Friends and Fam,
In case you were all wondering still, things are still pretty great. Transfers are coming up next Tuesday so this will probably be my last week with Elder Varela :(. But I’m super excited to see what the future has in store for me! Plus we have an exciting announcement to make…Emerson is getting baptized next Sunday! When we visited him this week he told us that he’s finally been reading in the Book of Mormon and praying and that he feels it’s true! I still can’t get the smile of my face from that lesson haha. He even came to church yesterday with his wife and is keeping all of commitments so now all of a sudden his progression has sky-rocketed. Honestly, words can’t describe how super pumped we are for him. On most likely his last day here, Elder Varela will finally have his first baptism in this area.
Basically all of our other investigators that we’re trying to focus on are progressing really well also! The kids we found last week (I call them my gorditos now) are all still doing great and might actually be ready for baptism a week or so before their scheduled date. They came to church again yesterday also! I wanted to share a little about one of the lessons we had with them this week. It was Wednesday night, our last appointment of the day so we were a little tired out. We walked in and found that the kids were all pretty worn out too. One of the gorditos was especially grumpy and had a bit of an attitude with his sibs so the beginning of the meeting was really rough. We had planned to teach them a little on Lesson 3: The Gospel of Jesus Christ but I really wasn’t feeling it once I assessed the situation. So we just decided to real a little in the Book of Mormon with them! They hadn’t had the time to read on their own since our last visit so we just read 1 Nephi 1. It’s amazing what that little book can do sometimes. As we read and explained what was going on in the chapter the atmosphere in their apartment slowly got better and better. Honestly it’s a little difficult to describe. But it just felt…good haha. Grumpy pants shared a Book with me and as I helped him pronounce difficult words slowly a smile came back to his face. By the time we left everything was much more calm and peaceful from when we first got there. So attention moms everywhere: read the Book of Mormon with your kids! It’s like a magic trick or something. If it doesn’t settle the craziness a little bit at least it might put some kids to sleep haha.
We also have a new investigator named Wilmur that’s super funny haha. He accepted an invitation to be baptized pretty quick but got really confused somehow when we were trying to set a date. At the same time we were also trying to invite him to church the coming Sunday (bad idea) so he mixed that up with his baptismal date and asked with a bit of panic “Voy a ser bautizado este Domingo??” (Am I going to be baptized this Sunday??). We calmed him down though and explained that it wasn’t for several more weeks and that we were going to keep visiting him to prepare him for it. And then when we reminded him on Sunday morning to go to church he texted us back saying “No puedo voy a jugar” (I can’t I’m going to play) and we were just like “Ugh, you’ve got to be kidding me” haha. But when we invited him to be baptized he was basically all like “Oh yeah totally” so he’ll learn eventually.
To finish I wanted to share something super cool as I was studying the Christlike Attribute patience. As I’ve grown and progressed as a missionary in my short time here so far something I’ve realized is that change takes time. In my mind I have a list of things I want to be, but becoming those things doesn’t happen all at once! Like that lame saying: “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. During one of my studies this week I went on something that I like to call “Scripture Adventure” where I start with a scripture from Preach My Gospel and then I read the references that catch my attention until it all spirals off and I end up reading like 20 scriptures on one topic haha. This specific one was kind of short but here’s how it went: D&C 101:38–>Psalms 27:8–>Ether 12:41. Check those scriptures out when you get the chance. Basically I learned that without patience we cannot access the grace of Christ’s Atonement (“Wait what are you serious Elder Allen???” Yes, I’m serious). See if you can make the same connections I did. Patience has become one of my favorite topics to study because it’s somehow connected with almost every principle of the Gospel. Without patience we cannot become the people we want to be and we won’t be able to avoid contention that causes the Spirit to leave our presence!
It looks like there’s going to plenty of change around here in El Camino Real next week, so I’ll definitely try to keep you all updated. Quick side note, Spanish is so great. Have a great week everyone!