Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Week Thirty One In Ecuador - June 23, 2014 - Extremely Hot :)

Alright guys what's up? Hope all is well in Utah. Hope you are enjoying your summer, and feel lucky every time you step in the house and have airconditioning. This week has been extremely hot in Ecuador... it has been in the 100's the whole week and the other day inside our house, it hit 94 degrees. But oh well, I feel like I'm some what used to sleeping without covers and soaking my head in water before and after studying..haha :) 

Anyways I am glad Jake is tearing it up in bball, and that's sweet he's playing with John. I didn't have the chance to play ball with him very much but, he's a good kid and plays very well. And his sister is nice.... I had chemistry with her. 

Other than that, this week went well. We worked extremely hard as usual.  Elder Sanchez and I  don't take breaks! We have been giving every last bit of our energy into this work. And it's great when you put all you have into something because afterwards you always have a feeling of satisfaction. The only downfall sometimes is when you don't see the results that you would really like. And that has been our challenge lately. We are looking for new people and inviting everyopne we see to accept challenges and to come to church with us. However, very few are accepting. But that doesn't matter. I feel good with the work that we are doing and I feel like we are trying our hardest to fulfill our pupose as missionaries. Also, I have learned so much about the atonement recently. And in doing so it helps you to see the need that every one of us has to share the gospel with others. Because Jesus paid for us but not just you and me he paid for every single person we see in the streets on the TV... everywhere. And to not have His sacrifice be in vain, we have to open our mouths and help others to understand the importance of Him. I love Him. And I love how everyday out here I have a little bit more of a desire to serve and to help others come unto Christ.

 And finally, this Saturday we have the baptism of Investigator E.. He's a stud and I can't wait to baptize him. 

 We asked him the other day how excited he was to be baptized and he said "I'm good, I have made a decision and nobody can change it." Then we asked, "So if your son or a friend says to you, don't be baptized, what will you say" and he said, "I will tell them that I am committed to be baptized, it is my decision, and nobody can change that, also I don't even drink coffee or tea or smoke or drink or do drugs so of course I will be baptized!" hahaha (we had taught him how if he breaks the word of wisdom he can't be baptized.)

 He is so great. He has progressed a ton and I can't wait for him to recieve the ordinance of baptism and receive the Holy Ghost.

 Love you guys all so much!

Oh and haven't got my package yet... .(

 Love, Elder Lignell 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Week Thirty In Ecuador - June 16, 2014 - The Spirit is so Strong!

Hey family :)

 Hope everyone is doing great! I had a nice week this week. 

 First off I just read the email from Kaleb and  I didn't even think about the fact that I graduated over a year ago. It seems so unreal I can't even belive how many things have happened in the last 12 months. Haha my life has completely changed, it isnt anything like what it was before. But, it's not a bad thing because I trully am helping people have more happiness and light in their lives and what greater gift could you possibly give someone? I can't think of one right now. So I feel good about where I am at right now.  

Next the World Cup started this week and it is crazy down here everyone watches the games, like literally everyone! So, finding people to teach during the games has been interesting!  Also finding people sober is difficult too because everybody drinks nonstop during the games! However God has helped us find a few so we've been blessed for working and not hanging around to just watch the games.

Anyway now about the week. We've had a few little miracles happen that have made me really appreciate this work. Okay so first is that we met a new investigator E. who is about 75 five years old and he is awesome. He lives at home by him self because his wife passed away about 2 years ago and you can tell that he misses her. He has a son and a daughter that live close to him but they don't visit him a ton. Anyway, when we go over to visit him all he wants to do is talk... about everything. He tells how much his phone costs, how many dogs he had, the buses that he takes to go to the park, who won the world cup games, and just about anything else. But, he is great and he is progressing wonderfully and going to church the last two weeks has helped him find friends in the church so that he has more people to talk to. So he loves it and has accepted to be baptized the 5th of July :) At first we thought that he just liked to talk and that he wasn't really paying attention to us so for the last couple days we've been quizing him and he remembers everything we have taught him and is reading and praying everyday. So we are so blessed to have him. He truly is chosen to receive the Gospel at this time :)

Next our baptism for Investigator A. from last week is so sweet. He just recieved the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday and is going to go to the temple this next week! I am so excited that he is such a strong convert.

Then finally on Sunday I felt the Spirit so strong!!! First in the sacrament meeting the Bishop asked me to give a talk about five minutes before the meeting started so I just had to wing it, But I don't know I just had the ability to do it. I talked about faith and listening to the Spirit and to not have fear in pushing threw hard times because there is light at the end of every trial. I felt like I did very well and a lot of people afterwards said they enjoyed what I had to say. Then later that day we had some amazing lessons with some families who are less active. We talked about the atonement and the things that God asks us to do in this life. I honestly strengthened my testimony a bunch on the atonement and I can't explain how, all I know is that bearing testimony of the things you know are true helps you to strengthen your own testimony because it lets you see and hear the things that your heart wants to express.

So that was my week. It was a good one :) And I am excited for the next one and the next and the next! haha

Well I didnt get you package yet... :( hopefully soon
Love you all,
Elder Lignell
Investigator A.  He has such a strong testimony!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Week Twenty Nine In Ecuador - Monday, June 9, 2014 - Guayaquil Baptized More People Last Month Than Any Other City In the World! I Also Got Robbed Again, But This Time, It Wasn't So Funny

Hey Family:

Okay so this week was great! We had a lot of interesting stuff go on.

