Monday, September 29, 2014

Luau pictures and more

Elder Nail was one happy camper

So Happy

The jacket we found in the house
So epic, hahahaha

Young single adults activity

Joselin, Brandon's cousin sang

My companion singing
"My Way" by Frank Sinatra, hahaha
At the Luau

The Relief Society &
Priesthood did a really funny act

Luau got me Crazy

There is no time to just relax on the mission if you do it right. 
Honestly when you are on a mission you run, and run, and then run some more until you run to your house say your prayers jump into bed and sleep. Only to wake up again in the morning to do it all over again. 
This week I planned a Luau for the branch here in Buenaventura.
It was absolutely epic. So much fun
In my mission I’ve had to deal with a lot of cooking things, it’s a very good thing that my mom taught me how to handle that department. 15 days ago we started a program in the mission called pensionists. It’s where we have a sister that we’ve chosen and we pay her money so that she can make the missionaries all their food; breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Because Buenaventura is the first place in all of Colombia to start this program and it’s so far away from the mission home, I’m in charge of setting up the whole plan. It’s intense; I made the menu for the last 2 weeks with them, shopped with them, and taught them how to prepare the foods that they had never heard of before such as spaghetti and meatballs. 
So that’s been seriously draining these last few weeks, ahahaha.

I also was in charge of the food for the Luau. So what did I do? I made 10 pounds of rice, cooked 10 pounds of macaroni and made Hawaiian mac salad with rice for 80 people. I surprise myself sometimes. 

All day Thursday I was cooking, booking the building, and planning when the people got there and although the night was pretty hectic it was awesome. It was a Luau-Talent show. There were a lot of acts including an act prepared by the missionaries. I had taught the entire zone the synchronized swimming act and we did it. SO FLIPPIN AWESOME! Hahaha
All week we had been practicing in front of the chapel with our bet mattresses throwing ourselves around. If you don’t know what the synchronized swimming act is type it into youtube. It was so much fun. We had a great time at Luau. It turned out great, the food was good, the activity was awesome, and it was exactly what Buenaventura needed. The last activity they had as a branch was last year. 
So I don’t know about you guys but I am PUMPED for this weekend!!
Why you may ask, well… 
I wait impatiently every 6 months for General Conference and it’s finally here! It’s our only opportunity to hear directly from the Prophet and the 12 Apostles. Prophets? Apostles? Why do we still have those? Weren’t prophets from olden times? 
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Why would he call prophets in the bible and not now. If you ask me we need a prophet today more than any other time, somebody to guide the family to show exactly what kind of plan God has for us and what he needs us to do. In the Old Testament in the book of Amos there is a very interesting scripture that talks about prophets:
Amos 3:7 
Surely the Lord god will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Here we see that God won’t do anything if he doesn’t call prophets. Our Heavenly Father is a God of action. He doesn’t just sit and watch the evil in the world, what kind of parent would be able to watch their children suffer? 
He calls prophets to guide us and there is a prophet today and there will always be a prophet here on the earth to guide us. Also why apostles? In the book of Ephesians it shows us exactly how Jesus Christ established his church, so if Jesus Christ established His church in one way, why should we change it?
The church of Christ must be:
Ephesians 2:20-21
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

I invite you all to see General Conference this week. You can find the link and watch it live at
I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ. 
This is his church. Christ is who is at it’s head, with his prophet acting for him and telling us what he wants us to do just as He did in ancient times.
God loves us and want us to succeed. 

I love you all 
Have a good Conference.

