Monday, August 7, 2017

Listen

It has been another week of serving in God´s work!  I have loved every moment!

This week I was able to work with two zone leaders, and had the opportunity to work in Durán (not too far from Guayaquil).  This next week I will get to work with a couple of other zone leaders, and we have our leader´s council for the month of August, which means I will be able to go to the temple as well!  It will be a great week!

I just want to share a quick thought this week.  As we read in the Book of Mormon with some investigators this week, we were all able to feel the Holy Ghost as we tuned in to his soft voice.  We read in 3 Nephi 11, and read about how a certain people were able to come to hear and understand this simple small voice that teaches, guides and comforts us.  This people heard this simple voice 2 times, but did not understand the wonderful message was being spoken, but their desires to hear changes how the listened.

the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.

It is such a simple task to open our ears to the voice of the Spirit, lift our eyes to the source of this guidance, and look steadfastly for this influence, but it truly allows the Spirit to enter into our heart and mind, and fill us with the Lord´s light.

And behold, the third time thedid understand the voice which they heard; and it said untthem:

I know that we will not only hear, but understand the voice as we wait prepared, as did those waiting for king Benjamin's words, the words of the prophet in Mosiah 2:3-6, 9.  I hope we can all wait patiently and steadfastly for this divine guidance that God gives us.  I know that as we hear, understand, and follow this still small voice that we will be filled with God´s love, and be guided in the path to live forever in His presence.  

Have a wonderful week!

-Elder Oyler
 
Family night with members and investigators!

Exchange with Elder Dorman

Exchange with Elder Robalino
 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Followers of Jesus Christ

This week I had the opportunity to accompany President Alarcón to several places throughout the mission, as he continues to become familiarized with the cities, the leaders, and the missionaries.  It is wonderful to work with him, and learn from his example of leadership, and from his actions and his testimony.

With the help of the Holy Ghost, I was able to learn from him and from many others this week.  I was able to see others in a different way, as followers of Jesus Christ.  I have had the opportunity to watch as President Alarcón, besides the fact that he arrived to Ecuador without knowing the missionaries, the local leaders, or the people or area, begin to bring about miracles.  Many have already been affected by his love and his efforts to serve and to bring about the work of God, and I have seen the Spirit touch me and others as he has been an instrument in God´s hands.  What it is that he has done in this short time that he has here?  I realized that it is very simple.  He has simply come willing to serve and with desires to be obedient to what God has called him to do.  His genuine love for God has led him to do things that he didn´t even know how to do, but that, through His divine help, he has been able to accomplish to bless the lives of others.

I saw that in the example of others as well.  As I sat in church yesterday, I looked over the faces of the members of my ward and observed as many of them served others, simply by saying hi or welcoming another to church with a smile.  I saw one brother who, by small and simple means had blessed the lives of several others present in the meeting yesterday.  About six months ago, this brother had met a couple who he had recently met, who had recently moved to Guayaquil from Venezuela just a few weeks before.  He talked to them about his beliefs in our Savior Jesus Christ, and shared his testimony with them.  Soon after, he invited the missionaries to visit this couple with him.  He continued to help this couple as they came to know the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and they were baptized just 2 or 3 months later.  Now they are actively coming to church every week, participating in family history work and church activities, and the father is carrying out his duties as a Melchizedek Priesthood holder.  We saw another couple that came to the church for the first time yesterday.  This brother had also invited them to come with him to church, and we could see that they could feel the Spirit as they met the ward members, and listened during the classes.  They left with big smiles on their faces, and with a brighter glow in their countenance.  

What is it that this brother is doing?  He, like President Alarcón, is faithfully serving His Savior.  He is not giving speeches to multitudes of people, nor making fire come down from Heaven as a great miracle.  He is simply acting in a faithful, obedient and loving way.  Love for his loving Father in Heaven.  It is by these small, simple, acts, inspired and guided by the Holy Ghost that are bringing about miracles in the lives of others, one by one.  I am very grateful for their examples, and for the perfect example of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is my desire to serve Him constantly and faithfully, so that He can bless the lives of others, and that I might be an instrument in His hands to help them also be followers of Him.

I hope we can all simply listen and follow the quiet promptings of the Holy Ghost in our desires to serve God and to serve and love those around us.  I know that with God´s help, our efforts will bring about miracles, and we will be witnesses to see God´s love extending to all of His children.

