Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas and New Years

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas, and I hope you all enjoy the New Year!  Tonight, in Ecuador they will be burning the figures that they make.  Last year in Babahoyo my mind was blown at this incredible tradition, and here in Guayaquil, I have seen that the ´monigotes´ that they make are even bigger!  I am sure it will be a very loud night :)

This week, I have felt the quiet but comforting influences of the Holy Ghost as we have been meeting people, and doing our best to do God´s work.  It has reminding me of the wonderful privilege it is to be a missionary!  I was reminded as to how valuable my testimony of Christ is, and how much comfort, peace, joy, and hope that testimony brings to my every day life.  I truly changes who I am, it changes my desires, and it keeps burning in me the desire to share with others, whether that be by meeting someone new and invited them to come unto Christ, or by simply living my testimony, and helping or serving in small and simple ways those around me.  I am so grateful for this testimony I have, and I hope we can all continue to grow our testimonies, and share them by living them constantly.

-Elder Oyler
 

Family picture  :)
(Harrison was able to Skype from the mission home.)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Navidad y bautismo

Feliz Navidad!

Today one of the investigators we are teaching was baptized.  He is 19, and has really developed a love, and deep testimony of Christ and His restored gospel.  It has been incredible to see him progress and prepare for baptism, and I am excited to watch him continue to grow and progress!  Also, it was a great reminder of Christ, especially in this season of Christmas.  It is wonderful to know that Christ lives, that He has a living prophet who guides and directs us in our lives, and that we can find joy and peace eternally, through Christ and his restored gospel.  It is such an honor to be able to represent Him as a missionary, and to be able to remember Him even more this Christmas season!  We are truly blessed to have a Savior to follow!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!
 
Denny's baptism  :)

 
 
Setting up for a mini Christmas show to contact lots of families!
 
 
"Pouch" or mail that comes for all the missionaries during Christmas time!  
(Elder Ramirez will pick it up maybe 2 time a week like this!)
 
Elder Vanderwel came!
(Elder Vanderwel was in the Caleb Chapman band with Harrison.)


We performed at the mission dinner.
 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Christmas plans

These last few weeks have been filled with lots of preparations for Christmas.  This Christmas, as a whole mission we will be participating in an event that one of the stakes in Guayaquil will be putting on.  It will be on the 17th of December in one of the biggest parks in Ecuador, and maybe in South America!  It is called Samanes Park, and as a mission we are participating in making the presentation go well, participating in the musical numbers that will be part of it, and we planning on having more than 1,000 referrals and contacting all of them in one week (before Christmas).  It should be a lot of fun, and we are hoping to be able to bring hundreds of people unto Christ as we meet them, have the presentation about Christ, and them visiting them to teach them about our Savior.

Lots of fun plans, so we have been pretty busy, but we are excited to see how it goes!

Also, we have a family and a 19 year old young man who are preparing to be baptized on the 24th of December!  They are progressing really well, and it is a constant reminder that this is God´s work, as we see miracles in the lives and progress of these people who truly desire to come unto Christ.  

I hope we all enjoy the Christmas season, and that we can always have a smile that will illuminate the lives of all those who are around us!

-Elder Oyler
 
Pictures from two events we did (one in a mall, one in a park).
 
 



 

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Holiday Time

 
Harrison didn't have time to write a main letter this week, but I will share a little of his reply to me.  :)  "Hi Mom!  Sorry this is another week where I don´t have time to write, but to answer your question, I don´t think Thanksgiving is a huge thing here, they are already in Christmas mode :)  But I believe President and Sister Riggins invited the office to eat a Thanksgiving lunch with them in their house, so that should be fun!  I hope you all have a great week!
 
 - Elder Oyler

Christmas caroling as a zone in a shopping center







Navidad en la oficina de la misión
(Christmas in the mission office.) 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

No time

I don´t have a lot of time to write this week, but just to let everyone know I am ok!  It has been a busy and fun week!  I will write more next week.  I hope you all can find a special simple way to serve someone else this week!

Elder Oyler
 
 
 
I don´t have any pictures this week, but just to let you know, I am fine :)  I figured I needed to write so that the office elders don´t get a call from worried parents ;)  That´s happened just a few times when missionaries don´t write their parents on P-day :) haha but thanks for all you do!  Sorry I don´t have a lot of time to write.  I hope you all enjoy your week!

