Hola mi querida familia!!!!
How's everybody doing this week? From what I've read in your letters, it sounds like you have all had a super-fun, non-stop party, week :) haha My week wasn't too bad either..but I wouldn't call it a party lol.
First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO REGAN ON THURSDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you have a GREAT day Regan. I love you SOOOOO much!!!
As I mentioned last week (I think) we went to Chili's after emailing. I just want to say that it was the BEST meal that I have eaten in about 20 months!!! YYYYUUUUMMMMMM! We all started out with the bottomless chips n salsa and those are just as tasty as the ones in the States. I ate a New York Strip steak with mashed potatoes (with the potato skin and bacon and cheese mixed in) and garlic bread and fried vegetables and french fries. And for dessert, I ate a chocolate chip molten cake with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. It was all SSSSSSOOOOO DELICIOUS!!! Thanks for that Birthday present Mom and Dad! :D
This week we did an exchange with the Zone Leaders and I was in my sector with Elder Olaya from Colombia (He was one of the ones that I went to Quito with last September). We had a good day and taught a lot of people and found some new people to teach. But my favorite experience from that day was our very last appointment. We were teaching the Fuentes Castro family (A referral from the Acuria family) and we've been trying to get them to accept a baptism date for a couple of weeks now, but they just wouldn't accept. They've gone to Church a few times and they are ready to be baptized. We've taught with some very powerful scriptures and testimony and everything and I've definitely felt the Spirit while we've taught them. But that night the Spirit was different. For some reason it was a lot stronger that night than in any of our other appointments. We taught about the Doctrine of Christ with 2 Nephi 31 and some other scriptures and the Spirit was just strong. We invited them to be baptized and they all accepted (Augusto, Mirian, and Karla). That experience helped teach me how important the Spirit really is in this work. We had taught with the Spirit in other lessons with them, but not like that night. And that made all the difference! I love my mission.
Well, I guess the biggest news this week would have to be the FOUR BAPTISMS THAT WE HAD ON SATURDAY!!!!!! Julio, Karen, Maité, and Maria José got baptized. They are all siblings (12, 11, 10, and 8 years old). But, this baptism wasn't exactly the easiest baptism I've had in my mission. Not because they didn't want to get baptized or anything, but because of things that happened in the last minute before the baptism. On Friday night we went to our ward mission leader's house and he told us not to worry about filling up the font and that he would do it Saturday morning. So, naturally, we trusted that he would do it. And he did.......sort of. The baptism was supposed to start on Saturday at 630 pm, so my comp. and I got there at 5 pm to set up the chairs and make sure everything was ready. To our surprise, the font had about 10 inches of water in it. We turned on the water to fill it up, but there was no water! So, we went to call everyone that we could, but NOBODY answered their phones. Our ward mission leader got to the Church at 625pm and we asked him what had happened. He told us that when the font was filling in the morning, the water ran out. We asked him why he didn't tell us or anything (since we live around the corner from his house, and we would have been able to cancel the baptism if we had known in the morning) and he said that he thought it would be enough water........... I thought he was joking, but unfortunately he was serious.
By the time it was 630 pm all of the members were already there and we were only waiting for the investigators. My comp. and I decided we had to do something since everybody was already there and we couldn't just tell everyone to go home. We asked the ward mission leader if there was water in the water reserve tank outside and he said no. We went and looked and it was half full lol. So we asked him if there were buckets and he said no. So we went and looked in the cleaning closet, and we found 2 buckets lol. We asked him if he could help us fill the font up a bit more with buckets, and he said no lol. So my comp and I did it with the help of one of the other members. We had to use a hose to dip the buckets down into the tank, cause there wasn't any rope or anything. It took a while, and my back and arms are still kinda sore, but we filled it up enough to baptize the investigators haha.
I'm pretty sure I broke a record that night.... The member that helped us with the buckets baptized 2 of the investigators, and I baptized the other 2. He baptized first and he had to repeat twice on the 2nd person. And then it was my turn..... I baptized Maite first. Apparently Maite is deathly afraid of being under water because every time I finished the prayer and went to dunk her under the water, she started kicking all over the place. That's what she did the first 5 TIMES. And then the 6TH TIME (yes, the SIXTH TIME!) I told her that after I finished the prayer she would sit down, and then just lay her upper body back into the water. And that time it worked..finally. As the saying goes "SIXTH TIME'S THE CHARM!!!" (That's how the saying is, right?? LOL) It was all good afterwards though and we joked around saying that I had 7 baptisms that night (the first 6 with Maite and the 7th with Maria Jose) bahahaha. Other people said (to me) that she must have had a lot of sins to need to be baptized 6 times. And other people said that I was trying to relive the story (in 2 Kings 5) of Naaman the leper that had to dip himself 7 times in the river Jordan to be healed. LOL That was my favorite ;)
What I learned from that experience is what kind of member I need to be when I am back home. I want to be like the member that helped us fill the font bucket by bucket, even though it was hard, it took a long time, he was in Church clothes and might get dirty, he didn't have to do it, etc. And NOT like our ward mission leader that didn't help in the moment when we needed his help most. He's a good guy, but that's not how I want to be as a disciple of Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ would do everything possible to help someone that needs help..and if we are his disciples, we need to try to do what He would do. But no worries, we are all in the same process of learning little by little. That's what I learned this week :)
Well, that's the news for this week!!! Today was SUPER P-day, so now our house is 'super-clean' (at least for Ecuador's standards ;) ) The most super thing about super p-day is that we leave our house super-late cause we have to clean so much lol. Thanks for every thing you do for me. Thanks for all of the letters, pics, prayers, support, and love. I LOVE ALL OF YOU SSSOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Elder Beck