Have a wonderful week!

-Elder Oyler
 
Take a look at the last name of the other elder in this pic.  :)
 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Be of good cheer

This week I had the opportunity to work with a missionary in Quevedo, the furthest part of the mission.  There it was wonderful weather, a little cooler with a nice cloud cover, and I had a great experience!  The missionary I worked with was one of the happiest missionaries I have seen!  It is obvious that he loves being a missionary, and loves serving!  As we walked through the streets he would greet everyone in such a loving and cheerful way, to the point that I asked him if he knew them, and he would say ´more or less´ with a smile.  He goes around spreading joy and happiness, no matter who he sees or what he is doing.  I learned a lot from this experience I had with him.  I could feel his love, and also the love of God as I was with him.  That love whose beauty is ´´far beyond, yea, exceeding of all beauty´´ and is ´´precious above all´´ (1 Nephi 11:8-9).  Recently, I have felt that there have been a lot of things to do, and that the next few weeks could be stressful or saddening, but I learned from him, and from what the Holy Ghost taught me through simple thoughts and impressions that there is no reason to be down.  No matter what the situation, or what challenges we may face, or how hard or impossible the path ahead of us seems, that we can always follow the advice of our Savior, and of many of His prophets and apostles, and ´be of good cheer´ (John 16:33).

I know that as we remember our Savior, and what He has done for us, continues doing for us, and will yet do for us, that we will be of good cheer.  There is no challenge or sorrow that He has not overcome, and there is nothing that, through our faithfulness to Him, will stop our eternal happiness in the presence and love of our loving Heavenly Father.  I hope we can turn our thought back to Jesus Christ, and pray to our loving Father with faith, remember all that He has done for us, His children, so that we can always be of good cheer, and also spread His love to those around us, as did my fellow missionary in Quevedo.

I hope you all have a joyful week!

-Elder Oyler
 
 

With Elder Arias in Quevedo



The Historic Park - Elder Spencer, Elder Capistran, Elder Bazalar, Elder Hernández, Elder Carranza

A celebration for a holiday here in Guayaquil today (in the Historic Park)
 
 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Baptism!

This week the weather has still been quite nice, a lot cooler and less humid than winter, and the breeze has been pleasant!  It has been another wonderful week full of work and joy from serving in God´s work, and the week ended with the baptism of one of our investigators!

I learned a lot from this wonderful experience this week.  I had the great privilege of baptizing her on Saturday, and as she got into the water, she was a little nervous and afraid (partly for fear of going under the water, and partly for the decision she was about to make).  She was tempted to leave in that moment, but she continued with faith!  It was a spiritual experience for her and for all present.  After her baptism, she had the opportunity to share her testimony, and she expressed how she had been in many different religions, but had never quite found what she was looking for.  She expressed that as she came to know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, there were many influences that seemed to pull her away from learning more, and from preparing to be baptized.  She had several friends who tried to persuade her not to be baptized, and many times when she almost followed those influences, but she expressed that she kept going, and that she knew that this wasn´t just a good thing to do, but that she was being baptized in the true church of Christ, and that she is now ´another sheep in His fold´.  The spirit testified firmly as she shared her simple testimony of the sacred baptismal ordinance that she performed.  

I know that this is Christ´s church.  I know that the Holy Ghost testifies of this truth, and of all other truths, so that we can follow Christ, and know when we are in the path that leads us back to live with our Loving Heavenly Father, being like Him, fulfilling our full potential, as His eternal sons and daughters.  My hope is that we can all recognize and feel this special confirmation from the Holy Ghost as we strive to follow Christ and listen to the still small voice of the Holy Ghost this week! 

-Elder Oyler 
 

Elizabeth´s baptism


 
 
Bus ride from Quevedo with Elder Wright

Exchange this week with Elder Ogden (from my same group)
 
 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Council

This week I was able to be with the new mission president and his family as they got to know the mission and all the missionaries.  It has been quite an experience!  I have learned a lot!  While I miss President and Sister Riggins, I am also grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve with and get to know the new mission president, President Alarcón and his family.  They are wonderful and have come ready with lots of excitement to start serving in the new calling that God has given them.

