Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Week Fifty Eight in Ecuador - December 29, 2014 - Feliz Navidad!!!


Hey family, I just hopped on the computer and wow it was so great to be able to talk to you all on Christmas and yes I was sorta disappointed at first that I was not able to see you all for the whole time, but oh well at least I could talk and be able to listen clearly :)
 
What you shared is very true mom, there are a ton of disappointments in life and we really have to learn how to let things just roll off our shoulders and be able to move on... it's not always easy but it can be done and I definitely have been learning a lot about that subject here in my mission because almost all of our love here is put into other people and as we all know people don't always pull through... sometimes they lie or forget or find something they think is better, and as missionaris we have to always be remembering that people do have agency and the liberty to choose and we have to be able to stay happy when things just don't go our way! 

Anyways, I am sorry that you all are sick... that's too bad. I however, have pretty much gotten over all of my cold and feel fine now :) 

Tell Grandma and Grandpa and Kathy and Iylene and Steve thank you fo the money... it is greatly appreciated. 

Now about my week well it was Christmas here... it didn't feel like Christmas. It was extremely hot and they definitely dont celebrate Christmas here like they do in the US. It's not very family oriented. Everyone just goes to big parties to drink and Christmas Day they go to the beach for more parties haha sorta different...  

However I had a very Merry Christmas because this last Saturday the 27th we were able to have a baptism!!! Yaaay haha her name is D and she is so awesome! She has a crazy strong testimony of the church and had been attending for almost 6 months now. We helped her overcome a few problems that she had and she finally decided to be baptized! I was so happy to be able to be a part of that and she truly is going to be such a wonderful member of the church :) 

 Other than that we have been doing well I have loved teaching the investigators that we have. Mainly we have been focusing on two families that are great! I hope so badly that they will continue to progress and if so we will really start baptizing  lot here in Machala!!! :) 

I have been really learning a lot about the Spirit lately, and understanding a ton about what its function is and how to really be able to listen to and follow all of its promptings. The Spirit is truly amazing and it is so wonderful that God has given us that extra help we need to always be able to choose the right :) 

I got my Christmas package and that you sent and I loved it so much! Thanks!

 Love,

Elder Lignell                                In front of the Guayaquil Temple
 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week Fifty Seven in Ecuador - December 22, 2014 - A Trip to the Guayaquil Temple - Beautiful Temple!!


Hey so I just hopped on the computer and hey this week I get to see you guys!!!! I'm stoked! It's going to be so great I feel like I haven't seen you all in forever like almost 8 months... wow so much has changed!! And no don't worry they all love me here in Machal.. we have a bunch of families that have offered us their house to be able to skype so I'm not worried at all :)  

Yes I am getting a lot more familiar with the area. I haven't gotten lost or robbed again :) And I'm feeling fine for Christmas. I try not to let things get to my head and just focus on my time here :) Also I'm way excited to spend time with the families here I get along with them really well. 

Oh and wow you had the missionaries over for dinner... tell me more about them! Were they cool where were they from? Did you ask them how the work is in Utah? haha tell me more details that kinda stuff interests me. :) 

And no!! don't have Jake have his wisdom teeth out, he wont be able to talk to me on Christmas!!! :( 

 Oh and yes I got all of the cards from you guys thank you so much I loved them! That was so nice of Aunt D.D. to put that all together! And also, I got the box from Grandpa and Kathy. You need to tell Grandpa that I loved his ties and I have been wearing them for him :) 

Ok so now about this week. Well it went pretty well the coolest pat was that we were able to go to the temple and do a session in Guayaquil!!! It was so cool wow. It was my first time being able to go to the temple here in Ecuador and for not being able to go for 14 months I felt like I really appreciated the opportunity. It was so beautiful inside and I had a way cool experience. I had an overwhelming feeling in the celestial room after praying, that I would be able to stay close to the Gospel my entire life.  

The temple was awesome and it helped me stay excited to work this week and we are doing okay if everything goes well we will have a baptism this Saturday which will be a perfect Christmas gift!! 

And now lastly I will Skype Christmas day around 2 in the afternoon will that be okay? 

 Love,  Eder Lignell
                                             The Guayaquil Temple in Ecuador
                                            In the Lobby of the Guayaquil Temple
                                      Me and Elder Myers
 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week Fifty Six in Ecuador - December 15, 2014 - An Insane week!

 Dear Family,


Well thanks so much for writing me! This week has been absolutely insane. So wow that first little quote that you put at the begining of the letter was literally meant for me because this week I have been trying my best to be completely obedient but the blessing haven't really been showing up. haha

So I'll explain. Almost the whole week we hadn't found anyone to teach and then on Saturday we went to go visit all of the people that we had ready to go to church. One of our baptism dates fell through because he left to Quito that day... then a family that we were teaching told us that they didn't want anything to do with us... then to top that off we were looking desperately for a members house in an area that wasn't that safe... and me not knowing exactly how the area is because I have 3 weeks here and my companion only has two.  Well we go searching and I took a wrong turn down a path where there was no exit and unfortanely someone was watching us so as we turned around to leave and a black guy comes up at the entrance of the path and pulls a pistol out of his shirt and points it at me and yells, "give me everyhting you have."  That was the weird part, to have a gun pointed at you But I was actually pretty calm and somehow I smooth talked him into believing that I only had my money pouch and my watch when in reality I had a cell phone in my pocket and another ten bucks and my CAMERA IN MY BACKPACK... wow I was so lucky that he didn't just take the whole backpack. So ya that was crazy and I was a little shaken up afterwards but I'm all fine now, but the worst part of all is that that same day I had a baptism and that's why I had my camera, but the baptism fell through... the kid went and drank alcohol with his brother the night of his baptism and it fell through and his cousin who is member, was so sad! I hope so badly that we ca get him to be baptized this week but we'll see. I haven't talked to him so far...
 
SO anyways this week well to be honest has pretty much sucked. However, it's taught me a lot. Success as a missionary doesn't come through numbers, it comes through your diligence, your love for the people and the spirit that works through you. We did everything for him to get baptized and the rest will be up to God and the push that J puts to actually get baptized.
 
Well I am super excited for Christmas and to be abe to talk to  you guys! I can't believe that it's another Christmas... wow time flies! 

