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!


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