We started teaching a really cool kid named Sergio who's 14 and is a friend of a member in the branch. We've been taking a young man in the teacher's quorum out with us and he's been getting really excited about missionary work. Yesterday he bore his testimony about how much he loves missionary work and it was fun to listen to him. He said the first time we took him out, I was bearing my testimony in a lesson and in the background there was music from a superhero theme song and so my testimony sounded even more powerful. So he took us to meet his friend who is really interested. We've taught him twice and he loves everything we've shared. He's a really humble guy and has felt the spirit and loves having us come over. He couldn't come to church yesterday but he's already set aside next Sunday to come to church.
Wednesday was awesome! Elder Guzman and I were on exchanges all day and it was great to be back with my trainer. It was amazing to see how much we both have improved in the last year since we separated. Elder Guzman goes home in 3 weeks. He's such a great missionary. That day we went met a lady named Margarita, taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ, and set a baptismal date with her for July 6th. We taught the Plan of Salvation to a less active member's mother who is going through a tough time because of the death of a close friend. We taught another lady named Olivia who has doubts about the Book of Mormon and now she's reading and praying about it. We went out and finally taught a family that lives out in a city called Ione (about 45 mins away). They told us how they've always wanted to know about what happens to us after we die. The asked the Catholic priest and they were really unsatisfied when they were told that we're just in heaven but we don't know anyone (ie families, friends, etc) and so we taught them the Plan of Salvation, invited them to be baptized, and they accepted! They were supposed to come to church on Sunday but they didn't and we haven't found out why yet but they are an awesome family! It was a great day with Elder Guzman. I wish we could be companions all the time instead of for just one day.
We also started teaching a new investigator named Andrea. She's 17 and was being taught the last time I was in the area but the missionaries haven't been able to find her since then. We found her and set up an appointment on Saturday. She went to the baptism of one of her neighbors when they turned 8 back in November and so we asked her what she thought and some of the questions she had. Her mom used to be a Jehovah's Witness so she had a lot of questions about the differences. We explained all the elements of baptism and she loved it and it all made sense to her. When talked about the gift of the Holy Ghost and read a part in Acts 8 and she really loved that. She told us how her mom is also really interested in the church because she knows about all the youth programs (seminary, mutual 2nd/3rd hours of church, boy scouts, etc) and feels like it's a sign for her to listen. Their only concern right now is about Joseph Smith but they are excited to hear about the Restoration this week.
There was one sad thing that happened this past week. On Monday they found the body of a 25 year old guy from the branch named Willy Alvarez. He was one of my favorite members when I was here the first time because he's such a funny guy and loves missionaries. They don't know if something bad might of happened to him or if he just got in a really bad car accident in the middle of the night but it's hurt the branch. His family used to live in Lodi but moved to Stockton in October of last year. This is the 3rd member of their family to die in the last 2.5 years and it's really taking a toll on them. It's really sad. I know in time the "sting of death" is swallowed up in Christ. It makes me especially grateful for the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation and the time I have to share it with everyone around me.
This week is going to be another great week and I'm very excited to be right where I am!