This week was pretty awesome because we had our BAPTISM!!!!!! It was so good. Robert was so excited the whole day. He was like "I feel like it's my birthday or something." He was just really at peace and ready to be able to follow Christ more closely. He even got up and bore his testimony in sacrament meeting. Man it was the best! Sister George and I felt like proud parents (even though Robert is way older than us). The baptism went really well. There was a ton of support from the ward and 2 of Robert's cousins came. I was so nervous the whole time for some reason, Robert wasn't even that nervous. I guess I just knew how important this day was and I really wanted everything to go well. After the ordinance I was finally able to just enjoy the service. He was just so happy the whole time and that just made me so grateful to be a part of it all.
The fourth of july was fun. We did some service walking Libby who is the dog of this awesome lady in our ward who has leg problems and can't really walk. Then she took us out to eat at Farrells which is a really cool restaurant. It is like an old ice cream parlor and they have hamburgers and sandwhiches too. The waiters and waitresses sing for you if you are eating there for your birthday/anniversary/ect. or if you order one of the crazy things on the menu. It was Sister Matsen's birthday this week so they came and sang for us. The food and the ice cream was so good. You guys should go there if you end up going to Knottsberry farm. Then we had a practice teach with our district leader and our zone leaders. After that we went to our dinner appointment. It was a barbeque with a couple families in the ward. Then we went and visited this old man in the ward named Brother Murdock. He plays the harmonica and the ukelele and loves to sing. Good thing Sister George is a good singer so she sang for him (dodged that bullet). Afterwards the fireworks started and things got crazy so we just went home and visited with Sister Roper (the widow we live with). There were tons of fireworks the rest of the night. People go to Mexico to buy the illegal ones that you can launch in the air. There were so many fireworks going on around where we live that we didn't even really see the ones Knottsberry Farm does. All in all it was a good day.
On Monday night we had a really fun FHE with our investigator Jesse and his semi active girlfriend Ellie and her 7 year old son. There was 3 other families too. The Mapas are the family that hosted the FHE and the dad is from Tonga and made these super good teriyaki chicken burgers. Seriously thought they were so good! Then we had an activity where all of the kids had to find these letters we hid that spelled the word happiness. We taught a lesson about how obeying the commandments brings happiness. Then we talked a little about how being kind is following the commandment to love one another. We showed the mormon message about the 2 little boys who hide silver dollars in the poor farmers shoes. Love that one. It was a fun FHE and helped our investigator and his family to have some good fellowship.
Then we also got to visit with Brother Collings. He has had a crazy life. He is paraplegic because he hurt his spine when he was younger because he and his friends were jumping of the roof into the pool and someone pushed him in and he landed wrong. So ya but he was less active for 20 years and the sisters were able to reactivate him just before I came. It was good to visit him, we practiced the first lesson on him and it got him thinking because it has been a long time since he has heard these things. We will probably teach him the rest of the lessons too.
We also saw Sister Eves. I just love visiting her. This time when we came over she was making these fruit juice drinks and dancing to Guatemalan music that she got when she went on a trip there. She does weaving and spinning (like using a spinning wheel to make yarn) so she has traveled around to learn about it. We had a good lesson with her on the Book of Mormon. She also says the best prayers like "God you're fantastic!" or "Thank you for letting me visit with these godly women and please help some of it to rub off on me." It's the best.
Sister George and I are getting a lot better at teaching together. Also we are being a lot more honest with each other. Communication is really key in a companionship and if one or both of the companions are keeping things in that bug them or that they wish would change then nothing will ever get better. I think it has been really good because we have been able to support each other more and help each other with our challenges.
This week I have been thinking a lot about the atonement. For some reason I was just getting really bugged about things that happened to me earlier in my mission. I guess I was just comparing myself to Sister George. She had a really good trainer and started in a good area and I was just like "Why didn't that happen to me?" I guess I just felt like if things had been different I would be a better missionary by now. I was reading the talk by Elder Bednar from conference about "Bearing our Burdens with Ease." On my mission I have really realized how to use the atonement and how faithful members of the church who are striving their best can really use the atonement just as much as the people with "big sins." The part I really love says "Thus, the Savior has suffered not just for our sins and iniquities—but also for our physical pains and anguish, our weaknesses and shortcomings, our fears and frustrations, our disappointments and discouragement, our regrets and remorse, our despair and desperation, the injustices and inequities we experience, and the emotional distresses that beset us."
I realized that on my mission I have literally experienced every single one of these things and I have been able to use the atonement to help me overcome them. I am grateful that my mission has been hard and that things have happened not that way that I would have planned. Because of the things I have experienced I have been able to use and understand the atonement in a way that I wouldn't be able to otherwise. I know that the Lord truly has been leading me along. He has been able to allow me to learn in grow by overcoming specific challenges. I am so grateful for the atonement. I am grateful that Christ loved us enough to literally experience and thoroughly understand everything we go through. I am grateful for the sacrament that allows us each week to be cleansed of our mistakes and burdens and that gives us the strength to try harder the next week.
I am so excited to work hard this week. I know that the Lord has great things in store for us. I love being a missionary!!!
Love you all!!
With Robert on his baptism day!
Robert got these cookies for us during our last lesson and then one of the members brought a bunch to the baptism
This is us in red white and blue for the 4th of july.