Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week Ninety Six in Ecuador - September 21, 2015 - MY LAST EMAIL FROM ECUADOR!!


Hey family,
 
Well I honestly never thought that this moment would arrive.

This week has been crazy, but honestly probably one of the busiest weeks that I have had in my mission. Which was good because it helped me to keep my head in the game and not focus so much on going home. We were everywhere trying to prepare everthing for the last Saturday for their baptisms but it turned out perfectly. There really was not a better way that I could have asked for to finish my mission.

So first off Saturday night was so spiritual, it was amazing to see so many people ready to make a covenant with God to follow him from there on out. First I had the wonderful opportunity to baptize E. He is 9 years old and his whole family are members. The day before his baptism his mom said to us " With the other missionaries it was different, it's better now because I really fel like it is E's time to get baptized and everything is just falling right into place." Next was M. Her son C. has been a member for a little over a year and she had been visited by countless missionaries and always said to them that it just wasn't her time that she had too many problems and wasn't ready yet. This last week when we visited her I asked her how she was doing and she said, "I'm ready to do this. I feel happy and ready to get baptized." Her son was so excited to baptize her it was amazing to see how God really changed her in these last few weeks. Then there was I. she is the aunt of a recent convert and recently has been having a lot of health problems and in sharing with her how God could help her and just how much he loved and cared for her you could see her joy just shine. She was so excited and ready to make a covenant with God and to recieve his guidance in her life. The lastly there was G. he is the husband of T who got baptized about 3 weeks ago. He asked me to baptize him and it was such a spiritual experience. Then after his baptism he bore his testimony and explained that at first when he saw the missionaries come to his house he didn't want to accept us but explained that in the end it wasn't his desiscion it was God's decsion and that God opened his heart, that now he is ready to be a better person and to live in the gospel. He explained that he is excited to get sealed to T. in the temple and put a goal for the 20th of September next year, he then thanked us for teaching him and bringing a new light into his life.

 Wow I can't even explain the feelings I have had in this last week but it has been amazing. I feel so blessed and I have been pondering and thinking a lot that in reality we didn't even do too much for these people, I mean me personally. It was almost all God ;he prepared them, he opened their hearts, he sent his spirit, he works through 20 year old kids to change the lives of others, but we hardly do very much. We are only instruments in the hands of God, and well as I finish my mission in this week, I only have to keep being an instrument in his hands, and he will continue to use me to work miracles, to feel the spirit and change the lives, of others. Being a missionary is the greatest thing in the world!! There truly is nothing else that brings more joy to our lives than helping others.

I know God lives, I know he knows me better than I do. I know that everyday we have to change and be better and as we are humble and let the power of the atonement work within us we will be made into perfect instruments in the hands of God. He has a plan for each and everyone one of us, he loves us and is willing to give us joy and happiness that is unending all we have to do is trust him, follow the steps of Christ his son and he has a celestial paradise prepared for us and for our families.

I am so grateful for these last two years, and for all of you!! Thanks for supporting me, helping me and never giving up on me. I wouldn't have wanted to spend my last two years in any other way.
 
Love you all and see you soon.

Viva Ecuador!

 Love,  Elder Lignell                                 Baptisms this past week
                                                             My Going Away Party

                                                     T. and Her Family
                                         Final Celebrations With The People of Ecuador!!!
 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week Ninety Five in Ecuador - September 14, 2015 - I Can't Believe It Is All Coming To An End

Hey family I'm here again :)

Alright so first off, mom thank you so much for your advice letter.


It's been cool to be on a mission because it's given me another
concept of family and love and service and also joy. I definitely am
not perfect. I know when I get home I won't be perfect. But I feel a
lot more confident now about what I truly want out of life and what
kind of person I want to be. The mission honestly has been the
greatest experience of my life. I don't think there are words that
could explain just how much of a blessing it has been in my life. And
I'm so grateful I've had this opportunity to serve. I feel so blessed
that God stuck with me; he never gave up and honestly God is
the perfect example of patience because all of his kids have problems
and difficulties but he hasn't given up on a single one of us and will
always be willing to help us repent and change. I feel like I'm a
different person, which is good but at the same time the mission is
not the end... I have to keep learning and progressing for my entire
life.

I can't believe it's all coming to an end. I have one week left to work
as a missionary and if everything works out right we will have a few
baptisms and I'll finish very content.


I'm working well with my companion he is learning a ton. T, the lady who got baptized two
weeks ago, invited us over for a dinner as a sort of a going away party for
me :) and her husband is super excited about church; he wants to be
baptized as fast as possible. So anyways the day before the dinner, we
had visited them and we taught her husband (G.) a nice lesson
and at the end he told us that he still couldn't find a new job and I
said,"don't worry, I promise you you'll find one soon" and hey the next
day at dinner he told us about an hour after we left that someone called
offering him a job. We are planing everything so that he can get
baptized this next Sunday after church :)

It truly is crazy how much God helps the missionaries. Sometimes I
feel as if we hardly do anything at all and that people just accept
our invitations and change, and it truly is just amazing. There is no
doubt in my mind that God exists, and something that I love that is
stated in my patriarchal blessing is that I will see God working in
the small details of my life. And it's so true... when we look for him,
we find him in every aspect of our lives! (Family: I invite you all to
do something this next week; pray and ask to be able to notice God in
the small details of your lives and I promise you will all have better
weeks :) ))

Love you guys all so much. I hope you understood what I wanted to say.
Next week will be my last week to be able to write. I'm so thankful
for all that you guys do. Love you all to pieces and when I get back I
would love to eat Panda Express haha and Jake has to be my companion
until I feel normal again. :)

We'll talk next Monday

Love, Elder Lignell

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week Ninety Four in Ecuador - September 7, 2015 - People In My New Area Have Started Called Me "The Elder That Is Going Home Soon" because "Lignell" Is Too Hard To Say In Spanish :)

Hey family, I'm online.

