I'm here in Quito, tranquilito waiting to go to Esmeraldas tomorrow. I'm very tired and don't really have the ganas to write a ton write now, but I just wanted to shoot you some pictures and share a few thoughts, then on Monday I'll be able to write you guys a lot.
General Conference was amazing. I was able to watch in English, which was a great blessing. All of the talks were great, and I wish I had time to comment on each of them. I loved Elder Bednar´s talk, it was really good for the branch to hear about the importance of tithing. I loved the emphasis that they put on the importance of working together as missionaries and members. There really is no other way to have true success in the work. Elder Holland's talk was a touching one, as well. So great, I'll share more thoughts on the Conference with time. I left inspired to work hard and to be a better person in so many ways. I think that I want to start setting six month goals to set every Conference, because watching Conference inspires me to be better than any other thing in the year.
We had a great baptism of a sweet little family this week. They have two little kids (6 and 1), but only the 6 year old was at the baptism, their daughter was sick. It had rained the day before and the river was super, super flooded, so we had to do the baptisms in a swimming pool. It was weird for me, but I entered a swimming pool as a missionary. So rebellious. We confirmed them right after, and hopefully next week, the husband will get the priesthood. He has potential to be the branch president in the future, so hopefully they will keep working with him there.
It is very hard for me to leave. I am in kind of a "downer" mood right now to have left, but I'll get over it. All of the people in Lago grew to be my family. It is my only sector that I've had (of a whopping 3) where I stopped keeping track of time. I loved every minute, I loved every person, and my 6 months there flew by. I don't know if you remember, but the Monday after the April Conference, I came to Lago. Then, the Monday after the October Conference, I left. Six months on the dot. But, there are many great things ahead for me. The coast is full of very open people, and a lot of people of African descent live there. They say that years ago a slave ship crashed there, and there they stayed. They talk Spanish really cool, dropping all of their s's, and they eat tons of seafood. They say that it is about as hot as the orient is. My companion is Elder Acevedo, he only has 2 weeks there, so we are basically opening up a sector. Esmeraldas has a bad history. Lots of missionaries have "fallen," and had to be sent home without honor or worse, and it happens frequently. Hopefully we can be good examples of obedience to the missionaries there. (Just two weeks ago there was a case of disobedience.) Obedience is so important, so many people fail to realize that.
I'll write more next Monday when I FINALLY have a real P-day. I need to take more pictures.
Love you all tons,
Here are some pictures from Josh's birthday and some other pictures