Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Ibarra Sector

I feel like I do this every time, but I want to vent a bit about the sector again.

We have a new less-active family we're teaching that lives out in a little town called Urcuqui. The trip from the next closest town to Urcuqui is something like 30 minutes. As a result the missionaries have practically never been there and when we went contacting for a little bit because we had time, almost nobody had seen a Mormon missionary ever. There's nothing there, apart from this family the recently moved there and that we're now teaching.

Now on the other hand, we have Atuntaqui, another town about 20 minutes away but in the other direction. There's practically nobody here either - a single less active and maybe two or three members we've only heard about but aren't sure where they live. And, of course, our family closest to having progress right now, the Pillajo family, composed of the husband and wife.

And there's everything in between, which includes at least 2 or 3 more towns that, depending on how far into the mountainside they are, are anywhere between 15 - 30 minutes away in bus from our house. We have a smattering of people and practically every part and planning for all of them so that the appointments work out and we don't lose tons of time travelling is a real nightmare. Several times this week I was just super frustrated and felt like nothing was really working out.

But one night I felt in prayers that I just needed to list all the things in a prayer I could be grateful for, so I did. And there was a lot!

First, we have a goal of 3 confirmations and 5 less-active "rescues" this month, one of the highest goals in the zone. That's a lot of people to help, and we're confident it'll happen!

For instance, this less-active family I told you about, the Andrango family, came to church on their own and are more than ready to come back to full activity! They still have a testimony, they try to read the scriptures, they get along with the members.

Also we've been blessed with a ton of references this week, mainly from the sister missionaries who keep finding people for our sector but hey that's awesome.

We've also found several new families, one of which, the Potosì family, we found contacting, and they're excited to listen to the gospel! The mom, more than anything, makes the kids sit down and listen to us, which is fine by me! It's funny because she wants them to be baptized but still doesn't get the fact that she, herself, needs to be baptized with the correct authority (she's already been baptized) but hey we'll keep working. They're just very warm and receptive.

We've found a ton of people in general - 12 in all this week, which is the standard of excellence. It's kind of ridiculous really.

And one of the references was from the members who live in the apartment above us who gave us the reference of the family that lives above them, the Colcha family. At first when we went to teach them they didn't seem super interested. But we kept trying to get to know them better, ask questions, understand what they need. And at one point the husband said "I'd like to change...if there was a way to change." I could feel that the feel kind of hopeless, without direction in their lives, and that response was key. We watched the video "Because of Him" that the church made for Easter a few years ago, and we could feel the Spirit strongly.

The testimony I shared with them is the same one I share with you. There is no such thing as an "ending!" We never run out of second chances. If we need to change and are willing to pay the price, Christ will be there every step of the way. He is the reason we can change and because of Him we can all live better lives, free of the memories of all the mistakes we've made beforehand. I know He lives!

Hope you have a great week!
A fantastic burger I made.

The Imbabura volcano.

We found a really pretty part of the sector.


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