Thanks for your letter...glad Jake is at least doing his homework,
that's what matters :) and congratz on the garden, I'll be ready for
some zuccinni bread when I get back so you'll have to make some!

Thanks for the packing list thing, I think I'll be fine getting it all
in I just hope it's under weight because I think it costs a ton if it
goes over... anyways I'll try my best.

Anyways this week has been great. I'm gonna be honest...finishing the
mission is one of the weirdest things of all time... I just feel odd.


All of the members here have started calling me "Elder that's gonna go
home soon" because "Lignell" is hard for them to say in Spanish. A
member even shared a scripture in church which was Enos 1:27 and he
made me read it... the scipture talks about how soon he would go to
his place of rest... haha so ya it's pretty lame but I still feel like
the same missionary. Still working, and everyday we get more and more
blessed, I feel so grateful.

This week I felt like I really got to feel comfortable in the new sector.
It's been about a month and now we know most of all the members and we
found quite a few people to teach this week. One of those being the
husband of T that got baptized the week before. His name is
G. and he is awesome! We met with him and taught the
plan of salvation and we focused in that families can be together
forever. He was super interested when we told him that and he said,
"Wow that would be great!" haha we set a baptism date for him and he
accepted. And they both came to church yesterday and the bishop
blessed their one month old baby in sacrament meeting. And then in the
second hour he stood up to present himself and he said, "I am being
taught by the missionaries and up until now all the things they
promised me about church have been true, so I think I'll keep coming."
It's awesome but the best part of all is that he was working as a
security guard in an island like 2 hours away from Guayaquil and he
would stay there working for 15 days and then 6 days here, so we
doubted he would commit to go to church next Sunday and he said, "I'm
not going back so I can look for a new job with better hours to be
with my wife and come to church next Sunday!" I was just shocked. God
really does prepare people to come unto him... I love it :)


Then today in my personal study I was studying the atonement and in
Alma 36:20 where it says, "And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I
did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my
pain!" It's the same joy that Lehi felt when he had his dream and
partook of the fruit. 1Nephi 8:12 which says, "And as I partook of the
fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore,
I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for
I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit." In the story the
tree represents the love of God. And in Spanish in the guide to the
scriptures it says that the greatest example of God's love to us is
shown in the atonement of his son Jesus Christ. So first it's like a
giant circle that when we repent we feel God's love and it brings joy
and second, repenting and using the atonement in our lives is the
only way to motivate us to do missionary work, because as the scripture
showed that after Lehi  partook of the fruit, he desired that joy for his
whole family. Cool huh? I hope this is all making sense.  I just wanted to share what I've been learning.

Anyways love you... all write back please!

Elder Lignell

Monday, August 31, 2015

Week Ninety Three in Ecuador - August 31, 2015 - A Visitor From Switzerland Needs a Blessing - And I'm Amazed At Just How Real This All Is...It Changes People's Lives


Hey family,
 
Glad to hear that everyone is doing well! Wish Jake a happy birthday for me, hope he had a great day!

I loved the story you shared mom, that was a way cool example of the lamp salesman and how the extra light is what convinced him that he needed it, not the salemans pretty words or price or special functions. It's so cool how the gospel is the same. It just gives us more light that we didn't realize we could have in our lives :) so thanks for sharing. 

This week for us has also been a really good week. So many miracles happened, I was shocked...

So first off on Wednesday we were walking to lunch and right before getting to the member's house to eat, a lady called us from her window asking for a blessing for her small 1 month old grandaughter, so we accepted and went in and gave the blessing. In talking to the lady we found out that she was a member and lives in Switzerland but was here visiting her family who lives in our sector (her daughter).  She explained to us that she shortly would be leaving again but that her daughter wanted to listen in on our lessons. So we talked to her, T. (her daughter) and we found out that she had gone to church before a few imes, and that she has more family members who are part of the church, and we invited her to be baptized and she accepted but explained that she wanted her mom to be there when she got baptized...
 
But the next visit from her mom wouldn't be until this upcoming February and she was leaving this Sunday... so we left thinking that she would just have to wait, however the thought popped into my head "what if she gets baptized before her mom leaves, like this Saturday" so we called our mission president and explained the situation, and got permission.
 
So, she got baptized this last Saturday. It was so spiritual in the baptism service! She bore her testimony how her goal is to get her husband baptized and to get sealed in the temple, and her cousin came from the north of Guayaquil to baptize her, (he's a bishop) and all of his family, and wow everything just fell into place, I couldnt believe it!
 
But she was ready,  it just took God to guide us to her house at the perfect moment for her to be able to take that step. I feel so blessed. I know God is preparing people for the missionaries, we just have to be humble, obedient and ready to listen to the Spirit to do his will. What an amazing miracle.

