This week was pretty awesome too. The days felt a little slower but at the same time, we had some great things happening. Last tuesday, we had our recent convert alejandro come out with us. And well it's actually more complicated than that cause i told elder gomez to text him so we could go and have a lesson with him since it had been a while since we'd done that. But he thought he asked him to come out on splitwith us. And so when we show up to his place he is all dressed up looking nice haha but i was like uhhh...what did you tell him? haha so we ended up visiting some single ladies that we can't visit without a member and had mediocre success in that but it was really cool going out with alejandro. He is such an awesome guy and i feel the closest with him beyond any other convert. I don't even see him the most or i didn't work the hardest to help him get into the church compared to others, i just feel a connection with him and ill explain why.
We are out driving to our next appointment with him and he tells us it's his birthday. So we are like whattt crazy!@, we gotta do something fun. We started asking him about a mission and stuff cause he jsut turned 26 and thats the cut off. He said he would love to do it but doesn't know if he could now that he's older. We said there is still a chance that you could and well we'll see where that goes. But it was just a cool thought to me that even on his birthday, HIS day, he was out with us serving other people around him. He came out with us for like 4-5 hours too and was justl ike yeah i got the whole evening. So we wanted to do something fun and we tooko him to this classy place for dinner called bentleys. It was kind of fancy and we all felt kind of cool and then they brought him a surpise little cupcake witha candle too which was fun. Just as we were talking though and laughing, he paused and wasl ike thank you so much guys, this is really the best birthday that i can remember having, thank you. It was just so touching the way he said it, and it wasn't like we were doing it FOR him like we felt more privilidged than he was or anything but we did it because we honestly love the guy and care about him. It was just a really fun evening and then after dinner we got another split so that we could divide and Alejandro and i when tracting.
We were in some ritzy apartments and it was a white area. Alejandro speaks some english and he's actually pretty good at it but is definitly spanish. Anyway we're knocking and like one of the first doors, we get a return appointment. So we are feeling good hah. Then i asked if he wanted to try and was like uhh maybe another day when we are doing spanish. So i said fine. But then we started talking about just different missionaries. We were talking about puertas and gomez for a second (good things of couse :)) and then he started talking about his conversion again. And this part isn't to boost my pride or anything but it was really cool and meant a lot to me. But he was like, before when you and puertas taught me in spanish, that is obviously more comfortable for me and puertas mainly taught, but the times when you came with a split that spoke english and taught me in spanglish, even though it was less comfortable Language wise, i felt more at peace or more comfortable with what i was doing when you would teach me. He said there was just something about the way you did it that made me feel more comfortable in what i was doing even with a slight language barrier and stuff. MAN that was soo cool to hear as we are out tracting. It shot my pride up through the roof hahah and i felt so close to alejandro at that time. It was a testimony to me that the gift of tongues is real one, that even with my botched spanish he was able to feel the spirit testify to him that what we were teaching was true. And second, that there really are people prepared for US. It makes it so much more important that we are always obedient, always worthy of the spirit and always talking to everyone because you never know who is prepared for YOU. It was just the best day ever and i love alejandro. I can't wait to hang out with him after my mission hahah (i'm not trunky i swear)!
The rest of the week went well too. We had a lot of flaky people which gets me so frustrated and wears into me more than almost anything else. I just get so mad when we have a plan, a back up and a back up to the back up plan, and they all flake or something and it's just ahh i get so mad haha. But those are the tests right and we stayed in good spirits. We taught some new people this week too beacuse a lot of the people that we are trying to prepare for baptism had some major issues. The one family that has a date for the 26th is stuck in lebanon right now with car troubles and because they work up there, they don't want to spend the money to fix it yet. UGH! And we have miguel and maria who are supposed to get baptized this weekend, and she works now and works the whole dang day! so we can hardly see them! and they didn't come to church so there date will change to the 20th but we still have the faith that they will be baptized this weekend. And then there is RUBEN! Ahh man this guy is amazing! He is the most prepared person i've ever seen. He walked into church for crying out loud before any one knew him and he is so willing to drop everything! The only real problem he had was with coffee and the second we told him about the word of wisdom, he's like, Oh that's bad? okay i won't do it. And just like that he is done with it haha! He always comes to church and even activities the only difficult thing is that he lives in monmouth which is like 30 minutes away! yikes. When we go to teach him it's a long trip and we don't have a lot of work up there considering it's so far away from church. But it's worth it, and he is getting baptized this weekend.
There was a baptism by the other elders this weekend and ruben showed up and it was just what he needed man. We have been getting good fellowshipping with him and everyuthing it isgoing soo good.
Things with Elder Gomez are going well. We have our disagreements but i'm learning more and more patience hah and i'm still learning how to speak my mind when something bothers me, i always just let it blow over without saying anything. I cannot stand confrontation even over little things ha, but i love the kid and he is an awesome teacher man. He is helping me a lot with spanish and stuff too. OHH and last week i got to teach a book of mormon class for like 45 minutes. It was pretty sweet because there was a lot of discussion and stuff and Elder Gomez just teaches next week so i got to do the whole thing and we had a lot of recent converts show up which was good. It's funny beacuse they have all read portions of the book, and more importantly prayed about it, but they don't really know everything inside. Which in itself is a cool concept that shows their faith that because they received a spiritual witness of the book, they don't need to read the whole thing to know it's true. They just needed to read and PRay about it and their answer came through the holy ghost. It was a fun class and we are doing it every week now and hoping to have the recent converts bring their friends. It is soo good though cause they are really learning their role as members and strengthening their testimonies. It's great.
Anyway, those are just a few stories from thsi past week. Thanks so much for the valentines day package, i'm wearing the little sweater right now haha. Please the only thing i ask is hat i get no more chocolate. I love it and that's the problem. I don't want to sounds ungreatful but even when my weight doesn't go up, my belly grows out hahah! But seriously thanks for the packages and letters, they mean the world to me.
I'm feeling good though and working hard. Our districts morale is kind of down right now and it's hard because i want to lift them all up but it kind of brings me down too haha. I think i was trying to regulate too much by micromanaging obedience and stuff like that when really, our district needs more edification, not instruction. I think when we are edified, our desires to do what is right increase. There is a scripture i like in alma 4:19 i think and it talks about alma just breaking down and when he nothing left to do, he just bore PURE testimony of what he knew. It was powerful for me. It made me realize the power that is in our each and individual testimonies. The other week i went and bore my testimony in spanish branch and this lady that the other elders are teaching who went to church for the first time, asked me if she was allowed to go say something, and i was like *gulp* sure of couse haha. She went up and bore the sweetest testimony about how she has been looking for a church and just sitting in the big room with everybody, her heart was just pounding and she said she just felt "home". It was soo powerful. And then later Elder wilkes (one of the other spanish elders), told me that miriam, the lady who went up, said that after i had born my testimony, she felt something in her heart and she said she just needed to go up and say what she was feeling. It was really cool for me to hear that too. i feel like i've been boosting my pride a lot here so don't thin i'm way into myself or anything haha. I know it was the Lord that touched her heart and that we are merely his servants working to share his love for Heavenly Father's children.
I love you gyus so much and can't believe you will be in tahoe!!! Don't get hurt hah i'll be praying for you guys. Love you SO much!! Yell at the top of the mountain and maybe i'll hear you :P
love Elder Edwards