Monday, January 19, 2015

New Investigator!

Hey mom.

Things are going great.  We finally had someone come to church.  It has been a while. But she is a great investigator and has sincere desires.  So I think she will keep on progressing.  That is one thing that I have been blessed with during my mission.  My health.  I have never really been sick... So that is awesome! I hope that everyone gets better soon.  

Tell Ammon and Shalee congrats on their grades.  How is Shalee doing with basketball?  You will have to tell Daniel and Maclain hi for me when you see them.  I still have a long time before I come home.  Just tell everyone that.  I am soooooo disappointed that I did not get that calendar! If you want to send another one, that would be awesome.  What else was in the package?  I think it would just be better to send me money from now on.  There are a lot of things here that I would not mind buying.  I have to buy a new backpack because mine is falling apart... And some more pants.  I will have to try and find some more quality type.  The ones that I bought are not well made.  Haha maybe that is why they were only like 10 bucks... :)  But other than that I think it will be good until the end of my mission.  

It keeps on creeping closer and closer to the end!! All the sisters from my group are going home in 4 weeks!! So that is pretty crazy! I am super happy to hear that you guys are reading the Book of Mormon every day!! We almost beg the people we teach to read the Book of Mormon because it is so important!  Especially for us as members! Keep on reading!  And get your YW medallion also! Better late than never.  Maybe I will get my duty to god after... I really should have done that.  Thanks for the great email.  Keep me updated on everything.

Elder Guild

Monday, January 12, 2015

Christmas Stolen!!!

Hey mom.

I do have a new companion.  He is Elder Mazzarrelli.  He is pretty cool.  He is from Chile.  He talks super super fast and it is kind of hard to understand him.  Especial because I was talking in English a lot in my last change.  But he is a great missionary and we are going to have a good time together. 

Well about my package... They sent it to my old sector and well my old companion there did not want to take it to the house so he left it in the Church... and the church was robbed... so some person has my package.  I do not know what was in it but I guess I don’t receive Christmas this year.  It is fine.  I am a little irritated with the Elders because I told them to bring it to the mission counsel last week and they didn’t and then it was robbed.  But I guess that is life right?  

This is our Zone

Monday, January 5, 2015

Some Thoughts on Faith (:

Wow that sounds like you guys have been having a pretty good time.  I am glad to hear everything that is going on.  Thanks for the email.  

How does Jacob feel to be 11 years old?  How do you feel to have all your children being older? :)  

This was New Years

This week was a good week.  We have been working with the ward and I feel like we are making progress.  This has probably been one of the hardest times in my mission as far as finding people and having them progress...  But we keep on working and things are going well.  We have changes next week and I don’t want a new companion.  Elder Gebs and I get a long really well.  

We went on divisions this week and I went with the Bishop and a new convert who was just baptized a few weeks ago.  I asked him about his story and how the missionaries found him and everything and it was great!! New converts have such a strong testimony and I feel like he is just burning with the spirit right now.  We are going to take him out on some visits with us this week.  

Well this week we went to an investigators house who likes to listen but really is not that interested to change her religion.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation and it was all very clear and we invited to be baptized and she told us no... And we explained to her the Book of Mormon and everything and in the end she told us that she was born catholic and she was going to die catholic... Well it almost makes me mad or a little impatient I guess you could say. How could you learn all the stuff we teach and read the book of Mormon and still say no?  To me it is hard to say no.  All we do is ask them to ask God if the book of Mormon is true and then they go from an answer that God gives them! All we do is give them direction from God!! And they still say will if I receive an answer I will still not change... so I was thinking about that a lot this week.  Why are people like that??? 

That was the first thing that I was thinking a lot about this week and well the second thing that I was thinking about are all the missionaries in our zone.  We have really great missionaries and I love them all.  But I feel like a lot of them do not really strive to be exactly obedient.  And how some of them do not really work as hard as they could or they are just kind of going with the wind not really pushing themselves and just doing what is asked of them. Why are missionaries like that?  