We had several conferences in places throughout the mission, and have been able to visit all of the missionaries with the Alarcón family.  We have traveled quite a bit and been able to watch as they come to know what will be their home for three years!  Seeing them try new foods, and see new sights, and they have already come to love certain dishes and places!

One of the things that I have learned about this week is the importance of a council, especially in the church but in each of our lives.  Since President Alarcón came without knowing hardly anything about the mission, he was able to use councils to get to know and start working with the mission.  Through the councils we have had (council for leaders, councils as the mission office, etc.) we have come to align our visions and goals, without throwing aside anyone's ideas or input.  President Alarcón was able to start leading the mission, but also able to have everyone's input so we could all come to a conclusion as to how we all, together, would continue to work as a mission despite the changes.  Councils are something so simple, but I have come to understand more the importance of a council.  After just one week, we have all, as a mission, been able to understand where we are going and come to an accordance as to how things will be done, and nobody has been offended, or unheard, and we have come to an understanding.

Councils can be applied in many situations, and I have seen how councils are helping my companion and I continue to work together, having the same vision, and not having any uncertainties that might irritate or bring confusion or misunderstandings.  

I have realized that through councils, I will be able to avoid problems in family relationships, in work, in school, and in any interaction with someone else.  Councils held while maintaining Christlike attributes (love, patience, humility, etc.) will strengthen and fortify every relation that we have.  I hope we can all resolve any challenges or misunderstandings we have, maintaining Christlike attributes and together finding the solution to our problems.  The doubt and uncertainty, anger and disrespect will be replaced with love and joy, relief and unity.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

-Elder Oyler
 
The Osuna family!  They finally were baptized!  I was invited to attend the baptism, and had the opportunity to baptize Rosalva, the mom :)  Such a great family!
 

 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Change in mission president

This week has been a great week, in which the weather has continued to be a little cooler.  We were also able to go to the temple this week as part of zone conferences, we were able to participate in initiatories, which I haven´t been able to do for a year and a half, so that was a wonderful experience!

This week, we will mostly be helping in the change in the mission president.  I will be sad to see President and Sister Riggins leave, as they have been wonderful examples and a huge blessing to me throughout my entire mission.  I am grateful that I have been able to know them, and we will all miss them in the mission.  At the same time, I am excited to meet the new mission president and his family.  It will be President Alarcón, his wife and 3 of his kids.  They live in Lima, Perú, and I am excited to work with him, learn from him, and continue serving in God´s work.  The change in mission president will be this Friday, so it should be a week full of memorable experiences!

I hope we can all continue trusting in our unchanging Loving Heavenly Father, despite all the other constant changes in life.  I know I can continue trusting in Him always, and He will never change, He will always be watching over us.

-Elder Oyler
 
´Malecon 2000´ -- got to visit here for P-day

 
 

 ´La Perla´ in Guayaquil (we got to go for P-day)
 
 


 

Monday, June 19, 2017

God's work

I hope you have all had a wonderful week filled with recognizing the countless blessings from our Loving Father in Heaven that surround us constantly.  This week, I have seen the uncomprehensible love that He has for us!  Even though it is often quite difficult and faith trying in my humble efforts to serve the Lord, I continue seeing His hand in all I do, in the moments when I feel I can´t keep going, after giving all that my limited abilities have, I see that He steps in and does His part in His work.  I never stop seeing His hand as I continue trusting in Him, even though I can´t possibly do all that is asked of me by myself.  But I testify that He will be involved, and as we serve Him, we will be humble instruments in His hands, and feel the eternal joy of being a part of His work.  I hope we can always remember those moments when we have seen and recognized that He has helped us, and that we let that keep motivated us every day!

-Elder Oyler
 
Brother Call came to Ecuador! (One of my former companions)
 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Charity

These last few weeks it has been a lot cooler, now that we are getting into the summer weather.  There is normally a little breeze and there are clouds quite often.  The sun still comes out at times, and then it gets pretty hot, but for the most part it is staying a little cooler!  Especially at night!

These last few weeks we have been able to participate in a few missionary trainings (zone conferences, new missionary trainings, etc.) and those are always great experiences!  We have also been able to do quite a few exchanges in a few sectors throughout the mission, which are wonderful learning experiences.  There are lots of people the God is preparing to listen to missionaries in our whole mission, and in the whole world.  This week there are more new missionaries coming to the mission so we will be able to welcome them to the mission and see the wonderful desires and excitement they had to start working in God´s work, here in Ecuador.

