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Monday, July 17, 2017

The Recipe of a Champion

No, Sushi isn´t the recipe that I was talking about, even though is really good and I´m pretty sure eating sushi everyday would transform anyone into a champion but no it´s a different recipe. 

The recipe that I am talking about is found in the 8th chapter of Preach My Gospel. And it something that has been engraven on my heart working here in Ecuador for two years. It says there that a good goal is one that is reasonable, specfic, and that we are committed to achieve the goal. (Elder Ballard helped me understand a lot about goals during conference) But the recipe of a Champion are put a little better in the words of my dear companion Elder Vieyra, "A Champion gives ALL that he can, and then, a little more" You have to love old companions that become assistants that call you every now and then to invite you to "give a little more" one last time. 

I have mixed emotions coming to the last week of my mission. I want to smile, laugh, rejoice, sing, cry, and above all I want to give a little more. This week has to be the best week of my mission. As our mission President taught us (did I already mention this?) this is the time to seal alllll the work that we have done. I´m excited to seal it. I´m ready to run as fast as I can and THEN a little more. We already have so many things planned. We have divisions with the zone leaders and the assistants. Baptism on saturday (your prayers would be more than helpful) and I think I will be having my last interview with President here soon! What a rush! What an honor! "what a lamb!" (anyone remember that?) 

But as the famous conversation between Ammon and Aaron, "wow cool it Elder Alder, don´t let it go to your head!" Don´t worry, Elder Bednar in January taught every single missionary that ALL success is GRANTED by the Lord. Always. Forever. 
His is my light. His is the light to all the world and thanks to Him, my mission has been absolutely wonderful and it doesn´t end here!

Thank you for all your support! See you sooner than I think!

Elder Devan Alder






Monday, July 10, 2017

Back in Time

What a week! I really don´t know how to describe in words how I´ve felt this week! I certianly can´t keep up with all that is going on! 

Let´s describe the title first.

About a year ago (maybe more), after the visit of Elder Rasband, we had a little good-bye for President Torres with the Whole mission in a certain stake center in our mission. In that Stake Center, we heard some powerful last testimonies of some of the elders and sisters that would be ending their mission soon. It was a powerful meeting. The testimonies were strong and you could tell they were dedicated missionaries. And in our heart (well at lest mine), the meeting left a feeling of: "I hope I can work hard my entire mission to be able to have a testimony as strong as their´s"
Well, in that same stake center, this last Friday, I had my last Multi-Zone Conference with President Moreno and his dear wife. And I gave my "last testimony"... Sad right? (I´m sorry, I know it´s happy for the whole world, and myself included, to be able to come home, but as a missionary, it´s really quite the saddest thing) I did my best and I hope my dear missionaries here could feel the spirit. The best part was having old companions there crying with you, that helped. I couldn´t help but cry the whole confernece especially as we sang "I stand all amazed", that was the hardest song I have had to sing without crying in a loooong time!

Yeah, crying over at least for right now! Time to get to the track again and run as hard as I can! "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life" I hope to be able to say this with true intent and with faith and actions to be able to help someone! There are still people here and as President talk us this week, Every sector and the work we do there will be recorded above, so make it count! 

I am so grateful for every prayer and letter that y´all have given me. It really helps and you (and I really) have no idea what kind of effect it has on a missionary. I hope and pray that I can understand and apply the teachings of Elder Utchdorf when he said "The most important calling in the world is the one that you have right now" 

I love you all! Keep it up!

Elder Devan Alder


Monday, July 3, 2017

It's July???

Even though it hasn´t felt that long, you can tell that it has been almost two years when a member family that you met and taught at the start of your mission, goes to live in Utah for some reasons that you didn´t have a chance to talk with  them about. And that family lives in Utah for a year and a half, they meet your family, eat ecuadorian dinner with them, enjoy the utah snow, and then in your last sector they come back to ecuador saying "Hey! we were just in Utah, we saw and talked with your family". 
The Sanchez family! What a crazy experience! I didn´t even think I was going to see them again! What a great love I felt to see them again and it also made me feel like I have been here on the mission a little longer than I thought! 

