Monday, August 18, 2014


August 18, 2014

Hello there dear family.  Another week here in Babahoyo that was full of new beginnings.  To start, I have a new love-hate relationship with the mission now as we had CAMBIOS [transfers]!!!!  Yup, my dear trainer and mission mom left me. ;8  Let’s just say I hate cambios. 

Saying goodbye to my dear friend and trainer - Hermana Toledo

Over the last 4 months, Hermana Toledo became my best friend and saying goodbye to her was beyond difficult.  I will forever be grateful to my Heavenly Father for answering my prayers and allowing Hermana Toledo to be my companion for the past few months.  Oh I just love her!  The final hug and wave goodbye was the hardest thing ever, both of us were just bawling. 

But on the other side of this love-hate relationship, I have a new companion, who I am already growing to love just as much! :)  Introducing....HERMANA LATORRE!!!  

My fun, spunky, loving new companion from Santiago, CHILE.  Haha. Yup, I am with another Chilena-which I am perfectly happy with.  I love CHILENAS!  (Dad let’s go visit your mission someday and while there, we can visit all my new friends too!)  Hermana Latorre is from the same group as Hermana Toledo – they were in the CCM in Chile together, they served in the same mission in Venezuela, and then they were both transferred here to Ecuador (because of the dangerous conditions in Venezuela). 

Hermana Latorre just finished training Hermana McKee.  Remember her?  We knew each other from the CCM in Mexico and arrived here in Ecuador together.  Yah, small world.  Hermana Latorre knows a LOT of English and is planning to go to BYU to study languages after her mission.  To practice she speaks to me in English and I respond in Spanish.  We teach very well together - it’s like we have been together for months, when it hasn’t even been a week.  We are always laughing and continually finding new people to teach!  I definitely miss Hermana Toledo but I LOVE my new companion.

Well onto this week...we went to the temple!!!!!!!!  

Guayaquil, Ecuador Temple

Oh how I love to see the temple and even more when I saw our 2 recent converts going there for the first time, getting baptized on behalf of their deceased family members.  

L to R: Carlos, Wilson, Bishop Olmedo, Hermana B, Hna Latorre

Wilson and Carlos both adored the temple experience and left with a new light about them, both incredibly happy.  

With Carlos on Guayaquil Temple grounds

I cannot wait for the sealing of Carlos to his dear wife and children.  I won’t be able to stop smiling when that day comes. (I will keep you updated on the details of when that happens!) 

Marcos also came with us to the temple, but sadly, he could not enter because he has not yet acted on his testimony and made the decision to be baptized.  Ironically, that gate of baptism is symbolically the key, not only to entering the kingdom of heaven, but also to open the door to be allowed in the temple.  So, we left him outside sitting on a simple white bench, reading the Book of Mormon and thinking about his new baptism fecha [date] 30 de Agosto [August 30]. Although he still hasn’t told us the words, “Hermanas, I am ready to be baptized,” I think that going to the temple and not having the opportunity to enter has helped him progress a little bit more.  WAHOO!  That’s all we can ask for right?!

Well, last week I told you about Nuri and her son Luis.  This week, I’m happy to tell you that Luis was baptized on Saturday and he is SO excited to receive the priesthood soon!  

Luis right before his baptism

L to R: Nuri, Luis, Leonella (Nuri's Sister)

Although his mom was not able to join him in the waters of baptism on this day, we are working with Nuri to hopefully see her baptized in September.

Now, an update on some of our other investigators.  Raul, the contact from last week that was secretly listening in on our lesson at the street vendor’s stand, has been working out of town all week and couldn’t go to church.  He was originally committed to a 30 de Agosto baptism date, but that will need to change so he can attend church first.  I will keep you all posted on his progress.

One of the greatest joys this week came as WE FOUND UNA FAMILIA [A FAMILY]!!!!!!!  While we were sitting on plastic chairs in the street sharing our message with a new investigator, (who I will get to in a moment) a young man passed us and said "Buenas dias" ["Good morning"] and kept walking.  After a few minutes he came back and asked us who we were and, "si este es la palabra de Dios." [“if this is the word of God”]  We answered, "Pues, Si!" [“Well, Yes!”]  We learned that his name is Alex, and we invited him to listen to our lesson.  

Alex continued to listen and we handed him a pamphlet about the Restoration of Christ’s church to the earth that he promised to read.  We later met his entire family, and they are ALL so eager to listen to our message.  Alex has two sisters, ages 17 and 23 who are both named Maria with a different middle name (but I don’t remember their different names at the moment, muy mal [very bad]), y sus padres [and his parents] Abraham y TaƱia.  They are all Catholic - not active in their church, but like many people, just Catholic for the traditions.  They all have A MILLION questions about prophets and the priesthood and the restoration.  The neat thing is that our prayers were answered that day as we specifically prayed for the Lord to place a family in our path! 

Now onto the greatest investigator ever...ALBERTO.  Alberto was walking down the street Juan Marcos, with his cool Ray Ban sunglasses, his US army baseball cap, and a walking stick so that he would be able to find his home a little further down the street.  Alberto lost his sight as a young man, but remembers Babahoyo like the back of his hand.  He knows a little bit of English and something in German too, but I have no idea what it means. 

When Alberto met us, he asked us if we were cute or ugly and of course we told him that we are the cutest missionaries in all the world. ;)  Then he wanted to know how tall we were so he placed his hand on Hermana Latorre’s head and then tried to find mine, and was sadly hovering his hand WAY above my head. :)  When he finally found the top of my head he bluntly told me, “Wow! You’re short.” 

After we taught Alberto the first time, we gave him a Book of Mormon and challenged him to pray to God and ask if our message was true.  In our next lesson, he told us that when he prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet, that he had an incredibly warm feeling come over him and that he truly felt as though our Heavenly Father was in the room with him telling him that this was true.  He proudly proclaimed this to everyone at church on Sunday, and that he is going to get baptized on August 30th and he wants everyone to come. 

Alberto truly is an example that faith is not seeing, but believing.  As someone who is blind, and depends on sound and touch, Alberto experienced for himself the power of the Holy Ghost testifying of the truthfulness of this message. 

Well family, we have many, many, many other investigators that I could tell you about, but sadly I don’t have much time left.  Just know that the church is true and EVERYONE needs to work towards going to the temple.  I love being a missionary.  

I love you all and can’t wait to read your letters and write to you all next week!

Con Amor,

Hermana B

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