Tuesday, December 29, 2015

WEEK 20: FELIZ NAVIDAD!




(I already told you guys about Navidad when we skyped so this email isnt going to be super long)
Hope you guys all had a great Christmas! Ours was awesome! We had a Noche Blanca. All the Elders in our stake got together and had a night full of baptisms the 25th! Ill attach some pictures in this email for you guys. It was awesome.

Not going to lie, it was hard to keep in contact with some of our investigators everyday this week. We have a goal to pass for every investigator that has a baptism date everyday..and as of right now thats 11 people. The town here was dead the 24th and 25th, it was so hard to contact and talk to new people because everyone was sleeping from a hard night of partying, or they were out of town. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we worked until 7:30PM. And when we got back we were told to study Luke Ch. 2. So that part was the same as any given navidad in our family! Elder Diaz and I also bought a pizza to celebrate Christmas Eve, and some members brought us some really good food too. The members out here love us. We have a lot more support from them than when I first arrived here. Its been cool to see the change in their hearts. 

The baptism with Leandro went great as well. Recently we have been working with his mom and other brother to try to get them baptised. But they are always so busy working its hard to find them. Plus Sundays they cant go to church so itll be difficult for them to progress. But this coming Sunday church starts at 8AM so hopefully it will be better for their work schedules! Its also going to be great for us so we can wake up extra early at 5am so we can wake up all of our investigators! We are literally going to have to go around to all of their houses and pound on the door to wake them up because sometimes we help the missionaries with early church do this too. 

I love this gospel! Everyday I have to share it my desire to share it grows stronger. I know as you guys share the gospel with the people in your life, so will your desire to share it with more people! 

I am still waiting on your guys packages! Holy cow COLE is HUGE. When did he get so tall? Hes like the iron giant! 
  
Love you guys!

Elder Solari

WEEK 19: A HOT CHRISTMAS HERE IN ECUADOR!

Hey everyone!

This last week was great! We got a lot of work done and were able to get some new people prepared for baptism dates. We are teaching a couple families and working with some part member families. It is the last week of the year so we are working hard on getting baptism dates set for this week. So far we have one, his name is Leandro. We have been teaching him for awhile, and he is from a part member family. His sister has been a member for awhile and he has been coming to church with her often. We are preparing him for this Saturday! What a Christmas gift for him and for us to be able to be baptized at this time of the year!

Other than that, the heat has been picking up, and for the first time (surprise) I have been getting sunburnt. The sun has been brutal the past week, and since I am done with the training we get to leave the house earlier everyday when the sun is stronger! 

We have been teaching the family Aguilar these last two weeks. And just the other day we had a really cool experience. We were talking with them about bringing them to church and everything. And she shared her testimony with us. That she has been receiving so many blessings in her life since we have started visiting them. That her Dad sent them money for Christmas, they were able to get a free fridge from a friend, all of this really cool stuff has been happening to them. And she told us that she KNOWS its because of the gospels influence in her life. And she shared with us that she knows the church is true! We are preparing this family to be baptized the 23rd of January so keep an eye on that!

We had a cool zone meeting today. We got together and had pizza and played some UNO for PDAY. I guess thats what all the missionaries here usually do on P day. So it was pretty fun. We also now have 2 hermanas in our zone. They were sent here to die (meaning they both only have 2 months of their mission left). Not die literally. So now we have 12 missionaries in our zone and in one of the other sectors there are 4 missionaries working. This is also our last Sunday at 3pm in the afternoon, after the new year the church is going to start at 8am. I am not sure how good that is going to be for the ward haha.

As far as skype. My comp and I are going to be doing our calls around 1 or 2PM Ecuador time the 25th. We probably are not going to call the day before to confirm because it costs a lot of money so just have skype up and ready! But if for some reason there are problems we will call Christmas Day to make sure everything is ready to go. I think that we are 2 or 3 hours ahead.

I wanted to bare my testimony about enduring to the end. Because we have a lot of inactives and less actives out here in Ecuador. We need to be baptized and get on the straight and narrow path. And after this, the work never ends, we have to progress and perfect ourselves in everyway that we can. Its called Enduring to the end for a reason! We need to be 100% committed to the goal of eternal life and inheriting the kingdom of God. If you know or have friends that are struggling with this, help them out! We cant let anybody slip away! We need to do everything we can to help them or we will be held accountable as well 

Jacob 1:19
And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins ofthepeople upon our own heads if we did not teach them theword of God with all diligence; wherefore,by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon; otherwise their blood would come upon ourgarments, and we would not be found spotless at the lastday.

I love you guys! Merry Christmas!
Elder Solari

Monday, December 14, 2015

WEEK 18: CHRISTMAS TIME IN THE SUMMERTIME!




Hey family and friends! Not sure if all of you know this or not but its summer time in Ecuador! And its super hot! And its almost Christmas which is weird but awesome!

We had 2 baptisms this week! The cool thing is that Ive been here to teach them both every single lesson with my papa Elder Tomlinson and my padraste Elder Diaz! The first is Jesus Molina, and he was a reference from our ward mission leader. We have been teaching him for over two months and he was baptized on Saturday! We are working on getting him the priesthood and he is going to baptize his wife in the next several weeks! Its been difficult because her mom that they live with is very catholic and does not want her daughter to be baptized. But hes 23 years old so we have been working hard to make her excited about it. The other baptism was Hermana Olivia Peralta! Her we found though our own efforts. And it has been a long way. We have been working with her almost since I first arrived here. And her challenge at first was that she needed to feel prepared. And she finally was ready and I got to baptize her! They are both going to make such strong members. They were also both confirmed yesterday! 

We have been doing a lot of tracting lately. There are so many inactivos, so we have a directory of the ward and have been finding these people, and getting references and finding more new people to teach. We are also working on reactivating some families, but its difficult because one of the main reasons are inactive is because they are upset at someone in the ward. Or they were offended by something someone said. Its honestly the worst reason to be inactive. People out here are weird in that way. They need to understand that its the doctrine of the church thats perfect, not the people.

P day today was pretty cool. We have been having a lot of success here in our sector so we got permission to go to the mall for an hour or so! Pretty cool because usually its hard to get permission for the mall. I bought some ties, a watch, and some McDonalds and Cinnabon of course! 

As far as your studying with Preach My Gospel, keep a study journal. We have a saying in the mission ´Whatever you dont write down youre going to forget´´ Thats roughly the translation, its sounds a lot better in Espanol. Its hard to write you guys in English because I havent spoken it in over 3 weeks hahaha. But I guess thats a good thing because I feel semi fluent in the language! 

About calling you guys on christmas, were going to be skyping at a members house! So I need the skype username you guys are going to use. And my companion is going to call you guys the day before to confirm at what time were going to call. So I also need a phone number we can reach you on on Christmas Eve. Better practice your Spanish mom! And it is only one hour, the mission is pretty strict on that...but I am excited to talk to you guys for a whole hour! And its all going to be in Spanish!

Nate and Aria are engaged? I saw that one coming. Thats cool to hear about how the ward at home is growing fast, and how there are so many future missionaries in the ward!

Theres a new really cool video the church has on lds.org. You guys should go watch it! Its about Jesus Christ, and his birth. I know there are a ton of well made videos of the new testament and His life also. I wish I could watch them but you guys need to! He is our Savior and Redeemer! Every single one of you guys! Be grateful during this season and spread the love and the gospel!

