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.
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 :))


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 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!

Elder Lignell
                                          Pictures From Our Baptism Last Saturday