Hello everyone! Thanks for all the letters! I am so very blessed. My poor companion was stressing out this morning when we came to print off our emails because nobody had written him. Luckily, they wrote him later in the day. Prayer works.
Zane - Be good so that Santa brings you your Lego Batman. I hope you are having fun in the snow!
Gwen - Did you go to Granny's house?
Izak - I'm not going to lie, your letter this week scared me a little bit. Are you ok? Good thing it's almost Christmas break.
Micah - You're funny. And obviously we have churros here and they are way better than the ones in the United States. They make them fresh in the street and they are super cheap so we always buy them. Another reason why I'm fat.
Timo - Sounds like everything is going great. Your sports sewing class sounds amazing. Pictures? Also, I wish I could be there to see Lone Peak's basketball team this year. Sounds super awesome. Also, your little mission prep class sounds really great. That is the most important thing--following the Spirit--both when planning the lesson and teaching it. And when you feel it working through you and the people you teach it just feels amazing.
Emily - I also sang the national anthem this week. I teach English classes in the church every Saturday and Wednesday night, and I felt like that would be an appropriate opening hymn. Congratulations, because I'm sure you did it much better than I did. You sound very busy and happy, so keep it up!
Dad - Thanks for the music, it all made it just fine! It has gotten colder here too. It's still pretty warm during the day, but in the mornings it's pretty dang cold. Sayula is one of the coldest areas in this mission because it is so high up in the mountains. I kind of do miss the other seasons, actually, it's just more exciting that way. Ask me in two years if I still think that and you'll probably get a different answer, once I'm back in the frozen tundra of Utah. But a little bit of a difference would be kind of nice.
Mom - I thoroughly enjoyed the quotes that Dad sent me from you. Ingenious. I would love that recipe, but we don't have an oven. Or time. And if you make me a DVD I could probably find somewhere to watch it. And oh my goodness I didn't realize how much you get done until now that I read it every week. You are amazing, Mom!
This week was a little crazy. On Tuesday we had our regular district class in Ciudad Guzman, and afterward we were standing outside the chapel when 4 Jehovah's Witness Missionaries walked up and started talking to us in English. One was from Idaho, two from Maryland, and one from somewhere else. They were there to preach to the English speaking people of Ciudad Guzman, which are probably about 6 or 7, but whatever. Me and Elder J, another missionary in our district that I met in the MTC, decided to contact them. It's official, I can't speak English. I tried to explain the restoration to this lady in English but I could not do it. It was kind of sad. I'm in this weird stage right now where my Spanish is still not perfect but I'm losing my English fast and it just feels weird.
So we had two baptismal dates for this Saturday, T and I. Everything was going great with T until Wednesday. We had a great lesson, she was still planning on getting baptized, and then after the closing prayer she totally changed her mind and said she didn't want to because her kids are Catholic and one of her sons was going to do the First communion or something that week. It was really weird. I really am at a loss for what to do about her. The poor confused woman just doesn't understand half of what is going on in the world around her.
I (initial) was iffy all week, and we went over Friday to review the baptismal interview questions with him and he clearly wasn't ready. He'll listen to us, come to church, and commit to do things when it's convenient, but he really doesn't feel much of a desire to really repent right now. So we're going to leave him alone for a little bit.
More miracles with V's family - We showed up one day and V and J were about to separate. They were both really mad at each other for dumb reasons and were ready to give up. We talked with them for about two hours. At the end, we shared the story of Jesus when he asks Peter three times "Do you love me?" and by the end they were hugging and in love again. It was so amazing. The spirit really has the power to change hearts.
Miracle 2 - Her super-gangsta brother started listening to us this week. At first when we went over there, he would leave, turn up the volume of the TV, or be really obnoxious, but the last two weeks he hasn't been that way. V asked us to go put an appointment just with him one night, so we went and talked to him. He accepted, and then told us that he hears voices in his head and they bother him and he wants to get rid of it. So we fasted and gave him a blessing on Saturday and it was amazing. He even cried! He told us that he is sick of the life he is living and wants to repent. We have a baptismal date for him for the 29th, but it's going to take a lot of work.
So guess who showed up to church this Sunday? President Wagner(Mission President! Love that man. He spoke in sacrament meeting and it was amazing, and then talked with our Branch President to set everything straight. Whew. Also, V, J, their kids and their niece came. J should get baptized this week. Things are going good.
This is the last week of my third transfer and I meet the 6 month mark this Thursday. Where has all this time gone? I feel like all my time is running out. But I'm learning so much. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I couldn't do this without you. It has still been really hard, but through our trials we grow stronger. Trust in God and in your Savior! Don't ever forget the reason we celebrate Christmas. He lives and he loves each one of you. I love you all so much!