Well, look whose back. Hey family!
It´s only been a few days since we last saw each other, but how are y'all doin'? Sorry that we weren´t able to talk for too long, but I hope it was a pretty good Christmas gift anyway. It certainly made my day being able to talk with all of you! I hope you all know how much I love you. A lot.
Well, as I said this week has been probably the longest of my entire life, but in the end it has turned out to be very rewarding. The biggest reward: 2 baptisms planned for this weekend. Ah yeah!! I´m super stoked!!! Ruth is getting baptized on Sunday. I think I told you about the awesome lesson we had with her when she shared her testimony with us. She has just been such an example to me of faithfully following the Lord´s will, no matter how difficult. She overcame her doubts, prayed to know the Lord´s will, received an answer and has been faithful to it ever since. She is very excited for her baptism and I can´t wait for her to later be able to share the gospel with her children when she goes back to Honduras (she is planning on returning in October next year). She is an amazing woman. Second is Arthur who you met on Christmas. He is getting baptized on the 4th, this Saturday. I am so excited for him!!! My companion and I have formed such a close bond with Arthur over the last few months, he is honestly one of my favorite people in the world! He is the nicest guy, gets along with everyone (as you saw) and has possibly the strongest faith I´ve ever seen in anyone. You remember how he was left without a place to live because of his work changes? All day, even heading to go sleep basically in the street, he was never worried. He said over and over how his Heavenly Father has never let him down. I got a little teary eyed honestly. Not once was he worried. Most impressive of all is the incredible change that has happened in his life. It has been a long road for Arthur and it is an honor to be able to be here to see him take this important step.
There are so many people here I have come to love so much. A couple weeks ago I was thinking that I may leave B5 without seeing any baptisms. I´m super happy that I will now, and with people who are so special to me, but I learned from that situation. I realized what a privilege it is to simply be a part of the story of each person´s life. Even if I never hear form any of them again, even if they never accept the Gospel, what a wonderful experience, what an honor to be able to touch someone´s life. I will have been a part, however small, of each person´s life here and that is something special.
I´m getting sad thinking about leaving here (changes are on the 6th and I´m pretty sure I´m going. I feel it´s time for a change). I´ve fallen in love with this ward and with the area. There is so much life here! So many people to know, each with their own story. The people I have met are amazing. The Lord is going to preform miracles in this ward in the next year. This is by far the favorite of all my areas so far. I have learned so much and had such incredible experiences and these 2 baptisms will be the perfect end. It´s sad to go, but I´m so excited to put my new talents and new perspective to use in a new area. Who knows, maybe it will end up being my new favorite. I´ve learned that this is the only way to live, in the service of the Lord. It´s not easy, but it´s so much better than just sitting and watching life go by. And so we´ll see what He has in store for me next. The Road goes ever on and on. . .
To finish (long email today) I just want to let you all know that I am doing so, so good. Better than I ever have in my life. I´ve had some personal experiences lately that have changed me. I am a new person. I have a new conviction to the Lord and to living his Gospel. I know that I have a Saviour. I have felt his redemption work in my life to wipe away my sins and to make a new man. I have felt the joy that comes in knowing that the Lord is pleased with you, like a father is pleased with his son, and there is nothing better in the world. I am filled with His love and with joy! I feel that I need to share that with you, that you know that I have changed for the better. I´m so grateful for the Atonement and for my Saviour.
I´m also so grateful for all of you, for all you have done for me throughout my life. I realize more and more everyday how blessed I am to have the gospel in my life, to know God and His Son. I am eternally grateful to every member of our family who has made sacrifices to make it possible that I could be raised with this knowledge and this way of life. Thank you. I am so happy to know that we will be an eternal family and that when I have my own family, we will be too. I love you guys so, so much! Remember the importance of the Gospel, remember how blessed you are and keep going forward. Until next week.