November 21, 2011
We got some news this week about transfers! I am leaving Santa Barbara! Nooo! Just kidding, it will be good. I've been in Santa Barbara for about 6 months now. I am going only an hour away to a place called "Villa Obispo" ...it is a ward in Los Angeles. So I will be in the city. And another surprise, I am going to be a zone leader! Crazy stuff. It will be great though. My companion is going to be Elder Strait. He is awesome! I have been on companion interchanges with him and he is great. He has about the same time as me in the mission. He is from Utah I think...he is a BYU fan so we're good :) And he was a personal trainer before the mission and he's buff. It's a funny story because just barely we were at a conference and we were saying how we should be companions some day. Just a few days later, we are called to be companions! Nice. It will be great.
This week we had lots of good things happen like normal. We had a family home evening with Patricio and Alejandra, and they were arguing over who had to give the spiritual thought, so I made them both do it...which I was really glad about because they both shared some really cool miracles. Alejandra said that a few months ago, her, Patricio, and Xander (their 7 year-old son) went fishing on a beautiful Saturday morning. One of those days where you just KNOW you're going to catch many fish. They left the house without saying a prayer of anything. Well, they fished all morning and they didnt get ANYTHING. Hours and hours passed by and they went way up the river, and nothing. Well...it got about time for lunch, and they were pretty bummed out that they hadnt gotten anything yet, but they decided that they would eat the lunch they had packed along. They remembered to say a prayer this time, and they thanked their Heavenly Father for the food and for the beautiful day and they asked, if it is His will, that they could catch at least one fish to have something to eat in the evening. So right after lunch Patricio went to a spot where he thought he could get some fish, a spot they had already fished at earlier that morning....and the first throw in water, he caught a giant salmon about 18 inches long! Then he threw it in again and he got another one right away even BIGGER! It reminded me of Matt. 7:7-11. God truly does answers prayers.
One day this week, we went the church to get ready for the ward family home evening and it started to pour all of the sudden. They the lightning started. It was an electical storm. Me and my companion were in the bathroom and all of the sudden all of the lights went out and we heard a huge crash of thunder right on top of us!!! It was so loud and scary and it shook us! I felt a little shock go through my fingers. The lightning hit the steeple of the church! Luckily, the church's steeple in Santa Barbara is not on top of the church, its outside in front, and luckily the church puts a giant metal wire in the steeple that goes underground which is specifically made for lightning strikes. It was crazy! Now I've been in a building that got struck by lightning and a house that started on fire!
We have been focusing a lot on a great family! Gloria is the mom, and we had a great lesson with them this week. Gloria and Milton are living together but arent married. She wants to get baptized and so she is either going to get married or get separated. This week four from her family came to church so that was great! Her sister in law Corina loves church, and Milton likes it a lot. Anita and Jorge, the two younger kids, have baptismal dates for the 3rd of December, and the rest in the family will shortly follow. The blessings that come from living each commandment are so amazing.
This week....actually more in the last couple days, my allergies have been KILLING ME!!! (not literally) but they have been crazy. Yesterday, Sunday, I was sneezing the whole day. Its complicated when you are out walking in the middle of the country side and you have no tissues :D
At church we had another great assistance of 37 people with 4 investigators! I was glad to see a lot of people for my last week here. I hope and pray that Santa Barbara keeps growing. I have gained a strong testimony that there are people everyone prepared for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Santa Barbara was one of those famous areas that everyone talks bad about. It was one of the "worste areas" One of it's nicknames was "Chanta" Barbara. ("chanta" means "sucky" or "lame") But I made a promise to myself that if I went to an area like that, I would never fall in to that trap of listening to gossip and having a bad attitude. There are no such things as bad areas! I got here and only 11 people came to church, including us. It just showed me that there was a lot of work to do! And for the last six months I've just treated it like any other area, giving my all and preaching the gospel always without stop! We've seen a lot of miracles happen, including a wedding and five baptisms, and many people have reactivated. I'm so grateful that the gospel is true!
This week I was able to baptize Patricio. He is the son of Angelica, a recent convert as as of about 6 months. Patricio has had a lot of pain in his life. His older sister left the house and it's been really hard for him. He had some things that have been weighing him down for some time now that he has been waiting to repent for, and he was able to do it as he entered into the waters of baptism on Saturday.
Tender Mercy- The Holy Ghost as a comforter. Sometimes I forget that one of the main purposes of the Holy Ghost is to comfort us when we are in need. I have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost several times this week when I needed it.
Love you all, hope to hear from you soon!
-Zone, Los Angeles South
-baptism of Patricio
-another of baptism
-Me with Brother and Sister Jaque, two of the strongest members in Santa Barbara. We ate lunch with them every single Friday.
-Mondaca family. This family is awesome! The parents were baptized just a year or two ago, but they are super super strong and have been married in the temple already. Barbara, the daughter, on the right, was baptized years ago. The other teenager is their cousin, who isnt a member, but it turns out that she lives RIGHT NEXT to the house in Villa Obispo that I am going to!-Us with President Contreras. He is the branch president in Santa Barbara for the last 8 years. They are a great family!
-At a zone conference, the assistants did an object lesson with soccer.
-Us with Franci and her mom, a lady who owned a business that we frequently went to for supplies. She loooooved it when the missionaries came by. We have invited her to church so many times, but she has had a really bad experience with an unnamed religion in the past...which has made it hard for her to accept our message. She's coming around though.-Us with Patrcio, Ania, Paloma, and Ester, whose roof was the roof that burned down. Patricio isnt a member. We have been teaching him. He's become a lot more receptive lately!
- Me and Elder Bustos, one of the assistants to the president. He is Chilean and is going home today! He was a great example to me and was an excellent missionary.