Monday, August 22, 2016

WEEK 53: 1 ANO

8/15/16 Letter

Bueno familia para celebrar un año voy a escribir toda la carta en Español just kidding dont worry haha. 

This last week has been a blast. We keep working hard and finding new people to teach, this last week we focused a little bit more on less actives. Here in Batallon we have 762 members and only about 220 or so go to church every sunday. So we are trying to meet and know as many of them as we can so we can help strengthen the ward even more. It also helps us to find part member families (like ours) so we can get them to the temple and get the kids on missions! And about your question mom yes we have worked with families like ours..where everyone is a member and all the kids go on missions but the dad isnt a member. We are also working with one right now, the Bermejo family where the Dad is a less active who served a mission like 10 years ago and his wife is not a member. We actually see it a lot out here and it always makes me think about Dad and all the times missionaries would come over and teach him and have dinner. I know one day we´´ll get him!

In other news..we had a baptism this last week! Anthony! We have been teaching him for almost a month. Funny story how we found him..he had been going to seminary every night for weeks before the teacher told us he wasnt a member..he was super prepared because he already knew all the youth and we baptised him Saturday at noon! It was special because we have been teaching his mom and his brothers at the same time but they havent been able to come to church yet(Theyre not early risers). But they were able to make it for the baptism! His brothers names are Moises and Ezequiel, and his moms name is Martha so pray for them please! Another thing about the baptism is that the ward helped us buy a cake for the baptism so that was cool! And the confirmation went well Sunday as well.
Anyways thats all the time Ive got. I love you guys and I love this work! Remember that every only fo you guys are missionaries too and should share the gospel with all the people you meet! And if you have a question...ASK THE MISSIONARIES. 

I love you guys!

      Elder Solari


 So heres a picture of almost the whole zone, one mission one companionship. (starting on the left side of the table) Elder Fourcade, Elder Vargas, Elder Munoz, Elder Benites, Elder Sandoval, your favorite Elder, Elder Milne, Elder Barnum, Elder Prado and Elder Paim mi compa.

 Ready for the first time to play sports in over a year..sock and short game on point😏

The District with the ZLs

8/8/16 Letter

Well family and friends...this last week the mission changed a lot. We had our first leadership council with President Moreno and all the Zone Leaders in the mission here in was an awesome experience. Also being able to see there are a ton of new leaders here in the mission. So President told us that now we can play sports on PDAY for 2 hours and its limited to Basketball and today we got together as a zone and had a blast playing basketball. I havent played in so long and I feel super sore but it was a great way to strengthen the unity in our zone. I feel like it helped out some of the Elders that have been stressed or that maybe dont get along too well with their companion. And after we played basketball we went and bought lunch too...Ill see if I can attach some pictures. Also another thing that changed is now with transfers they are going to give us a 3 day notice so we can have time to say goodbye to the members and to our converts and investigators. Before it was instantly...the APs would call us and tell us we had an hour to be in the bus terminal or our new thats a nice change as well. So with President Torres..he had some zones where he would send Elders to ´´punish´´ them(Like our zone)..and then he also had some sectors where he would send Elders to reward them( Galapagos, Santa Rosa, Huaquillas, etc.) But President Moreno has done away with this as well...Before it was only the Elders that baptised most that would go to the Galapagos but now hes sending missionarys there for revelation which is a lot better. One change that is a little sad is that when the new missionaries finish their 12 week program there isnt going to be a test for the mission a matter of fact they have done away with it completely. They dont even sell them anymore in the office, and he is not going to keep the hymn President Torres wrote as our mission hymn. Another thing that is cool is that we do not have to go to the office Mondays so we have more time to enjoy our PDAY. Really the mission has changed a lot, the APs arent stressed like they always used to be, they dont give as many machetes hahaha. Also we can go to the temple every 3 months! So we are already planning a trip to go as a zone this month!

So last week in the letter home I talked about Jonathan a little and he is struggling...he didnt come to church this last week and isnt answering our calls so we are thinking about dropping him for a little while to see what happens. But keep praying for him! These last couple of weeks we have been teaching a kid named Anthony who is 15 years old. He had been going to seminary for almost 3 weeks before the members told us he wasnt a member.. they just all supposed he was. So he is going to be baptised this week! And we are preparing his mom, Martha, and his brother Bryan for a later date to be baptised! So if you guys could pray for them that would be awesome!