Next there is a family named the family C. who have two sons who are members and the mom and her daughter who aren't members and the mom always listens to the missionaries but never accepted coming to church or to be baptized. But this last week we had a lesson with her and her son who is preparing for the mission and he shared his testimony to her and how he wanted her to be part of the church. And all we did was listen to her; her doubts, her fears, her worries, her desires and wishes, and tried to explain how the gospel can bless her life. We invited her to be baptized and she just sat there in silence, it was so amazing you could almost see God's light filling inside her and finally she said okay I'll do, I'll get baptized. The day after we visited them again and right before leaving she said, "Ever since I agreed to be baptized I have just felt good, and the spirit just hit me." I felt so happy for her, and wow, God suprises me everyday of how much he does to help us as missionaries, and just how real this all is, it changes peoples lives, it's amazing.

It has been such a wondeful week. I feel so blessed, I don't even feel like I deserve so many blessings, but it just means that we have to keep working and show God that we are grateful for all that he's given us.
 
Love you all,
 
Elder Lignell
                                                   The church where we Baptized T. Last Saturday
                                                           The baptism of T.
                                                  T. with her entire family.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Week Ninety Two in Ecuador - August 24, 2015 - Shouting for Joy


Hey family,
Thanks mom for yor letter it was nice. I'm doing well here in Batallon and yes I am figuring out the area more and more and also getting to know the members a little bit better, and this week has been a lot of fun. We recieved a ton of blessings as well. It still feels unreal that I'll be coming home soon... like I will never not be a missionary. I feel so used to this life, it's hard to even imagine that there was anything different before. I'm sure it will be hard to get back and to adjust and I know I will miss so many things from Ecuador. But at the same time it is nice to know that God has called me for two years to serve and those two years are coming to an end. So as long as I fight to the end and keep serving as a member afterwards he'll be happy with me, and that's all that really matters; just hope I can make this last month really count!

Anyways glad that everyone is doing well. :)

This week was fun, and as I explained last week we had a baptism that just fell out of the sky for us and it was such a wonderful experience. My companion got the opportunity to baptize her and he was so excited! It made me think back a lot to when I was started the mission and all of the crazy feelings I had and both the good and not so great experiences, it's crazy how far I've come.

Anyways, N. the girl that got baptized is great. On Friday we gave her the clothes for her baptism and explained how everything would work out on Saturday and she literally started jumping with joy yelling, "I'm going to be clean and I'm going to become a daughter of God!" Haha that is the first time I have seen someone actually shout with joy for their baptism! :) then on Saturday, her mom who is recently getting reactivated, gave the spiritual thought and it was perfect! She explained how it was her responsibility as a mother to guide and help N. and she then started crying explaining how she knew that N. needed to be baptized and how much it would help her and wow, the whole room just filled up with the Spirit. My companion was also really worried about baptizing her right but he did it perfectly.

I'm excited this week to keep working and to keep helping out my companion. He's a funny little kid; he's trying hard, and when he stuggles he reminds me a lot of how I was starting the mission and it just makes me so grateful for the changes I have had in my life out here. God truly is amazing and without even realizing it, in the moment he changes us, makes us stronger, better, braver, he makes us disciples, and all it takes is our willingness to serve him, to forget ourselves and go to work as President Hinckley's dad said :) I know it's true! Matthew 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Hope everyone is doing well, and thanks so much for your support and love.

Elder Lignell                                      The Girl Who Shouted For Joy :)


                                                      The Baptism of A.
                         A lot of Rice!  This is Usually What We Eat For Our Meals!

                               At the Beautiful Guayaquil Temple With Elder Myers

Week Ninety One in Ecuador - August 17, 2015 - Happy 98th Birthday Grandpa!


Hey mom and family,
 
So thanks for your letter I really enjoyed it.

That is so amazing that grandpa turned 98! I cant believe it. I'm gonna right a special part for him so that you can read it to him.

Haha I love Jake, I'm so excited to see that kid, hope he's not being to much of a bum about school.

Anyways this last week has been insane, sooo much has changed and I can't wait to tell you all about it. So first off, I left my last sector... it was tough because I loved all of the members there and God had blessed us a ton in finding amazing people ready to hear the gospel. They called me Monday night and told me I was leaving but with the surprise that I was going to train a new missionary for my last transfer!! So Tuesday I went through the temple again! So blessed!
 
Then we had a training meeting and we got to meet all of our new companions. My (kid) is named Elder Coello he is from Peru and he is twenty years old. And they sent us to a sector called Batallon, so we are completely new here we are both figuring out the streets and the members together, although I did know a little of the area because I served as a zone leader in La Isla Trinitaria so I was a little bit familiar. 

But it has been crazy, and funny because he asked me the first day as we left the house where we were going to go and I said, I don't know. And his face was so confused, he asked how can we leave the hosue and not know where to go, and I responded saying I don't know but God will help us somehow :) and he has, he has blessed us so much in this last week.

We have found two amazing people one is named N. who is a little girl who has going to church for the last few months and literally asked if she could be baptized, we talked to her parents and they accepted and she will be baptized this next Saturday! It was just a straight up miracle!!

The other investigator is named I. and she is 38 and her nephew is a member she accepted a baptisimal invite and came to church yesterday only after knowing her since Saturday.