Well sorry for the not too happy email but don't worry, I am excited to keep working and we'll start baptizing soon!
 
Elder Lignell

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week Fifty Five in Ecuador - December 8, 2014 - District Leader and a New Companion :)


Well it's another Monday haha and another week down here in Ecuador. :)

First off, Gracias por el paquete :) jaja que tal si yo solo les escribo en español hoy día okay? no mentira no voy a escribir en español tranquilo :) okay so thank you so much for the package haha you guys are so awesome! Hope you didnt spend too much money on it... it sounds really expensive. you dont have to spend so much on me... :) 

But don't even worry about it mom, when I get it I will be happy :) 

Alright now about being district leader... I sorta enjoy it but ya at the same time it can be a little bit stressful, but I'm happy and I just wanna keep working. So this week has been sorta crazy though. This last Tuesday my companion had changes... the one from the U.S. And I sorta knew it was too good to be true when we got put as companions because we just got along too well... we both wanted to work and we worked well together. And the mission just isn't ever that easy. So unfortunately he left and got sent to Galapagos. and I recieved a new companion from Peru who has 3 months in the mission. He is just figuring everything out about the mission but he's a nice kid. Howevr, I was extremely sad to see Elder Hammond go. I'm pretty sure he would have been my best companion so far. 

But anyways I've just got to keep pushing foward and work hard. This week went well for us and we have some great investigators that we are working with. And to only have a week here and not know the area beforehand I feel like I'm doing pretty well in not getting lost haha. 

So this last Saturday we had a baptism and her name is K and wow does she have a tough life!! She lives in a place here called the Coco where pretty much all of the houses are made out of bamboo and it is super bad living conditions. In her house they sell alcohol and her step dad and mom stay up all night every night just drinking and there is always a giant party at their house. I feel like she really just likes the church because she can escape... it's like a sanctuary in the chapel compared to her living conditions. I was so happy that we got the chance to teach her and I was honered to get to baptize her as well :) 

I love this area! Machala is wonderful oh and I don't think I told you before Elder Myers is here in the zone and I get to see him almost everyday!! It's sooo awesome and it keeps me animated to always have a friend here :) 

And anyways this Saturday we have another baptism and his name is J. and he is super awesome. He loves to learn about the Gospel and he has a giant desire to change his life. He has a slight problem with drinking... so we have been working with him to let it go and to move on. I would love if you all could pray for him this week that he can get baptized and be excited to do it! 

Well I don't have too much else to say but I'm excited to keep working and hopefully YOu'll have a wonderful week :) 



Love Elder Lignell

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Week Fifty Four in Ecuador - December 1, 2014 - A Lot Of Changes :)

Hey guys,

Well I have a ton to tell you this week.

I've had a lot of changes and I am now out of Guayaquil wooooow!!! I am in Machala, the city of the bananas... the banana capitol of the world haha and I absolutely love it. I have been called to be the district leader here and my new companion's name is Elder Hammond and he is from the United States from Rexburg, Idaho and he is awesome and I love him to death. He has 5 months in the mission and he is super animated all the time... he hardly ever frowns. It's great.

We are in a sector that is called los esteros and it is one of the best areas in all of the mission. The whole ward is super good about missionary work and they help us out a ton. This is one of the areas that baptizes the most in all the of the world... So it's absolutely perfect. I am so excited to be here and I love my companion. However, it's a big responsibility to be here too. We'll have to keep working hard and reach the potential of this area :) 

Although I am super happy here, it was hard to leave Esclusas...I loved that area and I made some amazing friends. I'll miss my crazy Colombian companion Elder Cardona but oh well, I had to leave at some time. 

Now about the week. So we worked extremely hard this week. And I got super burned haha (sorry mom) I got way burned caused apparently the sun is more potent here in Machala and also a big part of our area (named the Coco) doesn't have cement and it is just dirt and when you are there it honestly feels and looks like you are walking in Africa. About 90 percent of those that live in the Coco are black and almost all of the houses are made out of bamboo. It is awesome, sometimes dangerous but really sweet. We explored all of the area and we are seeing a lit bit of our efforts, and hopefully we will have one baptism the coming Saturday :) yeah!!!

And something funny this week that happened was that we were walking in the Coco and a little tiny dog started barking at us and it got really mad and got close to my leg so I kicked at it and it backed up but kept barking like crazy. So then we were about 70 or 80 feet away from it and I picked up a rock and just sorta winged it backwards at the dog and I drilled it in the butt hahahaha . felt way bad afterwards and I was so amazied that I hit it. It was hillarious, my companion was dying from laughter.

And today we bought a 10 dollar Christmas tree and set it up in the house :) it's sweet it has lights and everything.

So anyways I love it here in Machala and I'm so glad I have you guys in my life. I am grateful for everything that you've done for me in my life :) I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Love, Elder Lignell





Monday, December 1, 2014

Week Fifty Three In Ecuador - November 24, 2014 - The Best Birthday Ever!


Hey guys I just got on. Well this week was awesome! Ity honestly was exactly what I asked for.
 
 So Saturday was my birthday and I wasn't sure if anybody was going to do anything for me but I was happily suprised and the family of our baptism this week threw me a party. They made a ton of food and a giant cake and got together with the ward and suprised me on Saturday.- It was so awesome I was so happy! Also my convert made me a small wooden bow and painted it for me as a present :)

However, despite all of the wonderful suprises my biggest wish was to be able to have baptisms on my B-day and my wish was granted and we had 3 baptisms on Saturday!! And wow, they are so wonderful!! So first of is K., she is 16 and she is a single mom and her sister is a member of the church. She accepted to be baptized and her sister helped her along to make it all happen.

Then next is V. and he is 68 years old and he loves religion however he can't read or write. But he loves listening and learning about the gospel. Everyday after teaching him he would thank us for coming and being able to enlighten his mind. After he was baptized he bore his testimony how he knew this is the true church and he was so happy to be here. He said he felt like he was born again in his baptism.

Last is F., she is 25 and she is one of my strongest converts! Her family are members but when they got baptized she was with a boyfriend that didn't like the church and so she chose not to be baptized. But now she is separated from him and was so happy to start going to church. Her family was the ones that threw me the party and she said the prayer on the food, in her prayer she said she was thankful for me in not giving up on her she said she feld stronger in the church and after her baptism she bore her testimony that she knows the church is true and how grateful she is to have it in her life! :) 

So honestly it was one of my best birthdays that I have ever had.