Moses 1:39
39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring topass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Alma 12:24
 24 And we see that death comes upon mankind, yea, thedeath which has been spoken of by Amulek, which is thetemporal death; nevertheless there was a space grantedunto man in which he might repent; therefore this lifebecame a probationary state; a time to prepare to meetGod; a time to prepare for that endless state which hasbeen spoken of by us, which is after the resurrection of the dead.

So I have been pondering on these 2 scriptures a lot this last week... I feel like it really explains my purpose as a missionary. The first explaining the final goal, and what we need to do or share with the people here so that they can achieve it. I know that as missionaries we Teach Repentance and Baptism converts. And its so every single day we invite people to repent so that they can be ready to meet God..and a lot of people dont want to humble themselves and do it but there are few people that do want to repent and progress. And I know that its these people that will be saved and that can have their eternal family after this life. And I know my role as a missionary what I have to do is invite everyone to change their lives...and I love it! Because every has their agency and we work with those select few that are ready to change their lives. I love this gospel it really has changed my life!

I love you guys!

      Elder Solari


8/1/16 Letter

Thats awesome everyone was there for the baby blessing! Baby Griffin definitely looks a lot like Caitlin haha I love getting the pictures of everyone! Looks like you guys are enjoying it there in Portland and to be united with Dad again is sweet! Keep sending more pictures!

Well this last week was interesting! My companion has been sick almost all week so we havent been able to work a whole lot! He ate something funny and had some kind of infection in his stomach or intestines...but dont worry he feels a lot better now! 

Our missionary handbook tells us that we should study teachings of the Prophets to learn how to be a recently I have been studying teaching of Joseph Smith. I am in chapter 34 and loving every single page. It has really made me reflection a lot about a leader and how they lead through example. As I study this book I want more and more to be the think of leader that Joseph Smith was. To always be an example even in the worst be worthy to receive the spirits guide in the exact moment I need it.  It has definitely been a humbling experience for me so far and I feel so grateful to be able to develop more of Christ attributes in my character. 

We are teaching a young adult named Jonathan, not sure if I have already told you guys about him, but we need you guys to pray for him! Yes he keeps progressing and his baptism date is coming up but we think he is still having some challenges! We have had some super good lessons with him this last week...we watched the video of the Restoration and of John Tanner. His family is really the problem with his progress, they dont support him but he wants to do it. He also has a fear of the trials that are going to come later in his life if he is baptised...but we are teaching him and are going to keep helping him so he can get baptised!

Another thing that happened this as ZL we have a monthly meeting with an Area 70, President Moreno and our Stake President, President Caza. It was an amazing experience. Only us 5 and we had a conference talking about the recent converts here in the Cisne stake. And it was in the Kennedy which is one of the biggest church here in Ecuador, by University of Guayaquil. We were able to talk about the progress of our work and our labors with a member of the 70, Elder Alvarez, and ask for advice and council for him on how we can work better with the members and the stake leaders. He shared so many cool stories from his life on his mission, as a bishop and a stake president. He shared with us that his Dad found out he was leaving on the mission the day before he had to report..and that they locked him in his room on the 4th story and he scaped tying together bed sheets to leave on his mission! Its so crazy all of the opposition we face when we are trying to do the good things in our lives! And where we can end up when we put the Lord first, and serve him with all our mind, might heart and strength. I    am honestly so happy to lose myself in so great a cause!! I love you guys!

The cyber is full of virus so I havent been able to send photos! Ill try to do it soon!

      Elder Solari


7/25/16 Letter

Bueno family this last week has been great! There have been some changes here in the Zone so I will not have a lot of time to write you guys because we have to go to the Bus terminal to pick up some Elders that are moving in to our house.

I just want to let you guys know that everything is going great out here! We are working super hard and the mission has changed a whole lot with President Moreno, he is now allowing some sports like Basketball and Ultimate Frisbee so its definitely changing. As far as this last week we found a new family to teach and we are preparing them to be baptised. I love this work and I love every opportunity to talk with everyone we see! And I have learned to love studying the scriptures every day. The hour of personal study in the morning is honestly my favorite part, it helps me to start the day out strong and with the spirit! Also this next week we will be having our first leadership council in the mission which is when all the zone leaders and the Hermana leaders get together for a conference with President, so I am sure he is going to keep changing things about the mission. I honestly like some of the changes, sure its going to take some time to get used to but I know its for the better. I tried to attach some photos, but the viruses stole them...maybe next week! Love you guys!

      Elder Solari


7/18/16 Letter

Well this last week I completed 11 months in the mision! Its crazy how fast the time flies!

