Ether 12:27

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.
I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my
grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me;
for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me,
then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
-Ether 12:27

Friday, May 23, 2014

I guess that is just the kind of life I am gonna live here.......haha!

Machala Sunsets are pretty cool. I just love the Palm Tree in this one.
I really appreciated the videos this week! I love the one of "Lonesome Road". Such a good song with lots of good memories. I am sad I missed it. But I am sure there will be a good choir concert for when I get home. I´ll get home just in time to see some good show choir as well :)
Danielle I hope you like the new job. It is a pretty good job if I do say so myself. :) Give the kids a good hug for me. I love them all so much. If you see Zoe and Owen give them a kiss for me. And Grady as well and as well the twins Aubrey and Owen! Man such good times with those kids!
Mom where are all the kids graduating going to College??? Tell Madison to write me! I want to hear everything from her and Katie!!
I am also so excited to hear that you guys are going out with the missionaries. That is pretty awesome. There is nothing better than having good members come out with the missionaries to be friends with the new members/investigators.
Sorry things have been a little crazy lately, Mom, but just remember that the Lord has a plan for you and he wants the best for you but often times it feels overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like that as well. (More like every day!) Things can get really overwhelming here and I know what you mean. Sometimes the Lord just has a lot of responsibility for us an it can just get a little crazy.
This just describes our lives. If only I could express how hot the room was at this moment. haha! Air conditioning doesn´t exist in Ecuador house life.

Bus rides to our district meetings are SO long.
To go along with my last statement, I think the Lord has had just a little too much in store for me these past couple of weeks. So this week I got called to be an Hermana Leader. So that was a little surprise of the week. Usually you don´t train and be an Hermana Leader at the same time because it is kind of a lot of responsibility but I guess that is just the kind of life I am gonna live here. haha! But it is kinda cool because I will get to travel to Guayaquil a lot for meetings and stuff. But wow it has been kinda crazy to think how this all plays out.
I love it here in Machala.
This last week we had 5 people in church and we have a few people that are preparing for baptism. It is just great to see people coming unto Christ. We also have been working a ton ton ton with less actives. That is kind of a huge push that we have had lately as missionaries in this mission. The reactivation. There are just so many people that have gone inactive. A lot of returned missionaries as well. This probably kills me the most. It makes me so sad to think that a person could dedicate two years to the church and then go inactive. But I am so grateful to be a part of this great work.
I know with all of my heart that it is true and that God has a ton in store for all of us. And we can only reach this potential when we are actively engaged in this gospel, living it will all of our hearts. I love this gospel and I love seeing it change the lives of others. I know that this is the only true living gospel of Jesus Christ. And that he lives and loves us.
I love you all and I want you to know that I love you and pray for you every day. I wish you a great week.
Hermana Pack

Elder Campos and Elder Arriaga from our ward! Both of them are from Peru. Elder Arriaga goes home in one week and Elder Campos just got here 2 weeks ago.

PS-So my really great story for this week is, I was in lunch and then all of the sudden this monkey just jumped out of the kitchen and holy crap they have a pet monkey!! It was crazy!! During the prayer he was just eating off our plate and it was nuts!! Elder Arriaga has pictures and he is going send them to me next week! It was awesome! Like he literally was just hanging out on our shoulders and chairs eating our food!!! It was crazy!!
 haha love you all!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

We don`t go to church just because we need something, but that God needs us there to show our love for him.

