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 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Conference and Easter Excitement

I don´t think I could describe my excitement for Conference last week and I sure will not be able to explain the Spiritual strength that I recieved during conference! There were a couple of impressions that came to my mind that kind of made me want to run and cry like a girl but then the Mulan "Be a Man" song came into my head and I held back the tears, haha, no I am kidding, kind of... We just have a wonderful curse and blessing in the family; we cry when the spirit touches our hearts. I`M SORRY
But how can you not cry with a Les Miserables reference and a Choir reference! We are all in the CHOIR! I will forever use that! This Church is a big choir! And I am part of it, singing with all my might! And when I get to the parts that I don´t know I have to listen hard to the expert next to me singing!
This is the true Church!
I especially loved Cook´s talk at the end. "The purpose of Conference is to strength the faith of the Saints in God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ" WORKED. John 17:3 I have to come to know God and if I even want to get close to that, I have to talk to Him with all my heart AT LEAST twice a day. I have to get to know His son and become like Him. 

Well as you will see in the photos we had a great meeting of the Elders in Santa Rosa. They are great people! 
Also this week, we got to paint a house! One of our investigators is a widow. She is a young mother with 3 children. Her husband died in a car crash and now her children don`t even want to enter the house. We told her that maybe she should change the house up a little bit so that her children will come back to live in the house. She got super excited and asked what day we were going to paint. We went right to it and I ended the day with yellow EVERYWHERE. It was so fun and her house looks great! A wonderful experience that I will never forget!

This place is soooo blessed and I hope we can take advantage of it this Easter Season. We are going to be working extra hard and there might be some Choir plans to find some more investigators!

Love you all and hope that you know that I know that there is no better place to be that in the Service of our God (but as Bednar said, that can AND SHOULD be anywhere)

Elder Devan Alder