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


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