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Monday, August 12, 2013

Sorry for last week!!!! This week I hope to get more time!

So. 
It’s been a good week although I felt bad all week bc my email was so short!
First and foremost we have a baptism this Saturday! Gissel is going to get baptized and I am so, so happy. We talk about this with her so much. The changes she's made since we met her. She went from being sassy and opposed to everything to now wanting to be baptized and wanting to do all these things. She said the other day that she wanted to come out to lessons with us after she gets baptized!!! It's cool. Her complete turnaround was all hinged on her true desire and a humble, sincere prayer.

Ugh. I've gotta go fast.
MONDAY! - We taught some good lessons.

TUESDAY! We taught Gissel this morning which went really well. She was having a lot of doubts. She was saying that she knew she was going to break the commandments again. We really just talked to her. Asked her what she wanted and what we could do to help her. It was kinda of scary at the start because it was kind of a make or break lesson. And it was a make. She committed to doing this. It was awesome. She was telling us all the changes she’s seen in herself and in how other people treat her. She is happier and that makes us happy. She committed to take things that separate her from God out of her life. That was cool. We took a member out that night who is new to the ward and he loved going out with us. He thanked us a lot which was cool. He was telling us about all the things he wanted to do to share the gospel. Then that night we started exchanges and that went well. I went with Elder Hilliard and we had a bomb evening. We talked a lot. We talked about mostly how a lot of people think that a mission is about gaining the cool experiences and a lot of other people say it’s about serving the people. We came to the conclusion that it’s all about the Lord, not us nor the people we serve.

WEDNESDAY! It was such a good day. We made some bomb spam mosubi for lunch. We visited a ton of people in EH's area. It was a full day. Some guy from El Salvador wasn’t happy to see us until I spoke to him in Spanish and that was cool. He ended up giving us a tour of his house. He had a lot of cool religious artifacts. He wasn’t interested but we left on a good note. That night we had a cool experience. We were teaching one of their eternigators (for like 3 years) and Elder Hilliard and I made the goal to commit him to be baptized. If he wouldn’t commit they were going to think about dropping him. We prayed about it and then went in there. The lesson went completely perfect. This had been a guy who hadn’t kept commitments or anything but between their last visits he had read 1/2 the Book of Mormon. He bore his testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and of the Book of Mormon (“there is no way anyone could have made this book up. You just can’t write something like this”). That was cool. Then EH invited him to be baptized. Next month he will be. It’s crazy how things like that work out. Miracles. The Lord definitely has His hand in His work. 

THURSDAY! We had district meeting today about accountability, desires, and goals. It was good. We watched “Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration” today with Gissel. It was awesome. It’s such a good movie. I’ve only seen it 2 or 3 times and it’s so bomb. I wish everyone in the world could watch it. That night we went to do splits but 2 members cancelled on us. So we were kind of left with nothing. We scrambled and found 2 people who would come with us for a little bit. So that was bomb. I got to go and teach the A's. I LOVE THEM! It’s so bomb to be able to teach a family like that. They are set to be baptized the Saturday after next (just the mom and dad.) The kids will probably get baptized next month. They are so ready. They know the church is true and want to get baptized. It’s crazy to think about Hermano A's doubts that are now completely answered. We taught Amelia and Leo that night about Moroni 7:6-10 because Leo was asking a lot about sacrifice. He says if you don’t want to do it, don’t do it! God doesn’t want to force you. So we read from the Book of Mormon about how he’s right. 

FRIDAY! We went over the bapt. interview questions [with Gissel]. It was exciting to help prepare her. We had a good visit with Martha. It's just a waiting game for her. She's going to get baptized. October will be here eventually, we just have to keep helping her to be ready. That night we taught Andres. He is so, so cute. He said some funny things. We were talking about God. I asked him who God is and he said, “He is our Father in Heaven and he is a spirit.” I said “A spirit?” He looked at me and threw his arms up and said, “Well I don’t know! You’re supposed to be teaching me!!!” We all laughed so hard. Later he asked, “How long do we have to wait in the spirit world? I hope it’s only like 5 minutes, max.” We started that night an exchange with the ZLs. Me and Elder Fafuata were in my area. We had a good talk. We did stay up too late though. He's from New Zealand.

SATURDAY! Today was a bombbb day. We had like 5 lessons so we were really busy. We taught Percy in the morning. Hno. Retis cried when he bore his testimony. That was a powerful experience. Percy committed to be baptized in September. We had another good lesson with Andres about prophets. We helped Amelia and Leo prepare for a big meal they had to cook tonight for some big police station party. I guess they got hired to cater? Idk. I cut like 35 radishes by the end I was doing it pretty well. Who eats radishes these days? EF and I had really positive conversations all day. I felt spiritually recharged by the end of the day. I was happy and excited and ready to do even better. I love elders who work hard and focus.  Dinner was super good - empenadas which reminded me of Jacob. We got to see Simon! He’s an I[investigator] who is married to a LA [less active]. He’s so cool and his baby is so big! I love that family. I can explain more about them in 2 years when I get back. That night we had to end the exchange early and then we went to George’s and invited him to church. It was a long lesson but he committed. He's the best.

SUNDAY! So we woke up and saw a text from George in the middle of the night. It was a link to a youtube video and the words “can you explain this?” My heart dropped. I almost started crying. My mind instantly went to Carolina from months ago. Same situation. She super firmly commits to come to church and then she gets anti-ed. So I texted George. No response. I prayed allllll morning. We got to Branch Council and nothing. I was sooo scared. Sacrament meeting starts and no George. I was so sad. BUT THEN (you all knew what was coming haahha) 3rd verse of the Sacrament hymn, IN WALKS GEORGE!!!! I WAS SO HAPPY. I was fist bumping in my brain alll day. He cried during Sacrament meeting. All during the classes he was making comments and lovvvving it. He downloaded the gospel principles app on his phone and thought it was the coolest thing ever. Then he loved priesthood too. After church he said to us, “You know what? Every time you come over, and while I was here, I felt something. I feel like I’m part of a family, like this is my family.” He had tears in his eyes and he told us he loved it and he loved us. I wanted to cry too. It was so cool. He went home quick to tell his wife and kids about how awesome it was. That night we visited with Amelia and Leo and then we later went and taught George and his wife about prayer. He said like 5 times, “Next week I’ll be there for sure. Tired, but I’ll be there.” He said he felt happy all day after going to church, “Like something was lifted off of my shoulders.” What a way to end the week. 

Sorry the letter is short. It’s been a powerful week.
I got to talk to Elder Slik today. I love him. He is such a good example.
I also get to go on exchanges with the APs tonight for a few hours. I’m pumped. Hopefully I can get some good suggestions from them.
Aight.
No more time.
I love you all so much!
Sam

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