Yes Yes Yes, that is right. We are going to baptize a family!!! Of 5!! Woohoo. Wow, it's so awesome. So we got this referral from a woman in California who is a member, and it's her cousin that she wanted us to go visit. So we went and saw her. Her name is Veronica. I may have mentioned them last week.... But anyways... her and her husband Tony are going to get married hopefully this week or the next week. And they have 3 awesome kids. Well this week me and Elder King went and taught her and her husband Tony. And we invited them to be baptized. They told us "No." And that they didn't think they would be ready to be baptized on the 12th of September. So we talked more about baptism and just a lot of things and invited them again. And once again they said "No." Then that is when the spirit really kicked in. And we taught them more about baptism and really went into depth about the importance of it. And invited them a 3rd time....(who says persistence is a bad thing :) ) And this time they accepted! Third time is a charm.
So this week they went and bought church clothes at the salvation army store. They were excited. And we invited them to a baptism the Elders in the North had on Saturday. They came with their 3 children and loved it!!! And they got to meet a lot of members as well. It was just a great enviroment. They are very excited. So after wards while Tony and Veronica were talking to me, Elder King took the kids on a church tour to show them their classes and all. Those kids are so so awesome!! I was talking with them in the sacrament meeting room and told them one of my ridiculous stories, and of course they laughed, cause I have just, weird stories. And after that no one said anything. So then we all started to laugh again because of the awkwardness...... then silence again.... then more laughing. Ah man... those kids are great.
And yesterday the family came to church. And enjoyed that too!! They were smiling and laughing and socializing. And in class, it was so cool! We talked about baptism, and Brother Goff, our ward mission leader and the one that teaches the class sometimes, asked my Jesus went to John to be baptized. And Veronica rose her hand and me and Elder King just looked at each other, and she said.... "because he had the authority to baptize." And me and Elder King gave each other bones. We were so happy. This family is looking great!! It will be so cool to bring this whole family into the gospel. I am so so excited. So their baptism date is the 12th of September. So that is the highlight of this past week. As you can tell I am so excited about it!!
Also, Alma finally received her ID from Mexico so she can take out her stuff and the Mexican Consolate here, and then they can get married. And then they will be baptized. So we should have 2 more baptisms coming here soon too. But we are lacking other progressing investigators. So I don't know what we are going to do after these 7 get baptized. Just have to start finding again.
It has been a tough week though. There are days when I am so excited to go out and work and teach the gospel. But there are so many disappointments in the mission to where sometimes I lack desire to do things. But I have found that reading the scriptures gives so much strength throughout the week. There is always so much to learn and understand. It's great. The things that the spirit is able to teach you.
So speaking of the spirit, yesterday we had an amazing fireside-ish deally about the Holy Ghost, and President and Sister Kunz spoke as well as President Bartlett of the stake. 3 of the most spiritually powerful people in Nebraska. It was amazing the things we learned about the Holy Ghost. And me and Elder King did translating for the spanish speakers. Wow!!!! Super hard. To listen and translate into a different language when they are speaking really fast. But it was really helpful. We did pretty good! But still, I need to practice that!!!!
So this week I have been learning some tongue twisters from the members. It's fun, but hard at the same time. But it's helping a lot. Members are so much fun to be with. They help ya out and teach you stuff. And most of them don't know any English, so it's fun to teach them English and listen to them.
So mom, did you take the challenge I gave to you about taking a whole week to study the Atonement? And just the Atonement. If not.... I am reissuing it to you. Just a few ideas to start off with.... study 2 Nephi 2:7-9, and in verse 8 where it talks about grace, mercy, and.... ah I don't remember the word in English. But study those 3 words.... study Alma 7 and Alma 34. There is so much to learn about the Atonement. And so many of these things have helped me in my life. So take a week and just focus on that. And I know you will see your life start to change for the better. I promise you will. It's amazing what the gospel can do for us and the changes it can bring about in our lives. I am so glad to have it in my life and to be able to share it with people. It's sad watching people reject something that can change therir life completely. But everyone has there agency.
Justin, the longer you put off your mission the harder it will be to go on it. Something will always just pop up. You turn 19 next March, so make your mission your first priority now. So that way whenever something comes up, you already have your decision made. that you are going on a mission. And plus if you put it off longer, that is a longer time you won't be able to see your RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME older brother. But make sure when you go on your mission you are prepared. Don't put it off for basketball or work. Put if off, if you do, because you want to prepare yourself more. The best thing that has happened to me is my mission. Amber is right up there too though. :) Haha girls aren't a bad thing.... But anywho.... the mission! I enjoy it so much. I have never been more challenged in my life. But I have never felt as close to my Savior either. Justin, baptizing someone is the greatest joy I have ever experienced in my life. watching those you have taught make that promise with God, and enter into the path that leads to life with our heavenly father, is one of the most amazing things in the world. It's a feeling I will never ever forget. God has given us so so much! And he has asked so little of us. But when we do what he has asked, he gives us even more. I have felt his love in my life. I struggle a lot still, but he has always been there for me. Justin, the mission will bless your life. In ways you can't even imagine. And more then just your life, it will bless the lives of your family, your future family, and the families of those you are going to teach and baptize. God has people prepared for you to teach little brother. They are out there and ready. Don't make them wait to start receiving the blessings that the Lord has in store for them. I love you Justin. I only want the best for you. I know that the mission will bring you many blessings. Start preparing now. You are going to need it. :)
Writing in Spanish is my weak point right now. It's hard. Haha, with their accents and stuff. But I still love it. And the Spanish keeps coming and I keep learning new words every day.
Well this is a huge email. But I want you to all know I love you all very much. The mission is great. I miss you all, but I love being able to share the gospel with people. It really is a short time. But one I am loving. I love you!
And pray for Veronica and Tony please, your prayers can only help. :) Thank you!