Monday, February 24, 2014

The Bold and The Brave


This week I did divisions with my missionaries from Frontera, super rich area. When I had lunch with the members they sat us at a table with napkins, 2 forks, 2 spoons and..... a BUTTER KNIFE. My areas for the most part are, sit on the floor and use your hands to eat while the hermana is making your food over the fire pit. I felt SUPER out of place and majorly uncomfortable. To be completely honest I would much rather have the floor than a chair at a table and the utensils have become completely foreign to me ha-ha. To say the least I am super happy to be in my old area.

I've completely integrated to a Colombian lifestyle. I love it. I'm having the best time. I can now tell people I'm from Antioquia and they believe me. I have received so much help with my Spanish. My life here is great. Colombia is awesome. I've only been here 8 months and I feel the yellow blue and red staining my blood. Don't get me wrong red white and blue will always be my flag but Colombia is pretty awesome.

Friday David Erazo (15 yrs old) and Karen Burbano (17) got baptized. Both are the only members of their families. Something awesome happened with this baptism. Christian Vidal who got baptized in December baptized Karen! What an awesome moment. David is the only member of his family in the church as well. He lives with his 7 brothers and sisters in a run down shack close to our house. His dad was murdered and his mom is in Jail. He knows this is true and that’s why he has continued in the gospel because he is receiving no support from his siblings. A few of them don’t even talk to him now. He is so awesome and so incredibly brave and he is only 15 years ld. Karen as well doesn’t receive too much support either but it’s not quite like David. Karen’s mom works in Ecuador every Sunday. Her Dad too died and her brother doesn't want anything to do with a church. So she also goes and does everything alone with her littlest brother, Byron.

We've spent a lot of time in the middle of NO WHERE.
It's called El Placer. But it's super awesome and reminds me of Timbio in Popyan.

This Sunday we learned something about Angela, who got baptized in December. Her husband has always been a piece of work, he abused her he would always get home late and she would ask him where were you and he would simply respond "with the other pretty lady". Saturday night he started drinking and started to hit her, and called his mistress and all of that and Angela attacked him with her key. She put him in the hospital, how I have no idea, he’s a policeman and the policemen here in Colombia know how to defend themselves. She is now completely alone with her 4-year-old daughter, Karol, with absolutely nothing. So yesterday we spent the day with them and made her lunch. Sometimes its crazy to think that this is my life and it feels normal helping others when they are in serious problems. Only 8 months ago I would have been so overwhelmed with the situations I deal with every day and what I need to do. It’s truly amazing the help, wisdom and maturity we are given as missionaries just to help others.

So today I wanted to talk about tribulations, we all pass through them in our lives. When Joseph Smith was being persecuted by all the men that wanted to kill him he wrote something to help us through difficult times.
Doctrine and Covenants 122
Read the section

Also we read in the book of Mormon of the story of the son of Lehi who was born in the wilderness and suffered many trials and hardships in his life. 
2 Nephi 2:2
2 Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.

The hardships that we have in our lives will help us, they have a purpose. 

Look at what else Lehi had to say to his son Jacob about trials.
2 Nephi 2:11-13
11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.
13. And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness there be nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is not God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

We also have the story of Amulek and Alma incredible missionaries from long long ago.
Alma 14:9-11
9 And it came to pass that they took Alma and Amulek, and carried them forth to the place of martyrdom, that they might witness the destruction of those who were consumed by fire.
10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God, which is in us, and save them from the flames.
11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.

Can you imagine what these men felt in this moment and the wisdom that Alma had and his ability to fully understand the Plan of Salvation for all. It truly is incredible. 

Well, I love you all
I leave this challenge with you:
I want to hear about it.

I love you all and leave this all with you with one last scripture:
Alma 60:13
13 For the Lord suffereth the righteous to be slain that his justice and judgment may come upon the wicked; therefore ye need not suppose that the righteous are lost because they are slain; but behold, they do enter into the rest of the Lord their God.

I love you all
Have an amazing week
In the name of Jesus Christ
Elder Lyle

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hey Mom I'm on TV...

So the new chapel was built here in Ipiales and the News Channel showed up. Each one of us got interviewed; people are now recognizing us on the street because of the 1-hour program that everyone saw on TV. Because of this new chapel we have had beautiful baptisms and the hearts of the people are changing here. 

We have recently started teaching less active members. We are teaching more less active members than investigators, its crazy, but recently I have a found a love for it. We are teaching around 8 less actives right now who are excited to come back to church. It’s been super awesome teaching them and seeing the difference in their lives. 

Where I live it’s really weird, it can be super cold outside and you get home in the night to find that you spent the day under the Caribbean sun and currently look like a tomato, its awesome ha-ha. Guess that’s what the sun is like when you live at 9000ft on the equator.

So, something funny. Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting, we are currently teaching a dude who’s kind of different, and yesterday as everyone was giving their testimonies our investigator went to the pulpit (his first time in church) and told a story about a father who gave his heart to his dying daughter, when he finished he said amen and sat down with the branch president up front on the podium. Everyone was so confused as to who he was and my companion and I were about to explode laughing. It was so awesome.

