One day we went out to the part of our sector that's farthest away from us, in a town called Imantag. We were looking for a person we'd contacted a while back and were asking around to see if anyone knew her. Finally there was a lady who pointed us in the right direction, so we headed out to find the house. Turns out that the lady was her mother in law, and lived right next door, so she ended up walking us the whole way down to this person's house. We found the person we were looking for, but had to arrange for another appointment. Since it was Power Hour, I was thinking, "shoot, we need to find SOMEONE to teach..." And the lady who'd taken us there was still around, so I had the courage to talk to her...and guess what, we could manage to get a lesson! A new investigator!
Last night, we were also looking for a person my companion had contacted a few days ago. Turns out they weren't home, and it was late, so we started back towards the house. We hadn't gone a block when suddenly I saw a certain door with the lights on and had to stop. "Hang on," I said, "this door calls my attention." "Me too," my companion said. So we knocked on the door and a younger guy answered - we talked a bit and got out an appointment for another day. I think it was interesting just because my companion and I both felt that spiritual impression. It's been a while since I've felt something like that.
Unfortunately, our people with a date couldn't come to church. Juan got stuck in Quito with work, and it looks like Anderson's parents might've changed their minds from what they'd said - they'd told us it didn't really matter to them if he joined a non-Catholic church, but people have told us they've changed their minds. That was pretty frustrating, but at the same time, I know we're trying. Some things we really can't control. But we have the goal to have 3 baptisms this month and I know we can do it!
This week was a fun week for food, too. There's a sister missionary who gave us recipes for brownies and banana bread that don't need an oven (because very few houses in the mission have an oven), which has been awesome. I think of the 7 days last week I ate banana bread on 5 of them. While on divisions with my zone leader our lunch appointment fell through, so what did we make in the house to eat? ...Banana bread.
There's also this thing here called Pony Malta. I'm not sure if there's an equivalent in the States. It's a drink they make from oats (I think). It's never been my favorite, but my zone leader showed me that you can whisk eggs and then throw Pony Malta in there, and it turns out really creamy and delicious. So that's my new favorite thing.
This week in the 12 weeks program (the training for new missionaries) we were studying the Book of Mormon, and there was a part from a talk by Elder Holland that I loved. Of course it's better listening to him say it, but you can imagine his delivery:
For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died—from Ethan Smith to Solomon Spaulding to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. In this I stand with my own great-grandfather, who said simply enough, “No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it,unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.”10
I testify that one cannot come to full faith in this latter-day work—and thereby find the fullest measure of peace and comfort in these, our times—until he or she embraces the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom it testifies. If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text teeming with literary and Semitic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages—especially without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and the profound spiritual impact that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers—if that is the case, then such a person, elect or otherwise, has been deceived; and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit. In that sense the book is what Christ Himself was said to be: “a stone of stumbling, … a rock of offence,”11 a barrier in the path of one who wishes not to believe in this work. Witnesses, even witnesses who were for a time hostile to Joseph, testified to their death that they had seen an angel and had handled the plates. “They have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man,” they declared. “Wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true.”12
Anyhow those are my thoughts for this week. Love you all lots!
|Today I tried out rice with shrimp and concha (not sure what that translates to...some kind of shellfish). Darn good.|
|I got this sweater custom made.|