Monday, December 28, 2015

P-Day B-Day

So I´m pretty sure this doesn´t happen to every missionary, maybe it does! But I´m definitely thankful to have my birthday on a Monday! Next year won´t be the same! 

So this would be more exciting if I could send you guys pictures but I guess that will have to come next week but support of the members here is go great that I got a big vanilla cake with this carmel stuff in the middle and topped with "Star Wars" and Darth Vader made of... what´s it called in english... Sudon? ... how many times have a seen CakeBoss... the candy play-dough... Ugh, well it was DELICIOUS. The best part was since it´s the time the new star wars came out. This family that did the cake for me, knew I liked Star Wars made this huge table of Star wars of all things star wars, it was great! But would be cooler with a picture...

But enough about my birthday! This week we had 3 investigators in church! Hasn´t happened to me yet! And with a miracle from our Father, one will be baptized this week. The other two, they are wonderful children of heaven father, but because of their marriage situation, they won´t be baptized very soon. It´s really complicated but in short, here in guayquil many people "get married" but really they are just living together, So here, a LOT of missionaries push GET MARRIED, for real!

So as far as temporal here, I am sure not going to miss fireworks this year for new years. Every. Night.... BOOM BOOM. sounds like gunshots but it´s not! And they build these Huge statues, they call them viejos, "Olds", and I´m pretty sure New Years they blow them up! So it´s going to be loud for sure!

As far as spiritual. During a lesson, a man wasn´t quite recieving a spiritual witness that what we were saying was true. He didn´t want to ask God when He wanted him to be baptized because he literally said he was afriad, so we asked him to ask in prayer if we were sent to him from God. He flipped out (becuase there is no word in english for machete) and said we were too much in our pride. 

Now I am not saying missionaries are angels but this morning I read something in John about when Christ said "I am the light of the world" The others said, "You can´t bear testimony of yourself, that isn´t true" But Christ responded, "I know where I come from and know where I am going, therefore my testimony is true" (Or something like that becuase I am translating in my head)  But every single one of you know who you are. If not I invite you to find out, and then testify that you are a child of your Heavenly Father and you, through your works will be able to receive eternal life. Find that testimony and don´t let anyone tell you it´s not true!

Love you all! 

See you in 2016

Elder Alder

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Snowy Christmas to a Sweaty Christmas

Hola mi familia y amigos. ¡Bienvenidos a Pradera, Guayaquil! 

So we finished our last performance in the Choir in Estaca Cisne, said our goodbyes, took pictures, packed up and the next day off to work! Kind of thought I would be sent back to the nice cold Mountains........

Here´s the rest of the email, These little computers are as old as I am (which is almost 19 haha)

But I was called to Pradera Guayaquil where it is about this Hot: Guayaquil, Guayas

My companion is Elder Sican. I met him in Loja during a training so I knew a little about him before hand. He is from Guatamala. Studied a little bit of Medicine before his mission. Has 15 months in the mission. He also trained an elder from my group so he already knows the reputation of us Utah folk. Maybe reputation is the wrong word. I don´t know. He knows what to expect! 
So I absolutely love are ward here! (Yeah a real ward. What?) They are sarcastic, funny, loud, very helpful in the work here, and they make some absolutley wonderful food. I can´t tell you how much I sweated during our Lunch of Cerviche de Pescado (Still was buenísimo) 
We are working really hard to find a chosen investigador that is ready to preapare to be baptized. We have talk a lot this week. (Because in this sector, we just have to walk, there is no need to take a bus 20 minutes away) Everything is nice an close and we can just walk to each houses. We have done a lot of door knocking this week to share the message of Christmas. We haven´t found the success that the Lord expects of us yet but as they say: "¡Ya mismo!"

Love this time of year and love when I get to sing Christmas songs (Ward activity, during lessons) I really brings the spirit faster than most of the things I know of. This week I have been pondering about the Scriptures Matthew 5:48, 3 Nephi 18:48, and 3 Nephi 27:27.
We need to be perfect but how? Ha nacido un Salvador. Christ is the way, the light and the life. Only through him can we be perfected. Only through our Savior will we react our potential! As it was declared in Conference. Center your life in Christ. This is how we can reach our goals and become who we were meant to become!

I declare that He lives. I have felt it and I desire that all of you may feel it as well.

Feliz Navidad

Elder Alder

Elder Alder & Elder Sican

Mission Choir

Monday, December 14, 2015

Choir Tour (3rd year in a row!)