Hello everyone!
Talking with Emily in Ecuador over Skype!
I am so glad I was able to see you all yesterday on Skype. I miss you guys a ton but you all looked good. I am also glad I was able to meet the
 newest member of the family Syrup the hamster. haha! But really it was good to see you guys. Claire and Aubree I was super glad to see you guys as well! I cannot believe it was just Christmas time when  I last talked to you guys. I cannot believe how fast time is going by. Just think the next time I talk to you there will probably be snow on the ground. Wow. I can`t even imagine snow right now. Too much heat here for that.
Proof she is alive and well:)
Dad I really appreciated your email. I liked a lot what you had to say about the blessings. I truly believe that you are receiving blessings. I just know that I receive tons here and I just hope you guys are as well. I know that this gospel really is centered on the family and I wish you all the best of blessings. I know that I pray for you guys constantly. You are always with me in my heart.
Claire and Aubree got to surprise Emily and visit with her too!
Mom no need to worry about your calling as Young Women's President, I know that God calls only those who he has prepared and he has prepared you to serve in this calling. He knows more than any of us that you can do this. It is crazy to me how awesome His plans are. He plays a role in so many things. Just remember that you are always a huge example to these girls and they will follow the footsteps of their leaders. I think one of the biggest things of your calling is the love that you will develop. It is kinda like missionary work. Charity is one of the huge keys in this work. The true love of Christ.
Well anyway this week has been a super different week. I don`t have much to say because I feel like I told you everything yesterday, but most of all I am happy and loving it here. I am actually adjusting to the heat.  This week has been great here with Hermana Mann. I love this girl so much. We are always laughing. Her Spanish really has improved a ton. She doesn`t give herself enough credit. She does know a lot of this language. It is cool to see the Spirit work through the two of us. This past week we were doing practices in the morning and she was just shooting off words I didn`t even think she knew. When we have the spirit guiding us in what to say we can really say anything. Because these words are not our own they are those of the Lord.
Serving a mission has taught me so much. But something I would love to talk about today is the diligence. This past week we really have worked to be diligent in using the advice of our president. He really has encouraged us in working with those whom are less active in the ward and use the references to reactivate them. Well anyway this past week we were given a name of a large family to look for with the last name of Orellana. Well we looked about every day this week and then Friday night we found a lady working in a sewing shop and she said that this family was that of her husband and that we could pass the next day to see him and that he was a member. Well anyway Saturday we didn`t have time to pass in the morning and he said he wouldn`t be there in the night time. But we felt inspired to stop by in the night even though it was out of the way and kind of far away. Well we knocked on the door and a man answered and out came three other men and turns out all were members, one who was living in Spain and was just visiting and the other two in our sector. Anyway they have been inactive for about 7 years. Well we encouraged them to come to church on Sunday and told them that it really was inspired that we had found them and that God clearly wants them to be in church. Well long story short they showed up on Sunday without problems. And it was amazing to see the quick change they had. One of the Hermano`s said to us, " Last night after you left I thought to myself, why go to church I am happy with my life? I have my wife and kid and my well paying job and our beautiful house. What more do I need?" Then in the night I guess he woke up really stressed and he read the book of Mormon that we had given him the night before and he said that it finally hit him that the Lord put us in his path not because he needed to change drastically or that he isn`t happy, he sent us because he wants him to give thanks to God for the things he has and we don`t go to church just because we need something but that God needs us there to show our love for him.
I thought my companion and I were about to cry after this. It had been a pretty exhausting week and we only had one investigator in church this week. But having these men there recognizing their covenants and how they still need to have the Lord in their lives was just enough for us.
As missionaries I think we focus so much on baptism baptism baptism. But that is not our objective as missionaries. We are here to invite all to come unto Christ through faith in Christ and His atonement, and after this come repentance, baptism and enduring to the end. But I am here to invite all to come unto Christ. This is why I am here and not just to have people as numbers but to have actual souls come unto Him.
Anyway this was a really great lesson to me this week. I love the person that this gospel and mission has made me into. I know that God sure has a plan for me and he is only shaping me right now for what he has in store for the future.
Anyway, I love you all and I hope you are all reading your scriptures every day :)
Miss you tons, and sending all of my love your way.
Hermana Pack

Monday, May 5, 2014

Just headed out for P-Day!

Outside our house. This is basically what all of Machala looks like!

 Just headed out for P-Day!

We literally bought this to eat for breakfast for the next week. hahahaha cheaper than buying cereal hahahahaha

Our transfer pics and our new apartment!

Our cute little kitchen haha!!

Our hand sewn skirts, we made with all of our traveling time hahahaha. But man I love this girl. I don´t know what I would have done in this transfer without her.

