Monday, March 27, 2017

Noah`s Flood Take 2

Well I probably should`ve taken some pictures of the AMAZING amount of rain that it poured this week. I am convinced that Santa Rosa would be WAY hotter than Machala if it weren`t for so much rain! We are living on the third and last floor of our buidling and I thnk 3 nights this week, the rain came down so hard that we couldn`t sleep. IT WAS GREAT! Sounds crazy but when am I ever going to see rain like this again! I love the rain and the only reason I don`t want to get wet is for my ties, but other than that I would go out to sing in the rain everyday! It really comes down SO hard! The river overflowed with 3 days of constant raining!

Well I am super excited to work with this wonderful zone! Out of the 14 missionaries that we have in the zone, 3 of them have more than a year on the mission. WHAT... A BLESSING! I`m serious! Great missionaries who are fresh ready to learn and be molded by the spirit. I couldn`t be more happy acutally! They are some great missionaries and I hope I can do my best to help in anyway that I can because if there is anything that I have learned here is that working alone doesn`t work. Working just with your companion works great for your area. Working with the zone with one objective is even better! 
We had a great experience in our district meeting this week. We talked about 2 Nephi 31. Doctrine of Jesus Christ. The "Why" we are here as missionaries and the "How" we help our investigators come unto Christ. I got to share what the spirit was telling me and that was that as missionaries (espeically when we are just starting the mission) are SO focused on how the doctrine can help those investigators and everyone that ISN`T a member. And the time goes on and "WOW, I need to share applying this to MY life". The Father doesn`t just say "Repent, Repent and be baptize in the Name of my Beloved Son". He is also saying "Devan repent, repent PLEASE and participate of the Sacrament so that you can take upon you Christ`s name and become like Him"

Well sorry I didn`t have enough time to even tell you that we had a baptism this week! His name is Edilson and he is awesome!

Love you all!! 

Pictures: THE ZONE


It`s so hot that we had to buy a bigger fan! hahahaha

Hamburgers with the Guys 

Monday, March 20, 2017


Well I may or may not have cried but after almost 6 months, the Lord wanted me to go to a different city. As I said in my final testimony on Sunday, I will always have a family in Machala. I really love that ward and I really love all the people that I got to get to know. There are some amazing memories that I had there and I am really grateful for the time that the Lord gave me there. A dear ward!

Well 45ish mins later I am in Santa Rosa (Holy Rose) in a new zone, new companion, new missionaries. There have been a lot of transfers in the mission, so Pday (today) has been us in the Terimnal of Santa Rosa helping everyone to their sectors. 
But for some reason, in the bus here to Santa Rosa, I was really all of your letters and a feeling came over me of all the things that the Lord has prepared for me in the city. I felt so overwhelmed with peace and joy to know that this is where the Lord wants me to be. And if I listen well, I will be able to know exactly what I need to do. I love being a missionary and listening to the Spirit. 

Well for those who want to know. My new companion is Elder Cordero (Elder Lamb), this is the first time in a while that I have been the missionary with less time than the other. He was astistant to president and now here with me as zone leader. He has got a little time left but I know that we will be working really hard without letting go. 

Last year in the World Transmision with ALL the missionaries. Elder Oaks said that the Atonement (or repentance process) doesn´t just wipe away the sin. It also gives NEW STRENGTH to keep going. I feel that right now. I feel new stregnth to keep going everyday. There are people here ready to hear the gospel and all we have to do is find them, teach with the spirit, and watch the miracles of the Lord. (Simple right? haha, not exactly but it´s still fun!) 

Tip of the week: Hey read your scriptures with the intent of learning God´s will for you, it works a lot better

Love you all and hope it´s colder where you are all at :)

Elder Devan Alder

(Pictures: the "sunset" on my time in Machala, a couple of Good bye photos I don´t know why I didn´t take more, and my new companion!) 

Monday, March 13, 2017

President's Week

Well if I remember correctly this holiday already passed in the US, but it´s never too late to celebrate! Well the title is because this Friday President and his wife came to Machala for a MultiZone Conference. It was absoultely amazing and I always love when President comes. I felt really inspired and it is also kind of sad because these are the meetings were the missionaries that are finishing give their last testimony. A lot of missionaries that I have known for awhile are headed home and in these next 6 weeks even more, kind of scarey and it was the first time anyone called me an "old missionary". I am just starting! (Why can´t missions be 3 years?) 
We also got to go House shopping with President and his wife and do something that hasn´t been done in this mission in a long time, President entering the house of the missionaries. Everyone was scared out of thier minds. My companion and I reflected on the first couple of months of our missions when we were scared to even see president, but traveling and working with him every month has helped us act normally and not so scared with president. The best thing is contacting with President and talking about the gospel with others with him. He is so excited to talk about the gospel so it makes you want to do even more excited!

