Garrett in front of the Guayaquil Temple

Monday, September 19, 2011

19 Sep 2011 Police Raid Ward Council Meeting!

Hello family from a really nice, air-conditioned Cyber really close to our house here in Guayaquil! Wow, this week has been really crazy, back and forth trying to get people prepared for baptism! Our goal this week is to get the Rodriguez family, who we've been teaching for about a month now, baptized this Friday. They are excited for baptism and it's amazing to hear their testimonies and how they've grown in the short time we've known them. The Gospel really does change people, I see it every day here! Both Elder Badger and I have worked our tails off this week, and the next two weeks are sure to be just the same. This transfer has flown by, and I owe it all to being happy all the time and not worrying so much about how many people we have to teach and how many new investigators we have to find. Those things come just by being diligent I've learned.

The people we are teaching now are fantastic! This is one of the reasons I've been really happy, is because I know they want to progress and prepare themselves for baptism. Another reason is because the members are giving us that extra boost in visiting our investigators with us. It is something small, but has a BIG effect on things (Alma 37:6-7).

To respond to the request of how are things in the house and what not, first I must apologize, I don't have any pictures to send this week, but next week I'll send some of the house and how we're holding up. The house is modern, and it's one of the nicest ones in the mission. But here in a few weeks we'll be having to move houses because the mission is trying to get just two missionaries in every house, and the house we'll be moving into isn't as nice as the house now, but at least it's somewhere to live! My bedding is holding up well, as are my clothes. Yes, I did receive my Crocs and French BoM, so everything got here in one piece! 

One experience that was unusual happened just over a week ago. We were in a meeting with the Ward Council talking about the work we're doing with our investigators and less-actives, when all of a sudden about 10 police officers coming storming into the building with guns drawn looking for a thief, thinking he had entered and was trying to hide. Well, he wasn't there, but the cops, one armed with an assault rifle, cleared the Chapel and then went elsewhere to look for this guy. They arrested the guy about 20 minutes later. That was a first for me, but the cops did their job, so nothing bad happened. That was something I wasn't going to share, because I didn't want to frighten anyone, but it falls under the unusual category! I'll make sure to write down in my journal some things that I see and remember them for next Monday.

P-Days are pretty normal. Today we're going with our District to watch the DVD "The District 2," which shows some of the teaching techniques in real-life situations. We'll also be playing UNO, as one of the Elders has that with him. What we do on P-Day mainly depends on what we ask permission to do (yes, it seems a little childish to have to ask to do things, but mainly to prevent a large group of missionaries meeting up in one place or another.) For example, we went to the Mall del Sur last week, next week we'll try to go to another place called RioCentro. RioCentro has Baskin Robbins, so we want to go there for that, and to do our shopping as well!

I'm very sad to hear that President Whetten passed away. He helped me a lot in the MTC in Lima in getting used to things and overcoming the tough times I had there. He was a great servant of the Lord while here on the Earth. I'm glad I was able to meet him.

Well, that's my report for the week, and I promise next week I'll get some photos sent off to give you more a view of the mission life!

Love you all, enjoy the week and I'll write you next week!

Elder Garrett Cederquist
MisiĆ³n Ecuador Guayaquil Sur

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