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!
So we were hanging around with Elder Vargas again this week while his companion, the zone leader, was in Quito for meetings. It meant we didn't get to work a lot in our sector which was kind of a bummer but between the two sectors we used our time pretty well. It means I have a lot of work to do now with my new companion, but that's ok. There are some things I want to change anyways, work a bit more efficiently.
I guess what I learned from the experience is that the way to preach really is two by two. Trios are just awkward even if they're fun in the sense of being with other missionaries.
So we got a bit of a surprise on Friday when they told us that instead of leaving Sunday for Quito (since he was finishing his mission) my companion would have to leave the very next morning. It just really reminded me that our time here is so short and we need to use it really wisely. The whole experience was kind of surreal. It's just like one minute he was there, the next he wasn't. For me the work continues and I felt normal, but for him that was it. We had to rush to see the last people we wanted to see and ciao.
I think that they have us go on missions partly because it's like living. We basically do live a life here - we are born, we grow up, get old, and die in the mission. So we can learn in microcosm what we should do in the rest of our lives, have a bit of perspective. It's just so weird to be thinking it can end just like that in a moment.
But, the missionaries will keep coming. My new companion will be Elder Arango, another Peruvian (my third). I'm hoping it'll be a good change! He only has a few more months than me in the mission. Really as missionaries we don't matter at all. We just have to do what the Lord wants us to get done for him - the people won't and maybe shouldn't remember our names or anything. But they can remember what they felt. The work will continue with or without us. We just have to let the work change us so we benefit from it, too.
Well we do have some people with potential, despite the fact we haven't found practically anybody new.
First we have Dina Gracia, a young woman that's 15 years old. We've been teaching her entire family (not sure if I've mentioned them - they're the ones where several can't read) but she's the only one that's really been progressing with her commitments. And actually she's really shown a lot of faith and I'm incredibly impressed by her. It's just hard for her to do anything because her family doesn't have the same dedication. I love them all but I think we'll probably put a baptismal date with just her for now. And just help her get to church.
We also have Angel Chaha, the father of a family of four. We haven't gotten the wife to listen to us but I think she's just intimidated - if we keep working with her I think we'll be able to baptism them all. But he's also progressing well, and has already received an answer that the Book of Mormon is true, which is fantastic! They're a very humble family. We just need to help him get to church, that's all! He's had a few baptismal dates but they've fallen through because we as missionaries haven't been good about helping him get to church. But that's going to change very soon...
We had a great meeting this week with the zone. President had sent a video of us to watch with a song by I can't remember who but it was very pretty I assure you. More than anything I loved its message. Here are some scriptures:
4 ¶Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
3 Nephi 9:
20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion,were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.
18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
As the song said: "Could it be that God loves broken things? ....Could it be that God loves broken me?"
Love you all lots! Happy 11 months to me! Get ready people, in a month from today I hit my one year mark! :O
|The other day the other Elders had a baptism!|
|It rained really hard one day and I was the only one with an umbrella. My companions had a different idea.|
|And another day we bought ice cream.|