WHAT A WEEK!!! First of all I would love to thank my amazing mother and family for the wonderful package stuffed with my favorite things that took me to heaven and back! I didn't realize just how much I missed American candy and especially 100 Grand and Butterfingers. My companion really enjoyed trying everything you sent him Mom, and has taken a liking to the Oreo Cakesters! Thanks so much and I hope you enjoy the picture of me excited after receiving the package!
So right now we have two families and an individual that are all super excited to be baptized this coming weekend. I am going to give you a run down of each of these amazing families that I have been so blessed to teach.
The Hernandez Family - The father is an alcoholic that in the first visit told us that all the doors in his life have been shut and he really has no hope. However, we explained that baptism in the same way Christ was baptized and His Church is a way to start a new life; in other words open a new door of life. He has really taken to this idea and is running with it. His wife and three kids left him due to drinking problems. In our lessons we are not only doing the normal missionary things but also playing the role of family counselor. We are helping the Hernandez family realize the significance of the family unit and the joy and peace that comes from the unconditional love there in. We gave Paco, the Dad, a CTR ring "Haz lo justo" (Choose the right) to help him choose to spend time with his family instead of drinking. He has changed dramatically and his family is TONS happier. I can't help but feel so grateful to help this family overcome its problems with the aid of the perfect and divine gospel.
The Morales Family - I LOVE this family and man they can´t get enough of us. We contacted one of the family members in the street, had a first lesson with her and her daughter, and now we are teaching a group of 10 and every single one of them want to be baptized. The majority of them are REALLY excited and want to be baptized this weekend! The grandparents need to be married, and cool enough, the money that people sent me for my birthday (thank you SOOOO much by the way) is going to spent to pay for the wedding. I told them that I wanted to see them have the opportunity to be baptized rather than buying something with the money. They always feed us something when we are in their home and the grandma washes our clothes by hand. I also sent a picture of me learning how to wash clothes by hand. What awesome things I am learning how to do! Tonight they want to celebrate my Birthday despite the fact that it was a month ago, but who is going to complain about that! Every time we are there they always relate to us the changes for good that they are seeing in their lives and the peace they have found. They LOVE going to church on Sunday and are going to be a huge and strong addition to the ward. They already have this love for the Book of Mormon and many of them are already at least a couple chapters in. Our living prophet is something that they have come to love over everything else. They are a family of pure gold and I am blessed to have seen them all find a fire and passion for the gospel.
Javier - This guy has come so far. About 1 year in his past we would have found him drunk or high. He is covered in tattoos on all surfaces except for his face. About a year ago he found a Christian church in Tijuana and chose to change his life. He has left drugs and alcohol and now lives with his Mom, dedicating his time to helping her fight diabetics. Anyone could learn from the fire he has for anything that has to do with God. Once we explained that there is only one church of Jesus Christ and that in this church he would need to be baptized, he wanted to know everything he could. After sharing the Restoration of the Church and the authority of God, he decided without hestitation to be baptized again. He came to church and at the end wanted to know what he needed to do in order to prepare for his baptism. We excitedly explained that we had a couple more things to share with him and this coming week he could be bapitzed. We are also working with his Mom who wants to be baptized but has many health problems and can't leave the house much. We are going to do everything we can to help them both.
Elder Diaz and I have a week full of wonderful work ahead of us. Sometimes I am so taken back by the mounds of blessings that the Lord is pouring upon us. We have transfers next week and I am hoping that I can stay in this area. I love it here in Nápoles and the people here are incredibly amazing. Elder Diaz and I have decided that we are going to do everything we can to help these wonderful families "bajar a las aguas del bautismo" (go into the waters of baptism), EVERTHING! President Villarreal told me that I could walk on water if I needed to in order to baptize all these people and that I need to do everything I can. What my Mission President says is revelation, and so I know that the Lord expects that same thing.
Here I go to conquer more darkness and spread the light of the gospel,