Well as I was thinking about the people we are teaching and also the Zone it came to me that a big part of it is the faith of people.  So I want to share with you guys some of my studies and thoughts on faith.  One of the phrases that I have read that has really made me think is that everyone knows that faith without works is dead... but what a lot of people don’t know is that works without faith is dead also!! You can do all the work and everything that God would have you do but if you do not do it with faith or if you do not know it is what the lord wants then it will be works without faith and all the work you do will not benefit you.  

In true to the faith it talks a little about faith.  It says " you can exercise faith in Christ when you have an assurance that he exists, a correct idea of his character, and a knowledge that you are striving to live according to his will."  So there are three things that you have to know in order to exercise faith, at least at the biggest degree.  I remember Nephi and his brothers when I think about this kind of faith.  Nephi was always ready to go and do what his father had asked him while his brothers always complained and murmured about the things their father would ask of them.  What do you think the difference is?  I am sure that Laman and Lemuel believed in God.  And I am also sure that they at least knew a little bit about his characteristics... But what they did not know is that their lives that they were doing were in accordance with what the lord wanted!! They did not have a testimony!! It is like we are members of the Church but we do not know if it is true or not.  Or if we are missionaries but we do not know why we are here, what our purpose is, or if this really is what God wants us to be doing.  If we do not know what we are doing is what they lord would want from us then it is hard when we do not have success.  It is hard when door after door gets slammed in your face.  You cannot have full confidence in the lord or yourself if you do not know what you’re doing is in accordance with what the lord wants.  

Here is another Quote from Joseph Smith that had me thinking.  "When a man works by faith he works by mental exertion instead of physical force.  It is by word, Instead of exerting his physical powers, with every being works when he works by faith."  So it is not by our physical works that we show our faith? This had me a little confused.  But as thought about it all my days of football and wrestling came back to me.  The words of Dad came back to me.  He would always tell me how much potential I had and how I need to be confident.  I remember my 6th grade year of wrestling.  Being the only 6th grade kid on the team made me nervous and I did not think that I would be able to accomplish and win that often.  I remember after a tournament being scolded by dad because he said that I was wrestling to not lose and not wrestling to win.  Do you see the difference?  It is in your mind.  Once you get your mind right your heart will follow.  If in your mind you do not know what you are doing is the lords will and you do those things it will benefit you nothing! ( Laman and Lemuel) But if you know that you are doing the things the lord would have you do than that is when you will have faith to move mountains. ( Nephi)  Laman Lemuel and Nephi all did the same things but the results are magnificent.  It is because Nephi had faith while his brothers did not.  His works had faith.  

I hope all of you have a faith to know that God lives and that he loves all of his.  That he is perfect and glorified.  That is the first kind of faith and the easy kind.  I hope all of you can strive to obtain faith to move mountains.  Faith that causes things to happen.  Stay away from doubt.  Doubt leads to discouragement. Discouragement leads to distraction. Distraction leads to lack of diligence.  Lack of diligence leads to disobedient. Disobedience leads to disbelief.  Always be studying the Scripture and the words of the living prophets so that you might have the spirit.  Then pray to know the will of God.  Makes plans to accomplish what the lord wants.  Work with all diligence to accomplish all that the Lord commands.  Once you have done what he has asked of you pray to give him thanks and then pray to know what to do next. 

Well I hope you guys have liked my thought on faith this week.  Sorry if it is a little long.  Love you mom.  Tell everyone that I love them.

Elder Guild

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Well I have decided to write a letter to my family and friends this Christmas.  I hope that all of you enjoy a few of my words.  I would like to take a minute and let you know what I have learned in my time here in Ecuador.  I feel like I just left two weeks ago but here I am in the second year.  The experiences that I have gained and the things that I have learned are beyond my understanding.  I never knew how much I did not know.   (I´m sorry if my spelling is horrible... Spanish is a lot different.)