Love you mom!

Elder Solari

Monday, December 7, 2015

WEEK 17: TEMPLE TRIP





This week was really good out here in the field. We got our Christmas present from the mission this week. Tuesday we got to go to the temple with the other 4 zones here in Guayaquil. We did a session and it was great. I really enjoyed it because I feel like it made us a lot closer as a zone. Because before Ive been through with just family. I know that we were blessed in the work this last week because of this trip to the temple. And President Torres was also there. We went to the store there on the grounds and I bought some stuff and we had lunch in the cafeteria there. And i ran into my papa! (E. Tomlinson) So that was fun. We also took some zone pictures while we were there at the temple

Then Thursday we had a Christmas devotional in the stake center here with the mission choir. There was a cool program and we sung some songs too. The President also was there and brought all the missionaries a card from the first presidency and a cool holder for our temple reccommend. There was some candy in it as well.  It should be on the mission facebook page, the video of the devotional...and I should be in it. Its funny because Im the only person that has a navy suit. You should find it and share it on the blog and on facebook.

This week we worked real hard and were blessed. This coming week we have 2 baptisms and several more baptism dates set up. Jesus and Olivia. We have been preparing them for some time. The cool thing about Jesus is that we are preparing his spouse as well. We are baptising him about 2 weeks before he wife so he can baptise her! How cool is that! He is so excited to have this opportunity. Once again, we are working hard with the references. References are great, especially when the family helps prepare them before they hand the reference to the missionaries. You guys should try to think of someone you can prepare as a reference for the sisters in our ward. 

Every P day we go and eat Chinese food with our district. Its this place here called Chifa Canton. We go with our district for lunch and get this huge place of rice (surprise) chicken and vegetables! And cola of course. I am also starting the last week of the 12 week training program! I am almost done being a greenie and am ready to go out and be a senior companion! The mission is awesome I am absolutely loving it. 

(Can you make it my facebook cover picture) Picture of our zone, Elder Diaz, my companion is on the far left. The pin everyone has is the mission pin. After you finish your 12 weeks training program, the President gives you an exam, and if you pass it you get the pin to wear on your suit coat! The two Elders on the far right are my zone leaders as of right now. Theyre great guys.

Tell Fred to send me an email! Id love to hear from him and about BYU football and how his workouts are going! 

And remember during this Holiday season the real reason why we celebrate Christmas! Its not about the gifts, the food, the family that is visiting...Its about the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. I challenge every one of you to serve this Christmas and help other people feel the Love of the Savior in their lives. I love you guys! Merry almost Christmas!


Elder Solari

Monday, November 30, 2015

WEEK 16: DIA DE ACCION DE GRACIAS (Thanksgiving)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you guys all enjoyed yourselves. Judging by the picture of Hannah and Calvin you sent me, it looks like he ate too much haha. Glad there was someone to fill my empty space. Honestly I totally forgot that it was Thanksgiving. We didnt have time to do anything special or cook anything, and we also dont have the money haha. Out here in the field its just another day of work and it was a great day. Elder Diaz and I have been putting in work contacting and knocking lots of doors to find new people to teach! 

A few things I learned this week. Our mission president is a Harvard graduate. And we are the literal best mission in the world in terms of numbers and statistics. This is great too because all of our leaders are always so motivating. We always put high goals and work all day to reach them. Elder Diaz has about 8 months in the mission and he is from Peru. He teaches lessons so well I learn a lot from him everyday. And at this point my spanish is decent enough I can always understand what he is saying. He always gives a lot good advice during comp study and lets me know ways and tricks to speak better in Spanish. I was not able to get any pictures but I can describe what he looks like pretty well. Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite. Just with the missionary haircut. And I am not even joking. He has been putting me to work this week. 

Nothing too crazy happened this week. I did run into Elder Barba one night! There was a leadership meeting so a bunch of the missionaries came and stayed in our houses from the far away parts of the mission. There was a two day conference and his comp was a zone leader in a small district somewhere. So that was pretty cool. We also got a new zone leader. He was actually in our sector maybe 6 months ago and I always used to hear the members here talk about him. He is going to bring us around and show us to some of his older investigators. 

The mission president was at stake conference yesterday and we got to sing the hymn our mission wrote at stake conference! So that was cool. The Huancavilca stake is kind of struggling with a lot of inactivos so the president of the mission came out to help solve the problem. We will see how it goes in the next few weeks. Ill have to get you guys a copy of the hymn of the mission one of these days its such a great song.


It talks a lot about the Atonement. Which is the most important doctrine we have to teach the gospel. It helps us to change lives, and it gives us the desire to share the gospel with everyone we know. I promise every single one of you that if you spend this week and just focusing on studying the Atonement, that you will have a desire to share the gospel with everyone you know. And you will grow so much because of it. Because if you think about it, its the Atonement that makes everything possible. Without the Atonement there would be no plan of salvation...no repentance. Treasure up the Atonement this week. It really is the most important doctrine we can share with other people. 

WEEK 15: NEW COMPANION, SAME SECTOR

Hey family! You guys enjoy your Thanksgiving this week! I want to see pictures of the feast and all you guys!

This last week was good! We worked hard and got some new baptismal dates set up for December. We have just been getting through references and have some good leads. We are teaching a family with our ward mission leader who now have a date to be baptised the 19th of December. The funny thing is that the wifes mom is super catholic so we cannot ever pass by their house because she would not allow them to be baptized. So we have been working with them a lot lately. We will have a baptism this week as well. Either Saturday, or Sunday before stake conference. 

Funny story of the week;
This last Tuesday, we were just finishing lunch with our mamita about to share a spiritual thought. So out of nowhere appear our zone leaders, they were out of breath because they were running so hard. Apparently our phone is not functioning right because we were not receiving their phone calls. So they told us we had to go to the mission office IMMEDIATELY. So of course being new, I had no idea why we had to go to the office because it sounded urgent. So we run to find a taxi and get to the office which is about 15 minutes away. So we get to the office and are sitting in the waiting room for the president. He comes and gets us both and tells us to go wait for him in the office. So he comes in and talks with us for a few minutes, and my comp asked him why we were there. So he tells my companion to sing the first verse of hymn number 120 in the spanish hymn book...and then he tells me to sing the second verse. So this is without music...and I had no idea I was going to sing at all. So I murdered it in the worst way possible. And after he told us we sang because that was his favorite hymn and he wasnt motivated (which we later found out was a lie). Today we found out it is because there is a special mission christmas choir that travels around all the stakes. And my comp made the cut so he was tranferred to a different zone!

As of today I have a new companion! His name is Elder Diaz and he is from Peru. He does not know english so my spanish is going to start getting really good. He has about 8 months in the mission so far. Elder Tomlinson was district leader so they are going to call a new one tomorrow at the zone meeting. I am also senior companion for the time being because Elder Diaz does not know the sector yet. So thats pretty cool. Ive got the phone and the keys and all that right now. 

I am still not 100%  sure if we will call or skype. But again I will let you guys know. I can only talk to my family and its for only an hour. The mission is pretty strict about that part. 

