First off, I apologize for not writing on Monday, but I have a very good excuse: it wasn't P-day hahahaha! I am writing you today because we switched our p-day from monday to wednesday so we could go to the temple today. We JUST finished a session and it was great. Crazy that's been almost a year since I've been in the temple to do a session. Sorry for the bummer Monday ha.
Anyways, it's great to hear from you guys. Since we didn't have p-day on monday my internal clock's been out of whack. I thought yesterday was friday all day! It felt like just one, big, long, week. It's great.
I'll fill you in on the happenings starting monday...
As you heard, we had dinner with the Huckabys last monday and got to participate in their FHE. It was super fun! We ate super good food, had a lesson by us missionaries, and carved pumpkins (while eating super good desert).
(This little guy is too adorable...even with his messy pumpkin hands)
We were split up into 3 teams, but I think Stockman cheated cuz his partner was the "pumpkin judge" haha.
For the record, me and my partner had the COOLEST pumpkin--not just the "cleanest/best smelling" one.
Earlier this week we lost Luis who had a baptismal date...to the Stone Mountain Elders! We realized last week that he actually lives in the Stone Mountain area and not ours so we had to hand him over to them...sad. But Stone Mountain is still in our branch so that's still cool. We can still go to the baptism and see them at church.
You guys can pray for Jose, who is a guy we've been working with for a while but has been making progress. These last few weeks we've had pretty solid lessons with him but we need to see him more frequently. Like many others, he works a TON and is usually not there for the first appointment we set with him. We have to drop by a few times until we actually find him at home. He's really cool and humble though.
This whole week has been pretty lame on lessons. We thought we'd get a whole bunch cuz we planned to find all week--ask for referrals, knock, whatever we can. But it's super hard to find trailer parks or complexes here in this area (besides where we live) and more around the temple. We just keep finding neighborhoods with giant houses full of rich people...the opposite of what we want, haha. And when we did find some Spanish-speakers they either didn't wanna talk to us, or lied to our faces that they would be home for another appointment.
But the best thing that happened this week? JUAN GOT MARRIED AND BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!
Yessir, you heard me right. My beloved Garcia family is now fully Mormon.
On Saturday, Stockman and I had a busy day. First we went to a baptism for the Sisters that was great, and Stockman and I shared the story of The Restoration in English! Talk about STRESS. And I was the one who had to share the First Vision by memory. It's hard when I've never EVER had it memorized in English, and the Spanish version is all mixed up. It went good, though. Then we bounced quickly over to M to go to Juan and Emily's wedding, which they held in the chapel. There were SO MANY missionaries there and it's really amazing how many people were actually involved in Juan's conversion.
(Note from Mom: Wish I could name all the missionaries who worked with Juan...but I can't. Here L to R: Anderson, ____, ____, Heimuli, ____, Stockman, Luis, Emily, Garcia daughters, Jones, Carpenter, Charlesworth, ____).
It was really great and then immediately after they were married, Juan wanted to be baptized ASAP. When the service started, I was asked to translate for a lady who only spoke english. Talk about more stress than the first vision. It was my first time translating too, but they said I did good. The baptism was so awsome!
Me and Jones (my trainer) were so excited when he was dunked, we almost jumped up, screamed, and gave each other high fives--but we refrained and settled for girly squeals of joy.
Time moves by pretty quickly out here in the mission. My dad (Jones) dies next wednesday and it seems just like yesterday I was a greenie struggling with spanish.
(Looking back to when Helam was a greenie, with Ramon and Elder Jones)
Now I'm ten months old and still struggling with it, hahaha). The mission is really fascinating and scary. It makes me reflect on the sadness and joy i've experienced and will yet experience. A mini-life is what i've heard it called, and the one thing that needs to be done in life (and in a mini-life) is PERSEVERE. From all the things I've been hearing from home, the happy and the sad, that same thought comes to my head: what needs to be done is persevere. There is a quote by Pres. Monson that says, "Faith is always pointed to the future." We all know what our goal is: Eternal Life. Now the only thing that needs to be done is persevere. Despite challenges, sadness, or other obstacles, we MUST persevere in faith towards our Heavenly Father who is waiting for us with His arms extended. Tell everyone I love them. The family, Pres. Gordon, and others.
I'm doing perfectly fine out here! Thanks so much for your support and prayers. It really does help. The weather is a bit warmer now, so it's all good:)
ps. pics are coming