Holy moley...I don't know if it will be possible to catch you up on everything that has happened this past week and a half in this little email. I will definitely have to expound on all this great news that happened this week. Headlines include but are not limited to: Roberto receives his answer, a golden investigator comes to us, the ward Costume Activity is a hit, we go to the temple for the first time since July, and it's the most "part-member" time of the year! :) Let's just say that of all the weeks in my mission to have a gap of 10 days between p-days, it couldn't have been a busier two weeks! Hopefully I can recap well, and whatever I miss (which will most likely be a lot), I will write about in my letter on Monday P-day ha.
For starters, the Costume Activity was a total hit! Everyone loved it! We decorated caramel apples and sugar cookies, carved pumpkins, had a jumphouse (of course-hispanic party ;D), painted faces, had mystery boxes, had a costume competition (us missionaries should have rightfully won ha), and finished it off with a Trunk O' Treat-English ward style. ha It was all around a great turn out and what was amazing was the next day the chapel was full! Ward activities are a great way to continue to help strengthen the less-actives, recent converts, and new investigators in feeling comfortable in the ward and making more friends. Everyone had a lot of fun and it all looked great! Us missionaries borrowed the hand-made minion costumes of a family from the English ward, and when we all walked in (there were only 5 costumes, so it was just perfect that my companion, Elder Thorne, looks just like Gru and Sister Davis was the red-head from the 2nd one) the ward went crazy! We immediately got attacked by everyone wanting to take pictures...I mean, I don't blame them...these costumes were legit! The English ward's Relief Society President did them...it was awesome! Such a great activity, and now we are gearing up for our Thanksgiving activity! The theme is the Tree of Life...I'll explain that more later! We'll see if I stay around for that one! Which leads me to my next topic...
I experienced what I would consider to be the best lesson in my whole mission this week. Monday in general was just such an amazing day! We stopped by to visit Roberto Sanchez and his family, because the Thursday before we couldn't like we usually do because of Halloween. Well, the night before, his wife was telling us about how she thinks he is feeling too pressured right now and that she thinks it may not be his time, but we were trying to explain to her that he is progressing more than ever, and that we need to be sure that he does feel a little pressure-good pressure to make a change. So we stopped by to have a little Noche de Hogar with them in hopes that that would strengthen their unity as a family and help him understand the importance of this step for his whole family, as well. We didn't really have anything planned because it was last second stop by, so we decided to have a small testimony meeting. The Spirit was so strong as we all bore our testimony-even him! He shared his experiences he has had with partaking of the sacrament and how he feels it cleanse him. It was a powerful testimony even from him! As we finished going around, the Spirit was really strong and after talking about the blessings of this gospel for the family, we asked him to say the prayer. He agreed quickly, and I see this as the greatest turning point I have ever seen out here. As he prayed, it was so heartfelt, and it was as if Heavenly Father was there with us. Then, this big macho man starting to cry as his prayer basically turned into a testimony of him knowing this is the truth and that it's what's right for his family. It was so powerful! As he ended, his family huddled around him and supported him. As he wiped away the tears, he told us how before, when the missionaries would come over, he would get uncomfortable, and wouldn't look forward to it, but now it's all changed and he looks forward to it and is so impressed with the knowledge he learns and the power he feels when we visit his home and when he goes to church. He realized that he got is spiritual witness of the truthfulness of this gospel, and told us a few times that he's ready to be baptized. I was in awe. I had never seen anything that powerful and such a momentary change in anyone before. He moved his baptismal date forward a week and will now be getting baptized November 17th. The last day of this transfer. He asked me to baptize him, and I am honored. I am so happy for the family! He has come so far!
Now as I went into this week, I wondered if I would be sticking around for the holidays, and had this feeling that I was going to be sticking around for Roberto Sanchez. I have just felt a strong connection with him, and we have gotten along so well, and I feel he is one of the people I have been staying in this area for. Well, originally, with his baptismal date being set for the 24th of November, I felt that reassure me that I would be staying one more transfer. With what happened this week, though, I feel I may be leaving. :( I really hope not, but I feel comforted to know that I was able to be a part in helping this amazing family grow closer together. We will continue to work hard with him to be sure he is ready in time, and I ask that you will please keep him and his family in your prayers. I am so happy for them and all that is going on in this area right now!
I have to move on with my P-Day, though, so I will have to write about all the other "headlines" plus more on Monday! I love you all so much and I am so grateful to have you as part of my eternal family. The feelings of peace I get everytime I hear or say that just confirms to me that this church is true. I love this gospel and I love the lasting impact this mission has and will forever have on me. Love you all so much! Talk to you again soon!
"When you don't feel like praying, pray until you feel like praying."
P.S. Please also keep Carlos Votte and Sister Corona in your prayers. I will explain their stories on Monday! LOVE YOU!
*here are a couple of fun pics from the week! Studs at the temple, Costume Party, and new soccer jersey! :)))