This week has been a lot of hard work and contacting. We have found a lot of new people to teach which is exciting! It has been interesting because a lot of these people have had mormon friends, or they knew someone that gave them a Book of Mormon... etc. In fact, we found a family that had three books of mormon that their family members from the coast had given them. Anyways this has helped me realize just how much it means to us missionaries when someone has had some type of positive contact with the church. Seriously though, it makes our work so much easier! People often make excuses not to share the gospel because the people they share with most likely "wont accept". You know what? they are probably right! People most likely will not accept the gospel the first time they hear of it. And probably not the second or third time either....however, i have seen that everytime they have some type of positive experience, related to the church of Jesus Christ, the Spirit will testify to them and soften ther heart. Then, the next time they hear of it... they will remember that one positive experience they had, and be more willing to accept. So... Be fearless!! share the gospel with EVERYONE. Live your life in a way that others will want to know the Christ whose name you wear on your heart. Share, share, share the gospel. Dont fear rejection. Simply do it. In every way that you can. It is a COMMANDMENT of The Lord, that we must follow. And i know that if we all do, we can be wonderful instruments in The Lord´s hands.
I have also been thinking about where my heart is. I have been trying to develop more charity. I was talking with my companion and we were realizing that someone who is charitable will always ask, "what can i give?" and then, after they have given much.... they will ask, "what MORE can i give?" I feel that there have been many times where i have asked myself in my mission "What can i get from this"? "How many baptisms can I have"? How many new investigators could i have progressing this week"? These questions are not unrighteous if our heart is in the right place as we ask them. However, there are better questions that we can ask. "How can i bless this family and help them change their lives"? "How can i be a better instrument in the Lord´s hands, and accept His will for my mission"? "How can i love these people more perfectly"? "what MORE can i give"? We have been asking ourselves this many times throughout this week. What more can we give? What more can we give to others, and more importantly, what more can we give to The Lord??
I have learned that it is easy to love those that love you back. Here in the mission it is easy to love those that accept our message and keep their commitments. The challenge is learning to love others without expecting ANYTHING from them. Christ knew that many would not accpet Him nor His atonement, yet He died for them anyways. Because He knew and knows how to love perfectly.
We are His hands here on earth. There are many important things for us to do, but i feel that the most important among them is to love and serve God and His children.
I am so infinitely grateful for my mission. I love the work of The Lord.
Ok i forgot to share a funny thing that happened this week. So we went to teach an investigator and she decided to show us how she kills her chickens..... So she took us out back to the chicken pen and lifted up every chicken to know which one was the chosen one to die. Then she took us even further out back to the "machine." When she said that we were going to the "machine" we thought it was like a guillotine type of thing.... turns out it was an aluminum cone stapled to a tree. So she grabs the chicken and shoves the head through the cone, grabs her dull, rusty knife and SAWS the head off! I think that must have been the slowest and most painful death for that poor chicken. Five minutes later when we went back, the chicken was still there and her dog was licking the blood off its neck. We decided that´s probably why we arent allowed to eat in the streets here in Ecuador.
Have a great week! Love you all!