Happy Day Family,
Well, another week has gone by and it feels like just yesterday I was in the shoes of my Trainee learning all the ups and downs of the mission. I look back, and well... hindsight is 20/20. It was really hard then but mostly because I didn't live up to my own expectations. My expectations weren't realistic. Everything is changing inside of me, and Elder Huff and Elder Saucedo helped, and have helped me make that change. I don't have tons of time this week but I want to share a little about the baptism and another family we started teaching recently.
The baptism was for Stuart and went really nicely. I can't say that it went really smoothly because a few bumps in the road came and we started 45 minutes late... (Soooo embarrassing)... and then the ward dumped all the blame on us. I'm just glad that the baptism went well once we started :) Stuart looks really happy and always has a bright smile. The bishop talked to us the other day and said, "Now, in a year or two, he'll be out there serving like you guys." The ward is really supportive here. They have their personal problems and difficulties that they have to work through but it's nothing that I'm worried about.
This week we have two baptisms planned but it may only be one baptism in the end. Alan, Fernando's brother is getting baptized this Sunday. He's really excited for that. His mom told us yesterday to come visit her today at 4:30 and so we're headed off to work before P-Day is even over. That's why we don't have tons of time today. AND MOM, we played the card games you sent us and I don't know if you'd played "It Came to Pass" but that is quite the riot of a game. In the middle of the game, teams can start to form and when that happens, the game calls it "Secret Combinations" which is the perfect name for it. It reminds me a little bit of UNO and GREED combined. You have to play it if you haven't already. You'll have a blast, but you need to have all 8 people there to make it even more fun! Let me know how it goes.
This week, I have to go to the Mission Consejos (where the ZLs talk to president, but this time he's invited all the DL's as well) and so this Wednesday, we'll be doing splits for the day. Then we were reading in PMG and it says that whoever does the interviews needs to be the one to fill out all the paper work and then go to the baptism to hand the papers over to the person presiding. We didn't know that, so we also have to do splits again this week to get the interviews for both the ZL's and in La Conce (my area).
Also, this week we had a lesson with Family Martinez. Two of them are members but never went back to church after they were confirmed and so they forgot everything they ever learned. The other, Darwin, never was baptized but he's really interested. We taught the restoration of the gospel to them and they read the homework we left and so we taught about the homework we left which was Lesson 2, The Plan of Salvation. They ATE that lesson up! So this week we will be teaching more about The Gospel of Jesus Christ and teaching them more about prayer and the Commandments. Hopefully, everything goes well and the ward can help us with them to become active in the church again.
Dad, the weather is always great here in Danli. This morning it was Brisando, or misting (not quite rain but a lot of little water particles falling like someone is spraying a water bottle lightly). Stuart is the only one in his household that is a member. I say household because he has a sister that doesn't live in the house but she is an active member of the church too. His Dad threatened to ship him off into the mountains if he chose to be baptized and the last time he said that he wanted to be baptized his dad actually shipped him off. This time he didn't tell his Dad because his dad doesn't live with him, and now that Stuart is 18, he can make his own choices.
Elder Saucedo is from Barranquia, Columbia. That's where Shakira is originally from... she's a Latin Pop Singer that knows five languages or something like that. haha I didn't follow her music ever and I'm glad.
Church was just dandy. I love being chewed out for a baptism starting late because the person doing the baptism did not show up on time... But Sacrament Meeting went well and the bishop had a bunch of young men give their testimonies and some did a good job. There were a few that just said, "This church is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen," but it was probably the first time that I did a complete and full fast that I am satisfied with. Before, I've done fasts but I've sometimes forgotten and eaten something or sometimes I've forgotten completely. But this time, I was able to complete a full fast and donate all the money that I would've spent on the food. It feels good to pay a full fast and tithe.
I loved the scripture you sent me about the vineyard too. Mom, I printed off the picture you sent me of Christ and the missionaries walking together a little while back and I still have it. I see it every day.
Lastly, you said, "the Gospel is not an umbrella to prevent us from getting wet -- it is a foundation that will not fail." I just wanted to say that it's not a "fix-it-all-up-and-make-it-perfect" wand either, to connect it to "The list of batons and sticks of Spencer's arsenal-belt of tools".
Love you family. Sorry I couldn't write much more. Mom, you guys would have to email president to see if you could come. I'm fine with what ever but you know... I won't be seeing you when you come. I'll probably be in the south by the time you come. Also, you asked last week for something I want for my birthday but I have no idea... Maybe my CTR ring? I won't have my hand chopped off here. That was a myth that they spread on the internet. The only place anyone has to worry about is in Tegucigalpa but I'm not there and I have a feeling that I'm not going to be for a while. I did have one question, did you guys happen to put together pictures for the cover of my agendas for my mission? Kristen made one for me a little while back and I really like it. I can put them on my agendas but I just want pictures from you guys. Kristen, can you help the family get some pictures together? You know how to make the Agenda Covers and so you can help the family.
Love you guys, I'm praying for you too.
All my love,
Elder Spencer Tuft
Hurrah por Israel
PS an investigator stole my watch and claimed they didn't a little while back and I forgot to tell you. Good thing they don't know how it works. But I'm watch-less. And the USB that you sent me, Kristen, a missionary took that one from me. I had it on my chair and got up to talk to the Zone for a minute and then sat down again and it was gone. I asked everyone and checked everywhere on me and many missionaries looked in their bags but no one fessed up. It's just those little two things that I'm missing now and want back. (Spencer's body stops/breaks battery watches so we bought him a wind up one and then changed the band so it's not even matching. I don't know why someone would want his watch. Darn!)