This past week has been so crazy! First of all, I just want to say I can't believe everything that is happening with Chris L.! It is so awesome he is taking lessons from the missionaries. That just goes to show you that the Lord can do anything. My testimony has already been strengthened by just reading about his experience so far. I am definitely going to send him a BOM (Book of Mormon) with my testimony written in it. One thing that I think the missionaries particularly need to focus on is teaching Chris about enduring to the end. Like Dad said, it is going to be harder for him to stay active and make the right choices with Jeremy and Leon leaving on their missions. I think it is so awesome though. When I read dad's letter and saw that he had a baptismal date I was absolutely dumbstruck. I hope everything works out and that he is able to get a strong testimony and a witness from the Holy Ghost that this Church is true.
Anyway this week has been absolutely crazy for me. I LOST MY TRAINER!!!!!! My trainer and my other companion were having some trouble getting along, so the President had to step in and make some changes. At first, I was going to be sent to Phoenix to finish off this transfer but the decision was finally made to send Elder Reid to Phoenix, and for Elder Biddle and I to finish off the transfer here by ourselves. We are now the "greenest", most inexperienced companionship this mission has ever seen. This is only my third week and my companion's eighth week in the mission field, so we are still struggling with the language. Neither of us can understand everything but Elder Biddle can understand more than I can. I don't know what the President was thinking, but he is ordained of God to receive revelation for us, so even though I am a bit nervous, I have faith that it will all work out. One of my teachers in the MTC, Hermano Lowe, was in a situation like this when he was on his mission and he compared it to "the blind leading the blind". I know exactly what he's talking about now. Anyway, I am sure that this will help me learn Spanish more quickly through a slew of humbling experiences that await me in the future. Because of my inexperience, I will also learn how to rely more on the Lord.
Last night was our first night out as a companionship and it went amazingly well. The Lord was definitely with us. We got this woman named Margarita to commit to be baptized but she wasn't able to commit to a date yet. The next lesson we are going to make sure to set a date and assure her that by doing so, the Spirit will help prepare her and get her ready for baptism by that date . . . if she has faith. When you don't have a goal set, Satan does a lot to make someone procrastinate. During the lesson I was amazed at how much I was able to teach. I shared four scriptures with her and was able to feel the Lord blessing me with the gift of tongues. It was so awesome. I feel that experience was the Lord assuring Elder Biddle and I that we could be successful during this transfer despite our inexperience. That was the most awesome part of this week.
I was able to buy a new bike and I got a $150 dollar discount because the member we live with knew a guy. It is a sweet Trek that was about $650 but I only paid $500, so it was a good deal. I also had to buy a helmet, a lock, and some other stuff. I really don't like the "Jos. A Banks" suits we got in New Canaan -- they just aren't very reliable for hard missionary work. One of the pants ripped on the seam again, so I bought two more pairs of black "Dickies" which I work in during the week and on Sunday I wear my nicer suit. I also need to buy more white shirts that I can use as work shirts. Another belt broke this past week so I am back down to one belt.
As you can tell by my clothes situation, we do a lot of physical labor service. Jacqueline, a recent convert, had her whole back yard filled with trash, trees, bushes, and other organic waste. We went over with axes, chopped up everything, and burned it in a massive bonfire in her back yard (which may have been illegal). I sent pictures of the fire so you can get a feel for how massive the fire was -- easily over 35 feet. That was super fun though.
The beef jerky, seriously, keeps getting compliments like no other. I gave some to the member we live with, who is a huge outdoors person and definitely one who respects a good piece o' meat. He said it was the best he has ever had. I can't wait to try the terriyaki batch. The blog is looking really awesome too. I am sending some pictures you can add to it. Tell Matt to practice his piano a ton so he can play some jazz piano for me when I get back . . . jazz piano is my favorite kind of piano.
I love you all and pray for you every night!!