Hola Famila y amigos! Things are almost back to normal in Hot Guayaquil! The funny thing is this city gets hotter when you go to the colder parts of Ecuador, even for just a night!

So we have been able to meet and see every single zone in this mission. Narangal, Pradera, Centenario, Porto Nuevo, Loja, Machala, Santa Rosa, Cuenca, (And tomorrow) Cisne. Just about all the major cities in this mision! Pretty neat and pretty tiring! We got up at one o´clock this morning to travel back to Guayquil from Machala, I am definitely worn out a lot! But I have experienced this before so no worries!

So we have definintely since a lot of miracles on this "choir trip". First miracle is that almost everyone has gotten sick... No I´m kidding that´s not the miracle but almost everyone got sick. How are we supposed to sing these songs with the spirit if we don´t have all we´ve got? Obediencia (I really don´t know how to spell that word in english...) We as missionaries have really tried our hardest to be on our biggest obeying the rules guard. (Even more than normal which is a lot in this mission, I guess I don´t know how it is in other missions but that´s what I´m told) And that´s how we recieved the strength to sing. Fe con obras. Because faith without works is dead. (so there was a lot of preisthood blessings these past two weeks. The other miracle was we wanted every single investigador to be at every activity ever so they can feel the spirit want to be baptized. We have had at least 3 people accept a baptismal date directly after our presentation.  

What a blessing to feel this spirit of Chirstmas through Missionary work. This choir has really taught me a lot! About my mission, about Christ. about how to become un discípulo de Jesucristo. 

Él es mi Redentor, mi Salvador, mi Hermano Amado. "Venid a mí" son sus palabras.  Estas son un mandamiento. Come unto Him, He is your Savior. He knows all your pains.

Love you guys!

Elder Alder

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Temple Lights (Without Snow...or lights)

¡Hola familia y amigos! So not quite back to normal but I have a little more time to write today! 

If you can´t tell, WE GOT TO GO TO THE TEMPLE!!!!!!!!! The temple is literally right outside of our mission and there are only three ways to get there in this mision. (Have I already mentioned this?...) 1) You end your misison. 2) You train someone 3) In one year your super chevere convert is like: "Hey, I remember that you baptized me, you want to come see me seal all my convents in the house of the Lord? Only if you want to" OR you get super lucky and recieve one of the greatest christmas gifts ever from Presidente and get to go!! Absolutely amazing! I loved it with all my heart! 

But it´s time to get back to work. What is that work for us in the Choir. So here is the lay down. We have been here in Guayquil for the past week. Performing a group of songs my Kenneth Cope (8 songs to be exact) in every stake that touches our boarders here in the South Mission of Guayquil. So far we have done four! There are 10 of us in the choir (Super small and we don´t have a conductor just missionaries that lead us during practices and then sing with us) And that is about all we do! Tomorrow we are going to start traveling to the rest of the mission and perform in every single stake or district! So this week is going to be singing and sitting in a bus! Super exciting! I can´t wait to get started! (Because we are going to be super tired, haha) 

So apparently these songs are in English too but I don´t know what they are called. I have had the opportunity for the past 3 years in high school every Christmas to sing praises (alabanzas creo que es qué es en español, mucho más chevere) to the Lord through song and I am honored to do it again this year for the whole mission. There is nothing that I love more. Especially in this season of Christmas. To be able to focus myself in the true meaning of Christmas and help others focus themselves in christmas as well. 

One experience. We got to preach after our practices the first week, so one day we were walking and reiecived the impression that we should sing a christmas song to a house with christmas lights to contact. The first house we went to, we asked, they invited us in and now are getting prepared to be baptized. Contacting by caroling..! 
Never neglect a single impresion from the Lord. Even if you think it is the weirdest thing that ever came to your mind. And don´t forget to be listening to! 

My invitation to you is to start reading The Gospels. The life of Christ. I started and, even though it´s in spanish and I don´t understand every single word, I am learning so much more about my Savior.

He lives. Without a doubt in my heart, He lives. He came to this Earth to do the will of the Father. He set an example for us to follow and asks us "If ye love me, keep my commandments"

Les quiero

Elder Alder  

2015 Guayaquil South Mission Christmas Choir

Monday, November 30, 2015


Yeah sorry family and friends! Another week of 20 minute writing session. No worries, I am alive and doing absolutely fantastic. I am really having a wonderful time here! I get to sing in a choir in MY mission! When I heard about the Christmas choir, because Presidente Torres has done this for the length of his presidency, I instantly really wanted to be in it! Apparently you have to email Presidente first before he will consider you but I didn´t know that but I´m in it so it´s all fine! So no worries! But really this is a wonderful opportunity that only 10 missionaries a year get a chance to do! 
I guess I can explain a little more of what we are doing, So we have practicing this week everday 8 songs for Christmas! Great songs! Powerful spirit! And now we are going to travel the mission and sing for every missionary in the mission (except galapogos, qué triste)

But don´t worry I am fine and I´m reading all the emails that are sent to me so keep sending them! 