First off the week started out normal. We were searching for a lot more people to teach because we didn't have very many and we were working extremely hard. Everyday my feet would just kill at night because we were walking everywhere. But anyway, Wednesday morning we woke up, did all of our studies and stuff then we went out to work. And I swear it was 115 degrees outside but we didn't care because it's like 105 everyday anyways. So, we were searching for houses of the members that we didn't know and we didn't meet anyone new. And we were getting sort of down on our selves. My companion said, "Hey let's go to one more house before lunch to see if we can meet someone." So as we're walking for the last house I was praying super hard that we could find the member and then as we turned a corner a kid about our age yells "elders" so we turned around and were about to keep going when he yells "Oh so I guess you guys don't stop for anyone." So ya we felt like we had to go say hi to him. And then right as we got to him he says "give me everything you have"....... yup we got robbed. After him another kid showed up. They stole our phone and both our watches :( and so ya that stunk pretty bad but I got over it fast... he didn't do anything to us so don't worry.   

So that was hard and at first, I felt like we didn't really get the blessing that we deserved for all the work that we did. But wait that's not all...

So on Saturday we had our baptism!!!! And he is so great!!  However we didn't have the chance to be in his baptism because we had a training meeting that was suppossed to be with Elder Oaks and two members of the seventies... however only one of the seventies showed up.. Elder Oaks and the other one couldn't make their flights. however the training meeting was with the three Guayaquil missions sooooo I got to see Braydon Hanks!! And I gave him a giant hug!!! I was so happy and the training meeting was sweet. And guess what?? The city of Guayaquil baptized more people for the month than any other city in the entire world! Pretty cool huh?

Ok so that was great I was so happy to see Braydon and I learned a bunch at the training meeting! 

Then on Sunday we met two new wonderful people who accepted to be baptized the 5th of July!

And I'll quickly talk about one of them. 

Okay so everytime we went to talk to Investigator A. our friend who just got baptized Saturday we always encountered this lady that works at his house and she always looked super unhappy that we were there and would grumbly go look for Investigator A. when we would ask for him. But then the other day a member of the church was talking to her and asked her to listen to the missionaries. So we went over to their house not expecting her to be very open but then as we started sharing the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ you could see the Spirit working inside her. She started to smile as we were talking to her and we asked her how she felt. She said she felt calm and happy! She explained to us that she knows that Jesus is her savior and that she wants to learn more about him. She said she wants to go to church with us and is excited to have us over again. Then as I explained to her what baptism is and why it is necessary and you could see that she was interested so I just went for it. And asked her "will you be baptized the 5th of July" and she said she would love to! I then bore my testimony and you could really see that she felt something different. I had never seen her smile before the way that she did in the lesson and it made me think about how the Spirit and the Gospel make things like that happen. The Gospel brings more happiness to us than anything else in this world can. The Spirit testifying is one of the most joyful feelings I have felt and I love that we can help others to feel it too.

All in all this week was good! It doesn't matter that we got robbed because we recieved so many blessings at the end of this week and I am so greatful for them! I love this gospel and I love sharing it. I love you all and I wish you the best in your summer :)

Oh and about your seasons questions for Guayaquil. No. They have one season.... it's called hot!! Sometimes they tell you that March and June are cold but it is a lie :) It has been hotter this month than ever before. But oh well.... it's only two years :) 

 Love you all,

Elder Austin Lignell

                                           Our recent baptism :) :) :)


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Week Twenty Eight in Ecuador - Monday, June 2, 2014 - I Was Robbed....But It Was Kinda Funny :)

Hey Guys!

 Okay so this week was good!

I'm super happy that Jake got great grades in school that really is awesomeand I'm glad you are doing well too.

And I have not recieved the package yet.... hopefully this week or the next but I will let you know when I do get it.

Okay so this week went well however. Not perfect. We didn't have our baptism this week... he fell through. So that is two baptisms in a row that have fallen through for me the day of their baptisms... So I was super sad about that because he is a great kid and we don't really know what happened with everything. He just disappeared the day of his baptism. His family said he left with his uncle around ten in the morning and didn't come back for that whole day and all of Sunday too. So we'll see what happened to him later on today.

But ya that was sad and other than that..... I got robbed for my first time out here.... but don't worry it was funny.

So we were at a members house and we were about to leave and he said here take these two empanadas with you to eat while you're walking so we took them and started walk down the street eating them. And then some homeless guy came walking down the street and he stuck his hand out to shake my hand and the thing here in Ecuador is that if you don't shake someone's hand when they stick their hand out, it is extremely offensive, so I had to stick my hand out to receive him, so I did and right as I grabbed his hand, he reaches over and steals my empanada and then sprints away down the street! hahaha... I was so shocked I had no idea what even happened haha so ya that was my first time getting robbed here! 

Then the week in all was good. We met some new people and had some good lessons. I am really trying to teach better out here and be more direct in the things that I say because it is easy as a missionary to tell someone that they sorta shouldn't really drink coffee than it is to directly tell someone that they CANNOT do what they are doing. And I find myself searching for ways to say things super nicely to people when in reality our responsibility is to just tell people things the way that they are and to be direct. Obviously, you have to talk with love but also direct so others know what is the commandment and what they can't do. 

Other than that I feel good out here I am learning a lot and just pushing forward. 

 Also we do have a baptism this Saturday and he really is great! I know he will be baptized, and he will honestly be my strongest convert that I have so far! So I am super excited!!  

Well the week went well I am exctited for the baptism this Saturday :)

 Please pray for investigators!

Love you all so much!!!!

Elder Austin Lignell