So the other day we were walking around a trailer park complex looking for people we could help and teach, when we found this guy cleaning the outside of his trailer. We asked him if we could help and after a few minutes, he and his sister let us in. We cleaned their house, shared a message and added them as SUPER SOLID investigators. He then told us he had a baby python. SO he goes and gets said python. I held a python.
It was awesome!
Jorge is a full-fledged Mormon! Haha his baptismal service was AMAZING! The spirit was so strong and literally every single member of this high priest group was there supporting him. When he got up out of the water he just smiled and gave everyone two thumbs up...it was classic. Jorge is a completely changed man! When we met him, he was rough and had a huge chip on his shoulder and had no patience or love for anyone. Now he just smiles all the time and gives all the other hermanos in the branch hugs and jokes around like it's nobody's business! When he got confirmed the circle was huge, and he stood up, smiled, and raised another 2 thumbs up. We went over yesterday and he told us that he feels "light" and that the burden he's carried for so long was gone. AND he already has a calling!!!! High Priest Secretary. Isn't even a high priest and he's already being put to work! They're going to the temple this Thursday with him. I am stoked.
I think the coolest moment of the baptism was that I was just sitting there and I felt like I had nothing to do with it. It was not "my" baptism-it was all Jorge and the credit goes all to the Lord. Every baptism I have gone to has felt the same. We work and pray so hard but in the end, it feels good to know that Heavenly Father did it, and we just got the front row seat to the best event of LIFE.
We have a big goal this week to focus on having lessons with members present. I LOVE it when members come with us! The Spirit is super strong and that relationship between the investigator is so important. An hermana named Maria Theresa came with us yesterday and her testimony was so key in the lessons we had with her. When we were dropping her off she just kept going off on how grateful she was for the chance to learn with the missionaries again (she's a convert of about 8 months). It definitely got me thinking-yes, the investigator needs the member, but the member needs the investigator too. There is a special spirit when the simple truths of the gospel are being taught and ALL members, notwithstanding their time in the church, need to be reminded. We always have something to learn from the principles of the gospel. I think I'll be going to that class in church for the rest of my life....
We had a really cool zone meeting yesterday! The zone leaders brought an ASL companionship and an Arabic companionship to teach us how to contact in those languages, so it was really solid. DANG Arabic is hard! I can barely speak Spanish!! I give major props to those elders...
The zone leaders called us the night before and asked us to teach about how to begin teaching. We focused a lot on charity. The main theme of out lesson was, "how to we teach in a way where, when we tell them we love them after 2 minutes of knowing them, they believe it?". We need to beg for charity, because if we don't have it we don't deserve to teach God's children. It was definitely something that I needed to be reminded of, so it was a great morning. Plus, those are my favorite types of groups to teach (seminary, mutual, missionaries etc.) so basically I was on a spiritual high all day.
Speaking of Arabic, a member fed us Arabic vegetarian food the other day and it was honestly the weirdest thing I have ever eaten in my life. I'll take tacos over grain/vegetable/imitation meatball things ANY DAY.
We go on exchanges every week with the sisters in the mission, so this week I brought a brand-new missionary to Santee. It was fun to be with a greenie again! We were planning that night and the next day was going to be crazy with meetings and a baptism, so I was having issues with planning. The only name that I could think of was an investigator named Margherita - she was never home and didn't seem too interested in the past so I wasn't super sure, but we put her down anyway. We ended up only having time to see one person that day, so we went over to her house and she was there! We taught a powerful lesson about the Book of Mormon, and then taught her to pray. As she said the closing prayer, she started to straight up cry and the only thing she could say was, "thank you for sending me these messengers. I didn't know how much I needed them." POWER. I said a silent prayer of gratitude to Heavenly Father after that....
Actually, I've said a lot of prayers of gratitude this week. I've been working on just talking with God more and praying more DURING the lessons. As a result, I feel the spirit more, I am happier, and I love the people more. For some reason, it has taken me a long time to make Santee feel like "home" like my last areas, but this week as I've just kept a prayer in my heart, I've felt happier than I've ever been here. Life is good when you know God.
I love you SO MUCH. Seriously. SO. Much.
All I have,