Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Week 15- This Sunday was great.

We went to Iliana´s baptism this week in Montecristi. The whole time we were singing or that someone was bearing their testimony, the bishop and one of the counselors was talking. Loudly. The person who was chosen to speak about baptism came to the front, read for less than a minute something taken from Gospel Principles about baptism, slapped on "In The Name of Jesus Christ. Amen", and sat down. The water was dirty, so many things were wrong. But despite all of that, there was no denying the fact that Iliana was the most perfect person in that room the second she got out of the water.

This entire week we went with a couple who are in their late 60s. The man, Cides, hasn´t been to church in over a decade. His wife usually asists, and she is the one who is making lunch for us on Wednesdays this month. Cides was sitting down with us eating, and we got talking. We´ve gone and seen him and his wife every other day for the past two weeks. This week we saw the fruit of our labors. I can honestly say that the happiest moment of my life was this Sunday seeing his wife sitting side by side with her husband. Seeing him take the sacrament, and start the process for forming an eternal family. It all started from the moment we arrived at the church building this Sunday and saw a kid sitting outside. He ran up to us and said "My grandpa came to church"! We couldn´t believe it. We walked inside to greet all of the people waiting for Sacrament meeting to start, and we couldn´t believe that Cides and Teresa were there together. I know that Teresa felt what we felt that sacrament meeting when their grandson stood on the podium during the primary program and shared a gospel principle. I know that they both felt it when their grandson would stand up and sing the primary hymns. And I know that everyone else there felt it, too.

Kids are so perfect. So innocent. So Christlike. I looked and I reminisced. I couldn´t believe that I had started out as one of them, and that I had grown up to be a missionary. This Sunday was great.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 14- Transfers have come and gone!

Transfers have come and gone! Elder Moore and I will be spending another 6 weeks at least together. I´m glad, because we are finally getting in the rhythm of things, and are working together in unity. I know that we´ll be an instrument in bringing to pass great things here in these six weeks.

Last P-Day we had a Family Home Evening with a member family, the Ward Mission Leader and his Wife, and a couple that we are teaching. We acted out the story of Nefi going to retrieve the Brass Plates. It was sick.

 Our investigators loved it, and they are making real progress. I don´t remember if I´ve already talked about them, but his name is Carlos, and he has been going to church every Sunday since we started teaching him. He already knows that things we teach are true. He´s felt a real answer from heavenly father, and he wants to be baptized. His girlfriend´s name is Genesis. She was baptized when she was 8, and hasn´t gone to church since the beggining of time. We are working to reactivate her, to baptize him, to get them married, to get them sealed with their daughter for time and all eternity, and to help them endure to the end. It took me a while, but I know that his is not a baptizing mission. This is a mission where we help families get to the Temple so they can make everlasting covenants with God.

This week we had exchanges again. AGAIN Elder Blanco came here, and Elder Moore went to work in Eloy Alfaro. I´m really happy that Elder Humphries and Elder Blanco are still in my zone and that we meet as a zone every week.

I´m so thankful that I will have hot water to shower in for another transfer. Elder Moore said that we have the only hot water in the zone. We went to Monecristi on Sunday so that Elder Moore could interview one of the sisters´ investigators for baptism. She is having surgery this week, and we gave her a blessing of health.

Oh, and something really funny happened this week. Elder Moore and I were walking down the street, when we passed some police vehicles in the middle of the road. As we kept walking, we noticed more a crowd of people standing on both sides of us. We continued walking, and the number of people on each side increased. After about 5 minutes of walking, we were worried about how we were going to get out of the street. We looked at the sea of people on either side of us when suddenly, we heard a drum line. We looked ahead, and beheld countless of young cheerleaders dancing heading straight toward us. We panicked! "Oh no, we can´t see this!" "Oh no, there are people here that are going to wonder what two Elders are doing watching this parade!" We both did a 180 turn, and beheld an old woman standing in the sea of people. She beckoned to us, saying, "Come this way!" We hurried to her, and a gap opened up between all of the people. We were free. A few minutes later we had dinner, and I tried salchipapas for the first time. They were too good.

Elder Naranja

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 13 - Another week, another destiny!

Another week, another destiny! This week we ended up having exchanges with the Elders from Eloy Alfaro. I was put with Elder Blanco, from Bolivia. He was really cool, and it was a good learning experience for me :) And I only got us lost like 3 times! But we got to all of our appointments, and got along swimmingly.

Elder Caicedo is with us right now in a temporary trioship while his companion is in Guayaquil. Apparently, he knows Dallin from the MTC. Small world.

Last Monday, we had a Family Home Evening at an Investigators house. We watched The Restoration and snacked on some Cheesecake Oreo Balls that we made for them. They were TOO good. At the end of the night, we asked one of the investigators to do the prayer, and he almost started to cry as he prayed. On Sunday he shared this experience with us and told us he finally knew what the Holy Ghost felt like.

Also, I´m not sick anymore! All in all, it´s been a pretty great week. Elder Moore and I have started planning differently every day, and it´s working out a lot better for us. We had to drop Arnaldo :( It was sad, but we´re planning on visiting him again in a few weeks.

This week, we found a woman named Narcissa. She was visiting her parents here in Manta from Quito. Apparently, the Mission Offices or Mission Home in Quito are right above her home! Super weird! She said they always invite her to church, but she´s never gone. We´ve taught her like 3 different lessons and she LOVES our messages! We got her info and are referring her to the missionaries in Quito :)

Our singing doesn´t sound quite as well with Elder Caicedo with us, but it´s all good as long as they can feel the Spirit.

Elder Najera and Elder Blanco

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 12 Simple Pleasures: Zone Conference, Carls Jr., Despicable Me and finding Israel.

Let me just start off by saying that being sick while on the mission is not my cup of tea. I`ve been having "Tummy Problems". And I`ve finally learned what it`s like to use another person`s bathroom in a third world country.  Not pleasant.  Anyway! This week was exciting. We had a Multi Zone Conference and got to hear our mission president talk. He was powerful. I realized just what a blessing it is to speak Spanish and English fluently.

I also realized how weird it is for two white guys to be together. Elder Moore and I were the only ones. There was ANOTHER Elder Najera. Though not so white. I got a picture with him :)

This Monday we stopped buy Carl`s Jr. to get some food and got to eat it while watching Despicable Me with the whole zone :) I was super happy.

I`ve been told that we`re supposed to be "Looking for Israel" Well... We found him! This week we found a guy named Israel, and we've been teaching him and his girlfriend Gabriela. We also talked about marriage with them and they have been the first couple I`ve seen actually have the desire tobe married! Most couples here are together for a long time and have kids but never bother to get married. That's been our biggest struggle this week with all of the people we`ve taught. Keep praying for us!

Multi Zone Conference


Elder Najera and Elder Najera
Simple pleasures of Carls Jr.

And Despicable Me