Monday, February 29, 2016

Week Twenty-five: The Atonement "for each and everyone of us"

Hola mi familia!

It's always hard to believe that another week has come and gone! The time is passing by too quickly! I can't believe tomorrow is March! I feel like it was just Christmas!

This week was a great one! We had 19 new investigators!!! What?! That's crazy you say! I know! It's insane. Well. It's not impossible. Nothing is impossible in this work. But it is a pretty great number. We both broke personal records. Not that it's about the numbers but it is so great to be able to find more people that Heavenly Father knows can progress and enjoy of the blessings of the Gospel.

It's getting really hard to type in English...sorry if it's not making too much sense grammatically. 

Another miracle we had this week was that we found the husband of Emilda! We finally got to teach him! He is never home and he doesn't really like religion but he wants the best for his family. It was so great to finally be able to get to know him and gain more of his trust. He's really quiet but little by little he'll open up to us more and one day they'll get married and then the whole family, Alejandro included, will be baptized and then a year later they'll get sealed! Ah! The Gospel is the BEST!

Guess who's getting baptized! Ines!!!! She's the one that has a really hard time understanding and didn't really get an education. Well we found out that she needed to take care of some family issues to be able to really experience the repentance process and she told us it would be about a month before she would be able to take care of everything but she went last week to resolve things and she's going to have her interview in an hour! We have planned to have her baptism this Saturday!!!! Wow I am so excited for her. She stood up in Gospel Principles on Sunday and told everyone she was going to get baptized. She's the best. We're just going to pray that everything goes well. 

I also had the opportunity to give a talk on Sunday in the ward on testimonies. It was nerveracking but really cool too! When I sat down afterwards I thought back to the first talk I gave when I was in the MTC and I am so grateful to have the gift of tongues to be able to learn and progress with the language. It's nice that things flow so much easier now and that speaking English is harder than Spanish. The gift of tongues is so real!

I have learned so much in this first week of the transfer but what has resonated the most is the importance of the Atonement and the life of our Savior Jesus Christ. I am so extremely grateful for what He did for each and every one of us and I can't imagine what my life would be life without Him! I never feel the spirit stonger in the lessons with the investigators than when we are testifying of Him. We are here because of Him and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to carry His name over my heart each and every day. I hope that we can all carry His name in our hearts more and more throughout our lives each and every day. 

I hope all is well with each and every one of you!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Beutler

P.S. Alma 5.48

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week Twenty-four: Zone Conference & Transfers

Hola mi familia!
I don't have a ton of time so I'll make this fast but we had changes yesterday! Oh man I am so sad to have said goodbye to Hermana Morán but we knew it would happen eventually. We just thought we were going to be able to have one more transfer together! We saw so much progress in the ward and in the people and we have so many plans to help these people continue progressing but I'll just have to carry on the work with my new companion Hermana Corado! She's from Guatemala and she has a little over a year in the mission! She seems like a really hard worker and I can't wait to start teaching and getting back into the swing of things!

We were in Quito again this past weekend for divisions and so we haven't had that much time for our own sector but I´m so excited to have a full week of work ahead of us.

Emilda came to church this week!!!!!! It is such a miracle! We are just hoping and praying that we´ll be able to teach her husband so we can help them progress and so that Alejandro can get baptized! I am so happy for them! She told us that she is seeing a lot of changes in her home and in her husband! We haven't even taught him yet but through her example he is doing better! The gospel changes lives! It is so great!!!!

We also had a less active family at church this past week that we had been visiting the whole change but weren't coming. They finally came! I am so grateful for miracles! I know that it's from the fast we did last week that we've seen so many great miracles!

We had ward council this past week, which is usually quite a struggle to get through, and it was SO great this Sunday! The ward is progressing so much and they are focusing more on missionary work! Little by little we are helping them get better and it is so great to see the impact the Lord's work is having on the people here in Santo Domingo!

Sorry this email is a short one but just know that I am so grateful to be a missionary serving here in Ecuador. It's the best thing in the world. There's nothing quite like it.

A picture from the other week that I didn´t get a chance to send. Gabriel, Josselyn, and Belén

Zona Santo Domingo. Sorry it´s blurry and the Elders are going crazy. This is the best one I got.

Hermana Morán!!!!! She´s the best!!!!!!!!!!!

La mamita Sonia! She brought us breakfast this morning in the terminal! She´s the best! She reminds me so much of my Grandma B!

