¡Hola de Ecuador!

September 29, 2009

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This was a crazy week. Ericka didn’t get baptized. We thought she was not really wanting to get baptized because of some things that happened, so we didn’t plan anything for Saturday, but when we taught her Friday she was reading and praying and ready to get baptized! So we moved her baptism to this coming Friday. It was really cool. Yesterday she stayed at the Church after all the meetings and studied the Scriptures for 5 hours! So she really does have the desire to get baptized and yeah. It’s cool. The only thing is that she’s going to have to wait about 10 days to get the Holy Ghost because it’s conference weekend and we have to wait until we have Church to give her the gift of the Holy Ghost. But she’s going to get baptized! So that’s really cool.

José Luis is getting better. He’s walking around, even though he’s not supposed to haha

What else happened this week… Ah yeah. We killed 2 mice this week. We got brooms and cornered them and Elder Willett killed them. It was sad to kill them but we had to haha.

Also, I really want a massage. One of the members has this little back massager car that you roll up your back haha so we used it for a bit and it felt sooo good. We’re so stressed out here on the mission because we’re working for people’s salvation, so it’s really stressful. My sholders always are achy because I’m so stressed haha. But I’ll learn to deal with it.

Juan Carlos, one of the members that is about to serve his mission, got all my papers wet and the picture of my family!! Haha they’re all dried now and the picture isn’t really ruined, but yeah, maybe you could send me another picture of our family picture where we are all in white shirts because that’s a good picture.

It’s hard having church at 8:00 in the morning. The members don’t even show up in time. It’s so hard to get investigatores there. But we’re working hard and we go and wake everyone up before church every week.

A dog almost bit me. I actually though it bit my butt, but Juan Carlos said it just scratched me. I think it was mad because I kicked a ball back to a group of kids that were playing and I think the dog wanted the ball. There are so many dogs here and they’re all half dead haha.

We found a bunch of new investigatores this week, so it was cool. The work is going foreward and we’re working hard. My companion goes home in two weeks, so we’re trying to do everything we can to work hard and finish his mission strong. I can’t believe I’m almost to my third change already. The mission is awesome and it’s always an adventure to follow the Spirit.

General Conference is this weekend!!!! AH. I’m so excited. Everyone should watch every section, because we get to hear directly from the prophet!! Everybody go!

Con amor,
Elder Lane D. Sawyer

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Two months in Ecuador and Four in the Mission!!

September 22, 2009

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Wow. Ya tengo dos meses en Ecuador y cuatro en la misión! Loco. Esto es más rapido que quiero yo. One sixth of the way over. No me gusta.

A lot of good stuff happened this week. After basically losing our program last week, we did really well and found some people. We should have a few more baptisms this change and we’ll have some others set up for the next one too!

This week I had an interchange with the Zone Leaders and I went to their ward to work with one of them. I TOOK A HOT SHOWER!!! AH. That was amazing. Our house doesn’t have a hot shower, so I’d been showering in cold water for the past two months. The interchange was pretty cool, because I in understood pratically every single word of Spanish that people said to me! And I spoke really well too. The next day though I went back to the sector and I didn’t understand nearly as well. Haha it’s interesting. Whenever I’m just with Latins and I don’t have my gringo companion, my Spanish is a TON better. I don’t know why haha but whatever, maybe I’ll get a Spanish companion next change and then my Spanish will take off.

Oh I gave a talk in Church for the first time! That was cool. I gave a good talk, and the Branch President even had to tap my foot to tell me I need to wrap up my talk. I even had more to say haha so that was really fun.

We have a program now. We should have a few more baptisms this change. Ericka is going to get baptized this weekend. The mom feels really bad for everything that happened and it was really cool when we talked to them. They told us that they have felt weird without us visiting them the past week, and that we radiate peace. They want that peace, so we’re hoping that her whole family will listen to us again. That was really cool, and I felt the Spirit when they told us that. The thing is, we’re so used to the Spirit that we don’t always feel it, and we never recognize how strong it really is. The people who don’t have the Spirit in their lives really feel a difference when we enter and teach. It’s such a blessing to be a missionary, and to live the Gospel and be blessed with the Spirit. I love preaching and testifying and telling people they need to repent and be baptized!