Elder Lyle

Monday, September 22, 2014

This is my story, I hope you all have the time to read it

I never used to read the book of Mormon much, I had seen miracles in my life, things that most people don't see, yet I never really paid attention. I went to church every Sunday when I was in town, however I spent the majority of the time on my cellphone or wandering the halls looking for people to talk to. I heard the names Nephi, Mosiah and Alma however I never really knew the stories behind every name, just vague outlines. Nephi built a boat and had two bad brothers, the brother of Jared had a huge name and Alma wrote the biggest book in the Book of Mormon. Through many previous experiences and miracles in my life, I was stubborn. It wasn’t until I had nowhere else to turn where I finally changed my ways and started to give heed to the most important things.
At 16 years old I tore my ACL while ski racing one year, after dealing with all the difficulties with the recovery I was still so stubborn when I went to church. In a wheel-chair I still managed my way into the halls to chat or to distract myself. I had not changed. Then one day I realized I had a hard time swallowing, my next trial was about to start. I was diagnosed with a rare disease called Achalasia, which entails the degeneration of all the nerves of the Esophagus prohibiting or limiting the food from entering the stomach at all. For the next year I fought now both my recovery and the development of the disease, yet, I still remained firm in my stubbornness. As I felt abandoned by God, although through the entire process I still refused to pick up my scriptures or pray with real intent. I started to feel rebellious, "how could God do this to me" I would think.
I had always been so active, however little by little my own strength began to fail me, I knew what I needed to do, though I was now caught in my own pride. I thought that I could figure this out on my own, that I hadn't reached pit-bottom yet, I didn't need Him to help me yet I wasn’t "so far gone". I knew what would help me but like how the snake bitten Israelites refused to look upon the golden asp to heal themselves, I could not bring myself to open my scriptures to look for solutions nor find my knees to ask for help.
More time passed, and one day I had stayed in bed due to the how malnourished I had become, even the easiest things like getting up and down were hard. I heard my parents talking about how they wanted to take me to a hospital so that I could receive an IV drip for nutrients. In that moment I realized that my life would amount to nothing if I could not find a way out of my situation. I was 17 years old and to live hooked up to an IV without energy to really even get out of bed is not the way I wanted to live my life. It was in that moment I remembered feeling completely alone, with nowhere to turn. It that moment I remembered something I had done one day in the primary when our teacher had taught us about the Holy Ghost. She had wrapped every one of us up in a blanket and asked us how we felt. She told us that that Holy Ghost does the same in our lives; it makes us feel like everything is alright. Such a simple lesson from the primary more than 10 years before is what brought me, a stubborn, rebellious 17 year old with no other choice to my knees. At that moment all I wanted to feel was the comfort to know that everything would be all right, I was scared. As I began to pray, one of the first prayers with real intent I had ever made, I felt exactly what I was looking for. I knew that my Heavenly Father loved me and that he is always there for me, but I had turned away from him. I told my Heavenly Father I would do anything he asked me to do if he would just give me my life back. I knew it would be alright.
1 week later I found myself in a distinguished surgeons office who told me he could possibly help me with a surgery, the effects of which would be irreversible, however I knew the Lord had put me there. I got the surgery that ultimately saved my life. Everything in my life took a 180 degree spin in a matter of days all because I had finally reached the corner, there had been nowhere else to turn, so I turned to my Heavenly Father. I started to read my scriptures, to take notes in church, learning on a spiritual depth that I had never permitted myself to do before. Two weeks later our stake president asked my Mom if she would like some tickets to General Conference, something told us yes. Only two weeks out of evasive surgery we strapped me in the car with a pillow on my stomach and made the 12 hour drive from Oregon to Salt Lake. We didn’t have tickets for all the sessions only for one. It was the first time in my life I had gone to General Conference and coincidentally we went to the Saturday morning session of General Conference in October 2012.  When I sat down in my seat I began to think about how much I had changed in a matter of 2 weeks how much my heart had changed, when President Thomas S. Monson made one of the most memorable announcements, that young men could now leave on a mission at 18 years old and young women at 19 years old. In that moment I knew exactly what the Lord wanted me to do, why everything had occurred so perfectly since I had brought myself to my knees. I always had thought that I would never serve a mission that, I wasn't the type, but in that moment I knew that I was called to serve. Over the next few months I prepared myself to be the best missionary I could while finishing my senior year of high school. Many told me that I was too young, that I didn't know enough, that I need to prepare myself more, that I would lose 2 valuable years of my life. However all I knew is that the Lord had called me serve. 10 days after I graduated I left for the mission, although my family wasn't all on board I knew the Lord would prepare not only the hearts of those I would serve while I was gone but my own family as well.
6 months into my mission and I understood exactly why everything had happened, that my Heavenly Father had a purpose to absolutely everything in my life. My mission president called me one Sunday morning and told me that he was sorry to tell me but my father had passed away the day before in a cycling accident. I didn't understand, as I sank to the ground I began to think, "why? After so much, why? Have I not shown that I am changed that I am doing all that I can to build the Lords kingdom? God how can you do this to me!?" I immediately recognized these thoughts from before in my life, the stubborn young boy had changed, I kneeled and asked for forgiveness, when a scripture came to my mind in the book of Ether chapter 6. When the Jaredites had made their boats to cross the sea as God commanded, it is recorded that "God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the water" and that they "were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were cause by the fierceness of the wind." They were in the service of their God yet they faced so many problems, the reason why is found in verse 8: "the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters."
In that moment I knew and understood that God had a purpose for me all along. Before I wasn’t where he needed me to be, so he had blown me ever closer to where I needed to be spiritually in order to support my family in that time. I know the decision I made to stay on the mission has strengthened both myself and my family, including my father as I know he is conscious of my choices here. When I get back from the mission we will be sealed in the temple so that my family can be together forever. Had I never been on the mission I would have not made it through with such a weak testimony or little understanding of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. There will be trials, at times it will be difficult but as long as we look to the Lord he will push us to success. We will not be judged on the difficulty of our trials, but our ability to handle them. We cannot afford to "sleep" in these latter days or we will never support the winds that will drive us to our Heavenly Father. I know my Savior lives, I know that God listens to our prayers and always has a plan for us. He wants us to return to him. I know that families can be together forever. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. This is the church of Jesus Christ and we are the saints of these latter days. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Well, super short letter this week...