The other hermanas in Santo Domingo! They all left me today!! 

Saying goodbye to my polaca sister! Ah I´m going to miss her so much!!!!!!!

I love you all so much!
Hermana Beutler

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Week Twenty-three - An apostle in Ecuador

Hola mi familia!

This week has been AMAZING! Probably one of the hardest weeks as well. Carnaval was this past monday and tuesday, and we couldn't leave the house at all unless we had a really scheduled appointment, which is pretty impossible here, so we didn't teach much. Then we just had Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning to work because Friday afternoon we travelled to Quito. 

And I have been so so so very excited to tell you all why! I'll start by saying that there is nothing like the feeling of when an apostle looks you in the eyes and you can tell he is seeing everything in your soul. 

We had the great privilege to have Elder Jeffrey R. Holland come speak to our mission this past weekend! Wow. I still feel like it didn't really happen as I type this out. But I promise it really did happen! Maybe some of you aren't going to believe me but oh man it was like a dream! Elder Holland is here in Ecuador for two weeks and it´s the best thing ever! I can't hardly begin to express how amazing it was to be in the presence of a true disciple of the Lord. When he got to the chapel we were waiting in the outside gym ready to take a picture and as he walked down the stairs we sang called to serve. Wow. The spirit that he brought was like a heat wave! 

I learned so much from this experience and know that I have so much to fix and be better at to live up to the expectations our leaders and our Savior has for us.   

I found out at the conference that Paty (my investigator from Ambato) really did get baptized! She had been investigating the church for three years and we had her baptismal interview right before I left and I was really sad to miss her baptism but I was more nervous that she would flake out again but she didn't! She got baptized!!!!!! Oh my I am so happy for her! I also found out that Pamela is doing super well in her calling in the church and everything! The gospel changes lives and miracles are real! Wow! 

I feel so blessed to be a part of this work! We saw a miracle this week! One of our investigators who we felt would have a hard time progress told us only after two lessons with her that she talked to her husband and he wants to get married so they can get baptized! WHAT!? That never happens here! So many miracles! We also found out that there is a guy named Javier who has been asisting to church for a couple weeks now without anyone visiting him. He just showed up because he is seeking more peace and happiness in his life and he feels like he can find it in the church! Well he is so right! Turns out he lives in our sector! We thought he was an investigator of the elders but no! We are so excited for him and he has a date to be baptized on the 27th of this month! 

I can't even describe all that I have felt and learned this week but I just want to say to all of you that I know without a doubt in my mind and I feel with every fiber of my being that Jesus Christ lives, that our Heavenly Father loves us so much, that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God, the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and we have a living prophet and twelve apostles who are truly disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. I love this work and can't imagine being anywhere else doing anything else. I just hope that Hermana Morán and I get to stay together for this next change! 

Stay tuned for more miracles and transfers next week! I love you all and hope you have an amazing miracle filled week! 

God loves you! 

Con todo mi amor, 
Hermana Beutler 

P.S. 2 Nephi 4:20-21 (my ponderizing scripture this week!)

My other addiction from Ecuador.  Polaca.  We are not quite sure what is in it, but it is basically like drinking sweetened condensed milk.  Or in other words, the best thing on planet earth.
I got the packages!!!!! On Thursday I got the one that took forever during our zone conference and the next day we were in Quito and my Valentine´s day package was there just in time! It came in just one month! How crazy! Thank you so much! I am so grateful for you guys! And the socks mom are literally a life saver! I really needed those! 
View of Quito from the nurses apartment in the morning
Reunited with my mom Hermana Chipana!!!!!!! I missed her so much!
​In the elevator on the way to see Elder Holland! So exciting!
​Me and my awesome companion!
With the two other hermanas of Santo Domingo eating breakfast in Quito!
We fasted all day Sunday (which we don´t normally do but we were travelling home from quito on saturday so we had to) and we ended our fast this morning with a good traditional plate of Ecuadorian clasics. Rice, eggs, and patacones(double fried is an addiction of mine now).

​Me and Josselyn, the cutest little girl on the planet. She just turned 6 :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week Twenty-two: The married people miracle!

Hola mi querida familia! 

I can´t believe I´m already sitting down to write you all again! This week passed by so quickly! My favorite weeks are the weeks when P-Day comes so quickly it catches you by surprise and I was definitely caught by surprise this week! So many great things happened this past week. To start off I´ll share about Fe de Febrero or Faith of February.

