Monday, January 25, 2016

Well today there were transfers but my companion and I are staying together. I'm pretty happy about that. We get along well and as we learn the sector together we'll be able to work harder and more efficiently. It's just a bit frustrating, because we've been stretched out a good bit with our work load. We now have people to visit at practically all extremes of the sector - from one town called Urcuqui all the way to Atuntaqui and everything inbetween, with names like Natabuela, Chaltura, ChorlavĂ­,'s a big mess. From one end to the sector to the other just by bus it's got to be something like 1.5 hours. Anyhow. Enough complaining.

This week we had a ton of trainings and meetings. There was a broadcast from Utah, we were with President, and we also had all the normal meetings with the zone and district. The focus in all of this has been commitments - an important part of what we do as missionaries. We learned a lot about how to help people commit to doing things like read the Book of Mormon, why that's important,'s been a lot of help, and a lot of information.

More than anything, through all of this I've learned a lot about faith. Before the mission "faith" never really interested me much, it seemed like a rather pedestrian attribute. Everyone (at least in Latin America) says they have faith so how special can it really be?

But I've come to realize, especially in these past few weeks, that faith is very powerful, and is at the center of many of the other attributes we have to develop. It's not just something floating around in space but a really useful principle.

Joseph Smith explained that a prerequisite to having faith is have a correct knowledge of God's character, which is absolutely true! I think it's pretty tough to have faith in a mystical energy or unknown being floating out there. The Bible Dictionary explains that our faith is centered in Christ - as he was perfect, we can have faith in him. If he hadn't been perfect or weren't god, it would be impossible.

I was thinking about that a bit yesterday during the sacrament. More than anything, I was thinking about what we'd learned in Priesthood a few weeks ago, what I also shared in my e-mail. I love thinking about that scene in the New Testament, when Jesus calms the storm.

I really testify he gives us peace! If we center our faith in him, we can be assured everything will turn out well.

That spiritual confirmation I received was pretty timely, because our investigator with a date, Cristian, didn't come to church so...that means his date fell through, and with it any hopes we had of hitting our goals for the month. BUT we could find him later that day and he's doing fine, he was just a little discouraged because of a few things that had happened over the weekend. He's going strong, however, and I know we can get him to a new date, which we put for the 6th.

I know miracles happen in our lives! It'll be disappointing to be at home because I feel like they're harder to see out there than here, in the front lines of the work, but I know they happen! For instance, this week a less-active family showed up out of nowhere at church, and we're going to get to work immediately!

Hope you all have a good week!
A typical lunch. I've come to love fried fish like this.

With President this week.

The other Elders had a baptism!

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