So last week I spent the entire week in meetings in Cali. We got to meet Elder Scott Grow, which was a super awesome experience. He taught us about how our work as missionaries has completely changed. I then got a moment to talk to him alone and he asked me about my family. Even though he knew absolutely nothing before, he asked me for a copy of my story, which I will send right now, my conversion story.  
The rest of the week I spent working with the sisters on the pensionistas, (I think this means menu) and the new type of food.
Natalia’s baptism happened this last week, which was the highlight of the week for sure. It was so awesome to see her progress since we first met her through her cousin Brandon who was less active. 

I love what I do here. 
This week we shouldn’t have soooooo much to do. My time was cut short today because I was writing my letter for Elder Scott Grow. 
I love you all         
Hope you like the pictures 
Talk to you next week 

Elder Lyle

We Rock our socks

Elder Tidei is going home
First time I've seen him since Ipilaes, last year.

Not for the faint of heart, hahaha
This looks sanitary...

What happens to things in Buenaventura
This poor shirt spent a couple of days outside in the rain

Happy Birthday to the best companion ever
Elder Campos

Friday, September 19, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sharing some photos from Elder Donoso

Una de nuestra areas de proselitismo!
Es muy CHEVERE...
It looks like they just got new planks for their walkway

La Mejor Zonaaa! 
Todos de blanco...
This is such a great picture of all the great missionaries of Buenaventura

Aqui con nuestra gran flia Morales!
Quieren entrar en las aguas bautimales!!!

Foto con mi, Elder Donoso, nuevo companero, Elder Nail

Toda la zona con el Presidente ya la Hermana Pricoli

As always we love it when other missionaries share their photos with us,
Thank you Elder Donoso!

It's been awhile...

So it's been awhile...
However, today although I’m not going to have a P-DAY I made sure to write. 
My life recently has become INSANE. When I say insane, I mean insane.

Such as today, today we started a new program for the food for the missionaries here in Buenaventura where two sisters will cook everyday for the missionaries. They receive the money and are in charge. Although they have to do some insane cleaning methods, such as washing all vegetables in Clorox and then rinsing them off with boiled water. We now can only eat rice 2 times a week.
All day yesterday I was in charge of making the breakfast and lunch plans for the sister missionaries.
Today in the morning I had to teach the sister’s from the ward how to make french toast... Which was awesome and then I had to go to the supermarket with them to buy all the food that they would need to make the lunches this week, something that Colombian’s NEVER do. They always buy what they need the day of from the little window shop closest to their door. Then we had to move all the food to the house of each of the sister’s in the ward that will be cooking for us.  As we finished up all of the arrangements with the food the office called me and told me I had to go to the city center to deposit money for the new home for the sister missionaries. From where I live to the city center is like from Medford to Ashland and I’ve got to go on a bus. Off we went to wait an hour in line for the bus all the time freaking out cause I have to write my family and I have appointments at 5… Just another day in a life of a missionary, no big deal.

We are working like normal on P-Day because we are on our way once again to Cali this week, Thursday and Friday. We have 5 people that are getting ready for their baptism’s this Saturday and also the other people that want us to visit them. 

I love Buenaventura; things are so hectic all the time because well, everyone wants to listen to us. It’s incredible; honestly I never knock on doors because people walk up to me in the street and say, “Hey when can you visit me?" and we take out our agendas and are like, tell us the time and place. Honestly we are booking people out one week in advance because the time just doesn’t work. We are very much working in the field of the Lord.