I really don´t like talking about the "lasts" but this was my last fast and testimony Sunday on the mission and I actually felt super sad. I love bearing my testimony and I couldn´t let the oportunity pass! I felt the spirit super strong and I am so glad for every chance I have to say what I believe!

This week we decieded to look for new investigators in a new way! We printed out the branch Directory and we went searching! One great experience from that was when we visited a 30 year old man that was baptized when he was 11 years old. He sure thought that the church had forgotten about him but they haven´t. We just happen to go to his house the birthday of his daughter or otherwise, because of work, we would never find him. We shared a scripture of how the Lord prepares the way for ALL His children to find the truth. We testified that his wife and children would come to know the gospel through him in this time. It was a great lesson and as I gave the closing prayer, I couldn´t help but feel God´s love as I heard the husband cry.

I almost forgot to mention  (which explains one of the pictures) This week we went on a 5 hour split with James from Idaho. How is this possible?? There is a charity foundation here in Ecuador called FAOM (Not sure if that is how you spell it but that´s how it sounds) It´s baiscally only members but it is also filled with people who served here in Ecuador 25 years ago. SO a big group of Utahns, Californians, and Idaho people came here with their dentist, house builder, nurse parents to help all the children  and kids getting ready for their missions! We  got to sing for them as a Guayquil mission and President spoke to them. I really loved one of his words: he turned to us and said "I have a lot of missionaries that have asked me what a succesful missionary does and looks like. Well look at FAOM and their families. These are succesful missionaries"
If I want all that I have done here count for something, I have to stay faithful forever! (isn´t that true with our baptismal covenant)

It´s so marvelous to be out here. I would say that you are all missing out. But in reality, no matter where you are. In a place where everyone is a member or accross the seas where no one isn´t, as baptized disciples of Christ we can looking and find people that will listen to the light of Christ they have inside of them and BOOM you are a missionary. The first seconds are hard  but as you open your mouth to say "hello" suddenly everything becomes easy.

Love you all! 

Elder Devan Alder

The rest of the pictures is our little district in the Mall de Sur. I will sadly not be eating Wendys in Ecuador right now. James and I. And the Sanchez family, they have changed a lot! 












Monday, June 26, 2017

Just keep swimming

Good Afternoon!!! I´m so used to saying that to everyone on the street and they still look at me weird. I think it´s a sign of the future, hahaha

This week was wonderful, I love Guayquil. One because the fruit is ALWAYS fresh! Two, the members are strong to the bone and sometimes it just takes a hello to help us remember who we are and to what we are called to do. We organized one day to preach with our branch president almost the whole day and it was quite amazing. Our branch president is 24 years old, returned missionary and he has two little girls.. (talk about a "get to it" kind of guy) He is so amazing and almost all of our investigators that he met got really excited to go to church and participate in all the church has to offer. Branch Presidents have power! 

On wednesday we had a special Training with just our zone and the two assitants (Elder Vieyra my old companion is now AP congrants!!!) I couldn´t help but smile the entire time and I really felt the spirit so strong! One of the things that I am learning and teasuring is the phrase from the scriptures "Tresure the words of Life" The most important hour of my day is Personal study, without a doubt. And any other second I get a chance to read the General Confernce talks or read from the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, I feel energized with Spirit  and I am ready for a days work! It´s a powerful phrase.

We also had a Trip to Hawaii this week! (And we didn´t even say "Aloha" Sorry grandma and grandpa) But is was a great activity! as you can see there are A LOT of people that came. The fun part was that it was about the 3 kingdoms of glory. (We flew in a plane to hawaii, got on the plane again and everyone "died" hehe) And for the Celestial Glory we needed a celestial choir right? Well out of the whole zone, I am the only one that sings, so I got 3 musical numbers! haha. (But my voice isn´t as celestial as before, I am out of practice like 2 years!) 

