Monday, September 28, 2015

I was praying and came to the conclusion...

Its sad about the death of Harland. I was not expecting that today, but as you said he is in a better place. I think he will be a lot more happier.

I am happy that everything working very well in your lives. I have been praying for the business that the new employees will help the business, and from what you have said that it is working. How wonderful.

Well I have some news. Thanks for your prayers and fast but the Ancon branch is going to be closed. Our efforts were too late to save the branch. The papers have been signed and the Prophet has approved on shutting it down. But I realized that it really is the will of God then. The people here aren't receptive.  In 5 hours we had only two lessons which is very unproductive.  The less actives are now recently going to church, but its too late.  They can't do anything.  But by shutting down the church there I think it has called the attention of the members so that they recognize their mistakes. It is like the parable of the talents. The one servant that received one talent didn't do anything with that talent and so it was taken from him. The members didn't take advantage of the talent and blessing they had received therefore the privilege of the church in their town would be taken from them. Its sad but there isn't much we can do. But my companion and I are going to work there every once in a while. For the mean time they will be asked to assist in another ward a little farther away. 

This week I went to the temple. How wonderful, HOW AWESOMELY WONDERFUL. I love the temple. I would love to just live there and never leave. its so peaceful. At first I wasn't paying attention but towards the end of the session I was spiritually in tune and I was able to receive revelation. Really this week I was thinking a lot about extending my mission a month and a half longer. Not that I don't want to be home for Christmas but it was a topic on my mind.  When I got in to the Celestial room I was praying about that and came to the conclusion that I should not extend. I felt that and so I wont. Don't worry. ("what... no... ok... its going to be alright". Said this missionary mom.)  But I just need to focus more.

We also had a capacitation and we learned about family history. A lot of it was good but there were times where it was really boring because this man was talking about how to make an account, We have grown up with that, everyone knows  how to make an account, but he decided to focus on how to put a password or user name. I felt like the scriptures in Acts, when Paul was talking A LOT, that there was a kid that fell asleep and fell from the third floor and died. Paul had to bring him back to life. I felt like that kids, Sleepy from a lot of talking. Also yesterday the Bishop talked in the priesthood meeting and wow. The same story.

On the way back I saw a movie in the bus super cool, its called HOUR. Well the guy from the fast and the furious was in it. it was nice.

I love you guys so much, I am excited to go home but I am also afraid, because its a different way of life back home. I am already used to a white shirt and tie. to me there aren't any other clothes. It will be a huge change. BUT I WILL HAVE YOU GUYS AND GET TO BE WITH YOU.
Say HI to the new employees. 

Have a wonderful week.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

We are going to save Ancon.

Alegro mucho a saber que toda la familia esta bien. (Glad to know that whole family is fine.)
I am very happy to know that things are going well at home. I love to hear about how Brandon is being very gentleman like. I think Brandon has a very big heart.(Brandon went to q Home Coming dance the previous week). Also I like to hear that Benjamin is already mountain biking.  To me or in my eyes he is too small or young for that but then I realize that I haven't seen him in a long time so I don't know if he is big enough.  Also I like to hear that dad is going to hire new people at the store so that you guys can have more time to do things as a family. I am very happy to here that I have so little time even though I feel that the mission will never end. 

Well I will tell you that this week was really fun. The major thing that happened was that President Dennis and his assistants came to town to capacitate and work with us. I learned some new ways at finding solutions to problems and analyzing numbers to see what's going on with the zone. I learned little things about how to be a better leader and helping other. Different things that I need to always apply to maintain the order and effectiveness of the work. Also I got to spend the entire day with President and the assistants. It was nice.  We went to lunch together and we got to go sight seeing a little bit with them. I didn't even work in my sector all day that day. But I have come to realize that my companion and I are the only ones that don't have to focus on our sector. It doesn't matter if we have a bunch of baptisms, what matter is that the rest have the baptisms and with that we have success. My sector isn't just Salinas but its the entire zone. So sometimes our numbers are bad but we are working hard. Its a different way to work but that's how its works as a zone leader. 

When we went to sight see with President, we passed by a little branch that is called Ancon. Its so tiny yet it has a chapel. The members are slowly withering away and now they're only 20 people going to church and for that it is going to be shut down. The chapel will either be sold or it will be thrown away and the members will have to go to another chapel of which will inactivate a lot of members. 

So my companion and I have decided that we are going to save Ancon. My companion asked me today how I would feel if you guys told me that they were going to shut down Hobble Creek Ward. It helped me to think about the members that are faithful and how much they need our help. We were able to communicate with a member there in Ancon and make preparations for this Thursday as we go to work there. He was so excited to hear that we were going to help. He asked us if we knew that they were going to shut down Ancon.  We said yes and that's why we are going to go to help. I realized even more, how important my calling is. Those twenty or so odd members are counting on us. We are going to save Ancon. 

