Hey hey hey everybody!
Wow, what can I say? It was a pretty awesome week!
First things first. Last Monday I told you all about the lesson we were having with Anthony Hidalgo. The lesson went pretty well, and I felt the Spirit there, but when we invited him to be baptized on December 7th, he politely said no and that he wanted to choose his own date. So, we committed him to pray about a date, and we just sorta left it at that. Elder Snyder told me that it was a lot better than the first time he and the previous missionary invited him. He flat out said no last time, so this is a step in the right direction. He did tell us that baptism is his goal. We just need to be patient with him.
On Tuesday, we had Zone Conference at the Stake Center. It was great to see President and Sister Felix there, as well as some past missionaries that I have served with and around. I had the chance to catch up with Elder Gaylor and Elder Haines, and it was a great day. The theme of the zone conference was about how our desires to be obedient affect our success as a missionary. It's so true. I think about in the scriptures, how Alma says that we will be granted according to our desires. It's where it all starts.
On Thursday, it was cool because we went with the elders quorum to the homeless shelter and we prepared and served them food. They were really humble and it was also humbling for us to see how grateful they were to get some food. We prepared taco salad and cake for them.
When Friday came around, we were doing service with the other elders at a less-active's house, when we got a phone call from our district leader. He told us that the YSA missionaries came across somebody in our area that needed help moving, and that we should go over there and serve. Before we got there, it was just a single mom stacking boxes in the Uhaul truck, and her 6 year old daughter bringing them out. We moved couches, desks, dressers, washers and dryers and a refrigerator for her, and she was so thankful. What was also cool was that she called some mover guys to help out, and one of them was Mike Daniel, an investigator that I taught in the 3rd ward! It was neat to catch up with him, although he's pretty much lost interest in the church. He did call us "Saints" though which was cool. :)
Saturday was also an interesting day for service. We were called over to a lady's house named Penny, and she is a HOARDER. Her house was a mess! She had cockroaches crawling all over the place, and I spent 45 minutes killing cockroaches with a fly swatter, while the other missionaries were sorting through mail and scrubbing cockroach marks off the walls. It was pretty gross, but at least we left the place better than we found it.
Then, came Sunday. I was asked to give a talk in church (The FOURTH time on my mission!) about how missionary work is not a self-gratifying service, but a service to others. Since it was such a specific topic, I didn't really know how well it would go, but the members that talked to me afterwards said that they felt the Spirit and that I did a good job. I talked about how inviting others to come unto Christ is the biggest service that we have been asked to fulfill. I also said that there are roughly 15 million members of the church out of 7 billion people in the world, and how that's only 0.21% of the world. That we were so blessed to be a part of that number, and that a much larger percent of the world was seeking after truth and that it is our job to let them know. I hope it opened up some of the eyes of the members. And guess what?! Member dinners are starting to pick up! I think we're scheduled nearly every day we have the car this week, so that's always a plus. Hopefully we can get this "missionary ball" rolling.
The best part of Sunday though, was of course, the baptism of Ernesto, Kathy, and Karoline. The room was packed to the back as you can see, and the Spirit was so strong. Anthony and Katie were able to go, so hopefully that lit a spark deep inside of him. It was also neat to see Carlos, Karoline's older brother who was baptized in August, baptize Karoline. We wrote the words of the baptismal prayer on paper for Carlos, but he didn't need it! It was awesome! Elder Snyder and I were the witnesses for their baptisms. Overall, it was a great week! I love you all so much! Happy Thanksgiving!