For real I feel so blessed right now. It's so amazing all of these little blessings that God gives daily. And it doesn't stop there...

Sorry if this seems like I'm bragging... hope not, I'm trying hard to stay humble.

Anyways They called me on Saturday and told me that I had to be back in my old sector at 3 to baptize one of my investigators, because he asked if I could baptize him. So I got to go back to my old sector and baptized him his name is A. , and wow he was so excited, and his whole family went to the service, it was super spiritual.

Lastly I was just realize with my new companion how hard it is to start the mission, how many things are different from our normal lives, and how I had to change a lot. I am so grateful and amazed for the changes God has made for me and who I am now. It's unbelievable. From waking up at 6:30 not 1 pm,  to walking all day long and to trully loving the gospel. My companion is doing well, but he has a lot of changes he is making. Please pray for him a lot and pray for me to be a good trainer, I really want to help him a lot. 

Now this is for grandpa!

Grandpa, congratulations on turning 98! That's amazing, I am so glad that you are strong asnd healthy and from what mom said you have a great appetite. Honestly I cant wait to see you and tell you all about my mission. I have learned so much here. And I am so thankful to God for giving me this opportunity to be here. I love your ties... I use them a lot! Thanks for always being a good example to me and showing your love to us. You have a giant heart, and I think that everyone feels your love. Hope you're doing well, I'll always keep you in my prayers.

 Love, Elder Lignell

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week Ninety in Ecuador - August 10, 2015 - Incredible Week!


Hey guys...everyone looks great! Jake looks a ton different! But he looks good and they look like they had fun on his backpacking trip! 

 Anyways this week has been great, we worked hard and we had some awesome spiritual experiences, so I', just gonna dive right in. So first off this week we had a consejo de lideres where all the zone leaders of the mission get together and have a conference with our president and he trains and teaches us. Well this time was different because we had the chance to go to the Guayaquil temple and do a session! And wow it was amazing! I felt the spirit so strongly. But the hard part was that we woke up at 3:00 in the morning to be able to go and do the session at 6. Then until 3 in the afternoon we were being taught by the president.

He taught about how to make decisions. And it was amazing how much I learned!  You will have to remind me when I get home. I could speak for hours about what he taught but I'll try to just sum it up right now in a few words. So he explained that there is a process to making decisions 1. study it out in our minds. 2. make a decision. ACT! 3.  Pray to God. 4. If the decision is right He will speak peace to our mind and heart. RYC 9: 7 to 9.

And it was almost funny because we got home after the conference around 3:30 pm and I took my suit off and went to the bathroom, then I find my companion asleep on the bed. And BOOM haha I had to make a decision, I was tired soooo tired. But I knew I couldn't sleep... we had to go out and work so I got him up and we went. It would have been so easy to have just laid down and slept, so I feel like I started out well on my good decisions :)

Now in church yesterday two of my recent converts came and one is named K and the other is Y and I was so surprised how much they have changed in this short amount of time that I've known them.

K. had bought a suit and was wearing one of the ties I gave him and Y in the second hour gave one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard and came to church with her whole family. It made me think back to when we first found her, that she was scared to pray and didn't know what to say and how her kids never wanted to wake up on Sundays for church.

It made me think a little bit about the change that God can make in our lives and it is unbelievable what He can do. Only God can change someone like that in such a short amount of time. I'm so grateful for the blessings that he has given me to be missionary here in Ecuador and to have been able to find some many wonderful people. Missionary work is definitely the most amazing thing in this life.

Love you all so much

Elder Lignell
                                              Baptism From Last Week
                                               Zone Meeting
                                          K. in his new suit with the tie I gave him...front row.
                                           Y. with her family
 









Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Week Eighty Nine in Ecuador - August 3, 2015 - Working With A Companion That Only Has Only Been Here One Month :)


Hey family, so another wonderful week down :) it's been a busy one for sure, but I'm happy I'm doing well.

This week we taught a lot, and the Lord was able to bless us with a bunch of people who were just ready to accept the gospel. It was amazing to see it happen. In fact I was with a new elder this week named Elder Dure in a split (when we exchange companions for a short time), he has about 1 month on the mission and he was asking me a ton of questions about what to do how to teach and how to help others and it was a little wierd, it made me feel really old in the mission. But we just worked super hard! I tried to explain to him that there really isn't a secret to the mission other than work hard, love everyone and always search for the spirit in every moment.

And it was almost funny how that day inviting people in the street and in their homes almost all of them accepted our invitations and it was so cool because you could see how excited he was to be working and sharing the gospel, and he started to smile and talk to everyone he could. And it actually helped me a lot to remember how I should always be thankful and get excited for the little things, and not wait for a giant miracle but see the little tiny ones everyday and let those be the source of my desire to keep serving and working.

We also had a baptism this week named J. She is 19 years old and her best friend is a returned missionary who just got back from the mission.
 
 The day of her baptism and of her confirmation she had soooo many difficulties, it was crazy to see how much satan was trying to hold her back from doing the right thing, and it just so happens in this week I was reading in Alma 49 and 50 and it explains how Moroni never stopping preparing for the war even though it was a time of peace. I realized that the same principle works for all of us and satan. Even if we feel at peace we can never stop progressing in the gospel... we can never feel satisfied with our spiritual progression because there is always something more to do and just as Moroni didn't stop if we don't stop we will always win!

