Monday, July 18, 2011

No Transfer: Cambios


Ok and the moment you and I have all been waiting for....CAMBIOS.
Let`s just say they came and they went. In fact, transfers had already
happened when I wrote my email last week. Only I did not know it
because we somehow did not have transfers! 

I am at peace with it and happy to  still be herein Bolivar. I never 
imagined that I would be in my first sector for solong, but it is really 
fun to know the people here and to feel so at home.

I am happy how it has worked out because it also means that I have the 
little convection oven to make muffins and cookies to our hearts desires. 
Also, I enjoy the luxury of a washing machine and dryer. ohhh life is good.

Things are good here. Sometimes it is super hot and the sun is
strong...other times there is not a lot of sun but it is more hot and
muggy. In the mornings and night it is usually cooler and perfect.
This is the month of the festival of Guayaquil. The bands in the
schools march down the streets practicing. It is mostly loud drumming.

I am grateful to be a missionary and to have this grand opportunity to
learn and grow. The process of learning and growing means stretching
and pulling. What makes me the most happy: seeing people
change and be baptized and press forward in the gospel.

We all have challenges and we can choose to face them with the help of
our loving Heavenly Father or with the depressing guidance of the
devil. The Lord is so merciful. He wants us to continue on, in His
loving arms. He forgives us and He will greatly reward us as we
diligently strive to be like Him. 

It is my plea that we choose to walk the path of the Savior. What we 
sacrifice becomes nothing of a sacrifice...rather, the Lord blesses us 
with more than we offered. Many of the people here in Ecuador have so 
few physical posessions. It is easier to discern here between needs and 
wants. What we need in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
If we have this, the Lord will fulfill all our other needs.

Hemana Garlock

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Change is coming...

Cómo están mis queridos?!
I was telling our bishop's wife this week about how my parents are both active people and she was asking how you make time for it with work and kids. I told her I do not know exactly, but you enjoy it and make it a priority. I am thankful for your example. I realize we cannot serve if we are not healthy so for this reason alone, it is worth it to stay fit.

Yesterday quite possibly may have been my last sunday in my beloved ward, Bolivar in the stake Garcia Moreno. This last week President Montalti asked/told me it was time for a change. My one and only sector in my mission and I love it here!!!! It is my home! But I have a calm feeling that whatever happens tonight with cambios will be the will of the Lord. So, I feel as though I am receiving another mission call. My first mission call was to this specific place, and we will see where I am off to next!

It was a very memorable sunday.
1- Baptism of Hermana Bardellini. A miracle!!! Absolute miracle. Hna Rosas and I taught her a bit in January I think it was. Just a couple of weeks ago, we walked by her house and the Spirit gently proded to talk to her. Although I was a bit unbelieving that now was her time, but we invited her to be baptized and she accepted. So the process went quickly because she has already been prepared by her faithful family, who are members. Her family was soooo happy! I love the family Bardellini. I am pretty sure her son, will be getting baptized muy pronto.

2- Another miracle---I played the violin in the baptism. A musical family just moved into our ward and they were at the church last night with their guitars and violins. I asked if I could borrow their violin to play in the baptism, and they willingly agreed!!! It was truly a gift. The dad played with me on his guitar. It was so fun! We played "Yo sé que vive mi Señor" for the musical number and then a variety of hymns when Maria was changing.

Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Garlock

Friday, July 8, 2011

Walk With Me

Happy 4th of July!!!!!!!  Saluda a todas de mi parte por favor! I hope you eat lots of yummy food. Hna Salmon and I are going to attempt to make hamburgers for our Honduran companions. :)
We often walk down the street Villavicencio. It is the street in which we live and the street of the church. This street has become practically sacred to me! It is where I have walked for nearly the past seven months with Hna Rosas, Hna Falls, Hna Reyes, and now Hna Lara. It is where we walk as we bring investigators to activities, to church, or to their baptisms.
As I think of this, there have been a few moments where I have felt in another world as we have walked down Villavicencio with these three dear friends who likewise live on the blessed street of Villavicencio.
1- Hermana Karina, who was baptized in January. She is mentally slower but has the hugest heart. She says, "Hermana Garlock, I will always accompany you!" And it´s true! Although she has a hard time walking, she will walk far with us to visit investigators, less actives, and ward members. With Karina, we walk hand in hand down the street.
2- Hermano Luiz, who was baptized in March. Although he cannot talk or hear, we must communicate. We must look silly walking down the street waving hands, making facial expressions, and at times pausing to write a few words. He can write in pencil on his hands. I don´t know how he has this talent but it is truly a gift!
3-Hermana Maria, who will be baptized this month! Her family are members of the church, and we eat in their house every Tuesday. Delicious... We have kept a friendship with Maria, and last week the Spirit prompted us to teach her again. So we did and she accepted to be baptized! She is a very large woman, and cannot walk very well at all. BUT she went walking with us down Villavicencio so that we could present her to Nancy who was recently baptized. Nancy and Maria both suffer with their legs so we thought this would be a good friendship. Maria miraculously came to church today and her family was OVERJOYED. There was a special spirit as her younger sister, Clarita shared her testimony about missionary work.
These experiences remind me of one of my favorite primary songs that says,
"If you don´t walk as most people do, some people talk and laugh at you, but I won´t, I won´t. I´ll walk with you, I´ll talk with you, that´s how I´ll show my love for you!"
I wish I could adequately convey how grateful I feel for these tender experiences. These moments confirm to me, how precious each child of God is. As different as we each are, we are children of God. He loves us. He wants us to return to Him. There is one and only way-- through His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
The true freedom is not provided by a government or organization. It is provided only through Jesus Christ. The Savior of mankind. He sets us free from the tight bands of sins. Sin, sorrow, and sadness are heavy weights. He can carry them for us. Jesus Christ provides us the mercy that we all need. He sets us free and then wraps us in HIS arms of safety.  
Hermana Garlock