Love you all! 
Elder Alder

Monday, November 23, 2015

No Hay Tiempo (Again)

Hola familia y amigos!

First off! Love you all! I hope everything is going well! This week is going to be short, sorry. And here is why:

I have been traveling in a bus all night Sunday because I had my first "cambios". Bye bye Loja. Right now I am in Guayquil dying in the wonderful heat! Sunday was a day of mixed feelings. Our baptism fell through the roof but this cambio made me happy because..... I{m in the Christmas Choir!!!! 

Super excited and that is why I do not have any time!

Love you all again!

And if you have time this week read John 6:66 to 69. And ask yourself if you are going to turn back from Christ or continue following him! 

Elder Alder

Thank you Loja for watching over Elder Alder!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Baptism in the River (Not mine though) :)

(The baptism was of the zone leaders but I got to see it because my companion was in saraguro, entonces, it was just something cool this weekend. You should´ve seen this guy. He was in the water before we sang the first hymn, it was great and that´s the photo attachted)

But let´s talk about Ecuador. I don´t think I have mentioned this. If I have, I am truly sorry. But my favorite temporal thing about this country is there is a bread store on every corner! Where you can buy... guess? BREAD. ¡Pero pan ricisimo! I absolutely love it! (My companion thinks they tempt me, but I save my money, no worries!) (But the milk doesn´t taste the same, I have no idea why...)

Yeah, the important stuff.
I don´t think I have told ya´ll about the expectations of this mission. Or at least not all of them. Baptimal goal monthly: 600. and one of my favorites is Invitations to be baptized. How many do you think daily we are supposed to invite to be baptized?.... 8, boom. (haha and everyone was so scared in the CCM to invite people to baptized in the first lesson) 
How crazy but it really pushes us as missionaries! So when you don´t have success, it really bugs 
because normally everyone around you is. So we worked really hard this week to invite 8 people to be baptized everyday. And what happened? Through the grace of God we have 8 baptismal dates! Just like that. Obedience with exactness brings miracles. And with a miracle we will have a baptism this Sunday! Saturdays and Sundays are probably the hardest day because you are doing everything you possibly can to get people to come to sacrament! But sometimes, they show up to church by themselves and that is the biggest blessing ever! 

But things are going great here, just have to work harder every day!

Scripture for the week: Mosiah 2:17. The one we all know. When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the Service of your God.
But one tid-bit of spanish. Fellow-beings in Spanish is semejantes. Which literally could mean in English "comparables". Especially at the start of my mission, I thought that every person I passed was a beloved child of God. And they are. This week, I plead with all of you to look at the people around you and service them as your "comparables" They are just like you with problems that you can´t see. Everyone is struggling. But this week if we serve your fellow men as yourself. We all service God and get closer to becoming like Christ. He is our Savior. The least we can do is be in His service!

Love you Guys!

Elder Alder

"It´s not that hot, a little bit of a kick and then it´s done for the aji pepper."

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Attack of the Grapes

Every week just keeps getting better and crazier!

I think I mentioned last time that my father (trainer) was dying! We had to travel to Guayquil over night and then back with my new companion! 18 hours in a bus is But we made it and are living great! My new companion is... Drum Roll.... Elder Garcia! (Photo attached) He is from Mexico! (Esó! First Latin companion) He is absolutely hilarous! He loves to talk and he tells me stories of Mexico, rats, and iguanas. (Yeah he is a little bit crazy) He doesn´t know any English, so my spanish is improving a bunch! I don´t understand everything he says but he is certainly helping me with my listening skills! The funny thing is, he has 5 more weeks in the mission... You can just call me the send off missionary man! Take 2!

I remember how nervous I felt the first couple of days because he is definiately letting me learn by experience. I felt more of the responsibilty of taking charge in our teachings! It was definitely a gift from the spirit because now we are working super hard! It´s great!