 Thanks for all you guys do and all of your birthday wishes!

 Elder Lignell
 



 
 
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week Fifty Two in Ecuador - November 17, 2014 - I Just Love The People Of Ecuador!


Thanks for the letter mom I loved it :) That's so sweet about Jake...tell him congratz for me! Oh and ya I dont want to think about turning twenty I feel super old... but also I am pretty excited because we have 3 baptism dates set up for that Saturday!! I couldnt be more happy about that. 

And you're completely right. I have the perfect family and I couldn't ask for anything more. And about what you thought that time in sacrament meeting is wow exactly what I feel like the theme of my mission should be. In my patriatical blessing it says that the success of my mission will be directly related in my ability to forget about myself and put all of my thoughts into the lives of others. The gospel is about so much more than just ourselves. but the wonderful promise that God makes us in Lucas 17:33 is that if we forget about ourselves and focus in God and helping others we will find who we truly are. We will be better people and we will deserve our spot as sons and daughters of God. So thanks for sharing that because I completely agree. 

Ok so now about my week. This week was great we taught well and we worked hard and I felt the Spirit in a ton of our lessons. I absolutely am falling in love with the people here in Ecuador haha they feel like my family although I never want to live here and Dad, Mom and Jake you guys are better so don't worry. But for real, I feel so much love for the people here and this week we were so blessed with those people we found and the success we had with them. Not to brag or be prideful but on Sunday we brought the most people to church that we ever have... 15!!!! And this Saturday 3 baptisms!!! Wow. Well we are working hard and living up our time here, I love my comp and ya all is well I will let you know how the baptisms end up this Saturday :)
 
Love you all to death and write me back ;)

Elder Lignell
 
P.S.  My pictures this week look like all we did was play all week but I promise, we really worked our butts off :)


 
 
 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week Fifty One in Ecuador - November 10, 2014 - Little by Little

Dear Family,

Hey, so I just hopped on the computer, and so first off I got your two packages and I also got the package from D.D. and thank you both so very much... the packages were perfect. I loved them to death and they gave me a nice boost this week. 

 

Now about the homesickness... no I'm fine don't worry about it... I still love it here :) haha

 

What else, well now to answer Grandpa; the people here, well for the most part have their own businesses that they make but they are small businesses. For instance where I'm at right now is a little internet cafe with five computers and we pay 50 cents an hour to use the internet.  Another example is a little store that sells food and drinks or a little car wash business in front of someone's house or taxi or bus driver. Those are the main jobs that they have here and unfortunately they don't pay very much and those who work for companies get payed monthly about 300 to 400 dollars.

 

Alright so now about my week. Well this week was sweet, we had some awesome lessons with our investigators and we have a ton of people that are just about to be baptized... haha but that's the annoying part, they all amost can be baptized, it's just that every single one has something that they are missing to take that last step. For instance if everyhting just fell right into place we would have 7 baptisms just this Saturday. So we are working crazy hard so that all of that can work out! We have a whole family that wants to be baptized and I would love if you could pray for them this week that their father will soften his heart and be able to feel the Spirit.  Also, if you could pray for the "S" family that the husband and wife can get back together and stay strong in the Gospel. 

 

This week I have been studying a lot about the atonement. So you guys should read in 3 Nephi 27 Alma 7 and 1 Nephi 19:9. They are sweet and honestly everything we have in this life is thanks to the sacrifice of Christ. The only reason we can be happy is because he paid for all that makes us sad allowing us to change to triumph over weaknesses and someday become like him.

 

I love this Gospel I know sometimes it is hard to live it, but if we aren't willing to suffer a little bit of what Christ felt we will never truly understand how important his sacrifice was for all of us :)

 

Love you all to death,

 

Elder Lignell

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week Fifty in Ecuador - November 3, 2014 - Great New Companion

Hey guys.... whats up? :) 


Well I'm glad everyone is doing well and that's funny about the house and how you're all living in the living room with all the furniture in one room. And to be completely hones, you guys shouldn't complain... the way you have the living room set up right now is actually what an extremely wealthy Ecuadorian would have as their whole house. They put everything together... the sofas, beds and kitchen with the tv...in one room, so feel lucky that its only for a couple of weeks and not forever hahaha. That's great about Jake going for his first drivers ed road ride.... it made me laugh that his instructor fell asleep while he was driving... it must have meant that he trusted Jake a lot. ;) 



And that's sweet about your scripture study class last Saturday. It is true you do need to mark the scriptures it helps you learn them so much bettter!! And yes send me the scripture marking pens and I would love some cool colored pencils as well. Some that you think would be good for marking as well :) Oh and so like post-it tabs the ones that are different colors and small enough just to put a tab to mark a scripture. 



And well this week went well. I get along really well with my companion and he is a great missionary. I beleieve that with him I have had some of my most spiritual lessons so far out here on the mission. Which is awesome... I never really knew what it felt like before coming here to have the whole room filled with the Spirit and to just be able to see everyones faces light up and be able to recognize those feelings. I love the way the Spirit can change peoples hearts and desires. It gives us light and a new love and makes us feel happy wanted, special, and excited to press forward. 



I have learned here that to have the Spirit, it is essential in missionary work and essential in our everyday lives, if we want to have the guidance of Christ. And the key to having it is being worthy and asking God, and searching for it in our times of need. God is willing to help us in all that we do, and if we put forth our part he is obligated to do his. 



Well anyways those are some of the thoughts that have been going through my head in this last week. And I have been trying my hardest to look for the guidance of the Spirit in all that I do. 



So sorry I don't really have too much to share about this week. It was pretty normal but I am excited to keep pushing forward. Oh and the baptisms will be coming soon in a few more weeks and we'll have a bunch :)



Anyways,  I love you all to death and hope you have a wonderful week!



Elder Lignell

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week Forty Nine in Ecuador - October 27, 2014 - Lots of Pictures For You This Week

Hey Family,

Jacob looked good for MORP.... hope he had an awesome time! And of course a good night kiss... haha just kidding he's too young :)

About being stressed out. Ya know what... truthfully yes I do stress out a lot and I feel like it is one of my weeknesses recently in the last few months I have been trying really hard not to stress out and to just stay calm and let things pass as they do. However I definitely don't always succeed. 