As far as the work goes in the branch, it is progressing step by step but we haven´t lost our faith! On sunday we went less active looking, we were looking for one lady forever and when we finally got to the house, someone came out to greet us telling us that the lady we were looking for had passed away three years ago... sad and uncomfortable. But as we keep talking to the daughter, she started opening up and telling us of all the challenges that she has a single mother of two daughters. She was definetly prepared by the Lord because she was going to the Baptist church and still wanted to hear us (Half the people here say they are from another church and don´t want anything haha) I know that the Lord is always preparing people for HIS church. 

Thanks for all your love and your support. I hope that we can all keep holding on the the Iron Rod because that´s what the Lord wants us to do these  6 months!

Love you all :)

Elder Devan Alder

These are a couple of photos from the stake activity we had. I apologize for the quality of these photos









Monday, June 19, 2017

Much Prayer and Fasting

What a marvelous week! What a marvelous country! What marvelous weather (finally)! And what a work and a wonder! (I such hope I spelled marvelous right or this will be very embarrasing...)

This week I learned a couple of things. One, I can not physically eat an Ecuadorian lunch and dinner everyday for one week. Two, this branch is sooooooo small that everyone knows each other. Everyone knows where you live. And everone knows who you are. Three, when I have a companion that is from the States, everyone thinks I am from the States as well. When I have a companion from South America, everyone thinks I am from Argentina or Guatamala! That´s a blessing! Four, when you ask the Lord with faith and the request is just, with work, He will always give it to you.

As I got to this little district, I realized that my companions (there are four of us in the department) haven´t seen or experienced the true success that we can have as missionaries here in Guayquil. And after a couple of days of contacting and saying hi to EVERYONE (because usually everyone responds back at least in my mission) I thought to myself: "What happened to Guayquil?"  I will keep saying hi to everyone  because everyone´s faces are really funny. I was kind of stressed out for the lack of people that we were finding in the sector. So time to pull The "Alma guns" with a little more prayer and a fast. Looking looking looking and SUNDAY in the morning as we go walk the sector a couple times before 10 o´clock church, we found a young looking fellow (told you my english is great) that had been to church a LONG time ago but he wanted to go. We walked with him and half way between the church and his house, our new investigator saw his buddy, asked him what he was doing and invited him to church! In the matter of 20 minutes the Lord had doubled our work! Miracles happen but not because everytime I fast a person gets baptized. Miracles are given to those who believe and who work (and don´t forget that the Lord has to give the "Okay") I´m not perfect. I want to be someday. I just want to be the Lord´s servant right now and forever. I know He lives because I see His hand in His work daily. Why can´t that be how it works everyday for the rest of our lives!

(I ask for more time in the day and the weeks but that hasn´t happened yet, hehe)

Love you all and thank you for every encouraging comment! You are my fuel! 

Elder Devan Alder

Pictures: Welcome to Guayquil and Soccer hahaha :)

Happy Fathers day with our Branch Mission Leader (If you didn´t wish my dad happy birthday, Do it! :))




Monday, June 12, 2017

TRANSFERS?

Well I am kind of surprised but at the same time not really! Six weeks ago when they told me that my next companion was going to be Elder Milne, I knew that I would be transferred at this time. How were we both going to end in the same sector. I kind of convinced myself that I would stay in Santa Rosa somehow but nope. "My ways are not Your ways" So the Lord has sent me to..... Guayaquil! Back to home court! My new companion is..... Elder Alanya! From Peru! He has almost a year in the mission and we were in the same zone when I was training (In 15 days my trainee Elder Salazar hits his year mark! How crazy!) Well we are in a smalllllll ity bity branch in Guayaquil. We are the only branch in the Stake so I think we have some good work to do. Actually I KNOW that we have A LOT to do. So much to do and not enough time. 