These last weeks we have been working with a college student named Andersson..and yesterday he was baptised and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! His story is super cool. So the missionaries found him here about 2 months ago. So he is honestly one of the greatest guys I have had the opportunity to teach here in the mission. He has had some huge desires to change his life and enter in this path. So about 2 months ago he didnt believe in God, or Jesus Christ, and he has been going to church since then and strengthening his testimony! He has had some difficulties because he told us like a year ago he was working trying to make more people become atheist, and since then he has been able to share his experience with all of them and mend what he had done. He has already read half of the Book of Mormon, he has 21 years old and is already committed to go on the mission this next year! He wants to be able to help and share this message with everyone, especially people that have this same struggle he did. Another great thing is that his family who did not want to participate in the lessons went to his baptism and stayed for church! So now we are working with his parents as well so they can be baptised! 

To answer your questions, yes President Moreno brought two kids with him. I think he has 5 but the other 3 are married and have their families. His wife is really cool too. She is always there in the zone conferences with President Moreno and always shares a message too. Which is pretty different from President Torres, because I had only seen Hermana Torres maybe 2 times. We had our first multi zone conference with President Moreno this last week! It was a super great experience. 

A cool experience we had this last week, were teaching another college student his name is Jonathan Santana, hes 20 years old. So like a week ago Elder Paim and I received revelation that the key to him being baptised is Andersson. So last night we went to visit him with Andersson, because as a member he can now go on visits with us, and we had one of the most powerful and spiritual lessons I have ever felt. And Andersson basically gave the whole lesson to him. He told us that his baptism date is going to be really was an out of this world experience to see our convert that was baptised yesterday, to have such an impact on someone we have been teaching. They both have grown so much...and Jonathan doesnt have a lot of support from his family so I want to ask you guys to pray for him please!!

 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them theirweakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

This scripture really speaks to me. It has helped me to learn so much here in the mission. I know it is true and applies to everyone. I want you guys to ponder this scripture this week, and ask the Lord so that He can help you progress. I love you guys! 

      Elder Solari


7/11/16 Letter

Wow family this last week was great. First of all I got transferred! So I am now serving in the Cisne stake. Its in Guayaquil and I am in The Batallon ward (Batallon means ´´to battle´´) But thats not all! This zone has a history. It is the most dangerous of all the areas in the mission! But dont worry we are all doing just fine here. Its located in a part of Guayaquil called The Trinity Island. Im sure you guys can look it up on google and read all sorts of great things. But I honestly love it here so far. The ward is HUGE. There were 200 people in church on Sunday, its the biggest ward Ive been in here in the mission. And the members are all willing to help give references and visit our investigators and bring them to church so it lightens our load a lot!

So when they called me last Monday night they told me I would be training an Elder in his 12 week program because his trainer finished his mission. So I packed up everything and was all ready to do. So when the Elders got at our house to pick me up they told me that the plans had changed. So I was called to be a ZONE LEADER here in Cisne. I honestly feel super humble to be able to serve in such a capacity here in the mission. I remember when I was a new Elder and the impact my Zone Leaders had on me. I hope to be able to have the same impact on the Elders here in Cisne. In the Zone there are 12 Elders and 6 wards. So Cisne is known for another thing. Its where President sends all of the disobedient Elders so they can learn to be obedient and work hard and diligently. So in the 5 other companionships there are 5 really great missionaries and they are working with and helping 5 other missionarys to progress and change. So I feel like it is going to be a little bit of a challenge but so rewarding to be able to help these Elders. Another thing about being Zone Leaders is that we give the reports directly to the APs every night, so we work with them a lot and they come out and go on divisions and interchanges with us, and train us. 

So this last week President Moreno came to our church here in Batallon to give a baptism interview in person for one of the sectors in the Zone! And we were talking to him and he is honestly such a spiritual guy! So Friday we got to go to the office and have Interviews with him first individually and then together as Zone Leaders. He told us that we were the first missionaries he has interviewed here in the mission and was very impressed.  He informed us about a bunch of new rules he is putting in and going to put in. He is so very different from President Torres but I know he is going to do such a great job. He might even be allowing sports so Ill let you guys know soon! So when we were in the office of the mission that day so were the 14 elders who are finishing their missions. So they ALL missed their flight home in the morning due to a mistake with their passports so they were stuck in the office all day trying to find last minute flights to get them home before their homecoming talks Sunday. And Elder Tomlinson my trainer was there. The first thing he told me was ´´Im not dead yet´´ So it was super funny to see him. He is going to be out studying at BYU and I was able to say goodbye to a lot of the Elders I served with.

