Sunday, August 20, 2017

Goodbye Ambato, Hello Quito

Hey guys, guess what? 

yes, that's right, for the first time in my mission I am not in Ambato! I spent every night this week packing, because I was so not staying another transfer.  My new zone is Turubamba and my sector is Solanda. My companion is Hermana Valdebenito, she is from Argentina and finishes the mission in 3 months. The scary thing is that she is a sister training leader... which means that I am also a sister training leader.... and that we are opening this sector. which means we are both new here and we have no clue what we are doing. But hey, adventures, right? I am excited for the new challenge. I was really tired of the old one. But I will do whatever the Lord asks of me, even when it's not easy. 

This last week was very bittersweet. Bitter because leaving behind so many people that I know and love... not easy. Took lots of pictures because I want to be able to remember these people forever and ever. 

We were working with another investigator named Cristobal. He is an investigator of gold, thats for sure. He brought a notebook to every lesson so he could take notes on everything we were teaching him. Sorry if I have already told you about him. He will be getting baptized this Saturday. Knowing that I would be transfered, I was wondering if I would be sad to not be there. But I'm not, not really. It's the work of the Lord, not mine. I will work wherever the Lord wants me to be. 

Oh, cool story from this week. Several months ago, with Hermana Jimenez, we contacted a girl named Marisol in the street. She gave us her number and told us we could visit her, and said that her dad had wanted missionaries to visit them. We called several times and she never answered, so we went to her neighborhood and knocked doors forever looking for her. Nobody knew her and we gave up. 

A few weeks ago, we started teaching our neighbor, this cute little old guy who can barely see. He said that he knew the Restauracion was true but he refused to come to church. But before we dropped him (turns out he is a communist hahaha I don't think I've ever known a communist before), he told us that his cousin Edgar is a member of the church but stopped going a long time ago. We got the name and number. That Sunday, we mention the name in ward counsel and turns out that Rosario, the cousin of my convert cristobal, is also cousins with this less active brother. We set up an appointment, and Rosario and Cristobal came with us to visit Edgar. 

When we went to Edgar's house, I remembered going to that neighborhood to try to find the girl that we contacted but I didn't think anything more of it. Edgar got baptized in 1972 and left the church about 10 years later. It's his time to come back. He asked us to come visit his daughter who isnt a member, named Marisol. It's the same girl! We had literally knocked on his neighbor's door but not on his. The Lord works in mysterious ways and He remembers all of His children :) 

The hardest goodbye was Cristobal. He followed me around all day at church on Sunday. We went to see him as our last visit on Sunday night at Rosario's house. (They fed us soup with cow leg, it was really gross) when we walked in the door, Cristobal was already crying. I was trying really hard not to cry and to animate him, get him excited for the next hermana that was coming. He told me over and over that I was like a mother to him, that I changed his life and rescued him from the alcohol that has already damaged his mind and body, that I lifted him and that he would never forget me. DyC18:15. My joy is so complete for the chance I have had to see changes in his life. Although I worry that missionaries who come in the future won't have the patience to teach him in a way he understands, I know that God will look out for him and that Rosario will help him to get to the temple next May. 

I could go on and on about the members of this ward that I love with all my heart, but I will just see if i can get the internet to work to send pictures instead. Love you all so much! Have the best week! 

Quote of the week: (although i have never done this so its not actually of the week its just a quote) 

"Living the gospel is very simple, unless there is something we want to do more." --Matthew Cowley

put God above all else and LIVE THE GOSPEL! 


Hermana Hasleton 

Clarita, my convert Maria's mom. Working on getting her baptized, too :) she doesnt know how to read and speaks quichua in addition to spanish. 

wherever you go in ambato, there is an amazing view

amilia bravo. we were working with Naty, the 15 yr old, as a less active. The couple on the right LOVED to come with us on citas. Hermana Bravo's hugs were the best. I am quite certain I knew them all before this life. Theyre amazing. 

karina ruiz, shes so cute, the rs presidents daughter

cristian, recent convert, and his wife silvana. theyre going to the temple to be sealed in november! 

everything over there is my sector.... a part of my sector....

 graciela is this cute little lady who got baptized in may, was a convert of the elders in our ward. I gave her a little hymn book because she didnt have one, here there arent hymn books for the congregation, you have to bring your own. She was so grateful, she gave me her hair clip hahaha I love her


this is Rosario, cristobals cousin, and I love her soooooooooooooooooo much! 

Monday, August 7, 2017

This is the Lord's work, and His vision is just so much bigger than ours.

Dearest familia y amigos y queridos, 

This week was significantly better than last week. Not perfect, and we didn't teach as many lessons, but we had 7 investigators at church on Sunday and that just makes my week. Last week of my companion's training, in which i just say all the time "I'm the new missionary and youre my trainer" and when she asks me questions that i know she knows the answer to, i just say "i don't know." shes not a fan of this new tactic, but i am enjoying it :) 

To start this letter of with the highlight of my week:
On Sunday I was sitting up at the keyboard as usual, looking out at the congregation, and seeing so many faces that I know and love. As a missionary, I have the privilege of knowing people personally, their struggles and dreams and desires. I have been in this ward long enough to know basically everyone. I saw the work of literally hundreds of missionaries over the last 30 years here in Ambato, Ecuador. I can't describe everything I feel for all of these people, but I am so grateful that the Lord let me be just a small part of His work in these people's lives. If I have touched just a few souls, helped just a few members on their way, then every effort of the past 9 months has been worth every minute. 

Last week we learned how to make buñuelos, colombian and ecuatorian, so you can be sure i will make them for you guys when i get home! if you dont know what they are, google it, you can probably find something :) 

Umm....yeah what else? Cristobal is doing so great. He follows us around everywhere in the church on sunday. he knows cambios are coming and hes not too happy about it. he likes to tell me that i should just stay in ambato for my whole mission, or just move here and not leave. its adorable. 

We have another investigator named Cristobal, who is also single and without children, also understands slowly, and came to church after only contacting him in the street. (... that NEVER happens) he has already come 3 times to church and we are teaching him the most frequently that we can so he can be prepared for his baptism on the 19th! he is amazing! he prays that nothing will take him away from this path, is already sharing the gospel, and asked us who he has to ask for permission if theres a time when he can't come to church. Um, ask God? haha it was really cute. Another one of those times where I feel like I am not doing anything as a missionary, the Lord does EVERYTHING and we just happen to be present for the baptisms! (well in this case I won't be present in the baptism, but that's irrelevant, this is the Lord's work, not mine!) Seriously, as much as we stress about being perfect missionaries and everything, this is the Lord's work, and His vision is just so much bigger than ours. 

We had a zone conference this week where we talked about spiritual power. I have been pondering conversion so much lately, too. DyC 50:24 talks about receiving light AND continuing in God to receive more light. It's like hearing the Spirit AND acting. It made me think about all the things that sometimes we get lazy and do half way. how many times do we... 

fast, but only until after church? 
read, but dont study
pray, but dont listen for answers 
pay tithing, but not fast offerings
go to the temple, but without family names 

the list could go on and on. It's when we recieve light AND continue in God that our testimony becomes conversion. Don't just listen to the Spirit. Act on the promptings you receive. 

Thats about all my time for this week. Who knows where I will be or who I will be with next week? I don't know, but I will submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord. I really really miss the temple, more than I can express, so everyone reading this, go to the temple. If you can't go to the temple, decide today when you will go back and work to get there. There is nowhere in the world where you will feel more peace. 

lots of love, 

hna hasleton