I am so happy. This week has been great. We're preparing for our first baptism here this following Sunday, Maria. (That's my present to you Jamie!) She's so ready and is very excited to do this. She's been coming to church every week this past month and is doing great- she participates just like a member of the ward already! We're working with her this week to make sure she has the support she needs from us, but mostly from the members. It's amazing how much quicker she progressed once members became a more central role in the teaching process.
We have another investigator, Rafael. He is AWESOME!! He's this 60-something year old man and has a pretty serious alcohol addiction. He hates it, he feels alot of sorrow about it and he wants more than anything to get rid of it. He is so funny though because he always talks about how he's going to get baptized "para cumplir todo justicia"- he always says that after we gave him a tour of the chapel and talked about Christ's baptism. He can't really say our names very well, especially my companion Hna. Crawley. Bless his heart, he just always sounds like he has a speech impediment whenever he says her name. We like to tease her for that. He loooooves us. Everyone that walks in and out of his house while we're there, he tells them to come learn with us, and he tells them how we're going to baptize him and how he's going to "cumplir todo justicia" when he gets baptized. Words do not do justice to explain this man. He is so awesome. It'll be interesting to note the difference in his energy after he's sober. It's debatable how much is the alcohol and how much is actually him. He has a baptismal date for the end of the month. He knows that he needs Heavenly Father to help him overcome alcoholism, and he is clasping on for dear life. It's a challenge for him of course, because it is such a serious addiction (5 or 6 cervezas cada dia, por lo menos), but we're working with him. He's been reading and keeps his commitments, which is great. He always remembers when our appointments are, and he lists them off for us before we go. We're working on getting powerful member presents to come with us for support. Every time we talk to him he tells us how much he wants to get baptized! We're praying hard for him and Maria!
I've been growing and learning so much this week. Everyday is different, I have a new perspective on my mission, on the Gospel, myself, etc. We just had zone conference this past week. It was really good. President talked alot about repentance. He has a very suave way of calling us to repentance. It was good, I made a lot of goals and things I can do to become better and more effective. As a mission, we're doing a purification fast, where you fast for 40 days from habits that "poke at your spirit". The first day we fast and you personally and prayerfully make a list of 10 things that keep you from having the spirit (thoughts, actions, activities, obedience, etc.) and then you fast from those things for 40 days. I'm excited to do it. It's intense, but really good and worth it. It should be a really incredible experience. President is really really excited for the broadcast that they are doing from the new mission president conference coming up. Apparently President Monson and others are broadcasting one of your meetings church wide. It's called "The Work of Salvation" on the 23rd of june. We're getting together that day as a mission, all of us are fasting and then we're going to watch the broadcast all together. I'm really excited. (Mom and dad, pick good seats so I can see you!) President and Sister Becerra are super excited for you two. They keep asking me how you're doing and what you're doing right now and how you're feeling.
This past month and especially this past week, I feel like I've come to know Heavenly Father better than I have my entire life. The Gospel gets realer and realer every day.
love and miss you,