Well as I ponder about the experiences that I have had the first thing thing that comes to my mind is how I have come to know that God is my loving Heavenly Father.  I remember the first time I really felt Gods love in my life.  It was my second year in High School and I had been working all year to gain that state championship title.  Really i had dedicated my whole life to it since i was little.  But during that second year I put everything on the line.  When the final moments came I did not reach my goal and I was angry.  Everything I had ever worked for during my whole life had seemed to vanish.  I had trusted God.  I obeyed his commandments and I even asked for his help.  But he failed me.  At least that is how I felt.  But the next morning walking into Seminary a little depressed I read the last words that were in my notebook.  As I read what was written there the spirit testified to me that God does love me and he is looking out for me.  The words written were The things that seem like a big deal to us now will not seem like such a big deal later on in life.  Still to this day I do not remember writing that down but it is there.  Another time I have felt Gods love in my life is here on the mission.  I remember walking into the MTC the first day and wondering how I was going to learn to be a missionary if I could not understand spanish!!! Luckly I had a companion who was just as lost as I was.  But then came the day when we got to Ecuador and the people talked in a whole different language then what I had been trying to learn in the MTC.  Those first few weeks I think I will ever forget.  I felt tired lonely, abandonded, mad, and frustrated.  Why was spanish so hard for me?  I felt as if i was in a wrestling match an my oponent had both legs in and was stalling his way out of the first period.  While the other new missionaries would seem to pick it up with ease I was struggling...  It was in this time of confusion and frustration that I turned to the Lord in pray.  I remember praying and praying and then praying some more.  I did everything posible to learn spanish and even though it was not an easy experienceI was able to learn a little more and feel a little more of the love that Heavenly Father has for me.

  28 And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it,saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
 29 And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
 32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them theirknowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency; 33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are with out affection, and they hate their own blood;

40 Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of mine hands.

41 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Enoch, and told Enoch all the doings of the children of men; wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide aseternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook.

The Lord loves me and you. He weeps with us when we weep.  He watches over all of us.  He wants us to have success and to be happy.  I hope whoever reads this kows that God loves them.  If you dont, pray and asked him.  Come unto him and he will come unto you.

The second thing that i would like to share with you that I have learned in my time here is the purpose of life.  I never really understood why I was here what i was doing or where I was going.  I always had goals that helped me progress and build character but they were focused on sports and school and other temporal things.  I never saw the big picture.  As I have learned about the Gospel, I have realized how important this life is.  How we are here to be happy.  How important this time is so we ca prepare ourselves to stand before the Lord to be judged of our acts and the desires of our hearts.  I have learned that if we really put into act the principles of the Gospel when we are presented before the Lord we will see him as he is and we will be like unto him.  We will have been changed.  From what we are now to what the Lord would have us become.  I have thought a lot about who I am now and who I want to become.  I have also thought a lot about how I am going to become that person.  I have never been so humbled by how little i am before God and how much I have to improve in my own life to become the person that I want to be and what the lord wants me to be.  I know that only through Christ we will become changed.  We all can have the hope to become like him.  It is my biggest desire to become the person that the lord wants me to become.  To be changed.  There is only one way.  One doctrine.  And it is through Christ. 

I hope that all of us can come to know this Christmas That God loves us, and why we are here.  Those two things have helped me in my life and they will help all of us on this journey that we are all on.  To end my letter I want to give an invitation to everyone that reads this.  Think of someone else this Christmas.  Someone who might be a little lost or confused in this life.  Maybe someone who does not have what you have. Have we realized the wonderful meaning of christmas? Do we understand what it cost our heavenly Father to give us his son so that we could return to him? 