Keep working hard back there in the states! You can do everything through Christ who strengthens us. Christ is our rock and we need to have complete faith and trust in him.


Love you guys! ELDER SOLARI

Monday, November 16, 2015

WEEK 14: GRAFFITI


Hey!

Everything is going well out here! This last week was a little slow because my companion had some ingrown toenails we needed to get taken care of. He got one completely ripped out and the other cut down. It was pretty cool to see! So the mission nurses made us take a day off so he wouldnt be limping around all day in the streets. 

That is so cool to hear that Jacks team won the championship! And they did it against his old team...that must have made his old coach feel really bad haha. Twice in a row and Jack also pitched? Sounds like he is getting really good at baseball! I miss playing sports but the work out here is more important! I only have 2 years to serve the Lord and the rest of my life to enjoy sports! 

Yeah so in Ecuador there are a bunch of smaller provinces run by governors. Guayas is the province that we are in right now. We are pretty close to the coast. Just a few sectors over is a Zone that is all on a big island right next to the mainland. Guayas encompasses all of the city of Guayaquil. And to expound on the almost being attacked by a dog...We were almost running home one night because we have to be in our apartment at 9pm sharp. We took a shortcut and there were a bunch of dogs barking. So as we get closer because the street we were going to take was a block up, they start barking and becoming really aggressive. There are a ton of stray dogs but most of them are nice and will leave you alone. So for the mean ones, if you bend over and pretend to pick up a rock theyll run off because they think youre going to throw it. So that worked on these dogs the first time but not the second. And right when one was about to get me a car came by and we were able to get away. It was a pretty cool experience. It made me miss Buster hahaha. 

Anyways this week was slow. We dropped a lot of our investigators because they were not keeping committments and were not able to go to church. So we have been focusing our efforts on finding again. More specifically we are working with less actives to get references. We have some new investigators we have citas set for this week. So keep praying for us! We are going to do everything we can to help them get to church and enter the waters of baptism and accept Christ in their lives! 

We have kind of dropped Gaston and Rosio. They enjoy going to church, but he does not want to be baptised until after he retires from his job working in politics this next year. We are going to pass by and remind them about church every week, but some missionaries next year are going to get to baptise them! Sad but we have to focus on the people that are ready to accept the gospel. Sometimes all we get to do is plant the seed.

So I got a flashdrive in a package a week ago from Alison and we can listen to hymns during study time and at night. If everyone could send me their favorite hymns so that I could download them, that would be awesome! Childrens and regular hymns work, and any artist will do. Motab, BYU Vocal Point, etc. 

About the photo - there is graffiti everywhere here!

The great thing about Christ is that he is always here for us. Even if we are in the world and surrounded by bad things, bad standards, bad people...Christ and the Gospel are always constant. And he will always be there for us no matter what weve been through. Jesus te ama = Jesus loves you. He loves all of us.


Elder Solari

Sunday, November 15, 2015

WEEK 13: 3 MONTHS IN!


Hey everyone! I did not get transferred this last week. I am still here working in Las Acacias with Elder Tomlinson! We did end up getting new zone leaders that we like a lot! This last week was pretty interesting! We had all the water in our city cut off for 36 hours or so this last weekend! I think they were cleaning out all the tanks. So we showered with big jugs of water yesterday morning! It was definitely a cool experience. Because hot water doesnt exist out here, so our showers in the morning are always freezing cold. 

We worked hard this last week. We have a goal every week to have at least 30 lessons with a member present. Members are so important to the work out here. Every night we get back to the house and I am too tired to even write in my journal. I am also super tan from being out in the sun all day. We have so many investigators so we keep busy. The hardest thing ever is to get them to come to church! We always go and committ them to church during the week, and then Saturdays we pass for everyone again to remind them. And Sunday mornings before church because we meet at 3pm. Everyone here believes in the Bible and so we always teach them about Dia de Reposo and they just dont go to church. We have members pass by them Sundays and everything. Most of the missionaries say the hardest part about here is getting them to come to church and I believe them. The people here love to give excuses. But were working through it. 

There is saying here in the mission called mango bajos. These are the people who are ready and willing to accept the gospel without much effort or work necessary. These are the people we need to find and teach because we can bring in much more fruit that way. A lot of the people we have been teaching are mango altos. They are in the tops of the trees and take a lot more time and effort to teach. So we might have to focus more of our time this week and finding people who are more ready to accept the gospel and attend church. 

Gaston and Rosio are going well, theyre able to make more time to visit with us so we need to get them to church this week. His work always keeps him busy. He is always on call so sometimes he leaves last minute for work and cant make church or appointments we have with him.

As far as what you guys can do to help, just keep praying for us and for our investigators. Pray for us that they will be able to keep their commitments and attend church this next week. Pray that their hearts will be softened while we are teaching them. 

Yeah the victory pizza was great. It was just a little family owned place here, so nothing special. And no I wish it was as good as it is in the states. One thing that is better here is the bread. They have the best hot, fresh bread they sell in little tiendas on the streets. 10 cents and you are in heaven. 

Also, if any of you have not watched the video of the history of John Tanner in the church, I would reccomend it. You can find it on youtube and it is about 19 minutes long. Watch it for FHE this week! 


I know the church is true! It is for everyone and when sharing it, share according to their needs. Especially with the holiday season coming up. Share and talk with people about the birth of our saviour! I know Jesus Christ is out saviour and was born into this world as a baby just like we all are. And we may not know it but we too can have an impact on the world in a way like Christ did. I love you guys! 

WEEK 12: HALLOWEEN

Hey family and friends! This might be a little late but Happy Halloween! 

This last week was good. We got a lot of things accomplished. We were able to get some new baptism dates set with our investigators, and I am now halfway through the 12 week in field training program for missionaries. Today we got to go to the office and most of our zone had interviews with the President so that was good! Tomorrow is actually transfers, so if we get the call tonight, either my comp or I am going to leave the sector. He has been here for over 3 months, which is pretty long, so I might have a new companion come this next week! I will keep you guys posted! The thing about this mission though, is that every week you could be transferred! A lot of times the President will call in transfers weeks early. And the Mission President told me today that whoever my next companion is going to be, he is going to be a latino so my Spanish knowledge is going to grow so much! 

We had a competition this last week on Thursday with the other companionship in our district. The companionship that could put the fewest baptism dates had to buy the other companionship pizza! And we won! So sometime in the next day or two we are going to get pizza! This is great because pizza is kind of expensive and there are no places in our district to buy it so we are excited! 

Gaston and his wife Rosio could not make it to church today so we are going to be pushing back their baptism date a week or two. The hardest thing about Ecuador so far is the people. When they commit to something they dont follow through with it very much. They like to lie to get out of things, especially since were both gringos...which means they think we cant notice when theyre lying to our faces hahaha. Its been a little tough to get used to but we are starting to know how to work through it so its been going well. 

Cool story of the week: We are teaching this guy, his name is Carlos. He lived in the States for 20 years or so because he had his papers. So he lost them and got deported here to Ecuador. Then he tried getting back into the States through Mexico and he got caught and served 2 years in Jail. So he is here in Ecuador now. He is almost fluent in Spanish and he has totally turned his life around. He is working on a book he started while he was in jail all about self motivation and discipline and he is honestly a great guy. He works so hard to have the best life for himself out here. His family is all still in the states and they have totally forgotten about him. We are teaching him the lessons and are going to get him a baptism date soon. 

