Monday, January 30, 2017

CHANGES and rain

Well to join my wonderful missionary friends in telling all of you that the WHOLE mission world changed their daily schedule. If you didn´t know, guess what? Two more hours on Preperation day! Surprise and happy birthday! 
Also, missionaries have a little more flexible in what they do with the time as a missionary. When they study, when they plan. Everyone...except us that is. We are still following the normal daily schedule up to this point. We might have a say in it when we go to Leadership Council this wednesday but things might just stay the same for us! Some good changes and hopefully we can be mature and work even harder!

This week was very exciting! Went by faster than I can think and I really don´t like thinking about it so it goes even faster! On the side of investigators, we weren´t finding new investigators as fast as we wanted to so the week seemed kind of down at first but then we got all encouraged with the Worldwide Transmision (I love listening to General Authorities, it makes me want to dedicate every possible second to the Lord for the rest of my life. THAT is true joy) But towards the end of the week we had two miracles for us. We had a mother and her son finally comitt to be baptized this month (they have been asisting for a while)  And on Sunday we go to pick up an old investigator for church (not old that he has been investigating for a while. Old like 84 years old. But he says that he will live like his father that lived to be 124 years old. Do we believe him? Not sure, haha) AND the whole family came to church! Why? Well lets go back a couple of days. For some reason the people we are giving blessings have a lot of faith because the next day they are healed. We go to teach old Carlos (that´s the old man´s name) And the member that lives there asks us to give her daughter a blessing. During the blessing the tears of the daughter start coming down and Sunday she brings her husband and a lot of random children and family. They got to church 40 minutes early! "Count your blessings" and if you don´t watch out! 

Elder Bednar said something this Wednesday that I liked from Alma 26. God ALLOWS success. We do everything we can and He decides if we are succesful. ANY success that a missionary has had is because God allowed it! In reality we hardly do anything. I feel like God just blesses us to be in the right place and see miracles. I love the Book of Mormon that has taught me these things. "All remember your nothingness my son" He allowed me to be here and I will serve with all my might so that He may allow me to see success!

Love you all, hope the best for all!

Elder Alder :)

Pictures: Zone power!
World, THAT is a Mango
We have a great Bishop that took us to the beach or our zone "Beach Coconut"

Monday, January 23, 2017

White Week

Well what a wonderful week! SUPER BUSY, but amazing! We start off the week on Tuesday, with the visit of our Wonderful President Moreno and his wife and our wonderful assistants! What a conference! And I don´t know why it´s so easy to recieve personal revelation in such a big setting! SO I tried to listen to the spirit a little harder this week and I felt the same in my personal study! (Lesson learned!) We also got there and the other zone leaders said, "Hey, Elder Alder, did you prepare your Preach My Gospel instruction that you will be giving to the Multi-Zone Confernece of 5 zones...." Thanks for the heads up... Couple of seconds, BOOM, "Listen" in chapter 10! Went great and the help of president backed me up with a "DO THIS WITH YOUR COMPANIONS PLEASE" was great and during the whole conference, "Remember the Listen lesson" I blush... But that`s what happens when you tell me a the last moment! Kind of went Hastag Famous.... (as much as you can here in Ecuador) 
Anyways, We then had interviews with President which was amazing! (And in the end kind of sad because they took out one of our wonderful "Greenies" and sent him to the other  zone and sent our zone the a missionary ending his mission (Nah, I`m kidding he is a good elder!) 

Thursday we were SO lucky to participate in the Baptism of Maria, thank you for your prayers! There were a ton of people in the baptism and a couple of investigators as well! She was super happy too, she has wanted to be baptized for awhile now. Even if we told everyone to get there at 7 amd everyone got there at 8:30.... Mormon plus Ecuadorian time (I love these people :) haha) 

And on saturday we got invited to the sealing of a dear member (Obviously I was sad of losing my buddy as you can see in the picture) But it was SUPER amazing. First sealing that I got to be apart of! And I loved it! What an amazing ordaince that NO ONE else has! It was a great help to be able to testify this week: "Come to church because you can be sealed in the temple and recieve ALL the Father has! A little more important than how many likes you got on instagram this week!" Just love the gospel and love the blessings it brings us. 

And what a marvelous time to be able to spend all my time thinking "What does this person need to change their heart" and at the end of the day realize that I was the one the changed. I have a lot left to change but at least I know Í am on the path of change. And hopefully in the end we can all be like Christ and say "Follow me" and not "He is over there"

Love you more than you know! 

