Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fenruary 17, 2015

HEY ALL! What´s good, homies?! All is good in the hood on this fine Tuesday!

This week is a holiday here in Ecuador called Carnaval. To sum it up...there are thousands in the streets soaking people with water, paint, and dirt. It is quite the party...especially when you are wearing a white shirt and everyone wants to "GET THE GRINGO!!!"I am loving it! We couldn´t email yesterday because all of the cybers were closed, so here I am today!

This past week has been LEGENDARY!
On Monday night we had Family Night with Hermana K...and it was our last :( But the shrimp and bananas were too good!

There was this little dude there...NEVER have I seen someone eat so much. I couldn´t finish my food and after having THREE servings...this dude went for a fourth and finished off my plate. What a champ, right? He is 9 years old...but he is so chill. He was there with his mom...I don´t know...I could just tell that something was different about this little guy (apart from his eating ;)). He was so happy. He was so respectful. So humble and submissive. When him and his mom left I asked everyone what this family's story is. It turns out his father passed away a few months ago. Now he just lives with his mom and he works to help provide for him, his mom, and his baby sister.  No wonder this little boy was different. How humbled I am to have been in the presence of someone so strong. People have it so much harder than we do and are so much stronger and enduring than we are. Let us all look to this little boys example and submit to all things. Be happy! There is never a reason to be down! :)

Tuesday was quite the experience too! Early in the morning we passed by a house and a giant man walked out and started to talk to us...it was more of a yell actually...to the point where I was a little scared. He is a Pastor. He was kind of tearing us apart and wouldn´t give us the chance to reply...finally after about 10 minutes we just decided to leave. As soon as we turned away he yelled "HEY!"So we turned back. Then he said, "I'm just messing with you guys! Come to my house for lunch." That was a quick turn of events. LUNCH WITH A PASTOR! So we accepted...and boy was it incredible! We had fish, shrimp, and bananas. It was pretty tight. The fish was HUGE! Like...pretty much my head...haha! It was a little different eating the fish...eyes...guts...everything...but hey...that´s life! This man was truly so kind though. I loved to hear him talk about all the blessings he has received from our Heavenly Father. He was so humble. He was constantly thanking us for our service as missionaries and for our example to him...and he is a PASTOR...for a different religion! How incredible? 

We got to go to a farm earlier in the week...it was so tight! We helped out an older woman with her farm and some things around her home. SO FUN! Farm life in Ecuador is pretty awesome. So beautiful! SO green. I got to retrieve coconuts and mango which was aweomse...I am horrible at it...but it was so fun!

And I killed a chicken! It was the most brutal thing I have ever done. It is kinda hard to explain...I didn't even cut its head off. They wouldn't let me! So with one hand I held it by its feet and with the other hand I held it by its neck. Then I just kinda twisted it like you do a soaking wet shirt until its eyes popped out and I heard a couple of cracks and its jugular popped out of the poor guys skin...then I had to hold it by its feet until it died completely. It was still flapping strong with its head dangling by a few threads...nasty. That was a bit descriptive...sorry! It was awesome though! :)

What more? I made banana bread! The L family wanted me to make it so I did! Man I should probably stick to microwave pizza...I burnt that sucker baaaadddd. But I ended up just flipping over the side that was burnt to you couldn't see it and served it anyway. Everyone still chowed it down...so perhaps it wasn't TOO bad...haha! But it was fun! 

One night I dumped a massive amount of water on a woman that was passing by on the sidewalk below our house...still laughing at that one! It was definitely a good time. She isn´t the only one that got water dumped on her though...I have definitely had my fair share of being bombarded with water throughout these past few days. Especially the little niños! Those little dudes...they are relentless!

And Hermana K bought me a cake and threw me a 6 month party! Haha! It was so nice of her! That family is the bomb!

Valentines day was a little different I guess...it was really cool to represent and show love in a better and more powerful way. The way Christ showed and continues to show His love. 

Finally, on Sunday night I got a call and they informed me that I needed to be in Quevedo the following day! My first real cambio! I was so sad to leave Ventanas. It seems like I am leaving home and my family all over again. But the Lord has a plan for us all and I have full faith that Quevedo is where I need to be. I am so excited for this next chapter in my mission to start...and even more excited to let the Lord write it!

When I got to Quevedo yesterday they told me that I would be going to Empalme! Elder J´s same exact sector! How cool?! But Elder J had changes too and I am with his old companion, Elder M! He is the biggest stud! He is from Canada, AY. Played Canadian Football...I will talk more about him next week because I have to write a spiritual message! But Empalme is amazing. My companion is dope! and I am loving it already!

Something that has really been on my mind lately is how The Lord sees us. I love how The Lord´s vision is described in 1 Samuel 16:7 - But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

The truth is that NOTHING that you have in this life, besides your heart and its desires, matter to the Lord. There is nothing that you can buy or wear and nowhere that you can go that will change the Lords vision. His vision of your heart. At times we feel as if we have to do everything possible to impress others through our outward appearance and earthly possesions...but why?

Think to yourself...The most powerful being in the universe, with the most undefying and everlasting love, in whom all things are possible, and of whom we exist...is looking right at your heart. Right at your beautiful soul. Right at who you are and what you truly can become. Our loving Heavenly Father and our God loves us so much that I truly believe He thinks of us as Gods!. We are EVERYTHING to Him. And if His eyes are zeroed in on our hearts, our hearts should be zeroed in on Him and how he sees us. His opinion is a whole lot more important than anything or anyone else!

PRINCIPLE NUMBER ONE: The Lord sees us for who we truly are and what we truly can become. His vision of our hearts should mean everything to us. So before you seek for a ´´better you´´ or for others to see a ´´better you´´...seek for a better heart.
PRINCIPLE NUMBER TWO: We should see others in the way that the Lord sees us. When we see others we should picture them crowned with celestial glory in the Kindgom of God. Look upon their heart. Realize their potential. No matter who they are or where they come from. We are all from the same family and we are all on the same team.

I promise that as we live with these two principles in mind the windows of heaven will open and you won´t know what to do with all of the many blessings that you receive and the testimony you will obtain. Purple skin or orange skin, a non functional vw bus or a Mercedez, short or tall...none of that matters. All that matters is your beautiful, God-Given, fully capable, and pure heart.
Always keep that in mind!
I am out of time but never out of love!
Have an incredible week America!

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