Love you guys so much and hope everyone is doing well!
Thanks for the pictures send more when you can!

 
Elder Lignell
       Monthly Leadership Council Meeting. I'm in the back row, second from the middle.
 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Week Eighty Eight In Ecuador - July 27, 2015 - A New Companion :)


 Hey family I'm here again. 

 This week has been great, we worked hard... yet again. haha I fill like slowly every week I get more and more tired but I keep working just as hard, and it's great! I feel good, but definitely tired! haha I'll be sure to take a long nap when I get back to make up for these two years.
 
Anyways I'm glad everyone is doing well. Make sure you take more pictures... I like seeing you guys.

That's awesome about Dallin Latimer. Wow I had no idea he was 18... in my mind he's still like 12 years old haha don't tell him that. But do tell his family that I'm sure he will be an awesome missionary. I'm so glad he could go into the mission knowing what the Spirit is and how to listen to its promptings, that's like the most important thing to learn as a missionary. So he's already one step ahead!

SO this week we had changes... my companion Elder Smith left... which was sad cause he was definitely one if not my best companion that I've had. However my new companion is named Elder Forrest! He's from Ranchocucamanga California!  (didn't we know someone from there?) Anyways he is also way cool, he has about 21 months in the mission so we have a lot of time put together but we're both excited to work so I'm pumped :)

 We also had two baptisms this week!!!! one named A.  where her whole family is members and she was the last one to ge baptized and the other is named Y she is 37 years old and lives with her husband and he two little kids. Her and her husband have had a few problems but they are trying to work everything out, she explained to us that sometimes they fought and she would sit alone and just feel horrible but the Saturday before her baptism it happened again and while she was sitting alone she read out of the Liahona and she said the terrible feeling wasn't there. In fact she felt good, and safe and happy. Despite all of her other problems and from that moment on she knew that she had to do it. That she needed a baptism. I had the wonderful opportunity to baptize her and wow,  I felt the spirit so strong and she had the biggest smile on her face as she left the font.

I was thinking a little bit about our job as a missionary, and we have all these people that are progressing towards a baptism and every night we plead to God that they can recieve their own testimonies and be sure of what they are going to do. It's amazing how he not only answers their prayers as well as he answers ours in helping them make it to the waters of baptism.

 I love this work! I'm happy. I can't believe this time is coming to an end. I just hope I can finish strong and give all I've got :)

 Love you thanks for always being so supportive!

 Love, Elder Lignell
                                                        Our Recent Baptisms :)

 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week Eighty Seven in Ecuador - July 20, 2015 - Great Zone Training Meeting

Dear Family,

I'm so glad you had a good time at girls camp! That's awesome. And I'm planning on Jake waking up early with me to do companion ship study together in the mornings... he'll have to start preparing now!

And I would be stoked to be Jake's home teaching companion.. we'll reactivate the whole ward!! 

Oh and of course mom... Being with God comes before everything but being Mormon shouldn't make you lame... unfortunately a few people take religion to an extreme and start bad stereotypes for all from our religion. God wants us to be happy and love life but obviously following his commandments as well. 

Anyways this week has been pretty crazy, first off we had a great training meeting with all of the zones here in Guayaquil and the president talked a lot about our purpose as a missionary and also talked about 1 nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. 

 I think we have all heard this scipture a million times  however our president explained that verse 7 is great but really verse 15 is a lot better. "But behold I said unto them that: As the Lord liveth,and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us.

In this verse it happened after their trial. He explained to us how it is easy to be excited to work or follow the comandments when everything is easy but then when it is hard or when we don't have success the first time is when it all really matters. The brothers of Nephi lost their faith and claimed that it was impossible but Nephi states, I wont go back until I've completed what God sent me to do!

It was super sweet.

Also this week we had a baptism named K. And wow his baptism was super spiritual and he was sooo excited to take that leap of faith.

Right before his baptism we found him sitting in a room in the church meditating and we asked him what was wrong and he said nothing just that he was thinking about all that would change, all of the old mistakes and the new person that he wanted to become. After he was baptized he just looked at us and said "gracias" It was I felt the spirit so strong, and I know he could feel that same spirit testify to him of what he was doing.

Then on Sunday night we stopped a robbery haha A lady was walking on the street and a kid was trying to yank her back pack away from her but when he saw us he ran away, haha I didnt even realize it was a robbery beforehand because no one was even screaming, but then the lady started to thank us for coming just in time!

 Also during planning last night I heard three different gun shots outside the house, woohhooo. 

Oh and today me and my comp. went to Chilis, it was amazing! I ate bbq chicken wings and a bacon burger. It was just like being in the United states again.

I'm also super excited for this up coming week! We have a few people that we want to help make the descion to get baptized. Please pray for them all! 

Love you guys hope you all have a great week oh and send pics of whats going on!!!
 