So as a mission for the months of February and March we will be doing a challenge of President Christensen. 

As a mission we will: 
- Read the Book of Mormon from start to finish focusing in and studying the word and doctrine of Remember 
- Do 15 or more contacts daily 
- Do a mission fast - Repent and fix something we aren´t following in the mission handbook 
- Develop one of the Christlike attributes from Preach My Gospel 

 I am so excited for this and as a companionship we have all seen so much progress in ourselves and so many miracles! 

 So this week are miracle has definitely been the miracle of the married people! One I got called to serve in Santo Domingo the first thing they told me was to learn how to drop people when they aren't progressing or get really good at getting people married. More often than not because getting married here isn't financially possible for everyone, the first option is what we usually have to go with, which is really hard for us because we love these people so much! Well these past two weeks have been amazing with Fe de Febrero.When the zone leaders told us about Fe de Febrero, they told us that the 15 contacts for these two months is the equivalent of our mission rules, so if you don't contact 15 people it's the same as being disobedient. My companion and I took that to heart and we are putting in a lot more effort to contact and we've been contacting 15 or more people every day and I kid you not we have found all of the married couples in Santo Domingo!!!!!! 

It's like Where´s Waldo but instead of Waldo it's Where´s the Married People, because there are hardly any here in Santo Domingo. But we've found them! We have been finding one or two married couples every day, which is so rare! We've also been finding a lot of single moms. Heavenly Father is definitely blessing and helping us to find people who are ready and able to progress in the Gospel. We are so excited to teach these people and continue enjoying the miracles of Santo Domingo. 

We had stake conference this past weekend and it was the best! President Christensen and Hermana Christensen came because they were here for interviews with us and the Temple President and his wife came as well. I am so grateful for my mission president! I know he is a true servant of the Lord. Slowly but surely as we follow the council and standards he has set for us we are seeing changes in the culture of the mission. Something I've learned is that the work of the Lord is perfect, but His servants are not. There has been a lot of disobedience in our mission in years past and you can tell by how the members interact with missionaries. They invite us to do things that are clearly against the rules and are shocked when we say no. It's sad to see but I´m grateful that we´re starting to change that for the members and the mission. The work we do as missionaries is so important, and there is no time for disobedience. It loses the trust of the members and prevents the work for moving forth. The goal is to one day see another temple in Ecuador, and we can't do that by having a disobedient culture as a mission. 

 I know that there are quite a few members who read these emails and if you've made it to this part of my long email I invite you to help the missionaries to keep the rules. Please don't invite them to do anything that is contrary to mission rules. Many people think that missionaries shouldn't be reminded to keep the rules by the members but it is so much easier for a missionary to work with the ward if they are in a supportive environment. This work is so important and we need to work together to help the work of the Lord roll forward! 

 Back to the Stake Conference. It was so great to have President Christensen there because he spoke specifically on this subject, of how the members can help the missionaries be obedient. It was such a great talk and I know that it made a difference. I was still invited to take a nap after lunch by one of the hermanas but hey, little by little right? :) 

 Speaking of lunch yesterday! Wow. I can't quite grasp the concept of the portion sizes here. The hermana loaded up the entire plate with rice and since we knew we were going to die if we ate that much we asked her for less. She didn't have any problems with taking back the plate but then when we got it back it looked like she took off a spoonful! The people have such big hearts here and think that no one else feeds us during the day so they feed us a ton! And then when the hermana sat down with her plate she had served herself a normal portion size in a little bowl! Hahaha it was so funny to us. We've gotten pretty used to that but it's still funny every time. The people are so loving here. 

Speaking of rice haha. We contacted a lady the other night cooking food outside of her restaurant. My companion and I were just talking about how we didn't know how to make good rice so we contacted her and asked her how she makes her rice and she invited us over to teach us how to make rice the next day. We told her we'd love to and that we would love to share our message while the rice was cooking. Now we're teaching her whole family! 

 I love Ecuador so much. The people's hearts are so big and they give more than they have and they are so ready and receptive to have the Savior in their lives. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ so much and I am so grateful for this time I have to be here and share the blessings I've received in my life with these people that I love so much! 

Until next week's miracles!  

Hermana B 

P.S. My scripture to ponderize this week Jacob 4:6

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Week Twenty-one: Every day is different . . .