One thing I love about Ecuador. Everybody, no matter who you talk to, believes in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.

I know that this gospel is for everyone. Every single person, no matter how far from the path they are, are never to long gone to be able to return and accept the Savior. His Atonement is for everyone, and everyone needs to use it everyday to be clean from all the sins, big and small we commit. I know that Christ is our Savior and understands every problem we have, and through him we can become strong and steadfast in the faith and in our work as missionaries. Dont forget it. We are all missionaries, you dont have to have a plaque to be able to share the gospel with others. Dont be afraid to open your mouth or help others in need.

I love this gospel and everyones support for me out here. Keep being strong and praying to our Heavenly Father, and everything is possible!

(Sorry again for no pictures)
Love you mom!
Elder Solari

Monday, October 26, 2015

WEEK 11: SPLITS WITH ZONE LEADER



Hey fam and friends!

The work has been progressing well. This last week was definitely busy and we got a lot of stuff done. Tonight we have a noche de hogar (family home evening) with one of the strongest families in our ward. They are inviting 3 other families who are not members and we are going to teach and show one of the shorter videos about the restoration! This is going to be a big night for us! 

I am not sure if I told you guys a week or so ago but I had interchanges for a day with one of our zone leaders in our zone. And he sure worked me hard. I learned so much and was so sore the next day because their sector is quite a bit larger than ours. I like going on changes with other Elders because I have the opportunity to learn to teach and contact in a different way. We got so much accomplished. I put this into practice when I got back with Elder Tomlinson and it has helped us out a lot as far as working efficiently. 

So we do have 2 investigators with baptism dates for the 14th of November right now. They are an older husband and wife. They are in their early 60. Their names are Gaston and Rosio. Gaston is a politician for the city of Guayaquil. Not quite sure to what extent but he works in a big office building. He is the coolest guy we have met. He has been keeping committments and always asks a lot of questions during our lessons. His first sunday in Elders Quorum with us he was contributing so much because he has read and studied the Bible and he is a really intelligent guy. And his wife is not there as much but she is getting ready for the same date. Funny thing, because one of their daughters lives below them with her husband and their 3 kids. We are hoping to be able to get this family all baptised at the same time. Wouldnt that be so great_ (my question mark button doesnt work) We have not had a lot of time to teach them this last week because their daughter had a Qinsinetta(sp) they have been preparing for. But this week we are going to go back at it full force!

The food is growing on me. And by that I mean the soup. Because the main plate is always a bunch of rice. One of the hermanos in our ward makes the best sopa de queso! In english its cheese soup, I pray you guys could have figured that one out on your own haha. But its a cheesy broth with noodles, potatoes and chunks of cheese...its my favorite! 

So I guess any day now we are supposed to be getting the el nino rain storms here. Ive heard stories of Elders walking and proselyting in the flooded streets with water well up past the knees. So we are going to see how bad it gets

Picture from another family home evening with the Portilla Family(whos house we are going over to tonight) on the right. They are one of the families that have us over for lunch and Rico served his mission in Columbia some 10 years ago or so. They are a great family and he is always so willing to go on visits with us so it is great.

Glad all is well for the fam! I love you guys keep having FHE and remember to read the scriptures every night and pray together! All is well out here

Love 

Elder Solari

Monday, October 19, 2015

WEEK 10: 3 NEPHI 5:13


Multi-zone training meeting

Hey family and friends!

This last week was great. We focused a lot on finding new people since most of our progressing investigators have been baptised. We have this phrase in the mission, its called 'Working with the tractor.' And it has to do with getting references from members, who are the tractor. Because we can reap and reap all day with our sickles, but the ward always has good references and we can teach so many more people and families this way. Anyways this last week we did just that. We probably got a good 30 references or so. We have not gotten in contact with them all yet but we are working on that still. As a result we have a lot of new investigators to keep us busy! We already have 2 of these references committed to be baptized next month! Our mission has some strict rules in order to be able to baptize an investigator: 

1. They have to have attended church atleast 3 times for the full 3 hours
2. They have to be keeping committments
3. They HAVE to read the Book of Mormon for 15 minutes everday for atleast 2 weeks straight in order to be baptized. Now this is the hardest one. An investigator can be at their baptism, and if they did not read the Book of Mormon the day before they cannot be baptised. We dont just want members, we want strong members who are going to stay active and keep the commandments. And this is exactly how we can help ensure that. Our role in missionary work with recent converts does not end until they enter the temple and receive the temple ordinances.

Our mission has a motto. Every district meeting, zone meeting and multizone conference we recite it, all in unison. It is found in 3 Nefi 5:13:

'He aqui, soy discipulo de Jesucristo, el Hijo do Dios. He sido llamado por el para declarar su palabra entre los de su pueblo, a fin de que alcancen la vida eterna'
Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word(gospel) among his people that they might have everlasting life.

Nothing brings the spirit more powerful that reciting this with all the other missionaries. We had a multi zone training with our mission president this last week and the 5 zones in the Guayaquil South Area were there. Some 70 or so missionaries. We had a great time. We focused a lot on the Atonement, and how when our knowledge of the Atonements grows, so will our desire to share the gospel. We also talked about how exact obedience brings miracles. We had a great lunch and then worked on our technicas and practiced teaching and contacting other missionaries while the President was holding interviews. Elder Barba and Bolen were not there so I think theyre probably serving in Cuenca or some other area more southern. 

So the family I told you about in my letter last week has been feeling like we are pressuring them too much, they dont want to keep committments. We have still been teaching them but have slowed it down a lot. We are still trying to get them to come to church but they have not yet. 

Ill try to take more pictures next week! Oh and send me pictures of our family! People always ask me for pictures of my family but I dont have any. Keep working hard you guys I love you!

Monday, October 12, 2015

WEEK 9: GUAYAQUIL INDEPENDENCE WEEK!




Hey fam and friends!

We had two baptisms this last week! The work has been progressing well and I got to be a witness for both of the baptisms! One of the members we go on splits with, Moroni, baptised Lorena because she lives with them. She was able to stay off coffee and was baptised! Our other baptism was with an old investigator who just needed permission from her parents because she was not 18 and she finally got it! She has been going to church for years with people in the ward. 

Sandra Lorena is the mom of the family with 2 recent converts. The one who would not let us in the house but now finally did. So guess what? She likes listening to us and sometimes cooks mediana, or dinner for us! And this last week we taught her whole family the first lesson, the Restoration! So we have 4 new investigators and are praying they will feel the love the Lord has for them. The spirit was so strong during the lesson. Nothing helps to bring the spirit stronger than the First Vision and you could see it working in their hearts and eyes. We ended up giving them 2 copies of the Book of Mormon and committed them to read and pray about Joseph Smith, or as they call him here, Jose Smith! We are going to stop by them again tomorrow and see how they felt and hopefully teach them more about the Book of Mormon and the plan of salvation!

