Happy Birthday Brianna!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The greatest little sister in the whole entire world. I am so excited for you to turn 16 and scared to death. You are growing up way to fast. I hope you have the greatest birthday ever inspite of all of my fears and that Prom is the funnest thing ever. I had so much fun at all my high school dances and can't believe you are old enough to date...and drive. You are super lucky. Driving is so awesome. Just go ahead and have the time of your life. I love you so much and am so excited to hear how it all goes.
This week was kind of all over the place so I'll get going. A young man in my ward left to his mission (Sao Paulo South with Elder Matthew Woodruff) this last week and that was a really cool experience. He had a lot of people from the ward there as he was set apart and it was really weird remembering when I was set apart. It was cool remembering all the craziness. It feels like so many lifetimes ago and I am so grateful for the experiences I have been given between then and now. I say ''lifetimes'' because I'm definitely not the same person anymore, Jake knows what I'm talking about. I felt the Spirit a lot and was grateful to have another man on the side of the Lord in this great battle. I'm so grateful to be serving with all of my family and friends.
We got to go to an awesome conference with Elder Craig C. Christensen and Elder Waddell from the Seventy. I learned so much and the Spirit was definitely there. It was really cool to just listen to them speak in Spanish and for it all to work out. It's amazing how our brains can change and I am so grateful for that blessing. Change isn't so easy while it's happening, but after it's all said and done, we're better off for having done what the Lord has asked of us.
It was fun to be on the bus because I got to be with a bunch of mission friends. We talked all about movies, 80's music, and much more. It was fun to just joke around and not have to worry about making it to the next appointment for a while. I remember Mariah saying it was so awesome to see all the friends she had made during the mission and I feel the same way. Also, during the conference Elder Waddell said that we are exactly where we need to be and we don't need to think about anything else. I don't love everything about my mission, but I know it's EXACTLY where I need to be and I am so grateful for that. I don't know what the future holds, but I'm doing what I need to now.
We went around looking for service opportunities this week and no one wanted them. That was kind of weird, but we did end up peeling some beans for a member. We got to do some contacting in street clothes on our way back to our apartment and that was pretty cool. I actually really like contacting even though I have to drag my companion to do it sometimes. It's hard for me to get started, but then it becomes kind of fun to get rejected and even better to be accepted. We all just need to raise our voices so people can hear. They are waiting for us.
We had a baptism on Saturday and it was really special. Jhosi was baptized by a member named Michael who only has 6 months in the Church. That was really special and I know it will help them both stay strong in the church. I don't know what's happening right now with the computers, but I'll try to send pictures next week. A little girl was also baptized this week and I had no idea that was happening. Actually, I'm not even sure anyone other than the Bishop was aware. That's Perú for you though. It all went well and it was such a special experience, just as all baptisms are. I'm so grateful to be a part of this wonderful work in helping others come unto Christ. Jhosi shared his testimony and it was super strong. Also the little girl (Yaslyn) had to be baptized 3 times and was shivering in the cold water. She didn't want to do it again, but her dad helped her and that was a special experience.
Yesterday the Zone Leaders called us to pick something up real quick before church. We were wating for ever and then got it. Then we had to wait for the bus. As we were waiting some white people got off and I said ''what's up?'' but they didn't hear. Then one Indian guy came over and asked where I was from. I said Utah and then found out they were from the United Kingdom (London, Wales, and Scotland). It was really cool to speak a little English, but they left real quick. They were missionaries who were here for 8 weeks and it was really fun to think about Mariah.
We had a special lesson with an investigator Miguel. His wife listened to us and asked how she could know if it was all true, especially the Book of Mormon. We explained to her that she needed to ask God and she's definitely on board. That was super cool and I am really excited for what the future holds for them. They are a real great family and things like that make it all worth it.
This week I read in Alma 51:16 that we must first cleanse the inner vessel (Alma 60:23-24 and Matthew 23:25-26). Alma 53:21 first we are taught what is right, thank you so much MOM!!!!!!!! Alma 55:11 those who die in righteousness are happy. Alma 56:44 ''What say ye?'' it reminded me of The Lord of the Rings and I was happy. Alma 57:25 no one escapes life without wounds. Alma 58:34-35 when we don't know we have to give the benefit of the doubt just like Pahoran in the next chapters. It's crazy that we are going to finish Alma soon and I love reading with you so much.
I'm pretty much always tired these days, especially at bedtime. I think that's a good sign that I'm working though. I love you all so much and am praying for you. Have the greatest week ever and I'll be talking to you soon.