(Note from John's Mom: Sorry this week's post and last week's post are late. John's little brother, Colin was born on Nov. 26th and it's been a busy time at our house so I got a little behind on the blog.)
This week has been another great week! On Saturday I
passed my 10 month mark in the mission and I officially feel old now
that I'm in the double digits. I hate how fast the time is going by.
Nevertheless, the work still goes on!
This past week we had some awesome experiences. On Wednesday we were
teaching Jorge Guzman the plan of salvation and then after we were
asking him about how his prayers were going and if he felt like he had
received an answer. The last two times we had asked him he told us he
was "close", really close. This time he kind of laughed at us and said
"what would I need to do to get baptized?". We explained to him about
the baptismal interview and he said "prepare it!". We were so excited,
Jorge is going to get baptized this Saturday the 8th. He's finally
ready. He's been very prepared and his son on a mission asked him to
fast with him this past Sunday so they all fasted and I'm sure it helped
a lot. We will have an awesome baptismal service Saturday.
This week has also been an interesting week with JJ. Remember JJ from
last week who is Juan and Jovita's son who accepted to be baptized? Well
originally we had passed him to the the English missionaries to be
taught and they passed him to the the YSA missionaries since he's a 21
years old. He didn't like that church so he started coming to the
Spanish branch again with his parents. Last week we taught him and he
accepted to be baptized.
Thursday was mission conference and Elder Bruce D Porter of the Seventy
came to talk to us. It was an awesome conference and he talked a lot
about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful because now I
understand it a lot more, even though I thought I understood it before.
It was great to see a lot of the missionaries in the southern half of
the mission again too.
Friday was the big "Multicultural Spanish Activity" that Elder Rivera
and I had started to plan in Elk Grove. All the Spanish wards and
branches came from the whole mission and it was awesome. We had about
500 people there and about 25% of them were non-members. We got there
really early to set up everything and practice how things would go so
that everything would run smoothly. It turned out to be a great event!
The Book of Mormon art gallery was awesome! I took a picture of every
single painting so you'll get to see them when the SD card gets home.
We gave a really awesome tour to Juan and Jovita, and Jovita's brother's
family, and a couple other members. Jovita's brother has a lot of
doubts about the church but his wife seems to really like it. At the
end of the tour she took one of each of the pamphlets with her to read
later. When that tour ended the next part of the program started
(switch from just eating to the devotional). To begin the devotional
every one of the Spanish missionaries (all 40 of us were there) went up
and said our name and where we were from. The told us to say we were
from different places in the world to be funny. Some elders said they
were from other countries/states/etc and the people there thought it was
really funny. When Elder Martinez and I finished the tour we heard all
the missionaries saying where the were from so we ran back into the
gym. We were the last two up there and we didn't notice at the time but
the other missionaries told us they cheered a lot louder for us than
for the rest of the missionaries. I ran up there and said "Soy Elder
Gaskill y vengo de Paranguara Cutirimicuaro" which is a kid's legend in
Mexico that most people can't pronounce (especially white people) so
they loved that. Elder Martinez ran up and said "Don't cry everyone we
made it" and got everyone to laugh and then said where he was from. I
guess the two of us were a big hit. All the missionaries then proceeded
to sing "We'll bring the world his truth" (in Spanish). President
Martinez talked for a little while and then the real fun began. A
couple professional dance groups danced folkloric dances from different
part of Mexico and a professional singer sang a few songs. It was
really awesome and I took videos of a lot of it. By the end it was
10:00pm and we had to hurry to get home. It was really nice to see all
the Spanish Elders and Sisters and see all the members from Stockton and
Elk Grove again. It was an awesome event and definitely a big party (:
Saturday we went and did a blitz for our roommates' area which is
struggling a little bit. They haven't had any solid investigators to
teach for a while so the 8 of us missionaries got together and "blitzed"
the area (sent everybody to work in their area) for 2 hours. Elder
Boeke and I were able to find a lady named Paula who said she already
knew the church was true but never was baptized because she was afraid
of committing. She hadn't been to church in about 3 years but still knew
the church was true. We read Mosiah 18:8-10 with her and committed her
to get baptized in December if she received and answer to her prayers
that she should do so. Sooooo now those elders should have a solid
investigator for this month! We were really happy to help out and felt
blessed to be able to find that truly prepared lady.
We didn't get to watch the Christmas Devotional yesterday because we
were really busy teaching everyone but hopefully we'll get to watch it
online for a Family Home Evening with a member this week.
Hope all is well back home and everyone is getting in the Christmas Spirit!