Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dancing Dog in the Street!

We have opted to keep up the Christmas tree and the wall Nativity. It just brings so much cheer! I told Hna C about Mom´s college roommate that wanted to keep the Christmas tree up past Valentines Day. We will see when we get tired of the decorations, but for now we enjoy turning on the tree lights at night to watch them glow.

I love seeing how the Lord works. His plans are always so perfectly laid. I pretty much NEVER know how His plans are going to turn out, but I am learning that it is always for the best. Bring on the surprises of life!

Like the spinach rice, coleslaw, and mystery meat we ate this week. I actually loved it.

The rain invites MANGOS. Mango cake, juice, slices, pancakes, etc. Is your mouth watering yet?!

We have had some very interesting teaching experiences recently. We were teaching a single mother with our ward missionary leader. She began to tell us all of the problems that she had been through. Big tough problems. I looked to our ward missionary leader and just said, a one liner to fill the silence. I looked to my companion and she looked at me. I started to pray. Then in one instant the words, *Do what is right, let the consequence follow* came to mind. I love this hymn, but I did not remember what the words said in Spanish exactly or in English for that matter. I said, We are going to read the words to hymn number 154 I believe it is. We opened to the song, began reading and tears nearly came to my eyes. The words were EXACTLY PERFECT. I could not get over it. It even mentioned, let the crickets fall. SO PERFECT for Ecuador.
Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. He loves all of His children. Through the Holy Ghost, He truly inspires and guides HIS work and HIS glory. Thank heavens for the revelation in the moment. Sometimes we do not have to know what we are going to say before hand...The Lord will guide us.

Prayer is so important- it is how we come closer to our Father in Heaven. There is great strength and peace in prayer. So we have to help the investigators learn to pray. Little by little they learn and someday they will be converts in the church offering the opening prayer or blessing the Sacrament.

We saw the funniest sight this week! We were walking at night into the Palmas and we saw a black dog in the middle of the road. A mundane, normal occurrence. As we got closer to the dog, we realized it was waving its front paw. But wait, not only was it waving its front paw but it was also bouncing up and down....in rhythm! With the music that came from the neighbors house. It should have been on Ecuador´s funniest home videos. (If that TV show existed here). Hna C and I could not stop laughing. We arrived at our appointment with great big smiles on our faces. We are anxiously waiting for the next dancing dog sighting.
Hermana Garlock

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mudsquito Repellent!!!

This week, we left our apartment to go to District Meeting in our stake center. As Hna C and I were waiting at the bus stop, she turns to me and tells me that my white blouse is stained. Our apartment was a little dim in the morning (I am going to blame my clothing choice on the lack of light) and I put on one of my favorite blouses without paying much attention to the appearance. When Hna C  pointed this out to me, we quickly ran back to the house to change. What followed was a breakdown! After over a year of the same shirts, skirts, outfits, etc...some just do not work and I am tired of the others! Thankfully, Hna C  was kind and lent me some of her clothes to wear. All the while the words of my mother ran through my head, ¨Forget the fashion and go to work!¨ Thank you Mom for that advice. hehe We took a taxi and arrived to district meeting just in time.

The remarkable part is how much this experience applies to the GOSPEL. Everything applies to the gospel. When you live, think, talk, breath Preach my Gospel and the scriptures, gospel ideas are always coming to mind, no? It reminds me of when we have done something wrong, it leaves a stain on our soul. A little splotch, which to oneself may appear unnoticable. But when we come unto Christ, He shows us our weaknesses and our faults. If we let Him, He wraps us in His secure arms of love and mercy and heals us. It is like the soap, bleach, and hot water. Then when one day we feel the presence of the Spirit, it is like that great big warm towel wrapped around us to dry us off and let us begin again. I know that the Savior can heal us. He loves us and knows us. He knows how to help us change and become more like Him.

Analogies of wetness and dryness are also in mind considering I spent the week.throwing rocks and sticks at dogs to then find myself walking in a mud puddle. I think a layer of mud keeps away the mosquitoes. That is what I am going to keep going with. I love Ecuador!!!!!!

The members here are really helping us out a ton. We hit a record high this week of 31 lessons with members. It is WAY more fun to teach with members. And I love getting to be with them--they are my friends and there is always something interesting to talk about. Now we need to bring all of these people we are teaching to church. The gran desafio....Please pray for our investigators to come to church this week with broken hearts and contrite spirits.  I know your prayers of faith bless the Lord´s work.

I love this gospel.

Hermana Garlock

Monday, January 2, 2012

Feliz Año!!!!!

Feliz Año!!!!! 
We enjoyed our lockin for fin de año the most that we could. We set goals and plans for FOUR hours satuday and then sunday designed more plans. We are going to speak more spanish, baptize more blessed children of God, and bring many souls to Christ this year! The New Year is just a little bit crazy here. Seriously. Lots of fireworks, loud, war like explosives with the burning of the large paper mache creations, and lots of partying. It is not the ideal situation to feel the Spirit, but I think Ecuador had fun!

I received the Christmas packages this week. Party in the house! We are thoroughly enjoying the candy and I am going to bring the sweets with me to give to the kids here. The kids always run up to me and start searching my bag for treats. 

We were absolutely AMAZED by the vacuum packed cookies from Aaron and Lynn. As soon as they were opened, they were eaten. The cookies were absolutely deeeelicious. Please tell them Thank you thank you so so much. (from Hna C and I). The journal I plan to fill up with these wonderful experiences I am having. It got here just in time--I had just run out of room in my old journal.
I thought of you all eating seafood and halibut on Christmas. I love your halibut by the way. We do eat fish here but it is not the same! We eat shrimp, tilapia, albacore tuna, little fish...I don`t know the name, and those are all yummy too.
The rain has officially begun!!! This means ABUNDANT mangos, mud, and locusts, I feel like I am in Little House on the Prarie sometimes or in the Good Earth. I love the rain! Oh it also means dancing! Grandma M gave me permission to dance in the rain last year so I believe it is ok. :)
This past year has been the most wonderful of my life! The most satisfying experience yet. I just know I will treasure the memories of this year forever. I have learned and grown greatly. The year 2011 will go down in my history!!!!! I love the people, especially those who have chosen to follow Christ and be baptized in His Church. It is the only way to have peace in this life and joy in the life to come.
Thank you for your love and prayers. 
Hermana Garlock