There was this recent convert named Lourdes who I only knew vaguely existed because her name was in our records. I'd never seen her and she didn't come to church - one day some months ago one of our appointments fell through and we ended up at her house and found her! She explained she had found a job that had her working every single day and getting back home at 8 - so in other words there was no way we were going to be able to teach her. It was just a blessing that we stumbled across her that day. So yeah we taught something and didn't see her again.
Until like two weeks ago when we were leaving the island (she lives in the island) and somebody calls after us - Lourdes! So it turns out she's not working any more and came to church yesterday! We've started teaching her again and things are going great. We even managed to teach to her husband once and some family members - it's going to be a great opportunity to bring her back to activity and possibly find more investigators and baptisms!
Apart from that our investigator with a date, Roberto Chavez, is also progressing well! He came to stake conference yesterday as well and he's doing a pretty good job of reading the Book of Mormon and all. Maybe I'm invoking Murphy's Law here but honestly it seems like the only problem will getting all the lessons in. We can only teach him about once or twice a week because he works until late, and I don't want to just teach the lessons to get him baptized...I don't think it's likely he'll be baptized this transfer (i.e. I probably won't be here for his baptism) but I don't see any problem otherwise.
More than anything we've just been getting in contact with some people we haven't seen in a while and had 3 investigators in church yesterday. That was pretty great. And they're all demonstrating a great chance of progress. One of them is Alan, who I mentioned a good while ago - go find that e-mail because I don't have time to write out the story again here.
We had a Zone Conference with President. Here in the Coast we're a bit more cut off from the mission - there's just the two zones here and as it's about a 6 hour drive from here to Quito, we just don't see anybody else. We only really get "news" (who's in what sector, how people are doing) from the outside world when President comes or when there's transfers. It was good, but it meant we didn't do anything the whole day. More than anything we've been focusing on asking references and using recent converts and less-actives as a good finding tool.
And yeah. Here's a fun cultural thing about Ecuador. Like in all of Latin America, the biggest meal is lunch (though they don't do siestas here) and so people don't eat a very big dinner - just a snack. What's most popular is "pan con cola" or in other words just bread and soda (Cola is the word for soda here. It's funny because there's a returned missionary who recently came back from Panama in the ward and he says soda all the time and people give him funny looks.). And usually Coca-Cola. Anyone will attest that you don't know what it's like to have soda as a part of the food culture until you go to Latin America. I will sincerely miss the gallon-size bottles. Anyhow people gave me bread and soda a good two or three times last week. It made me pretty happy.
I just wanted to share a little story I heard in stake conference yesterday that I liked.
Back before we were born, when the world was being created, the Gods held a council and decided how exactly everything would work it. Although there were many ideas they generally came to the conclusion that man would eventually come to dominate the world.
However, the three wolf gods had a different idea. They were determined that man would be miserable, and so they devised a plan. A plan to hide happiness from man. And so they thought and debated about how exactly they would do it.
"I know!" said one of the wolf gods. "We'll go up and hide happiness in the highest mountain peak. Surely they'll never find it."
"No," replied one of the others, shaking his head. "These humans are determined creatures. One day they'll work up the courage to climb that mountain. I'm sure of it."
So they thought and thought some more.
"I know!" said the second wolf. "We'll go down and we'll hide happiness in the deepest depths of the sea. They'll never find it there!"
"No," said the first, shaking his head. "You've forgotten these humans are clever things. One day they'll devise a machine that can reach even the deepest depths and find it there. I'm sure of it."
Now they were stumped. They thought and thought and thought. Where could they hide happiness?
"I know," said the last wolf, the oldest and wisest. "I know where we can hide happiness. Where they will never, ever find it."
The other two looked at the third, astonished.
"Where, where?" they asked.
The old wolf smiled. "We'll hide it in themselves."
The other two thought about this and as they realized what their companion was saying they, too, smiled and nodded.
"They'll be so focused on searching for it outside..." said the first.
"That they'll never look inside themselves," finished the second.
I just really liked that story. Hope you liked it, too! Just remember that the only way to true happiness is through the Gospel. Only the truth can dispel darkness, only the light can replace it. Love you all, have a good week!
|Shaky cam of the zone.|
I took about a bajillion pics of our cockfighting less-actives chickens the other day.
Motorcycles are popular here in the Coast.
|Lourdes's house. Working in the island is fun. It makes me really feel like I'm not just in a crappy, hot part of the US.|
|This is what I drew for the zone shirt. I'm pretty happy.|