Hello my family!
Well, I think we´ll have to call this one a tie. Getafe is what we came up with as well, but it is technically a suburb of Madrid and not part of the actual city. But, it is part of the province of Madrid and I´m very impressed that you found out the stadium where they play even, so we´ll call it a tie. ;) So is a derby just a game between 2 teams from the same city?
What a long week. I am so tired. And I think I´m getting sick again. I ache everywhere :P There is a funny part in one of the training DVDs we use (The District, you know that Janet Zaldivar was in?) where one of the Elders says: "I don´t know why I´m so happy. I´m SO tired all the time." I couldn´t say it better.
But, it was a great week as well! Apart from the fact that everything that could possibly go wrong in preparing for the baptism did, we had it and it turned out great! Patricia hardly seemed nervous at all. She got up at the end and shared a beautiful testimony. She talked about how happy she is and thanked us for helping her get this huge step in her life. In the baptism and Sunday in the confirmation she just glowed when she smiled. You could tell she was so happy! In fact after the confirmation I looked over at her and she was smiling so big (glowing) and my companion was too and I was just suddenly hit with this huge wave of happiness. The Spirit was like a wall that hit me, I felt like I was overflowing. I didn´t understand how everyone in the room wasn´t in tears. I thought about how happy I was for Patricia and then I thought about all the miracles and moments like this that I´ve had in my mission and then I thought about all the moments like this that will come. A fullness of joy as the scriptures say. I thought, it can´t get better than this. And then I thought, actually I bet it can. I thought about all the joy I will experience in the future helping people and being a husband and father and then finally about eternal life with all of you and them and all the people I´ve been able to help get there. And then I cried like a little girl. And then the choir sang "Families can be together forever". And then I cried some more. And then I thought about how all of this is possible because of Christ and I said thanks to God for His Son.
Life is so much more than it ever was before. It´s fulfilling. I have a purpose. I wish there were words to explain it. I guess that is what everyone looks for in life: to be happy. And I´ve found it. I´m happy. And tired. :P
I´ve also just been thinking the last few days about how much the Lord is blessing us as well. I don´t know why but I feel like I´m having more success right now than ever before in my mission. Teaching Patricia and being there for her baptism and confirmation has been such a privilege. Joaquin is amazing and an amazing example for me. We found a new investigator this last week, Nabel, who is so great! He is from Bangladesh, but is Christian (Catholic). We have taught him twice now and he is feeling the spirit. After sharing the First Vision (all in English) he said he felt some sort of power in him, something special. At the end of the lesson I could tell that he didn´t want us to leave. That´s because he felt good. We only met him the day before and he was already thanking us for helping him and offering to make us food and even give us massages if we ever want them (I´ve been seriously thinking about taking him up on that today. As long as I can keep my clothes on). How cool is that? Again the Lord is guiding us. I see lots of good things in the future.
That doesn´t mean that it will be fun and games and miracles, nor that it has been. This week we met with a family that we had contacted a few weeks ago. We went in and began talking with the father and then invited the whole family to listen. There were 5 of them in total. Patricio the dad, Andy the oldest son, Lisset 16 y.o. daughter, Andrea 13 and Sofia 3. Such a beautiful family. Catholic. We taught them, but not very well. We had planned just to get to know them and share a little about who we are and what we do and teach the Restoration the next time. I felt halfway through that we needed to teach the Restoration but somehow the communication between us as companions was off and we ended up only half teaching it and trying to set up another visit. Lisset was by far the most open. I know she felt the spirit, I could see it. She said she had no problem with us coming back. Then Andy said he didn´t want us to, that he couldn´t accept a living prophet. Then the dad spoke. He as well said that he couldn´t accept a prophet and that he was very sure what the answer would be if he were to ask God. He said he thought he´d been very kind to let us in his home and talk to his family. He said he didn´t want his kids to be confused and that he hadn´t said we could ask their opinions. He made it very clear that we wouldn´t be coming back. Lisset looked as though she was about to cry when she realized we wouldn´t be coming back. I was going to tell her as we left not to doubt what she felt, but for some reason I didn´t. I pray so hard that she won´t be keep from the Gospel because of our shortcomings. We left. I don´t think I´ve ever hurt so much in my life. Lots of tears this week.
This is the only way to live, with the good and the bad. The heartache is worth the joy. The tears are worth the other tears. And in the end it will turn out how it is supposed to and we will just remember the good. Or maybe we will remember the bad so we can continue to appreciate the good. People are the most important. God is very much a people person. Every single one of His children is worth it. I´ve been thinking a lot about eternal families. First of all that it is the very best thing that can be and second that I don´t think it will be just me and you guys and my own family, but everyone that I´ve ever loved. All of my family here in Spain and everywhere else where I´ll serve in the future. In the end the idea is that everyone is sealed to their family, which means we´ll all be sealed together. One big happy family. God´s family. Can you picture anything better than that?
Well, thank you for listening to my thoughts. I use these emails much as a journal for me as well. It´s been therapeutic for me today. Isn´t it weird that this is how I think now? :P
I want you guys to know how much I love you. More than I can say. I can feel your prayers. I can feel your love. Honestly. I know that God put in the right family at the right time and in the right place for me. I love you, I love the people here, I love God and I´ve never been happier. :D Take care of yourselves. Hug each other for me.