 
                                        Our Zone
                                            Notice How Swollen Our Investigator's Knee Is,
                                            But He Still Came to Church on Sunday!
                                      The Recent Baptism of "K".
                                         Me and My Companion At Chili's ....So Good !
 Love, ELder Lignell

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week Eighty Six in Ecuador - July 13, 2015 - Busy But Fun P-Day

Dear Family,


We are having a great P-Day however it has been super busy! We had to go all over the place today and hardly had very much time to rest. But it was an awesome day! We went thrift shopping at a flea market and we ate McDonalds and bought matching ties.
That's sweet about girls camp!! You'll have a blast, and hopefully there aren't very many girls that cry this time :)
Give Jake props for me, but tell him to write me. :)
That's sweet you saw the article of the pope... I bought a shirt with his picture on it today... hahaha
Now about my week, it has been really sweet. We worked like crazy, and I hardly even had time to work with our own investigators. I was going all over the place helping the missionaries in the zone. But it was awesome because I had some sweet spiritual experiences and we have some awesome investigators getting ready for their baptisms. For instance we have K who is 20 years old and is a friend of a recently returned missionary who is preparing to be baptized this Saturday that is coming up. But on Wednesday we went and talked with him and we asked him if we could move his baptism date up a week because he was ready to take the step and he told us, "I already said I would get baptized, it's your decision on when you want to baptize me" haha it was great. He is sooo awesome, He told us yesterday after watching a video that he would like to be a missionary as well!!!
Then on Sunday after church we had a super odd lunch, it was cow foot soups with a main course of cow stomach in peanut sauce and a nice cup of warm water to drink. Probably the greatest lunch I've had so far!
The flea market was awesome today, I bought a Levi button up and also an American flag vest for 4 dollars and another t shirt for 2 dollars more it was so great! I'll send pictures next week.
This week was wonderful, I read a lot about trusting in God this week and how we can truly follow him in every moment. I know that if we really give everything to follow him he'll help us be an instrument in his hands and he will free us from our difficulties and temptations. Alma 38:5 "And now my son, Shiblon, I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day." We need to completely rely on God in every moment and he will be our light and our anchor and our support in all that we do!
I love you all so much have a wonderful week.
                                                            Our Purchases At The Flea Market :)


 
Elder Lignell

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week Eighty Five in Ecuador - July 6, 2015 - I Got My Package :)

Hey fam! I got my package!!! wooo! It was perfect! I love the ties and all that was in there! I didn't even know they sold peanut butter jars sooo big... wow peanut butter is cool!


That's nice about Carol Williamson, that makes me happy to know that she liked what I said.



That's awesome about your girl camp I hope it's a giant success. I'm really glad you like your calling.



Thank you sooo much for the BYU application. I will be praying to get in :) 



You're right dad is awesome.Tell Jake hi for me :).



Alright now about my week.This week has been amazing! We worked like crazy again. And yet again the lord has blessed me and my companion in sooo many ways it is unbelievable. I honestly love being a missionary more than anything else and I can't believe how much stronger my testimony has grown since I've been out here.



First off this week was the 4th of July! We celebrated having hamburgers for lunch and then at night we had a barbeque with our investigators and played games. They're this family that is just perfect. I feel like family around them and they love listening to our messages. And they have been going to church for the last two weeks. We had a lesson with them this week where, we shared about the word of wisdom and got them all to commit to obey the word of wisdom, and one of the little girls said the prayer and in her prayer she asked God if we could keep visiting them and if it could be more often. And I don't know I just felt super loved. And I felt like we were fufilling our purpose as missionaries. I could feel the love that they had for us, and the love that the Savior has for them. It truly is amazing to be able to find families that change just from us two 20 year old kids teaching them about God. I've learned in the last few weeks that God is preparing peple for us to teach and being obedient and diligent helps u s to find them. 



The Pope is visiting Ecuador right now and it's the first time in 30 years that he has come here, so it's pretty sweet. It's pretty much the only thing people are talking about right now.



Anyways, this week has been great, we have been so blessed and I just can't wait to keep working here and helping everyone we find. It's crazy to think that I have about 3 months left... and I honestly dont want this time to end. The Spirit is one of the coolest things on earth, and before my mission I didn't really know too much about what the Spirit was or how it worked and how to feel it. I'm still not perfect at being able to feel it at every moment or know exactly what I need to do in every moment. But now I know that the Spirit is real and that God does answer us and give us impressions. I love a talk that I think Elder Bednar gave where he talks about three ways that we get answers through the Spirit. 1. Like a light in a dark room and everything is lit in one moment. 2. Like how the sun comes up in the morning and little by little it gets brighter and brighter until all is lit. 3. Like on a foggy day where you cant see hardly anything infront of you but there is a small light in the distance and you hae to just take steps of faith until slowly you get to the light.



I love that example and it is so true! There is a mormon message that I would love you guys to watch, its called "The Hope of God's Light and it's on youtube on the mormon channel and it is awesome.





Love you all to death and hope you have a wonderful week.



Love, ELder Lignell

Monday, June 29, 2015

Week Eighty Four in Ecuador - June 29, 2015 - New Technique To Find New Investigators


Family!!! ThIs week was great! We worked hard... really hard, I was tired everyday but it was awesome!
 
I'm glad everyone is doing well, that makes me so happy to hear that you guys are safe and healthy and loving life :) you and dad looked great in you anniversary picture! Honestly I have the best looking parents! And tell dad his shorts are pretty sick hahaha 

Grandpa looks awesome. Tell him hi for me and tell him that I love him.  

That's so crazy that Davis got home! Tell Davis thanks for saying hi!
 
And props to jake for winning the tournament.

Alright so now about this week. It was great!!! We invited all the Ecuadorians to be baptized haha and we were sooo blessed! We found a bunch of people that were just ready to accept our invitations.
 