This week as you can see in the pictures. We had Zone confernece with President and his wife. We all went to Machala to see them. I love working with President! It´s literally the best thing and you really feel the spirit sooo strong! I felt the impression during the conference that callings in the church are always about worthiness. Why is a mission president soo great or why is our stake president such a spiritual guy that we can talk to? It´s becuase they need a level of worthiness to be able to call missionaries, move them around, find people to keep the stake going. Worthiness is power. 

So I, as a missionary, as a member of the Church, as a brother, son, should have a level of worthiness so I can recognize the impressions of the spirit everyday and not miss one! We never know when just one of our words can change the lives of another person. OR when someone asks you for a priesthood blessing, Experience!
So about a month ago, the sister of an older lady in the ward that is in a wheelchair that I got to know in Machala, asked us for a blessing before an operation that she was going to have. She isn´t member but knew that we give blessings. We went to her house, I annoited her and she looked up saying "why did I just get dizzy?" I said that maybe it was because we hadn´t finished the blessing. My companion gave the blessing. Our hands felt super warm. Someone came slamming on the door during the blessing 3 times and I was just praying sooo hard that the lady wouldn´t get up. She didn´t and after the blessing, she explained that she felt this heat from us and that all around us, she saw (or felt) white. Like she was in heaven. It was a great experience and I know that the power comes from Heaven as we are worhty to hold it!

We also had a baptism this Saturday of two great kids! They came to church so diligently and the mom who isn´t a member yet because of her husband, literally cried when her children asked if they could get baptized. They are so wonderful!

The other picture, Santa Rosa 1st Branch! They are so great! Love them all but now it´s time to love another people!

Thanks for all you do for me :)

Elder Devan Alder








Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Blessings of the Lord

What a wonderful week! It went by so fast (I keep saying that don´t I?)

Well today was about the most fun P-Day ever! Haha, we all laugh here seeing what other missionaries do for fun on preperation day. They go bowling, hiking, eating. But the funniest thing here is.... Helping the sisters move houses, hahaha!
The missions president wife stayed one day with the sisters last month and knew the second she walked in that they needed to move houses. So All day today, we have been moving things from house to house. And while we were getting ready to move the sisters, the office called saying that some missionaries in the zone had transfers. So let´s say we have been running allllll day long, and I love it! Being busy is the best! And we definitely have a busy week ahead of us! We have Leadership Council, exchanges, a Baptism, and District Conference (because we aren´t a stake just yet) And one sister from the branch is headed to her mission next week so we organized a farewell because farewells here are VERY differnet then back home. It´s more of a church matter than a family matter! 

But Back to the Past (we were back in the Future the last couple of sentences. (¡Cheers for Devan´s jokes!) As you see from the pictures, we ate a lot, as always. And the lights went out one day and it´s always fun to take candle pictures! But the lights going out, didn´t stop us from eating our Squid and Shark Soup. (How many times am I going to eat Shark in my life?? It tasted like fish... who would of thunk?) Also, one of my great friends got baptized! The sisters were teaching him and I got to know him with the other elders were teaching him. But he is super funny and I will always remember him and his great testimony!

Spiritual message of the week: Don`t underestimate the power of prayer and the preisthood. If you need a blessing, don`t hesitate to ask for it! Power things happen when we look for the direct help of the Lord!

Love you all more than you may know! 

Elder Devan Alder








Monday, May 29, 2017

Visits

Super exciting title right?? 

I´m getting more and more creative...

No it´s actually a really great title if you were here with us! Remember the great couple that we found last week? Nick and Joyce? Well, we keep seeing them during the week and they keep taking us in their car everywhere that we ask them. We haven´t really had time to teach them because they have been so busy WITH THE MEMBERS (I mean we are members too but can you see how the members can take two investigators and treat them as friends and members. And all of the sudden two investigators are more active than anyone else. Just because two members include them in Everything. If you don´t know how that works, let me show you) Well the Elders Quorum had a soccer tournament this week that they included Nick in one of the teams. The soccer field was on the property of the Branch President and everyday the members took nick and joyce to help clean up and get the soccer field all ready for the activity. Sometimes we call nick and joyce and they tell us "Sorry we can´t have you guys over tonight because we are headed out with the members for dinner" What a wonderful excuse! And then Sunday they left with us to go visit people! Wait wait wait... Investigators going on visits with the missionaries... The church is so perfect and if we, as members do our part, it becomes Zion! 