New house that we moved into. Literally had nothing for days. Only two beds and two chairs. Crazy stuff.

Oh you know just drinking my icy that we made in our blender sitting in front of a fan. Usually in the night we just sleep on our sheets. without a blanket but in this photo I have mine. Crazy to think but it literally is impossible to sleep with blankets because it is so hot.
Our day in Guayaquil when we had to sing for Elder Uceda from the seventy. These were the girls who sang. Good times. We were MELTING from the heat.

Lots of pictures!!!!!

No big just roasting some marshmallows in memory of what summers used to be for us hahaha.

Just another one of us livin the dream here in Machala

Love this girl!!  Hermana Mann is the best.

Moved into our new home. Sweating to death and dying while literally living with nothing. Crazy stuff.

"They know what they want but I know what they need"

Hello everyone!
My Zone MACHALA!!! Love these people.
Well this week has been a little more relaxed than the last but it as well has been pretty crazy. We finally got a fridge. Living in Machala without a fridge is practically impossible, because there is a crazy infestation of ants. They find any type of food and attack. Seriously it is nasty and crazy. But we luckily have a fridge now and our food is ant free. Life here in Machala is great. But for now in our house it is just me and my companion, no other Hermanas.
Danielle you looked so so pretty for prom!! I hope you had a lot of fun and it didn´t get too crazy haha! I hope after prom was fun too. I loved after prom. One of the better experiences of high school haha!
Mike I loved your soccer pictures. You looked like a rock star. I also heard you won your game. That is pretty awesome bud. Proud of you! And Neil I am so excited for you and Pizzazz! I know you are going to have so much fun!! Show choir is just a beginning of so many fun things. I bet you will be quite the star like Ben. Crazy to me that now the show choir legacy will be left up to the boys of the family, after Danielle graduates. I hope you guys are all studying hard to finish up this year of school strong!
Dad I can´t believe you were in San Diego this last weekend. One day I wanna see California. I think when my companion gets home from her mission I wanna go out and visit her in Cali haha! It will be a good time :)
Life in the mission is just so fun because seriously it is something different every single day. Just craziness. But Man I love it. There isn´t really anything else I would rather be doing. But being transferred to Machala was a good thing for me. There is transfers today, and if I get transferred from my companion and from Machala I will be so so so sad. But something I always remind myself is that God always always always has a plan in store and the president really is in tune to the spirit and will be able to send me wherever he is inspired. 
It is so humid and dusty here. Every day when I wash my face at the end of the day I can´t tell if my face has gotten tanner or it just is dust. I think it is a combination of the two haha! But serving here has been pretty humbling. There sure is a lot more poverty here than in Cuenca.
We have been teaching this last week a girl named Angie and she is great. But it just blows my mind how much sadness can be in the life of one 15 year old girl. She needs this gospel so much in her life. I would really appreciate it if you guys could be praying for her. I know how much she needs this in her life. Something I have learned from being with my companion is a phrase. "They know what they want but I know what they need"  It just is so true. The spirit works so diligently through us and we are able to discern their needs. Anyway it has been great the past 8 months to feel this spirit work through me. 
Something that is really cool while being here is people love gringos hahaha! This past week we have received so many free things. We were going into a shop to buy something cold to drink and we ran into 2 drunk guys and they payed for our water bottles and even payed the extra 5 cents to have it be a frozen bottle. It was sweet. Also some random guy on the street we invited to go to church gave us money on our plan of our phone to make phone calls to people. People love a couple of gringo girls haha. But the only downer is that everyone tells us we look like we are gaining weight and they always think we are 25 to 30 years old. It kills me. Yes I am fat and I look like I´m 30.... Awesome..... but no, it is good. But we are hoping to loose weight here in Lilian Maria because the lunches are a lot smaller, we sweat like nobody´s business, we walk so dang much, and I am never hungry because it is so humid and hot.
Anyway I know this to be the true gospel of Jesus Christ and that he lives. I love you all so much and I know that God loves you all even more than I do!! I miss you all like crazy and can't wait  see you this Sunday at 5 :)
Love you,
Hermana Pack