So, I GOT MY FIRST BAPTISM DATE!! YAY! This whole week we have been trying to meet with our investigators and everyone has seemed to bail out on us at the last minute, but finally we were able to meet with one investigator and got him to commit to baptism. I don't know if I will be here for it but it just makes me feel good that I was a part of inviting a person to come a little closer to Christ. His name is Saul Ramos. He is super cool. My companions found him a week before I got there and only had taught him once before. We were trying to get one good lesson these last two weeks but he has a super difficult schedule to work around. He is out of a job right now but takes whatever day jobs he can find and sometimes that even keeps him out for the night. Anyway, it is super exciting. We have an older couple that we are pretty sure are going to get baptized, we invited them and they seemed pretty on board, but they were going to start reading the Book of Mormon first and then when we see them next we hope to be hearing some good news.
Next off I kind of wanted to explain a miracle that happened in this last week. So anyway I can't remember if I explained this in my last letter, but we got a call last week about a woman who needed a blessing. The call was from someone who lives in Utah and is a member of the Church. The thing is she was calling us to give a blessing to her cousin who lives here in Florida and only speaks Spanish. The girl who called us told us that her cousin had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer and had just gotten home from surgery. She had received a mastectomy (I don't know if that is the right way to spell that). Anyway they hoped that the surgery took care of the cancer but they wouldn't know if it spread until the next week, or this week in present terms. Well, we gave her the blessing and she told us we could drop by anytime, basically a “mi casa es su casa” kind of deal. Well, we dropped by on Thursday to hear that she was completely cured! She didn't have any signs of cancer. She is still planning on going through chemo but it is more of a just in case thing. She has basically invited us to come over anytime and we plan on doing so just to check up on her.
Other parts of the work though have been pretty interesting. Recently we are having a problem with less-active members in the ward especially with Spanish speaking members. About 3 months before I got here they completely dissolved the Spanish branches in the stake and decided to have the Spanish members go to the English wards. It has caused some problems with some of the members, so a lot of what we do is go talk to them about how we can help them feel comfortable in the new wards. The other half of the less active members are ones that have jobs on Sunday. We try to help them out as well with trying to find the courage to ask for Sunday off or just try to find another job that would allow them to go to church on Sunday.
My companions and I are doing fantastic. They continue to teach me Spanish and continue to help me smooth into the groove of preaching the gospel. Spanish/English class that our companionship holds in the ward is also helping a lot. It puts me with the Spanish members and is also teaching me the basics of Spanish all over again. It really helps to teach English so that in turn I can speak better Spanish.
I am really loving it here in Florida, except for two facts, the humidity/heat and the bugs. Mosquitoes are attacking me every day. The bad part is, they never stop itching. They will be calm for a majority of the day and then next thing you know it is like a burning fire of wanting to scratch your skin off. Bug repellent doesn't seem to work at all. Especially in the houses of some of the investigators where they are seriously swarms of them. Bonus for living in bug central J.
The great thing is, no matter what happens here I just know that I am here for the right reasons. I continue to see miracles while I am here and it just proves that God is putting me in the right place at the right time. Times can be hard, but my time as a missionary is just beginning. I love my Savior and I am so lucky that I get to serve as a representative of Him. I am lucky to see the hand of the Lord in the lives of those I teach. One thing I have noticed while I have been out here is the open arms of the Lord. When we go to Him with a desire to change, He truly is there to push us a long. Some of the people here are seriously at the point of rock bottom, some in sadness and others financially or even some that are just having some barriers that they can't seem to jump over. Well, as I have seen the spirit teach and testify to them, I see their burdens become like air. They are truly blessed and lifted as the hand of the Lord reaches into their lives and helps them. I love this restored Gospel and I am so happy that I get the opportunity to share the word of the Lord to those who are truly prepared to hear it.
Once again sorry I can't get many pictures out, the computer isn't letting me do anything about it. As soon as I can get a few pictures out I’ll pass them along. I'll be trying to get more photos of my time here in Florida but i keep forgetting my Camera at home. But there are a few pictures. Enjoy.
Some of the photos of the last week in the MTC, me pointing out my two missions at the map:
Also a picture of my district our last temple walk together as a district, basically our last day together:
My companions cooking for me my first day here haha:
My Sunburn after the first day:
The Nail that popped my tire the first day on the bikes:
The beds while our AC was out so we slept in the living room: