Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011

Dear Family, 

This week was really amazing!  Other than the fact that there were a lot of meetings, my companions and I did a ton.  It's hard to even remember what was this week and what was last.  On Wednesday I went over on an exchange with some other Elders to this eternal investigator's house and invited him to be baptized and he said he wasn't ready.  So I guess that's why they call them eternal, but whatever.  President Barry has us do this awesome thing called the baptismal test or something where we just have the investigators draw their own conclusions and it helps them to realize for themselves that baptism really is a step of faith that they have to do themselves to progress.  So anyway, after nothing happened, I started talking to the wife, who was from Brazil and I told her that Dad served there and I told her how much I loved Guarana and also that one of my biggest dreams in life is to go to Iguazu.  She then just left and I was thinking "ok, whatever I guess I'll probably never see her again :/" and then she came back with this two-liter bottle full of Guarana :D I was so incredibly happy when she gave it to me!  I just wanted to give her the biggest hug ever!  It was the real deal, the stuff from Brazil, so I drank it with my companions in like a day or two.  Haha so no baptism, but it was still awesome.

The wedding and baptism were supposed to be at 6:00 on Saturday night, but the couple didn't show up.  They called at 6:40 and said that they weren't ready and didn't want to do it, so after 10 or 15 minutes of trying to call them back to talk, we decided to drive 30 minutes to their house and talk to them in person.  When we got there, apparently the couple had been fighting and Satan was just working his hardest to convince them that it wasn't something that they had to do.  The Branch President came with us and talked to them and the Spirit was so strong it was amazing.  So we eventually got the husband to get up and go and we had the baptism sometime like 10 o'clock haha.  There were only like 4 or 5 people there other than the family, because everyone had already left, so it was a little bit awkward at first, but after the wedding ceremony, the spirit was strong and they were both in tears and all smiles and then the baptism was just awesome because of that.  So much for William & Kate, we've got our very own Royal Wedding down here Jacksonville Florida. The whole experience was really just awesome and so great :)

Next week their son is going to get baptized with another less-active member's 8 year-old so that should be pretty cool.  We had the idea to make invitations to hand out to people so that we can invite whoever we meet or that wants to come to the baptism. 

 I don't know how much time I have left, so I might have another abrupt ending just letting you know.  I don't really eat anything that interesting.  I eat most of the time just at our apartment, which is boring, but whatever we're getting more dinner appointments this week I think.  It was so funny!  Yesterday we were just standing by our car about to leave and Elder Johnson invited himself over for El Salvadorian food with one of our neighbors we've never met on Saturday night.  He just asked what food they make in her country and she told him and then he asked when we could come over to have it!  Haha kinda bold, but I'm excited.  And I think that's just the way that culture works.  They're a lot more hospitable than Americans.  Being here is great.  I obviously have a lot of stuff that I could say to complain, but I'm not going to because I can't really think of anything.  I wish that I could eat come Alligator.  Haha or at least see one!  I'm sure that I will.     

One of my companions went to BYU Hawaii, Elder McArthur, and he's got a bunch of the habits that people from Hawaii have, like the Hang Loose sign and just different quirks, so that'll be funny to see Garrett like that haha.  I'm kinda jealous!  That really is such an awesome school.  But there is no way I would EVER get anything done if I lived that close to the beach.  So it's probably not for me :P 

So I probably shouldn't be on here for too much longer, so I'll just wrap up until next week.  The Spanish is coming fine, not too fast but I'll eventually have it, and I am feeling great.  You don't have anything to worry about, because nothing can ever happen to break the bonds we have as an eternal family.  That is the reason missionaries do what they do:  We sacrifice a short amount of time away from our families so that other families can be together forever :)  I love you all so much and can't wait to hear from you again!  Until next week!



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