Brandon is doing awesome; he goes to church every week in a shirt and tie that we bought him. His cousins, Joselin and Natalia are getting ready to be baptized. Natalia will be baptized this Saturday and hopefully Joselin. Joselin’s mom doesn’t want her to be baptized because she believes that the Sabbath day is Saturday, although we have explained many times using her scriptures in Acts 20 how the apostles changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday to respect the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but she is one of those ladies who contradicts herself in her stubborn pride. However I know that in these next few weeks Joeselin will get baptized, and eventually Joselin's mom as well.

I love this gospel. It is the only place where the family is promised to be together forever. The same gospel that Jesus Christ had established when he was here on the Earth. 

This last week, we were moving the sister missionaries, helping President and Sister PrĂ­coli get around Buenaventura. We were also getting all of our incredible investigators ready for baptism.

I love my mission and more than anything I have loved my time here in Buenaventura. 

Everyday I am allowed to see and feel the presence of the Lord in families that have never had spiritual moments together before in their lives. Families that are brought together through the true and everlasting words of our Savior Jesus Christ. It’s incredible to see just how one prayer every night as a family can move grown men to cry. How one humble prayer on your knees can mend the broken heart. How easy it is for us to find God. However, at times we can be SO stubborn to never even try to talk with him and bring him into our lives. He is waiting for us, always like a nervous parent waiting with the phone in hand for the call from their child far away. There he waits, if we can only kneel down, and say, Father. 

The mission has changed me in ways that I never new possible. Before the mission I said I believed in God, I understood that God existed but it always kind of made me squeamish to talk about God. I always would find ways to change the subject. The mission has made me understand the importance of God in our lives, the importance of his son and our redeeming Savior Jesus Christ. I understand, why? Because I feel it now. With every family that has come closer to Christ, I have seen Him. I see Him in the eyes of every broken family that has found one another again, every drug addict that has left his past, every couple that lived in a destroyed marriage that now lives with a renewed understanding of Love both in marriage and for God. 
That is why I say that I have seen Christ. 
I have seen His love for every one of His children, every one of us. 
I have seen His compassion and the truth of His everlasting atonement, His sacrifice that He made for us as He bled from every pour in Gethsemane. 
The atonement of Christ does not only cover for sins, but for all feelings of abandonment, sadness, mourning, and just those sheer feelings of depression. 
The atonement of Christ covers for all feelings, He understands everything we feel, He understands all of our needs, He understands how to help us. He will comfort us, if we but ask. 
The greatest men of the world are those on their knees. 
Trust in the Savior of the World
Let the miracles fall one after the other over you

I love you all 
I’ll talk to you next week with more time hopefully 

Elder Lyle

Monday, September 8, 2014

As promised, lots of pictures this week

No letter this week but lots of great pictures to be able to catch up on the life of our missionary

Richard got baptized!

I caught my companion eating my coconut candies on our way to Cali

Here we all are

Loved seeing my kid in the office

How we slept in Cali
My companion is on the couch, Elder Rebolledo who is now in the office and Elder Estrada on the floor with me

Bryan & I putting together 
the Sister missionaries house that we bought

The closet was a beast to put together

Twister Family Home Evening

My companion exploded the ballon and
had to dance like Shakira...hahahaha

Elder Campos, Geraldine & Anthony

My greatest investment in the mission
So what the heck is this???

Making cheesecakes

Soaking wet...
It's everyday experience here

We love our gifts Mom

Monday, September 1, 2014


I just wanted to say that I love you all so much.
I don’t think I will have time today to talk to you guys, I’m in the middle of getting everything situated with the sister missionaries here in Buenaventura, it's a little nerve racking but we’re going good... hahaha
I love you sooooo much
I hope you had an awesome week last week and we will talk next week. Have to go to CALI tomorrow so awesome pictuers next week!!!

Love Elder Lyle

I wanted to share my letter:
September 1, 2014
Hello Mom, 
I just wanted to wish you a happy anniversary. 
I know that last year wasn’t the best, and this anniversary isn’t amazing either, however I wanted to remind you of a very incredible moment that I can't wait to have this coming July... In less than 1 year. I carry a picture of the Laie Temple around in my pocket everywhere I go I always have it with me. To me it is so important that we are a family for time and eternity. I am so excited. I honestly can’t stand myself at times.
I hope you had a great day with the Bennion’s. That you guys just laughed your heads off at the stupidest of things, hahahah, like we always do. 
Mom, I love you so much. 
You are my greatest hero. 
I can only hope to make a home oneday like the one you made for me.
You are amazing,
I love you to the moon and back 
Your son, Rawly 
(Oh how I LOVE my son the missionary and that he is sharing the message that families can be together forever... We can't wait for him to come home so we can be sealed in the temple)