Monday, June 20, 2016

The Last* Supper

President invited everyone going home in my group to a special little lunch in the mission home this Tuesday. It was most definitely a going-away thing for him and his wife (They end their mission next week!), but right off the bat, he said "We're happy to have you here, but there's just one rule: No getting trunky." It was a fun little moment with them. Sister Richardson had made lasagna, probably the first time I've had it in over a year. I almost didn't even touch the rice they'd given us, but I had about 4-5 helpings of lasagna. That was pretty great. Apart from that we saw a few videos from the mission and had a mock final testimony meeting.

It was a good meeting, and of course went on for a good while (especially when the sister missionaries all shared super long testimonies). The testimony that impacted me most was from Elder Green, an elder from my group who I haven't seen hardly at all in all the time we've been in the mission. He stood in front of us and said something along these lines, very simply: "You guys know I'm not one for words. I'm a nerd from the country of the US." Then he began to tear up. "I know Christ is our savior, and all I want to do is share that with others. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." We could all feel the Spirit. It really ended up motivating me - I still have time to find, teach, and baptize people! It just reminded me that the main motivation I have for being here is to help others understand and get to know the Atonement.

So it was then pretty frustrating to have a rather meh week, especially because it was kind of our own doing. I feel like there were many more people to contact and talk to in the streets and more ways to exercise our faith. More than anything I don't like knowing that we've ever wasted the Lord's time. On top of that, I need to be a good example for the missionaries in my district and my trainee. But we did have some good moments.

Pamela Flores has a date for this Saturday! We were scared for a moment because her brother and sister-in-law had scheduled to baptize their kids in the Catholic church for that same day, and Pamela wanted for them to be able to come to her baptism, which was going to be pretty impossible if they were both the same day. So she wanted to change her date, but we managed to share scriptures and follow the spirit so that she'd accept for the 25th. She had her baptismal interview and everything, and she's very prepared! It's pretty incredible - her mom tells us that she never wanted to accept missionaries before, but when we came, she just all of a sudden felt like she needed to listen to us. We were her chosen companionship, I guess! What a blessing. I'm just happy their family is happy. Now to work on her other nonmember siblings... :)

Apart from that yesterday was stake conference for the Imbabura stake. The temple president from Guayaquil was there, and he gave a great talk about the importance of going to the temple. He talked about how the path to the celestial kingdom always goes through the temple, and the temple recommend is basically our passport to get there. It really made me want to go to the temple, even though we can't in this mission. An elder from my group was sitting behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. "Hey, I think we need to talk to President after this. Our recommends are about to expire." And I was like "Oh shoot, you're right."

Turns out that was probably the last time I'll see President and his wife. So as we were leaving we said some more official goodbyes, that it isn't for long, because he said, "Elder Scanlan, we'll see you in Utah!"

But I've still got plenty of time. My dream (and prayer) is to find a family to teach and baptize, still. It can be done! I'm sure I'll have lots of miracles to share with you guys next week. See ya!

The last supper.

Right now is Inty Raymi, the sun festival, and what people do is go around to the different houses with a group and they dance in a circle. The tradition is to give the dancers food. This particular group dances outside our neighbor's house like every other day.

 Today we checked out this museum in Atuntaqui that was once a textile factory. It was pretty cool.

 Outside the factory. The story is that when things got really bad in the factory in 60s, the workers lynched the factory owner and dragged him all the way down to the main plaza in Atuntaqui, where they burned him. Cool.

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