Monday, October 27, 2014

Baptisms and photos

So I will start with the questions. I have already received the package so I should receive the birthday package tomorrow or next week. But I loved what you guys sent me. Well it was the package with the Boise State T-shirts and the ties and the amazingly awesome BBQ sauce. I hope that's the first package, I would feel bad if that was the birthday package.

Okay so this week was good and bad. 

First off, all week we have been preparing for the baptism. In the pics below are how it all turned out. On Friday we had an activity or a devotional in the church. We watched some videos. I felt super prepared for the message part but every one was sleeping and it wasn't really that great.  It was like something was missing.

About fighting with the  devil this week. We won and we also lost. The only person from the family Erazo  that was firm in the way he has felt and what  he has received from God was the papa. He was the only one who was baptized from the family. We lost because the family didn't even go to the baptism.  His wife disowned him. Saying that he is sinning and there isn't love any more for his decision. But Hermano Ramon Erazo was so strong in his Faith that he stuck with it even though he was alone. Everything went awesome. He is amazing. The day of his interview he asked if he could pray to know who should baptize him, so he did and he told me that I had the privilege to baptize him. Well I love baptizing. I is fun, and good to use the priesthood that I have. Another lady that we have been teaching was baptized also. We had two baptisms and it was super cool. 

The ceremony went really good for Ramon and the other lady Karol, but the people who came to the baptism left their respect in the garbage back home. There were some problems with some members and some people invited. But it went well for the people receiving the ordination and who really focused on the Spirit. 

Of the two people who were baptized, none of their family members came to the baptism because they don't support and don't love their family. It's sad but it is such an awesome experience for them to show their faith and stand up for the truth even if they are alone, but we are never alone.
This week we have a conference with president.  Its going to be awesome.  Tomorrow we are going to travel and have it Wednesday and then come back in the morning on Thursday.  I love the conferences.  I love Spanish mom. I have been growing so much . We have this investigator that will be baptized this 8 de November , she always compliments me on my Spanish. She is awesome. I will have fotos in a few weeks. 

Well that's all for this week. I am grateful for the package. I am grateful to be a missionary.

I love you mom
Elder Luke

p.s. The pictures of the sky that I am sending are of this morning. It was so bright but in like two hours it went all away and was all negro in the sky.





Monday, October 20, 2014

I have experienced a little fragment of the sorrow that Christ has felt

This week sounded like it was a blast. The party looks really cool. (Brian's sister had her 11th birthday party this last week.  We sent pictures.)  To see the food on the table made me hungry. I will be going to eat lunch soon. But man do I crave some food right now.
Everybody is getting so big. Well solo (only) referring to the kids no mas (no more). Becca is so much taller as well as Benjamin. Mom that's a good idea about the reading tutor for Benjamin. Something that I have learned is that I love reading the scriptures. I don't read very fast, part of that is because I am reading in Spanish, but I am understanding and learning so much. It something that I have learned is that I have wasted so much time in my life with music, with TV, with movies, with video games. I really wish that I would have read more and have read my scriptures more. So this practice will be good for Ben to get him reading more. Really listen to a talk that Elder Bendar gave to a group of youth. So mom and dad, listen to this talk with the family. Its called, "things as they really are". Click here for the link to the talk. Its long, but I have learned so much from it. This will change the family if you learn what I have learn. With this talk you will be selling the Xbox and the video games and the music. Its a really good talk. I have been downloading conference talks and listening to them in my free time. It has been so enlightening. 

Well this week has been good. But also really bad. This week we have 5 people that are preparing for baptism for this week. All week was going really well with this family and everything was good, we are planning to have a really nice ceremony. Because we don't have a capilla, or church building, but we have a pool behind the church. Its nice but I was going to decorate it just like the wedding of Amy and Bryan. SO that's what we have been planning and it will be awesome. Not even that we were able to get another fecha (date) baptismal. Another person who has accepted a date for baptism, She went to church and just loved it. The church really isn't pretty, but she felt the spirit which just boosts the feeling of gozo, paz, peace, joy, happiness, in whatever place. She is awesome. This Sunday was really powerful. We had a lot of people in church. Tambien pres de estaca (Also president Estaca), the stake president came and gave an awesome talk. It was super good. 