Fist we made up a new technique on how to find people to teach. Its called the "Can I use the bathroom technique" So me and my companion both had to use the bathroom way bad and decided that we would ask someone to let us in to use their bathroom and then we would sneak in a quick lesson while the other person was using the bathroom. It worked pretty good. So we both used the bathroom and explained a small lesson. The greatest part was that after we finished and were leaving he thanked us for teaching him haha it was great, we also thanked him a lot for his bathroom :)

Next technique was the "free food technique" So we eat lunch with a lady that doesn't have male members of her family living with her so we always have to bring a member to eat with us, but on Thursday we didn't have a member so we used the technique of trying to invite someone to come eat with us off the street to obey the rule of having an adult with us. We asked like 6 different guys until finally we found a guy that was 20 to come with us and eat. Haha...we also taught him a lesson during lunch so it worked out pretty good! 

We also had a reference this week, from a member that is a little bit, well he's not all there in the head but he's cool. And he is like 70 years old and he gave us a reference of another old guy who is 82 his name is G. and he accepted to come to church and to be baptized but not only him but his whole family who are like 6 in all! We taught them yesterday after church and wow it was such a powerful lesson. We were probably there for 2 hours just talking and answering their questions. I felt the spirit so strong, to be able to testify that our church is true. And the lady that was making the questions, said I feel like I have more questions but from the way you talk about what you know they go out of my mind and I feel like what you're saying is true. She said I want to follow God and I think what you've told me is the truth. Her daughter and her dad have baptism dates for the 25th but hopefully soon the whole family can progress together to get baptized! I need your prayers for them. 

Now lastly this week I have been studying a lot about the conversion. And what it truly means to be converted to the gospel and as a missionary how we can show to God that we are converted to this work. First in the scripture guide in spanish it explains that conversion cannot come before baptism and the gift of the holy ghost. So we talk a lot about baptism but that's why, because without it someone cannot truly be converted.   Now lot of times as members of the church we have a testimony but we aren't trully converted. For example when someone bares their testimony and says "I know the book of mormon is true." Or when some says "I know the book of mormon is true because everyday I read it for an hour and I feel God's hand in my life as I search his guidance through the scriptures." A lot different right? Well anyways to be truly converted we have to both know and act. And the same goes for a missionary; if you want God to see that you are converted you have to show him that you want the salvation of others and you have to work hard! Alma 29:4 I ought not to harrow up in my desires the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction. 

If we show him our desires he will help us succeed in every aspect of our lives!

 Love you all,

 Elder Lignell                Me and Elder Smith...Looking Good :)

                                                             Preparing for Any Weather!
                                                                A Recent Investigator
                                              Ahhh...Nothing Like American Food :)

                                                      City Where We are Working in Guayaquil



Monday, June 22, 2015

Week Eighty Three in Ecuador - June 22, 2015 - Always Improving


Hey family!

Well another week down in Guayaquil! And its been an absolute blast. Me and my companion are working crazy hard and it's been exhausting, but so very rewarding spiritually, emotionally and well not really physically cause I'm wiped out!! haha  

Thanks for your email I'm gad everybody is doing great! I can't believe Davis got home... that doesn't even seem real. I hope his homecoming goes well you'll have to congratulate him for me.  

Glad jake had a good time at EFY. And at least he's got his hopes set high by having a crush on his counselor, it's better than just settling haha :) 

That's too bad for the Williamson Family. You'll have to tell them that I always loved being around Boyd, even though he didn't talk he just had a nice light about him that I think everyone could feel.

Alright now about my week, so it's been great. We truly have been working hard, but it's been crazy because with me and my companion we have an extra companion named Elder Hunt and he is stuck with us right now because he doesn't have a companion but he does have his own ward to work in, and obviously we can't just leave him alone to work, so he always has to be either with us or we have to drop him off with a member and pick him up after. So trying to be zone leaders and work with the other missionaries and in our own area and also in his area all at the same time is super crazy, but we're figuring it all out. We had a few baptisms this week with Elder Hunt and this Saturday we're going to have a few more.

 We had the baptism of a couple that are about to get married named J and E, the crazy thing is that J is 14 and E is 18 and they are going to get married!! This week they are going to try to do it, and on Sunday they got baptized!!! It was amzing because the mom shared a story that after she had been baptized she began to pray that the rest of her family could also get baptized. And it was sweet because yesterday those prayers that she said got answered! 

We also have an investigator named C and she is an older lady who has been going to church with us for the last few weeks. She has a problem with her knees that makes her hurt a lot. I'm pretty sure she said it was arthritis, but I'm not positive. Anyways the first time she went to church she explained that her knees were killing her and that right when she left to go home she layed down in her hammock and said a prayer to god asking him if he could take the pin away and right after her prayer she felt relieved and from then on knew that the church was true and that she had to continue to go. We are trying to help her to get baptized this saturday!!! I'm stoked. 

