Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Transferred from Cannon to Parley

Hola Familia!

This has been a great week!  I can't believe all the amazing opportunities I am getting while I am waiting for my visa!  First off, the wedding that we had this last Friday night was perfect.  Everything went according to plan.  We had at least 30 members of the branch at the wedding and the Ballesteros couple we married had at least 20 family members.  The members did an excellent job talking to the couple getting married and to their non-member family.  Some of the non-member family and friends of the Ballesteros agreed to let us come over and teach them and many of them are very interested.  All in all, it was a great experience in which we saw a family be married and even received some new investigators.  What could be better!!

The baptisms also went really well.  Ruperto Hernandez, the father of the girl with Leukemia, was baptized and then a guy named Juan Manuel was also baptized.  The service for Ruperto was a very happy experience because we and he knew that the feeling of the Holy Ghost and the gospel would bless his family as they go through their daughter overcoming cancer.  Juan Manuel's baptism was SUPER spiritual.  He had been wanting to be baptized for a couple months now but could not get off work without fear of being fired.  He was excited to finally get to the waters of baptism and he looked so happy and peaceful as he came up out of the water.  His 4 year old daughter exclaimed, "Daddy, you did it!!"  as he walked back to get changed. It was so cute to see a change come over the family and even see his young daughter excited for him.  I loved seeing both these guys get baptized and know they will make great disciples of Chirst.

So, today marks the beginning of a new transfer.  I surprisingly was the only visa waiter to be transfered.  Usually visa waiters are like a third wheel on a normal companionship but President Winn gave me the opportunity to be in a normal sized companionship!   My new companion is Elder Fuentes from Argentina.  I will get to practice my Spanish a lot more and from the little that I have gotten to talk to him, we will be working hard!  I am excited for this change and look forward to the things I will learn from a new companion and a new area.  I used to be in the Cannon Zone which is west of downtown Salt Lake.  Now I am directly south and can see downtown really easily.  I am in the Parley Zone now and that is about all I know about this new area and zone.

Part of transfers is saying goodbye to investigators, recent converts, and member families.  It was pretty hard to say goodbye to everyone.  The hardest family to say goodbye to was the Valenzuela family.  We helped this pretty disfunctional family start going back to church and are planning to baptize their 10 year son next weekend.  The two oldest sons were in trouble with the cops for doing weed and the parents are living with friends while they try to find a house.  I have loved meeting with this family and learning to love them.  Seeing them at church this last Sunday with all of them there, even the two rebellious older sons, and all dressed up and excited was such an amazing feeling.  I am so excited for this family!  Sister Valenzuela cried when we told her we were leaving as she conveyed her gratitude for what we helped her family do with the help of the Lord.  I had really grown to love each one of them and will keep praying for their further success as they enter back into the path to the Lord.

Being a missionary is such a blessing and I have loved trying to fill the role and calling the Lord has given me.  I love you all tons and hope you have a great week!  Thanks Mom for the Halloween package and my companions were very thankful also!  It was such a great surprise to get something from home.  Thanks also Aunt Tiffany for the package!  It was so kind and thoughtful of you.


Elder Janis

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