First of all I want to tell you feliz cumpleanos mi padre!! You are the best dad in the whole world. I wish I could be there to celebrate with you today. Dad, I love you, it is because of your patience, teachings, and true example of a father that I am here serving a mission today. I think about you often. Sometimes I can hear both you and mom's voices in my head. Funny how that works haha. I love you. Never forget it.
Sounds like mom has been super busy. I am sure that your pictures are as amazing as they always are. Rilo and Z man sound like they are doing good too! I CANNOT WAIT TO TALK TO YOU GUYS THIS WEEK. I have to not think about it, because then I get distracted.
SO. Some breaking news here in Nogales this week. On Wed. this week President Killpack called us. ( Which by the way ever since he called me about Heidi I have a mini panic attack every time he calls, it is super lame) BUT he was calling to tell us that I am training a new missionary. He broke his foot in the MTC right before he left, and so he had to go home to wait for it to be healed. Then when he was done they shipped him right out here. Transfers are technically not until next sun. so it was a big surprise. His name is Elder G. He is from Salt Lake City and he is awesome. We picked him up on Sat. afternoon. I was pretty nervous, I feel like I am just barely learning how to do missionary work myself, and now I get to teach someone else, but it has been really exciting as well. He is a great missionary so it will be a blast. We are in a trio right now with Elder W and I and Elder G. That will probably only last for a week until transfers. Elder W is probably getting transfered then, we aren't 100% sure. I love the excitement and energy that comes when people are just starting. When you have been out a while it isn't as strong. So, that was a big change in the week. I will be training him for the next two transfers. I am way excited. We are gearing up to see the miracles that need to happen here in Nogales. Oh another random thing. He knows the Greenwood twins from BYU. Random small world moment.
As for the work this week, it was good. I have "holy envy" for Tanner's baptisms ;) We are gearing up to see that here in Nogales as well.
Some cool experiences this week. We have been meeting with a part member family named the W's. They are really cool. The husband is a member. His wife is Catholic. They have a long history with missionaries, but recently they had a tithing miracle that has totally changed the game for teaching his wife. J had been out of a job for months and was desperate. He finally decided to pay tithing and pray like he never had before. Then 3 days later he got hired in pretty much a miracle opportunity. It is the most awesome story. I don't give it justice. So it has been awesome teaching them.
We taught alot his week. Which I love. Teaching this gospel is my favorite thing to do as a missionary (besides baptisms). I love teaching. This gospel truly is a message of true hope and peace. Here the challenge is not finding people to teach, it is challenging to help them progress. People love listening, but when we invite them to act we have problems haha. That is what faith is all about is action. True faith must have action.
I hit my 7 month "missionary birthday" this week. CRAZY. It was an insanely fast month for me.
We volunteered this week at the Nogales food bank. It was way awesome. All 8 of the Nogales missionaries came and served. I thought that the guy in charge was going to pass out he was so excited that they had volunteers. There is nothing better than serving.
We are teaching an awesome lady named Alma. She is SOOOO prepared for the gospel. She understands exactly what we say. I love teaching her. She is just really busy. Which has been the story for most of our investigators. People are to busy!!!!!!! haha
We are teaching another really promising family here as well. I am so excited to keep moving the work forward here.
Ig.... I have no words. haha. He is crazy busy and he hasn't shown up for any appointments. I still have hope for him, we are gonna keep trying. That is one thing about missionaries is we are persistent. I think it amazes people sometimes haha.
The coolest experience of all this week happened with this lady named M that comes to our english class. She is way cool. We gave her a church tour last time that went pretty well. This day, we taught her the english class. As we ended I invited her to give the closing prayer. She said that she couldn't pray. that opened up on of the most powerful conversations I have ever had in my life. She opened up about how her 2 sons were murdered 7 years ago and the spiritual struggle she has been dealing with since them. She feels like it is impossible to pray to God when he let these things happen to her sons. She said she has almost no friends and that until us she has neve had anyone to talk to about it. Through all of this we all were bawling. Elder W and I then had the chance to do the best thing in the whole world, testify of Christ's love for her, and the plan that God has for us. I have never seen my testimony confirmed like it was in those moments. We were in the foyer, and right behind M was a beautiful picture of Christ. My eyes kept getting drawn there throughout this whole conversation. He is the way that M can find the peace she needs. Experiences like this is when I stand all amazed at the truth that we have. It heals all wounds. It has answers to every question. The Holy Ghost truly gives us the words to speak. This conversation might be the first time that I felt like it was not me speaking, but the Holy Ghost speaking through me. I know that my redeemer lives. I have never been so sure. She lives in the other Elder's area, so we are referring them to her. This is why I am here.
How is Aaron doing?
I thought about him this week. We are going to start teaching a guy named H who wanted us to help him overcome his alcohol addiction. We got our hands on one of the church's addiction recovery manual, I read it and learned alot. It was really good.
Things are going awesome with Elder G. I am excited, a bit nervous but mostly excited. He is a great missionary. The future is bright here in Nogales.
Awesome quote I found this week.
"The submission of one's will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God's altar. It is a hard doctrine, but it is true. The many other things we give to God, however nice that may be of us, are actually things he has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. But when we begin to submit ourselves by letting our wills be swallowed up in God's will, then we are really giving something to him." Neal A. Maxwell.
I love you guys SOOOOOOOOO much. I am so excited to hear and talk to you in a few days. It will probably be in the afternoon or evening, but I will find out. I will call you quickly on Sat. to set up the time. I love you guys so much. Happy Birthday Dad.
SEE you in a WEEK!
Taylor with his new companion that he is training