We also, with guidence from our mission president, didn´t do any exchanges with any of the zone. So had a week to ourselves! What a blessing (just because I think this is the first time in 8 months without an exchange one week) I could really focus on studying and listening to the spirit. What an amazing feeling it is to be reading the scriptures and then all of the sudden you find the answer to your prayers. I´m not sure I really learned (meaning recieved a testimony) of writing down spiritual impressions, but thanks to the mission, I have one! 
EVERYONE, go and buy a little notebook so that you don´t lose any of those impressions, they can come any time in the day, so be ready! 

I also am soooo happy for this family to be baptized! Elder Clayton told us in 2016 that less active members are a gold mine of investigators. And that promised was fulfilled! A less active member got back to church. Got his family home evenings going AND he got to baptize and confirm his dear children. It was an honor to stand in the circle giving them the Holy Ghost as the Lord spoke through their father that his son would serve a mission. A wonderful spirit! 

And finally, my companion and I found in DVD general conference from 2008 and we have been watching the whole and I realized how much I really do LOVE conference. We have almost 200 years of scriptures from the prophets and the most important from April of this year! Got to find more time to listen more!

As I pray at night, the smile of Elder Christofferson comes into my mind when I ask for Charity. And I imagine myself looking at your faces and smiling :) You all are my motivation and thank you for all you do. Known and Unknown!

Love you

Elder Devan Alder

And the pictures are to give you all an idea of what we eat here. RICE 






Monday, May 22, 2017

Listen To The Spirit

What a wonderful, rainy, hot week here in Ecuador. I am just loving it. It is so great to feel "Hey I need to get better at this" and then a week later it happens! 

Well I don´t think I have explained this yet. (If I have I apologize, I am forgetting a lot of things like how to spell words haha) Our mission President has been praying and has asked us a mission that everyday we can talk with 3 new people every day and get an appointment with that person. Well let´s get to work! My companion and I made it our personal goal everyday and... Miracles!!

We had an exchange with the elders of the Second Branch and while we were contacting we passed a house that was playing english music, but we didn´t knock on the door that week. The next day we were contacting again and the thought came in to the mind. "Go knock on the door where you heard the music" Yeah, let´s go! We went and a 19 year old girl came out and told us how her husband and her had recently lost their first child at birth and that her husband didn´t want to talk to anyone. Well we talked a little bit and asked if we could come back. She said yes. After we left (they told us a little later) the couple talked in their house about us and I guess we did a good job. They left the house looking for us. The next day (I thought I heard that it was the girl´s birthday) So I had the feeling that we should buy them cake. We took them the cake and turns out that it was the husband´s birthday and we were the two of 6 people that told him happy birthday. We became friends really fast. (The husband is 20 years old so how can you not become friends!) We set a time to go take a church tour because they live like 5 mins from the chapel. and we went. We went to the church tour with a youngerish member that made friends super quick with Nick (the investigator). They told us that they were waiting all day for the church tour with excitement! In the church they committed to go to church. Sunday comes and they just loved it! The branch was doing a soccer tournament and EVERYONE fought over Nick to be on their soccer team. 

The Lord prepares His children. He knows them. He wants them in His church as much (I think way more) as we do. But Heavenly Father waits until His children invite their brothers and sisters to church. He wait until WE listen to His spirit and follow what He tells us. It´s works everytime, we just have to learn to listen. I hope and pray that I can listen harder to be able to have even more trust from the heavens. He lives! He loves us! Let us just show our love to Him. 

