The big news out here is that I'm getting transferred. I'm really sad about it because I love this area and it's weird that I'm leaving after only 2 transfers here but it's in the Lord's hands. I'm going to El Dorado Hills which is all the cities in the mountains. So I will feel a little bit closer to home! It will be really tough though because we only have a group there with just a few members and there aren't too many Spanish people out there so we'll have to find them. I'm sad that I have to leave Lodi, especially on my Birthday but hopefully there are good things in store out in El Dorado.
This week was really great! Ana and her two daughters didn't end up getting baptized. When President Martinez from the mission presidency came down to do her interview we decided it would be better to wait and have the whole family get baptized together! Now all 5 members of the family will be getting baptized in February instead of just 3. I'm excited to be able to come back for that baptism.
We also found a really cool new investigator named Juan Carlos. He had come to church the week before with a recent convert family. I went to talk to him after church and everyone around us told us that we looked like twins. He came to volleyball on Thursday night and then we went over to the member's house on Friday and he was there! We talked to him and it turns out he lives in Stockton right now but is moving to Galt with this family soon. We talked to him a little about the church and he said he grew up Jehovah's Witness but fell away from that church when he found out he wasn't allowed to go to college (unless he went to Beth-el which isn't a really college, just a JW college). He has been looking around at a lot of different churches. We asked if we could come back the next day when we had more time to talk and he said yes. We came back the next day and taught him the Restoration and he loved it! We watch the 20 min Restoration movie as part of the lesson and he said he felt the spirit really strong when Joseph was in the woods and felt like he could relate a lot to him. He really wants to read to Book of Mormon and is coming to church and wants to be baptized! That will be another baptism I will have to come back for.
Elder Burentia told me this week I was talking in Spanish in my sleep so that was also cool to hear. I think that's the first time I have talked in my sleep because I have been sick this whole week and have not slept very well. I know all my dreams have been in Spanish that I can remember, and in all my dreams I'm a missionary teaching Spanish people so that's why I'm talking in Spanish. Regardless, it was cool to hear that.
I had two birthday parties as well that were surprises. On Sunday after church we had dinner with the Cazares family. They were throwing a party for their daughter Amy who was turning 5. The bought her a nice princess cake and made me a really good cheesecake chocolate cake. The party was a lot of fun too. My first Spanish birthday party ever! We had a lot of fun and taught a lot of the Cazares' family members and friends that are not members of the church. Hopefully something comes of the ones who live in Lodi or Galt.
My second birthday party was last night with the Orozco family. We did a Family Home Evening with them to teach some of their neighbors and afterwards they surprised with a big cake that said "Happy Birthday Elder G". It was a lot of fun and they gave me "Paris for Men Body Lotion", and two teddy bears from the girls named Elder Gaskill and Teddy. It was a lot of fun, but also a really sad family home evening. Our transfer calls came while we were singing the opening song. Elder Hernandez ran into the back room and I could tell from what I heard that he was going to be training the new missionary which means that I would have to leave. I told everyone that and the mom started crying and the rest of the family started pouting. They told me that the last of the good missionaries was leaving Lodi and Galt so I had to reassure them that they would still have good missionaries. It was really hard to concentrate on the lesson and everything the rest of the night. Every time I looked up someone was looking at me with tears in their eyes or a frown on their face so I had to look back down. I love that family a lot and it will be sad to leave but I'll see them again.
Tomorrow is my birthday and the beginning of a new part of my mission that will be very very different from what it has been thus far but I am excited to learn and to grow.
Love you all,