These last few weeks I have been learning about charity.  In studies and in experiences, I have come to understand and realize more of the reality of the power that charity has!  As I have prayed to my loving Heavenly Father for more charity, I have seen that little by little He is blessing me with this divine attribute, and I have come to see the true power it has.  I have seen and felt how having charity helps us to have other attributes as well.  As we truly love and care for others, more like how Christ did, other attributes seems to flow out naturally, humility, patience, service, etc.  It completely changes how we act and how we see others and see the world.  I know that God will help us possess more charity, and in turn become more like Christ, as we plead to Him and strive to receive His help in this constant process.  I hope we can all continue developing this eternal attribute and seeing the difference it makes in our lives, the lives of our family members, and others who surround us.

-Elder Oyler
 
In an exchange in Naranjal, Ecuador

 On the bus coming back to Guayaquil from Naranjal
 

On a bus leaving Guayaquil

The house of the Lord
 

Monday, June 5, 2017

A couple of pics :)

Harrison has been very busy and has not had time to sent much of an email for a while.  But, he sent these two pics this week.  Thought I would share them.  :)


Elders from the group that got here to the mission when I did

Former office members

Monday, May 8, 2017

Persistent Salesman

This week we were visited by one of the seventies, Elder Carlos A. Godoy.  It was wonderful to learn from him, and see an example of how we can always be serving Christ!  It is in that that we truly find everlasting joy!

Also, this week I have learned more about what we do as missionaries.  I have come to comprehend more what the scripture in D&C 20 says about gathering the elect.  I don´t have to sell people the restored Gospel myself.  God is preparing people, and I am simply here to gather them, and to help them understand and find what they are looking for.  This week I feel I have been better able to apply the Gospel to the people I have met, and realized more that I don´t have to be a ´persistent salesman´ and try to convince them to buy my product.  I simply help them understand that the restored Gospel is truly the answer to there questions, and that God has been preparing them for their whole lives!

I know that this Gospel is true, and it is the way we can truly follow Christ, and be His disciples.  I hope we can all find special ways to serve others as His disciples this week!

-Elder Oyler
 
Naranjal, Ecuador


Exchange with Elder Spencer
 

Monday, May 1, 2017

God's work

This week I was able to attend a baptism of a family that I helped find when I was in Urbanor.  It was so cool to see them after they had progressed to baptism and to see them make a covenant to be obedient and to be disciples of Christ!  We all felt the Spirit in their baptism, and I am very grateful to see them move forward!

Also, I saw another family that we were teaching in the baptism!  It was so great to see them as well!  They are still progressing towards being baptized, and they are faithfully attending church and attending church activities!  They should hopefully be baptized in the next couple of weeks!  

Seeing these two families in their spiritual progress was yet another testimony for me of God´s work.  I know He has an eternal plan for us, His children.  I have seen the evidence of this time and time again in my life and in the lives of other.  I am so grateful to have the opportunity to help Heavenly Father, in His work, and a full time missionary.  I know that His plan is eternal, and that as we continue following it, we will come to understand more who we are becoming, and where we are headed.  

I hope we can all continue on this path, even if we don´t understand completely how it leads us to all that God has promised us!  I know that we will be able to recognize our progress as we patiently continue to be diligent and obedient to Him.  He is our Loving Father in Heaven!

-Elder Oyler
 
Elder Hernández and I.  You can´t really tell but we were soaked.

Baptism of a family we found in Urbanor

 

Monday, April 24, 2017

God's constant miracles

This week I was able to visit the cities of Durán, Milagro and El Triunfo on exchanges and in other meetings.  It is amazing to see how all the missionaries here are learning and working diligently, serving our Loving Heavenly Father.  I know that God is very pleased to see them all serving with all their hearts and might!  I am grateful for the opportunity I have to work with them.