I think as I read the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Isaac that our Father is trying to tell us what it cost him to give his Son as a gift to the world. You remember the story of how Abraham’s son came after long years of waiting and was looked upon by his worthy sire, Abraham, as more precious than all his other possessions; yet, in the midst of his rejoicing, Abraham was told to take this only son and offer him as a sacrifice to the Lord. He responded. Can you feel what was in the heart of Abraham on that occasion? You love your son just as Abraham did; perhaps not quite so much, because of the peculiar circumstances, but what do you think was in his heart when he started away from Mother Sarah, and they bade her goodbye? What do you think was in his heart when he saw Isaac bidding farewell to his mother to take that three days’ journey to the appointed place where the sacrifice was to be made? I imagine it was about all Father Abraham could do to keep from showing his great grief and sorrow at that parting, but he and his son trudged along three days toward the appointed place, Isaac carrying the fagots that were to consume the sacrifice. The two travelers rested, finally, at the mountainside, and the men who had accompanied them were told to remain while Abraham and his son started up the hill.

The boy then said to his father: “Why, Father, we have the fagots; we have the fire to burn the sacrifice; but where is the sacrifice?”

It must have pierced the heart of Father Abraham to hear the trusting and confiding son say: “You have forgotten the sacrifice.” Looking at the youth, his son of promise, the poor father could only say: “The Lord will provide.”

They ascended the mountain, gathered the stones together, and placed the fagots upon them. Then Isaac was bound, hand and foot, kneeling upon the altar. I presume Abraham, like a true father, must have given his son his farewell kiss, his blessing, his love, and his soul must have been drawn out in that hour of agony toward his son who was to die by the hand of his own father. Every step proceeded until the cold steel was drawn, and the hand raised that was to strike the blow to let out the life’s blood when the angel of the Lord said: “It is enough.”

Our Father in Heaven went through all that and more, for in his case the hand was not stayed. He loved his Son, Jesus Christ, better than Abraham ever loved Isaac, for our Father had with him his Son, our Redeemer, in the eternal worlds, faithful and true for ages, standing in a place of trust and honor, and the Father loved him dearly, and yet he allowed this well-beloved Son to descend from his place of glory and honor, where millions did him homage, down to the earth, a condescension that is not within the power of man to conceive. He came to receive the insult, the abuse, and the crown of thorns. God heard the cry of his Son in that moment of great grief and agony, in the garden when, it is said, the pores of his body opened and drops of blood stood upon him, and he cried out: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me.”

I ask you, what father and mother could stand by and listen to the cry of their children in distress, in this world, and not render aid and assistance? I have heard of mothers throwing themselves into raging streams when they could not swim a stroke to save their drowning children, rushing into burning buildings, to rescue those whom they loved.

We cannot stand by and listen to those cries without its touching our hearts. The Lord has not given us the power to save our own. He has given us faith, and we submit to the inevitable, but he had the power to save, and he loved his Son, and he could have saved him. He might have rescued him from the insult of the crowds. He might have rescued him when the crown of thorns was placed upon his head. He might have rescued him when the Son, hanging between the two thieves, was mocked with, “Save thyself, and come down from the cross. He saved others; himself he cannot save.” He listened to all this. He saw that Son condemned; he saw him drag the cross through the streets of Jerusalem and faint under its load. He saw that Son finally upon Calvary; he saw his body stretched out upon the wooden cross; he saw the cruel nails driven through hands and feet, and the blows that broke the skin, tore the flesh, and let out the life’s blood of his Son. He looked upon that.

In the case of our Father, the knife was not stayed, but it fell, and the life’s blood of his Beloved Son went out. His Father looked on with great grief and agony over his Beloved Son, until there seems to have come a moment when even our Savior cried out in despair: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

In that hour I think I can see our dear Father behind the veil looking upon these dying struggles until even he could not endure it any longer; and, like the mother who bids farewell to her dying child, has to be taken out of the room, so as not to look upon the last struggles, so he bowed his head, and hid in some part of his universe, his great heart almost breaking for the love that he had for his Son. Oh, in that moment when he might have saved his Son, I thank him and praise him that he did not fail us, for he had not only the love of his Son in mind, but he also had love for us. I rejoice that he did not interfere, and that his love for us made it possible for him to endure to look upon the sufferings of his Son and give him finally to us, our Savior and our Redeemer. Without him, without his sacrifice, we would have remained, and we would never have come glorified into his presence. And so this is what it cost, in part, for our Father in Heaven to give the gift of his Son unto men.

