Monday, September 17, 2012

New Companion :) New Experiences Awaiting

Family and Friends,

Elder Dzul and Elder Remington
Today we had transfers and my new companion is Elder Dzul from Yucatan, Mexico :) he's very happy and upbeat and I have a feeling we're going to get along just great! I'll miss Elder Garcia because I really enjoyed my time with him and learned a lot from him but such is the life of a missionary constant changes and new experiences :) Something that Elder Garcia always told me and already in the first day Elder Dzul has told me is .. ¨relax¨ haha several of my companions  have said that I work really hard and am always thinking about ways to improve which is great but that I sometimes am a little too intense and need to slow down a bit... they're right. I care so much about my investigators and want to be the best missionary I can be so much and I want so badly to serve the Lord 100% with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength... that often times I let myself get worked up and need to just take it easy. I'm sure many of you who know me well have seen that tendency to go overboard with things haha its a weakness of mine but I'm getting much better at being moderate in all things.I think that its definitely better to be too focused on your mission then not focused enough, but there is balance in all things and I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn to relax sometimes :) I think Elder Dzul and I are going to be great helping each other find a good balance.

In our companionship we always strived to be obedient with exactness and it paid off big time. When I arrived here, Albonor hadn't had a single baptism in over 2 months and now in just a month we've had four baptisms with lots more on the way :) also before there wasn't very much support from the members. We never lectured or harassed the members but we just served them, sincerely thanked them for the help they did give, and loved them. Genuine kindness really works miracles. We became their friends and we've had a  LOT of support and love from them now. Many of the members have made comments like wow these missionaries are great we're really blessed to now have missionaries that are working hard and are doing a good job here. This area has had a drastic transformation for the better and it isn't thanks to me.. all the credit goes to the Lord (Alma 26:12). We're just the instruments in the Lord's hands. We were just obedient and worked as hard as we could and then it was Him that blessed us with success :) in D&C 130:20-21 and D&C 82:10 we learn that when we're obedient we have the promise that the Lord will always bless us :) be obedient and you will be happy.

There's no such thing as a little thing when it comes to obedience :)

Elder Remington 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

5-Star Day

Family and friends, 

On Saturday the entire mission met in Guayaquil to hear a talk from an Apostle of the Lord Elder Christofferson :) We all got to take a turn shaking his hand and I also got to see all my old buddies from the MTC and old companions Elder Alvarez and Elder Lopez :) it was a great experience! His talk was very basic and simple but very powerful :) he's a great example of someone who teaches clearly and with the Holy Ghost very strongly but of course that's not surprising he's an Apostle hello! Three things in particular stood out to me. First, we as missionaries should always have the image our investigators dressed in white going to the temple at the forefront of our minds because that is the end goal. Second, as we really love those that we serve we'll serve them better and as we really serve those that we love we'll love them better :) serve those you love and love those you serve. That goes for both companions and investigators and members and everybody. Little things like ironing your companion's shirt really goes a long way :) Third, we need to learn to really trust in the Lord and strive to always do His will not ours. Often times that will mean doing things that we don't want to do but that we need to do :)

He really focused a lot on the basics like service, scripture study, and prayer and that reminded me of some great advice that my cousin Kayla gave me a while ago. Kayla came up with 5 basic things to do everyday in order to make everyday a 5-Star Day haha yes I know its cheesy but I'm telling you these bad boys really do work. Try it if you don't believe me and I promise you'll be happier and your life will be more fulfilling and have greater purpose. 

This is my slightly altered version of what we do everyday.

1. Smile.There's nothing like a warm smile to make someone's day. 
2. Serve. Find someone who needs help and help them. The simple acts of kindness go a long way.
3. Scripture Study. Don't just read them but diligently study them and apply them.  
4. Sincere Prayer. Emphasis on the sincere part. Don't just go through the motions but really have a conversation with our Heavenly Father
5. Self Reflection. Take just 5 minutes of silence and analyze if you're a better person you were a week ago. Think of what you need to change to improve even more :) 

The work is moving forward here in Ecuador and I'm grateful to be a part of this marvelous work and a wonder! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true and its the only place where we can find complete peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come. 

Elder Remington