Also I have been able to work with Elder Cayro a little bit in the last couple of days.  He is very intelligent and I have been able to learn from Him!  I have learned from his loving example, and seen him serve me, even when it´s not always easy to do so.  I am grateful that I have been able to work with him!
When I was first assigned to work as the mission secretary, I remember feeling a little inadequate, and feeling like I wasn´t capable of doing things in the way that was expected of me, but I remember clearly the answer to my prayers as I saw God´s help with our investigators, in my work in the office, and in everything that I did.  It was amazing to see how God helped make my efforts be efficient, and that He did His part which made everything work.  I have had a similar experience as I was assigned to be an assistant.  I felt as though I wasn´t quite capable, and that others would do a better job, but I was a little slow in remember what God had done for me in my assignment as secretary (and other assignments throughout my life).  But I continued to pray for help, and to ask for guidance and direction, so that I would be able to do what is expected of me.  Once again, I am seeing God´s hand in all that I do.  Even though I still have much to learn, I see that God knows that I can do, and only expects me to do the most I can and He will cover the rest.  I continue to learn, but continue to see that God makes up for my weaknesses as I strive to help Him, in His work.
 
I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and I know that we come to truly know Him and develop our relationship with Him as we diligently serve Him and do our best to be obedient to what he asks us to do.

I hope we can all remember this about our Loving Heavenly Father, and remember His constant miracles as we continue to face the challenges and changes that come constantly in our lives.  Pay attention to His guidance and recognize His hand in what you do this week!

-Elder Oyler
 
 
Elder Cayro and me
 
Exchange with two excellent zone leaders!
 
 
More rain!



 
 
The bridge connecting Durán and Guayaquil

Wildlife
 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Elder Christofferson

This week we were visited by Elder Christofferson.  That was a pleasant surprise!  He came and visited missionaries from the Guayaquil missions on Saturday morning.  We were all able to shake his hand and his wife's hand, and they spoke to us in Spanish.  I was able to feel the Spirit very strongly, and I know that he is a true apostle of Christ.  I am so grateful that we have leaders that lead us and guide us.

Right now I am in a trio with Elder Hernandez and Elder Blackhurst.  We will be doing a lot of exchanges this week, working with the zone leaders, so I am excited to learn with all of them.  As I continue to serve as a missionary, and as I continue learning and having more and more experiences, I keep seeing and comprehending more and more about God´s perfect plan for us to return to Him.  I am blessed to see His hand in the lives of many people, and continue to be amazed as I see how His work continues to move forward, bringing joy to the lives of those who follow Him, and are obedient to Him.  I see that as we do so, we are being prepared to live with God again in His kingdom and in eternal families.  I know that God lives, and that Christ truly lives and directs His church.  I know that He overcame death by being resurrected and through Atonement, He offers us peace and guidance, so that we can return to the presence of God.

I am so grateful for the restored Gospel which allows of to know of these truths, and I hope we can all continue to learn more and find peace as we follow this plan.  And I hope we can all share this happiness with others, always looking and praying for ways to help God bring all His children back to His presence!

I hope you have a wonderful week!

-Elder Oyler

Elder Contreras and Elder Fraser before they went home

Picture of the temple

Pictures with some of the new missionaries



Monday, April 10, 2017

Trusting in God

The rain has still been pretty constant, and rains several times a week.  Some of them are pretty big storms and having flooded streets is pretty common.  Lots of water!  It is also still quite humid and hot!

Tomorrow my companion Elder Contreras returns to his home in Peru, so I will be having some type of transfers!  Today I should find out more about what the transfers will be.  I am excited to keep serving, and excited to keep learning with whatever changes come!

I have been reminded to trust in God recently.  There are many times when I am worried about how something will go, or if I will be capable of doing certain tasks, or fulfilling certain assignments, or of the future in general.  But time after time, I have learned that as I trust in God (by being obedient and by doing my best to serve Him) things keep turning out better than I could have even imagined, sometimes is ways that are never expecting.  It is a reminder to me to keep trusting in God, and not worrying about things that I can't control, only focusing on what God asks us to do as His children.  God has a perfect plan, and helps and guides us, often times through others, and especially through the leaders that He has called by revelation.  I know that as we continue to trust in Him, that we will find peace and and comfort, and continue finding success and learning through every experience.  This is the work of the Lord!

Have a great week!

-Elder Oyler
 Lots of rain, flooded streets
 
Elder Blackhurst and a drink called Frutaris that is pretty good.


We found a new investigator with the Elders Quorum President.

Monday, April 3, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HARRISON!

Today is Harrison's 20th birthday!  He didn't email a letter, only pictures.  But, I thought I would post these pics.  :)

Happy birthday!

General Conference


Temple- some elders who arrived when I did

Elder from the Guayacanes ward