So my new companion is Elder Paim. He is the only Brasilian in the mission and he is the funniest guy ever. We spend the whole day working and laughing as we go. He came here only knowing Portugese so we both have had to learn Spanish. Before his mission he served in the Army in Brazil so I think thats why they sent him here to serve in Cisne. This guy doesnt fear ANYTHING. But so many funny things have happened to us this last week. I also had the opportunity to give baptism interviews this last week so that was a great experience as well.

This last week we worked hard on teaching investigators. This ward already has a huge program so we are working on growing it and helping all of them to progress. I am also trying to learn this huge sector quickly because I dont know for how much time Elder Paim will be here. For Pday in Guayaquil all the Zone Leaders go to the office in the morning to bring Baptism registrys, totals from last week and goals for this week for each misionary in the Zone. And then we went to print out the emails, buy from the store and then we always come back and cook lunch, clean and house and sleep. Its been a pretty laid back day but I am ready to start the week and start working! 

Also, if you guys could keep praying for Sandra Vera and the Alay family. My ZL from Centenario told me they are having a hard time and now dont even want to receive the Elders there because we both left so fast. So please keep praying for them so they can open their hearts again to the Gospel! 

 17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learnwisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.  

I know that what this scripture shares is true. If we want someone to feel Christs love we need to serve them. I know that as we serve others we can learn to love them, and sharing the Gospel with others is the best way that you guys can serve the Lord. I love you guys and am praying for you always. Remember to choose the right and The Lord will bless you.

      Elder Solari

Misión Ecuador Guayaquil Sur


7/4/16 Letter

Happy 4th of July! Today I celebrated wearing my US Flag tie! Hope you guys are all blowing things up and eating BBQ today! 

This last week President Torres left and President Moreno got in Tuesday. So Wednesday all of the missionaries in Guayaquil got together to have a quick conference with him. He is a really powerful guy, with a super strong testimony. Also, he doesnt know any English but him and his family are now starting to learn it haha. So far we havent seen any big changes on how he runs the mission. Because when the new President arrived the APs just kept running things how they did with President Torres. I am sure in the next month or two we will see some changes. One thing that changed is what we report every night to our leaders. So every night I call the missionaries in my district and take a report of what they did that day. So then I give the report to the Zone Leaders and they give it to the APs. So they just changed some of the number we report. I feel like the new President is going to be just as strict which is what I had hoped for. I will miss President Torres...He has been great to have leading this mission but I know President Moreno is the guy to replace him and lead the mission these next 3 years. 

So everything is going great with my new companion, Elder Rios. He came from the Office he was one of the Secretaries that types up all the documents and baptism forms. So we get along super well. He has been a great companion this last week and we have been working super hard. Its funny because almost all of the Elders from Peru are the same, they act the same, look the same and work the same. He is a lot like one of my past companions, Elder Diaz. So a couple of our investigators were super sad that Elder Egoavil had changes. This last Tuesday some of them cried because he we have been working to help them understand more of what we do as missionaries and how our time is limited in any given sector. 

Yes Sandra and the Alay family are still progressing. They have a baptism date for 2 weeks out and we are doing everything possible to help them keep progressing. We visit most of our investigators every single day. It talks a lot in Preach My Gospel about contacting them every day and it has helped a lot to keep them strong and progressing. 

One of my favorite foods from here is called Encebollado. Its 100% Guayaco. Its pretty much just a fish soop with yuca potatoes...but it is super good. 

I know the Book of Mormon is true and that it is the only way we can become converted to this Gospel. I read it every single day and every single day my testimony grows. Its is the most correct book on this earth! You guys need to read it every single day! I love you guys!

PS Fotos coming soon.
      Elder Solari

Misión Ecuador Guayaquil Sur


Sounds like you guys are enjoying the heat! I know I sure am. It gets up in the high 90s everyday here so you guys arent alone! Thats awesome that Hannah is in Bali! I definitely want to study abroad when I get back...Id really like to go to Jerusalem and walk the Holy Lands. And yes I did get the Vitamin C. I only asked because I heard the office always looks through the package to take games and things out but none of that was in the package so all is well! So more than taking names to the temple I have been working on You should go on and look...I was able to find a lot of Dads side of the family because your side goes back to the 1500s. 

