I mentioned this a few weeks ago and I promise this is the last time, but Jeremiah is approaching his one year mark, which also means his birthday is coming up on September 13. As with all missionaries, he loves getting letters. If you would like to send him a birthday message, it would make his year!:) You can send him an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, you can email me at email@example.com and I will print and mail your letter to him (he loves real mail) or you can send a letter directly to him at:
Elder Jeremiah Scanlan
Ecuador Quito North Mission
Calles Robles E4-151 y. Av. Amazonas
Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Thank you so much for your prayers and support for Jeremiah!
Well first off we have two people now with a baptismal date! Yay! One of them is Mayra and the other Dina. They're both young women we've been working with that both had baptismal dates before but for various reasons couldn't get there. Dina is our main priority because her date is for next week, the 12th! She already has all of the requirements in terms of attendances and things like that but we need a good plan to help her to come to church because every time she's come it's because we've come to pick her up. It's a bit hard for her because she lives pretty far away from the chapel and her family doesn't do much to help her come (we're teaching some other members of the family but she's the only one who's having progress right now). She does have desires to do what's right but also needs a true testimony. We'll be praying to know what to do. We can't baptize someone to not have them stay in the church, that's for sure! But I think we can work on it. I've felt the Spirit tell me many times to keep working with her.
The sector is also doing much better! I think we've finally stabilized. We've gotten to a point where we have plenty of people to visit. Not many are progressing still and we need to plan well to get our priorities straight but the Lord's blessed us immensely with lots of people to teach!
President paid us a visit this week, which was pretty big. He comes down here very rarely, only every three months or so, mostly because it's a long ways to go just for the 12 missionaries working out here in Lago and Coca. He comes in plane accompanied by just one of the Assistants and catches us up on all the trainings he's given in the past three months and does interviews.
In fact, because of the distance we missed out on a surprise visit Elder Soares of the 70 made to the mission. They found out about it like a week before he came and since he was only going to be stopping by in Quito for two hours neither us nor the missionaries in the coast were invited to come. Oh well!
But what President focused on was important. More than anything he focused on our own personal worthiness. Something he reminded us of struck me - if we're doing our job, being obedient, we have the RIGHT to ask for miracles here. That's pretty incredible, huh? And we HAVE seen miracles, I've realized. One is the family I mentioned last week, the Quervalu family. We started with the kids and now the dad and even talked with the mom this week! And she was really surprisingly receptive. The problems will be two-fold: getting married and not working on Sunday. But just the miracle that we have a new family has my hoping for even more!
It reminds me of something Elder Bednar has explained: we need to be absolutely pure if we want to be the Lord's instruments. It's like fiber-optic cable. Those cable need to be absolutely pure to be able to transmit the information that runs through them. If we're pure the Lord can do miracles with us. And that's what President wants for us as well.
Also, he gave us the challenge to read the Book of Mormon in 90 days, which I'm sure will be a great experience. We're going through and marking everything about Christ in red and humility in blue. This is going to be my 5th time in the mission but I haven't gotten tired of it yet! As President reminded us, Pres. Hinckley promises three things if we read the Book of Mormon once again. One, we'll feel the Spirit. Two, we'll want to be more obedient to God's commandments. And three, our testimony of Christ will be strengthened. Pretty great promises!
I actually finished the Book of Mormon at the beginning of last week and I received an answer once again that it's true. I simply had to think about the blessing it's been in my life. I love the last verses of the book where Moroni invites us to come unto Christ. How can such a book not be true? I know it's been my best friend and nothing has brought me closer to God nor taught me so much than this book. I love it! Make it a goal to read it in your own life and I know you'll be blessed! Have a great week!
|A llama. I freaked out when I saw it believe me.|
|Baptism for some of the other Elders this week!|
|President comes to town.|
|Typical latin spelling prowess.|