Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Letter 21 - 8/9/10

Dirty side... clean happy green side. In all seriousness the dirty side is suuuuuper clean. I actually wouldn't mind touching the water there. When the tide goes down it looks a lot worse and the other areas are almost imcomparably worse. But I don't want to take out my camera there.

This week has been absolutely insane.

First of all it's the end of the change. Tomorrow I officially have three months in Ecuador. Crazy glue. We didn't have any baptisms, but I know that we worked really hard. When we started the change we literally had no one in the program, just recent converts. As of now we have a good amount of really solid investigators, a baptismal date with more to come this week. It's been such an awesome opportunity to be able to make a program out of nothing, it was tough, but fun. There were seriously several nights where I came home and all I could think was "I love being a missionary, I love being a missionary".

Elder Robinson left. It was for sure his time. He's been in this little place for six months and he was starting to loose it. Plus my training was done in my first change, so it was weird to be with my trainer when he wasn't training me. haha. We all thought that he was going until this Wednesday when the assistant, Elder Garcia, stopped by our sector to see what's up, and he told us that Elder Robinson was probably going to stay because the President didn't want to do a lot of changes. So we were getting ready mentally for another change together, but the call never came to confirm that there were no changes. The zone leaders tried to call the office, but no one was answering. So Elder Robinson was a little unhappy to have to go to bed not knowing if he was staying or not. This morning we get a call that he was leaving. He's going to a city called Milagro to train again. He's going to spend about two thirds of his mission outside of the city. Super lucky.

My new companion is Elder Richins. He's really cool. The only bummer is that he went from the largest sector in the city to the smallest. We're going to have a really good change together, especially with how many good people we still have from last change.
Fun fact. I heard from Elder Garcia that National Geographic did a study on the most dangerous cities in the world. After six o'clock is Guayaquil. The most dangerous part of the city is maybe a hundred feet from us across a bridge. YAY! Who need's Compton?
As kind of a investigator update right now we have some great people (as I've already said).

Javier Jiménez.
One night we were walking down a street and I saw a tv on in a house. I always see TVs on, but this time I felt my attention was grabbed a lot stronger. So I called Elder Robinson over and we contacted the house, and he let us right in. He's a really open and really humble guy. The only problem we have is he thinks he's going to move soon. When we taught the restoration he was super open to it. We met with him this last Monday for the second time, and all Sunday before I was praying that he'd read and receive an answer. When we met with him he said he really didn't like reading, but he and his wife (super bonus!) read and prayed, and they really felt that it was true. I was so excited. It'll be so great if he progresses and gets baptized in our program. We meet with him and his wife tonight.

The next is family Campuzano.
Wow. So how we came across them was awesome. One night we were just going around contacting. Elder Robinson asked me were I wanted to go and so I chose this house across the street. The lady let us in, but we only did a few principles and set a return appointment. When we came back she wasn't there, but the people she lives with were. We talked to the guy that answered and started to try to get in to teach him. Then I said something and almost right afterward I felt a strong confirmation that what I said was the right thing. Right after that he let us in to teach. The first lesson went great and the totally understood the Restoration and were also open to the Book of Mormon. Something incredible to see was when we came back we saw her sister outside and the look in her eyes was very dark and cold, and she really didn't want to talk to us, but sister Campuzano was such a bright person, and she really accepts what we teach.

It's such a crazy correlation, but there really is a light in people, and it's crazy to see how much it correlates to their receptiveness of the message/messengers. So when we met the second time they had made us lunch. That wasn't part of the plan, they just made it for us. They ate the chicken feet and they gave us the better cuts. I was so humbled when I saw that. There are some absolutely incredible people. It's such a pleasure to meet people that are so good in a place where you would never guess to find it.

Finally is family Antamba
This is a good one. They're a really huge family. With a gillion cousins all living in the same house. The grandma, Elsa, I found on an interchange. She is an inactive member because she couldn't get to church anymore. We tried to get in that day, but it sounded like they didn't want anything and neither did anyone else in the house. I told Elder Robinson that we should go back. When we showed up they let us right in with out us even saying anything. We taught for a little to one of the kids, Carlos, but it was too busy so we just set a return appointment. When we came back there was a bunch of people listening to us. We got to the second principle, the family, and they all started talking about who does what and kinda venting. Me and Elder Robinson just kinda sat back and watched and listened as we learned about them in their discussion. It was really cool. When we went back on Saturday eleven people were with us. Elder Robinson wanted to just teach Sabbath Day Observance, but I really thought we should finish lesson one. So we did, and it was great. Everyone was listening. It was so awesome to teach people from age six to 70-something and still have everyone's attention. My favorite part was giving the account of the first vision and have everyone's eyes one me. It was so powerful to look in every pair of eyes in the room and tell them of this glorious Restoration, and then to testify that I truly knew that it was true. Yesterday three of the kids went to church; Carlos, Ricardo, and Diego. I'm hoping to be able to get these kids baptized and also help Elsa get back to church. We got her a wheelchair so we're going to see if she wants it tomorrow night at our lesson.

Well it's been a great change/week. I love this opportunity I have to bring this great message to the world. I truly know this is the work of God for all of His children. I truly love my mission and being a missionary, and many of these people, but still I love you all just a little bit more.

Take care and have a great week.
Elder Vuinovic

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