So other than this family we have been teaching, We have been out contacting and tracting and trying to find new people to teach. It has been a little hard because people set up appointments with us and are excited about it but then they either tell us the wrong phone number/address or are not there when we come by! So just last night, we had an impression to speak to these two guys who were talking outside of their house...turns out one of them is a less active member, and the other is not and we have an appointment to go teach him and his family this week! We feel good about this one because the less active member is going to accompany us when we go teach them! The best references we receive are from members. After this house, we ran into the old bishops kid and got more references from him that we are going to talk to this week also! We are getting answers to our prayers and fasting. 

Oooohhh my first fast Sunday in Ecuador. I am not going to lie, it was tough. We started after lunch at 2pm and went until 2pm on Sunday. That whole day after lunch we tracted and I usually drink a ton of water but I didnt because of the fast! We were both so tired and drained but worked so hard...then Sunday, last night, we have all these new people to teach and share the gospel with! Just like the Sons of Mosiah in the BoM, if we pray and fast mightily we will be blessed and be able to teach with power and authority like they did. 

As far as my daily schedule goes it is usually the same
6.30 wakeup and exercise
7.00 breakfast and getting ready for the day
8.00 personal study
9.00 companion study
11.00 language study
12.00 almuerzo
1.00 Visits, appointments, tracting
9.00 back to the house to plan
9.30 get ready for bed
10.30 sleep

So from 1-9pm we are doing everything. Teaching lessons, finding new investigators, going on splits, holding baptism interviews, visiting new converts and less actives, everything! We just plan what we are going to do the night before every night. Planning sessions we try to do quickly because we are always so tired.

Then Tuesday mornings we have district meetings from 9.30-11.30am and Saturday we have Zone Meetings from 9.30-11.30. Ward Council is usually Wednesday night at 7.30...but does not start until 8 because the Ecuadorian people are not known for being punctual hahaha. 

So the multi-zone training is actually tomorrow. So hopefully I will get to see either of them tomorrow! I am excited to be able to have a meeting with and talk to our mission president again. He has such a strong spirit and the first capacitacion(training) I had my first day was great

I will start asking around for somewhere to take my clothes to make them smaller! I probably wont need it for a little bit longer...but once the neck gets too saggy Ill have to take them in. Here are a few pictures of the baptism we had this week! I will try to send more pictures next week.

Thank you so much for everything Mom! I love you! Tell the Fam I love them too!

Monday, October 5, 2015

WEEK 8: CONFERENCE AND COMPS 20TH


Elder Tomlinson 20th Birthday!



Hey family and friends! Hope you all had a good conference week! I was able to watch conference in Spanish at the stake center here in The Acacias. It was definitely a different experience trying to take it all in with the Spanish that I know now. I did my best to keep up with it. So what I am waiting for now is for the Conference Issue of the Ensign so I can see if what I jotted down during conference made any sense or not! It was definitely kind of hard to see President Monson in the state he is in. He has been through a lot lately. Even during the Priesthood session you could see him struggling. He has been such an important figure in my life so it was hard to watch that. Weve been praying for him extra lately.

Funny thing about the people of Ecuador...they are kinda lazy and just sit around all day. Conference was at the stake center and during saturday morning and afternoon, there were maybe 35 people each time. Then Sunday morning we went and the chapel and overflow was full! We even went around and told everyone Saturday morning and they all said they werent going to go because they wanted to sleep. It is definitely a lot different out here than in the states! 

Anyways... my week was a good one out here in the Acacias! Our baptism this last week fell through. She drank coffee for the first time in 3 years one night for no reason! We know Satan is working very hard to push back and stop our baptism dates. So we have been stopping by everyday to remind her because she is going to get baptized this weekend. A lot of our investigators are not quite 18 yet so we have been trying to go around and get permission from their parents. We just got permission from another sister and she is going to be baptized this next week too! 

So how lunch works out here, Every week we eat with a different family. It is usually a bigger family with youth, who is usually a very strong family in the church here. This last week we had almuerzo with the Portilla family. They are the ones we got Gabriela and Nicole as a reference from who were in the pictures I sent home last week! They have a boy who is 12 and a daughter who is 3. They are such a funny family. The mom is Columbian and the Dad is Peruvian. They always make great food and a lot of it. 

Cool story from this last week. So we teach Gabriela and Nicole(our recent converts) outside their house because their mom is very Catholic and will not let us in the house. So we found out from Hna. Portilla that the mom always sits upstairs with the windows open and listens to all of our lessons with them...And she likes what she is hearing. So this last Wednesday when we were teaching them, There was a little rival school fight right on their street! Kids aged 12-17. They were launching big chunks of the pavement and rocks at eachother! So we were sitting outside right in the line of fire..and the girls had already run in. We were just kind of watching and the MOM came out and grabbed us and let her in the house for the first time! It was pretty monumental even with the circumstances. So we got to talk to her for a few minutes and she is really nice. She invited us back that night for dinner and cake because it was Elder Tomlinsons birthday! We can see the Lord working in her and just need to figure out when the time is to ask and try to start teaching her and seeing what her expectations are. The Lord works in mysterious ways but the harder we work, the more blessings we get and see in our investigators!

Other than that we have been busy contacting and talking to people in the street trying to find and get new investigators. It gets pretty hot and the days are long but I sleep well every night and am rewarded the harder I work. We are getting ready for the rainy season in the next month or so. It supposedly rains nonstop and in the streets the water gets up to mid calf so that is going to be a new experience too. 

Sorry i did not take many photos this week! These were from my comps camera that we took on his birthday! This one is with a member who is leaving on his mission to Colombia in 2 months! He comes and goes on visits with us most days

We are having a multi zone training with the mission president this week on wednesday so that is going to be fun as well! Hopefully I will run into Elder Barba or Bolen from my district at the CCM!


Glad all is well!  I love you Mom!

Monday, September 28, 2015

WEEK 7: MY FIRST WEEK IN ECUADOR!!




Hi everyone! My first week here has been great. I am serving in the Acacias sector, Huancavilva Zone. It is the northern most part of the mission. So we have just south of Downtown Guayaquil. It is a pretty rough place, south of the city in the ghetto. The apartment we both live in is pretty nice for the area, we have a small kitchen, bedrooms and a blue bathroom. Our sector is pretty small. About a mile wide by maybe 600 meters long. There is such a high concentration of houses though. The weather is always hot and muggy, but it cools down enough at night to sleep because we have a lot of fans in the apartment. We also sleep under huge mosquito nets, even though there are not a whole lot of them in our area.

The mission president is a great guy! He has about 10 months left out here to serve and gave us some great training. We learned about the formula for success out here on the mission, Charity + obedience + the spirit is how we have success. As a mission we have a goal of 600 baptisms every month...we have not hit the goal yet but we always get very close. We are the highest baptizing mission in the world as of right now. We do have some more strict rules because they hold us to such high esteem. We are not allowed to play sports, even on P day. And on P day we are to stay in our proselyting clothes all day. At first I was bummed, but then I figured out that we need to make sacrifices and give in to the Lords will in order to help the work progress more rapidly out here.

The flights out here were great. We went smoothly through Colombia and got out here to meet my companion. His name is Elder Tomlinson and he is from the Portland area. He is gringo just like me and has about 10 months left out on the mission. He has a great spirit, and is teaching me how to work and more importantly, more spanish. And guess what....He has served in the Galapagos! I asked the mission president about serving there and he said its like the Celestial Kingdom...only the most obedient and hardest working missionaries get to go there. So I have something good to motivate me!

