Hola familiares y amigos!
It´s been fun seeing the decorations go up this Christmas season. There is a huge Christmas tree in the park along with many dazzling lights and decorations. Every store is selling Christmas decorations, treats, lights, trees and fireworks. Fireworks seem to be a big thing down here, no matter what holiday it is.
Jesus, Santiaga, Abraham and Walter all went to the temple this past Saturday! I was so happy! They said they had a great experience. Elder Golledge and I had tried to help them find family names to take but it was very difficult. Then just one day before they went, Jesus found the names and dates for his parents. Abraham was able to be baptized for his grandpa and Sanitaga for Jesus’s mother. What a miracle. I was just so happy!
Unfortunately, Estefanie, the daughter of Jesus and Santiaga, has been struggling. She is finding it hard to leave behind her old life and friends. She truly has the desire to be baptized but feels unworthy to do so. But yesterday, we visited her and began teaching the Plan of Salvation. We helped her understand that the Atonement could help her with her desire to change. She really got it and said she would use the cleansing power of the Atonement in her life. Then she said she wanted to move up her baptismal date. I almost screamed! It has been incredible to see the change in Estefanie in her efforts to become better. I know the Lord is routing for us to follow Him.
Elder Golledge and I are still meeting with Lisbeth and Silvia. They are still looking for an answer that they should be baptized. We are really trying to work out their challenges and help them read the Book of Mormon. My love for them has grown so much. They know we carry something special and appreciate when we come over. In our last visit with them, Lisbeth told us she had heard a voice in the night, The voice told her that Elder Golledge and I had a special message for her. I hope this experience can help her in the right direction to find her testimony in all that we´ve taught.
Lisangela will be baptized in January. She has been such a great example for her family. Almost all of them are re-activated. They have come to church for the past 3 Sundays, Biron is preparing to receive the priesthood and Roxana re-new her temple recommend. Very exciting!
This was Elder Jerez´s last week. He bore his testimony in church as his send off and left this morning. Out of all the missionaries he has been the greatest example to me. He has been a great leader, selfless, humble, hard-working and continually looking for spiritual experiences. It was sad to see him go. Funny thing though, he´s coming back in roughly 2 weeks. He is going to come back to visit with his family, and to baptize an investigator family. I guess I´ll say good-bye a second time.
Overall it was a great week! A few more fun experiences...
1. Our district planned an activity in the park for this past Friday. We had a lot to do and weren´t able to get everything pulled together in time. We ended up singing and passing out cookies along with the ¨Él es la Dádiva¨ pass-along cards. It was a great time and we received a few references. We plan on doing the activity again in the park next week.
2. Elder Galbraith went on splits with us last Saturday. His companions had gone to the temple in the morning. I´ll have to admit, it was interesting teaching in a trio. But I learned a lot and we were able to teach by the Spirit.
3. We were passing by Jesus´s house when we saw Walter and his friend fixing their bike. We helped them repair a flat tire (with a paint brush and tape) and made friends with Walter´s buddy. He came to church!
4. Elder Golledge and I were looking through Elder Jerez´s pictures and saw one of an hermana holding a gun. We were all over that! When we went over to her house this week for lunch, we asked her about her gun. With pride she pulled out an airsoft gun as well as two pistols. ha ha.
It is amazing to see all the blessings the Lord has given me, especially this Christmas season. The difference is startling when the attitude is of service. Remember this holiday the true meaning of Christmas and the greatest gift our Heavenly Father has given us, His son Jesus Christ. I know this gospel is true. Love you all!