Sorry we weren't able to write yesterday. Because it was Martin Luther King Day, the libraries were closed. I am still with Elder Evertsen today, we have transfer meeting tomorrow. I have said all of my goodbyes and had a touching moment in Sacrament Meeting as I pondered on the work I have done in this area for the last six months and the Lord helped me to feel peace.
Sounds like you are all doing well. Mary and Craig and kids just hanging out on the beach while all the Utah people are freezing to death. I was thinking about the pioneers the other day. I just don't think we understand what they experienced.
This past week was the best week I have ever had in this area. It was hard some days knowing that I was leaving but we had an incredible week and were greatly blessed. I will share about one family that has been a miracle. On Wednesday morning the other elders in our ward called and said that they were too sick to work and offered us the van for the day. We gladly accepted and decided to take advantage by going to visit some of the people that live a little bit further away. We knocked on a door of a less-active family (la familia Anderson) and the 18 year-old son opened the door. This was a miracle for two reasons; 1) there is a gate outside the front door that is always locked and thus has prevented us from knocking on the door in the past, 2) when we have stopped by previously the dog would bark and they would look through the windows and still not open the door. I have probably been to their house close to twenty times since I have been here.
We talked with Edgar at the door for a while and found out that they had been baptized about three years ago and then moved and stopped going to church. The family is the mom, dad, 18 year-old son, 17 year-old daughter, 12 year-old daughter, 8 year-old daughter, and a 7 year-old daughter. Everyone is baptized except for the dad who is Catholic and the 8 year-old. We echanged phone number and left saying that we would call his mom to set an appointment. As we drove away, we felt that we needed to call her right then, so we pulled over and called her. She said that she had seen us pulling away and had hoped to get our attention. She invited us to come back right then and teach her. We did so and had an incredible lesson. She told us that she has been feeling really strongly recently that she needed to go back to church but she just didn't know how to go about doing it. She said that the impression was strong enough that she had pulled out her scriptures that day in a hope that she would be able to use them. We got to know her a little bit, she invited us to read in the scriptures with her which we did gladly, and then we set two return appointments and left.
We went back on Saturday and brought a Hermano y Hermana Cerrio with us. They are the ones that made the empanadas that I sent to y'all. Hermana Cerrio is now the Relief Society President and Hermano Cerrio hasn't missed church for over three months after being completely less-active for more than 20 years. When Elder Barajas and I first visited them about 4 months ago, they hadn't been to church in a long time. But they came and we had the best experience. La hermana Abgil related the story of opening the door after we had talked with her on the phone. She said that even though it was so bright outside (it was about 4:00) that we glowed. She said that we shone brighter than the sun and that the Holy Ghost impressed upon her that we were servants of the Lord. We stopped by again last night and had a Family Home Evening. It was wonderful. They are going to come to church this week and have already started reading in the Book of Mormon again. It was been absolutely incredible to see the hand of the Lord as He allows us to participate in this great redemptive work.
Last night we stopped by la Familia Gronierfor my last time. They were the very first people I ever visited on my mission and my first day we extended a baptismal date to the 15 year-old girl which she accepted and who was then baptized and now a great member of the ward. We watched "The Lamb of God" which covers the final week of the Savior's life. It was a powerful video and it made me appreciate on a new level what the Savior did for me. Since last night I read Elder Bruce R. McConkie's final talk "The Purifying Power of Gethsemane" and studied about the topic in Jesus the Christ. I truly do "stand all amazed" for the Savior did for me.
I know this Gospel is true. I love this work. I am excited to go to Clear Lake. From what the members tell me, NASA is in my area. Should be fun. We will be having a baptism this weekend or next weekend for a 9 year-old named Audry Taylor. She is the only one not baptized in her family. Please pray for her.
I love you all!
P.S. I will send photos next week.