Hey everyone! Glad to hear all this great great news coming from home! Our family has truly been blessed this week.
I went on exchanges again in a Spanish area last week with one of the missionaries we live with. Missionaries who speak a foreign language have 30 minutes to an hour of language study every day, and I guess that's true even on exchanges. At first I thought I'd just do personal study for an extra hour or whatever, but then I decided that I'd do something way better. So, I memorized the baptismal invitation in Spanish! Then, later on that afternoon I asked a lady, en Espanol, if she would be baptized. She shook her head....... and then told us that she didn't understand me. Drats. But later on through the day I got it a lot better. Next time!
One of our investigators has been smoking for 41 years. That's an issue. He really is sincere about joining the church and being baptized, but he's just bound with flaxen cords over this one problem. So, we got a pamphlet that is designed to help people quit. We went to the store and got all the necessary items which consisted of grapefruit juice, cinnamon mouthwash, and vitamin C. The grapefruit juice and mouthwash I guess is there to drastically change the taste in your mouth so that you don't want to smoke. They likened smoking to the Pavlovian dog theory, and they say that there are certain things that trigger a "bell" that goes off in a smoker's mind, telling them they need to smoke. Pretty interesting! Well, the bad news is, after we gave Brian the stuff he got really stressed out the next day and smoked again. Shoot. Hopefully with enough prayer and faith he can break through.
So remember the super solid family? The dad came up to us in church yesterday and asked us how to donate fast offerings. This guy, keep in mind, is pretty poor. Before he got the job he just got, they were living off welfare (still kind-of are) and child support from her kids. But anyway, long story short this guy, who isn't even a member yet, donated fast offerings. So sweet! I thought it was cool that he wanted to pay tithing, but nope. He had to go the extra mile and pay fast offerings too. Such a sweet family. He should be our ward mission leader :)
I don't think I've ever told you about this girl that when we first met her, she told us that she grew up pagan, has hydrophobia (ouch, not too good for someone we want to get immersed in water), and has social anxieties. Once again, not super great for a church environment. Well, every time that we've gone by, she has made leaps and bounds in her faith and desire. We met her again, which was only like our 3rd lesson, and she told us that she has a burning desire to go to church! Then during gospel principles class, she asked, "how much do I have to learn before I can be baptized?" What the heck?! I thought you were afraid of water?! Super cool experience. She'll be baptized in no time.
Our super solid Golden Investigator is still super solid and golden. We asked her to quit coffee and she had no problems. I wish everyone were this way! Just need her husband to be involved, but I guess he's just going at a different pace.
We were going by an investigator to give them the "drop talk", and let them know we were going to stop coming by because they aren't progressing. They are the granddaughters of a less active lady that got offended by past missionaries and has avoided us ever since. We had never seen the lady. So, right as we tell them we're going to stop by, the less active lady, comes to the door and says that she's finally ready to have missionaries come by and help her come back to Christ. Some people just need the "drop talk" to kick them into gear I guess. Either way, super awesome blessing that instead of losing investigators, we helped them progress!
Welp, that's all I got. I love all of you and hope and pray for the best for each of you. The church is true!