Without a doubt, this has been one of the greatest weeks here on my mission! I have absolutely loved this week, and my companion and I are SO strong now! Needless to say, the first couple weeks were a little rough coming from both sides, but this week we had a great Companionship Inventory, all came out that needed to change, and without hesitation we put it into play, and we have never been better! Although it hasn't been our most successful week in numbers, it's been a VERY successful week of working on unity and feeling the Spirit a lot stronger in our companionship. I am living the life right now, there is nowhere else I would rather be.
Unfortunate news for this week is that the Solorio Family moved on Friday. :( They were so great! But I KNOW and I have faith that they won't stop here, they're going to keep progressing and get baptized, they have that Spirit about them. They want to know the truth, and soon they'll realize they've found it. :) Jose (the son) is planning on getting baptized when they stop in Clearfield, Utah to visit family for a couple weeks, by the same missionary that baptized his brother a couple months ago, so that's great!
Sadly we weren't able to meet with Luis at ALL this week because he was busy, plus it's a little difficult to meet with him sometimes because he doesn't have a house that we can just stop by to, since he lives in his car. He wasn't able to get Sundays off from work yet, since he wasn't at church last Sunday or the one before, so we are hoping and praying that his boss's heart will be softened and will allow him to take a break for church. Please keep him in your prayers!
Rosa and Melissa are continuing to accept the message well, and now Rosa's husband (not Melissa's dad) is a new investigator and listening to the discussions now! The work is pushing forward very strongly here in the Santa Ana 5 Ward. I sure love it here, and it's amazing that Rosa and Melissa's family started as a reference from a member. Members truly are one of the most important factors in missionary work. Part of the 12 Week Program (training program for the first 12 weeks I'm out here) was to study the importance of members. President Gordon B. Hinckley said it well, when he said, "The process of bringing new people into the Church is not the responsibility alone of the missionaries. They succeed best when members become the source from which new investigators are found." Members play a HUGE role in missionary work, so please, if you can think of anyone who needs the message of the restored gospel in their life, do as Elder Russell M. Nelson said in the previous General Conference, "ask the missionaries. They can help you." Remember that every member a missionary. :)
I have a strong testimony of this work, I know it continues to strengthen and grow with the support of faithful members and exactly obedient missionaries. I also have a strong testimony of the priesthood. The other night, Elder Andersen was having a rough night and had just had an interview with our District Leader. He was really down. So I told him if he needed anything that I am here for him. Without hesitation, he asked me to give him a priesthood blessing. The Spirit filled the room as I layed my hands on his head. Later, as we talked about it, he said that was the most spiritual moment he has experienced on his mission. I agreed. I love this gospel, and the blessings it provides to those who are willing to listen. I continue to learn and grow out here! I love my Father in Heaven and his Son. The true church IS restored to the Earth today. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We need to do as the scriptures say, "seek and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you." The gospel can change the life of anyone who is willing to accept it.
I miss you all so much, and I have you in my prayers every day! Welcome home again, Matthew! Hope all is well, until next week, cuidense! :)
"When it seems like everything seems to be going against you, remember that an airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." Henry Ford (favorite quote right now, thanks Olive!) :)