This week was great. We just heard from Elder Ballard yesterday in a Regional Stake Conference all about missionary work. It's so true that great things lie ahead in the future for the church. He talked about if everyone would invite one person into the gospel each year the number or baptisms would be substantial. It seems like the leaders of our church are really trying to help every member to realize that their responsibility is to help their friends into the gospel and not just immediately tell the missionaries to go see them. The Spanish members in Gainesville are all so wonderful. They are trying their best to help us find new people in this predominantly white and black part of the United States. :)
Elena is going through some hard times right now with her health and I'm not sure at times what to even tell her. It's amazing that regardless of how complex or nasty your problems are physically, simple doctrine, like resurrection or eternal life, shifts your mind from worry mode to living the gospel mode. Elena is still praying. She is really on and off about being baptized, but she's the one that always brings it up now, so we're just waiting until she undeniably feels the Holy Ghost in her life so we can help her into this wonderful church!
Stephanie came to church this week! She doesn't seem to be progressing too much, but we challenged her to live her life as if she was a member of the church and she's doing a good job at it so far. She's just scared to be baptized... President Barry told us an interesting quote this weekend about success in missionary work. Success isn't measured by how many people you can fit in the font, but how many you can fit into the pews. Haha I like that quote a lot.
On Saturday we volunteered at this event sponsored by the family of the man that invented Gatorade. They were all turned off by the fact that we were dressed in suits and had tags that say Jesus Christ on them, but all of the people we talked to wanted to know about what we did. It was funny. We were assigned to help out with a "science experiment" all day where we would trap CO2 in bubbles using dry ice and dish soap and the people that came over to our table wanted to talk more about the church than about the bubbles. It ended up being a lot better than I thought it was going to. We weren't allowed to "solicit" to anyone, but we still got the name of the church out and showed people that we are just normal people.
Yesterday we got to watch a man named Marvin Goldsteen perform a devotional based on his piano-playing and conversion story. He talked a lot about Judaism and how he travels all around the world and helps people to feel the spirit, regardless of race, nationality, or religion. He talked a lot about how music needs to be incorporated into every day of our lives and should be something we use in missionary work. It was a wonderful performance and he inspired me to sing more hymns than we already do when we proselyte!
That is crazy that Garrett is going to Helsinki. I'm sure that he'll meet Bryce there... I couldn't imagine that mission being too huge or anything. That would be great if he was trained by him. Let Madison know that I am so proud of her and I love her and know she will be a great missionary in Disneyland. I'm sure that they will both be wonderful. Tell them that the trick to missionary work is to talk to everyone and ask everyone for referrals, work hard, and always be 100% worthy for the spirit. They have a LOT to look forward to. I really do feel that I have learned more as a missionary than the rest of my life put together.
I'm going to the Mayo Clinic today for a check-up at 3:00. I have to drive 2 hours to get there, but hopefully they tell me some good news or at least make it worth the trip. I'm feeling fine and I am happy as can be. I'll let you know what they tell me next week if Sister Barry doesn't.
Keep up the good work! I love you a lot and love hearing from you.