Sorry I am a little crazy today and forgot that I needed to write something to all of you. Well all I can say is that my cousin Trevor this last week had it right on the dot. We work and sometimes dont see anything. We talk with people all day long and we walk everywhere that we can go, but it is just like we dont see any of the fruits of our labors. Something that my mission president has emphasized in this last month is that we create our own success. We cannot just say that God will give us what we desire if we have a lot of faith. It is the faith with works. We must excercise our faith and go about doing everything we can to create our success so that we can help guide others to come unto this work. Right now we have our own challenges, because so many people dont want to listen to our message or work on Sundays and cant progress. That doesnt mean that I feel like it is impossible it just means that I need to have more faith and work with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. I feel surprisngly at peace that although, we sometimes dont see the fruits of our labors, we can always try to create our own success. We can look for the ways, study the scriptures, and put our faith in God, so that we never lack those things that will help us to move forward in life. I feel that these applies to all of us. Create our own success in every way in your lives. And you will find the blessings that you desire!
We had changes. Hermanas Cornejo, and Jara went back to Quito to finish their missions, and I stayed here in Baños and welcomed my old companion Hermana Rojas. It was kind of weird yesterday when I got the call I was wondering if there was another hermana Rojas, but no there isnt so we will be together for another 4 weeks and then she will be returning home to Peru. That means she will die with me in the mission. I never had the chance to kill someone so that will be something new. ( its missionary talk we always say the companion of the person who goes home gets to kill them, it gives us something exciting to talk about haha) so i am really excited to grow some more in this next change with her.
This last week I have just felt very happy. We had an amazing Training from our leaders of the Area for all the ward councils I learned so much. What I always hear and just played out to me even more was that we have one purpose here as members and missionaries and It has to do a little bit with my favorite primary song. To help people realize the importance of the temple and to help them to be able to go and recieve their covenants and continue to have church recommends. I will always remember that my young womens teachers taught me and seminary teachers taught me. CTR isnt choose the right...haha its current temple recomend. Thats what Lori always told us.
I think I just loved it so much because he told us that we need to help people to see the beauty of the temple. We need to help them to feel that if they go their they really can have eternal families. That was what was so cool for me. I want all of my investigators, people who have let go from going to the church, members, and just my family and friends in general to feel the importance of the temple. If we all can see the importance of it and the great opportunity we have to participate in these things I think we could all feel all that more grateful for these opportunities that we have to have them so close to our homes. I truly love to see the temple and hope to see you all their someday. I put my two favorite temples in this email so that you could all see the beauty of these places and know that God has blessed us with this chance to have families that can not only be together here but after this life as well.
We are coming up to changes so that means do all of your laundry and try to get rest because you never know whats going to happen. The good thing is that we are in summer here and I am missing the winter of Quito so I am pretty happy, the only thing is I don't know where I will be in June and we will probably get some crazy rain then haha.
Well I have been thinking a lot lately about becoming better. A better missionary, teacher, speaker of Spanish ( I am pretty sure you cant say that in english or spanish but we will go with it ) Companion, and just overall person. I think a lot of my family has been thinking about that too lately. How can I change my life to have the life I want, or what do I do to continue on. It is funny how we see things sometimes. Specifically out here I see all of my weaknesses and I get overwhelmhed to change myself. Then this last week as I was contemplating these things I had an "aha moment" as Oprah says, (sorry had to put that in cuz I love Oprah) and I realized that I had been thinking wrong the entire time. As a missionary it doesn't matter how well you speak the language or teach others or if you are a missionary who understands the scriptures a lot none of that matters, it is how you listen and respond to the Spirit. The Spirit can give us guidance to help others and if I have learned anything as a gringa speaking Spanish, it is that I have always needed to rely on the Spirit to help me to communicate to others what they need to here to become closer to God. If I can do that then I can be a servant to God who relys on his word and his word alone.
I know that for all of you at home life is a little different in that you don't have the opportunity to only live of the spirit of a year and a half, but if there is something I can tell you it is try to realize that feeling again and look for it more in your life. Let go of all those things that retain you from feeling the Spirit and give in and feel the Love of God.
I am so grateful that I can feel these things and I pray you all can to!
