Hey family! Once again it's Monday and today's email comes to you from a Cyber in the Mall del Sur here in Guayaquil! It's quite a popular place with the missionaries as we can get permission every so often to come and buy things and have a fun P-Day! After this we'll be buying of food for the week at a place called MegaMaxi, which has a much better selection of food than TIA, which is where we usually go every week.
This past week was a really good one! On Saturday we had the baptism of Ariel, the son of Lucia, who was baptized last week! He was really excited to be baptized, and even told us just after he was baptized that he felt something in his chest. I mentioned to him that "that's the Spirit letting you know you've made an excellent decision." He and his mom will make great members of the Church!
We continue to keep finding people who are pretty interested in hearing about the Gospel. We're lining up quite a few baptisms for the month of October, since the people we have right now haven't attended church with us yet. We keep forgetting that the first weekend in October is General Conference, so we have to hesitantly put the dates for the 8th of October, which seems a little ways away, but it gives us enough time to prepare sufficiently our investigators for baptism, which is important.
Last night we had a fantastic meeting with Elder Juan A. Uceda, of the Seventy in the Centenario Stake Center with all the missionaries in Guayaquil and Milagro. Elder Uceda, who is also the 1st Counselor in the Area Presidency, taught how we can better our study of the scriptures. One example that he gave was the "16 squares" example. It goes something like this: Draw a big 4x4 square, then draw straight lines in the square so that 16 squares appear. Just by looking at it once, you would assume that there are only 16 squares, but think again. Think of the squares you can make with the other squares. We all came to agree that you can see 30 squares. What Elder Uceda explained is that we have to search the scriptures, and not just read them. There are messages in and amongst the scriptures that we don't see only because we read and don't search. We studied D&C 4:2 for probably half an hour with the example he gave. It was a really profound teaching, something that made me want to search and not just read the scriptures. D&C 1:37 is a good reference for that!
I've not seen too many sights of Guayaquil, other than the Malecon 2000 and the Mall del Sur, but we'll try and see some other sights here in the coming weeks. I've not eaten anything out of the ordinary, today's lunch in the Mall's food court was Pizza Hut, something I've not had in quite some time! It was really good!
It is really crazy to think it's been 10 years since 9/11. Not many people made reference to it yesterday, and caught a glimpse of only one newspaper that made mention of it. It doesn't have the same meaning to people here as it does in the States. And yes, I think we'll have to visit Ground Zero when I get back.
Well, got to get going family, but that's my weekly update from Ecuador! More next week!
Love you all and tell everyone hi!
Elder Garrett Cederquist
Misión Ecuador Guayaquil Sur