We had 3 baptisms this week! I attached some pictures. They are some people they had been teaching, and we interviewed them this last week and finished teaching and they were ready for baptism! I got to baptize Jeremy this last week. He is the younger boy. And this is the family in the ward who we got the references from! The members always have the best references for us to teach. And Gabriela and Nicole, the other two we baptized, have more friends and family we can teach! We are so excited and ready to get to work. 

We have a goal to give 8 invites to be baptized everyday in our mission. Each companionship. I love having such motivated leaders and mission! It has helped me to want to work so much harder to reach those goals. There are something like 250 missionaries in the mission, and if we all manage 3 baptisms a month, we can achieve the goal of 600 baptisms a month. 8 invites a day is what 56 a week? That is a lot of potential baptisms! We also have a large pool of investigators and potential baptism dates so we always stay busy!

My first Sunday was great! The ward is full of friendly people who know I cant understand the language when they speak it really fast. I also found out on Sunday I had to give a talk in Sacrament and had only a couple hours to prepare. We talked about missionary work and it went great! I almost took up too much time. The members out here love the missionaries. When we are walking on the streets they always yell AYYY MI GRINGO AMIGOS and come talk to us. Everyone here for work mostly has little stores in their house, so people are always on the streets to talk to. 

The food is not bad. Every week we eat at a members home for Lunch at 1, which is the big meal of the day. Our mamitas usually cook rice, sometimes pasta and some kind of meat, whether bologni, beef or chicken/turkey. The first course is also always a hot soup which is funny because it is always hot outside and I never stop sweating. Not that many places out here have air conditioning. They also always make fresh juice for us. There are a lot of good little stores here that cook fresh bread so sometimes we have that for dinner or for a small meal later that night. Breakfast is usually a banana or some cereal. Today we are going to go to the store and buy some groceries! We do also take the bus a little bit because my companion is our district leader so we have more responsibilities and are always busy!

Anyways an hour sure does fly by on the computers because my trainer is strict which is good! God is good and the work is progressing. Thanks for all your prayers. Ill talk to you guys next week!

Love you guys!!
Elder Solari

Packages and letters can be sent to this address:

Elder William Joseph Solari
Mision Ecuador Guayaquil Sur
Casilla 09-04-566
Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador

Packages have to be less than 8 pounds, and sent in padded envelopes will get them here the fastest. Make sure they send it with the green sticker. Also...if you are going to send anything important, hide it in something in the package and cover it in pictures of Christ or the Virgin Mary

















Sunday, September 27, 2015

WEEK 6: ARRIVAL OF ELDER WILLIAM SOLARI TO ECUADOR!

The following pictures & letter arrived via email from the Guyaquil Ecuador South mission home this past Wednesday...





                                                                  MisiĆ³n Ecuador Guayaquil Sur


24 September 2015

Dear Brother and Sister Solari:

It was a very special experience to personally greet your son, Elder Solari, at the airport upon his arrival in Guayaquil. We were impressed by his great spirit and desire to serve. We are grateful and humbled to have him serving here with us.

From the airport we took him and the other missionaries downtown to the Guayaquil Temple for a picture.  We then went to a stake center to meet the office staff and take care of some paperwork, and orientation.  We enjoyed a great Ecuadorian dinner after which it was my privilege to interview your son as well as the other arriving missionaries.  What a nice experience it was to get to know your son and feel his outstanding missionary spirit!

Later in the day, they were assigned companions for their first assignment. The next morning they traveled to their new area. Your son was assigned to the Huancavilca Zone with Elder Tomlinson as his companion. The address for the mission office is Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission, Casilla 09-04-566, Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador.  If, in case of emergency, you need to contact your son, please call the mission office.

Your help in encouraging him in your letters to continue to serve faithfully, being completely obedient throughout his mission will be greatly appreciated. We know that he and the Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission will be in your prayers. We also know that the coming months will bring many blessings into your lives by your son´s faithful service and the sacrifice you are making for him to serve the Lord. Thank you very much for having prepared your son to withstand the rigors of missionary life and to now be serving with us.

May God bless you for your consecration towards furthering the Lord´s work.  We send our love and appreciation.

Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission

President Maxsimo C Torres                                       Sister Blanca T. Torres






Thursday, September 17, 2015

WEEK 5: MY FLIGHT PLANS ARE HERE!


(L to R:  Elders Smith, Bolen, Sheppard, Wilson, Peterson, Heap, Waite, Myself and Barba)
Last class with our teacher Hermana Velasquez
___________

This Monday the 22nd at 10:30pm a van is taking Elders Barba, Bolen and I to the Mexico City Airport to catch our first flight at 2:15am to the Bogota, Columbia Airport! We should get in around 6:40am and then we have a 2 hour layover and should be getting in to Guayaquil at about 10:30am. We are all so excited to finally get to Ecuador! It also looks like I have window seats for both flights so that is another big bonus. I will definitely call you guys at whichever airport I have more time in, either Mexico City or Columbia. So be on standby because I will probably be calling from a weird number! I am also going to have to pay to check one of my bags because only 1 is free but they reimburse me when i get to the mission home.

This last week here at the CCM has been great!

It started off really on Saturday with the Cultural Celebration. I dont think I´ve seen a cultural celebration ever before and it was sooo interesting. It was an hour and a half play about the Book of Mormon! It started out with Nephi going and retrieving the plates, and progressed through building the boat, lots of war scenes and ended when Christ appeared to the Nephites! After that it went through the Restoration, and the story of how the Book of Mormon was first translated into Spanish which was a really cool story. And it showed how traditional Spanish dancing has progressed throughout the ages, the ones with the big flowy dresses. It was a really cool experience and really helped to show how far the restoration has come and how much more of the world it still has to reach. 

The Temple dedication was great. Elder Holland and President Eyring both spoke before the dedication. We were watching a CCM only broadcast but it was a live feed and the auditorium was treated like an extension of the temple! All week there had been rumors of Elder Holland stopping by for a surprise devotional Sunday...but our CCM President told us he wanted too but that they did not have enough time to stop by. They did both give some powerful talks...and the dedicatory prayer was amazing. They both kind of talked about how the temple had to be rededicated..but then they turned it into how we really need to rededicate our lives to serve the Lord. And i Think that really hit home with me because I was rededicated and my life was set apart to serve the Lord for these next 2 years. We watch so many talks and excerpts from talks in our classes....and not surprisingly the majority of them are from Elder Holland. He always gives such great talks. 

As far as teaching investigators it is going well. We have 3 that we are teaching almost daily. Some are progressing nicely but one is a little more difficult. We usually follow the lesson order in Preach My Gospel but we always mix it up and really try to teach what the Spirit tells us that the investigator needs to hear. So there are set Lessons we are supposed to teach...but we have leeway in teaching them our way. One thing that is cool about Preach my Gospel and that us missionaries are supposed to do now...is that we are supposed to extend a baptism invitation the first lesson we teach them. The first time I was told that I was almost shocked but now seeing how it has played out...it really helps you to know what the investigator needs to be taught in order to be ready for that next step. 

