Stayin’ in El Guasmo

November 24, 2009

So I didn’t get transfered this change haha. I thought I was leaving for sure! This will make 5 and a half months in the same branch. That’s a pretty long time. That’s 4 changes. The same area for 4 changes is a long time, but not unheard of. 6 Changes in one place is really rare, 5 is seen every once in a while, and 4 is decently common. 2 or 3 is most common. But anyways, that gives me one more change to work here in the Guasmo South!! I love this place haha it’s so dangerous, and in Ecuador they are having a power crisis so they shut off the lights from 7 to 9 at night, so we have to go home early haha. It’s really hard for the missionary work.

But yeah, this last change we didn’t have any baptisms, but a few people are getting ready for the week or the next week. It’ll be sweet.

My Spanish is still coming along. People are complementing me on my Spanish, so I am getting somewhat decent.

Wow, Elder Griswold, who was in the MTC with me is TRAINING. In his 4th change. This is unheard of haha. He’s a powerful, humble missionary though, so I wasn’t too surprised. Elder Thayne from my MTC group is the new secretary for the mission as well. The others in my group are here in Guayaquil now too so it’s really cool to get to see them.

I SAW ELDER AUSTIN!!!! wooooooooo! That was so cool. He’s doing really well. His Spanish is good and he’s lost a bunch of weight. It was so awesome to see him after more than a year! He goes home in just 10 months or so. It’s crazy that he already has that much time.

Nothing too interesting happened this week, just that the light keeps going out at random times and also at the night, which makes it really hard to preach. But it’s all good. I’m doing well and we’re working hard. I’m still with Elder Lopez, but I’ll be getting a transfer at the beginning of January. But until then, I’m going to work my tail off for the little time I have here left in the Guasmo. I’m looking forward for this change and the missionary work that we are going to accomplish.

Keep living the Gospel everyone! There are so many blessings that we can recieve if we just do the simple things. Pray, read the scriputres, and go to Church. If we all do this three simple things, our testimony will stay strong and we’ll be happy in this life and the life to come. But if we don’t do these things we’ll never find the true happiness. Keep those things in mind always.

Love you all! Keep on keeping on.

Les quiero,
Elder Lane D. Sawyer


Woohoo! I’m Healed!

November 17, 2009

WOW! Another week already gone!! We have changes next week. I feel like I’m going to leave the sector, but we’ll see what happens.

This week was crazy haha. Both Elder Lopez and I were sick pretty much the entire week. So we pretty much just walked like zombies from visit to visit. I feel like a sinner because we hardly talked to anyone in the streets because we were so bent on putting one foot in front of the other to make it to the next failed visit haha.

We hardly taught at all. Maybe one or two lessons every day. But the sweet thing is that we found 14 new investigatores! I had never gotten above 7 in a week so far in my mission, so that was awesome. A few of them seem really good and will progress, so that was awesome.

We’re still trying to get people married. We’re pretty sure they will do it today or tomorrow. We’re praying they will. They have the money now so they just need to go. If they get married we’ll have 2 baptisms this week, and if not, this will be my first change without a baptism. But it’s all good. It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the effort. And we’ve been working our tails off. It’s been fun being with Elder Lopez. My Spanish continues to expand like crazy! I love this language haha it’s so fun.

Anyways, I’m feeling a ton better. I finished the medicine I took for my stress. It was a muscle relaxant, so all week I had no strength in my muscles. That’s why I was sick haha it was terrible. I honestly didn’t want to work because I was so tired haha. But the medicine looks like it worked, even though it made the past week terrible. I feel good and I’m really ready to work.

I saw a Pontiac Solstice (Forgive my terrible spelling. English sucks. It’s easy to spell in Spanish because you can hear every letter in the words haha I think English is the only language where they have spelling bees. They show spelling bees on ESPN. How is that a sport?) Woohoo tangent. Anyways I saw the car right around our house. A Pontiac in the GUASMO hahaha you never see that. That was crazy. Also, the richest guy in Ecuador came walking down the road next to our house with a parade of people. It’s interesting living in the Guasmo. But it’s so cool!

It still hasn’t rained yet, so they’re shutting off the power to all of Ecuador twice a day for 4 hours each time. It really stinks. 7-11 in the morning, then 2-6 in the tarde. Afternoon I mean. But today we got a call saying they’re goning to shut it off at 7 at night, which means we aren’t allowed to preach haha President Johns called and said that our Zone can’t preach if there is no light at night because it’s the most dangerous part in all of the mission. So tonight I might not preach haha.