Haha BYU got humbled on Saturday. I learn a lot about the pride cycle from BYU football.

Also, José Luis, who just got baptized a week or two ago, had an accident at work the other day! I forklift ran into him and hit his legs! They didn’t break, but the bones are badly bruised. We went over there and I gave my first blessing in Spanish. I was so scared but I did it and it turned out well. The Lord really protected him though, and he has recieved a lot of blessings. He’s already up walking around a little bit, and he every went to Church on Sunday! It was way cool. He read the Book of Mormon for two hours one night too and everything, and he’s going to get the Aaronic Priesthood next Sunday! So we’re really happy for him and we’re hoping he keeps healing way fast.

I’ve gotten so cheap here in Ecuador haha we went to the black market again today and I bought a soccer ball to exercise with in the morning. We asked and he said it was 12 dollars, which would be a decent price for a decent ball in the States right? But I was just like “Wow that’s a lot. I was looking for one that costs 5.” The guy said “8 is the lowest I can go”, then we told him “7 or we’re going somewhere else”. So we got it for 7 bucks haha. I love Ecuador. I also got a soccer jersey for 5 bucks, a gift for my little brother, (it’s his birthday today so everyone should give him money) and a cable for my CD player. All for less than 20 dollars. It’s so fun to barter hahaha

This week was really good. Elder Willett is going home in three weeks, so we’re both really sad. I don’t want him to leave because we’re working really well in the sector, and he wants to keep working up until the day he leaves. But yeah, he’s going to have to leave and then I’ll get a new companion.

Ah General Conference is coming up! I’m so excited!! We get to listen to it in English, so it’s going to be sweet. Anyways, we’re going to go buy some food and then preach the Gospel!!

I love the mission!
Elder Lane D. Sawyer


¡Cómo están todos!

September 15, 2009

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This week was crazy. We pretty much spent the whole time preparing for the baptism. We lost a lot of our week due to Zone Conference. But Zone Conference was awesome. I understood everything and President taught us a ton about working with the members! It was so cool and yeah. I can’t believe I’m already here for my second change! TIme flies. But yeah Conference was sweet; It’s always great to hear from President Johns!

I did some quick math this week and found out that I spend 8 months of the mission asleep, 8 months in meetings, planning, studying and getting ready every day, and only 8 months preaching the Gospel! That is not nearly enough time. The Missionary Manuel says that the time you have to dedicate to the Lord is extremely short, and it’s true!

Randomly Short Statements of the Week:
I ate Fish Head Soup.
I sat on carpet! It was soooo amazing. Even though the carpet was thin and dirty, it was incredible.
I miss carpet.
I took “The Bomb” to clear my stomach. It didn’t work.
The new Bible in Spanish is awesome.

I’ll explain “la bomba” or “The Bomb” really quick. You get it every 6 months to clean out your stomach and keep you healthy. I took it because I’ve been sick ever since I got here haha, but it didn’t work, because I’m still sick. Don’t worry, it’s not a really bad kind of sick, just that I’m not used to the food I guess, so I’m not “normal” if you get it.. so yeah haha. We’ll see what happens!

Anyways, back to what happened this week. We worked so hard this week to get José Luis and Ericka ready for the baptism. And we had the baptism Saturday. Only José Luis got baptised. We had an interesting incident that in reality shouldn’t have even happened, and Ericka didn’t get baptized. Her mom flipped out over something really small and everyone got upset and left and now we lost basically all of our investigatores, because we were teaching the whole family and they were going to get baptized. Ericka probably will still get baptized, but we don’t know about the rest of the family. So we’ll see.

We were really disanimated yesterday because of what happened, but then the Lord blessed us with 6 new investigatores in one day! So we have a program again and we think we’ll be able to reach our goal for baptisms this change. We’re animated and working hard, despite loosing our investigatores.

We went to the lighthouse today, which was really cool. After that we went and ate at McDonald’s and talked with this one guy about the Gospel in English. I don’t like preaching in English. It sounds strange and yeah haha. He was an interesting guy. He basically wants to save the world by himself, and believes that you only have to be a good person to be saved. Really intersting guy, and way extreme haha. He uses three Bibles because they are so many versions. It was an interesting chat.

