This week was awesome! Well, it was sad to say goodbye to you all on Christmas, but on the bright side it has been great here! :) The ward has really made us feel at home here for Christmas away from home. We've been getting presents left and right and have been stuffed full of food for the past week. I swear, I'm going to explode. NO BUENO! On the bright side though, I bought a scale so I can guilt myself into losing weight and getting back down to where I was. I've only gained 10 pounds according to the scale...but I'm sure my muscle is slowly being replaced with fat! Grrrr...I'll be okay though, yay workouts! And people will not feed us as much with the end of the holidays. :) I sure love this ward.
Little update on the work! We found 10 new solid investigators this week, we have 6 investigators with baptismal dates, we have a baptism set for this Sunday, we had 5 of our investigators in the chapel on Sunday, and the ward attendance that we have been working on with less actives has gone from around 80 when I got here to 200 at church yesterday! Our little chapel was packed! It was great though. And plus it was a great Sunday for everyone to be there, missionary Sunday!
Speaking of missionary Sunday, I spoke! AHHH! I was a little nervous, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I though it would be. I guess I have a limit as to how many people in the congregation before I shake ha. I used to get super nervous in front of wards with 300-400 members there, so I guess my mind's content with 200. :) The Spirit was so strong in the room, because I could tell it was guiding me in what to say. Because I'm a procrastinator, I forgot about it until the morning of, so I pulled all my notes together and decided to talk about how to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost and how that applies to missionary work. It wasn't too hard, because it was easy to testify of the power of the Holy Ghost when the members are in the lessons with us. The more we have in the lessons to testify, the better. I love member lessons. Following me was an old bishop who basically talked about the same thing and talked to the members about how important they are. Something he said that I really liked was when he said, "we invite, the missionaries teach, and the Holy Ghost converts." How true that is! I also shared that and how the real teacher is the Holy Ghost. I shared our family's story and how it was through members that we found out about the church. That that statement really is true! Members are SO important. So please talk with the missionaries in your ward and share with them who you can go with them to visit. They only need a good 15 minutes to meet with anyone, and the Holy Ghost has their attention to testify.
Our investigators that were there absolutely loved it! The whole block. Our investigators right now are the ones Elder Kopischke warned us of-the elect. Alicia and Florentino were a referral from another investigator and have been progressing so fast! It is amazing how important this message is to them. The Spirit is so strong in our lessons, and I know they will feel super ready when it comes time for their baptism on the 13th. :)
Please keep Clemente in your prayers. He is going through a rough time of doubt, and what his mom is saying is really getting to him. Which is sad. This is like a repeat of Melissa. He has come so far, and is so close, and his mom is talking about how he should look at other churches first. He shares with us how he knows this church is true and he knows he will be baptized someday into this church, he just isn't sure right now is the time. We had a really good talk with him last night though and we are fasting with him today so that he can gain a sure answer of where he should be going with his life and this decision right now. I have faith that he will receive his answer for sure today. The power of fasting cannot be denied.
Those are our more progressing investigators right now, but this week we found a house full of Salvadorians who are itching to hear our message and already love what we have shared with them so far. The fruits of our labors. I love working, working, working. It is so fun, and so life-changing at the same time. :)
Oh! And I love my new shoes! They are definitely the most comfortable out of the three pairs I have right now. :) Thank you! I love all the presents I got from you, I use them all the time. :)
Well, today starts a new week! And tomorrow starts a new year! A new year full of surprises. A new year full of work. A new year full of laughter. A new year full of goals. I hope you all have a great week, and enjoy celebrating this new year. Now let's not forget this year about all the goals we set last year! ;) When you have a chance, you should watch the "New Year's: Look not behind thee" Mormon Message on LDS.org. It's one of my favorites and gives us a great message about the New Year! Love you all so much, Happy New Year!
"You can't move back, so you might as well look forward in the best way you can. Anybody can chose to change. Leave the past behind and look ahead to a brighter future. It's a new year. Don't look back."