As you will see from the pictures. Monday, Maria Echeverria entered in the waters of baptism and on Saturday, two adorable children as well, baptized by our favorite future missionary (Adrian Lopez, whose aunt lives in West Valley Utah, kind of cool) It was also an amazing experience watching Eduardo baptize his mother Maria. What an amazing baptism and we organized a little diddy with a violin as a muscial number, also a success! 

We are teaching a wonderful young couple that live SUPER far away but they come to church every sunday and they are so ready to become members. But a missionary´s favorite question here in Ecuador "So you guys are married right?" and the answer 9 times out of 10 is "No we are just living together for 20 years and have 5 children" So this young couple needs to get married first. I am hoping they can do it soon because I´m not sure if I will be here to see their baptism....

But that´s okay! what the the Lord wants right? 
News of the week: We got 2 older missionaries in this mission! They are so sweet and are working hard in Naranjal! They are from california and this is their 3rd mission! Amazing people! 

Love you all and hope for the best! 
Elder Devan Alder

(The last picture is of Elder Barum (Our district leader from Las Vegas) and our amazing lunch by the sea.. that you can´t on words :)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

We are Free!

It`s so great to smell the air again, feel the heat of the sun, and sometimes the rain! This Carnaval certainly went by a whole lot faster than it did last year! But as is well! No one threw any eggs at us! 
I have had a couple people as about the weather here in Ecuador so I will tell you. There is summer and winter here. Summer is the so called "Cold season" where the clouds come out and you feel a slight breeze at night (But the missionaries still sweat all day long so I don´t know why it´s the could season) Right now we are in Winter (Invierno pero mi compaƱero lo llama infierno jajaja Spanish jokes) where everyday is either hot or hotter. This week on Friday you could literally feel the heat burning. It was so great! I don´t know if it´s because we are in the center of the world but the Sun here is WAY different! Got to love it while you can! Oh and don´t even get me started on the random rains! Yesterday it was overcast and the clouds weren´t dark enough to say that it was going to rain but BLAM! after lunch it came down! We ran to the house and the streets were already filled, we couldn´t believe it. It rained hard for like 4 hours too. I will also miss the rain too! 

Changing topics, I would like to personally (in a general letter... silly Alder) thank everyone who writes me and reads these letters. I know you all have a thousand things to worry about and sometimes I don´t answer but I can tell you that week after week, YOUR words have helped me be a little happier. YOUR words have helped me skip a little higher. I thank Him to know so many wonderful people and I thank you for helping a little missionary like me fufill his calling. You are all amazing!

Well sorry for the random pictures. The eye of my companion and dinner with a future missionary that leaves here soon! The good pictures will come next week because in an hour we get the chance to see Maria baptized (she has been coming to church for almost the same time I have in Machala) and this Saturday another baptism! I will give details next week but what a blessing and miracle! I love Machala! 

Also two things that made me cry this week. One, seeing Cristina (recent convert that you`ll remember... maybe) bare her testimony in fast and testimony meeting as the Second Counselor in Primary! What a joy! And two, reading confernece talks and Liahonas! Now I am really treasuring the words of our Prophets and I am SO excited for Conference.

Keep going! Keep fighting! Life is hard but there is always a reason to smile! ALWAYS

Love you and wish I could thank ALL of you! 

Elder Devan Alder

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Carnaval 2017

Well we finally escaped the house! I remember that last year felt even longer. This time was super fast for me! How did we keep ourselves entertained. Well... Scriptures... that´s it.. No I´m kidding. I´m not THAT boring. We did excersises. Card games and we cleaned the house from corner to corner to corner. We had some wonderful neighbors bring us food, so we did some Ecuadorian cooking! It was good! I started reading the Teachings of Gordon B Hinkcley because 1) it just got to this country and 2) I feel that "My childhood prophet" as I read it and it is really uplifting.

Well this week had some very unexpected events. Remember Froilan? Well everything was ready to go with the wife isn´t too excited about it so I am sure that he will be baptized a little after this!
The Lord blest us with another random investigator in church this Sunday. I feel like "the windows of heaven" are open and there certainly is not enough room to recieve it. But that´s only with tithing right? 

I am so grateful to the Lord for the chance to teach his children. This week a couple of investigators that we have been teaching for a while came to church and others finally accepted to get ready to be baptized. The Lord is blessing this city a whole lot because the sisters and elders of our zone are having a lot of success as well. 

I have been reading these last couples day a talk that I may have shared with everyone already. It is called the 4th Missionary. I love it with all my heart! The point of the talk is that I can work as a missionary with all my might and strength for 2 years but it won´t do me any good if I don´t put my heart into it. What a blessing it is to be able to give up everything to the Lord and allow Him to change you. He sure is changing me. I owe everything that has happened in my life and everything that has happened in this mission to Him. 

Best time of my life :)

Love you all! 

Elder Devan Alder

Photos: The birthday of Felix my "Last companion"
Exchange with some of the elders in our zone! Great experience!
Exchange with the assistants! And it happened to be the same day of our district meeting