So the 15th was Mexican Independence Day. And when they party here in Mexico they go big. All week long all we have heard at night is non stop fireworks, live music and gun shots firing into the air. We have also celebrated this a little bit at the CCM because the food has been better than normal and they have had a lot of good Mexican candies

Sorry these last few emails have been short! I know once I get out to Ecuador there will be so much more to tell about and so many more pictures to share! So tomorrow is another big day. Its called our ¨In-field Orientation´ day. We wear our suits all day and go to a bunch of work shops, and goal setting meetings. It should really be when they start teaching us and telling us about how it is going to be in the field. Because up to this point it has just been doctrine and Spanish that we have been taught. So tomorrow should be an exciting day. I also got to try out my rain coat and it works great!

Thanks mom I love you! Pass my love on to Dad the boys and Buster! 

Elder Solari


Dont worry I did get a haircut right after this picture...and I was sick.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

WEEK 4: I AM A ROSE IN A MEADOW OF DANDELIONS!


I have been gone for almost a month! Thats crazy! Only 23 more fast Sundays to go until I return home!

I am sure you are all wondering about the subject of this email. It was the quote of the week from Elder Heap in my District. He is from the northern Arizona mountains and is probably the only pure redheaded Elder here....But he is also a bit of a redneck. And super funny. We were just talking about how redheaded people are so rare, and that he needs to pass the gene on so it doesnt go extinct. Then he said " I am a rose in a meadow of dandelions" and we all lost it because he is a pretty macho guy. 

This last week was great. And we are in the home stretch. I can already see Ecuador. The spirit that we constantly feel here is amazing. We are now teaching three separate investigators everyday so we are studying harder and learning more than we have been the rest of the time here. We pray for the gift of tongues everyday and I have seen it manifest itself during our lessons and teaching time. We have pretty much done away with English all together. When we are in class and at meals and such, we do our best to ONLY talk in Spanish. We also do our best to talk with all the Latino missionaries here so they can help us with our spanish also. 

This week at TRC we got to teach a lady who was from Veracruz Mexico. I dont think I had ever heard anybody talk Spanish so fast in my whole life! I would hear the first couple of words, and by the time i knew what they meant she would be a sentence or two ahead! But we did get the just of her message and the experience she shared so we were able to carry on. Speaking Spanish has not been hard, but after this experience....I know it is going to be the hardest to try to understand and comprehend Spanish when it is spoken to us. Our maestro told us that in Ecuador they speak Spanish even faster than that! He also told me that my Spanish is progressing really well, and that I dont have an English accent because i have good pronunciation of the Spanish alphabet. 

This whole last week during Gym time we have been having ping pong tournaments. Every single day we play for about an hour straight and it is so much fun! So many people are good so we play the best games. I am hoping that somewhere in Ecuador there will be a ping pong table that we can use because I love it. Pizza night again this week we had another pizza eating competition in our district and I was challenged by Elder Heap. We both managed 13 slices but he yaked so I am still the champion! Pretty cool huh? I have been shedding off the pounds since I have been here. The altitude mixed with the 3 meals a day and no other food has been good for me. 

This weekend we get to see the broadcast of the temple cultural celebration and dedication! They said the Auditorium was going to be an extension of the temple. So we are going to do the Hosanna Shout and handkerchiefs and everything! I have never seen a live dedication so that is going to be a great experience! We might get to do a session next week but I am not sure yet. I will let you guys know!

We all fasted this last Sunday and it was a great experience. We skipped Dinner Saturday night and Breakfast Sunday morning. It really is such a powerful way to receive blessings and answers to questions in our lives. It is so important! I wish I really knew how powerful it was sooner. It is one of the best ways to feel the spirit. And we dont just have to fast on fast Sunday...it can be any Sunday or any day we need additional clarity or insight in our lives. I know you can receive great blessings!

We also have some cardboard cut outs of Jesus that we got from a district that left! We keep them in the house and at night I like to move them around to scare other Elders in the morning! It is such a fun thing to do! I took a picture with one of them. Sorry I did not have time to get a lot of pictures this week but I will get some more next week!

Is Fighting Zebras football doing that well? I guess I am not surprised because we did get a new Varsity coach who has been doing good things for the team. 16 RANK ADVANCEMENTS? That is pretty crazy. That is exciting though because the scouting program is so important. When is Cole going to start on his Eagle? Yes I remember that hike. It was definitely a fun one. I am glad Bustey boy enjoyed it! Is he still limping or has he gotten better?

That is awesome about Cole being the freshmen class president! yeah I think that means he is over the float creation...but he is pretty creative so I know he will do a good job. Wow thats right! Ukraine and the Philippines! They are both going to have so much fun. Make sure to send me some pictures from the wedding! And have a safe trip out to Utah!

I love you mom! Glad all is going well with the family. You guys take care! Im praying for all of you!

Love

Elder Solari

Thursday, September 3, 2015

WEEK 3: HALFWAY TO ECUADOR!


LESS THAN THREE WEEKS UNTIL I GET TO ECUADOR!

I am so excited that I am past the halfway point in the MTC. All day long I dream about the mountains and the trees and the world outside this beautiful compound we have to stay in. Especially with the news of that big Volcano Cotopaxi that is bound to erupt any day now! Thats exciting!

The Temple should be dedicated before we leave, I am not sure if we will all be going to the dedication or if we are just going to have it broadcast in the auditorium. I would love to attend a session in Spanish....that would be really cool!

This week was a great one. Everyday we have gym time, and believe it or not I am getting into playing cage soccer here at the CCM! It is an outdoor caged in basketball court that has soccer goals right under it. It is so much fun! We play everyday and on Prep day now! I am actually starting to enjoy futbol more and more now! There is also an Elder in my district, his name is Elder Heap and he likes to lift in the gym so we get to do that together! Hes from a small town near Flagstaff Arizona.

Our district is going great. We all get along so well and have so much fun goofing off and teaching investigators. It is making being out here so much easier. They have a nice little shop here in the CCM and they give us 100 pesos a week for buying stuff like laundry detergent, drinks, snacks, copies of the book of mormon, etc. Everything is so cheap out here! I think 17 pesos equals about 1 USD but it goes pretty far.

We are in the motions for the next couple of weeks until we leave. We have a couple hours of language study everyday. an hour of personal study, an hour of companion study and then a lot of teacher led lessons about doctrine and spanish as well. We did get a broadcast from the Provo MTC because Elder Dallin H Oaks gave a devotional there about Preach My Gospel and it really stressed how the Plan of Salvation is so important to teach because it really is the foundation for why we believe what we believe.

Other than that everything is going well! The week was not super eventful but it was fun. 

Still crazy that Sarah is getting married. Be sure to send me a picture of the newlyweds at the reception! and one of my mission plaque when they have it ready!

That is so exciting that Cole got his Life Scout! Make sure to tell him that it is much easier to get his Eagle Scout while he is young and before he is driving and working! I miss the Friday Night Gridiron! Are you guys going to watch the game just to hear Cole in the band? That is awesome about Cole teaching the lesson. I am glad you guys all enjoyed his message. Having him and Jack teach lessons is important it will help them so much later and they can become such great teachers and spiritual giants that way. Tell Jack I am proud of his Regatta too!

Tell Cindy to have Landon email me. I dont have his email and I want to hear from him! Hows the home ward holding up? And bishop Wilson?

