First off, early congratulations to Matthew and Ashley on their marriage! I am sad that I cannot be there, but I am super excited to hear all about it. I am excited to have Ashley as part of the family, and look forward to being reunited with all of you again. :) I hope all goes well and it is the night of your dreams! Also, Happy Birthday to Miss Maddie Mosley! :) It is her birthday today, so if you see her, or have a way of contacting her, let her know I say Happy Birthday from here. :) Love you all so much, and I hope you have a great week of celebration. :)
This week was another amazing week! We really hit the streets and have been contacting like crazy. I don't think I have ever spent so much time on one street before! ha It's been a gold mine, though, and we are finally seeing this area pick up again! :) I have been so happy to see the progression being made in the investigators here. We found a couple more golden investigators this week! :)
As far as Ana goes, we finally met Poncho. He is a very hard-headed man who apparently does not want to listen at all. :( We have only met him once though, and although we are not going to force our message upon him (obviously) we are hoping that maybe when we stop by and visit her, he will listen in a little and maybe he will change his mind. If only he knew of the importance of this message in him life! They are having family problems and everything. I know that if only he would listen to this message, they would come to know of how to fix things and feel more comfortable. I really hope we can meet with them again this week! She has such a desire to learn. If we can't get him on board, though, then we will have to pass her to English, unfortunately. :( Please continue to keep them in your prayers!
We also found another couple wonderful investigators on Thursday. One's name is Blanca. As we went to follow up on a contact we made a couple days before, we found her sitting outside talking to the one we had intentions to contact, Maria. We introduced ourselves, and got started in a conversation with Maria, and Blanca kind of just sat there listening. It wasn't until we resolved a doubt that Maria had heard women need to be married to the bishop first in order to get married to their husband (that was a new one for me ha) that Blanca came out and started defending out church! It was so confusing to us! Turns out, she used to be a very diligent investigator. She came to church and everything, and already knows a lot about it. It must have been a while ago, because we have NO record of her in our Area Book. She was telling her friend about how of all the churches she has visited, she loves the Mormon church the most. We were so aw stricken, like "why aren't you a member?!" ha She wouldn't really tell us why, and she had to leave, so we set a return appt, and really look forward to meeting with her again. :) Can't wait!
Also, we found a woman named Tanya. She is in her early 20's with a 2 month old baby, and she shared with us at her door that she wasn't sure that God answers her prayers. That was a perfect opportunity for us to bare witness that he does indeed hear every one of our prayers and answers them. After we shared a little bit more about what it is we do, she invited us back because she, too, had to leave. So, we came back another day, and had a VERY powerful lesson with her. She was a lot like Ana. We asked her the same question we asked Ana, "is it important for you to know if this is true?" And she, just like Ana, looked at us and said, "I know it is true." We invited her to be baptized, and she set the date of the 8th of September! We are SO excited to continue teaching her! The most powerful part was when we asked her to say the closing prayer, and she started to cry because she said she felt the Spirit so strong. It was such a heartfelt prayer, and we could tell she is going through a lot and really wanted and needed God's help. I look forward to helping her strengthen that relationship with Heavenly Father, so she can come to know that she is not alone.
In addition to such an amazing week, the investigator of the Sisters that I told you about a couple weeks ago that I shared my experience with got baptized yesterday! SO happy for him! His mom was there and everything. :) It was a beautiful baptism. One of the Sisters from that companionship, Sister Hulet, and I sang a duet! :O It was the first time I have sang in front of people in almost a year! It was scary...but not really, because there were only like 50 people there. ;) We sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives (in Spanish, of course). And, of course, President Bowen decided to show up the only time I have ever sang at a baptism haha, soooooo we'll be looking forward to that call to sing in Zone Conference or something ha. He told me he loved it! YAY! ha The Spirit was super strong through the whole baptism, and all went well and as planned. :)
This week was all around fantastic! There were a lot of changes ha. Such as, I am now a purse Elder. :\ The missionary wardrobe has changed, and with it, backpacks were outlawed, and all the Elders had to change to side bags. Granted, they're not purses, but they aren't backpacks. I feel so much more secure with a backpack. ;) But, I guess I will just have to deal with it! ha On the bright side, khakis are now approved, and they are SO much more comfortable! Yay! I attached a picture of the new wardrobe so far. ;) I also got an awesome hat in the mail from Maddie for my birthday! First hat I think I have ever owned. And worn! I am not usually a hat guy, but I promised her I would give it a try haha so I did! It's not bad. ;)
On Thursday, I hit my year mark! Elder Contreras (my twin in the mission that I met in the MTC) and I were on exchanges by chance the same day that we both hit our year mark. SO, we burned a shirt together as part of the tradition here in the mission. I'm right on track! ha 6 months-tie, 12 months-shirt! IT was pretty entertaining, but easier to burn than a tie for sure. ;) We did it at a Spanish-speaking English member's home, the Velasquezes. It was very nice of them, because not only did they help us out with that, but she also made us red velvet and white chocolate cupcakes to celebrate! She's a baker, so she is SOOOOO good at it! She also made me some for my birthday. She spoils me. ;) SO GOOD!
Well, other than that, it was just a lot of WORK WORK WORK this week! And I loved every second of it. :) I love you all so much, and sure do love hearing from you. I look forward to hearing back soon, and I hope all is well! LOVE YOU!
"The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days waiting for better ones ahead." (Love this! Thanks Kelsi! ;))