Hola mi familia!

Every day is different here in Ecuador. One day it is blazing hot, the next you come home drenched from the rain. One day you have ten progressing investigators, the next you have none. But the great thing about the mission is that you´re doing the work of the Lord. So you always know that there´s sunshine or new people to teach just around the corner. 

 This week definitely had it´s ups and downs, but I learned this week that the only thing we have control over constantly is our attitude about the situation. This week wasn´t easy. I found myself really questioning why we weren´t able to see the fruits of our labor. No one was progressing and our less actives weren´t showing any desires to come to church. I was getting pretty down about it. Then we had a family home evening in our ward to welcome back a missionary who just got home and our stake president said something that really helped me this week. He said ¨As a missionary you experience a lot. You experience rejection, disappointment, and sadness for the people. More often than not, there are more sad experiences than good. However, you could experience rejection every day of your mission and have one spiritual experience where you know you are making a difference as a missionary and it would make it all worth it.¨ It is so very true. The work isn´t easy. And more often than not we experience rejection and disappointment. However, the moments that make it all worth it are there too. It´s like running. While you´re running you might feel like you want to slow down or give up, but the second after you finish a great run you feel like a million bucks! And that same feeling is what pushes you on your next run. It´s the same on the mission, it´s tough, but it is oh so worth it. I love being a missionary! 

 We were very blessed to have a world wide conference this week for all missionaries! It was like general conference but everything was about missionary work! It was the best!!! I learned SO much and was so reenergized to go back and work! I am so grateful to be serving in a time when we have the technology to have such a special event like that. Oh I wanted to tell you all about a really cool experience that I had this week with one of our investigators. So Ines is an older lady with eight kids who lives alone because her husband works in a different city and only visits once a month. She wanted to get baptized last transfer but she wasn´t willing to tell her husband about her baptism. The missionaries had to drop her. She called us last week and my companion told her that we would set up an appointment when she would come to church. But before Sunday came one of the members told us that she had talked to her husband. So we stopped by and had a lesson with her. It was one of the hardest lessons I´ve ever been in! She talked a ton and repeated everything she said even when we were talking about something completely different. She kept saying that she had so much knowledge of God and the scriptures like she was trying to prove it to us. It was really hard for me to teach in that situation, and since my companion had already grown to love her with time I knew I needed to find a way to do the same. We didn´t feel like she was being very honest with us about her reading assignments of the Book of Mormon, and so I told my companion that we needed to be really direct with her. As we started the lesson we talked about the importance of being honest and our calling as representatives of Jesus Christ. We went over the Book of Mormon and asked her some general questions about what it´s about and where does it take place and she couldn´t tell us. She then had a question about the Godhead and so we pulled out the Articles of Faith to go over the first four with her and she was so shocked. She didn´t understand why noone had shown them to her before. She could actually understand and grasp the concepts of the Articles of Faith. Long story a little bit shorter it turns out she was reading the Book of Mormon. She almost read it all, but she didn´t understand any of it. She broke down crying to us and told us that she hadn´t received any form of formal education before. To read something and understand it for her is very difficult. It was such a huge change from the Ines we met with before. She just wanted someone to accept her, and so she tried convincing everyone that she knew everything about the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We explained to her that Heavenly Father doesn´t need her to prove to others her testimony or have a perfect knowledge of these things. He just needs her to have faith and try little by little to learn. She has never been taught how to listen and learn before. It was such a humbling experience for me. The love that I felt for her in that lesson was tremendous. It´s going to be difficult for her, but little by little, article of faith per article of faith, we´re going to help her to not only learn about the gospel but also learn how to listen to others and learn. 

 I feel so fortunate to be a part of this work. There is nothing like it in the world. The blessings and miracles I have seen in my life and in the lives of others has taught me so much about the love our Heavenly Father has for us. It is such a privilege to have the scriptures in our lives to read and ponder. They are awesome! They can be our best friends when we´re experiencing tough times. Don´t forget to read this week! I know it will make a big difference in your life as it has mine. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know it with all of my heart! I love you all! 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana B

We went to a place today where they sell livestock...not really sure why we went...but we got some good pictures.

A bunch of burros

selfie with the cows.
I´m pretty sure the black and white one in the back is posing.

We celebrated your engagement Carm with some fro-yo,
gotta keep up with traditions ya know.