Love you all and hope to hear from you :)

Elder Devan Alder

Pictures: A wonderful family that I got to know in Machala whose mother lives in our zone!
Got Guanabana Juice?
Our landlords went to New York and they brought us Peanut Butter!







Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother, I love you, I do

I hope everyone remembers that song from Primary. I didn´t end up singing that song for my mother last night...haha. But my companion and I sang that song a lot for our "mamita" that gives us food everyday. We sang it for my companion´s mother and we also sang it for a bunch of old ladies (one of which I got to know in machala who is a member but the rest of her 5 older sisters are DEFINITELY not members, haha) What a sweet spirit the Primary songs have. Honestly I kind of felt like the Christmas Skype was yesterday. Time is flying by soooo fast!

We had leadership council this week and it was wonderful! I love working with President and it is always a rush to see all the leadership of this mission. At this point in the mission it is also very exciting to see all the new elders and sisters that they are assigning as leaders. Especially becuase in a couple of months A LOT of the leaders won{t be here anymore. The mission is amazing and I can´t imagine how a mission president feels to work with missionaries and then the next second ALL of those missionaries have gone away. What a great calling!

I am grateful for a branch that is super close to being a ward because we can really focus on missionary-member work without any problems. We are finding less active members that wanted to come back but they were just waiting for someone to visit them (which was us!) The Lord can lead every single one of us to those in need. And there are more in need than we know.

One thing that we learned in leadership council is that LOVE is the fuel of the Lord´s work. (It´s really charity but that´s only because this world doesn´t know that true love is charity and nothing else) Well I was thinking, pondering, and studying and it is true! Why does the majority of the missionaries work a little harder after mother´s day skype? Because they just felt a sincere love from their family. This work runs on Love. Which means life should run on love and eternal life is.. well you get the picture! 

I "love" you all haha

Elder Devan Alder

Pictures: a family found by an activity in the church and Squid soup :) 











Monday, May 8, 2017

Pray and Sacrifice (and Smores!)

Well this week flew by! Like always! There is a Hymn in Spanish that I think is in English too but I learned it in Spanish first. "Hay poco tiempo" There is not enough time to do all that I want to do and sometimes things come up and we get stuck not doing anything (For example we had a marriage in the branch which was great and all as you can see from the pictures and right after the wife got baptized and it was so wonderful to see them and I´m not complaining but we were there 4 hours as you can also see with my companion and I waiting for our fancy dinner :)) I just feel like there is sooooo much to do and not enough time in the week! 

Another thing I learned this week is that Ecuador does not have smores and if you do a fireside for the branch that you should probably explain to all the members how to make a smore or they will start burning the marshmellows and puting the cracker on the stick with the cookie. It was a disaster but hilarous.

Spritiual experience to name one (Becuase there was a lot like taxi drivers not asking for money for the ride or people giving us food without us asking) But one night we were walking home and a son of a member walked up to us and told us to visit him. He was a little drunk but started crying as he talked about his problems and how he had seperated from his wife and was about ready to kill himself.. Pretty rough right? Thanks to our Heavenly Father, he found us and now we are teaching him. He is a great man and we pray that his faith and a little fasting on our part with lift him out of his problems.

I would love to be here in Ecuador longer! (Don´t tell my mom okay?) :)

Love you all and hope and pray that we can each pray a little more feverently

Elder Devan Alder











Monday, May 1, 2017

Bye Lamb, Hello Bingham!

