Monday, January 20, 2014

"Once an Austrian went yodelling on a mountain so high, when he met with a milking maid interrupting his cry. OOOOOEEEEEEAAAAAA Oli rock ahi a holi rock a who! Arf Arf! Grr! Rumble rumble! Oli rock ahi a holi rock a who! Arf Arf! Grr! Rumble rumble!Oli rock ahi a holi rock a who! Arf Arf! Grr! Rumble rumble! Oli Rock ahi a ho!!! Wee sing presents, "SIllyville!"

Hey all!

What a great week!

Monday, verifications, nothing special there.

Tuesday, we celebrate Elder Damián's birthday, President took us to Crepes and Waffles. So, so good. We spent all day planning the leaders' council, getting our trainings ready and getting all of the papers ready, yada yada. Nothing too exciting, just doing lots of power points.

On Wednesday, we had our leaders' council, and it went really well. We focused on pushing ourselves a little bit more, that what we're doing isn't enough. We had a good training by President, he talked about the things that the First Presidency and the 12 told the 70 last General Conference. It was all interesting stuff, and a lot of them talked about how important it is to learn how to machete someone lovingly. That's an interesting thing for them to mention, but obviously it must be an important thing for us to get better at, or they wouldn't be teaching it. Others spoke about how important it is to fast, how important faith is, lots of great things, it was a good training. After, we talked about "gavillas," no idea what the word is in English. Elder Ospina and I had a good talk with the leaders about how the work we do and the amount of people that we help is important to the Lord. There are a lot of missionaries who are "sleep walking" through the mission; whether they have success or not doesn't really matter to them. We read in Alma 26 and DyC 75, and helped the missionaries get inspired to work harder. Compared to the Area averages, our mission isn't doing too well, so we need to push ourselves more. After talking about that, we raised our "norms" in the mission-the goals that all the missionaries should have in their sectors. We raised those to try to raise the work that the missionaries do. I think that it went well, that we'll be seeing results quickly. Elder Ospina and I finished with a sweet quote from Joseph Smith, paraphrasing he says, "If you do not do your duty, the Lord will hold you accountable for those you would have saved had you done your duty. If you do your duty, it will be as if all men received the Gospel." Nice, Joseph, nailed it. It was a great meeting, though. We were able to speak frankly, but happily and energetically, getting everyone excited to work a little bit harder.

On Thursday, we had the verification of the new missionaries and their trainers from the last change to see if they're doing everything that they should be doing. We went to the Panecillo, a really pretty viewpoint. It's a hill right in the middle of the valley with a giant statue of the virgin from Revelations that is going to "stomp the snake." Really cool. The meeting went well, the gringos still stink at Spanish, but they'll get there. At night, Elder Ospina and I traveled to Otavalo to do divisions there. This was a night to remember.
There is a house in a place called Agato. Agato is known to be haunted. I didn't believe it, I wanted to see this for myself. So, we spent the night in Agato. My goodness. It is a house all by itself, all the houses around it are abandoned. There is a cemetery right in front of it. It is a badly lit house. It was a dirty house. It was a scary house. You walk in, and could right away feel a heavy, dark feeling. It was freaky. We tried playing games, singing songs, but we just felt lonely and scared. What a mistake to go there. There are stories of seeing people that aren't really there, hearing people walking around in the vacant upstairs, tapping on the window, everything. We turned the lights out to sleep, and I instantly turned into a baby girl. I woke up steadily every thirty minutes or so, completely horrified. Any noise, any movement, anything scared the pants off of me. I didn't even want to open my eyes. Someone called us at 3 in the morning, and Elder Ospina and I gave each other animos to keep going, both horrified. At last, at long, long last, the sun came out. The long night had ended, I had come out triumphant. If you want to send me a shirt that says, "I survived Agato," please do. Super scary. But, it's really pretty around there, right at the base of a giant volcano. Nailed the adventure. I hear that they're thinking of making a Ghostbusters 3, if so, sign me up for the tryouts. Boo yah.

Friday we spent in divisions, it was a good day. We talked to an atheist when we contacted, it was super sad to see him, he wasn't happy at all, complaining about everything. Having faith in something makes such a difference in the happiness of life.

Today, we went and had lunch with Dad's reference, Ana Delgado. She is super, super nice and super, super, super, super wealthy. She had tons of cool stories, and tons of great insights. She is super ready for the Gospel, hopefully we can keep visiting and teaching her. Her husband was killed in 1992, when her daughter was 6 months old, her father recently passed away, she has tons of great religious questions and already thought we needed a restoration to believing in God again, she's great. The lunch she made us was fantastic, super delicious, and we had a good lesson on the Restoration. She has a Book of Mormon and the conference edition of the Liahona, and hopefully we'll go again sometime. She was very receptive and very kind. We visited her with President, it was a very uplifting experience. With a few more visits, I could see her developing a strong testimony.

That's all that I'm going to write for now. I only used one hour for now, we're going to a baptism of some missionaries. I'll write some more later today or tomorrow.

Love you all!

Elder Thomas

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