-Elder Oyler
 
 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Short on time

This week my P-day is a little shorter for a few reasons, but I just wanted to share one quick thing.  This week, in the mission office we have been quite busy, and we have had many opportunities to serve the mission and to help and serve others!  But also, we have been short on time to work in our area.  But I am constantly reminded that this missionary work is not my work.  It is miraculous to see that even when we don´t have a lot of time to visit people or find people in our area, God does.  I see that people come to Christ, and God can take the little time that we have and magnify it to do His work.  We visited a 19 year old brother this week who has been reading the Gospel Principles class book since we gave him one when he came to that class.  He has already learned so much, and we have already seen him converting himself to become a faithful disciple of Christ, even when we might not have a lot of time to visit him and teach him.  God loves each one of his children, and I am grateful to take a small part in His work.

-Elder Oyler
 
Homemade drum set
 
 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Trumpet

I will just share two brief things.

1- This week 26 missionaries got to the mission, so we have been super busy getting all of that worked out

2- Our mission is going to be participating in a big event in a huge park here in Guayaquil (Parque Samanes) and so we had to get musical instruments, and I was assigned to do that, so this week I was also able to go instrument shopping, and was able to try out instruments, including a trumpet :)  And now we are going to be doing rehearsals as some missionaries will be taking part in orchestras and bands.  It should be a lot of fun!

Elder McLean, an assistant went home this week. 
I spent quite a bit of time with him, and he will be missed!



Saturday, October 22, 2016

God exists

This week has been another good week.  I don´t have any specific experiences come to mind from this week, but I have realized more this week that God truly does help us.  I have been grateful this week for Him.  I have seen this week that, even if I come up short, God will help me in my weaknesses.  Whether it be through someone else, through the feelings and promptings from the Holy Ghost, or other ways, I am constantly reminded that as I strive to do my best to serve Him diligently and faithfully, I can find strength and success with the help from my loving Heavenly Father.

This week I read 2 Nephi 4, which describes this divine help really well, and I have recognized more His hand in my life.  I pray to recognize this help more often, and I know that as I do, I will be much more grateful and humble before God!

Also, recently, even though it has still been hot, I feel like I have adjusted quite a bit to the heat, because last year at this time of year it seemed a lot hotter! I guess I am a little more Ecuadorian than I was a year ago!

-Elder Oyler
 
Some big flowers we found
 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Restored Gospel

This week, we visited the Osuna family, a family that we met about a month ago, right when they moved here from Venezuela.  They invited us to the mom´s birthday celebration.  I don´t have time to tell the whole story, but they ended up inviting their neighbor to hear a message from us.  Sometimes, we ask member for referals and lots of times it is hard for them to give one, and often times there are a few good excuses, but the example of the Osuna family was incredible.  They have about a month in the country, and their neighbor has lived there for less than 2 weeks.  We did not ask the Osuna family for a referal, but they, out of a sincere desire in their hearts to share the gospel, invited her over, on the mom´s birthday to hear a message from us.  The mom, Rosalva, also testified of the Book of Mormon to thier neighbor, which was an incredible experience to hear an investigator testify of the Book of Mormon, which she had only first seen a month ago, and we could all feel the truth of her testimony.

I wish I had more time to explain the whole story, which is truly amazing, but basically this moment testified to me again that I am truly teaching Christ´s restored Gospel, and I know that it is true and is God´s true source of happiness for us, here in our daily lives, and for the eternities.

I hope you all have a great week!  What joy it is to know that Christ´s true restored Gospel is here on earth again, and we have the opportunity to live it and learn more of it every day of our lives!  Let that be our joy!

-Elder Oyer

Birthday of Rosalva, an investigator.  Also, her family (besides the one on the bottom right who is the neighbor)  Their names: Alexander, Rosalva, and the kids (from left to right) Sofía and Eva  - They are planning on getting baptized this month! 

For those who understand Spanish, this was a great translation job :)


House elders picture
 
 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Conference and Temple

Conference was incredible last week!  We got to watch a few sessions in the mission president´s house which was a great experience!  It was incredible to hear how many times the speakers said ´´restored gospel´´ instead of just ´´gospel´´.  I have been thinking about what that really means.  In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we have the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We have the complete truths that are not found anywhere else in the world.  Though there might be a lot of good principles and guidlines found in other places, the only place in the entired world to find Christ´s Restored Gospel is in His Church.  I am very grateful for my testimony of His Restored Gospel, and for all the knowledge, joy, hope, peace, etc. that that brings.  It truly is such a blessing to have this testimony and also to be able to help others obtain that same testimony, on a very personal level with God, so that they can also enjoy the countless blessings that come from living Christ´s Restored Gospel.  I hope we can all strengthen our testimonies of His Restored Gospel, and come to understand more of what that really means for us!  What blessings we really have from that knowledge.

