Hola familia!! Everything sounds great at home and everyone sounds happy....and really busy. I can't believe it's almost time for school to start again. Life just rolls on. I'm so glad that you guys have kept busy and are having a great time.
Well, Edmundo got baptized as you can see from the photos. IT WAS WONDERFUL!!!!!!! I will quickly tell you guys his story. Back in May, we were knocking on the door next to his house, but they didn't come out. We saw Edmundo walking into his house and decided that we needed to talk to him. He accepted our invitation to listen to our message, but when we went back for the follow-up appointment, he wasn't there because his granddaughter was in the hospital. After about 2 weeks, we were walking down the street where his house was and we found him again. He explained to us why he wasn't there when we went back and then we set another appointment. This time he was there. We started teaching him about the Restoration, and when we mentioned a living prophet that leads us today, his eyes lit up and he got really excited. We kept on with the lessons. When we taught him about the Plan of Salvation, he said it made so much more sense than all the other things he had listened to. With that lesson, we set a baptismal date, which he readily accepted. When we taught him the Word of Wisdom, I swear I have never seen anyone so excited about that in my entire mission and doubt that I ever will again. He told us that about a year ago, if we would of told him to drop the beer, he would have told us to get out. He really liked his beer before, but in December...the Lord prepared him. He had a major surgery with his stomach and almost died. That is the reason he became so interested in religious things recently, and it cut off his rights to drink alcohol...doctors’ orders. Anyway, he explained that he really wanted to leave who he was behind and was ready to take a step of faith and endure to the end with the decision. He comes to church faithfully and early. We had a member in almost every single lesson with him, so he really connected well to the priesthood holders of the branch. He is a quiet and not so expressive person....but he has really started smiling a lot and seemed just as excited as I have ever seen him the day he got baptized. I think he was super anxious for it. When they got down in the water, he started leaning back to be baptized before Hermano Bendavides even said the prayer. I guess you could say he was a little excited to become a new person. He is a year older than Dad, and lives with his sister. He was divorced like 20 years ago and has 3 kids. His family didn't support his choice to be baptized, but he knew what he wanted to do and tells us that he is very content. When we gave him his baptismal certificate, he almost started to cry. I'm so proud of him and all the progress he has made. It is so cool to be a missionary and watch the light in the peoples' eyes change. He just has a different air about him now. On Sunday, he told us he was already seeing the blessings of being baptized because he woke up and his stomach wasn't as inflamed and didn't hurt as much. (He has had a lot of post-op complications.) Yeah, I was a happy camper on Saturday. Other than that, this week has been great! Dulce came to church and readily accepted to keep the Sabbath Day holy. She wasn't coming to church and was selling in the segundas on Sunday to get a little extra money because they are struggling with paying the bills. We promised that she would be blessed if she kept the Sabbath day and that everything would work out with the money. She didn’t even blink twice and said, "Okay, I will be at church." On Saturday, she came to the field day activity that the branch had with her kids. They love the primary. They even stuck around for the baptism, and a little bit before the service, I taught her 7 year old daughter a little bit of the piano. On Sunday when I went up there to go play, Allison followed me thinking I was going to teach her more piano ha-ha.
Well, that is how my week went in a nutshell. I am super happy here and am doing great. It is super-hot, but I figure it will start cooling down in a month and I have survived 3 months of heat so far. I am really happy in my area and am super nervous for transfers next week. I can't believe this is week 6 of this transfer. It is going by way too fast. I love the mission life!!!!!
Thought for the week is from Jeffery R Holland and his talk from the April 2013 conference:
Everyone has questions and we all need to have a little faith. Hang on to what you do know and keep going.
Well, I love you all so much and hope that you all have a wonderful week! Thanks again for all your support and love and emails. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO Until next week....
Con todo mi amor,
|Hermano Benavidias (Ward Mission Leader), Edmundo, Hermana's Anderton and Estrada|
|Hermana Anderton, Edmundo and Hermana Estrada|