But life isn't perfect and the mission is definitely not perfect. This Saturday, we went over to the house of the family that will be baptized this week. We showed up late but we told them we had the clothes for them to try on. That's when the padres (parents) told us that they don't want to be baptized. The mom told us straight up no, that she was already baptized in another church and she doesn't want to go to church with us because she wants to go to the other church. The dad said that he does want baptism but not right now. We didn't have a lot of time to be there so we told them they need to pray to ask if the Book of Mormon is true and then go to church to receive an answer. We were devastated. Absolutely devastated. I cried because after quitting coffee and changing their lives in the end they didn't want to come to Christ because they had fear. So we told them that to find out the truth they have to go to church. Only the dad went to church.  He loved it and he told us that he will stick with the goal of being baptized this week. But when we passed by their house to share a message just about temple and eternal families that we were prompted to share, there in their house was a missionary of the other church. He was putting false and vain and foolish doctrine into the mind of the mom and the kids. But not the dad, he didn't want to listen because he knew that the Church of Jesus Christ is the true church. We passed by and we didn't want to contend so we just left a picture of the temple and left. We went to another lesson and felt that we should come back. So we went back at 8:15pm. It was late but we had words to say and things to testify of. It was a good lesson. We testified with such great power and authority. I just felt the Spirit flowing though me and my companion. I testified of the truth and that families can be together forever. I showed the picture of our family when we were sealed. I cried just a little. But I really am grateful to have been raised in this church having known of this truth. We said it all. The dad was firm and he said he will stick to it but he wants his family to take this step with him. It was sad that he is standing alone in the truth. But its the truth. We cant deny it. But some people don't accept it in the first place. We focused in on the mom and told her to pray. We have been praying a lot for this family. Today we will know who will rise and who will fall. Its sad but it has to be done. I have experienced a little fragment of the sorrow that Christ has felt.  I hate the feelings but it makes we have a greater appreciation for the Savior. 

If you guys could, please pray for this family. la famlia Erazo Delgado. They need all the help that they can get to prepare for their baptism.

I have had a very eventful week. I love learning. I really like learning. I love hearing the testimonies of the prophets and just hear the divine truth of their words when they testify that Christ loves us and that he really does live. 

Okay family. My time has run out. I am grateful for everything that you do for me, but also what God is doing for our family everyday.

I love you mom,
I love you family.
Elder Luke



Monday, October 13, 2014

I Love Testifying

Well it sounds like all is well in Boise.  I love receiving good news. Its just awesome.

The pictures from last week with the TV is in the capilla casa (chapel house). I really don't like the capilla casa but what can I do? Wait for transfers for another sector that has a capilla. But yes the family that asistir (attended) conference did hear the talk by Elder Bednar. (A talk at General Conference specifically addressing investigators and those not of our faith about why we share the Gospel.) It was really powerful.  When he first started out and said that he was going to direct his message to investigators I perked up and was excited because it was an awesome opportunity for that family. 

Bueno this week was good but also it sucked. It sucked because the kids are out of school for a short period of time and so everyone left out of town. The family that went to conference were gone all week and so we weren't able to teach them. Another lady that is progressing was out on vacation. It was  really hard because we didn't have a lot of lessons. It really kicked us down. It really beat us. it was hard. But I found good parts and took advantage to learn. I really think that when its really tough in our lives and we stick strong in the faith that is when we learn so much. I know that's true. 

This week we taught this lady who accepted the Book of Mormon and was comfortable saying that the Book of Mormon is true in the first visit. But she prayed in between the first and second visit and received an answer that it is true. It was really awesome. Them we gave a Book of Mormon to her to read. Then she took it and slammed it on the table and then started pounding her hand on the book saying that this book and the Bible and this other book she had was true. I was just focusing on the book thinking that it was bought with sacred tithing money that people have donated and here she is slamming the book. So I invited her to church and this is when the garbage came out. She told us that it doesn't matter what goes on, she will stay true to her church. She told us that if God sent angels that still wouldn't change her. That was her own words. How awful is that? So we shared 3 Nephi 27:8
"And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel."
and we testified that the church is founded by Christ himself and that there lives a Prophet of God and that the church was restored with the priesthood. In that moment I testified. I shared my testimony and learned what it means to teach with power and authority. I just felt the Spirit flow through my body. But it is said in the Book of Mormon that not everyone will except the truth and that they will deny the Spirit. Well that's what happened. It didn't matter that I taught with the Spirit.  She rejected it.

So I told her that if she isn't going to change then she doesn't need the Book of Mormon. She said no, so we took it back. I think I did the right thing because I just felt that we should preserve these libros (books) for the people who want to know.  She didn't want to know. So we left.  Maybe some day she will except the truth.

