Saturday, November 1, 2014

It's been awhile

All right y'all get ready for the largest letter from the office. 
Don’t worry; it’ll be a good one. 

Sunday was stake conference here and it was so good. Jeffery R. Holland gave it by satellite. We all had to go to the stake center so we went by bus to the north part of Cali. Cali has 3 stakes. Jeffery R. Holland talked about what we have to do to have a better more stable family. 
1) Daily family prayer
2) Daily family scripture study
3) Paying a full tithe and
4) Having family home evening every week
It was awesome. It was the best Stake conference that I have ever been to.

So who wants to go to church with us this week, which is the question every week. 
However something super cool happened. When I was in Jamundí we were teaching an investigator called Ingrid and her son Ruben. Unfortunately about a week after we had started to teach them they had to move to Cali, Terrón Colorado. Well we found her, because I’m now working here. We brought her, her son, her mom and dad to church with us, they loved it and they have a baptismal date set for the 23rd of November.

I love my life here in the office. At times it’s a little discouraging because we can’t spend every day in the area proselyting but that is why we have the sister missionaries to help us. They are awesome. Sister Limachi from Bolivia and Sister Mendez from Mexico.

Tuesday we left for Pasto. We flew to Pasto because it’s super far in a bus, the connection was Cali to Bogotá and then Bogotá to Pasto. 
Super weird being on a plane after 16 months of ground travel. But super awesome. While we were in Pasto we did the interviews of the missionaries for both Ipiales and Pasto. I was able to talk to the sister missionaries from my old area in Ipiales about how people are doing there. I found out that David Erazo my convert went to the temple a few weeks ago in Ecuador. I cannot tell you how good that makes you feel when you hear that your convert has gone to the temple. I don’t know if you guys remember David, but I’ll send a picture of him later. He’s 17 years old.

On Wednesday we finished the interviews…

I learned so much about all the missionaries we have in our mission, the missionaries are so awesome. After we finished the interviews we went to a pizzeria to buy some lunch when we hear in perfect English, “Take a seat guys,” seriously I about had a cow. We met the first American that I have ever seen since I got here in Colombia. His name is Jacob. Jacob is 23 years old and came to Pasto 18 months ago to teach English, he is from Iowa. He came here without knowing any Spanish… rough. I can honestly say that my English is horrid. He commented on my English by the way, he said... wow dude, what happened with your English. I knew it was bad, but now I really know that it’s horrendous. We invited him to talk to the missionaries, and he said, well normally I would say no, but because we are here in Pasto why not. Super awesome.

Halloween was pretty awesome here everyone was dressed up… Everyone. All the kids were wandering around asking for candy. Unlike in Popayan where I was last year for Halloween they celebrate Halloween a lot more here in Cali.

I love Cali
I love being a missionary
Recently we have been focusing a lot more on teaching LDS traditions to the families of the investigators, recent converts, less actives and members. But, exactly what are LDS traditions? It’s exactly what I said in the beginning of my letter, what Jeffery R. Holland taught.

1) Daily family prayer
“Reverent communication with God by which the person gives thanks and ask God for help or blessings. Prayer is directed to our Heavenly Father (God) in the name of Jesus Christ and can be done out loud or in silence.”
Guía de las escrituras: Translated by Elder Lyle, by praying with the family daily, our family will be protected from the evil of the world, sure enough it will be in our path but family prayer adds an extra protection in the day, we should pray on our knees as a family at least 2 times a day, in the morning and at night, not including praying for meals.

2) Family scripture study
As we study the scriptures as a family and we ask each other questions apart than those that begin with who, when, what, or where we can find a better understanding of the Gospel in our lives and a better foundation as a family if we can do this simple task. Read 1 chapter a day, this is NOTHING, honestly how much time do we spend on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other networks. How much time do you spend updating yourself on your friends lives and hobbies when you say you don’t have the time to update yourself on what truly brings you everlasting happiness to you and your family. Friends are important but we must set our priorities.

3) Paying a full tithe.
“The word tithe denotes a tenth part, given for the service of God. The first recorded instance is the payment made by Abraham to Melchezedek¨
This is the true way to show your faith. You do not fully have a testimony of the gospel until you pay a full tithe, and you pay it because you want to. To pay a full tithe, we know is not something that is good to do, but rather a commandment. God loves us so much that to obey this commandment there will be great things that will come, such as the promise made in:
Malachi 3:10 
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
I love this scripture; in no other place in the scriptures does the Lord tell us to prove him wrong. In no way will be able to prove God wrong. How can we deny ourselves these kinds of blessings? 
Dallin H. Oaks tells an incredible story about the strong faith of his mother on the subject.
"During World War II, my widowed mother supported her three young children on a schoolteacher’s salary that was meager. When I became conscious that we went without some desirable things because we didn’t have enough money, I asked my mother why she paid so much of her salary as tithing. I have never forgotten her explanation: “Dallin, there might be some people who can get along without paying tithing, but we can’t. The Lord has chosen to take your father and leave me to raise you children. I cannot do that without the blessing of the Lord, and I obtain those blessings by paying an honest tithing. When I pay my tithing, I have the Lord’s promise that he will bless us, and we must have those blessings if we are to get along.”

4) Family Home Evening
“We cannot afford to neglect this heaven-inspired program. It can bring spiritual growth to each member of the family, helping him or her to withstand the temptations which are everywhere. The lessons learned in the home are those that last the longest.”
What makes family home evening successful?
Start and end with prayer. This invites the Spirit, increases love, and teaches your family how to pray.
Learn from the scriptures and the words of latter-day prophets to help your family live the gospel.
Add music, such as hymns and primary songs, to create an atmosphere of love, peace, and joy.
Make it fun by playing games, acting out scripture stories, and making treats. Keep the atmosphere light and loving.
Be consistent. Monday nights are set aside by the Church for Family Home Evening. If that doesn’t work find a night does.
Add variety. Help a neighbor in need, hold a lesson at the park, or go for a walk as a family.
As we do family home evenings once every week without fail, our family will be blessed. It is a time to have fun as a family, to say no to the many things that we must do in this life for an hour or two and just be together…
Homework, No
Work, No
Just Family
Make the effort and the results will come.
I love family home evenings, it is one of the most powerful tools as a missionary. Use it in your own family to see the wonderful blessings.

My Challenge to you all this week is:
Have a family planning session and talk about how you will make your family stronger in this aspect.
Set plans and ask the question. “What will we do this week to be better about having family prayer every morning” or “What will we do different this week to read the scriptures every day”.
Set goals, make plans and raise Zion.
I love you all
See you next week
Elder Lyle

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