Have I mentioned that they happen every day? It's absolutely crazy how many there are! And I get a front row seat to seeing them! For instance:
-We like to contact taxistas (taxi drivers), probably because of the story in Preach My Gospel of a - well, you can look it up yourself. But anyhow, it's great, because they can't escape, and neither can we. May as well contact! (Well, my companion does. I'm still working on the courage and the Spanish. But it's getting much better!) So we contacted one and left him a pamphlet. A few days later we were late to a cita (appointment) and had to catch a taxi. At least three or four passed by and for some reason wouldn't stop for us. Then, finally, one did. We climbed in, and it took me a second but then I realized...IT WAS THE SAME GUY. This time we left him a Book of Mormon! Who knows what'll happen next?
-Our very first contact that day with the District Leader just let us in and was like, yeah, yeah this is awesome! as we taught him Lesson One! What??
Some quick notes about how things work here in the Church in Ecuador:
-So many people are converts, it's not even funny. I don't know if I've met a member yet (a parent, at least) that was born in the church. It's a bit daunting for me, but also exciting. That's the impact I can have.
-Not many people can play the piano, if any. We just use a little electric keyboard (I really need to offer my services, actually.). And so nobody REALLY knows how to sing the hymns, and so sometimes they just make it up. It's kind of fun, some of their interpretations. It just throws me off. And I'm the only one harmonizing. Sooo sometimes I don't sing much heheh.
-Our ward we're in, Moran, is pretty great. The hard part, like so much of Latin America, is that there are tons of inactives. That, and as missionaries we have to work hard to keep recent converts involved, etcetera. For instance, we have to teach all the lessons to a less-active and they have to have an interview with the Obispo (bishop) to be considered active again. Oh, and tithing is it's own separate lesson. But it's great! I'm really coming to love the members here, even if I can't speak to them all the time.
This week I've been thinking about weaknesses, a bit. It's incredible the promises extended to us in Ether 12:27 ("And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them"). It's a verse I'd always kind of looked over, but now it's come to have a new meaning for me. It's something I NEED to learn as a missionary. There is always that hope, that I can get better, that things WILL get better. It begins with a faith in Christ, and the changing power of his Atonement. The Gospel is all about change. That's the central message. That none of us are static, that we can only get better and better. I also found this verse today that I love in Alma 31:31 ("O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me"). Our souls can be comforted in Christ, no matter how sorry they are. That is what I love. Ciao, for now!
Hey, any of you that have questions about Ecuador or missions or whatever, preguntame! And spread the blog! (Mr. Lucot, Mr. Wagner, Mrs. Schuster, are you reading this?)