Hola Familia y Amigos!
HAAAAAAAAAAAPY BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRTHDAY!!!!! (in the voice of Frosty the Snowman)
Love you Mom! Thanks for everything you've done for me and for raising me! All I have is because of you and Dad. I truly am blessed with great parents like Nephi. (And no, I remembered your birthday on my own... Kr's letter and Dad's letter only helped to clear up any doubts I had. I wouldn't want to be wrong on the date of your birthday.)
So for starters, we changed houses this week because of the water that leaked through the roof in our other. It was just a crappy house to begin with. Now we have hot water, a full kitchen, shower, three stories to live in, and basically, a lot more space that allows for peace. I love it when it's just quiet in our new house so I can think. That's one thing I miss about Sister Eldon's yard, the time to think without distractions.
Yes, we do have 8 new investigators but Elder D. is super pessimistic about them. I continue to try to pull him along and invite him to act on his own (not in those words) because without his full support for our investigators, no matter how grim the outcome may seem at first, they are children of our Heavenly Father and He loves each one of them soooo much. I will tell you more about each one of them when we begin to focus on them more. (We have investigators that we focus on more than others because we see their progress but we visit all of them often.)
We had divisions on Thursday and I can't say I've had a better day before on my mission or since. Elder Mahan is just an awesome companion and we taught really well together. It helps that he's a gringo like me but also I just feel like we had the Spirit with us at ALL times (walking, talking, teaching, and eating). All the time! The investigators we taught all felt the Spirit that day and we asked all of them to be baptized and they all said they need time to think and pray about it (some have other issues to overcome first) and then we'll see.
Osman, Mom, is not the delinquent. Osman has two wives and isn't married to either legally! He has kids with both and their kids have kids too but luckily within marriage. Elder Mahan and I taught him on Thursday and taught the Law of Chastity. After he told us that he has been praying already to overcome the feelings he has for one of them (his "other women") and just be with the one. He hasn't been with the other one for three weeks, if I understood correctly. But I think he still visits because of the kids, just that he isn't in a relationship with her anymore. So we'll see how that works out. He is gaining a strong testimony about the Keeping the Commandments, but in our next visit, I'm going to figure out why. I think the next route with him is hearing his testimony about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon and the Plan of Salvation.
Lionel is the "Delinquent." We haven't talked to him except the one time. He really liked the Hymns and asked (and will forever ask me) to sing them for him now. It's been a real powerful tool to teach him the doctrine behind the songs. That's what we are going to do in our next lesson with him too. Sing, Teach, Testify.
Wendy, another investigator, is fun and smiling all the time. She is interested in our message and when Elder Mahan and I visited last Thursday, we had a really powerful moment. I asked her to be baptized and she told us, "not yet." Soooo, we hope! But her understanding is coming along and Ella es Pilas as we say here in the Mish. I'm really excited to see her progress in the next few weeks.
Familia Gevara is also interesting. They are the family with the issue with authority and priesthood. We retaught the Restoration and when we got to the part about Joseph Smith, we showed the Restoration Video. I felt that room reverberating with the Spirit. Eddie, The oldest son (22ish) told me, "So that's who Joseph Smith is! Can I have a Book of Mormon?" Of course we gave him one. Everyone was touched in that room that day. In that moment, they could not deny that feeling. We were given power to silence the Devil that had existed before in our last lesson. Grieta (the daughter that had the "gift of prophecy") could only nod and think about our words. Through patience and the touch of the Spirit she was now thinking in her heart. She didn't speak against us then like she did last week and I hope now that they understand. We invited them to be baptized and ALL said in unison, "Si!" The only problem is that they still think they need to be baptized in their own church and not in the LDS Church which is kind of humorous seeing that they aren't connecting that Joseph Smith is a Prophet in the LDS Church. So next time with them, we get to prepare to talk about authority and the priesthood. I have prayed about them so much. I hope so much that they keep the commitments we left with them. They remind me of people back home that I got to know. I see them more now as Heavenly Father would see them and they are real people with great worth.
Love you family and friends! Everything is coming along in the Lord's timing down here in Honduras, but it's coming. I can see that it's speeding up. Slowly but surely. It reminds me of the rock that rolled down the mountain and grew until it filled the whole world. At first, it's small. But later, it will be grand.
Happy Birthday again! I'm doing fine with my stomach issues. I haven't had Miralax cause they don't have that stuff here near me. But I did drink magnesium in small doses and now I'm fine. It was kind of a "McGyver moment" for me. :)
Get better quick! I don't want you to have even more stress this school year. You are full of energy and want to do so many good things. Just take time to relax though, and I'm not talking about time to be lazy, but time not in school, with homework, or with photography, or other work, or volleyball. Make more time for Mom and Dad and have friends over. This will be a blessing not only for you but for your friends too.
Megan and Tom,
How's everything going? How's work? Audrey?
Kyle and Jess,
I'm glad that you guys are keeping busy! How did the interview go in Arkansas, Kyle? For Walmart, if I remember correctly... And Jess, how's in going with Milo? How are you holding up?
Love you family so much! More than you can ever know! I think of you always and draw from the experiences we've had together to teach. Just know that you've helped me so much in my growth, in the good and the bad.