Also, last week we got to go with Eduardo and Rosa to the temple for their first time!  Eduardo got baptized a month ago, and Rosa about 8 months ago, so that was a wonderful experience for them!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

-Elder Oyler
 
Office elders by the temple

Eduardo and his wife Rosa went to the temple for the first time to do baptisms!


Conference at president´s house
 
 
Office elders and two other elders
 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Charity

This week in my studies, I was learning about how as we follow Christ, we truly develop charity.  It is incredible how as we have faith and hope in Christ, and as we follow Him, we begin to be like Him!  We begin to have more charity.  I was reading in Moroni 7, and 2 Peter 1 this week, where it talks a lot about the process of developing charity, by faith, hope, patience, temporance, etc. and this week I saw a great example of this charity.

We went and visited a member of the ward who is doing remodeling in his house to be able to rent out different parts of his house.  We visited him, and he was telling us about all his plans for his house, and we realized that there were already several people living in those apartments he was building.  We asked him about it, and he told us that he was just letting them live there, because he saw that they were in need.  They were not paying anything to live there, but he was lending then the newly remodeled rooms that he had just finished.  And not only that, but one of the guys living there (another member) is trying to sell food to get money, and the member that is letting him live in his house is helping him find people to sell to, asking around for people who could buy a lunch from him, and then he takes him in his car to deliver the food!  I saw in this members example this true charity.  In a world that sometimes seems a little self centered and unkind, it is great to see that there are true disciples of Christ that are lifting up the lives of others!  Those who have truly developed charity, who are giving and sacrificing, even when it is not required, to help someone else.  To lighten another´s burdens, or to offer another help.  

I know that Christ is the true and perfect example of charity.  I know that as we follow Him, we will become like Him, and we will be able to help our friends and family, and even strangers just as Christ would. 

I hope you all have a great week!

-Elder Oyler

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Busy week!

This week has been quite the busy week!  We had missionaries leave, and others get here, and both the leaving group and the arriving group were quite big!  12 left, and 20 got here, so it has been quite a bit of work!  With the way things worked out, I believe I went to the airport 6-7 times this week!  It has been busy, but also a great experience being able to serve God, and also to help the returning missionaries, and the new missionaries as they begin their service here in Ecuador.

We are still working with this Venezuelan family of 4 that we met just a few weeks ago!  They are working towards getting baptized on the 15 of October!  We are really excited for them, and the members and ward are helping them a lot as they are getting to know the church and the gospel.  It is amazing to see everyone taking a little part in helping this family, our brothers and sister, start a new path in their life, and begin to follow Christ in His way.  They joy that I see in myself, in the members that are helping, and in this family is real, and I know that it is a directly from serving our Loving Heavenly Father, and that He is blessing us for being willing to serve Him and others.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

-Elder Oyler
 
Our baptismal plan for the Venezuelan family.  The Azuna Family.
 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Working with members

This week, we had another great experience as we have been trying to find people to teach through the members of the church.  There are a few Venezuelan families in the ward, and there are quite a few venezuelas moving to Ecuador recently.  There was a new family of 4 moving in, and they somehow met the venezuelan members of the church who were helping them find housing and things like that, and they invited us over to a family night to meet them.  They are truly prepared, and, not only have we found a new family to teach, but they already know some members, and the members have been able to serve, and are willing and ready to keep helping this family progress, learn, and be able to follow Christ!

I love being able to find through members, and I am so grateful that there are great members of the church who help and support, not only the missionaries in their callings, but help and support other members, and other non members in whatever is needed.  In these moments I have truly been able to feel and see the Savior´s love!  I hope we can all follow the example of these members who are bringing this love into the lives of those who surround them!

Have a wonderful week!

-Elder Oyler
 
 

Service project (Luis, the guy in the picture is another referal from a member, the member´s brother, who is really cool and also very prepared!  He does not live in our sector, so we sent the referal, but he is a very nice guy!)