After that, today we went to the Black Market. I hate being white, they make everything so expensive. I got a CD player that plays MP3s as well for 26 bucks, but it was a cheap chineese import. In the States I think you can get a nice Sony for 30 dollars. But I got a CD player now so I can listen to my Church music CDs! It’s always fun to go to the Bahía (Black Market)!

Other than that, I don’t really know what to talk about. I’m sending fotos (finally) so that’ll be good. The mission is awesome, and there is way too much to explain! Hope all is well! Keep sharing the Gospel with all your friends and family!

Love,
Elder Lane D. Sawyer<a


Wow! Miracles!

September 7, 2009

Wow! This week has been an amazing week, full of miracles, disappointments, and success!

First of all, BYU won? That’s an incredible miracle. I guess we’re finally humbling ourselves before the Lord and now we’re recieving the blessings. BYU’s history is very similar to the pride cycle of the Nephites in the Book of Mormon. Haha, since I linked it to the Gospel, I’m justified in talking about sports. I’m going to be punished for that haha.

One more thing about sports. This week was Ecuador vs. Colombia, so EVERYONE was outside in their Ecuador jersey and everyone was drinking, and then Ecuador lost, so everyone was really solumn for the rest of the day haha. I love Ecuador!

So on to the REAL miracles. José Luis is going to get baptized. He and his wife were fighting the last week and were thinking of splitting up, but then we taught him and told both of them to repent, read the scriptures, and pray, and this week there is such a change in them! It’s incredbile. If they can both keep living the Gospel, everything will work out great. This Gospel really has the power to change lives. I love it!

Also, something REALLY cool happened when we were teaching Erica’s mom, Fani. Erica is going to get baptized this weekend, and Fani will get baptized in another two weeks. The other two children will be baptized sometime soon after that, or even the same day as Fani if we get all the teaching done and help them get their own testimonies. Anyway, we are teaching Fani and she knows practically everything because she went to an Evangelico church for 8 years. But we have the Word of Wisdom lesson, and we teach her about the things that we should not eat or drink. When we got to coffee, she asked why we can’t drink coffee, because she drinks a little bit, and we explained that it was a revelation from a prophet and reviewed the importance of following the prophet, as well as gave her medical evidence that it is bad for your body. She said okay, and we kept teaching.

She was a little tired, so Elder Willett told her to get a drink of water to help her wake up, so she did. While she was getting water, she grabbed a pot and showed us the coffee she had just made this morning. After showing us the coffee, she tosses it out the window! AH. It was soo cool! We didn’t even challenge her to live the Word of Wisdom yet and she did it. She is progressing really well and wants to be baptised. So that was really cool.

We also had a funny moment with a contact. We started talking to this man, and all of a sudden he said “Look! Here comes my cousin! HE’S AN ASSASSIN! Go talk to him!” Hahahaha we just smiled and kept talking to him. Funny stuff these people here in Ecuador!

Haha another funny thing is that everyone waters their pavement. Don’t know why, but people are always standing outside their houses watering the street in front of them. That’s the random cultural tidbit for the week.

Haha also when we were talking about baptism with José Luis, his wife Sandra grabbed their little dog and showed him how we baptize people, using the dog as an example! It was so funny to see her bend the dog over backwards and say “This is how you’ll be baptized!” hahaha

Ah, my big sin in the mission is the television. I hate TVs. We’re not allowed to watch TV, but whenever there is a TV on, I always start watching it. It’s the hardest thing to overcome, especially when there is soccer on, because I love soccer and they always have soccer. So that’s my big sin that I am trying to overcome. It’s funny, because EVERYONE has a TV, but they don’t have the other little necesseties of life. My sector is so poor, but eveyone has a TV and speakers, because that’s all anyone does. Music and TV.

I had another AMAZING fruit this week! But it’s illegal in the States because you can make drugs out of it, just like the passion fruit I talked about earlier. Seems like all the really good fruits in the world can be used to make drugs haha. Ah, they are so good. I wish they were in the States.

Anyway, the mission is going really well. I can’t believe it’s already September. The time is going by way too fast. There is never enough time to study, to teach, and to baptize because it all goes by wayyy too fast! I’m already in my second change and it feels like a left my house yesterday.

