Wednesday, November 14, 2012

So so sorry that this is posted late..Josh is safe and sound, so no worries! He actually had a great week--Enjoy!

Hey all,
This week has been a little nuts. I didn't really work until Thursday in our sector because I had to wait to pick up my companion on Wednesday, and we didn't get back till like 5. My companion is Elder Sanchez, from Colombia, and he knows Elder Richimondg really well. They worked together in Guayaquil for a year or so before the mission. He's been a member for one year, and is really excited to work. He needs to learn a lot, but with his excitement I'm not worried about his progress, with time and practice he'll get there. It's really weird to be the boss, but I'm adjusting to it slowly. I still feel like I have no idea what we should do, but that helps us depend on the Lord more. I hope that with the help of the Lord, I can do a good job of training this new missionary and starting his mission off in a really good, positive way.
I was really worried when he came because I knew he would come so excited, like I did, and after my first 12 weeks I wasn't nearly as excited as I was when we arrived because we had a tough couple of months with tough results of our work. But, I prayed really hard up until Wednesday that the investigators we found will progress with us, and that we can continue to find good new investigators. I really didn't want him to come excited and in two weeks be sad again. We are now looking at 10 people being baptized by the end of the month, realistically 8ish, but that is super good not only for our sector, but for our zone in general. We have a tough zone to work in, but we have happy missionaries in the zone. I really put all my faith in the Lord with this new transfer, and knew that nothing I did would amount to much without faith and the Lord's help, and now we've found some awesome people who have real desires to follow Christ's example. I am so happy that I can be an instrument in the Lord's hands and help Him out working with His childen here in Ecuador. The more I work, the more I realize how small my part is in helping people arrive at their baptism. It all depends on their desires and efforts, and the faith that they put in the Lord. I just teach a little and answer any questions that they have. And when they arrive at a baptism, it's just such a happy thing to see.
We've been working with a family of 10 from Otovalo, they're inactives and awesome. We have an appointment with them tonight. I want to be their friends. They're pretty much Lamanites. They're going to help me learn Quichua (no idea how to spell it), too, and we're gonna help them get to the temple. They have great desires, but the parents basically aren't home from June to December, so they kids never go. They came this Sunday, which was awesome. We worked really hard Thursday to Sunday, and 19 people came to church that normally wouldn't come. When you work hard and with faith, great things happen. We had 5 investigators attend church, and 14 inactives attend. There are 500ish members, about 130 come every Sunday, so we still have a lot to work on. I play piano every now and again. The congregation knows about 13 songs, and a lot of them are too hard for me to play without practicing, especially not on a real piano. I play when I can. I was so so so happy to have people come to church. That is the hardest thing for us, so we focused on that during the week, and look what happens. While I have a ton to learn still, I feel like I'm getting the whole missionary thing down. I know how to teach so people understand, and how to help them understand the importance of action in the Gospel. Much to learn, but I finally feel like I'm getting there.
You know in all the chick flicks, when there's a popular girl that gets with a nerd, or some nicey-nice girl that gets with a punk? I had an experience like that this week with cereal. I was at a store, and I needed food. I was going for my Trix, when something caught my eye. Special K. Why did it catch my eye? Free granola bar with purchase. Thinking only of the granola bar, I bought the cereal. I ate the granola bar upon entry to the house, then figured I'd try out the cereal. You may be thinking, "Elder Thomas, what would a man like you be doing with a dork like Special K, especially a box that is clearly tailored for women who want to lose weight?" Love is love, people, you can't separate us. Trix has lost its savour, for now. It's all about the Special K, and  I can't deny the love between us, although we come from very different worlds.
The mall has Christmas stuff up, I love this time of year. We don't have Christmas stuff in the house, I may buy some. We have transfers a week before Christmas, so I may be in a new place before then, we'll see. I just love this time of year.
We have a little investigator, Sneider, 11, who came to Church with us this Sunday, and he is super awesome. He came in a suit, followed us around, and did everything we did, handshakes, etc. He is awesome, and super excited to be baptized. We have some great investigatos...
 We went to an Otovalean market close to the offices and I got some really cool handmade stuff, like a cool bag and a hand made sweaterish thing. I hope I serve in Otovalo one day, the things they make are pretty, there are tons of members, they're Lamanites, I can learn Quichua, and I hear it's really pretty there.
Not too much happened this week since it was a fairly short week, so that's about all for now, I think. Everyone looks great, and it sounds like everyone is doing great in the things that they do in life. Keep it up, team. Love you all!
Con amor,
Elder Thomas

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