It sure was great to hear from you all! I love hearing about how everything is going right now. From the sound of it, everything is really wet right now. Wish that were the case over here! We're baking! It's been really hot and humid, so I've just had to get used to melting everyday. ;) It's fun, though, the blessings that come are totally worth it!
I can't even remember well all that happened this week. It was a long week, but it went by so fast! So much went on, and there is so much to share, but I will just try to stick to the main points this week, since I don't have much more time before I have to go....
- I was sick at the beginning of this week, so we had to take a day off, so I could get better. I couldn't even figure out what it was. Monday night, I got home and my entire body was sore, I could barely stay awake, and I had a bad headache (don't worry, not a migraine, thank goodness) so we called it an early night and I went to bed in hopes to sleep it off and be better to work hard the next day, but nope! I woke up and was even worse...plus it was Zone Meeting, so unfortunately I had to see the whole zone like that....not fair! They were all confused because I was not myself. The Zone Leaders thought I was mad at them for not participating as much as I usually do...but all was straightened out and they understood once they realized I was feeling TERRIBLE ha. The members that live close to us were so nice and brought me tea and bread, but I'm so glad that's gone!
- We worked SO hard this week! Although we did not teach as many appts, we followed up on contacts a lot and all the lessons we taught either turned into great follow up appts with new investigators really willing to learn more, or people accepting baptismal dates. We now have 7 people we are focusing on to help towards their baptisms. It is so exciting to help people prepare themselves for such an important step in their life.
- Speaking of baptisms, I had my first two baptismal interviews this week with two investigators of the south Sisters' area. Their mom was the original investigator, but because her pareja doesn't want to get married, she couldn't progress any further, so she gave permission to her sons to chose as to whether or not to get baptized. Well, they prepared them really well! I interviewed them and they were both really eager to be baptized and completely understood the necessity for it in life. I was amazed at the Spirit I felt in those interviews with 9 and 11 years old boys. It was incredible. Sadly, though, all the baptism got arranged-programs, food, clothing (they didn't have their own church attire), everything-and then an hour before the baptism, the parents called and back out of it. They wouldn't allow their children to be baptized. They changed their mind and decided they weren't ready to make that decision. It was so sad, and it has been really hard on the sisters. Unfortunately, things like this happen, and the best thing we can do is support the family and help them understand that they are ready. Bishop is going to go visit the family on Tuesday with our ward mission leader, so hopefully that will help and those boys can look forward to their baptism again, soon. So please keep the Chaidez family, Sister Corona, and Sister Byon in your prayers!
- Although that is a little bit of a downer, the rest of the week still went well throughout the district. The unity is really picking up here, and we have really enjoyed the district service opportunities we have had to serve the ward members and the times we enjoy dinner together at a members house. I am truly blessed to be the leader of a district that is leading me. :)
- We celebrated Dia de Hispanidad Saturday as a stake. It was a blast! It is very similar to the Elotada that I talked about back in May. All the Spanish stake gets together to celebrate, but this time it's a LOT of food and dancing and a show and karaoke, and just a great time! It was nice to see old faces from back in Santa Ana 5 and spend a little time catching up with them all. I sure love this culture! It was all so decorated and fun, and we all had a great time!
- As I am sure you saw (he should have sent you a pic) I got to see Elder Tueller again! WOO! It was great to reunite with my old pal. It was really weird to take a picture next to him, because it gave us flashbacks to our transfer together. Such a great time! We talked about old times and had a good laugh!
Other than that...there is a LOT more to talk about. ;D But, unfortunately, I don't have enough time to share it all...as usual, and I will have to tell you about it all when you can't get me to shut up about how amazing my mission is once I get home. ;) I really enjoyed teaching about baptism this week and the importance of it we learn about in 3 Nephi chapter 27 verses 19 to 21, and how we should apply the atonement of Jesus Christ to our lives through baptism and once we become members of the Church. This is the true church. I know it because I have come to receive that answer for myself. There hasn't been anyone to tell me to believe in them, nor to force me to share this amazing gospel with other, but I do it because I know it is something that we all need to hear. I am so glad I have this opportunity to serve the Lord and those elders and sisters around me, and I wouldn't change this moment for anything. I am so happy I get to declare this to those in this area, and I know that I won't ever stop, because, if Jesus Christ were here, I know he wouldn't either. He is our example. We ALL need to strive to be like him. No matter the consequences or the difficulties we face-whether it be losing a loved one, taking a trip down the wrong path, family problems, financial difficulties, you name it-the Gospel of Jesus Christ will always be the answer to fixing those problems. I am so grateful my family was fixed through it. Not to be prideful, but to be aware. My life has been been blessed in so many ways-I can't even count, and like I have said time and again, I will never go back. I love you all so much, and I look forward to hearing back from you soon. I leave you my testimony that this is true in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.