I mentioned yet that I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY? Because it's true.
Although I'm getting fat against my will (you should see these piles
of rice--really, you should), although I have never been so tired in
my life, and although I'm far away from apple cider autumns and
peppermint hot cocoa winters, I get to spend every day teaching the
gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Ecuador. Every day is an
night, my zone leaders called and shared their meloncholy
news: transfers for Hermana Scott. I wasn't ready to leave my
companion Hermana Wright, who I came to love dearly, nor
my investigators who would be baptized that weekend, but the
next morning, I hugged Hermana Wright goodbye and headed
to...Quevedo! I joined other Elders on the three hour bus ride
to Quevedo, passing farms and countryside. It was the first time
I had seen real green in a while, and they were right, Ecuador is
gorgeous. I arrived and met my 5ft tall Bolivian companion,
past Friday, Carnaval commenced in Quevedo! Think Mardi
Gras, but instead of extravagant feathers and costumes, imagine
shirtless men with big rice bellies. Instead of confetti and
sparklers, imagine buckets and buckets and buckets of water. And
instead of city wide parades, imagine groups of Ecuadorian children
chasing you with water guns and water balloons.
you're a missionary walking in a polyester skirt? Doesn't matter.
"Get 'em! Get 'em!"
to add on the all the water, people use an aerosol foam that stains
your face and your clothing. This man next to me in this cyber cafè?
Yeah, his face is green.
think all of the Ecuadorian clouds are celebrating Carnaval, as well.
Horrid rainstorms come out of nowhere. Hermana Blackutt and I visited
a less active lady and only moments after stepping inside, all of the
Guayas river fell down from the sky. The rain slammed down so hard on
the tin roof that we couldn't hear each other talk, haha. So we
huddled together as we read a scripture with her, and then braved the
rain. At first I tried to avoid it by staying close to the wall and
running through convered areas. Ha. Smarter than the elements!..or so
I thought. These paved and un paved Ecuadorian streets pulled one on
me as this giant puddle of water appeared out of nowhere, and I fell
into a muddy, murky mess. Humbled. Not that much smarter than the
look up to see my companion laughing like crazy as I pull myself up
from teh water, my entire skirt drenched. We laughed and laughed and
decided to stop by the house to change, since we cant show up at
someone's door looking like wet rats (eh'hem, Bogitos). We cross the
first half of the street and patiently waited for cars to pass.
Splash! A huge wave of water drenched us from behind! Like
those surfing videos, when the surfer is crouched down all cool, with
teh wave of water rolling behind him. Except, that rolling ocean
water was really nasty, trash-filled, street water.
lived a few adventures in my short time as a missionary. But I'm not
here to adventure. I am here to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And the spiritual growth I am experiencing is the best adventure of
am learning more about my Savior, and doing my best to be like him.
The Savior has recently commanded us, all of us members of the
church, to search for the less actives in our respective wards. The
Prophet himself and the 12 Apostles have put a lot of time and effort
into the new Church prorgam: the Work of Salvation. The Savior needs
us to find His sheep that are lost and confused, and bring them back
into the fold:
The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that
which was asick,
neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye
brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that
which was lost; but with force and with bcruelty
have ye ruled them.
And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they
became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.
wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my
flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did
search or seek after them.
¶Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord;
As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey,
and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there
was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but
themselves, and fed not my flock;
Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord;
Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I
my flock at their hand, and cause them to bcease
from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves
any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may
not be meat for them.
¶For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both asearch
my sheep, and seek them out.
As a ashepherd
seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are
scattered; so will I bseek
out my csheep,
and will deliver them out of all places where they have been
in the ecloudy
invite you to find the less active members in your wards, to befriend
them and kindly invite them to attend Church again, to read their
Scriptures again, to pray again, so that they can feel the love of
God in their life. We do not know why people separate themselves from
the Church, but those reasons are usually delicate. As we befriend
the less active members, we will find that the Spirit will help us to
know what to say to help them. They will grow spiritually and we will