To start off, shoutout to baby brother David for making it to 17 years!! Felìz cumpleaños muchacho!! Also, way to go at state vikes! happy to hear my home town still has some glory on the soccer field! (kidding) Seriously everything is going well at home! For the most part, everything is going well here too.
I just got done washing all my clothes by hand (yet another reason why I love America), but at least they're actually clean again. I come home every night smelling worse than roadkill, because of how hot it is and how much i sweat from it.
But speaking of clean, holy cow I had my first baptism this week!
So, we´d been working with some sixteen year old twins for the most part of the 6 or 7 weeks I have been here. Heres the thing-they've been coming to church for their entire lives with their mom, but their dad isn't a member and up until this point he has refused to let them be baptized. Despite all the sets of missionaries and tireless work of the members of the stake, he had never let up. It was to the point that they were worried it might not happen until they could make the decision on their own.
I would like to say that my companion came in and talked their dad into allowing it to happen, or that some angel like the one that came to Alma the younger came and rocked his world, but the truth is that nothing like that happened. What happened, as far as I know, is that we worked with the twins and their mom, teaching them all the lessons, and he just out of nowhere changed his mind. He just said "ok" one day. But what I dont get is why. What changed in him that made him change his mind? I dont know what really happened, but what I do know is that the Lord works in mysterious ways, and by small and simple things, great things are brought to pass. (Alma 37:6-7) We have prayed and fasted for them, and apart from that we had them write down their testimonies and give it to him for his birthday. Then, we went with them down to the baptismal font.
I had the opportunity to baptize Melani, one of the twins, and my companion the other, Milena. Needless to say, I was super nervous leading up to it. This was my very first ever! I had no idea what it was going to be like. But when we were down in the water, the overwhelming peace and calm of the spirit came over me, and everything went perfect. When I brought her up out of the water, I could see that she wasnt the same as before. She came up, and she was glowing. She was so happy, so pure, so light. I will never forget it.
I thought about what would have been if I had decided to put my mission off for a couple of weeks or so. After the accident, I was pretty shattered, and in all honesty I had no idea what to do. I talked about how I recieved an answer to my prayers that I needed to just get out in the mission field and in the work that, but I never really knew why. Truthfully, I still might not know exactly why, even now. What I do know is that I wouldn't have been here to see this miracle, and neither would my companion, who would probably still be zone leader in his old area. Although I miss the people at home sometimes, and wonder where I would be right now if I had waited, I couldnt be happier with the work than I am now. I love the mission. It's the best decision I have ever made - the decision to serve.
I´m not the same person that left small town Middleton, I have changed in ways that I cant really begin to express. I love you all, I miss you all, and I want you to know how blessed I am to be a missionary.