This last week will probably be one I will remember for the rest of my life. It was honestly a blast being able to have a training conference with Elder Ronald A. Rasband from the Quorum of the Twelve Apóstles(We werent allowed to bring our cameras). But Ill tell you more about that later in the letter.
So this week we had a baptism! His name is Ryam Tomala and his mom has been inactive for years. So we have been working with her and trying to reactivate her and this last week she finally filled all the requirements so we also prepared her son for a baptism! He is 9 years old. But funny story. So about 2 weeks ago the other Elders had a baptism..but the drain wasnt working in the baptismal font. So we get there Saturday and it is full of water and not draining. So what did we have to go? We emptied the whole baptismal font running buckets and dumping them in the bathroom. Now baptismal fonts are the same size here as they are in the states...so it took us about 2 hours to do it. As I am writing this I am still sore from that afternoon. So he was baptised yesterday (Sunday) and it was a great service. We had strong support from the members and great messages shared. So what did we do this morning at 5:30? We got to empty the baptismal font again! But this time we did it with the other 4 Elder in our house so it went a little bit faster. I guess in this ward it happens a lot so this week they are going to sent an email to the church offices to get someone sent out to fix it! So that is reason 1 why I am going to remember this week.
Another thing that is great about our ward is the food. The member here love to give us food and invite us to have dinner! Which is kind of rare here because Lunch is the big meal. Our mamita this week is a recent convert from the beginning of this year. And she cooks so great and always offers to have us over for dinner. The family is a blessing because they take great care of us as missionaries. Let me see if I can attach some pictures of the food for you guys haha.
Yeah so the conference with Elder Rasband was historic for a couple of reasons. So it was the first time that an Apostle had come to Ecuador to give a training to the missionaries. The other reasons are because it was the first time THE WHOLE MISSION was together for a conference. Even the missionaries in the Galapagos came for the conference. And the other reason is because in the conference were the other 2 missions in Guayaquil. So Mission South, West and North of Guayaquil. So in total like 600 missionaries there. The training started at 10am but our whole mission was there early at 7:30am before any of the others arrived. It was crazy seeing the difference in missionaries from the other missions compared to ours. Were like an army of soldiers all with the perfect part in our hair haha but I love it. So we all got to shake Elder Rasbands hand and look him right in the eyes. It was definitely an experience I will not forget! The only other Apostles hand I have been able to shake was Elder L. Tom Perry at the huge BSA encampment years ago!
So what really impressioned me from the training is that everyone talked about the importance of our smile. Elder Montoya and his wife, and the Apostles wife also shared messages. They talked a lot about how all the people here in Ecuador have to see the smile and the sparkle in our eyes. Because before they accept the message they have to accept the messager. Elder Rasband also talked about how recently they opened missions in Turkey and Kasakhstan so thats cool too. He took questions at the end and someone asked him about how we can tell between what the spirit is telling us and what our mind or the enemy is telling us. He told us that we should always follow our first impression as missionaries because it is the Holy Ghost. We should never talk ourselves out of doing that first impression that came to our minds. Because thats when the adversary comes in to push us in the wrong direction.
He also shared a really cool experience that had to do with him assigning missionaries to serve in missions all around the world. He told us that only Apostles or the First Presidency assigns missionaries..nobody else does it. You can find more in one of his talks called ´´The divine calling of a missionary´´ I really recommend that you guys read it.
President Moreno gets here the end of the month...I think the 28th. Send me the picture of the whole mission together!
Love you guys!