Well I think everyone hears from missionaries that this was the craziest week! And it´s very true! Every week has turns and slides and every week goes by crazier and crazier (and for me faster and faster) 
The title is saying goodbye to Elder Cordero. A great missionary and a great friend. He was my assistant and a great companion for 6 weeks. It´s always a great encouragement to see elders who finish their missions kicking. He definitely kicked all his mission and was really a great example to me!
A couple of weeks ago, I felt like one of the other AP´s was going to be my companion. but my new companion is.... drum roll... ELDER MILNE. Well I know that doesn´t mean much to the public but let me explain a little bit. One, if you didn´t get from the title, he is from South Jordan, Utah and graduated from Bingham High (Shout out for the Miners(At least Herriman won State in 2015 right?)) The next surprising thing is that Elder Milne and I got here to Ecuador the same day. We also got to the MTC the same day (differnet countries though). And with the knowledge that I have, we will be flying to Utah the same day as well.... aaaa...Don´t ask me! It´s the Lord´s will! I am actually super excited to work with him! Great elder and we have A LOT of work ahead of us in our wonderufl zone. 
Today, as well, we have the blessing to have two sisters in the branch as well! That is 6 missionaries here in the small branch (4 elders and 2 sisters)! The branch also is very excited for this type of missionary fire! I am too! 

Well as you can see with the pictures. Elder Cordero was very loved here and they made ALOT of food for us. I know some missionaries are always hungry but here that is certainly not the case. 

This is a very blest city and we are seeing a lot of blessings with contacting and working by oursleves. But we are working a whole lot more on working with the members, It´s the best way to do it and that is what the Lord wants for His church. The members look. The missionaries teach. And the House of Israel comes together a whole lot faster than we thought!

I love it! I absoluetly love being here and I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me!

Love to hear what the Lord has in Store for you all!

Love Elder Devan Alder 













Monday, April 24, 2017

"I Hope They Call Me on a Mission"

I would just love to remind all those who are reading that there are few places on this world that a young person can feel closer to you our Creator. The funny thing is that I could be in Ecuador, Australia, Germany, Africa, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru, Utah, California, New York, Italy, South Korea (Just to name a few, hehe) And if I leave the house with a companion, talking with people about the only truth that will take them to return to their Father in Heaven, come back home, study the scriptures with the intent to spiritually help the people we are teaching as well as study to change the faults and weaknesses of us. Then end every night on our knees pleading with the Lord that He may help these wonderful people and that He may change our hearts.

I love Ecuador. I can literally stop people in the streets while they are carrying their heavy bags of food to their houses and they listen without grief. We bug EVERY taxidriver about where they live and they respond with such a trust that no "Gringo" would ever respond. Just today, we were buying a new fan for the house and the man that didn´t work their asked from us where we're are from. He gave us his number and told us exactly where he lives to go visit him. I couldn´t be more humbled to be where I am.

This week we had a pizza night and the First fireside that I have ever done in my mission. In the fireside we talked more about Christ and His Resurrection (To give the members a little more Easter Spirit because last week we kind of missed it) 
It went really well and we felt the spirit really strong. Best part was at the end, one of the members got her mission call and decided to open it at the Fireside. She is headed to Paraguay in a month. And as she was reading the calling, it reminded me of the day I read it, feels like yesterday. What a spirit and we were all pretty happy!

Our investigators are doing really great and I am so excited to see their progress this next month! (My companion won´t get to see their progress because he ends his mission next week)

There is no other thing better than dedicating your life to the Lord. Now the question is ¿How? I love this work and I know that His hand is in this work. Love you and thank you for your many prayers! They are working!

Elder Devan Alder

Sorry I only have pictures from the pizza activity!





Monday, April 17, 2017

Abide with me

Well even though we got the 3 Guayquil Missions together to see Elder Christofferson, I still, by chance, just happened to be the first person to shake hands with the Apostle of the Lord. I almost had a heart attack!

This week was one of the busiest, greatest weeks ever! Exchanges on Wednesday. Friday with our Easter Missionary Activity. With Singing, balloons, candy, choirs, a christian band, and 10 missionaries contacting like mad. Traveling to Guayaquil that same day. Practicing with the missionary choir (Love those missionaries, didn´t take a picture, oops, but I can say that we had a wonderful spiritual experience together. Saturday, 500 missionaries in one stake center. and me flinging my hands around in front of all those missionaries, the area presidency and Elder Christofferson (Don´t forget his wife!) I felt the spirit so strong leading that song. Why can´t I sing like that every time? I didn´t see the Apostle´s face during the performance but as we sat down (I was on the front row to the left) Elder Christofferson looked at me with such a smile. His smile reminded me of Alma 5. Have you recieved the light of Christ in your face? (I know that`s not the quote but I don`t know how to translate it in English) He mentioned how we are companions with the 12 in their mission to spread the world His truth. His main messaje was that the highest honor form God is to hear "in whom I am well pleased" And that the Lord was pleased with our efforts. What a strong spirit. I would just like to follow the 12 around the rest of my life.

