How is everyone?! :) Man the days and weeks are FLYING by! I have already been in Empalme for a month! I love it here! So much work to be done and so many people to help us do it! It truly is incredible! The members, the investigators, the everything...so much fun! TOO much fun!
This past week was a great one as usual!
Let´s get right to it, yeah?!
Monday night was sweet. We were contacting and we found this dude with super long luscious hair. Obviously I am going to go talk to the dude...he has long luscious locks. He was so accepting and so kind. He instantly invited us in and he had posters ALL OVER his house...of himself. We asked him about them and it turns out he is a celebrity! He is a famous singer and model here in Ecuador... Haha. He is a stud...and his spirit is a whole lot stronger than his voice! And that´s what counts, right ;)
We had two "going to lunch" experiences this past week.
The first one was on Tuesday. We had to walk deep into the jungle to get to the bamboo shack...but it is super super dangerous so we had to have these two ripped bodyguard guys come with us. I felt so powerful! Haha! I was a little uneasy after lunch though...our two ripped bodyguards turned into about seven 3-6 year old niñas to "protect" us on our way out. Luckily nothing happened...haha! But I am sure those little girls would have protected us Elders! I am sure they eat their vegetables...or rice.
Then on Wednesday we had to take a bus to our lunch appointment. After the bus ride we had to walk on a dirt road...about 45 minutes...into the jungle of bananas and corn. I felt like I belonged on survivor man or something! It was roasting hot...bugs flying everywhere...corn falling from every direction...it was something else! We FINALLY made it to the house of the Mamita...but we had to eat super fast and peace because we had appointments later in the afternoon...so back to the jungle we went! Haha! Elder M and I were laughing the whole time though. We got bored at one point...so we had a race up a hill. Then it took about 5 minutes for us to catch our breath...haha...but it was a good time...trudging through the jungle and all!
We get to work with our Bishop a lot too here in Empalme. He is fairly new too...but he is such a stud. Always companioning us to our visits and what not. The best part is that he gets so, so, so upset when we thank him for all that he does. He gets upset because he says..."the only person you should ever thank in the existence of your life is the God that gave it to you."
Wow...if that is not a deep, humbling, true statement I don´t know what is.
Ah man...the other day...
We were teaching a woman who has a little 3 year old boy. He is the cutest little dude. And he was going to town on broccoli. Like...he LOVES it. He had to have had at least a pound...he was eating it through the entire lesson. With about five minutes left in the lesson he came over to me and started playing with the hair on my arms and taking stuff out of my shirt pocket and what not...the norm...and then I saw the look in his eyes...that look someone gets right before they sneeze...and this little man with a mouth full of broccoli and a nose full of snot sneezed the biggest sneeze all over me. That was pretty gross to wipe off my face...but the broccoli tasted good ;) haha just messing...
So as you can see this week was another legendary one! And I know this upcoming will be just as good...actually...it will be BETTER. Not sure why...haha...but I will be sure to make it better!
I love the story of Zeniff and the war between his people and the Lamanites. Here you have the people of Zeniff just ´´feeding their flocks and tilling their lands´´ when the Lamanites come in and ´´begin to slay them and take away their flocks´´.
These people were so good! Feeding their flocks (feeding their faith) and tilling their lands (tilling and strengthening their testimonies) when the wicked world and Satan´s temptations come in to take it all away.
Something we all have to understand is that if we are striving for progression...striving to feed our faith or till our testimony...
THE LAMANITES WILL COME.
They will come to slay you and your faith.
The story goes on to tell us that all that were not overtaken by the lamanites were those who fled to the King and called upon him for protection. As soon as the people were attacked by the Lamanites they fled to wo they KNEW could help them.
As soon as you see Lamanites come, because they are on their way if they are not already attacking you, CALL UPON YOUR KING.
Call upon The Lord God Almighty and He will give you what Zeniff gave his people.
´´And it came to pass that I did arm them with bows, and with arrows, with swords, and with cimeters, and with clubs, and with slings, and with all manner of weapons which we could invent, and I and my people did go forth against the Lamanites to battle.´´
When we call upon The Lord God He will arm us...He will protect us...He will fight our battles with us...and we will ALWAYS win. If you call upon The Lord when you are at war with your own Lamanites you too will ´´slay them even until you have driven them out of your land.´´
Satin and his warriors and Lamanites are strong...they are persistent...they are powerful...and they are tough...but they don´t have a King to call upon like you and I do. They don´t have a God to arm them with infinite power and strength.
He will deliver you from all evil and all doubt if you ´´cry mightily´´ to Him like the people of Zeniff.
The end of the story is pretty important too...yeah they defeated their enemies and yeah they were delivered by the hand of The Lord...but ´´to their great sorrow, two hundred and seventy-nine of their brothers were slain.´´
As you water your flocks and feed your faith the devil will come and do all he can to knock you down and take your faith. When he does this call upon The Lord, rely on His strength, Follow in His footsteps and act upon His promptings. You will be delivered.
But I am here to tell you that there is a chance that you will lose something...or someone along the way. Living this gospel is nothing easy...and you are going to have to ´´flee into the city´´ and call upon The Lord. Perhaps you will have to flee from some friends. Perhaps you will have to give up popularity. Perhaps you will have to leave your comfort zone to call upon The Lord and strive to live His life.
But think about these people who fled their flocks, all that they had, to save their faith...to go unto The Lord...and to defeat the Lamanites.
They lost their own BROTHERS. Their own FATHERS.
We can make the sacrifice.
So sacrifice it all! Feed your faith! Call upon your King! Let Him arm you with His protection to slay your daily Lamanites.
Go to war! Win the battle!