The great thing this week was we had 3 investigadores in church! (1 in Loja and 2 in Saraguro) Everyone said that the mountains are hard and they are but with work, anything is posible! Like, remember the drunk man from last time, he came to church 30 minutes early! (That´s where the story of the grapes comes in. We went to go bring him to church, wasn´t there, went to the market to find him, billions of people in the market, police passed by in a truck, people were not happy with them, so they threw grapes at them and missed and hit me....) But he came to church and will soon be baptized! (Not to mention he is also taking anti-alcoholic clases)

Scripture for the week: Moroni 7:33. Más o menos dice: "And Christ has said, if you have faith in me, you shall have power to do whatsoever think that is expiedient in me" (How was my translation of scripture?) And in Doctrina y convenios 8 it says that without faith, we can´t do anything. Maybe that´s why (from Moroni 10) since faith develops into charity, without charity we are nothing. (Sorry for the spider web of scriptures and ideas)

But it´s true! without faith, we can´t do anything. Without out faith, this man addicted to alcohol will not reach baptism, but with his faith and actions, he will! And I have faith he will and can!

Les quiero Mucho!
Elder Alder

Monday, November 2, 2015

La Fe, orando, y Padre

Hola a todas las personas en Estados Unidos y en el mundo. (I think)
Great week of learning here in Loja! Tough but absolutely wonderful!
I heard it was Halloween (I almost forgot!) Hope the world was a little more sweet this week-end! Sorry for the sarcasm! But one thing about Ecuador, they don´t celebrate halloween, they just go vacation, or in this case, walk with the virgin to another city. I know we all have silly tradicions and I´m not trying to offend those who worship the virgin. I just wouldn´t walk a bunch of kilometers following a statue for my halloween celebration. Hahaha. Just know it says in the scriptures that Mary did advise us to follow her son (She must of knew something)
Investigador report:
This is where the rough part of week was. No investigadores came to church, that means all our progressing investigadores are now not progressing anymore. It´s quite hard. And just to protect the identity of this people, I am going to start changing names (Unless I baptize them, then i´ll tell you :))
But for now I think it´s better to keep the names secret. Just in case one of them like this week, we found drunk in front of their door. It was quite sad and I have all the respect for this wonderful child of God, so we are going to try harder (Well I am going to try harder my father (trainer) is dying (going home) because this person is a child of our heavenly father and they need the gospel more than ever.
We have definitely been praying a lot for this person and fasting and I have learned a lot this week about how God answers our prayers.
And the spiritual topic I want to discuss is La Fe. 
Faith is so vital to our salvation. Elder Neil L. Andersen exhorted all the preisthood with this topic and one line that I think is for the world. "Your faith is either getting stronger or it is getting weaker" My scripture for this week is Alma 32:21, it says that faith isn´t a perfect knowledge but a hope for things not seen. But in 27 it says that we must experiment on these words and ACT by our own free will. Then in 41 it says we have to cultivate with "gran diligencia y paciencia".
And that´s the key. Everyday we need to cultivate our faith in the gospel or it won´t be growing.
And especially! We need to be patient with this groweth, Its like the groweth of a plant.
Love to all
Elder Alder

Elder Barney (Devan's trainer (father)) is returning home soon

Monday, October 26, 2015


This week has just been packed full of activities! (Not to mention we ate at KFC today, doesn`t taste the same but it`s fake so what more do you need!) Firstly, everyone was sooo nervous because we had a training (That´s the translation of the title) with Presidente Torres! Super Exciting and nerve racking. Why? Because he is probably the nicest, most spiritual person ever and the last thing we want to do as missionaries is disappoint him. 
But it was absolutely amazing!! Two really important themes that I will talk about at the end. Also, during the training we had inverviews with him, all the missionaries! Took a long time! But when it got to my turn and I finished, a thought came to his mind and suddenly I was singing A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief in the adult session of District Conference (Since we are branches out here that´s what stake conference is) with another Elder playing the piano! I didn´t do perfect (I had one day I´m sorry) but Presidente was crying so at least I brought the spirit!
Also had baptisms in the Zone! And another on November 21st, in our sector! ¡ESO!

Hugo Naranjo (Almost orange juice but not quite): Baptismal date: 21st de Noviembre! He is doing great! He attended the Church 2 years ago but now he is reading the Book of Mormon everyday and stopped drinking for 3 weeks!

Estella Castro: Really nice lady that cuts hair and gave us hot chocolate, but she doesn`t believe in being an active member anywhere but I have a feeling she will accept the invitation this week to be baptized.

Marcos Chimbo: We just have to find him! But we have had some really nice lessons with him about the Sabbath day.