Logan´s companion and I
(Logan is Harrison's cousin.  He served in the same mission with this guy in the pictures.  This guy is now in Harrison's ward.  Small world!)
 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Baptism

Eduardo got baptized last Saturday!  He was very excited for his baptism, and was ready to do everything necessary to get baptized! He truly was an example of humility and faith for me!  Also, his wife (who got baptized a few months ago) was very happy as well, and they are looking forward to getting sealed in the temple in a year!  They are awesome!

Also, Eduardo showed up in a white shirt, tie, AND a suit to his confirmation on Sunday, and he looked like he had been a member for years!  He fits in very well, and will help build God´s kingdom a lot as he continues to serve the Lord!

I hope you all have a great week!

-Elder Oyler
 

I found the guy who was the secretary a few years ago! He was visiting, and was the one who started the "Secretary tie" and the "office tie".
 
 
Baptism of Eduardo
 
 
 
 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Baptism

Sorry, I don´t have a whole lot of time this week, but long story short, we are having a baptism tonight!  We have been excited for that!  I hope you all have a wonderful week!

-Elder Oyler
 
Guy selling lots of brooms :)


 Activity in the park to find new investigators



 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Baptism!

It has been a good week!  We have been visiting and teaching a man named Eduardo a lot recently.  He is planning to be baptized next Saturday!  So we are excited for him, and excited to see him take this important step in God's eternal plan!  As we have been teaching him, he has been reading with real desire to learn of Christ and to be obedient to Him, and we have seen that he truly has these desires!  We come one day after invited him to read parts in the Book of Mormon, and he had marked up words and phrases he didn't understand and was asking us what they meant, and we can see he is truly learning and preparing himself to be baptized!  It is truly and miracle and a blessing to see another child of God humbly striving to follow Christ and learn of Him.  It is a humbling experience for me, and reminds me, yet again, how wonderful God's work is.

The zone conferences finished this week, so now we should be back to our normal schedule.  Also, the last couple of days it has seemed to be getting hotter... Looks like the cooler season here is coming to an end!  Hopefully it will last a little longer, but I wouldn't be surprised if it starts getting even hotter!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

-Elder Oyler

 Brayan and Julia and their kids.  It was their sons 2 year birthday, and they invited us to eat cake after we taught them! Brayan is not a member, and he is planning to get baptized in about a month!


I got this as change from a bus we got on.  Someone taped together two dimes and a nickle to make it easier to use on the bus.  I thought it was a little funny.

 
 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Patience

This week was another busy week!  There were zone conferences for 3 zones this week, so that took up a bit of our time helping out at the zone conferences.  We actually weren´t in the office hardly at all this week, and we have been spending most of the time we weren´t at the zone conferences proselyting.  This week I have really learned more about patience!  There were quite a few different things we had to do (zone conferences, office work, proselyting) and I have had to be patient, as we have tried to excel in each one, sometimes it seems like there simply isn´t enough time to do it all.  But I learned again, that as I do my best to be diligent in doing what God has asked me to do, He will make it all work out!
This next week there are 4 more zone conferences, so it should be another busy week with lots to learn, and lots to do! 

The weather has been staying a little cooler still (cooler than what it was in the hotter season).  Cooler definitely does not mean cool though!  It is still plenty hot :)  But there has also been more breeze and wind recently which has really been nice!  Hopefully it will last for a few more months still.  And it hasn´t rained for a few months now, so there still aren´t any knee high puddle to walk through yet! :)

I hope this week is a great week for everyone!  Especially as we all strive to be patient among all the responsabilities and tasks we juggle in life!

-Elder Oyler
 
 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Holy Ghost

Sorry that I don´t have a lot of time this week, it has been a busy and pretty crazy week with the new missionaries coming and other missionaries returning home!  I just want to say that this week I have been reminded about how real the Holy Ghost is and he has truly taught me new things and new perspectives that help me become better as a missionary, and as a person, and I know that the Holy Ghost is truly God´s gift to each one of us as we are obedient to Him and we seek to follow Him.  The Holy Ghost truly teaches us and brings new things to light that we did not know, understand, or comprehend before.  Seek the simple guidance from the Holy Ghost!

-Elder Oyler

President Zambrano (our Stake president taxi guy) can really fit a lot of bags in his little car!  He fit 13 in, with Elder Spencer and I as well!  (only 4 of those thirteen were not the big luggage bags!)
 


 


At the airport again!



Elder Ramirez (office elder), Elder Corrales (elder who went home) and I
 
 Elder Call and Elder Hales went home!


 The new missionaries were a little tired!