Con Mucho Amor de Baños,
Madison walks across this bridge every day and this is her beautiful view
Well hello again. I have so many cool things to share first off. Okay these last couple of days are really popular here for the people of Ecuador and it was feriado which is like nobody has work accept for all the people who have a shop or something because everyone comes into the city to eat and all that jazz. But anyways first off on the 2nd of November everyone goes to the cemetery to see their ancestors and everyone paints everything before hand and puts everything up and all that jazz and it looks really nice. Well also this time of year is traditional to have the colada morada and wawas de pan. Which is purple juice and bread babies...haha it is funny. Everyone goes out and buys bread that are in the shapes of babies and makes this purple juice that is so good. I have like 50 pictures of it because we had it like everyday this last week. It is a tradition that I really like. haha but practically nobody here celebrates halloween but we had a noche de amigos this last Friday so we played a bunch of games and it was close enough to a good halloween for me. We played waterballoon volleyball and everybody loved it so thank you Young Mens and Young Womens leaders that we always played that for mutual because it was great!!
Okay no onto the spiritual part.
Well sometimes this is just hard work to think of what to say yet again. haha I need to listen to more talks or something...but yeah here we go
Here in Baños it is hard to get people to church because so many people work on Sundays. It is the busiest day for tourism and hotels and restuarants and so yeah a lot of people work because that is like the easiest work to get SUNDAYS. It is really hard as a missionary because all you want to say is yeah quit your job have faith and go to church. The only thing is that obviously we can´t say that and it is understandable the situations of a lot of these people. It makes me sad because I want everyone to have the opportunity to come to church and renew their covenants and just learn something new and feel the Spirit. So this last week we visited a less active member and she comes to church and then misses. So we were talking about her thesis that she has been doing and I said something like you have worked so hard to complete your thesis and you wouldnt just stop and say yeah I finished and i wont do anything else now right? You would actually say yeah I finished and all I want is for it to be approved now so I will continue to do the things my professor tells me so that I can move on and have what my goal is. Well this is like our lives. We have been baptized and obtained the Holy Ghost, but that doesn't mean we just stop their and don´t do anything else right?. We still have to endure to the end. And in reality if we just stop right after being baptized we miss out on so many blessings that we could have the rest of our lives. We miss the blessings and when we come to the end of our lives and say okay God I finished my Thesis I am here, He is going to say where were you when I was in need? When I was afflicted and you never fed me? When I thought about this and this example with this less active all I wanted was for her to see that we cant just let go of the church for a minute because we are busy. We must go because God has commanded us and wants to give us so many more blessings!
I know that God is just waiting to hand you all the blessings that you desire, the life that you desire also, but God cannot hand you these if you do not endure. It is hard to understand the reality, but it is even harder to have trials and not see the good side of all of this. I know that God loves us and wants everything for us. If you just look inside and find what you can do to change. You will be all the more happier.
I love you all and am so grateful for everyday of life that I have here to serve. I hope you all can find that happiness too.
Today I am so thankful for the blessings of the Lord. This last saturday we had the baptism of Hugo Guevara. I was so happy and blessed to have met him because he reminded me of so many things that we need to do here to help people out. So many things that we need to remember to just help others conocer God and his gospel. I put in conocer because it just sounds better then meet. I dont know sometimes that happens to me sorry. But I am so glad because I have seen that he truly is converted to God. When I think of these things and some other things as I was reading the letters from my family and specifically from my brother these scriptures came to my mind.
20 And it came to pass that they did multiply and prosper exceedingly in the land of Helam; and they built a city, which they called the city of Helam. 21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.22 Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people.23 For behold, I will show unto you that they were brought intobondage, and none could deliver them but the Lord their God, yea, even the God of Abraham and Isaac and of Jacob.24 And it came to pass that he did deliver them, and he did show forth his mighty power unto them, and great were their rejoicings.
Yes it does say nevertheless a lot, but what is interesting is that these people were faithful to God they did all that he had asked them and even though they were faithful God tried their faith. It is like that with us. We can be obedient people who do all those things that God asks of us to do, but sometimes God tries us so that we can be all the more stronger. That we can grow in patience and strength. That is what I see a lot, I need more faith and patience through my trials because of I do that And trust that God will deliver me. I will be lifted up at the last day. Isn´t that something so beautiful to know! I am so grateful for this opportunity I have, although short, to give this gift to others. The gift of meeting the gospel, getting to know God, and finding that you can be forgiven for all that you have done in the past. I know that sometimes these things can be hard. That we struggle with forgiving others or with the trials that we have and forgiving God for those trials he has given us, but something my important is that he Loves us, and we knew those trials we were going to have when we got here that is why we chose to come and to fulfill all that we had to fulfill here.
I love you all so much. and remeber that is you are patient and faithful through your trials you will be lifted up at the last day.
I can just imagine all of you flying up right now...haha.
