So as most of you know, my first transfer here is up! WOW when i think back to it, it feelsl ike forever but then again, i feel like i had my first day here, jsut yesterday. So tomorrow, elder mack is egtting transferred. I'm bummed to see him go cause we got pretty close and he is way funny, but he is also kind of distracting and has been a lot of the reason for some hard times this past transfer. SO i'm looking forward to see how this next transfer goes, I'm really feeling good about it. I was glad too that i wasn't getting transferred, i really like salem.
This week was pretty good, actually really frustrating too hah. SO during the week was fine, i really wanted to tell you about this weekend UGH! it was sooo frustrating. Things have been going well, but unfortunatly all 6 of our baptisms this week fell through. A lady and her daughter that were supposed to get baptized, seriously wouldn't let us in, we know they are home and still they wouldn't open the door? it was soo weird but we finally got in and straightened things out with her (sort of). THen another 3 of the baptisms moved and we couldn't get a hold of them, they wouldn't tell us their new address. The thing is, it all seems kind of fishy, but we've been working with them for a long time too, like even before i got here, so it's not just like they are trying to ditch us i don't think. And then Vanessa, she is soo difficult. She is trying to move and we had appointments with her thursday, friday, and saturday, but she ditched them all! SHe was with her mom trying to find places to go, but we would set up appoitnments and then she would be like okay, see you at 7, and then not show up. And then she said she wouldn't come to morning conference on sunday, but the afternoon one. SHe ditched that too. ANyway, i'll start with friday.
So we go over to our recent converts house. THey are incredible! they give us a ton of refferals and are just so into it all! We were talking about them going to the temple and doing baptisms for the dead since you can do that once you are baptized. (i always thoguht there was a waiting time for that but there isnt). Anyway, we are teaching them about baptisms for the dead and they are excited and had a ton of questions and just were eating it up. We felt great coming out of there. But as we left, we just walked out of their fence and lorena comes running over to us and said wait! We are like what's up? Then she goes on telling us that her son cristofer had homecoming the other weekend, and that he and his girlfriend well, "got into trouble". SHe was so bummed and was just like, "we've tried to talk to him, but it's hard for him to hear us, he needs you guys ilke a friend to talk to him and explain to him whats up". So we are like okay we'll totally do that for you and then we get in the car and are just like "NOOO!" we just had an awesome lesson with all of the family about going to the temple, and now because he did this stuff, he wouldn't be able to go with them. We were soo bummed man! Cristofer is such a good kid too and literally is such a stud, but he just messed up and now he's just trying to fix everything up. We talked to him though and he's doing well. Everything is getting sorted out. SO that was a little salt in the wound, but they are still gonna go to the tempkle and since we get to go this transfer, we might get to go with them :) i hope so!
Then on saturday, we had conference! Oh man it was soo incredible! For some reason, this conference really stuck out to me. It was always cool to hear the prophet and his apostles, but this time it really hit me, that we just heard THE PROPHET of God, and his apostles. That just seems so crazy to me now, that we got such an awesome opportunity. It was like, "oh, this is who i am testifying about all the time", like we just heard exactly what heavenely father wanted us to hear. I don't know, it just was soo awesome and strengthened my testimony taht we have a prophet of GOd on the earth today. Anyway, we get to the church for conference and i get a call from cindy, the lady that was baptized with jose (the thug) last week? But she called and soudned way down. SO i asked her what was up and she was like nothing i'm just not doing well. So i was like okay we'll come over. So we head over there cause it sounded bad, and then she shared with us some terrible news, that Jose, the guy we just helped her marry and baptized, got arrested! NOO are you kidding me! My heart just sank and i seriously was just shocked (sort of). I mean we checked whether he was on parole or anything, but apparently he was still on parole and couldn't leave california so they finally foudn him up here. The thing is, their housing and stuff did background checks and same with the school that they go to so we don't know how it got overlooked but i guess it is legit cause he is in jail now and they are taking him back to california this week. Cindy was pretty bummed but ticked too. Cause she didn't know and is pregnant and due in december and then she has another 18 month old to take care of. SHe does have family in the area but still, it's gonna be rough. Jose is supposed to serve 5-9 months in jail but then he'll have parole for a long time and so she probably won't see him for so long. AHh it was sooo sad! We literally didn't even know what to do. IT was a rough morning. We felt bad too that we baptized him. I was pretty distraught in the car back to th church, just cause i felt like we had done something really wrong. But puertas said we did everything we were supposed to. We can't help it if he lied or "didn't know?" we did our part and now it's just kind of up to God. So it was kind of reassuring but i still felt bad. I still don't know exactly how i feel about the whole situation, like i feel like we kind of messed up a little. Conference was great though. We missed elder hollands talk though ( i was soo mad), but we saw the other ones. There was so many good talks but i wanted to share something that i though of haha when one of the speakers was talking about the sons of mosiah, i thought of all of us. I thuoght of daniel, and katie, who have served missions, and brought so many unto this gospel, and then i thought of me who is here now, and then zach and tyler who will serve in not too long. We will all bring so many unto this wonderful and essential gospel, just liek the sons of mosiah and we will rejoice with one another and i don't know, it was just a cool image in my head while i was watching conference. So zach and tyler, i can't remember which son of mosiah you guys wanted to be like, but i was just reading about them in my scriptures over the past few days and thuoght of you guys who will be studs just like them.