But this week was awesome!! And guess what all of your prayers for the man that you don't know worked! He got baptized! So I'll tell you the story. 

So all week I had been praying my heart out that Investigator R. could be baptized and that he would have the strength to be able to overcome his addictions and recieve a remision of his sins. Every single day we passed by his house to check up on him and see how he was doing and on Thursday, two days before his baptism he told us a story about how he had bought a cigarette and was going to give up on trying to quit smoking. However as he lit up the cigarette, the butt end fell off right as he lit it up and he was so frustrated, he threw the cigarette away and didn't smoke! He took that as a sign that God wanted him to go through with his baptism and he pushed through and Saturday at 7:00 he was able to be baptized! After his baptism he told us that he felt clean and that he felt like he was a new person. You don't even know how happy it made me to be able to see him take that step in his life. He obviously still has a long way to go to continue putting away this vice in his life but wow, God truly does answer our prayers and he trully does fight against the devil to help us to succeed. I was so very grateful and it strengthened my testimony a ton on the power of prayer. 

 Other than that I am great. My companion is a stud! He's hillarious. And we cook food all the time in our house. We make egg and hot dog sandwiches, colombian bread and this week we're gonna do french toast. Haha we also the other night played soccer in our house and not to brag but I beat a Colombian, Peruvian and a Chilean... hahaha 

So this week was awesome we are working hard and I love the area that I am in right now! 

 I love you all to death!

 Elder Lignell
                                               Investigator R.'s Baptism
                                                   Investigator R's Baptism
                                             Investigator L's Baptism - she is 76
                           Investigator D's Baptism - She is 74, loves to read
                                            is so sweet and loves to go to church.
                                                         Group Picture :)
                                          Me with a fake rattail :) Look Close :)
                                              Eating Crab......Yum!!
                Crazy Dangerous Houses Built Above The River Out of Wood
                     Me and My New Companion....We Are Cooking Up a Storm!
 

 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Week Forty Eight in Ecuador - October 20, 2014 - 75 Year Old....So Ready to Hear The Gospel

Hey guys,

Well another week down and my week was interesting. It wasn't the best week of all time but definitely not the worst either. 

So first off we had a baptism!!!! Hey her name is Investigator D. and she is 75 years old and it was honestly the biggest miracle to be able to find her. I'll tell you a little about how it all happened. So one day as we were walking my companion points out a lady sitting in front of her house and he says, "one day we have to go pass by her because she would always say hi to me and my last companion." Then the next day as we were passing by again I thought, hey why not.... so we passed by and talked to her. In the first contact we invited her to go to church be baptized and gave her a Book of Mormon... and she accepted everything without a doubt. Then the next day we passed by to talk to her and she had read the first 10 chapters out of the Book of Mormon! And was still excited for her baptism. Well to make a long story short she went to church her three times and recently was baptized this last Saturday then on Sunday for her confirmation she came to church an hour early by herself and was patiently waiting for the meeting to start. She honestly is just a testimony that there truly are people just chosen and ready to be baptized and accept the Church. Wow... it was an amazing experience being able to get to know her.

And now this next upcoming week we can possibly have another baptism as well and his name is Investigator R. and he is 40 years old. He is super super excited to get baptized but his challenge is that he has been smoking and drinking coffee since he was a little kid. So he'll have to give it up for good. I would love it if all of you could help pray for this investigator to get baptized this week... it would mean a lot! :) 

And last, I now have a new companion. His name is Elder Cardona and he is from Bogota Colombia! I just barely got back from the bus station dropping off Elder Muñoz. So ya I'm excited to work with my new companion! 

Other than that I am doing well and I'm happy. I hope everything is going well for you guys! Well I love you all to death.  I'm so sorry, but this computer will not let me send pictures.  Hopefully I'll be able to send them next week.

Elder Lignell

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week Forty Seven In Ecuador - October 13, 2014 - Crazy Power Outage, But Neat Experience

Dear Family and Friends,
 This week has been good;  we worked super hard and we saw a ton of the fruits of our efforts :)
We started out the week sorta slow and we didn't find very many knew people or get any progress done but then we just started getting blessed with more and more people that accepted the challenges and are now moving along!
 
And to top it all off we had a baptism this week! The investigator that had her date set for conference weekend and she got back from her trip and was able to get baptized!! Her name is Investigator L. and she is 74 and I had the wonderful opportunity to baptize her :) I'll send pictures next week as this computer won't let me attach them.
 
Then yesterday after church we had an interesting experience...so we were walking down the streets at about 7:30 p.m. at night and we see a giant flash light up the whole sky! Then all the lights go out in the whole part of the Guasmo Sur so everything goes black! And here it is extremely dangerous to be out in the streets during a power outage because all the robbers take advantage of that time to rob. (also we were in the most dangerous part of our sector.) SO we immediately looked for the closest members house and jumped inside The family is Family R. and they were nice enough to let us hang out there, but the best part of all was that while we were there we sang hymns with them, I honestly felt the spirit so strong and I strengthened my testimony a bunch in being able to appreciate the little things, like being able to sit with a small family in their house and sing hymns with them during a power outage and I could feel the presence of the Holy Ghost. You could see everybody's faces just beaming in the candle light... it was sweet! Then the lights came back and we were able to leave safely.
And now lastly, well as you know I have completed a year as a missionary!!! I honestly can't believe it and to think about the progress I have had as a person in this last year is absolutely unreal!  To be completely honest, it has been the best year of my life.  I have seen so many blessings and miracles that I had never even thought were possible. I've seen people completely change their lives and truly find I can hardly believe it... I am so grateful to be out here and to be able to be a missionary and be part of this work.  I'm so grateful for all the love and support from every single one of my family and friends.  I love this work and I am really appreciative that I have one year more to be able to give all my time as a missionary and hopefully continue to grow and progress as a disciple of Christ. I know this church is true and I know God loves us and I know he takes a part in all of our lives. I know that he is calling us at all times we just have to be the ones to reach out our hands and grasp his.  I wish you all the best and pray for you every single night.
 Love you all to death!!!
Love, Elder Lignell

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week Forty Six in Ecuador - October 6, 2014 - Almost My Year Anniversary :)


Hey guys so I just got on the computer and I had a great week. 

