Thanks a ton for the package you sent, especially the Hi-Chews (Japanese candy). They were super awesome. If you could keep a steady flow of those things that would be awesome (ha ha just kidding . . . but seriously). Oh and before I say anything else, TELL MATT TO GIVE YOU THE SHIRT HE WAS WEARING IN THE PICTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I could have sworn that was one of the shirts that I did not give him permission to wear?!? That is like the most favorite shirt that I have!!! So if you could please tell him that and then keep it safe, unworn, and unstained that would be awesome. Let me know...
I can't believe that I've been in the mission for over a year now!!! I have learned so much, but am still glad I have a year left to continue growing spiritually and mentally. Serving a mission is seriously one of the best decisions I have ever made in my entire life. I feel like I have a completely different perspective on life in terms of my goals, my purpose, and my potential as an son of God. I know the year mark is considered a hump, but I still have a lot of goals I want to complete by the time I go home. I am really grateful for all of the support that you guys have given me and for keeping me updated on your lives back at home.
This week was a good week in terms of the lessons we taught. But, unfortunately, we didn't have any investigators in church. That has always been a struggle in this area and I am still trying to figure out why. We have been trying to put more emphasis on the sabbath-day doctrine because that's something even some members haven't yet grasped. We have a bunch of solid people that keep all of their commitments, and even drive from the Avenues to 12th Street on Thursdays to a Gospel Principles Class (our chapel is on 19th Avenue, only about five minutes away from most of our investigators).
One miracle that happened this past week was Maria de Rosario accepted a baptismal date. Last week or the week before we taught her the Plan of Salvation and invited her to be baptized. She said no without even hesitating. Her boyfriend had just moved out because of her increased involvement in the church and she didn't have a job to be able to provide for her two daughters (a 2-month old and a 2 year old). We were all praying for her to be able to find a job, as well as someone to take care of her kids . . . and she did!!! It was so awesome! She had such a change of heart and she contributed it all to the Lord. We re-taught her the doctrine of Christ and we didn't even need to directly ask her to be baptized. We just asked if she felt like she was ready and she said yes. She told us how she felt a huge increase in her faith since we began to teaching her and how she recognizes the Lord is answering her prayers. The only obstacle now will be her getting off work on Sunday!!!! but we'll see what happens. She has come a long way and has a lot of faith because of the humbling position she found herself in.
The attached photos are from our one-year shirt-burning ceremony and a dust storm we were caught in on Thursday!!