Saturday, April 30, 2016

Love one another!

I don´t have a lot of time this week, but things are going great as always!   I am loving being a missionary and representing Christ at all times!  The joy from sharing, and living your testimony is incredible, even if it is just quickly contacting someone in the street! I hope we will all continue to do so!

So just a quick little thought...  It is such a wonderful opportunity we have to be able to become more like Christ through His Atonement, and as I have been trying to become more like Him in my life, I have realized how much more meaningful and joyous my life has been as I have been loving others more!  When we truly love others enough to care for their needs more than ours, our worries go away, and our life becomes full of service where we can influence others in the way Christ would!  So my advice this week is to love others!  This is where I have found true joy! Before the mission, as well as in the mission!  Whether it has been family, friends, investigators, other missionaries, or anyone else!  I know as we all come to love more like Christ does, we will live so much happier in our lives!  

Have a wonderful week!
 
 
-Elder Oyler
 
 
 
We got to eat dinner with some temple missionaries, most of them are going home these next couple of week, so I won´t get to see them in the temple anymore when we go there, but it has been a great experience! :)
 
 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Earthquake!

I am sure you have all already heard a lot about the Earthquake here in Ecuador already, but just to give a little more of an update and my personal experience I will tell a little more about it.  It is definitely a unique experience that I will never forget!

So it was last Saturday night and we just showed up at a less active´s house to visit them.  We were talking to him by the gate outside his house when we started to feel the ground shake a little.  Earthquakes aren´t too uncommon here so we didn't think a whole lot of it, but then, as we started to see the parked cars on the street start to shake more and more, the chandelier in the less active´s house start swinging pretty hard, and it wasn´t stopping, we realized it wasn´t a normal little earthquake!  We went out into the street to get away from the buildings, and everything was shaking really hard!  The power poles and lines were swinging a lot, and everything just seemed to be in commotion!  Then all the power shut off, and we could see what looked like a few electricity bursts off in the distance.  So then the streets were dark, car alarms were going off, and everyone was outside in the streets.  We were all told to go back to our houses for the night, so we walked back to our house in the dark,  As we passed by some buildings, it sounded as if several water pipes had broken and water was pouring out of the house, everyone quickly closed up their stores and everyone was pretty shaken up.  

Luckily there was not a whole lot of damage here in Guayaquil.  The main things I heard about was that there was a bridge that collapsed here in Guayaquil, and in the mission office, half the office didn´t have power and some of the ceiling and lights had collapsed, but other than that I haven´t heard of too much damage in our mission.  The following week, however, we took a bunch of the mattresses we keep at the mission house to the Guayaquil west mission, because they had 3 zones that had to come to Guayaquil and stay here, so they needed more mattresses and we took those to the west mission, and heard a little more about the damage and things that had happened in their mission.  Their mission was quite a bit closer to the center than our mission, but we have heard that all the missionaries are ok and accounted for.  There have been a few smaller aftershock earthquakes, but, at least here in Guayaquil, the first one was the only one that did any damage.

So in Guayaquil there wasn´t too much to worry about, but there are other parts of Ecuador which could use our prayers!  Hopefully all the missionaries and members here will be able to help all those affected by bringing them their wonderful testimonies of Christ, and the beautiful message of the true and everlasting comfort and peace that comes from Him, and from following Him!   

-Elder Oyler
 
Taking mattresses to the west mission.

We all slept outside the night of the earthquake, just in case :)

Part of the damage in the office.
 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Secretary

So I am not sure how much I have explained about my job as a secretary before, so I figured I would explain a little more just in case I haven´t explained much.  The secretary´s main jobs are to manage flights and visas for all the missionaries in the mission, and since we have the temple in our mission, I do that for the temple missionaries as well.  So I go to the ministry building quite often to be getting, renewing, and registering visas.  There are a lot of other little jobs that I do as well, but the office members all help out at any mission events or trainings or anything like that, and often times I get to help other office members in their jobs.  This week I got to help move furniture and things into a new house that some missionaries will be renting, which was pretty cool!  I have traveled a few times to go look at houses in the missions and stuff like that with the financer who is in charge of all the houses.  So I got to go to Quevedo (farthest part of the mission, about 4 hours from Guayaquil) to look at houses a month or two ago.  Also, I see the mission president quite a bit.  It is quite a cool experience to be in the office, and to see how the mission works, and to make sure it all runs smoothly!  It is cool to see and be involved in all the things that go on to make the work go forward, and then still have time to go work and visit and help people on a personal level!