I love the mission, I love dedicating 100% of my time to the Savior, and I love bringing souls to the true and living Church. Work with the missionaries in your wards, talk to your neighbors and prepare them to recieve the Gospel! The only baptizms we’ve had and will have are references from members (except for Erica, but she was a reference directly from God). If everyone would find a family that is ready for the Gospel, the Church would grow like crazy! Be a missionary! It’s the best thing in the world!

Hope everything is going great back in the States and everyone is safe and happy! Love you all! See you in two years!

Love,
Elder Lane D. Sawyer


My First Change is OVER!

September 1, 2009

scanWow! One change over already! 15 more to go! (Not that I’m counting. My comp told me that number, he’s the one that’s trunky. haha

your son is super trunky, and well im never going home, this is elder willett, he is going to go to my house here in 6 weeks and ill see you guys in 2 years, elder willy

We’re still debating on the details of this swap.

he is going to go to college for me too cuz he is way smarter than i, haha

Anyways, this change was awesome. We had two baptisms and found some really good investigatores! We have a goal of 4 baptisms next change, and we already have two lined up two weeks from now. We’re working really hard in the sector and have been doing really well. We haven’t found A TON of new investigatores, but the ones that we found are really good.

Ah yesterday was crazy. Every prophesy that I read in the Book of Mormon was fulfilled in the sector! I read Moroni 8, which talks about infant baptism being an abomination, and a lady brought up the IMPORTANCE of infant baptism when we were talking to her. She believes that the parents are condemned if the baby isn’t baptized and dies. I wanted to whip out that scripture and give it to her haha but luckly I don’t know Spanish well enough to put in a word. She would not let Elder Willett say anything, so I had no hope in saying anything either. I also read in 2nd Nephi 28, which is a lot of prophesies about people rejecting the Restored Gospel in the last days. It says “We have the word of God, we don’t need more of the word of God, because we already have enough” (more or less) It’s in verse 37 or something I think. We talked to another lady who basically said that. In the next chapter Nephi talks about the people who say “A Bible, A Bible! We already have a Bible!” and that happened too haha.

Another lady we talked to said she was a prophet. Wooh, Elder Willett gave it to her. Full out doctrine and testimony of the restauration, how there would be many false prophets, and that we know Joseph Smith is a true prophet because “By your fruits ye shall know them”. Thing is, she didn’t even know where the Bible was written or how it was compiled, and she claimed to be a prophet. God’s never called a woman to be a prophet before, so how could you be a prophet. Slam. haha It’s so hard because everyone has hardened their hearts against the truth.

The mission is hard because of two things. Fear and Pride.
People are too pridefull to let themselves think they are wrong, and they are fearfull to exercise their faith. In reality, people don’t have much faith. They don’t exercise their faith to do what we ask. ALL that we ask people to do is trust God and ask if the Gospel is true.

OOHH. Elder Willett was awesome. The “prophet” lady said she was going to go ask her pastor if the Book of Mormon is true. Elder Willett asked if she was going to trust in the arm of the flesh, because her pastor will say it’s false, but Elder Willett will say it’s true. The only way to know is to ask God. And she said “I’m going to ask my preacher.” AH. That’s why we need to find the humble who are looking for the truth.

Anyways, something like the above stories always happens once or twice a week.

The mission is awesome. I can’t believe I’ve already finished one change. We’re working really hard with the members and having a lot of sucess. It’s so fun preaching the Gospel, but it’s also really hard because so many people reject you. But when you find the Chosen it’s amazing. That’s when miracles happen.

Erica came to church and her mom and little brother came too! We’re hoping to baptize her mom and her brothers after she gets baptized. They really liked Church and had a good time.

Hope everything is going great for everyone! Everyone has started school now haven’t they? Crazy. A year ago I started school at BYU. I swear that I was just there yesterday. Ah, time goes too fast. There isn’t enough time on the mission. That’s why I need to work hard EVERY SINGLE DAY.

My words of advice:

Learn to love to work.
Work to love to learn.
Work to learn to love.

En verdad, the above advice has helped me soo much on the mission. Reading the Scriptures everyday is so fun. I love looking for answers to questions and learning more and more.

I love the mission! I won’t be coming home in place of my companion, because I will call him to repentence for coveting my remaining time in the mission. Don’t worry, you all won’t see me for two years!!

Love,
Elder Lane D. Sawyer