Also this week we had some experiences very awesome. First, I got to baptize the little boy in the picture that I had taught in Santa Elena 3. It was fun. Another day we were teaching this old lady that has gone to church and at the beginning of the lesson my companion told me that we shouldn't extend a baptismal date because the family was there listening in the other room. While my companion was teaching I was thinking that I wanted to extend the baptismal date but I wanted to obey what my companion said, so I decided to pray and ask God what I needed to do. While I was praying my companion extended the date. I felt the Spirit confirm that that was the desires of God. Later talking with my companion he told me that he had felt very strongly to invite her to be baptized. It was very spiritual. After that we passed by this lady on the street reading a newspaper.  We passed by and I felt we needed to go back. We talked to her and found out that she is a member inactive and she is ready to come back to church. She has some questions but we can help her with the answers. She had told us that before we had walked by she was just about to return to inside of her house but decided to stay out a little long and look we found her right there waiting for us. I love being an instrument in the hands of God. 

Well this week we are going to the temple. Also this next Monday I will be in Guayaquil so I will probably write you guys on Tuesday. I love you guys so much.

Have a wonderful week.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Like a sprint. You always run your hardest at the end.

I hope that nobody is freaking out. Its just that yesterday we didn't have anytime to write and now I am doing it today.


I am so happy for dad (Steve raced LotoJa a 204 mile bike ride this last week and did really well). He is truly a stud.  I am so proud of him. Not many kids my age can say that their dad is so studly because a lot of friends I have here in the mission have dads that are huge and don't do things like ride a bike for 204 miles and get high up on the ranks.  I am going to be bragging about dad for a while here.


Well this week we had two baptisms. It was very stressful getting to that point because Satan was working hard but we were able to pull it through. Sister EV and RE were baptized. EV gave her testimony at the end that was very spiritual and powerful. Her mom was there who is not Mormon. EV told her mom in front of everyone that she knows that this is the true church and that now her baptism is correct. Wow and she told everyone that she put her job on the line to follow the example of Jesus Christ. She works in a Catholic school and has hidden her decision to be baptized in the Mormon church from her boss. Such a decision can cause her to lose her job. At end she told her boss and said that she knows that this is true and that if they were going to firer her so it be. but the boss didn't fire her yet and supported her in her decision. Mom. I want to be honest that I am sad also like my brother and sister that you worked on Sunday. I am sad. Look at the example of EV, she put everything on the line to keep the commandments.  The pioneers left everything to keep the commandments.  Peter James, John, and Joseph Smith. Remember 1 Nephi 3:7 Link to the scripture


Well this week I was thinking a lot about what would happen if I didn't work diligently on my mission or in the time I have left.  If Christ came down and asked me why didn't I work with all my heart might mind and strength. Why didn't I take advantage of this time. I wouldn't be able to make excuses. I realized that this last time I have is to give my all. Like a sprint. You always run your hardest at the end.

There are a lot of missionaries that are getting tired or are not focused. It frustrates me and my companion because they are holding back the zone. But its funny that my companion and I are those that have the most time in the mission out of all the zone and we are the most motivated. Except a missionary that is training right now.  He extended his mission. He already has completed with his 2 years but decided that he could give another month to the Lord. (This mom is not ready for that to happen).  I admire him so much. as a leader.  I don't have time at all. I don't even have time to go to the bathroom. I don't know how I do it but there is no time. It keeps me focused. I love it and grateful that God has put me in this position as zone leader. 


Thank you so much for your prayers and letters. I wish the best for the entire family.


I love you mom




p.s. pronto estare en sus brazos. (I'll be in your arms soon)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I Elder Luke, having been born of GOODLY PARENTS...

Dear mom,

I love you so dearly. 

First I would like to share with you guys that I was transferred again. AGAIN. I returned to the Salinas ward. Can you imagine. I returned but now I am in another sector. I was in Salinas 2 and now I am in Salinas 1 as a zone leader.  I think that everything that happens in our lives is so that we humble ourselves unto God and seek his strength in trials and good times. I feel that even though this is a privilege to serve as a zone leader I need to humble myself. 

This week I was able to download from a member the movie, "17 Miracles" and "Ephraim´s Rescue." I have seen it many times in the house. But I have learned so much from their stories. I love to learn more about the hardships and suffering of the old pioneers.  I love that so many times they were suffering they humbled unto God and they received help. Some were so strong in their faith that they died trying to get to Zion. I always ask myself over and over again if I would be ready to give my life for this work. When I first started the mission I had a feeling that I was going to be a missionary for all my life. Their was a story in the movie 17 Miracles of this man that was sick but he prayed and promised God that if he would spare his life and permit him to get to Zion he would dedicate his life to this work. He got to Zion in the end and he spent the rest of his life serving the lord.  I wonder many times if the members of the church would be so ready to make such a sacrifice. I cannot respond to the question because I don't know. but I hope that I would be like them. 

Also I loved learning in the scriptures this week about the Sabbath day. Levitico 26:2  Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.  I was able to learn about what reverence is.  Reverence is not just being silent but it is showing respect, not a profound respect for the sacred thing. The Sabbath day is sacred therefore I need to show reverence and strict and profound respect for that day. I was remembering all the time I didn't do my part in showing respect, like when I graduated and I was at the party until 3 in the morning and I woke up and went to church the next day. I realized that I was sloppy in my reverence and I thought of it as something small. But now that my eyes are opened I have come to realize that for the small and simple thing, brings to pass larger things in the future. 

