October 3, 2016


Los Vergeles, Ecuador


Elder Arenas

Week 3!!!

Hi family and friends,

Thank you all so much for your prayers and concerns for me. At times, I have felt the power of the Lord lift me this week. I know He lives and has sacrificed Himself for my sake and the world´s and I am so grateful that I can come unto Him through repentance and become clean and free of guilt.

Monday. After p-day we visited a man named Hermano Roque. He is a carpenter that lives in a shack on the side of a highway. He invited us in and told him all about his problems which I could not understand. I wanted to do something but I didn't know what I could do. I felt that I could share Psalms 23 with him. Then I felt that I should share the experience about my basketball coach. I did exactly that. I told him how in the depths of my sorrows, Christ lifted me. I testified of Him and His mercy and love he has for each one of us. Hermano Roque started to cry and I held back tears. After this he shared his conversion story and I could understand every word he said with exactness. I know that I was given the gift of interpretation of tongues at that moment.

Tuesday was good. I tried practicing street contacting and I was able to deliver a message that was personal to the person I was talking with. He had hope in his eyes. I even thought this was a fake investigator that I was practicing with.- haha! I loved that experience and I love how he seemed to have found what he was looking for.

Wednesday. We did a service project today which was the weirdest service I have ever done. We were assigned with emptying the baptismal font. The problem was that the drain was clogged. We took mop buckets and trash cans and filled them with water and emptied them outside. That was a long walk so we emptied the full buckets of water into the toilets. We spent almost 2 hours doing this process and the water stunk! At the end we were so tired. But I felt so good serving. I love serving! That is the Character of Christ. Turning outward when the regular man would turn inward. I am definitely not this best example of that but I am trying to be more like Him.

Thursday was pretty good. We taught two girls 17 and 16 who we met on Monday. One of them seemed a little disinterested but the other focused on the message intensely. I hope she chooses to follow the example of Christ and be baptized.

Friday we did not have a great day. All of our appointments fell through but 2 including the our lessons with our progressing investigators. We only were able to teach one lesson and share a spiritual thought with someone and ask for references.

Saturday was awesome. The morning was interesting. We got called to help some ward members move but it turned out that they hadn't even bought the house yet. We went house-hunting for an hour and a half. I never thought I would do that in Guayaquil but eventually we told them that we had to go to conference.
Conference was amazing. I felt so peaceful while listening to it. The English-speaking missionaries thankfully were able to watch in English. We watched the first session on a smartphone in a plastic container to boost the sound. It was great. I got out of the first day that guilt is a good sign that we need to change but is not a good motivator. This made me ponder a little bit.

Sunday was great as well. We had 2 investigators show up. It was awesome. They sat with their member friends and I wasn't able to talk with them afterwards because they left quickly. I assume that they liked it. I like during the conference the talks on Repentance. Repentance is a necessary step. We came to this Earth knowing that we would sin and mess up but we also knew that we would have a Savior who would overcome all our shortcomings and would allow for us to grow. I love repentance now. It is a way where I can turn to Christ and feel joy. It is a joyful thing and I am so thankful for it.

Thank you all again for your support and prayers
Elder Smith


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