Gerardo, biatris, and a couple more we haven´t been able to meet with because they are always gone!

Themes: DÍA de reposo y caridad.
My scripture this week is D&C 59:9. Not sure what it says in english exactly but I will try to translate. Most importanly the blessing of being spotless from the world if we offer up our sacraments on el día santo? Sacred day. Anyways, meaning the sabbath. It is the sabbath DAY, not three hours. We need to treat it as such and that is when we recieve the blessings!

And without charity we are nothing! One piece of advice that Presidente gave to me for learning the language is love.
And I testify that it works. 
In D&C 121 it says that we can have the constant companionship of the Spirit if we have charity. That´s why we are nothing without charity, because we don´t have the spirit.

So two pieces of advice, have caridad for ALL people and Keep the Sabbath Day Holy. The whole Day.

Love the Gospel. Love this wonderful opportunity!

Elder Alder


Monday, October 19, 2015

¡Spiritual Forces!

What an absolutely wonderful week here in utahish weather Loja! The rain stroms are bipolar and when the sun comes out, everything heats up!

Since some people have been dropping hints about how they dont`t know what happens in my day, (In this mission we call that a silent machete) I´LL TELL YOU ALL con amor :)

Up at 6:13, so we can say prays and work out at 6:30 (if we want to run, we have to go at 6) Desayuno at 7. Personal Study at 7 (My favorite part) followed by companionship study and language study till 12ish. Then here we have mamitas. They are members that cook lunch for us! And Man is it a big luch! Then lets go preach the gospel! Investigadores are the most important, then we go visit less active members and try to get them to church, and also members houses to find more people to teach! Back at the house at Exactly 9 so we can plan for tomorrow and on our knees at 10:20 so we can pray and be in bed at 10:30

There is a normal day! But everday is different! Full of things to learn! Visit seminary at 5:30 in the morning! Waking up at 3 in the morning because some dog doesn´t like another dog or a small earthquake (it was just one shake no worries) Or we contact someone on the street and invite him or her to be baptized!

One thing I love about this mission are the expectations! So the picture is a shirt we made for the guys in our district! Super chevere! (That´s why the title is spiritual forces because that´s what it says on the front of the shirt.) But on the sleeve it says 600! That´s the mission´s goal for baptisms each month! Wow! That`s 3 baptisms a month for each missionary! The best part is that it is possible!

Progress report:
Gerardo: Haven´t seen him this entire week and we have been to his house everyday!!!

Biatris: She is always going on trips.... But we have nice conversations!

Marcos: New Investigador! Uncle of Gerardo, and have had some great lessons on the Sabbeth day! 

Romel: New investigador!! 21 and has a motorcycle! He didn´t technically say no to my invatation to be baptized but it wasn`t a yes..

Entonces, Love the field! Is it hard? Yes. But That is the best part. We get a chance to grow! That is the purpose of this life! And at the same time we can laugh with members, investigadores, and missionaries as well. Not to mention the constant companionship of the Spirit. 

Scripture this week: 3Nehi 5:13 (I think) I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. This is my goal. I hope it can be yours too!

New district (soccer) shirt and new haircut!

 Top of La Puerta de Cuidad overlooking the city!

Monday, October 12, 2015

King Lamoni

Hola Familia y mis amigos! Man the days keep passing by faster and faster I can hardly keep up! But I`ll try to remember everything I can :)
So I guess I didn´t tell yall about our other sector! It´s called Saraguro! It´s about two hours away from Loja in the mountains in the middle of nowhere I really don´t know how it got there. There are about 10 members who live up there so my companion goes up there on Sundays to give them the Santa Cena (sacrament, but I guess techicnically sacred dinner) So Jueves are for Saraguro, once a week we go up there to preach and teach english! The picture is of the first class that we had! About 10 little kids when we started and now we have 24 people and the adults wanting to participate! The only reason we are even allowed to preach up there because we befriended the president to the little city. So sometimes I feel like Ammon teaching King Lamoni, in this little poor city, the big difference is we only get to be up there once a week and I can´t speak politics in Spanish, haha, but I can bare my testimony! 
So this part of this area is quite an adventure! But at the same time is hard because we are split between two places. On sundays, I am here in the branch hopefully strengthening the branch and gaining their trust! Kind of difficult but I am learning super fast! let´s just say that are branch had 70 people there yesterday and that has to be a record! (average here is like 20)
Temporal: Loja weather is a lot like in Utah summer weather. Hot somtimes, with wind all the time, and bipolar rain showers! I really lucked out! A lot of things are americanized here, Por ejemplo, I had a hot dog for lunch today! There are tiendas literally on every corner. Buses do not stop as you are getting on or off the train. And since things here are in american dollars, everything is either super cheap (like I can buy 30 eggs for $3) or overpriced to the max (Shampoo is like $20 in the American sized)

Spiritual: I guess I should start doing an investigador report!