God lives and he blesses us all so much! I am about out of time for this week but I love you mom! Thanks for all the prayers!

Love

Elder Solari

Thursday, August 27, 2015

WEEK 2: CCM PIZZA NIGHT CHAMPION


Open House at newly renovated  Mexico City Temple


Hi Mom, Family and everyone else!

I am sure you're wondering about the title of my email this week, but there is a story behind it. Tuesday night here at the CCM is Pizza Night. It is everybodys favorite night because it is all costco pizza! In our Zone, the long standing record for slices of pizza eaten was 9, and this week I managed to eat 11 slices! I am the pizza champion!

Anyways, this week was a great one here at the CCM. It seems every week is getting easier and flying by sooner. All I can think about is getting out to Ecuador...I am so excited. I guess one of the biggest Volcanos in the world is in Quito and it erupted about a week and a half ago! I think its called Volcano Cotopaxi. I hope it does not disrupt getting out to Ecuador September 22nd! That is the day I will leave to fly down to Ecuador with Elder Barba and Bolen, who are also both serving in Guayaquil South.

Today we got to go through the open house of the Mexico City Temple before it is rededicated! It is the largest temple outside of the United States because Mexico City has a population of over 21 MILLION people! We loaded in big buses this morning and took a half day trip to the temple. I will go ahead and attach some pictures. It is a HUGE temple. The inside is so new and the celestial room is beautiful. 

This week we started something new called TRC. It is when members, less actives and investigators come to the CCM to be taught by the missionaries. We have a 20 to 25 minute lesson with them without preparing before hand what we are going to teach or say. We got to teach two sisters this week and it was an amazing experience. They both happened to be members but they give us evaluations to let us know how we did. It is a great way to train because it definitely helped my confidence grow with teaching the doctrine in Spanish.

Highlight of the week: Elder D. Todd Christofferson came and gave a devotional yesterday (wednesday). He talked about charity, humility and answered some awesome questions from Elders and Hermanas here at the CCM. He offered insight on how to help those who may be struggling that you know of back home. He made me think of prayer in a whole new way. It was really profound... He said that when we pray we need to specifically ask God to give them some of our own blessings! That really hit home and is something I started doing right away! He also said the best thing we can do for others back home, and to bless them is to SERVE MIGHTILY. This week my knowledge was deepened on the power of prayer, and how sometimes we may take it for granted...when it really is the most important thing we can do to feel the spirit and receive answers and revelations for our own lives. 

Someone asked a questions about what Christ really meant when he was on the cross and he said "Why hast thou forsaken me." He gave such an inspiring answer to this questions. In DC 19:18 he told us that Christ was afraid he could not see the Atonement to the end. He pleaded three times but ultimately succumbed to the will of the Father. It was the time the spirit and connection he had always felt with his Father truly ended and he was ultimately alone. Elder Christofferson went on to say: "Christ did this alone, so we can accomplish anything because he will never leave us without help" Definitely the highlight of my stay at the CCM so far.

Glad to hear about the family theme you guys started! I think that is a great idea. Everything is great here at the CCM! Enjoying the food, the district and the teachers. I love you guys so much! Thanks for praying for me and writing me!

Alma 26:12 is what I would like for my plaque scripture. I could not find Bro Barneys email so can you pass that along to him please? Thanks!

So There is this cool website where you can send Elders or Hermanas at the Mexico MTC packages and goodies. I think its called Missionarycarepackagemx.com or something like that!

Love,

Elder Solari

Saturday, August 22, 2015

WEEK 1: MEXICO CITY MISSION TRAINING CENTER (CCM)

August 20, 2015
Elder Solari's first letter and pictures from the Mexico City CCM

Hey everyone!

The CCM is an amazing place. Were right in the heart of Mexico City on a campus that used to be a church ran school here. When they lowered the mission age it was changed into the CCM. Every Missionary who is going Spanish speaking in the states or south of the border comes and learns spanish here. They usually have 300-500 elders here, but have capacity for over 1200. Everyone that works in the campus here is a member in Mexico and we have so many opportunities to talk to members about the gospel in Spanish!

I absolutely love it here. The first couple days we had orientation and met the CCM presidency. They all used to be previous Area 70s and they make meetings and lessons so much fun. We are at around 7400 elevation or so in a valley surrounded by some mountains. It is so pretty, and all day and night long we can hear hear the cars and buses honking, and the noises of the parties they are having outside the wall. The weather is great...the mornings and nights are pretty cool and during the day it probably does not get much above 80 degrees. The food is pretty good. Breakfast they have yogurt smoothies, milk, cereals, and some kind of egg dish or pancakes or french toast. They have a lot of juices and fruits with every meal as well. Lunch is always some kind of meat with beans and rice and they always have tortillas. So lunch is always some kind of tacos and a popsicle. And dinner is great too. Sometimes leftovers, sometimes more tacos, it just depends from day to day. But the food sure is good....especially the beans!

So funny thing about my companions...I actually have two. One of the elders I am rooming with had a companion that did not show up. Elder Barba, my assigned companion, is from Mesa AZ. He is a really funny kid, and loves sports so we get along very well. My other companion is from San Clemente, CA. His name is Elder Sheppard. Its pretty cool because he lived right next door to the Oborn's when they lived there. He also knew the Lenzinger's. He is your stereotypical Southern California guy. Surfing and catching big waves is his thing and he has that laid back attitude about everything which is great. The Living quarters are great, we actually lives in houses here. There are 50 casas, each of them have 5 rooms, and 4 missionaries to a room. Each room has a bathroom and each casa has a huge living room and a small empty kitchen. 

I absolutely love my district. Usually each district here gets atleast 2 hermanas but we lucked out and just have 9 elders. We have 4 Elders going to Chile, 1 going to Peru, 1 going to Texas and then Elder Bolen, Elder Barba and myself are all going to Ecuador Guayaquil South. We have so much fun as a district because whenever we have class or study time it is always together. We get an hour for GYM time everyday which is very nice. We usually play volleyball or basketball as a district. Our teacher is a Hermana who served her Mission in Mexico a couple years ago. Her English isnt the greatest but it is definitely enough to teach us. She has the spirit so strongly and we learn so much everyday from her My Spanish is progressing so quickly. I read the book of mormon out loud in Spanish everyday and say all of my prayers in Spanish now. We also try to talk in Spanish as much as possible with eachother so our language is growing so much everyday. 

We have devotionals on Tuesdays and Sundays. Both times we watched previous Devotionals David A Bednar has given to missionaries. He really stressed and challenged us to study the character of Christ. And that when we go through trails and believe that we are deserving or prideful that we need to "Turn Outward like Christ did." It was a Christmas Provo MTC devotional from several years ago...but I think it applies to all of us. He talks for about 70 minutes but it is the most powerful talk I have heard. I think you should try to watch it. I promise it is not just for missionaries...you will be able to feel the spirit so strongly. 

We have been teaching an 'investigator.' The third day we were here we had our first lesson with Daniel. It is crazy that the CCM has you teaching in Spanish after only being here for 3 days! You really have to rely on the spirit but he is progressing so well. After our 4th lesson last night we committed him to be baptised!!! He said yes but he just has to talk to his wife about it and will let us know later tonight. We are so excited for him!!


Thank you so much for all of your prayers! I love you all!