Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Week Sixty Six in Ecuador - February 23, 2015 - One Specific Story

Hey family.


Anyways so ya carnival is over and we got back to normal and were able to work the rest of the week. It was fun to be here in Guayaquil this year for those festivals because they celebrate a lot more. They all had pools outside of their houses and it's hilarious!! They'd have a little tiny street just filled with 7 or 8 plastic pools like the one at our house with a ton of music and everyone swimming :)


My stomach problems have gone away and I feel fine now so don't worry. And mom I'm zone leader now so I can rest if I need to if I'm not feeling well :) and I dont have to worry too much about others taking advantage of me now :) one of the perks of having this calling. But at the same time it is extremely stressful sometimes;  we are constantly getting calls and having more stuff to do, and everyone looks to me for answers and help in their areas. Also the mission president dropped in on one of our meetings this last Saturday to motivate the zone which is intimidating being the one to teach the other missionaries and have the president sit in listening as well. But I felt like I did a good job so no worries :)


That's sweet about the basketball games. Never knew that the Brighton girls basketball team would be good...


And wow I can't believe Nathan is back!!! That is insane. I wonder if he baptized people...? Russia sounds like it would be super super hard. 


 It is tough to be around people that take away from the Spirit and that's why the prophet tells us to pick good friends and to stand in holy places. However, something that I have learned on the mission is that sometimes you do have to have the courage to stand up and say something, and that you have to be the one to invite the Spirit, change the subject and sometimes reprimand others for what they do wrong. Being a zone leader has been a little tough in that I have never been good at telling others what they can't do. I don't like being rude or mean but sometimes with people they don't realize what they're doing is wrong until you show them. And the Spirit can softly guide us in the way to change their train of thought. 3 Nephi 12:14-16


Now about my week. It was pretty sweet. We worked hard and we have been finding some really interesting poeple to teach. However I would like to share one specific story. Alright so on Saturday we got a call from one of our missionaries saying that they had found one of their investigators who was pleading them to get baptized that day. So we went over to his house and I did the baptismal interview to see if he was ready to get baptized and in talking to him he shared with me an amazing story of how he wasn't a good person before. He had a ton of problems with drugs, jail time, and his girlfriend. He was in a really bad place about 6 months ago and one of his friends was a member of the church and started talking to him about God and that God could help him.

So one night he prayed to God asking for someone to invite him to the true church and later that week two brothers from our church invited him that Sunday but he ended up saying no to them. Ironically he said he would go when he felt the desire to go from his heart. Later that day he realized that he had recieved the answer to his prayer and rejected it. The following Sunday he went to church alone and after two months of investigating suddenly that Saturday, felt the impression that he needed to be baptized. And that's when he went and searched out the missionaries. He changed his life! He loves the church and I had never seen someone that just lit up with light talking about the church. He was so excited to erase his past and start over. I was honered to be able to get to know him and see him recieve that joyful ordinance of a baptism :)


Haha then the funny thing, right after leaving the interview we are walking and a police guy pulls up and a guy on the corner sees him and immediately speeds away on his motorcycle and they both go out in a high speed chase. Then as another policeman pulls up to the same place another 12 guys all just scatter in different directions... hahaha if the policeman hadn't came up I wouldn't have even realized that I was completely surrounded by criminals! But I'm fine... no worries!


Love you guys!


Elder Lignell

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week Sixty Five in Ecuador - February 16, 2015 - Helping a Sweet Lady Take the Last Step For Baptism.

Hi Everyone,

Unfortunately I only have 30 min. to write today because right now in Ecuador it is a giant festival called Carnival where everybody puts pools outside in front of their houses and get each other wet. So sadly the missionaries aren't allowed to participate and we have to be inside the house today before 12 o'clock. But I'll try to fit in all that happened this week in the time I have :)

First off congrats to Jake for asking a girl to prom :) hope he has a blast, and tell him to be safe :) 

Anyways this week has been super interesting.

First off, I got extremely sick about 4 days ago... but not with a cold ...I had another stomach virus. So they had me take something that is called "la bomba" which means "the bomb" and it just cleans pretty much everything out of your stomach... and wow does it work! To say the least I haven't made it very far from the bathroom the last few days. But now I'm feeling a little bit better.

This week we had a baptism!!! Hurray! Her name is I. and she is awesome. She has been investigating the church for almost 2 years now but never wanted to get baptized and I was lucky enough to help her take that last step and be there for her baptism. She has an amazingly strong testimony and goes to church without fail! Her little daughter is also a member and now we are helping the rest of her family to try to follow their example!

Other than that not too much has happened. We're working super hard and trying to help the other missionaries in the zone to work and bring people to church. It's a ton of work, super stressful and really tiring but God gives me strength. I honestly feel him helping me when I have nothing more to give...it's amazing to see those changes. Look up these scriptures, they've helped me a ton. Moses 6:31-32 and Moses 7:13.

I love you all so much and I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Elder Lignell 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week Sixty Four in Ecuador - Feburary 9, 2015 - Grateful for the Chickens Underneath Our Apartment :)

Hey Family! 

Well I'm glad to hear that everyone is well :) and wow, you guys talked about free agency way over there in Utah (haha) we also talked about free agency in our priesthood session all the way over here on the other hemisphere...pretty cool huh? The church is all on the same page!