Biatris Lima:50ish Lady that runs a little tienda and loves to talk about Christ. She says that all the matters is Christ. Which is a pretty good start! We are working hard to get her to church and read the book of mormon. Not to mention she was a reference from our converso Juan Cordero! As the missionaries say here: "¡Esò!" (It just means like YEAH) 

Gerardo Chimbo: 23, went to go meet with his dad who was an old investigador. Dad moved far away and he said he wanted to make changes in his life, Boom Gospel. 

There are some in saraguro and others that are progessing a little slower pero no hay tiempo! My scirpture for this week (the thing the seventy said in conference. Yeah? in Spanish it was meditizar, is it ponderize or something?) is The one about small and simple means. For example, on sunday we ate at a members house and the mother asked for a blessing. The son is the missionary leader, so we assumed he would do the blessing. My companion annointed, we looked at him, and looked right back at me. First blessing of health I´ve ever given in Spanish..... And appartently it was 10 minutes long! Was the blessing perfect? Absolutely not. But the Spirit used what spanish I knew to bless this lady. Maybe not a big thing for most but I was certainly humbled.

This isn´t just another church. We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ. This is His church. His work will go on even if we don´t. Do the simple things. Read, pray, go to church, do what you know is right and life suddenly becomes easier to bare!

Elder Alder

Teaching english in Saraguro

Loja District

Elder Collins (Devan's brother) and Devan with Elder Barney their Father (trainer)...note: read his shirt

Beautiful Saraguro

Jaiba (pronounced "Hi-Ba") crab dinner

Monday, October 5, 2015

Éste es mi Gozo

"This is my joy." This is from Alma 29:9-10. 
Just yesterday I had the grand opportunity and honor to baptize Juan Cordero. One of God´s sons. And just as it says in Alma 29. I can´t boast of myself (There is no way I am human and the scriptures say I am the dust of the earth) but I will boast of my God.

He and His glorious spirit converted this man. Just a little bit about him. He is about 40 years old, divorced, has a little girl of 6, and he is probably the craziest person I have ever met. But he is so close to the spirit. Everytime he talks about the church he feels something the spirit so stong that he is stopped in his words. (
He also thinks that I can´t understand anything he says but that´s not entirely true!) But he was prepared by the Lord. He came to preisthood session of conference with Elder Barney and I, and all he wants to do is serve his nieghbors. He is a blessed soul. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and he was okay with me baptizing him.
And one of our first lessons we learned as missionaries here in Guayquil Sur Misión is that our work doesn´t end in the waters of baptism, our work ends at the doors of the temple.
So in one year, that´s the goal!

This is why this mission is so great! The people here are so close to the spirit that when they hear the truth, they instantly want more and to be baptized. That is also why the goal here for invations to baptism Daily is 8. How bold, we have just met you for 5 minutes, maybe know your name and we are inviting you to be baptized. Go Loja! This is probably a really big area for two sets of Elders and two sets of Hermanas. But the Lord is helping us every step of the way! Our zone had 5 baptisms this week! One was a 9month (I´m pretty sure nine month because she could hardly walk) pregnant lady. Can you imagine what we did in that situation? And also I got to sing "When I am baptized" (I think that`s the name, I`m translating) in Spanish (The "I like to look for rainbows" one) Was it perfect? Absolutely not (Back to the nothing thing haha) but I had fun!
Now let`s all press on in the work of the Lord! So grateful for this absolutely maravilloso (because I can´t spell that in English) experience for a little 2 weeker in Ecuador. The rest of Alma 29 says something like this: That I may bring one of my brethren to the Lord. Now this is my Joy because I remember how merciful God has been to me.

I can´t do any of this without His help. Especially in spanish, my words without the spirit, as Paul explained it, a twinkling of a trumpet (so just nothing anyone wants to hear) I testify with all my heart, might, mind, and strength that This is the Gospel of Jesus the Christ. He lives. He loves you. And He is at the helm of this Church. The ability to participate in this work is wonderful. I know without a doubt in my mind that this is His work and His glory to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man. I am lifted up by him everyday. And lifted by the many prayers in my behalf and for His children. Thank you! Shout out to my wonderful family who raised me. Shout out to the people who have made me who I am today. And shout out to my mom: The apostles, your family, and I love you!

