October 26, 2016


Los Vergeles, Ecuador


Elder Arenas

12 Weeks in the Mission!!

Hey family and friends! Thank you for all the prayers and thoughts and concerns for me and the work here in Ecuador. It continues to go forward!

Tuesday. We had a meeting with the Mission President. I asked him a question about if someone doesn't feel worthy to be baptized - because this is a concern of one of our investigators. He taught me in Moroni 10:32 that if we come unto Christ, turn our back on sin and love God by keeping his commandments then we are worthy because we are justified by the grace of Christ. Later he asked me to practice giving the first vision. I did it and I tried to be as sincere as possible and invite the spirit. When I recited the first vision, the spirit testified powerfully. Later that day we visited Brian. We were trying to figure out why he was nervous for baptism. In that moment I had a clear yet small thought pass through my mind, ¨Worthy.¨ We asked him and sure enough that was the problem. He doesn't feel worthy for baptism. He hasn't told us why but that it is something personal and he has avoided it for a month. I shared with him Moroni 10:32 and we testified that through the grace of Christ he can be worthy.

Wednesday we had exchanges. It was in my sector and I could not find very many places for some reason. We got lost so many times. We were supposed to do service but I could not find the place so we walked for 2 hours looking without success. Later when I was feeling pretty bad, we met with a family that is moving to Esmeraldas. We taught them and afterwords they thanked me sincerely. There had been a change in them. They attended church last Sunday and they now are happy. The message of the gospel can lift and change people.

Thursday we met with one of our investigators and she is progressing really quickly and is really receptive. We found out today that she drinks coffee every morning. We are going to help her change this so that she can be baptized. Later we met with a family where the father lived in New York. To be honest, it was a little difficult to carry a long conversation in English. It was the weirdest thing.

Friday we had an appointment with Jorge Sanchez. We could not schedule an appointment with him for the longest time but thankfully we could visit him. I was able to apply the lesson to his needs through the spirit. When I taught, it was not about what I knew and if I am saying the words right but it was about him and what he needs to hear. It was so great. Later we visited Pamela Castro and her brother. We taught them Lesson 1 and they both accepted the baptismal invitation. I promised that if they read the Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 11 that they would receive an answer if the church was true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet.

Saturday. The majority of the appointments fell through, yet I felt happy. I think it is because I am starting to listen to people and care for them. I am able to feel more love for them. I believe the Lord will continue to add to my abilities and help me strengthen the gifts he is giving me. Saturday was a success in my mind.

Sunday was decent. The best part of the day was the Sacrament. I was able to feel the spirit strongly as I was thinking about the Atonement and the Resurrection. I am grateful that we will receive a body again that is perfect. Because of this we will be able to stand in the presence of God to be judged. This week we only had 4 investigators come but this is not bad. Later I was able to help an 18 year old answer a question of how do I control my anger. I studied this and I found a scripture in 1 Samuel 26:8-11. We need to think of our eternal perspective. Can we stand blamelessly in the presence of God? He thanked me for my efforts and what I am doing to help him. I gave him a blessing on Saturday. I am working hard and am able to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands in Los Vergeles.
Thank you all again!

Scriptures: Moroni 10:32, 1 Nephi 6:4, JSH 1:16-17, 1 Samuel 26:8-11, 2 Nephi 2:27

Elder Smith


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Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission

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