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.