I'm so glad that Jake is doing well on his team. That makes me so happy. I honestly will love to go watch him at the games when I get back! 

And I hope you said hello to Courtney Long for me, and if not you'll have to tell him I say hi!

And my new territory actually isnt that bad, I expected it to be a lot more scary, but really you just have to be careful about what streets you take and not ever have the cellphone out and pretty much nobody bothers you. And I'm pretty much used to the heat by now... I feel like when I get back to Utah I'll die from the cold. So maybe I'll just rent an apartment and stay here  in the Isla Trinitaria hahaha :)

Anyways now about my week. It has actually been a really great week. Wow lots of work, but fun at the same time. We literally were running all over Guayaquil helping out the other missionaries and also trying to find new people to teach in our area. And it was a blast. I asked God a lot this week in my prayers to help me to be a good enough missionary to be able to help others get motivated and to strongly feel the spirit. After asking in my prayers, on Tuesday night I had a wonderful expierience in that we were out working in our area and we found an elderly man sitting outside his house and we began to talk to him and get to know him better. My companion then felt impressed to start teaching lesson 1 of the restoration of the gospel and began to explain to the elderly man the beginining principals. Then as he closed, I jumped in explaining how the church was first established by Christ when he was here on the earth. I literally felt the Spirit just jump into the lesson and it slowly began to guide me in how I explained the lesson. I was so amazed speaking to him and hearing words that really weren't even mine. They all just fell out of my mouth perfectly... it was almost scary to hear myself talking and as I continue explaining the lesson, the investigator stops me and says. "It makes sense right, that God made his church." Then he asked, "So if the church fell away, where is it today?" I then finished the lesson explaining of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon replying to his question. At the very end of the lesson after we had invited him to read and to pray, He says "I've trully enjoyed the message that youve explained to me, it all made sense and I felt that it was true, I'll be happy to read the book." It just gave me the biggest smile to hear him, feel the Spirit so strong, and actually see God work though me right in front of my eyes. God answered my small prayer in an amazing way, and that is why I just love being a missionary!

Other than that I'm trying my best to be the best misionary that I can, and to always look on the bright side! 

Something funny this week is that below our appartment there is a place where they raise chickens... so the apartment a lot of the time smells like a chicken coop... which is not my favorite! However, I also realized that there are no ants in our apartment and in every other apartment I have had, there has been a ton of ants. I might be wrong but I believe that the ants don't come to the apartment because it smells bad from the chickens hahaha and it made me remember one of mom's favorite book about the girls in the concentration camp that are grateful for the fleas... because the guards don't come in to beat them.... hahaha... it's almost the same thing :) but for real we always have to be grateful no matter what. Mosiah 4:11-12

I'm getting along great with my companion, he's a great kid :)

All in all I'm happy, I'm working hard and giving it my all. If everything works out we will have a baptism this week so wish us luck and all your prayers are welcome!!

 Elder Lignell

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week Sixty Three in Ecuador - February 2, 2015 - A Transfer and Called to be Zone Leader

Hey family! 

Well that is great that you were fasting this week mom :) I also fasted this week and it definitely was not easy either... 

Well in reality this whole week has just been crazy. A lot has happened! Alright so first off I worked the whole week in Machala until Saturday in the afternoon. We were in the Coco teaching one of our investigators and making sure that they were going to attend church this Sunday. Well during the lesson I got a phone call so I answered it and it was the zone leaders telling me that I had transfers and that I had to be in Guayaquil as fast as possible. So getting off the phone I told the investigator that I was sorry but that I had to leave to Guayaquil and the investigator says, "oh don't worry at all leave , it's fine, I'll see you both tomorrow in church" hahaha I then had to explain to her that I wasn't coming back... :( so anyways after that I ran home, stuck all of my stuff wherever it could go and left to Guayaquil, and I arrived at about 12 o'clock at night. Now the best part, well I found out what my new sector is it's called "La Isla Trinitaria" it's probably the most dangerous part of all of Ecuador (haha it even has a movie named after it) But the weird thing is that I was also called to be Zone Leader and my companion is Elder Flores from Peru. He has already been my companion before. But ya pretty darn crazy.

Then today we had a leadership council, where all of the zone leaders from the whole mission go to Guayaquil to learn who to be better leaders and what we can do in the mission to be able to reach our goals and be the best missionaries that we can be.

And honestly it was amazing, I felt the Spirit so very strong. And we learned so much. The president talked a lot about not hardening our hearts and that we at all times, have to be open to the Spirit to get new ideas and that we have to continue forwards always. That the challenges that the Lord gives us is not an excuse to complain or to harden you heart. 

We talked about the desire that we have to have to achive our goals and give the Lord what he deserves. 

I truly know with all my heart that President Torres is the mission president that I need. I know he has been called of God and wow he is such a wonderful person. I'm so thankful for all that he's done for me :)

SO anyways I'm doing well. I'm excited to keep working. I obviously have a lot more responsibility so I have to always set a good example. I know it will be hard, but with God on my side I know that I can do it!

Oh and I got my package thank you guys so much!!!! I loved everything that you sent me!
However you paid way too much for all that stuff... I feel way bad... :( 


Elder Lignell