My Beloved Family,
Hope you are happy and well. I love you all and as always am so grateful for your prayers. So the first picture is just a really funny Halloween decoration. It was a really cold night and we had a long bike ride but that made it worth it. There was also a baptism this Sunday. I had the opportunity to baptize Elaine. Elder Barajas and I taught her the first two lessons and then extended the baptismal date and then passed her on to the Sisters in our ward to teach. In between our first and second appointment with Erica though, she read all the way through Jacob in the Book of Mormon. Talk about someone being prepared. The other pictures (I will send another email with more) are from Brazos State Park. We brought our bikes and had a great time. There are alligators and turtles all over the place. Really fun P-Day activity.
Highlights of the week begin on Wednesday. We were at mutual because we were expecting to do a church tour and had some other investigators there and we saw one of the best boys I have ever met crying. His name is Jerome and he was baptized with his father about 6 months ago. We talked to him and found out that he was sad because his dad couldn't afford a pinewood derby car for him and he was the only boy not participating in the race. We pulled him into a room and asked if we could read the Book of Mormon with him. Immediately we thought of what could cheer him up and the story of Ammon came to mind. We read a good portion of the chapter and drew it out on the board. He loved it. We then brought him back to watch the remainder of the races. It made me think of how the Savior feels about His little ones. It was a tender moment that brought the Spirit and touched my heart.
Last night after the baptism we went to go visit Mary (she was my first baptism) and she was just distraught. She has been having a hard time and her little son has been extremely sick. As we were sitting there on the couch, her boy walked in and then threw up all over the place. She went nuts and after she cleaned it up we gave him a blessing. We then asked if we could read from the Book of Mormon. We read with her 3 Nephi 17 about Christ healing the sick and blessing the little ones. I bore my testimony of Priesthood blessings and how my dad was worthy to bless me as I grew up and how I had been made whole many times through the laying on of hands. I bore my testimony of how much God loves her little boy. But above all, I bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon. When we got there, she was depressed, in despair, and life was too hard. After administering through the Priesthood and reading from the Book of Mormon, the Holy Ghost was present and peace filled her humble apartment.
I have never been so grateful for the nightly family prayer and scriptures. That time that we had to be spiritually fed. Where I learned the doctrines of the Priesthood drop by drop and line by line. I know that the Book of Mormon brings peace and the Spirit into our lives because it helps us draw closer to Christ. I finished it yesterday morning and love the Book of Mormon. I know it is true.
We also had interviews on Tuesday with President Ashton. In mission language, "I'm having a baby!" I am training. I get my new companion on Wednesday. It will be fun. I walked into the interview and President said, "Do you want to know about transfers? You are training." I am really excited and nervous but I know the Lord will bless me. The program of the church will pretty much be that when you finish training you immediately begin to train.
President Ashton told us that since the announcement in Conference, missionary applications have gone up 470%. That is crazy. I can't even imagine how busy that must make the Apostles. It reminds me of the Standard of Truth. This work will continue until the Lord says it is done.
I love you all. Please pray for me this week. Elder Barajas is staying in the ward but opening an area for his last transfer. I will miss him but at least he is close!