The Erazo family is doing awesome, although its just David who is going to get baptized this week. They belong to another church and when the pastor heard that they were receiving us they went to talk to the family. One member of the family, Jefferson, is still devoted to the other church, and he attacked us the next time we visited saying why the church is wrong. It was pretty sad to see him say a bunch of things against our faith mostly because he was so wrong. We continued to show him how every single thing the pastor told him was incorrect or is correct according to the Bible. 
One he didn’t believe in the resurrection, that is something that a lot of people have trouble believing. However using the Bible we can read some very interesting scriptures.
1 Corinthians 15

In the Gospel of Jesus Christ we believe so much in the resurrection. We know that we will all be resurrected in the second coming of Jesus Christ. If we don’t believe in the resurrection why believe in Jesus Christ. Our faith is in vain. If you don’t believe me check the Bible, please.
1 Corinthians

We use the Bible a lot here in my mission. I honestly can say I teach with the Bible more than the Book of Mormon. 

We as members of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believe in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, in the Doctrine and Covenants, and in the Pearl of Great Price.
We should treat them all with respect, as they are all scriptures of God. 

That leads me to my Challenge for you this week
Read 1 Corinthians 15
And please watch the new bible videos from the Church they are powerful and amazing.

Love you all 
Elder Lyle

Pictures of their little helpers:
Little missionaries knocking on doors

Our little missionaries

Here they are ladies & gentleman

Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Hello all!

May I just say I love you all!

This week I have spent a lot of time contemplating just how much I love being a missionary. 
I gave a baptismal interview last week that was incredible, a woman with very many difficulties that had been going through the process of repentance for a very long time without fully understanding how to feel closure. She didn’t understand how could someone who had done so much wrong in her life ever fully be clean of her past actions, how she could personally feel at peace. 
So that made me think, for a real long while, about the atonement.

This week I will be presenting my challenge at the front of the email. 

I want you all to read this incredible talk if you can: 

SO how have you all been?
How has school been going?

I just want to say that this has been the most incredible experience.
I love being a missionary.
Sometimes it is difficult, I won’t lie. Sometimes missionaries carry huge weights on their shoulders as they become devoted and integrated into the lives of those they teach. 

I love you all. Please if you know a missionary; please tell them that they are loved. Those are just a few words that can change a missionary’s day. 

This past week we have been teaching more of our families. We have been helping them in any way that we can. I love my families. 

I started Insanity (a type of workout program) this last week, I feel like I’m going to die ha-ha. It’s like Dry Land Training all over again but even worse. 

There isn’t really anything incredible that has been happening in our lives recently. 

We dedicated a new chapel here in Ipiales so we now have two in this city. It is really far from where I live so we really don’t get to use it. 

I love the missionary work here.

I know that I gave you your challenge already to read that talk, however I also have a new challenge for you. 
The church put out new videos of the life of Jesus Christ. If you can make it a habit to watch at least one of these videos daily I promise you will have a better day. 

Copy and paste this address into your URL bar. Seriously some awesome videos

I love you all 
Elder Lyle
PS Happy Valentines DAY

Monday, February 3, 2014

This weeks pictures

Deviled eggs...
I'm teaching them everything

Editing inappropriate photos

A month late...
Here is our Christmas Tree!

Because sometimes Colombia is
just flippin' awesome

Welcome to 

Tons of parades


Ready to go...

Proselyting during Carnivals

Oh Carnivals,
wherever you go,
you will be attacked!

Steppin' It Up

So my district got here last Wednesday. 
Four missionaries stayed and four came in. I’m now in charge of a boatload of missionaries…
Kind of stressed not going to lie.

Awesome things are happening here in Ipiales. All of a sudden lots of people are listening to us. It’s incredible to see the progress of some of the people we are teaching. 

Let me tell you the story of:   The Hirazo Family
We got to know them last week. 
Their dad died about 7 years ago.
There are 5 kids ranging from 5 to 22. 
The mom is now in jail and all the kids live by themselves.
We live in a fairly uppity part of Ipiales, so when they told us they lived in our neighborhood... 
They actually happen to live on the outskirts of where we live on the side of a house in a tin shack. I always thought it was a garage that someone had built for their house, but no. This is where they live. I was shocked. 
We are teaching them and they are understanding everything so fast it’s incredible. We just came from their house right now. I taught them how to make cream of potato soup and steak rice.

Let me just say:
Thank you all for all of your incredible support. I have received such incredible emails in these last few weeks. Thank you so much. I wish I could respond to all of them. Know that every single one of is read. 

Also let me clear something up:
I hear a lot of ¨You are so devoted to your church! ¨
That is a lie. 
I don’t have a church; I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 
I’m here in Colombia to spread the news that the original church that Jesus Christ established has been restored completely on the Earth once again. The authority to heal, do ordinances, give blessings is here once again. 12 apostles, a prophet and most importantly Jesus Christ directing everything.
This is not a gospel of men, but rather:  The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I’m here to serve Him and no one else.
I’m not here because I’m devoted to my church
I’m here because I love my Savior.
I’m here to share this message with all who can hear me.
I’m here to testify of God’s love for all of his children and how we can move closer to him and receive even more blessings.

The houses here in Colombia are very interesting. There are no doorknobs on the outside of the houses, only a place to put the key. Imagine the presence and blessings of God like a house and we are outside. We can’t try to just open the door because there isn’t a way to do it without a doorknob. So what do we do to enter:

Mathew 7:7-8
7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

We knock.
I invite people to knock, in humble prayer if this is true.
I’m not here to convince anyone. That’s not my job. My job is simply to invite people to knock on the doors of heaven.

Know that I love you all

Elder Rawly Lyle