Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Week Nine in Ecuador - January 20, 2014 - A New Companion :)

Hi family,

This week was interesting because on Tuesday I had my first transfer. I left with Elder Castillo for Guayaquil Tuesday morning and got my new companion in Guayaquil and then went back to Loja so I have a new Companion!!!!!! His name is Elder Quintero and he is from Cali, Columbia. He is 19 years old and I like him a lot! He has a very weird accent which is hard for me to understand but it is helping me learn more Spanish and I am so very happy! 

I now have a ton more responsibility because I know the city and my companion does not so I have to remember where everything is and be able to tell cab drivers the directions to different places. I first discovered this new responsibility when we first got to Loja and I realized that I didn't really know the street names for our house so I somehow explained to the driver where to go and we made it, but it was a big eye opener. haha 

We haven't had very much success this week, which has been too bad. I want to really have a ton of investigators and baptisms but at the moment we are starting out fresh and it is hard. Also, I've realized that I really have to take responsibility out here and do things for myself rather than just letting my companions do the talking all of the time because I do have a lot to share. I just need to take the courage in every moment to act on my promptings and be outgoing. 
So I had a great week in all but at the same time I have a ton going on and I am a little stressed.

Oh, by the way, I can make omelets just as good as mom´s so I am officially grown up and mom you won´t be able to make jokes about me and my cooking and not knowing how to take care of myself :)
Also, I got some packages.....thanks everyone!!!
Elder Lignell                       Maria L. and Cristian L.

                                       (My shirt looks puffy....that is not my tummy :))
 Proof that I can now make an omelet :)


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Week Eight in Ecuador - I Have My First Two Baptisms !!!! - Monday, January 13, 2014

Dear Family:
I got my first two baptisms on Saturday!!!!!!!!! :)))
Which is absolutely awesome I am so very happy!!! It was the greatest thing ever! Their names are Maria L. and Cristian L.  Maria is 65 and Cristian is 11 and he is her son. And funny thing is that she is the one that gave me the banana that killed my stomach! haha....but it was worth it for a baptism!
It was so very great that we had the opportunity to help them and it was so wonderful after the baptism Maria gave me and my companion both giant hugs and I got a little kiss on the cheek.... haha so 3 months down and I got my first two baptisms and my first kiss in my mission :) 
After the 12th of February, we all change companions. I love Ecuador so so much! It is such an amazing beautiful country and I learn so much new Spanish everyday which is awesome because I truly believe that I can do it out here and be happy and love this life with all my heart and it really can be the best two years!!!!
In answer to your question, yes I have spanish scriptures and they gave them to us at the Mexico MTC.
That was really nice of Mitch to go up to Jacob at the Brighton game and give him a big hug.  Mitch is awesome and I love him!
I'm glad you were able to go to Elizabeth Young's farewell and that is so true about what she said about being in the majority if you are in God's church!
I don't have much time to be on the computer today, so I'll have to send you pictures of our Baptism next week.
Love you all so so so much I miss you all to death!
Elder Lignell


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Week Seven in Ecuador - Happy New Year

Dear Family:
I'm glad you enjoyed my pictures.  When we went to Guangora last week, we realized that it was too late to take a bus back and so we were afraid we would be stuck 30 minutes away from home, but we found a taxi heading to Loja and he gave us a ride for one dollar so we really really lucked out!!
Ok now I'll tell you about this week as there is a lot that went on :)
New Years was crazy and it is extremely different here than in the United States. For instance they make these paper mache dolls that are life sized and they make them to look like different people like family members or celebrities and the ward made one that looked like my companion.  Also, on New Years Eve the men dress up as women and stand in the streets and ask for money. I didn't understand why but if you don't give them money they will, to put it nicely,  bother you. At 12:00 a.m. they light off a ton of fireworks and light all of the dolls on fire, so it was really cool. 
Then on Thursday we had "intercambios" which is just when we work with a different companion. So, at first I was with Elder Huamani who is one of the Elders who lives with us. Everyone thinks he isn't the most obedient but only because he isn't so worried about the rules. Anyway,  at first I was thinking, "Oh no, I wonder how this is going to be." But, it turned out amazing!!
We were in a member's house and we were just talking to them like normal people and I wasn't worried about everything I was saying and we were laughing and enjoying ourselves. Then I shared a scripture and Elder Huamani shared an experience relating to the scripture and it was amazing!! The spirit was so strong and we worked perfectly together! So I realized that is how missionary work needs to be; it needs to be normal because we are people but then have a spiritual side too. So I was so happy that I had that opportunity to see that!
 So then after that I was trying to do the same with Elder Castillo and it sort of worked but I realized that out here I just need to be myself and joke and be happy because when I am happy I want to work and share the gospel :)  I think that is the key and I have been doing so much better this week!!!
 On Saturday I was given a free banana from a street vendor so of course I ate it.. worse decision ever!  It absolutely destroyed me.... My stomach was gone it was the worst pain of all time! So lesson learned...... don't eat the bananas from the street vendors! 
Then Sunday was the greatest day of the week this week :) We have three investigators that have baptismal dates and all three of them were in church on Sunday.  There was a mom and her son and another guy and it was fast and testimony meeting.  I bore my testimony which was sweet because I said a lot of stuff that I didn't know that I could say but I did :) Then our investigator wanted to bare his testimony and talked about how he liked the church and wanted to learn more about it. And then after him the woman, Maria, wanted to bare hers too!!! She talked about how she knew the church could help her with her trials and how she believed it was true!!! So hurray!!! It was awesome and the spirit was so very strong. It was really cool and I think it was one of the most spiritual experiences I have had here so far because the investigators did it all on their own!  Also, the mom and her son have a baptism date for this week so I think I am going to get my first two baptisms this Saturday!!!! I am so excited!!

That picture you sent is hilarious of Jacob...the one where he was asleep on the kitchen floor after doing so much homework!  While I was studying this week I found a good scripture for him that he can use for Christmases and birthdays. It's in Matthew 7:11. 

And lastly, yesterday night we were at the house of our mission leader and we were just talking to him and then he told my companion that he should watch what I do because he could learn from me and I was amazed.
Love you all,
Elder Lignell