Saturday passed and sunday came, This day had its turns and twists too. We go to the first session which again was incredible. I told vanessa that since she wasn't coming to the first one, she needed to come to the second. She said yeah i'm in, and i was like don't make plans please from 1 to 3. So i call her at noon, and she says her grandma just got into town and they haven't seen each other in a long time. I literally talked to her for like 10 minutes on the phone, seeing if there was anything we could do to get her there but nothing was working. I was soo mad! Ahh not necessarily at vanessa (a little bit), but just at the situation. Every sunday she has an excuse not to come and it's just hard when we know how bad she needs this! The thing is, that she is way tight, like so funny and we always have a really fun time when we go teach her, but it's also powerful. We have built a nice trust, but still she is being difficult. She hasn't been keeping commitments very well either so we are seriously considering dropping her. As much as i don't want to, we learned that dropping someone, or "benching" cause we'll come back, is a huge act of faith. I thought about it, and the only way it makes sense to me is that we are putting complete trust in the Lord by saying here, we are trying all that we can and it's not working. So we are putting vanessa in His hands until she is a little more prepared for us, and then we will come back and help her out. We don't know though, we will decide this week, i really don't want to drop her but we might need to.
So then second session starts and it's going great, its really powerful and i'm just eating everything up, and then i look to my left and see Richard, a kid that we've been teaching for a while, that has to wait to get baptized. I think i talked about him in another letter, the one who had been getting opposition from his family and is kind of socially awkward. Anyway he shows up and i was shocked cause we haven't had much interaction with him, he's been super busy and doesn't have a phone anymore. So he says he needs to talk to us. (uh-oh). So we walk into the foyer and talk and he said "basiacally i'm just coming by to say i can't do this anymore and that i'm sorry for wasting your guys' time". Uhhh what?! We were like tell us whats up dude. He basically said he knows these things are good, but he just needs a break from it all (the reading, the praying, the going to church). He said it's too hard and his foster parents are really coming down on him to get a job and a car. He said he can't do all these things at once so he just needed to take a break. We just shared with him the importance of doing these things, that he will get a better job if he sticks with this. We just emphasized how important doing those 3 things are. you even heard it in conference, how important those things are to combat the temptations we will get every day. We talked with him for like 15 minutes and he was still pretty hard to get to. So he said he will try to come to church still but can't promise anything. We just told him to pray again, and keep praying, if this really is the true church of God. He knows it is, but needs that reaffirmation i think. He is just getting confused with his grandparents telling him one thing, his friends another, and then his foster parents, and us all telling him something different. The poor kid is just overwhelmed. I know he will make it through this though, i'm praying that he does.
Ahh so that was my crazy frustrating weekend. I'll be honest, i could use this p-day right now haha. We are going to the coast today too since it is elder mack's last day with us. Oh and his companion elder wilkes, who is staying here, is getting a baby boy (someone to train), so i will not be the newest one anymore haha. That'll be fun to work with them too cause we do a lot of spanish work together.
Umm, i can't quite think of naything else, any other stories. I'm doing really well though. Despite all that happened this weekend i'm feeling okay right now. I was bummed yesterday not cause i don't like what i'm doing, but now i feel like i'm really into it all and i really know the people that we are teaching and so when they don't come to church, or they don't read, it's heart breaking cause i know that no matter what their problems are, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the absolute best thing, the best remedy for them. It's just hard to help them realize that. I'm glad i had these experience this weekend hthuogh, i think it was a good learning experience. I'm trying to do what the prophet said ( i think it was him), about gratitude. Just how important it is to look everyday for all that we have. Then we will never have to reflect and say, ahh man i took such and such for granted. We will have a more positive attitude and w will be able to uplift others around us, as we will be more worthy of the spirit. I seriosuly loved conference though, i can't wait to look back over all of my notes and thoughts.
My time is pretty much up though, I just want to say that i know that we have a prophet onthe earth today that talks with God and gives us direction, directly according to what Heavenly Father wants for us. That's why it is soo important to follow the prophet. And how blessed are we that we have that resource on the earth, it is another example of how much Heavenly Father loves each of us. I know that we have the same church on the earth today that Jesus Christ established when he was on the earth. That's so awesome :)
I love you guys soo much! I love the letters, the prayers, the thoughts, anything! I love you guys soo much and pray for you literally every chance i get. You guys mean everything to me and i am so happy to hear that things are going well! I hope katie and jimmy are getting more dental school apps, and i would love to hear from daniel and emily, just a short email would be awesome ( i can't remember it's my turn to write them back, if it is, i apologize). But yeah, keep me informed on what up! Again, i love you guys so much and know that Heavenly Father is watching out for you.