So as you know, this last week was conference weekend and the rule that we have in this missions is that if you don't bring investigators to conference you can't go to watch the session. But amazingly I was able to bring investigators to every session! :) And I had a pretty cool experience.... so this whole last week I was praying about conference and that we would be able to find someoneto bring to the sessions so that I would be able to watch them. Anyway so right before presithood session starts our investigator that we had left so we were sad! We then went to a member's house and told them about that so the mom somehow understanding what we needed went to the other room and told her non-member son to go to the conference with us... and he did!!! It was awesome and I thought that the priesthood session was one of the best ones I've ever seen haha maybe just because I actually paid attention haha but really it was good!! 

 I'm also now senior companion!!!!  I'm very glad at this new situation. 

Ok and now about my week.... so we worked super hard this week and we invited the whole Guasmo Sur to go to conference haha!! I swear as a missionary the conference weekends are the most stressful things of all time!! The stake center where the conference was being broadcasted is 30 minutes by bus from our sector and we had to gather everyone up to get them in the bus and then take them there and when there is only two hours in between every session it is super hard to find everyone and get them in a bus thirty minutes before the session, five times in a row haha so I'm exhausted...... but it was worth it!
 
We brought in 10 different people and some of them went to more than one session :) We have two baptism dates that are awesome and are progressing very well and the conference was so good!!!  I loved that they talked a lot about our desire to stay on the path of God and be able to follow his doctrine. Honestly, I felt the Spirit so strong in this conference and I know that the Prophet and his Apostles and all of the 70's are called of God and chosen to instruct us in this life :)

 And I'm stoked to start working again this week.  I love this gospel and I love being a missionary, so I have to make the best of this next year that I have ;)  I love you all!

 

Elder Lignell

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week Forty Five in Ecuador - Monday, September 29, 2014 - People Are Ready To Hear The Gospel


Hey family how's it going? 

Well this week has went well :) 

Ok so first off that is fine with the pant's... they sound perfect and I did have an idea about the package... I was wondering if you could send me one of those big Ecuador flags from Zurchers and I can have my companions sign it and stuff. I thought that might be cool.  

And wow Mom, that is pretty crazy about the lecture you heard concerning African women... it's amazing how different cultures in the world can be. For instance here, it is perfectly acceptable to hit and beat your kids and wife as well the teachers here have the right to beat the kids for talking out of place. 

 Alright so now about my week. well actually not too much happened this week, although I did hear some gun shots outside of the house last night and I saw the man run past our house with the gun haha but that's pretty normal here in the Guasmo Sur of Guayaquil! 

And I just wanted to tell a small story. Okay so last Friday we were doing something the we call "Divisions" where with the members of the church you can split up from your companion and do visits and that way cover more area in less time. So anyway we were doing that and I was with a 20 year old member who was baptized about 4 months ago. We had this small little girl come up to us and tell us that she wants to go to church but that we need to go "pass by her house" So I was like well ya alright, let's go to your house but she just said, "I can't go, I have to go to the store" so she pointed to her house and then left. So we then went to her house and knocked on the door and her sister came out and so we started talking to her.  Well, one thing led to another and I invited her to go to church and she accepted. Then I felt like I should invite her to be baptized as well and she also accepted that!  We told her we would pass by Sunday to get her to take her to church and she said okay.  Then on Sunday when we got to her house, she was all ready to go and left with us to church :)
The point of this story is that as missionaries, there truly are people just ready to hear us we just have to reach our hands out and find them or in other words invite all to come unto Christ. 

 Well I'm way excited to go to Confrence this next weekend and I hope you'll all be going as well. Or at least watching at home :) 

 And Mom I am studying in the Bible in the Book of Mark and in the Book of Mormon I am in the last chapters of Alma :) 

 
So just to close, I wanted to send a picture of the family that gave me the watch and feeds us like every day!  They are so awesome :) and I love you all to death and I'm enjoying myself out here.
 
It really is the best two years.... the hardest hottest sometimes most disappointing best two years of your life!  haha I honestly wouldn't trade it for anything and in spite of all the crazy hard stuff that happens here I'm happier than ever but obviously I do miss you guys so don't worry, I haven't forgotten :) well love you.... all until next week.
 
Love,
Elder Lignell                             
                                             Our Recent Baptisms

                                              Acting a Little Silly at Home :)
                      The Family That Replaced My Watch and Feeds Us :)
 

 
 

 
 

 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week Forty Four In Ecuador - September 22, 2014 - I Love Ecuador !!


Dear Family:
 
 Mom, that made me laugh about your research meeting in Las Vegas because here in Guayaquil they play cards in the street and they play for money but guess what game they play? They play Gin Rummy !!!! hahaha It's great but all the old people sit out there and play oh and also they do bingos here like the game bingo and all the house moms go to them because the prizes are like giant bags of rice or tuna fich cans and of course metal fans because it's always hot here. But they sell the bingo cards for five dollars a piece and there are always like fifty women playing so I'm pretty sure they make bank setting up bingo matches. 

Okay now about my week.... it was great we are working hard here and this Sunday we were super blessed and brought 14 investigators to church!!! It was awesome!! We have two people that are getting prepared for a baptism and they are awesome... one of them is named Investigator L. and she is almost 80 years old and can hardly walk but we have been helping her to come to church and she loves it and is way excited for her baptism :) 

We found this way cool family where there is this 16 year old kid named Investigator J. that we met him  just passing by his house and we started talking to him from behind his gate and immediately he just invited us to sit down and talk without us even saying anything! So we talked to him and invited him and his family to church and they came on Sunday! Then on Sunday night we wacthed a movie about Joseph Smith in their house and we explained about the restoration. After it finished I explained why I liked the movie and why it was so important to know if Joseph Smith is a prophet and as I was explaining, I realized that my Spanish was just flowing out more smooth and better than I had ever talked before!  It suprised me and the Spirit hit me like a block in the chest. After explaining everything my companion and I asked them to be baptized and they accepted and also accepted to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet :)

 Okay and now two wonderful things about the people here in  Ecuador... they are super generous and are always looking out for each other... so as you know I had my watch stolen about three months ago. Well I haven't had time to go look for another one and I felt sorta bad because the other day I went to a member's house and they had bought me a new watch... and they refused to let me pay for it... then a kid from this ward was leaving on his mission and as a suprise gave me a soccer jersey! I was way shocked. It was so nice.... I love Ecuador!!