We went bowling today. Elder Choc, from Guatamala, lives in our house. He comes from a people that don’t even have electricity. So he’s never even seen a bowling alley! It’s crazy! But he came and just decided to watch. I tried explaining it to him, but I don’t know bowling words in Spanish hahaha. But anyways, I gave him my last frame and he got a SPARE! His first time ever touching a bowling ball and he got a spare. That was so cool haha we were all cheering for him. I have so many awesome friends here in the mission. It’s so dang fun!

I love the mission. It’s so hard but so fun at the same time. The time is going to fast. We’re already halfway through November!! What is this. I’ll be home before I know it.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful life and is striving to live the Gospel! I just found a new favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon. Mormon chapter 9 is awesome. Read it, ponder it, apply it. Some days I wish I could stay home and just read the Book of Mormon. I wish I would have appreciated it more before the mission. But hey, that’s what the mission is for right? To “invite people to come unto Christ” and I add “by a silly 19 year old boy”. This mission changes lives, both of the investigatores and the missionary. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. It’s here in the mission where you really find out what you believe, and I’ve found it. Christ really is our Savior. It’s amazing that He really lives. But he does! All we have to do is our part. Just live the Gospel and you’ll be happy. That’s all that we have to do. I see so much suffering every day from the consequences of sin. I know that this Gospel is the only way to TRUE happiness. Keep on holding to the Iron Rod. That’s all we have to do. I love it!

Love you all! Hope your week is “¡super que bueno!”

Les quiero,
Elder Lane D. Sawyer

¡Another week ya se fue! ¡Locisimo!

November 10, 2009

This week was so hectic and funny hahaha.

First off, we got to go to the temple and do an endowment session. That was awesome. I miss the temple. We only get to go once every 3 months, and that’s if we are in Guayaquil. If you’re outside, you don’t get to go.

We also had interviews with President Johns this week! I love interviews! President Johns is so awesome. He’s helped me out a ton here in the mission.

I have a crazy story haha. Here it goes:

We have a dog, Timmy, that lives in our yard. It’s the landlord’s dog. One day, he escaped and ran away. We tried to chase after him, but we were in suits and already were late for the temple session that we were going to. So we just decided we’d look later in the day haha.. We get back and look around a few blocks near our house, and nothing. So Elder Lopez and I just go to preach. We decided to go to a part of our sector where we NEVER go, because there aren’t members over there and we never have much sucess contacting in this part. But we decided to go WAY over there today. It’s about 3 miles from our house. I decided to show Elder López the end of our sector so that he knows where it is, and much to our surprise we found Timmy!! He was running around peeing on everything and looked completely lost haha. So we catch him with our belts, which looked way strange, and later found some rope as we headed home with our lost Timmy. By the way, he’s a pit bull. So here are two missionaries walking a pit bull through the streets of Ecuador. By the way, Ecuador has about 4 dogs on every street corner. It’s way crazy. All the dogs wanted to fight with Timmy, so we had to keep throwing rocks and keeping them away from Timmy. We get Timmy home and then leave to preach again. That was a fun 3 mile walk home, being attacked by dogs and called theifs by all the drunks we passed.

We get home later that night and were extremely excited to tell the other missionaries that we found Timmy, which was an amazing miracle!! They get home, and I tell them that we found Timmy and brough him home. But then they told us that the landlord has Timmy at his house right now. Haha we were very confused. Because the dog we had brought home was Timmy! He acted exactly like Timmy, and looked just like him too. So we decided to go see the other dog. We get to the house, and there is a dog that looks like Timmy! We just started laughing our heads off. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Because this morning we lost one pit bull, and by the end of the night we had 2!! And the thing is, they were basically IDENTICAL. We didn’t know which dog was which. Haha so we got the owner to come and he said that the dog we caught was NOT Timmy. Hahaha we all almost died laughing. We wasted an hour of time catching and stealing a stray pit bull hahaha instead of it being a miracle that we found Timmy, it was a miracle that we didn’t get attacked by the pitbull we caught!

Ah. What a funny story. But you probably had to be there haha.

Anyways. It was an awesome week with a funny story. Hope everyone is doing well and hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Lane D. Sawyer

Another Email!

November 4, 2009

Wow it’s already another week!! The mission is going by way too fast. We’re already in November. That’s practically December, which is practically 2010, which is practically May 2011 when they force me to go home. I feel like I’ve hardly started my mission but I practically have six months under my belt! It’s not fun realizing that the time goes by this fast.