Mucho Amor de Baños...and its Baños like showers thank you very much,
Bueno, hola a todos!!! it is so nice to say hi to you all yet again in another week. I think the one thing that all missionaries have a habit of saying is like oh wow it feels like it was just monday last week, and lets just say that yeah that happens. Time flies when your working hard and you have every second of every day planned, but I like that planning and having this blessing of being busy. It is a great blessing as a missionary. Anyways here in Baños we are working really hard! so that means nothing really different has happened. We work we work and then we eat some rice and keep working haha. Right now my companions and I are awesome this is probably the best trio in all of the mission honestly the only thing that is a little down is we have less time in the shower in the morning, but otherwise it is pretty normal haha. Here we have our fair share of challenges like the whole month of Novemeber all of Baños celebrates for the Virgen Maria. It is like there are parades that are really pretty and fireworks like everynight which is pretty cool, but it also sucks because there are these things called bombas. which are like little bombs that go into the air and make a loud noise. Everyone loves those things here and so I wake up at like 5 in the morning because of these dumb bombas and then in the street I like jump all the time because they scare me to death haha. But it is cool all the celebrations they do just a little interesting because everyone goes crazy and dancing in the street and all of this stuff. It is really fun to be apart of a different culture to experience new things like this.
Anyways something short that I want to share with you this week is a story I really liked from the Liahona of October. We have a woman in our ward who has been suffering from a sickness, but is better now she just has to work through her suffering to heal now. So I told my companions that we should share this message with her and it helped her a lot. She was all like wow this is my life I am the Jadeite Cabbage...haha but it is something really nice and sweet that helped the members here and I think it might help you all too!
"On my mission in Taiwan, my companion and I spent a little time during one preparation day at the National Palace Museum in Taipei. The main attraction is a piece of art called the Jadeite Cabbage. So many people were admiring it, but all I saw was a cabbage carved out of jade. It was pretty, no doubt, but there must have been something I was missing.
When we finished at the museum, I asked my companion, “What did you think of the Jadeite Cabbage?”
“I love that piece of art!”
“Why?” I asked. “It’s just a cabbage.”
“Are you kidding? The Jadeite Cabbage is a metaphor for my life!” she exclaimed.
“Yes! Don’t you know the story?”
She told me the story. And she was right. It became the metaphor for my mission and my life.
For a jade carving to have great value, the jade has to be one solid color. Carvings made out of perfect jade sell for high prices because it is nearly impossible to find perfect jade. The Jadeite Cabbage is green on one end and white on the other, and it has cracks and ripples. No skilled carver would waste time on such a piece of jade, until someone came along whom the Chinese call a master carver.
If this jade could talk, I can imagine the conversation it would have with this new carver. I imagine the carver picking up this piece of jade.
“What do you want?” the jade would ask.
“I am looking for jade to carve,” the carver would say.
“Then find another piece. I am of no worth. I have two different colors so intertwined that you’ll never separate them. I have cracks and ripples in me. I will never be of any worth. Don’t waste your time.”
“Oh, you silly little jade. Trust me. I am a master carver. I will make a masterpiece of you.”
How Can I See Myself as the Master Sees Me?
It’s a challenge to see ourselves as the Lord sees us. He sees us as children of God with great potential and great worth. But we sometimes focus on our shortcomings. Our Father in Heaven has not created us to dwell on our flaws but rather to become beautiful masterpieces. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement, we can overcome our shortcomings.
Consider reading the following scriptures to learn how the Lord uses imperfect people to accomplish His work: Exodus 4:10–12; Jeremiah 1:4–10; 1 Nephi 4:1–6; Alma 26:12; Doctrine and Covenants 35:17–18.
What makes the Jadeite Cabbage so amazing is that this anonymous master carver used the weaknesses of the jade—the two colors, the cracks, and the ripples—to make the cabbage all the more lifelike. The opaque white part became the stem of the cabbage, and the cracks and ripples make the leaves come to life. If it weren’t for the “weaknesses” of this jade, it could not have looked so real.
Because of the beauty of this piece of art, it became a gift for one of the royalties in China and adorned the halls of beautiful Asian palaces until it ended up at the museum in Taiwan.
It reminds me of Ether 12:27: “If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. … My grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
After I saw the Jadeite Cabbage, this scripture began to take on new light. We are all like this piece of jade, except that we are still in the process of being carved. We must trust the master carver, Jesus Christ, who will take our weaknesses and make them strengths. We, in our imperfect view, sometimes focus on our imperfections and then despair because we think we’ll never measure up. But our Savior, Jesus Christ, sees us as we can become. As we allow His Atonement to work in our lives, He will shape us into masterpieces who will one day live with the King of kings."
If we just remember to trust in our master then one day we can become the people he wants us to become!! I love you all remeber that! and I will always try to do all that I can to keep you in my prayers! Keep up the faith and read the scriptures this week! Act out spirtually!