 Okay and last something funny is that Elder Quintero my companion I had in Loja, was also here in this same area where I am now and the funny thing is that I had given Elder Quintero one of my ties and he had borrowed another one... haha he then gave away both of those ties to members here in this ward so Sunday when I went to church I saw both of my ties being worn by members and the best part was that Elder Quintero had written my name on the back of the ties to remember where he had gotten them from haha so they both had my name written on the back but obviously I just let the members keep them... they are in better hands now anyway :)


Well this week went well and I hope all is well at home :)  (Pictures to follow next week :))

 

Love,
 
Elder Lignell

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Week Forty Three In Ecuador - September 15, 2014 - The Spirit Was Able to Touch Her Heart


Hey family!!!!
So another week down, and ya I am just hanging out here in the Esclusas in the area of Guayaquil that is called El Guasmo Sur which turns out to be another one of the most dangerous parts of Ecuador...... look up on the internet "Guasmo Sur" in Guayaquil and put in "the mosquito" and see what turns up. "The mosquito" is this super poor part of our area where it is crazy dangerous haha but don't worry I'm being safe.

Alright so tell Jake I'm proud of him for giving his talk in sacrament meeting :) And tell him to have a blast at Homecoming!
Okay, so my new companion is cool. I mean I like him... he's sort of quiet but I know the changes are inspired from God so I'll just have to learn whatever I can from him and enjoy the time that I have here.

And in answer to your question, no I have never gone through the temple here, I would love to but we don't have any time that we can actually go unless the president invites us....well I'll at least go once before I leave.
Okay and now about my week.... so we actually had a baptism this last week and it was sweet! Her name is Investigator N. and she is a sweet little black girl that was worried to go to her baptism because her mom had left and she wasn't able to be with her for the baptism and it was actually a cool little spiritually experience that we had before her baptism.  Now, I don't want to share this to make it seem like I'm the best missionary in the world but it was something that I said to her that moved her.

We were at her house and she didn't want to go to her baptism because of her mom not being there and my companion was talking to her and there were two other missionaries with us and they all talked to her and told her tht she should just come to her baptism and they were telling her  how everyone was there waiting for her at the church and then out of nowhere I got the impression to say  "look those people are waiting for you, but you aren't going to be baptized for them. God wants you to be baptized and he is the one waiting for you. I know you feel nervous now but I promise you God will take those nerves away from you and the second you go under water, all of those emotions will be changed to peace and joy." Then after I said this to her she nodded her head and walked in her room. Then about two minutes later, she came out with her clothes and left with us to go to the church.   Now, I know that nothing I said changed her mind all. All I know is that something prompted me to say that and then that Spirit was able to touch her heart. Her baptism was beautiful! I felt the spirit so strong that night and I was glad I was able to share that moment in her life.

Other than that I am woriking a lot on my obedience. I want to be the most obedient missionary possible. I want to be able to feel the Spirit every single day and really know that the people I am teaching can feel that Spirit. I love a scripture that talks about obedience that is in Mosaih 2:41 that shows how joy comes from the being obedient and then in 2 Nephi 2: 25 says that our purpose in life is to have joy.  So joy comes from obedience and the purpose of life is to have joy, so if we are not obedient we won't be happy and we won't be able to fulfill our purpose as human beings..... it's as simple as that!

Well, love you all so very much and I  hope you have a little time to write me back :)

Elder Lignell

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Week Forty Two in Ecuador - September 8, 2014 - Late Night Transfer!

Hey Family:

Well first off this week all in all has been great however yesterday night at 10:30 p.m., I got a call saying that I have transfers, so I got switched out of Malvinas and now I am in a new area that is called Puerto Nuevo....like New Port in English. I just barely got to the sector like 3 hours ago and just barely met my companion. His name is Elder Muñoz and he is from Bolivia and he is a sweet kid. He has been out here on the mission for 15 months now.  

Well anyways the week went well other than that we had a bunch of people that were able to go to church and I was super glad about that. Then I have been learning a ton lately about Christ-like attributes and the way that we should be as people... and it's tough haha it's definitely not easy. Christ expects us to be like he was and of course, he was perfect. So he has some pretty high expectations for us but he knows that every ounce of effort we put forth will bless us and help us in our lives. Mom, I loved what you shared that sometimes our testimonies aren't based off of super huge events that happen but rather that they are from lots of little tiny experiences that have helped us day after day. 

Well sorry I didn't have too much to say today but I hope all is well. Tell Jake that I am proud of him for going to Homecoming oh and tell him he's getting pretty big...I'm impressed. 

Hope you all have an absolutely wondeful week! 

Elder Lignell

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week Forty One in Ecuador - September 1, 2014 - Some Great Experiences!


Hey family,
 
Well this week has been good. I wish Jake a very Happy Birthday....I hope it was all that he wanted, and lucky him, gets to go to church on his birthday.... what greater blessing could you even ask for :) haha and ya, I just saw the pic of you guys up at the falls in Bell's Canyon, that's sweet.  I hope Mom didn't complain too much because we all know she doesn't like to hike  hahahahaha. Oh and a big congratz on Jake for being ordained as a Priest! Thats sweet, and yes I have had to bless the sacrament here but tell Jake to not even worry about it, it's easy. You have the little cheat card and just have him talk slow and clearly and he'll be fine. 

And now to answer your questions I am studying right now in Alma however something that I have found that is really really cool is to start the Book of Mormon from the begining and the just read super super slow and try to understand the meaning of every word. I look at every scripture link that it has at the bottom of the page to see how other scriputures relate and then I take notes in the margins about what I learned... so it takes forever but it helps you understand the scriptures so much better and it's awesome. 

