My world was completely turned around when the assistants called at 11:30pm Sunday night and told us that Hermana Smuin had transfers. The next morning, a meloncholy cloud seemed to loom in the air of our house. I couldn't believe it. My entire mission thus far had been in that house, in that ward with Hermana Smuin. Melanie and Blanquito picked us up and drove us to the terminal. We found the group of missionaries awaiting their fate and Hermana Smuin and I contacted a group of three ladies to end our companionship with a bang. We learned where Hermana Smuin was headed and she took my shoulders in her hands, looked me in the eyes and cried as she gave me a little pep talk. We hugged and then I looked at my new companion: the beautiful Hermana Muñoz! A 22 year old Chilean with six months on the mission. She is happy and funny and a super hard worker and I am super, super blessed to have her as my companion!
We have been working from ground zero in our sector, searching through the area book for old investigators and begging for referrals. We spent all week finding these people and teaching lessons.
We took a break Tuesday night when we came home early for New Years. In Ecuador, they make these paper mache (no idea how to spell that?) dolls full of fireworks, and burn them when 12:00 strikes. These muñecos can be from 1 foot tall to three stories high, and they are all over the place! Monster characters, Disney characters, creepy characters that I choose not to look at. They are all over and people will spend months on these things, just to burn them. We made our own litle muñeco, a rebellious sister missionary made out of paper towel and string. We sat outside on the balcony watching the fireworks, breathing in the smoke filled air and burnt out little Misionera Chueca. All day Wednesday, we wrote letters and listened to hymns and studied scriptures, just a relaxing day as four missionaries in one house.
Then Hermana Muñoz and I went back to work. While walking through the streets, I looked up to see a man on the roof trying to catch mangos from the large mango tree. I stopped and stared with a smile. He saw me staring in awe and then gestured for me to come over. I dropped my agenda and ran over to the mango tree, where he launched a fat, green mango from the roof. Caught it and walked away happily. The world is full of good people who want to do what's right. They have the light of Christ and seek the truth but don't know where to find it. I really do feel so blessed to be a missionary in Ecuador. I have power and authority to promise blessings and watch miracles happen. It really is an incredible thing.
Also, I studied hope during one of my personal studies and I found in Preach My Gospel that hope is manifested in a few ways. We know that we have hope if we are tranquil, optimistic, and show enthusiasm and patient perseverance. What a pleasant combo, right? I want to be a more hopeful person, and I want to display that hope in the way I view my sector. Although we started out with zero investigators this week, we have hope and faith that we will find many more. And we already have. It really is amazing what the Lord does to make up for our weaknesses as His servants. We just need to work hard in faith, and He makes up for the rest.
I love this gospel with all of my heart.
And I know that by living the gospel, we find real happiness in this life.