This week we had a baptism! He is a chosen spirit and was ready to hear the Gospel. His name is Lorenzo Vince, 41 years old, and the nephew of a recent convert that my companion, Hna. Reyes baptized back in May or June 2011. I remember when we first started teaching him. We were in our weekly planning session and I suggested we look into teaching nonmembers of the part member families. Lorenzo Vince came to my mind. Now he is baptized. It was one of the most spiritual baptisms that I have attended, although I have only had two baptisms in the mission.
When we went to go pass by Lorenzo´s house to pick him up for the baptism on Saturday at 6:30 pm, we were walking on the main street called Quito and walking toward us was the entire family in their Sunday best. This was unheard of because normally we have to drag them to the baptism from their house. The grandparents of Petita even came to the baptism at 7 pm after they told us they were leaving Saturday morning to return home. Obviously they wanted to support Lorenzo. I am including a picture with this email of the baptism. Maybe I will start a tradition to send a baptismal picture after every baptism. We have had a lot of success in the Bolivar sector in my first transfer.
We have a few more baptismal dates lined up for February 11, Christina Carrascal, and February 28, Catarina Flores (we found contacting yesterday). Transfers are next week or the second week of February though. I hope I can stay to see them get baptized, but I will go where the mission president receives inspiration that I should go, and with which companion I should be with. It is his work that I do, not my own. I really love the people here and labor hard to help them enter in at the door of baptism so they can gain eternal life.
On Sunday, the bishop taught the lesson in a combined Relief Society and Elders Quorum lesson. He shared the promise that Gordon B. Hinckley gave in 2005 about the Book of Mormon. He is encouraging everyone to read the Book of Mormon in our ward. He shared Pres. Hinckley´s promise that if we read the Book of Mormon every day, we shall receive a greater portion of the Holy Spirit personally and as a family. He specifically shared 2 Nephi 32:3 which says the words of Christ will tell you all things that ye should do. Wow! I can find every answer to life´s problems in the scriptures. Maybe not the exact answer, but by reading the Book of Mormon and focusing on the impressions of the Spirit, I know your mind and mine can be enlightened to receive the answer we seek. Hence reading the scriptures is the portal to receiving personal revelation, as a General Authority stated in the last General Conference. That is my spiritual thought for the week. And I know that is true!
Alright, I am using a different cyber so the picture didn´t download and I am not going to waste too much time to figure it out. I promise to send it to you next week.
Lastly, I want to share two cultural things about Ecuador that I learned this week. First, I ate cerviche at a member´s house. It is a dish that has shrimp or can be eaten with any sort of meat. I challenge you to google it when you get the chance. Maybe you can make it in your spare time to have a Latino experience like I am having down here everyday. It is very good. Second, every month there is a holiday. In January, I explained how they celebrated the new year with the munecos. In February, they have Carnival. Think the movie Rio which takes place in Brazil. From what I have heard, it is like the Tomatina in Spain, but they hose you with lots of water. Maybe you can google it and tell me more. I will let you know what I hear from the natives. I am taking lots of pictures to show you all when I get home.
One last thing, Catarina Flores which we started teaching yesterday, Hma. Chamberlain taught her when she was in this sector. Please let her know I found her again and we hope to baptize her. Her mother´s name is Blanca. It has been a year that she hasn´t had the missionaries teach her but she loves having them over to hear the word.
Please take care of yourselves. Love you all. Nathan, good luck getting settled in Colorado. Stephanie, there is a letter coming in the mail this week for you. I learned mail only takes 10 day to get to the US from here, but a month from the US to here. Strange.
Love you all,
Melanie or Hermana Forbush