After 4 months, I finally got my debit card! To celebrate, we went to a mall that is close by and I bought some cool shampoo some pomade hair stuff and some batteries for my camera, then we went and ate at a KFC so that I was sweet I felt like I was back in the US for a second. haha

Alright, now about this week. Well to be completly honest this week was hard, it was hard to stay super animated to work and we've been having diffuculties finding people to teach. The baptism that we had for last Saturday fell through. She decided that she wants more time and also that she couldn't come to church on Sunday... so we'll see how it goes with her in the future. Anyway it's been sorta frustrating but we did have some cool miracles that happened so I'll talk about those instead :)
 
So first off we had a member that helped us do visits this last Thursday and he is an awesome member! He is a convert of 8 years and he absolutely loves the Church and he wants the best for this ward so he is always ready to help us and to visit the less active members. Well so we went out to do visits with him and after we had talked to a few people, he just sorta stopped in the street and started talking to us about his family and about some of the problems that have been going on in his life. He shared his testimony about the Gospel and why he loves it so much and truly just how much he cares about his family. With tears in his eyes he explained to us how much it meant to him that we are here as missionaries working. I honestly felt the Spirit so strong in that moment and as I tried to respond. I just felt a crazy strong burning inside and a happiness and love for him like he was one of my family members. I tried my best to explain my testimony to him and reassure him that we would help him with his family and the ward. I don't know how much my words were able to help him but all I know is that the Spirit in the middle of the street in Malvinas at 8:00 at night was so strong that it would have been impossible to have not felt it! And it trully strengthened my testimony so much to be able to see a member that really really cares about this Gospel and for the welfare of his family. 

Then the last story is just a little bit funnier. So we have a bunch of investigators that are friends of our recent converts and they are pretty much are all of their neighbors. Well anyway it was Sunday in the morning and we went over to that neigborhood to wake them all up because church starts at 9:00 a.m. and as we turn the corner at about 8:00 a.m. in the morning the three kids who aren't members were all walking towards us and they were frustrated and yelled at us "Where have you guys been we've been ready for like thirty minutes now" so they got ready for church before us, without us, without us even having to wake them up!
 
Then we found our other investigator who is 24 and works as a security guard. Well he had to work the night shift on Saturday so he got back from work at 8:00  in the morning on Sunday.  When we went to talk to him I asked him if he would be able to make it to church and he said, "Yes of course. I promised you guys I would,  just let me shower quick and I'll be right out" hahaha it was sweet and it was awesome to see how God really does work with us to help our investigators understand the importance of the things we teach them!

So,  the week went well and I am feeling good and I hope you enjoyed my stories.

 I love you all!

 Love,
Elder Lignell
                                          Pictures From Our Baptism Last Saturday
                                

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week Forty in Ecuador - August 25, 2014 - We Hosted Activity Night!!! - Pretty Crazy !!!


Alright guys I'm back again:) and this week went well I actually really enjoyed it. And I am way excited to keep working.

So first off me and Elder Carmona are doing well and we have been searching all over Malvinas and unfortunately we haven't been able to find too many really solid people but I haven't lost faith and we'll keep finding people.
 
However, right now I want a lot of our focus to be on the people who were recently baptized because I want to be able to help them so that none of them go inactive or fall away from the church. Also we are hoping to be able to work more with the ward and be able to find referrals through them. And in trying to do that we set up a ward missionary night at the chapel this last Friday and the purpose was that the members could bring friends there and then we were going to have some messages and then play some "constructive" games... well to say the least it didn't go as we expected. 
 
First off hardly anyone brought investigators to the activity, but then we started and I gave a talk about missionary work and then we started playing the games we played one called "Noah's ark" that me and Elder Sanchez had made up before in a family home evening where everyone gets a paper with a different animals name and there are two of every animal then without talking you have to go find your animal partner by making sounds and movements and then make it to the Ark... well we started it and everyone just started screaming the names of animals out trying to make it to the ark first to get the prizes... then we had to try to calm everyone down so we started to a "unity game" where there were four teams and they had to all work together to form a circle. However it honestly just made everyone there more competitive and made things go way out of control! The high priest leader and the seminary teacher were honestly screaming right at me telling me to give them their prizes because they had won... so all in all it wasn't very productive but it gave us all a good laugh and now I know a few things not to do in wards in the future hahaha


Then on Saturday it was the baptism of Investigator L. she is a 15 year old girl that is way cool she learned so fast all that she needed too and was able to be baptize3d, I was chosen to do the ordinance and I was really happy for that opportunity, her little sister has her baptism this upcoming Saturday :) So ya they are both great! The girl who just got baptized was the one that we found threw her mom when at first we invited her mom to read the Book of Mormon and left it with her then the next day we passed by and the daughter had read the part we left and started asking questions about it and then from then on she progressed perfectly right up to her baptism so it has been a pretty cool little miracle to be have been able to teach her :)

And so I am doing well! I love it here and the nights aren't as crazy hot right now... I don't even have to sleep with the fan on high speed I put it on low now ;) haha well I love Ecuador!  Entonces voy a terminar este mensaje pero espero que todo este bien y que puedan siempre disfrutar de este evangelio Les Quiero mucho!

 
Elder Lignell

Week Thirty Nine in Ecuador - August 18, 2014 - I Love Missionary Work!


Hey Family :)

 So this week has been great! But I'm glad you all are having a ball in Cali...the other day were were hitting ping pong balls back in forth in the house with rackets and it made me think of paddle ball on the beach, haha and then I remembered how much I'd bug Jake to play with me and how I'm the best :) haha Anyways, I hope all is going well. 

Well this week was great but to be completely honest not too much happened. Like we haven't found anybody new to work with and it just seemed like a slow week however Saturday was super awesome because we had four baptisms!!! And that was way cool those who got baptized are so awesome they all love coming to church and we've been working hard to get them all to have friends from the church so that they stick with it and don't go inactive. Then this next Saturday we have two more baptisms which are two sisters named Investigator L. and N they are sweet and we're so blessed to have been able to meet them and teach them.

Well, sorry not too much has happened new, but I'm feeling good and we're going hard out here in Malvinas. I love missionary work, it honestly just makes you happy even though sometimes it's hard and exhausting and makes you wanna give up you seem to always find a little bit more strength to carry on and then find all the miracles that God has in store for you, like a quote that I like that says, "Man's extremity is God's opportunity"

 Well love you all to death!