Elder López and I are working hard in our sector. It’s been really fun and way good for my Spanish to have a Latin companion. He’s helped me out with my Spanish A TON. It’s sweet. I’m basically to the point where I understand practically every conversation. I don’t know all the words, but I can figure out what the other words are by context. It’s pretty sweet. I’m starting to think a lot more in Spanish too. I love Spanish! It’s way fun, even though it’s hard and frustrating sometimes haha

Anyways, this week we only had 20 members at Church when it started haha wow. There was nobody there. It’s because the Young Women had their yearly retreat thingy and a bunch of them and our leaders went. Young Women and leaders basically compose my branch so there was nobody at Church either haha. What’s even better is that it was Fast and Testimony meeting. So basically everyone there was forced to bear their testimony haha it was a fun meeting. I love being in a branch. The members are know each other really well because they all have like 3 callings. I’m lucky to be in a bigger branch though. One of my friends from the MTC got sent out to the rainforest, where the senior companion is the branch president. But branches are cool. The cool thing is, by the end of the year we’re going to be a ward! Booya!

Random fact: The word “booya” in Spanish means “noise”.

We had a sweet week in the sector. We taught like crazy! We taught practically 4 lessons every day!! I know that doesn’t sound like much, but the truth is that it’s hard to teach sometimes. People aren’t home when they say their be, and others just don’t want to listen. It always makes me sad when people tell me they aren’t interested, because they’re rejecting the one true way to obtain TRUE happiness!

My love for the Book of Mormon keeps getting bigger every day. We’re doing an activity in the mission where we read the Book of Mormon and highlight the name of Christ, his attributes, when he talks, and the doctrine that the Book of Mormon contains, and we’ll finish reading the whole Book of Mormon in 3 months. And we’re doing it in Spanish too! It’s really helped my Spanish grow, and also my knowledge of the Book of Mormon. I just finished the Book of Alma, which is my favorite book in the Book of Mormon now. Before the mission, whenever I got to Alma I thought “Oh no, not Alma.. That’s so long!!” Now I wish Alma was longer. Ah. I can’t get enough of the Book of Mormon haha. Sorry, I’ll stop rambling on about the awesomeness of the Book of Mormon.

But anyways. Our program is pressing forward. We should have 2 or 3 baptisms this change. A few people stopped listening and progressing, because they feel like we have nothing else to offer them that’s different from their Church. It’s hard when that happens. It’s just because people don’t understand the authority that is necessary to baptize and lead the true Church of Christ. We try to make that point very clear whenever we teach, but people just don’t seem to get it. My testimony of the power of the Priesthood and it’s authority grows every day as we work and testify of the guidance that our living Prophet recieves for the Church. Ah. I just love this work!! Missionary work is so hard, but SO worth it. To help people start their journey towards eternal life.. there’s nothing better.

I do sometimes miss things from home though. Like candy. Haha we just had Halloween.. They don’t really do much for Halloween here. The only thing you can get from going door to door asking for stuff is drugs. So the kids don’t go out at night haha. And the candy here in Ecuador isn’t nearly as good as the candy in the States. The candy is decent, but it’s impossible to even find a Hersey’s chocolate bar. So I got a Halloween package from my Mom with candy, and that was awesome. My mom’s the best! (Hint: Send me packages of candy!! haha)

What else is going on in my life… Really there isn’t too much exciting. Just missionary work! It’s so cool to be a missionary. There really is nothing better. We don’t have to worry about anything other than the salvation of the human family.. Not too stressful right?? Haha it’s a big task, but as representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, we’re intitled to the guidence of the Holy Ghost, which makes the work work. (It sounds better in Spanish to say that sentence haha. There is a different word for Spiritual work in spanish. Some things about Spanish are way better than English haha)

Ecuador is so cool. If anyone gets the chance to go to Ecuador, GO. It’s the center of the world! Oh yeah. The weather is starting to change. It’s November, so winter is just about to begin. And that means HEAT and RAIN. I’m not too excited for that. I do miss the snow and snowboarding terribly. But I’m excited to tell you all about my experiences in the downpours that will shortly occur. I hear that sometimes the water is up to our knees. It’s gonna be fun.

And now I’m going to comprometer… shoot. I don’t know the word in English haha. Anyways, compromise all of you to read the scriputres individually and as a family, and to pray individually and as a family as well. Every single day! Also, go to the Temple and do work for the dead. It’s the best type of service you can choose to do. Right now I’m helping the living accept the Gospel, but all of you can go help your Ancestors accept and follow the Gospel too. Thanks for all your prayers and support!

Until next week, this is Elder Lane Sawyer, tuning out.
(Can you tell I’m getting bored with my endings)