Happy Birthday Mom!
I feel like the whole family is about to receive an increased number of facetime calls now that she has an iPhone. Speaking of that, for Christmas, we are allowed to Skype, so if someone could set up a Skype account and send me all the details, I would appreciate it (probably Phil or David). I am not too sure how it works. I think I just go to a member's house and can use their Skype. If that doesn't work, for a fallback we have the conference number.
I hope that you are all well and that you enjoyed Thanksgiving together. We had a wonderful day in which we taught some lessons and then ate dinner at la familia Carrillo's house. Hermano Carrillo is the second counselor in our bishopric and I love their family. We had a wonderful time with them and some other ward members that came. At the end of the night, we all went around and said why we are grateful. I had an overwhelming feeling of love for the people I was with and told them that I was grateful for them. I explained that though my family is the most important thing in my life, I haven't missed you all while I have been out here because I have had them. The Lord has answered my pleas that I would be able to love the people here. They sure make it easy though. It is incredible how strongly I feel for those I teach and the members of my ward. Like mom always says, "You learn to love those you serve."
I had a really neat experience yesterday. We were teaching Charles (the young man that was baptized last week) and we read the story of Ammon cutting off the arms to try and help him understand that the Book of Mormon is interesting. He not only loved the story, he understood it. That was a miracle. He has had an incredibly difficult time understanding the scriptures, just like all the youth because they grow up with english and spanish so they can't read or write either, and yet he understood the whole story. He offered to pray and the beginning of the lessing and his prayer was wonderful. I was thinking about what could cause such a great change in such a short time and then I remembered that he was confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost last week. It all made sense. Though Charles himself didn't even notice, because he now has the Holy Ghost, he can understand spiritual things better. It made me so grateful for the Holy Ghost and the influence He has played in my life. I wonder just how many times my understanding has been quickened? At the end of the lesson, we asked him who he knew that we could teach. He told us we coud teach his best friend. He explained that his friend is like he used to be (involved in drugs, gangs, and alcohol) but the best thing is that he recognized that he has changed and that through the Atonement his friend can too.
We had a neat experience last night. I had a flat tire so we were having a little bit of a rough time getting around. We finally pumped it up at the gas station and then didn't have anywhere specific to go because everything fell through. We visited some people that we were close to and then we headed somewhere else and we rode by a house where the garage was open, they were in camp chairs, drinking their beers, and watching the football game (I think it was the Patriots). We rode by and passed them but after about fifty feet, it just didn't feel right. I didn't have a strong feeling to talk with them, it just didn't feel right to not allow them the opportunity to hear the Gospel. They ended up being hispanic and we had a wonderful conversation with them. Both families want their youth to participate in the youth programs of the church and they invited us back next week. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost and for His quiet whisperings. I have learned more and more of the peace that comes from following the Spirit and being obedient.
I love you all. The work is progressing. Will you please pray that Darci will come to church this Sunday. She is a wonderful lady that I have come to love with my whole heart. I also had a touching moment on Sunday as I looked around and realized that all the people that have been baptized since I have been here are completely active. Mary (she was the first baptism) even spoke yesterday. I was also touched as I saw the numerous now active families that the Lord has brought back to full activity in the Church and allowed me to participate in the process.
I love you and this work is true,