a reunion with President. It was a great meeting and it was cool to meet other missionaries.

Last but not least I finished the Book of Mormon this week. I don't know if you remember how the whole mission was challenged to read it in 90 days well I finished it a little early. This is my 3rd time reading the Book of Mormon, and probably my favorite time. I had so many miracles by reading the Book Of Mormon and my testimony has been strengthened by reading it. I challenge everyone to keep reading or start reading today. It has power and I know that because I have seen it. Even though I have not officially brought someone into the waters of baptism, I have seen people change because of this book. They know its true but Satan has such a strong grip on them sometimes that they choose not to follow its teachings. The Church is exactly the same here in Ecuador which helps me know that this Church is true because it is universal. I love to be apart of this church and I love to see every miracle of being a missionary for this Church.
The boys are back in town!  Like our matching ties? My zone Ofelia, Ecuador November 2014

Bailey, You are actually growing up! Hows driving? Please don't crash.

Clay, Keep your head up man! Basketball is here!

Lexi, Why are you so tall? I bet that that height is helping you out in being a Goalie!

Leah, I know you are the most athletic in the family but watch out for little baby Collins. She could be more talented than you!

Bella, You're definitely are growing! You look so big in the pictures mom sends. Keep being cute!

Collins, You definitely looked scary in your Halloween costume. How old are you now ¿Casi 5 meses?

By the way all of the people mentioned above are weirdos. Ya'lls video were strange. You all basically said the same thing. By the way Clay it is sat.  (inside joke)

Mother, I love you and hope you are enjoying your little baby Collins. You still going to go to cooking classes or was that just a phase? I always wonder where Clay got the phase thing? (Hence Gilligan)

Dad. That video looked pretty cool.  They shot you like 8 times? People here love to tell people what my dad does for a living.  Letty always makes some joke about you armoring cars and having a bunch of children. I am sure it is inappropriate cause I don't understand it, and she won't tell me in English. I hope you are staying awesome dad.

Love you guys, Elder Kimball
My Zone again, Ofelia Ecuador November 2014

Christmas List (In case anyone wants to send something to a lonely missionary)
1) Some LDS books in English to read at night. I have read every English book I have.
2) Some American food I could possibly heat up in the microwave?
3) Some sweatpants I can wear since its super cold!
4) A sewing kit
5) Reeses peanut butter cups (my favorites!)
6) Nesquik chocolate milk mix
7)Chick-fil-a sauce
8) A mini Book of Mormon in English that I can carry around
9)Maybe some ties
10) Just send me cool stuff. I really do want some good LDS books. Maybe like History of the church or something. Something I can just dive into and read at night.

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