So my birthday was fun! I woke up to Hna Luque singing Happy Birthday in English - then she literally jumped on top of me lol. Then 2 minutes later, Hna Gurley and Hna Mercedes (they're comps right now) called and sang to me. Then we had interviews, so we went to the stake center. And when I walked in, Sis Stutznegger led everyone in singing Happy Birthday. Then they showed me that 3 packages had arrived! The Dear Elder breakfast food, a package from Lynette Schipper (thanks so much!) and your package with all the presents (don't worry mom, I'll wait till Christmas to open the one present!). We opened them all right away, and then we all snacked on beef jerkey and sweets.
|Me opening a package... I forgot to take a picture of all the gifts before we ate them lol.|
And the best gift was the interview with President Stutznegger. I love the Stutzneggers so much. We are so blessed to have them here in this mission. I loved the interview and he gave me a blessing that was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. Then we worked, found some new investigators, helped some people - it was funny when we went to eat. The sister who fed us told me that if she had known it was my birthday she would have made me her special mole. I am so thankful she didn't know it was my birthday!
Then in the night we went to visit the Bishop because he and his wife had invited us and promised me a chocolate cake. They sang to me, and then I took the traditional first bite of the cake, and discovered to my dismay that they accidentally bought a coffee flavored cake! It tasted horrible! But it was funny and we had a good time bugging the bishop about it. We ended up eating the leftover vanilla cake from the bishop's daughter's birthday instead. It was a good birthday! I had fun :)
|The birthday bite of the cake - with the Bishop and his kids.|
|The birthday party - Hna Luque, Isabel, Isabel's Mom, the Bishop and his wife Perla, and their 2 kids.|
You know the hymn ''Count your blessings''? In Spanish, they sing ''Bendiciones'' which means blessings, and I've been singing that song a lot lately. We have seen so many blessings this week. I love Hna Luque so much. We've both been working harder than ever, and we're seeing a lot of blessings as a result! Miracles people, miracles.
First of all, we're finding a ton of new people to teach... now we just have to help them progress.
Adolfo is inviting the whole world and their dog to learn about the gospel. He runs an AA group, and right now three of the members of his group have lost everything and have come to live with him for awhile - Edgar, Raul, and Jorge. And these 3 guys are so great - they love coming to church and are all trying to stop smoking - the only vice they haven't venced yet. Jorge is 17 and should be getting baptized soon. He has changed so much - one month ago he didn't believe in God and worshiped the grim reaper, and now he's progressing so much and is getting excited for his baptism. Edgar and Raul love it all too, the problem is that they work everyday except Sunday so that's the only time we can see them. But they're all great!
And Adolfo's kids never wanted to listen, but last night, his son Abraham who is 16 years old sat down to listen to us teach Jorge more about the law of chastity and the Word of Wisdom, and liked it and was participating, and even promised to live both commandments! That was pretty awesome. And then this morning we went and taught Abraham about the restoration, and he's agreed to pray and read the Book of Mormon! Miracles!
And Beatriz (Beti) is another reference from Adolfo - his neighbor. She and her daughter Judith (21 years old) are listening to us and came to church Sunday! Beti has two younger daughters that yesterday agreed to listen to us too. Now we just need to talk to the dad - he's only there late at night and on Sunday, but this Sunday he left with his buddies rather than listen to us... He and Beti aren't married, just living together, and she wants to get married but he hasn't agreed yet. they're actually closer to separating then getting married... they could use some prayers. They're a great family.
And Fabiola came alone to church again. Love this little girl! Saturday is her baptism!
And Gerardo, our 19 year old athiest, says he wants to get baptized! But then he didn't come to church... he needs prayers too.
About 3 times a week someone calls us looking for some guy named Antonio. We always tell them it's the wrong number and then try to contact them and invite them to listen to the missionaries. It's actually hilarious and we've tried several different ways... so far they've said 'no'. lol
We found a new investigator named Francisco. He's a family guy with a couple kids. He does karate. He seemed like a cool dude until he texted us and told us we were very beautiful. We don't have plans to visit him again.
Hna Luque is hilarious. We're always exhausted because we always go to bed late because we always start talking and laughing, and the next thing we know it's already 11. We're working on that.
|Hna Luque and I.|
So on Saturday, something awesome happened. We were all asked to fast, and study Mosiah 2-6, and then the mission came together Saturday morning. And President Stutznegger layed down the law! He told us that this was the day the mission was going to change - that from this day on, he expected exact obedience, and would give no excuses. This mission has been very disobedient, and he gave us a list of all the bad stuff that has been going on. And he told us that no more. There was one point where he told us if we weren't willing to obey we could go home. Then he sat silent for 5 min and waited, giving us the opportunity to leave if we wanted. It was dead silent the entire 5min. Then his wife spoke, sharing a message in Spanish. It was really powerful. The whole conference was great - it was tough love, but it was what a lot of elders needed I think. I think - and Hope! - that the whole mission changes after this. It was a good morning.
So yeah! it was a great week , and it's only going to get better!
congratulations Sami on your baptism!
Love you all tons - and I'm too tired to make up a math sentence.
Be good, say your prayers and just be awesome.
love, Hna Taylor