Well this week we are going to have a white out night where a lot of people are going to be baptized. We are going to all meet up and have one service for all those people. It will be awesome and as a zone leader I feel that I will be in charge of such a grand moment. Also the next week I will be able to baptize an investigator. As I am in the same zone I can return and baptize him.  Now we are working for October. But this month we are going to the temple, and conferences and other trips to Guayaquil. It will be fun.

Thanks for sending me pictures. I love seeing how people are growing up. I am so proud of my family. I guess pride is bad but I am in other words, grateful  that I have the best family on the entire world. Now the other people that read this letter that aren't of our family will think that that statement is wrong because they have the best family and they're right. The best family is the one God assigned you in. Mom, dad Ben, Becca Brandon and I were were assigned together. I am  grateful for such a thing. I can say" I Elder Luke, having been born of GOODLY PARENTS,..." but also I think that I am learning so much that I can mix this knowledge with all that I have observed from you guys, and apply it in my future family so that the future generation will be better than us. And they will apply the same thing. Learn from the parents and from the mission and mix it up and refine the processes of creating a family so that in 10 generations they can be more obedient, even more observant in listening to the Spirit. That's why the gospel is set up to make us perfect. Better and better everyday. As we get better the world gets worst. Funny how that works. But we get better not for the world but for God. I love the scripture in Isaiah that explains that the ways of God aren't our ways and our words or thoughts aren't his thoughts. For his ways and thoughts and words are higher than ours. Knowing such things make me strive to get to the level of God, to know his ways. BE like HIM.

I love you so much.


p.s. I don't know exactly when I will be returning home but what an approximate answer would be that I would return home the 1 or 2 of December.  I will keep you updated.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Really it isn't a time to rest but it is a time for spiritual exercise

Bueno mom,

I know that you have been probably worried because I didn't write yesterday. Well I was asked to go to Guayaquil for a council of leaders of the mission.  To be honest I didn't want to go. I was thinking that I was going to wake up early and lose sleep and spend money going to Guayaquil.  I wanted to do other things other than listen to more teachings. Well I wasn't going to say no. We got there very well and in short words, I am grateful that God had inspired someone to permit me to be in that council. I learned so much and I felt so powerfully the spirit testify of such teachings.
What I learned is about the Sabbath day. I don't know if in the states they are putting a lot of emphasis on this subject, but recently it came out here. What I learned is that I wasn't keeping the Sabbath day holy, not even as a family. I think we need to change. Our president shared a few scriptures about how the Sabbath day we don't do our own will. What does that mean? We aren't aloud to do what we want. What normally we did which is our will and not the will of God is that we watched movies on Sunday. Sunday is a day to be apart from the world and such things keep us from riding on the high tops as it says in Isaiah 58:13-14.  Sometimes we went to play baseball or futball. We went to do somethings that I found isn't correct. Even reading a magazine/book that isn't of the church is doing our will. football games, etc. I don't write this to offend. But if we read the scriptures then we will come to realize what we can do to take advantage of Sunday. Its not just a muscle rest. Really it isn't a time to rest but it is a time for spiritual exercise.  A day we can lock up the telephone and facebook and search for spiritual insight. We have so many tools given to us from God through the church that we can use so that that day is not our day yet its the day of the Lord, a delight and something sanctified.
Well some thoughts that I have had, but a lot of things I am going to be learning soon. These teachings didn't come from President Dennis but it came from Elder Bednar and the other apostles and God himself brought to us through his prophet of old.  I learned that if we focus more on how we can sanctify the sabbath day then this will augment the progress of the church in the future. 
I also realized that as a missionary my sabbath day is everyday. because everyday I should be dedicated to god. I hope that this can change our familia little by little because its something I learned that we as a family need to work on.  who are we to take away the day of the lord. Its His day, not ours.
Also this week we had the baptism. It was really nice and spiritual. This month of August has been very awesome for the mission. We complete the month when the goal was 97 and we ended with 101 baptisms. Its the first time in 1 year that we have completed the goal. but this time our goal and logros were people converted, because before we baptized like 300 people in one month but they were future less active people not really converted. Now we have changed so much as a mission.
Its funny I have little time left in the mission, but I just feel even more animated to work.
WORK WORK WORK, That's how we have the spirit and we are able to bring to pass the work of God.
I love you mom, I wish a very good week for all the family.
p.s. a few scriptures about the sabbath day.   Meditate in them and what it teaches us.
Jeremiah 17:21-27 Click here for the scripture link
Isaiah 58:13-14  Click here for the scripture link
Exodus 31:12-17  Click here for the scripture link
Leviticus 26:2 Click here for the scripture link
D&C 59:9-13  Click here for the scripture link
Nehemiah  10:31  Click here for the scripture link
Juan (also known as John) 6:47-58  Click here for the scripture link
There are a few that I have found. enjoy.