Dear Family and Friends,
First of all, I want to say happy (one day belated) birthday to Mom!! Mom, you are so awesome and I love you so much. I think about you all the time out here in Arizona. I always hear your voice pop into my head telling me little phrases to keep me on the straight and narrow like "follow the directions" and "work first play later" (stuff you would tell me all of the time). You have helped me so much in regards to my testimony and I appreciate all that you have done in raising me to be the person that I am today. I hope you had a great birthday and appreciate all of the stuff that you have sent me while on the mission. I got the music and the extra belt today.
I am seriously so happy Chris got baptized!!! I saw pictures on the blog and I couldn't help but smile when I saw the picture of Chris, Jeremy and Leon. It feels like it has been so long since I have seen them all, especially Jeremy since he left for his mission almost a year ago. The picture with Chris, Leon and all my other friends was awesome too. I'm glad that they were able to go to the baptism. His conversion is truly amazing and has strengthened my testimony and faith in the Lord so much. Now it is time for him to go on a Mission!! There is an Elder in my district named Elder Williams from Alabama who is really awesome and has an amazing conversion story and a powerful testimony. He converted when he was 20 years old and he got a strong answer from the Lord about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
This past week has been really good. I sent a handwritten letter to you guys about some of the stuff that happened. I was able to set a date for this woman named Margarita, who has a set of 4 year-old triplets and another son one year younger. They are so distracting when we try to teach because they are so wild and hard for her to control. She is set to be baptized on December 4th. She lives with this other member named Candolaria who we reactivated and she just got her little kids blessed and given a name in Sacrament Meeting last Sunday. It truly is awesome seeing peoples lives change for the better through the gospel and coming closer to Jesus Christ. It is important that we always remember the times when we have felt the Spirit strongly and when we have known without a doubt that the Church is true because hard times come and our faith will be tested, sometimes to points that we can't even imagine.
I can tell you that the gift of tongues is real and that there have been many situations where I have spoken beyond the ability that I feel I have. I still have a tough time understanding what other Hispanics are saying a lot of the time but it is getting better. It is really weird because some days are much better than others in terms of my language ability. I have this little pocket translator thing that I bought which is super fast and boss. I can look up words really quickly and it is helping my vocabulary come along really well. I think by the end of my mission I will have and very large vocabulary if I continue to have effective language studies every day.
There have been a lot of opportunities for me to teach people randomly in the street using English, which is nice because I can really express myself without there being a language barrier. This one time we taught this college student named Marshall like a 30-minute lesson right on the street, which was really powerful. I told him about the 3 things Moroni tells us we need in Moroni 10:4 to receive an answer from God as we pray, and we prayed with him right there on the street and he told us that he felt the Spirit! Times like those are what really make the mission awesome.
Anyway, I have to email the President our weekly letter so I have to go. It is always awesome to hear from all of you. Once again, Happy Birthday Mom!!