It's so good to be here again, sitting at the computer, emailing you all. This week has been pretty great.
On Tuesday, a member took us out to a place called Hometown Buffet, which is basically like Chuck-A-Rama. Why am I telling you this you ask? Because he picked us up in his 2013 Red Camaro and sped us down the freeway to dinner! It was pretty fun. I wish I had my camera. They also had this cake there called Tres Leche's cake that I really loved and I want to make or buy when I get home. Cool story of the week.
There are older members of the ward who recently got married in December and they had us over for dinner as well. They live in the same complex as us so it's pretty convenient. We helped them carry out some drawers from an old desk of theirs and they gave us some really good cheesecake that is to die for. Wow, all my stories of the week involve some sort of food. No wonder I'm gaining weight...I'm already at 20 lbs...oh yeah. We went to Texas Roadhouse on Wednesday with other members....so...fattening. ;P
Get this: This is the climax of the week. On (Miracle) Thursday, we received a text at 11:30 at night from the Media Referral center, which is basically a center where missionaries call to give the names and the new addresses for people that are moving, so the missionaries in the new area can continue teaching. Marva, a member, and Daniel, her nonmember husband moved up from Santa Barbara here to Santa Maria for their honeymoon, and they packed everything they had. We called her on the phone and told her where the church building was, and they came to church. We set up an appointment to see them Sunday night and we came over and got more of their story. We went through all the pamphlets and asked him if he was taught the lessons and he has! He's been taught everything he needs to know and he is living all the commandments! We taught him about temples/baptisms for the dead and he liked the concept. They said that they are only going to be here for about 10 days, but they want Daniel to get baptized HERE while they are in Santa Maria because they are moving to Murray, UT when they leave. Their home teacher is driving up from Santa Barbara on Friday to baptize them, and so we have a baptism on Friday! We are going to give Mario a call later on today and see if he got off parole, and if he does, we will probably have a baptism on Saturday too! The work in Santa Maria is going great! I love being here and see so many people's lives change for the better. Everyone always says that if we were to be with Mario when he first started investigating the church, we wouldn't even be able to recognize him. The church really has changed his life so much. His daughter, who was baptized 2 years ago turned in her mission papers about a month ago, and is waiting for her mission call.
Saturday we had the Central Coast Helping Hands project, which is basically the Mormon Helping Hands, but the local leaders of the church wanted to expand it so any denomination could attend. There were people from all sorts of different faiths that were there. We met at a high school and we scraped off old paint in the bleachers and repainted them. There was a big BBQ afterwards and the Father from the local Catholic church blessed the food and it just united us all as Christians. It was a great day, and we were really tired afterwards.
I should probably tell you that over the past couple of weeks, I have learned how to play Texas Hold 'Em, or Poker (not with face cards!). We've been going to the other elder's place during our lunch and evening hours and we've been playing uno and betting pushups. It's been fun. ;)
Basically, I love being a missionary. I love the new surprises that come each day, and you never really know what's going to happen. For example, yesterday afternoon we were walking down a busy street and some guy pulled up next to us and called us the f-word. I love it, because all we do is smile, wave, and say, "Have a nice day!" Being a missionary is awesome. I've never had so much fun, and I've never felt the power of the Holy Ghost so strongly either. You can plan to do one thing, but God pulls you another direction and you end up doing something completely different. Missionary service has its ups and downs, but over time, you forget the specifics of the bad experiences and remember the specifics of the good ones. God truly does have his Almighty Hand over His missionaries, and there's never been one time where I've felt scared or threatened or afraid of what might happen, because I know that the Lord is there and He won't let anything happen.
I'm so excited to call home in just under two weeks for Mother's Day. Family, I'm so sorry that I haven't been answering specific questions that you've been asking me, but I will answer any question that you have when I call home. I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Oh. P.S. My toe did break. A ligament pulled too far and pulled off a piece of my bone. I put it in a little splint for a couple of days, and it's basically already healed.