" And now I say unto you that this is the order after which I am called, yea, to preach unto my beloved brethren, yea, and every one that dwelleth in the land; yea, to preach unto all, both old and young, both bond and free; yea, I say unto you the aged, and also the middle aged, and the rising generation; yea, to cry unto them that they must repent and be born again."
Alma 5:49

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Training is Almost Over

Life here is going well. I´m enjoying me time with Elder P., and we are working really hard. Next week we have changes. I finish my training (what?!... I´m going to be normal!) and have no idea if I stay or go (to another area in Ecuador).  I hope I get to stay this change, but I want more whatever the Lord has in store for me. I´m sure it will end up being better. 

One of the groups we are teaching is the Alacón Family. She has been a member of our church her whole life, and he is investigating. He asked us this week to bring someone who wasn´t born into the church so he could learn how to experience this "change of heart". He has a hard time accepting that there could be one true church, but is preparing to get baptized on the 6th. Yesterday, the really-awesome-recent-convert Elders´ Quorum President joined us on an appointment with Diego (the husband). It was a really great lesson. He focused on how it is through the Book of Mormon that we can learn for ourselves if the church is true.

We are also teaching the Elders´ Quorum President´s son. He is twenty, and has recently attended church with us three times. For some reason that I don´t completely understand, he wanted to acompany us on the visit yesterday, which we gladly let him do. We then went back to his house and taught the Plan of Salvation. He accpeted a baptism date for the 13th. He´s really cool, and definitely has enough support from the ward. He´s one of the best players on the soccer team that is going to the Stake finals ;)  (In the US we typically have basketball tournaments).

I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving.

Elder Bahr

Monday, November 17, 2014

Needing Some More Practice

This week was really hard for me. I need to stop telling people at home that my Spanish is getting really good, because the moment I tell people that, it starts to stink again :) Short story is, I´ve seen how much I need the Lord´s help this week, and I am beginning to see just how true the scripture in Alma 26:12 is. "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

Even though this week was really difficult, I am so grateful for the things that it has taught me. Even though I am sure I will need to be reminded of this several more times before the end of my mission, I am beginning to see just how little I can do on my own, and just how much I can do when I let the Lord work through me. Fortunately, I learned that lesson before my talk on Sunday in sacrament meeting, and through the help of the Lord, I was able to share the message I wanted to share clearly and with what I assume was fairly good Spanish (I didn´t see anyone doing the I-have-no-idea-what-he-is-saying look up at me :)

My mom said I need to send some more pics.  The one above is of my "zone" or the other missionaries who work with me nearby.  Below is one of my new favorite foods:  red bananas.

Elder Bahr

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Spanish is Coming Along

¿Comó están ustedes? Espero que la familia esté bien y disfrutando el frió :) Lo extraño un poco :) 

I´m really happy with how my Spanish is moving along. It´s most definitely not perfect, but I can converse fluently with all of the Latino missionaries, and I even participated in one of our recent convert family´s readings from the Book of Revelation this week (I´d had a hard enough time understanding that in English :) It made me feel really good when Elder V. (he´s from Chile and he was the trainer from someone from my group last change) told me that he was really impressed with my Spanish. I went on splits with him Saturday for an hour while our companions had their leadership meeting.

I´m really grateful for the time that I am getting to spend with Elder P., my companion and trainer.   He is not perfect, but he is one of the most loving and sincere people that I have ever met. He is a wonderful example to me of charity, and I will be trying as hard as I can for these last three weeks to learn as much as I can from him. He has taught me to not judge myself harder than the Lord is judging me, and that I should have charity to ALL men. I remembered a story I read in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that talked about how focusing on the strengths of a person helps them to grow. Last night, as I prayed, I listed off what I thought were some of my "strengths". I felt the Spirit tell me that the Lord was proud of the efforts that I was giving. I could see how much I have already allowed him to change me while I have been here on the mission.

¡Les quiero! Yo sé que nuestra Iglesia es la iglesia de Jesucristo que ha sido restaurado otra vez en la tierra. Yo sé que mediante la Expiación de Jesucristo, podemos llegar a ser perfecto, si estamos mejorando paso por paso cada día. Yo sé que esta obra es la obra del Señor, y que voy a ser bendecido si yo doy mí corazón al Señor. No soy perfecto, pero estoy mejorando. 

Con todo mí amor,
Elder Bahr