Les quiero mucho
Elder Alder

Ceviche de Camaron (this looks amazing!)

Monday, September 28, 2015


(said like Aloha if you didn´t get the joke)

Well Hola from Loja, Ecuador which is the southern end in the mountains-ish! It´s absolutely goregous here and I pretty much lucked out since most of the places here are hot and humid all the time! And at least for the first little while I get to train in the nice, slower talking people of Loja! 

Well let´s start with the temporal stuff and finish with the best spiritual things! So Once I arrived here in Loja, our whole group was met by our Presidente and his secretaries (is that how you spell that, every day my Spanish gets better and my English gets worse) and off we went for a training for the rest of the day! And one of the first things they said (then repeated a thousand times because it´s true) ¡Bien venidos al mejor misión en el Mundo!  And yep, this is the best mission in the world! (I´m not trying to offend anyone, your mission area was for you and this one is for me) This mission is bold. First Lección of the mission was "Your missionary work does not end in the baptismal waters, it ends at the Temple" So we even added to our objective: "... and endure to the end. Through the ordenanzas de salvación" Our Presidente is bold, his rules are strict and to a point because that is what will help us as missionaries. And for this mission we don´t invite people to be baptized by saying "Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ", nope takes to long, it´s "Will you be baptized the 24th of October" Bold. I love it! I know that Presidente Torres is called of God.
Now to Loja! We really on walk and take buses and taxis to get around here so after training we went straight to the Busport (because it is just as big as an airport) and took a 9 hour Bus ride from Guayquil  to Loja. And we got to our apartment at 4 in the morning! What a day! Started at 2 and ended at 4 the next morning, how I had energy was a milagro! Now real quick, our apartment in US standards is pretty shabby but it is proabably the nicest apartments on the block because our toliet has enough pressure to take the toliet paper with it! (Honestly a blessing!)

Okay spiritual time! As I have been learning spanish and the gospel, and going out everyday to strength this small branch in Loja through teaching less active members and investigators, through trying to understand the conversations going on around me and saying something when I hear what people are saying, I have been brought to ponder what really is my whole "might, mind, and strength" and how I actually give all of it. Blessed mission gave me a talk called the Fourth Missionary (I advise all to read it especially if you are serving a mission) It tells exactly how to give your all and that´s what I want to try to do every single day. I want to be able to say to my Father that every day I gave everything I could that day. And that is what turly makes a mission and especially a lifetime, or even a moment in our lives, the best it can be. A quote from C.S Lewis: The Lord says to us, "Give me all. I don´t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work: I want You... Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself, My will, shall become your will. My heart shall become your heart." 

Powerful, maravilloso. Give your all my friends and family and you will recieve much more in return.

This is my testimony
Now I would love for you to share your´s with me :)

Elder Alder

Oh btw, that´s a guinea pig

Welcome to Loja!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The arrival of Elder Alder

Devan has arrived in Ecuador!  Letter from his mission president is below:

Dear Brother and Sister Alder:
It was a very special experience to personally greet your sonElder Alder, at the airport upon his arrival in Guayaquil. We were impressed by his great spirit and desire to serve. We are grateful and humbled to have him serving here with us. 
From the airport we took him and the other missionaries downtown to the Guayaquil Temple for a picture.  We then went to a stake center to meet the office staff and take care of some paperwork, and orientation.  We enjoyed a great Ecuadorian dinner after which it was my privilege to interview your son as well as the other arriving missionaries.  What a nice experience it was to get to know your son and feel his outstanding missionary spirit! 
Later in the day, they were assigned companions for their first assignment. The next morning they traveled to their new area. Your son was assigned to the Loja Este Zone with Elder Barneyas his companion. The address for the mission office is Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission, Casilla 09-04-566, Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador.  If, in case of emergency, you need to contact your son, please call the mission office at 593-04-228-2454.
Your help in encouraging him in your letters to continue to serve faithfully, being completely obedient throughout his mission will be greatly appreciated. We know that he and the Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission will be in your prayers. We also know that the coming months will bring many blessings into your lives by your son´s faithful service and the sacrifice you are making for him to serve the Lord. Thank you very much for having prepared your son to withstand the rigors of missionary life and to now be serving with us.
May God bless you for your consecration towards furthering the Lord´s work.  We send our love and appreciation.
Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission
President Maxsimo C TorresSister Blanca T. Torres

Thursday, September 17, 2015

One More Day in the Colombian City!!!

