Well hello family from what has been a cloudy Naranjito, Ecuador this past week. Cloudy may have been the weather, but the work of the Lord was sunny this past week! It's been a week of adjusting and getting everything in order, and even a BAPTISM!!! Elder Bohorquez and his last companion had been working with a lady named Viviana, whose dad is a member, for a couple of weeks, and she had accepted a baptismal date for this past Saturday, so it was yet another freebie baptism for me, but that's ok, because it's yet another soul coming unto Christ, the most important part of it all. I do have photos, but I left my camera in the house, so next week you'll get photos of the baptism on Saturday AND the baptism we are going to have this Saturday of a lady named Bella (yes, that means Beautiful in English, just in case you were curious).
This week we found some people who are pretty interested in hearing the Gospel. One is named Julio, who we found last Tuesday. Julio is a pretty cool guy. He commented to us that he feels a little bit lost in life, and wants to straighten things out, and the Gospel is the perfect tool for doing that. When we taught him, he really was attentive, and he mentioned he felt good about what we had discussed. We invited him to pray, and he gave a genuine, heartfelt prayer, one of the best I've heard in quite some time. The Spirit was present, it was an incredible feeling. While he was a little hesitant to accept a baptismal date, we helped explain that when someone feels the feelings as he did, it's the Spirit talking, confirming the truthfulness of the message, and that one should act on those feelings to receive even more of those feelings from the Spirit. Acting, in this case, is baptism, for a remission of sins and to have a constant companion in the Holy Ghost after being confirmed. The goal is for his baptism to be on the 26th of this month, so we'll keep working with him, helping him prepare for baptism.
While I thought Naranjito would be pretty hot in terms of weather, it really wasn't. Yes, it was muggy, but not as hot as it was when I was in Guayaquil, so that's a bonus. There's only four missionaries here in Naranjito, and we live together, as we all work in the same Branch. For our district meetings, we have to travel 20-25 minutes in bus to Milagro, which isn't the most exciting thing, as many people travel from Naranjito to Milagro on a daily basis, so the buses are usually full. But overall things are good here, the members are a good help for us, and even in a short time being here, I've gotten to establish a good friendship with some of them. Today is also the beginning of a new transfer, but no changes came for us here in Naranjito, so all is normal.
And changes in the Stake, huh? To me it doesn't make much sense in moving chapels as like half our ward lives a minute away! I'm not too surprised that those changes are happening, the stake was growing really fast! Any word on what other wards will be in the new building with ours?
Well family, that's about all from this week in the mission field. As promised, I'll get you some pictures next week from the baptisms and some sights, and more experiences from Naranjito.
Love you all, have an excellent week!
Elder Garrett Cederquist
Misión Ecuador Guayaquil Sur