Not to mention we had 2 baptisms in our branch this Wednesday too. The other elders and us. There we A LOT of people in that baptismal service that I have 4 inches to stand and see I like to Look for Rainbows. 

I love this work! I love this Church! I know it´s true and it doesn´t have to be a cheesy thing that we say to people. We can mean it. Last quote from Elder Christofferson: The Lord can only bless us to the level that we are prepared. 
Prepare well and the blessing come like rain and heat here in Santa Rosa :)

Love you all :)

Elder Alder





Monday, April 10, 2017

Miracles and singing for ¡Elder Christofferson!

Let´s just meditate for a second. Take a minute and step into my shoes as you read this. Okay, so we head to Guayquil for Leadership Council. We are feeling the spirit. Learning how to get better at being misisonaries. We finish the first half and my mission President calls me. Shows me the order of the meeting with the Apostle D. Todd Christofferson that we are going to have THIS SATURDAY. Just to THIS mission! and then says: "Elder Alder I need you to organize a choir to sing a special number to sing in the meeting" 
I think I couldn´t sleep that night... I am serious, I was SUPER nervous! This saturday we get to hear from a special witness of our Lord Jesus Christ and if the musical number is a wreck, on whose head is it on?? MINE. But I guess if it turns out good, props! I can not describe in words how excited and humbled I feel to have this amazing oportunity! I live in Utah but the first 2 apostles that I get to see are in the mission! What an honor! And I am scared out of my mind! This week will definitely be the best week of my life!

And we are just getting started! Not to even mention the miracles that happened this week. Our mission president has asked us by revelation that everyday we contact and make an appointment with that person 3 times! And to be honest at first I thought it was a good idea. But with the help of president, my companion, and the example of Nephi (3:7) I made it personal goal this week and we started talking to everyone! In the bus, on the street, while eating hamburgers, everywhere. During the last two weeks, we hadn´t found any investigators that were progressing at all and I was kind of worried. But the Lord shook His head and thought "Devan thinks he can do it all" and one night while we were waiting for the bus to go home (This was actually last Monday) after talking to everyone. A man called us from the other side of the street. (Usually when people want to talk to us, it is beacuase they want money or they are drunk) Well we crossed the street to talk to him and "Hey, I need to go to a church. I need to change my life around and I have always wanted to talk to you guys but I was afraid." Young guy with his wife and 8 year old daughter, ALL went to church yesterday and they are progressing super fast! The Lord blesses us when we are obedient to HIS commandments. (Sometimes it´s fast like this wonderful family or sometimes it comes a long time after) The principle is that we have to work hard and in the Lord´s time, He blesses us.
Or I could mention the sister who has been coming to church for the last two months with her daughter and her wife that are active members and she is the only one who isn´t a member. And we go to eat lunch with them this Sunday and at the end of the lunch the daughter asks: "What does my mom have to do to get baptized?" We invited her to be baptized and she said Yes! 
I feel like Alma, Ammon, Amulek, especially when they fell to the ground with such joy! Sometimes I don´t understand the blessings that God gives to His missionaries. Or the trials. But someday I will understand.

Speaking of understanding, the first picture is of members from a previous sector (Huaquillas) that I happened to bump into. 2 OF THEM I got the amazing chance to start teaching them and see them go to church twice and then TRANSFERS. They got baptized shortly after that and I will always hold them dear in my heart.

And not to mention the brownies I made this week,haha

Love you all, wish me luck!

Elder Devan Alder