Also in this last week, I've been talking a lot to my companion and we talked a lot about the mission, like why we are here, and what God expects from us and like what we can become in these two years if we really are diligent and faithful. And I came to the conclusion that God needs us to change! Always! It doesn't matter what point we are at in our lives, but we can't stand still we always have to be improving. A lot of times in life we are going backwards and God is the only person that can help us to turn around and start going forward again to truly change. If we don't use God and if we don't understand the atonemnt of Christ, we won't be able to change, we won't be able to move forward and the devil will have more power over us. "The only thing that is constant in life is change. If we want to have success we have to be willing to change, in order to reach our highest poential."
​God always wants us to be better and he will always be willing to help us succeed.  Ether 12:27

                                            Recent Baptisms :)



Love you all,

 
Elder Lignell  

 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week Eighty Two in Ecuador - June 15, 2015 - A New Companion From Utah and One of the Greatest Weeks of My Entire Mission.

Hey family


That's sweet that everyone is doing well! Tell Dad to have an awesome Father's Day.  I'm looking forward to working on the jeep with him and doing all sorts of projects with him when I get home.


That's awesome that Jake is going to EFY! I cant believe it's summer and that Davis is coming home soon...



Now, about my week, this week has been one of the greatest weeks of my entire mission. So first off, yes I still am zone leader and I got switched to a zone that is also here in Guayaquil called Puerto Nuevo. So all of the seniors are hanging out in new port right now, I'm also in new port, just the spanish version hahaha.



My new companion is from the United States! wooo hooo a  Gringo! haha It's sweet to have a comp from the United States and he was born in Utah. His dad lives by the old mill and his mom lives in Tennessee and so he spends half the year in Utah and the other half in Tennessee for school. And I'm pretty sure he's the best companion that I've had so far. We get along way well and he's way obedient and he loves to work. That is honestly nothing more I could ask for! I'm way glad I got to stay as zone leader. There are a ton of new missionaries here and it's sweet getting to know them all. Our zone is a lot bigger now;  there are 18 missionaries and it is the zone that has the most success in the whole mission! They baptized 52 people here in one month about a year ago. And the president today told us the he thinks we can beat it. So we gotta work like crazy! 



Anyways in my old area this past week, one of my investigators that I found got baptized! She is super awesome. I was so happy to hear that she got baptized!



We also had a crazy cool experience this week. We went to another area to help them with one of their investigators that was going to get baptized and her mom at the last minute decided that she didn't want to give her daughter permsion to get baptized. So we had to go and help the other missionaries get the mom to sign the baptismal sheet. And we had a 4 hour and 30 minute lesson with them explaining why she should let her daughter make that decision.  It was insane... we just kept giving examples, sharing scriptures and for nothing she wanted to sign that paper. We were praying like crazy to get her to change her heart and after 4 long hours she accepted. It was sooo amazing to see her change just a little by little and I was shocked to see her hand at the end, sign the paper. Miracles do happen, and prayer works. Honestly I was just about to throw in the towel and walk out of the lesson but something made me stay and wait.



We worked our butts off this week and we were sooooo blessed! I'm stoked to keep working here with my companion and I know we are going to have so much success. Oh and there is some crazy virus that is going around here in Guayaquil called the chikencumbia or something like that. You get it from mosquitos that bite you and it makes you have bone pains and all your muscles hurt and your face inflates like a balloon, and everyone is getting it... but I'm holding strong I still haven't gotten the chikencumbia :)



Love you guys!



Elder Lignell

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Week Eighty One in Ecuador - June 8, 2015 - A Simple Testimony

Dear Family,
 
Thank you so much mom for the box I can't wait to get it!!! You guys are the best.  

Tell Jake I'm proud of him for surviving another year of school! Only two more to go before he graduates!  

So glad that everyone is doing well. Wish everyone the best from me. 

Now about my week. We worked super hard and we found a ton of people this week. It was amazing just how much God has blessed my companion and I. We have found so many people who were just ready to recieve us and who have so much faith. For instance we found a family the C. family who are a mom and dad a girl who is 11 a son that is 8 and twins that are 4. We taught them one time and invited them to go to church. On Sunday the whole family went to church. However on Saturday night it just so happened to be a birthday of a family member that came over to their house and brought alcohol but the dad told me on Sunday when he came over, "I remembered that you  had told me that satan would put obstacles in my path so that I couldn't go to church so I decided not to drink because I knew it would not help me go to church on Sunday! so cool :)  

Then we baptized D. on Sunday after church (yesterday). He is the greates kid. He has soooooo much faith it is unreal. He had only been to church those 3 times counting the day of his baptism and after he was baptized he bore his testimony saying that he had read a little bit of the Book of Mormon and he felt that it helped him to be a better person. He said he liked to go to church and decided to get baptized here because he saw changes for the better in his life. Wow, it was such a cool testimony because it was real. He didn't say a bunch of really big words or talk about every part of the gospel. He simply explained what he felt and what he knew. I'm so greatfuñl to have been able to see him recieve these blessings in his life. And now I've just gotta help him so that one day he can be a missionary too. :) 

Well all in all I'm happy. I love my area that I'm in and even though I have like 5 months here and it's like the most dangerous part of Ecuador, I hope I don't leave soon. I love the people here... they are so amazing and I hope to be able to help so many more!

 Thanks for all you guys do!

Love, Elder Lignell                           My Notes From A Meeting
                                                The Baptism of "D"
                                        Getting Ready for the Baptism ("D" not pictured)
                              Elder Narro (my companion) with D. and I on D's Baptism Day
                          I'm just a little taller than every one so I have to lean down :)
                                       Yes, I'm the tall one on the left :)