Monday was really cool! We kicked it with a ward missionary who headed out on his mission on Wednesday. We went to a Historic Park in Guayaquil and ran into a familiar face. Elder Johnson! There is no doubt that we are connected in some way, shape, or form. Just casually - you run into a homie in the middle of Ecuador...I THINK NOT! We saw some monkey`s and iguanas but that was about it.
We had an incredible Mulit-Zone Conference. Elder Calderòn from the 70 presided and he taught us so much! We had to travel quite the distance to get there. Panorama is kind of in its own little world so we couldn`t travel there with the other missionaries in the zone...instead, Hermano Jaramillo was a tour guide! Such a great man. We asked him how to get there and instead of giving us directions...he dropped what he was doing, led the way, and payed our transport. Such a humble and serving disciple of the Lord. We made it to the conference and felt such an incredible spirit.
The conference finished super late so the way back was an adventure. We tried to take the same buses and routes back to our sector but with it being dark and with unreal amounts of traffic we got lost. I was wishing pretty hard that Papa Jaramillo was there guiding us but sometimes you gotta solve problems on your own!!! We ended up getting ourselves down from the bus and we just decided to walk towards the noise, light, and contention. We ended up making it to a dark street and the bus we needed in that exact moment randomly passed. So we waved it down and we were underway with another miracle under our belts!
The owners of a school here in Panorama are members...the school is called ``Ezra Taft Benson``. They are in conference olympics and asked me to help out with the spelling b. So we got to go to the school and help some kids with their English and pronunciation and what not. Pretty fun! These guys are brilliant too!
I was attacked by at least 10 children early on in the week! We passed by one of our investigators who lives in a little sector called Miduvi. The kids there are always kicking it outside with nothing to do and I guess they were having a competition of who could get the first high five from the gringo. They were dragging me down to the ground, jumping all over me, laughing, screaming. These kids are poor. They have nothing. But to see them happy melts my heart. We were all laughing and having a good time. Finally I told them that everyone wins the game. They all agreed. Haha!
A great Sabbath Day we had ourselves! The Sacrament makes my week...EVERY WEEK! It never fails me. The week is basically a build up of stress...giving everything you have from Monday-Saturday so that people can make it to church. The majority of the times the people don`t follow through...it hurts...it aches...it discourages...but as soon as I partake of the body of our Savior and the instant I partake of His blood all pain and agony fades. I can literally feel the stress being lifted off of my shoulders. All is replaced with peace and patience. Courage and readiness. So grateful for such an incredible covenant and ordinance.
One of the first things taught in the missionary lessons is that God is our loving Father in Heaven and shows His love through the calling of Prophets. This gospel truth is so incredible. We learn quite a bit about the role of a Prophet in the first chapter of Lucas.
``As He spake by the mouth of His holy Prophets, which have been since the world began.`` The Lord speaks to us through a Prophet...in fact, ``He will do nothing save it be reveal His secrets to His servants, the Prophets``. We go on to learn that the Prophets ``save us from our enemies``, ``allow us to partake of mercy and oaths made to our fathers``, and help us to ``serve the Lord``.
I would like to focus on three incredible verses;
A Prophets Duty...
``For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways;``. I testify that God speaks to His Prophets. They receive revelation FROM the Heavens above to lead us TO the Heavens above. Nobody else holds such keys as these.
``To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of sins.``
A Prophets duty, role, and goal is to help our Heavenly Father bring to pass His work and His glory through the salvation of mankind. If we heed to him we will come to obtain knowledge that will lead us into salvation so we can return to the loving arms of our Father in Heaven.
How many of you feel that you sit in darkness? Perhaps without guide of direction? THAT is when God`s mercy strikes...THAT is when His love comes forth through the words of a Prophet...
``To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.`` The Prophet gives us light when we are in darkness and guides us to peace when we are lost.
The Prophet is so much more than a primary song encouraging us to follow him because he knows the way.
We are sick. We are ill. We need healing.
In Christ`s earthly ministry, He gave power and authority to His Apostles to heal the sick...He gave this authority and power to His called Apostles in the Americas as well. Apostles are called to heal and to mend. They are called of God to mend our spirits and souls.
In less than a week we have the divine privelege to hear what God Himself has to say to us through the mouth of His called servants. Hearken to the cure. Be atentinve. Pay close attention as these men, called of God, show us how to place our feet in the way of peace.
Even as the Nephites ``did labor exceedingly all that night, that they might be on the morrow in the place where Jesus should show Himself unto the multitude``, I invite all to labor exceedingly this week so you too can be ready in the morning on Saturday to listen to Christ as He shows Himself through the mouth of His called and ordained servants.
I testify that Thomas Spencer Monson is a Prophet of God. I testify that he will lead our feet into the way of peace.
Love you all. Happy Conference! Glorify it. Love it.