Elder Lignell                    Our Sweet Family of Baptisms :)

 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Week Thirty Eight in Ecuador - August 11, 2014 - We Are Finding So Many People Who Want To Learn About The Gospel!


Hey Family :) Well I read the letter from Mallory and that is so crazy... I still can't believe that she is already coming home from her mission in the Philippines. Time really does fly! I can't believe that I have 10 months here either. I feel like I haven't even had time to do anything really special yet (haha) but I also feel like this is the only way of living that I have ever known. 

Anyway, I had a very nice week this week! We had two baptisms!!! It was awesome but I'll talk about that a little bit later on. 

Okay so this week I have been thinking a lot about the people we have been teaching and the ways that the Church can help them in their lives. Like its obvious that the Church of Jesus Christ will help everyone, however, every person is their own self and they have different needs. I have been trying to put myself in their shoes and see what type of help the Church can bring them right now in their lives. For instance we had our baptism last Saturday... Investigator G. He is 12 and he's a super happy kid but the part of the city where he lives is very dangerous with a lot of ghettos so he can't hang around with kids outside of his house because they are all smoking and drinking.  He loves the Church for the atmosphere that he can fiind there and he loves going to activities, I truly feel like he will stay in the Church and be able to gain a very stong testimony of the Church.
 
The feeling you get as a missionary when you find someone that can just fall in love with going to church and learning about Christ is something that is truly hard to express. And it's what pushes me to keep finding others to teach and to help :) We have been so blessed here in Malvinas to be able to be baptizing every week!  I am so happy and grateful for that and I feel like my duty right now with these people that God has placed in front of us is to truly convert them, to find the key from the Church that will help them to stay in this religion for the rest of their lives. 

We had the two baptisms on Saturday and it was awesome! They are two brothers, one is Investigator A. and the other is Investigator D. One is 15 and the other is 8 and they are so awesome! They love listening to us, reading the Book of Mormon and we are so excited to go to their baptism!  We were blessed to have them accompanied by their parents who are super sweet! I hope to be able to work with them later on too :)
 
Now the funny part is is that we have been teaching pretty much their entire street.... like all of their friends and family that live by them have been listening to our lessons so every time we go to teach them, they all bring out chairs and sit around us to listen so we teach about ten people at a time every time we go over there and they all go to church together as a group! They are all so wonderful and if everything goes right this Saturday we will have the privilege to baptize 4 of them :) 

Okay and now I wanted to share another interesting miracle that happened this last week. So I was in an interchange with another missionary and his name is Elder Vasquez and so we were walking around before lunch and we were talking to everybody in the streets and we came across an older man who was sitting outside in a chair and so I went up and said hello and right as I was saying hello there were about three older ladies inside the house that started yelling, "Hey come in come in" which at first caught me super off gaurd and I didn't know what to do. Then they said, "Hey come sit down for a bit in here and talk to my Dad (the older man outside) so I figured nothing could hurt by just going and and talking to them, so we went in and started a conversation. Well, it turns out that over like 30 years ago the missionaries had talked to them and they remembered them that's why they called us in. So we started talking about the things that they taught them and  they have never gone to church and only talked to the missionaries one time. We then invited them to church and also to be baptized and they accepted both of the invitations! They will be coming to church this next Sunday and are preparing to be baptized on the 13th of September! They then invited us to eat lunch and asked us to come back to teach them more and eat lucnh again this Tuesday... I honestly know that God prepares people for us and he just expects us to go out of our way to say hello and then he does the rest :) They are a wonderful family they have started reading the Book of Mormon and praying everynight :) 

So we have been pretty blessed out here!!! I know this Church is true and I love this work!

 I love you all to death!

Elder Lignell            Our Recent Two Baptisms....They Are Two Brothers
 
 
                 Even Though They Don't Smile Big In Ecuador, I'm Sure They Were Happy!
 

 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Week Thirty Seven in Ecuador - August 4, 2014 - I Love This Work! I Love The Gospel, I Love The Scriptures and I Love You Guys


Hey family! 

Alright well first off thank you so very much for sending out the package. Hopefully it will get here soon. I'm glad everyone is doing well. That's awesome. I am doing good out here but there have been some changes! So my old companion, Elder Garcia, had transfers so he left and now I I have a new companion named Elder Carmona. He was born in the Dominican Republic but he moved to the United States when he was 6 years old so he speaks perfect English! Haha...You don't know how nice it has been to be able to speak a little bit of English! Well anyways he is cool and he actually lives by Rose Park in Salt Lake City! He has 10 months out here in the mission, so just a little bit more time than I do. 

So I have been teaching him the area and the investigators and everything about Malvinas this last week. And it's going well! We have kept up the number of people that are investigating the Church. We brought 7 to church and 6 again had baptism dates this past Saturday and we had one baptism and for this next Saturday and then we have three more :) 

So I'm feeling pretty good about the work that we our doing and especially that the investigators that we have are progressing and want to keep coming to church!

Ok, so the baptism that we just had was a 12 year old kid named Investigator G. Sometimes a 12 year old kid has a hard time when it comes to going to church and staying strong after the baptism and after we leave, but with this kid,  I'm nt too worried. He is the greatest kid!!  Every time we pass by his house he gets the biggest smile on his face and literally jumps to the door. Then on Saturday for his baptism right before the service started, we went to go take some pictures and I look over at him and he was all teary eyed, and I had no idea what to think.... I couldn't tell if he was scared or didn't want to be baptized or just really excited... nobody really knew why he was crying. Well anyways we tried to comfort him and he sorta calmed down then we had the service. I had the oppertunity to baptize him and right after he came out of the water we asked him how he felt and he said, "El agua era rico" which means something like the water was delicious. hahaha I was so happy I had the chance to baptize him!! He's a wonderful kid and we're hoping to be able to help his mom and his other brother recieve the same ordinances later on :)

Well I am doing well and Malvinas is great! I can't wait until this next Saturday too and the next and the next :)

Well I love this work, I love the gospel, I love the scriptures, and I love you guys. I think about you all the time but not in a sad way because I only get one shot at these two years and I promise I'm trying to give it my all each day.
 

Well love you all

Elder Lignell          Investigator G. on his baptism day!! He is a great kid!!!