So like the title of my letter, my companion had transfers. Elder Egoavil is now in the 25th of July ward where I served almost 3 months ago. So I sent him with some things to send to the members and photos with our converts! My new companion is Elder Rios and he is from my group but went to the MTC in Colombia. He is from Peru and he should be getting here soon. Ill be in a trio with our ZLs until he arrives. So now I only have to wait! This last week we also went on Divisons with the APs so that was cool as well. And the districts were changed so now only the Hermanas (Mission Nurses) are in my district.  

President Moreno gets here tomorrow and President Torres leaves tomorrow! 

So this last Sunday we brought a couple families to church so it has been awesome. We have been teaching up a storm and basically running around the sector all day to have time to talk with and teach everyone. So for awhile we have been teaching a hermana named Sandra Vera. She was finally able to come to church today which was awesome. And she brought all of her neighbors to church as well! So we are preparing them all for baptisms in the next coming weeks. Its been a great experience teaching and helping her. Our first contact we knocked on her door. And we were talking and talking with her and she told us that we have the best church in the whole world! It really stood out to me. Thats when we knew we had to keep working with her. We usually meet with Sandra and her friends every night at like 7PM. And they always prepare food for us. So her neighbors are the Alay family...its a HUGE family and we are teaching all of them. 

The lessons here go really great. One of the tough things is that the literacy here isnt very high so we teach a lot with the picture book and we teach very simply. We usually always teach Dia De Reposo or keeping the sabbath day holy with an invite to come to church. Another thing we always do is the first contact with a person we always invite them to be baptized. So we study a lot to be prepared for questions, doubts, rejections to help them see the importance of being baptised like Jesus Christ. Because the majority of the people here are Catholic and have not read even a page of the Bible. So we always carry the Bible and the Triple Combination, and atleast 20 of the lesson pamphlets we always give out. This last Wednesday we gave out 8 copies of the Book of Mormon to our investigators! The work really is going so well down here. I feel so grateful to be able to participate in this great work.    

Thats about all the time Ive got..but I am excited to meet President Moreno!

I know that families can be together forever thanks to Christ and His sacrifice. We study it, we love it and we preach it every single day! Reach out to someone in need and share the gospel with somebody new. I love you guys!

      Elder Solari
Misión Ecuador Guayaquil Sur


6-20-16 Letter

So this week we had a super cool surprise. So in our mission we get to go to the temple once a year because its in the Guayaquil North Mission. So in the mission we get 30 minutes every week to do family history Wednesdays. So I have started to get into indexing a little bit. Anyways Elder Egoavil was able to find ancestors in his family tree and he talked with President Torres so Wednesday we got to go to the temple in the morning! It was honestly such a great experience to be able to go and do a session. Also completely in Spanish and I understood everything perfectly hahaha.  I got some cool pictures so Ill send them today. I was also able to buy some more garments so that was good. 

So I was looking in the family tree and on your side of the family there is so much work done! But I want to start to work a little on Dads side and see if there are any names I can take to the temple. Maybe you can talk to him and Gran and ask for birth dates, names, death certificates so I can start to grow the tree more. I would love to be able to take some names and do some work in the temple here in Guayaquil. 

Ryam was confirmed yesterday and the members of the ward get along super well with them so that is awesome as well. Also with the new bishop we are starting to have a lot more activities. And we had 10 people in English class this last week. We taught them how to pray in English! 

Yeah funny story about those brown shoes I brought out here. So I hadnt been able to find shoe polish for like 9 months so I went to one of those street shoe polisher guys. And he was a pretty old guy and kinda messed up the shoes. So now they are a dark brown but I am working on fixing them and the color with the shoe polish you sent me! 

Guess what so I finally got the package! And it was pretty awesome! I think it was opened but I am not sure because it came full of stuff. Maybe you could send me a little list of what it had so I could verify? But dont worry the Giants shirt did arrive! I love it im going to use it every night and every morning with those Giants shorts I brought! 

Glad to hear the Giants keep killing it..and sad to hear about the Warriors..but the world will go on! 

So in the temple I also bought the book Teachings of the Presidents of the Church : Joseph Smith. I have been reading and studying it this week and it is honestly so powerful. It has helped me understand more about the Restoration and about what Joseph Smith was called to do. If you guys havent read it yet, you should. I have learned so much about his dedication and sacrifice serving the Lord with all his mind might heart and strength. I know that as we continue to serve the Lord, as a member missionary, magnifying our calling or just being a friends to other people, He will bless you guys so much. I love this work and I will keep going and going on no matter what happens. I know that Christ lives and that he watches over us. Love you guys!