By one more day I mean one more P-Day! Where did the time go?? Is it 6 weeks going fast for anyone else? jajaja. Well the CCM has been great to me! Good food, temple trips once a week. An CCM president who tells it how it is and has blest me with so much knowlege! Spanish training that I don´t think I could had anywhere else! Contacting real people on the streets of Bogota! Latinos who think singing Justin Bieber is about the worst sin anyone could commit! A district that has bonded pretty good! Teaching 3 investidagors and 2 menos activios. Also the Latinos trying to trade you money from their country for one dollar (which is usally a hundred dollars in their country haha) Cooks who know you know no spanish so they speak as fast as they can but in the end are really nice because they give you the recipe for their hot chocolate! And more spiritual knowledge and such a spiritual thirst (or hunger) that I´m pretty sure it will never end because there is so much to study!

Just wanted to share an life changing experience from a couple days ago! A miracle, not for me, but I walked away from it a different person! So every two weeks another group of Latinos comes through the CCM, this will be the third and last for me! Each group has a different personality and honestly something to learn from them. This final week, my companion and I are in a room of just Latinos, it´s really helping me with my spanish! One of the elder´s in our room was Elder Ruiz. Energetic, always talking, wanted to learn english so bad, he was so energetic that he forgot some of the rules! One of the greatest guys! One night, we walked in the room to find him lying down like he was sick. We did a little companion swap so his companion could go get ready for bed. As I was writing in my journal, he jumped up, kind of shouted, and ran out the room before I could even say his name. We found him later crying holding his head on the stairs saying his head hurt really bad. We were told to go to bed and at 1 in the morning, I saw president carrying him in with some other elders, he had passed out because of the pain. It wasn´t till the next day that I found out what kind of pain. On Sunday, he seemed to be just fine until the night. Then as we were getting ready to watch our Sunday movie. We found him in our room hurled over in a pain I couldn´t describe but I will try to. He was shaking, yelling, had no control of his hands or legs. It was the most horrific thing I think I´ve seen anyone go through. The latinos keep saying that it was the work of satan. As we held him down for an hour until the medics came, all I could think was that he was such a beloved son of god and was going to be a wonderful missionary to be going through this pain. (He is fine now, headed back to his home country to get some tests and then back to the mission field) Why do I tell all of you this? For one reason. Count your many blessings and name them one by one. I have never seen anything like what my dear friend went through and it just made me so grateful for the blessings that God grants me, and from my time in the CCM, it has been a lot!

Next thing learned from the CCM! A Scripture! D&C 121:45: "Let they bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let  virture garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall they condifence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the preisthood shal distil upon they soul as the dews of heaven." 
Okay you could spend hours on this one verse! Charity (I try to pray for it every day, caridad) The household of faith (come on members, why are we so hard on each other...) Virture garnishing our thoughts (probably the most important part! Without the spirit, you shall not teach) Doctrine of the preisthood (great talk by Bruce R Mckonkie) But I want to focus on the dews of heaven! If I haven´t said it already, learning a language is really tough! But here are two dews of heaven that I´ve seen. During one lesson, our teacher had us teach in english! WHAT? What a relief! Everyone in the first couple weeks always thinks a English mission would be eaiser but this changed my mind entirely. As I taught I had this new pool of words and I completely relied on myself and not the spirit, I was saying to much! The teacher noticed and told me to stop and try again three times! What a testimony builder! By small and simple things are great things brought to pass! The spirit can work through me because I won´t know a lot for a while! I am blest to be speaking Spanish! Second dew from heaven, We had our last teaching lesson yesterday (meaning my companion and I taught) after the lesson our teach evaluated us and said something like: "You know I was listening to the lesson and thought, wow, their spanish is really clear and they are asking really good questions"
I was so surprised, my spanish is clear? Really? You never see dew coming until the morning and only when you look really closely. Spanish will be hard for awhile but if I look closely, I will see the distil of dew everyday!

My testimony of this gospel is increasing by every hour! I´m kind of scared for the mission field but super excited! Especially if my first companion doesn´t know English! (I´ll just make him hot chocolate in the morning and it will be okay! If you guys have time, set aside sometime to really dive down in the scriptures! Personal and with someone! You will be amazed what the gospel can do for you and your day! 

Elder Alder

District Selfie!

District Temple trip

Getting through traffic

Mios Maestros

Mios Maestros

Mios Maestros