Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Happy Days

Dear Family and Friends,

These are happy times for your buddy Elder Remington. My companion Elder Muñoz and I are doing great together. We are very different from each other and at first we clashed opinions and butted heads a bit but now we have really got a good rhythm going in how we are working together feeding off each other learning from each other. He has strengths that are my weaknesses and he has weaknesses that are my strengths thus we have now mutually helped each other to strengthen are weaknesses and complement the attributes of the other in a great way to be a dynamic duo haha yeah!! Its fun. We have progressed big time and now we laugh together and really are working hard having great results for the zone here in Quevedo Sur! We are well placed to win the dinner with President Amaya and reach new heights that surpass the great Elder Vielma and Elder Linares when they were here :) Its an honor and a challenge to be working in the same zone where those two legends accomplished so much. Here in the mission you really see that the members and converts remember the great missionaries who have touched their lives... I hope to be having an impact in the lives of these precious people and that I can make a difference for good. 

We have a great family right now that we have been teaching for some time. Their names are Danilo and Corina Valdivieso and they are awesome. Honestly we have come to love them so much and we've become incredible friends with them. They have an amazing conversion the gospel of Jesus Christ. They pray daily as a family, they study the Book of Mormon daily, they go to church with their 5 little kids by themselves without any of us needing to remind them or go walk with them, and they even volunteered to give us lunch every week and they love spending time with us on P-days too or whenever they can. I never noticed it before but apparently when I'm thinking or listening intently to someone I put my tongue to the side of my mouth as if I was sucking on a jawbreaker or something haha and Danilo and I have a ton of confidence between us and so he always gives me a hard time like hey stop sucking on that jawbreaker its bad for you teeth or hey did you bring some more to share with us too. Or the other day in Sunday school he had hurt his back and was walking really stiff and when he needed to turn around to look at something behind him he couldn't just move his head but had to move his whole body like a big robot so I started calling him Mr. Robot and now almost everyone in the ward calls him Mr. Robot as a nickname or love and kindness ahaha we love giving each other a hard time and I know that we will always be lifelong friends :) They have a baptismal date for 13th of July because they have to get married first and we are working on doing an activity to raise the money for them to get married cause its way expensive here in Ecuador. They truly are a joy to teach and we love them a ton. 

Also the other day I had the privilege to work with Elder Ayala for a few hours in Albonor :) We had just finished a leadership conference in Guayaquil and we had to stay the night for a meeting the next day in the office so I said hey while I'm stuck here waiting I might as well make good use of my time so I can go help out Elder Ayala in Albonor cause he doesn't have a companion right now and they gave me permission to do it (another blessing of obedience and baptizing lots of people is that President and the assistants trust you more so they let you do things that most can't do :) Be obedient it pays off!!). Anyway it was wonderful experience in which we were able to get a ton of referrals, new investigators, and lots of baptismal dates :) It was great working with my buddy Elder Ayala again and seeing some of our converts for a brief moment while we asked them for referrals. We saw Sophie and Leslie Gomez who are super active and super excited about the church. Leslie is secretary for Relief Society and just got her Patriarchal Blessing and Sohpie is in Beehives and loves it. We saw Roberto and his sons Junior and Jordy :) They were all so excited to see me from the street that they ran and gave me a big hug (a very manly hug I might add) and it was so good to see that they are going to church every Sunday, praying, going to Seminary, and they miss me a lot but they know we still be able to keep in touch. They've already written me a few letters and I've written back (I know its a miracle) likewise with all my other converts in Albonor especially. Junior is stoked to go on a mission now! And of course we saw Johnathon, Maria, Jose, and Luis :) They are doing so great and they're preparing to go to the temple next year and Johnathon already finished the Book of Mormon like three months ago and is reading the Bible too :) He is a stud and he just had an interview with the Stake President about a new calling!! Now that I am in Quevedo Sur again I also have been able to do some interchanges in Empalme and see Jose Gorosabel who gave me a huge hug and has been very active always bearing his testimony. The Borrero family has my picture that I sent them on their wall and they were thrilled to see me. Jorge and Maxi likewise were super happy to see me and surprised by how well I speak Spanish now haha they also had my pictures that I sent them there and said they loved getting them :) It was a wonderful experience for me and taught me something very valuable... never underestimate the worth of our efforts and service to others... NEVER! Satan is very cunning and he uses whatever he can to make us feel like our efforts weren't good enough and to try and discourage us. For months I had basically written off my time in Empalme because I figured that the people didn't really grow to love me that much cause they couldn't understand me and that the majority were probably already inactive and I doubt they really remember me. But that was not the case at all the majority are active and were thrilled to see me :) This experience reminded me of the story Elder Wadell told about a missionary from Spain in a conference talk in 2011 The Opportunity of a Lifetime. Read it because its amazing and will help a lot. 

Remember that every single one of us is valuable and are efforts are important :) Be grateful and be happy!

Much love,

Elder Remington