Elder Alder (The fifth or sixth, I can`t remember) :)

Monday, January 16, 2017

First Mission Funeral

SUPER sad title, right? Hope I don´t make anyone sad but it´s the truth! First one and hopefully the last. So who died? One of our investigators (his name is Fray) that we were trying to help them get married. Super sad week when you go to talk to him the day before to set a time to go get them married and he is fine eating lunch and then at 5 in the morning we get a call saying that he passed away in the hospital. Super sad. He always listened and even though he couldn´t stand up, he was nice and we just had to have patience until they could get married and baptized. Well we attended the funeral and it was super great to speak in his funeral with the bishop. The best part was to talk to a group of Catholic or non relgious friends and family who looked and believed that this was the last time seeing the face of their dear friend but the bishop and I testified that is wasn´t and that we would see him again. Other best part of the funeral was singing "God be with you until we meet again" with all the members that were there. The climax was hearing Fray´s wife (Who isn´t a member.... yet) getting up from her crying and singing with us. Powerful. The wife was the one who has wanted to get baptized for awhile and wasn´t married to him. So after the funeral I sure did not want to say: " Hey! Now you can get baptized!" How sad! But she actually came up to me and asked "I am getting baptized this week right?" My mouth sure hit the floor in that moment. The Lord has blessed a lot of people here in Machala and I am so blessed to be in such a place. It´s a honor to be serving the Lord and sometimes He lets us meet His chosen children. They are there. And they are just waiting for us to find them. (Remember the big puzzle from Conference? WE ALL have a part in that! If we know it or not!) 

Spread that joy that the gospel brings! Who knows, it might give comfort to someone who just lose their loved one! 

This week we´ve got Zone Conference with President! (Tomorrow) and not to mention the World Training the 25! Super exciting! 

Love you all and carry on!

Elder Alder  

Pcitures: Mission Cordination Meeting? (I have no idea what it´s called in English and someone stole my camera to take that picture)
Elder Alder Thinking tooo hard (In his new suit)
A beloved member on his birthday and I think I´m getting tanner!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Alma 29:14

What a week! It feels really strange when you start a mission because you do different things. You eat different food. You talk to different people. You sleep at a different time (at least I did) But after a little bit of time, it becomes normal. It becomes fun. It becomes your life. You love it and even when you are sad or discouraged you love what you are doing. You get to know people and their stories. You get to pray and cry over them because you just want to teach them. And sometimes you get to see the fruits of your labors and sometimes it comes after. 
But the theme of this week was the scripture that I titled the email. Why? Becuase my JOY is complete when I see the success of my brothers. And the elders and sisters here in this zone are seeing the fruits of their labors. They are loving what they are doing and we are moving foreward as a zone. We put zone goals for the month of January and to see the faith of these missionaries is SOOO amazing. We have a lot of work for this month but the Lord has blessed us with so many people to teach and many of them will be baptized this month. I am grateful that our wonderful buddy Dustin could get baptized by his father this week and I will always remember his baptism (not just because I messed up "I like to look for Rainbows" song) And at the same time I will remember calling our district leader to tell him that our investigator was ready for his interview and he tells me "I can´t right now I am doing the interview for the other elders" We had no idea about the other baptism. It was a miracle for them and for the zone because these wonderful people from the whole zone are entering the waters of baptism. I wanted to ask for the pictures of the zone and their baptismal services to send to y´all. Just to express that it´s not about us. It´s about them. It´s about the miracles that are happening for them and we just get the amazing chance to be here to see it. We work hard but in the end it´s not about us. The glory is His and always will be!

The other pictures are of my wonderful friends of Huquillas that came to Machala to recieve a patriarcal blessing and they hunted me down to say "Hi, do you want some food?" And the other is of just about ALL the wonderful gifts from my birthday and Christmas. (And people say it´s bad to have a Christmas  Birthday)

The rainy season has begun and my shoes are ready for the challenge! The best part is that when it rains, the next day is ten times hotter, so it´s really toasty!! 

I couldn´t get any pictures of Leadership Council this week but it was soooo great to see old companions and the leadership of the mission! I LOVE working with the whole mission! 

Love you all and hope you can make someone SMILE

Elder Alder :)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Elder Trunks/New Years/BIRTHDAY

Well so many changes that I can´t keep up! Someone said I am 20! SO old.... I also got a new companion! Elder Troncos from Lima Peru! If you go back in the email line you will find out that I was with him when I got here to Ecuador! (And his name in English is Elder Trunks) He is really funny and we have got some good work ahead of us.

Well let me explain a little bit about what they do here in Ecuador. They build and sell the paper made figures and some of them are HUGE. They shoot off fireworks ALL NIGHT LONG. It literally sounded like a war zone all night. And at twelve they put lots of fireworks in there "action figures"  and blow them up. Sounds crazy but it has a good meaning. Everyone wants to burn all the bad in the last year and move on. But as you all know people can get a little crazy.

One of my favorite things about being zone leader apart from being able to work with lots of missionaries and worry about their investigators and their needs. Is talking with the assistants. They recieve everything from the mission and are able to give more direct commentary on how we are doing. We get to talk to them every Sunday and for the past couple of weeks they have just asked for report through message. Well anyways, last night our assistant said something that suck with me. "We need to put our words into action"

Great phrase and I hope that we can all apply it! Let´s write down our new year goals and make them happen! 

Love you all and thank you for the birthday wishes!

Elder Alder