Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 2, 2011

Dear Family,
This week and last week we have had to do our e-mails at the members' houses because of the holidays.  Usually in Gainesville I guess we go to the University Library to do our e-mail, but that won't be until next week. 
The town is a lot like Boulder.  There are a lot more trees though.  It is so beautiful.  I'll try to take some pictures, but just so you know they won't do this place justice.  It literally feels like we are never under an open sky.  Both the East and the West are beautiful in their own ways, but I just think I'm more used to more open spaces...  Haha. 
We saw so many miracles this week it was incredible.  We went to this neighborhood and prayed to be a little more humble and see more miracles because we were already pretty excited about all of the lessons we had taught that day and then went up to the first door.  We were a little hesitant to knock at first because somebody was inside playing waltz-style classical music on the piano, and I haven't met a whole lot of hispanics that are into that kind of stuff, but we knocked anyway.  The guy's name was Airan and we thought he was Indian...  We asked if we could come in and listen to him play and he ended up telling us he was from Cuba!  He played a couple songs and I played a couple songs and he opened right up to hear about what we had to say.  It was a powerful lesson and he committed to read the Book of Mormon. 
He referred us to a couple of his neighbors and told us that almost that entire complex is full of Hispanics.  We visited his neighbors the next day and everyone has just been so open to listen and to read!  Just pray that we will be able to help them to understand the importance of there being a living prophet.  We found nine new investigators and I know that it was only because we went out and diligently sought and prayed to recognize those people that we should talk with.  The gospel will change their lives for so much good if they take those next few steps of reading and praying and receiving an answer for themselves. 
We are also teaching a girl named Stephanie that is a little bit nervous about getting baptized for some reason, but she has been taught everything.  All she needs to do is sincerely pray and she'll realized why she needs to do it.  We set a goal with her to be ready by the 15th.
I'm sorry I don't have a ton of time and I always feel in situations like this that all my companion is thinking is "when do I get to write my family?!" So I'm going to have to cut it short.  Just know that the work here is wonderful and that I am so excited to be companions with Elder Vilorio.  We have been working hard and even getting up to run every morning.  The harder you work and the more obedient you are and diligent in sharing the gospel the more you realize that there really is no shame in sharing with people the way to Salvation.  I love being a missionary.
I will be praying for Hannah and hoping that she gets into the BYU music program, and if not that program that she will decide to go there anyway haha.  I love you a lot and love hearing from you.  You are such a great example and I know that I am blessed because of your constant prayer and concern.  Look at Romans 1:16 and get to work with handing out those Books of Mormon!

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