How do I appreciate the gift?

I hope all of us might reach out our hands and share this message with the world.  When we give our life to the Lord and when we make sacrifices for him we can show unto him that we appreciate his Son and the gift that we all celebrate during Christmas.  I know that Christ lives.
Have a merry Christmas!

Love you guys,

Elder Guild

Sunday, December 14, 2014

We get to watch a movie!!!

Transformers 4?

They do celebrate Christmas here but it is not near as big.  They don't do gifts or any of that.  The celebration for the new year is a lot bigger.  Christmas is more of just a normal day.

Hey mom,

Sounds like everything is going just fine back in the valley. 
I am doing good this week.  We have a lot of work to do in the ward and in the zone.  Today we are going to Quito to have a meeting with all the leaders to talk about how the mission is doing.  It should go well.  Elder Gebs and I are excited because we get to choose a movie to watch on the bus.  President gives us permission to buy movies for the buses because sometimes they play bad movies.  We are thinking of Transformers 4!! Haha but we will have to see.  The sector that I am in is really big.  I am still trying to learn where I am at and everything but.  We pretty much have half of otavalo because all the Latinos have their own ward and there are only two Latino wards that speak Spanish here.  My companions parents live in Evanston.  He told me that they lived in Trevor's ward but they moved and now they live in the other stake.  But still in Evanston.  He said that he knew Annie also.  Everything is good here.  Tell everyone hi for me! 
Love ya,

Elder Guild

Monday, December 1, 2014

My Companion is from Wyoming!!!!!

Hey mom! Just wanted to remind you that I am going to get on later today to write.  I have a new companion and he is from Wyoming!! His name is Elder Gebs and he is from Evanston!! He used to live in the ward that Trevor and Sian would go to but he said his parents moved! Love ya

Elder Guild

Hey mom
Well it sounds like things for the most part are going well.  Except for Ammon's shoulder.  I really hope that is turns out alright. It is pretty funny to be with someone from Wyoming but at the same time it is pretty cool.  I am excited for this change.  we are in a word with only Latinos and that will be really nice.  Mainly because we all talk the same language!! And so the teaching will be a little bit easier.  I have not seen any of the sector really but from what Elder Gebs tells me it is a mountain so that will be fun!! Also there are some weights that some elders have made out of cement so that is pretty cool too!! I finally bought some new pants today and I think I am going to buy a few more pair next week too because the ones that I have are getting pretty scary looking.  
I am glad that you had a good Thanksgiving.  I forgot all about it until a sister told me!! They don’t really do anything for it here.   love you
Elder Guild

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cool Experience!

Hey mom 
My companion were running around all day today doing things for the zone so I do not have that much time to write... I am doing good! Everything is good here in Iluman.  We had some pretty spiritual experiences this week.  

First we have had an investigator coming to church for about two months now and we finally got to teach him this week and we had a lesson with him in the church.  It was super awesome!! When we shared the first vision the spirit was super strong and he told us that he has never felt anything like it!! He could not explain how he felt!! IT was awesome and now he has a baptismal date for the 24!! 

Then we had some new investigators and during our first lesson I had the feeling to tell them that people might tell them stuff that are not true about the church but they just need to read the book of Mormon and pray about it and trust in God.  Well the next time we went there he came and met us at the door and told us he did not want anything to do with us and would not explain to us why... he told us that he would not read the book and would not pray.  So that was kind of hard but I really feel like the Lord is guiding us in our work. 

 Then we were teaching a less active member and she told us that she had a dream the night before we contacted her where her husband who died told her she was on the wrong road and that she needed to get on the right one.. Then me and my companion contacted her in the street!! So that was pretty cool!! Really I know that I am here in the lords work!! 

Elder Guild