Anyways, that is a little more on what the mission secretary does, at least in this mission!  As far as teaching goes, we had another baptism last saturday! I can´t remember if I already talked about it, but the guy that got baptized moved here from Venezuela recently with a friend who is already a member and another non member friend, but we met him about 1.5 to 2 months ago, set a baptismal date for the 9th of april, but he didn´t live in our sector yet, so we only saw him at church.  He finally moved to our sector about 3-4 weeks ago so we started teaching him all the lessons.  Then soon after, he got a job and we couldn´t get a time where we could go visit him.  We went back about 1-2 weeks before the baptism, and he said he still wanted to be baptized, so we told him we had to teach all of the lessons still!  He was able to make time for a few visits, in which we had to teach pretty breifly, but he changed so much in his last 2 weeks!  He said he had had problems with the word of wisdom before, but committed to live the word of wisdom.  He shaved, stopped wearing his earring, and told his girlfriend that he could not have a serious relationship.  His whole personality changed, and the person he was after he was confimed a member of the church was a different person than just a few weeks before!  Now he is trying to help his girlfriend learn about the church, told us to send the missionaries to her house (She lives a ways away in another mission) and he is helping his other venezuelan friend who might get baptized here pretty soon! It is so cool to see how the gospel changes people!  I am so grateful to be a part of it, and to be continually changing through the gospel!  As we constantly learn and live it, we can constantly be becoming better people, more faithful followers of Christ, and closer and more like our Heavenly Father, who loves and cares for us so much!  Christ and His gospel are the way, and I know we truly change and can become like Him!

I hope you all have an amazing week!

-Elder Oyler
 
View from a members house

 
Baptism of Santiago!


 
Office and assistants
 
 
We all want to do this at times :)
 
 

 
 

 We slept outside on our little porch thing one night cause there
was a breeze and it was cooler than normal :)


Elder Butler



 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Finding Joy

It has been a great week!  Conference was amazing, and being a missionary is awesome!  So Elder Call, the old secretary, changed sectors at the end of March, so now I am on my own in everything the secretary needs to do!  Elder Spencer joined mine and Elder Butler´s companionship (he will be the new mission financer in place of Elder Butler) so I am still in a trio.  Elder Spencer was actually my district leader in the MTC, so he has as much time as I do in the mission, and I already somewhat knew him.  That´s a brief update on my companionship.

So I have really learned the importance of finding joy in everything, no matter what it is as long as you are following God´s plan and commandments.  Often times, here in the mission and before the mission it is hard to completely enjoy what I am doing.  Lots of times it is hard and tiring, but I have learned and realized that if I don´t choose to enjoy it, find joy in what I do, I won´t be happy.  And I realized that no matter what point I am in my life it will be this way.  I don´t think life will ever be ´easy´ and I know that God doesn´t want it to be ´easy´.  But I have been learning the importance of always doing my best, and always finding joy in serving God, serving others, and living life, no matter what circumstancing I am in.  I feel like there will always be times when we long for the past or for the future, but I have learned that instead of doing that, just enjoy and doing my best in the moment I am in, with a hope for eternal life after all of this life.  As I have tried to apply this more these past few weeks, I have really come to understand more that it is easy to find joy always, as long as I let myself.  So I hope you can all find joy in whatever point you are in your life, or in whatever problems or concerns you have! Just know that you can enjoy it, and that God will always be there to help, and has promised us eternal life! 

-Elder Oyler
 
Harrison's 19th birthday!

Special birthday surprise  :)

Cool picture (look closely)

For mom
(There are some really good brownies close to the office.)