The hardest part of being a missionary is that not everyone excepts our message, but as i have learned this week through a talk of Elder Holland about the atonement is that salvation is never easy. We can't expect that it will ever be easy when it was never easy for Christ. Christ was rejected and spit upon and denied, so we are expected to suffer a little of what he suffered. But in the Bible there is a scripture that I don't remember where but says that we suffer him and stand with him when we declare his word and if we stay firm we are glorified with him.

Its been a blessing this week because I was able to get some talks from conference on my pen drive.  I have been listening to them every morning and it has just invited the Spirit so much. Today I am going to get more talks to be edified, even more this week. But like Dad told me in General Conference they testified powerfully that Christ lives, that we receive revelation from Him and that Thomas S Monson is really a prophet called of God. I love testifying. I bore my testimony this week in church and I just love sharing the special witness of the truthfulness of the gospel and that I know that Christ lives. 

This week we also were able to pass for an investigator that has been on vacation for all this week but she came back and we taught her with her husband and she explained to her husband all about the Book of Mormon and what it is and she told him that it's true. It's awesome but she didn't go to church which was a bummer.

That's  about all that happened this week. I am super grateful for the blessing that I and my family are receiving. 

Mom you are right, time is flying fast. I will go to complete 10 meses (months) and then my birthday of 19 años (years) and then in two short months I have one year in the mission. 10 meses (months) and I have grown so much and I am excited because I still have a lot of time left to grow that much more. Christmas is upòn us. 

Elder Luke


Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference in Ecuador

Do you remember? The last conference I told you guys that you guys will understand and learn so much if you dress up and go to the Stake Center to watch the conference. Its so much better, the distractions are not there and the spirit is a lot more powerful. You guys will have to try it next time. 

This conference was good but also bad. It was awesome because we had two families that went to listen and they put so much attention on listening and learning and they loved it. One of the families is going to be baptized el 25 de octubre.  That was super awesome. The other part was because the talks were super awesome. The spirit was super powerful. 

Okay here is the list why it was bad.  Saturday we didn't have Internet to watch it. We watched part of it but we were in like a garage on the main road with car zooming by. We worked hard to get it fixed so that we could watch it. We finally got it fixed for the priesthood session. 

 The other part was because I got sick during conference. I got a fever so I wasn't able to focus very well. (Brian reassured me in a different email that he was only sick for a little bit and is much better now.)

The other bad thing is that of the hundreds of members here only 7 people went to the priesthood session and 20 in the Saturday session. And here nobody has Internet to watch it in their homes, so that is depressing. The other thing was that I didn't understand very well the talks because its in Spanish. The thing is that they talk in a way super formal, super sophisticated. But I really don't know that much Spanish so it was hard to understand but I did understand a few talks and the spirit related to me what I needed to understand.

But over all it was a super good conference, could have been better but I will just have to wait for the conference talks in the Liahona.
From conference I loved the talk from Elder Bednar about why we share the gospel. Here is the link to Elder Bednar's talk It was so awesome because we had the two families in the conference when he began to talk to them. I also loved the talk from Elder Hales about the Trinity. Here is the link to Elder Hale's talk It was awesome. Of course I loved Elder Holland's talk about diezmo y ofrendas (tithes and offerings). Here is the link to Elder Holland's talk Plus President Eyring was really good Here is the link to President Eyring's talk. Conference is so much better when you can hear their actual voices. It was cool to hear the other languages. When they talked in Spanish I understood. It was so much better. In Saturday this guy got up and spoke in Korean or something, and after him Elder Christoffereson got up and started his talk with " muy buenas dias," it was so funny.

Well this week was good. We found a family. They are really good. They have a baptism date. They are doing awesome.  They were Evangélicos before but they have come to found the truth and light in the church which we represent. 
Today we had cambios, transfers, but I didn't have transfers.  I have another 6 semanas (weeks) with my best friend Elder Sanchez.

We changed houses.  The new house is awesome and huge. HUGE. I feel so rich in that house. Its nice to study and sleep in a clean big house. Mom this week I have been using my go pro to take weird fotos in the street and all. I got some good fotos, i will send them.

I am really glad that everything is going okay in Boise that the store is going good and everything is working out. Hey if you want to send me a package for Christmas you have to send it in November so you have to start planning for Christmas. That weird, Christmas. Time it really fast. (Already on it Brian, but thanks for the warning.)

I love you guys, have a wonderful week.
Elder Luke