It’s that time of the week again. These last seven days were especially good and I am starting to get into the swing of things. Our baptisms that were originally scheduled for last Sunday were moved up to this Sunday because they wanted their family and friends to come. There´s nothing we could really do about that. The two sisters grew up with one foot in the church and one foot in the world because their Dad was active while their mom was Catholic. The mother and father split up several years ago and the dad did not want the girls to get baptized without the mother´s approval, and I am not sure we could anyways. But the mom miraculously changed her mind so we have been able to teach them all the lessons. It was not too hard considering that they had already been attending church on and off for five years. I am really looking forward to this baptism as I feel more confident with the language and understand more when people are talking around me. Sometimes people will just go on a rant or a long speech and I will literally understand none of it. But I keep trying and I keep getting better.
On Monday this week, I think we had the best day of work we have ever had. We now have twelve more marked for baptism and have three super elect families. One sixteen year old we met on the bus asked us during the lesson ´´So how do I prepare to be baptized on the 30th?´´ I mean wow! I felt the spirit so strongly with that family. His dad studied religion for six months in Jerusalem and accepted everything we said without question. I am so excited to work with them again! Another person literally asked us if we could visit him without our prompting. Contacting just got a lot easier. He wasn´t there at the time we scheduled though which made me kind of sad. But we have his phone number so we will call him later this week. People can understand me now which is two thumbs up, and I keep getting encouragement and congratulations from members and missionaries alike. I am only afraid that this praise might go to my head and slow my progress. ´´Pride is a personal commitment between excellence and mediocrity.´´ I know I have so much more to learn and will never know all I would like. The important thing is not to only remember where you have come from, but focus on where you want to go. I have truly felt the blessings of obedience and diligence as I try harder each week and realize I can still do more.
This week was also pretty fun too. We ate lunch with a member who kept saying how ´´beautiful´´ I was. It would have been really uncomfortable if I had understood what she had been saying in the moment. My companion said that she was wondering if it would be acceptable for a light and dark to be together. HaHa awkward. Also, people really like my eyes here and my street name is German.
My companion starts a diet every day and then fails by going to an All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet and says the ´´Diet Starts Tomorrow! ´´
(He´s looking over my shoulder) My companion is the most awesomist man in the whole world.
We are trying to get the Pattern of Excellence this week, but only two companionships have gotten it since the qualifications have become more difficult. But I know we can do it if we just put out trust in the Lord, and try our absolute best.
We just had a multi-zone conference this last week and all the new missionaries and all the missionaries leaving were asked to bear their testimonies. I do not think it would be possible not to feel the spirit in that room. The more senior missionaries went first who were all trainers or leaders. It was wonderful to hear their stories of growth and their inspiring words to take advantage of every minute because the minutes are too few. And then the new Brazilian missionaries went. Most of them had not been members of the church long so it was truly touching to hear about some of their conversions and decisions to serve a mission after only having been a member for as few as two years. One larger Elder started crying as he talked about how thankful he was for the church and for his trainer. I only hope that I can be that good of an example for another missionary someday. And then it was my turn. All throughout the other missionaries testimonies I was anxiously looking at my verb card and asking about vocab from my roommates because I felt so unprepared to get across the complex ideas that I wanted to. Last week we had been focusing on teaching the first lesson with the spirit and as simply as possible so that I might be understood with my rudimentary skills and so that the more simple investigators might understand. And so that is what I tried to do. I would like to bear my testimony to all those who are reading this that I know the Church is true. I know it. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that through its passages a person can feel more peace and have more happiness than through any other means. I know that I am doing the most important thing I will ever do in my entire life . I am helping people down the path to know what I have come to. I know that each and every one of us is loved and cared about by more people than we can begin to count. I know that this life can be tough at times, but I also know that it will never be tough, never more than we can handle despite what we may think. And I want you all to know how thankful I am for each and every one of you and all of your kind words, your encouragement, and your prayers. I hope your weeks are wonderful and that trials are brief.
And Morgan, Elder Bybee and Elder Iverson would be happy to write you. They want more photos ^.^ (You´re taller than Elder Bybee but he has a perfectly sculpted masterpiece that some people call a body, but I call it a window to heaven. (Double parenthesis, he looks like Buddha) :P) Elder Iverson cut out the British guy´s face and put on his. Just kidding... He used to model. He also runs an eighteen for the 5k. I know right? Hug Mom and Dad for me ok?
Maddie, don´t worry. We are making the cake for movie day!
Nate, stay great.
And Tyler, play some games for the both of us alright?
Come on really,
I don´t really know what you guys want to hear about so I just write what I feel and what I remember. Please, please, please ask me if you have any burning question or if anything I wrote is unclear. I sometimes kind of feel like I am writing in journal so please add some human interaction to this. One-way is no fun. Also, if you are sending something use US Postal service snail mail and put Jesus or Mary stickers on it and send it to my mission home. If you ever send anything valuable, I heard that it has a high probability of getting stolen so I have been advised that you just write on the box like candy, cereal, and like socks and then you hide whatever it is in a box of Cap´n Crunch. Also, if you do mark things down as like $250 for bed sheets, I think I have to pay about a 60% import tax so be careful. And thank you so much for the birthday cards, the sweet notes, and the candy and presents! My roommates were really happy to hear from you :) Love you!