I hope everyone is doing as well as I am! Elder Gilray and I are seeing tons of success and I love it. I'm trying to "aprovechar" every minute of every day I can before my time runs out.
I will give a quick update on some things that are happening.
The coolest thing was that Brandon Owen (who is getting baptized on Jan 18th) got his answer this week. When we met on Wednesday he was really excited to sit us down and tell us "some news". He said he was driving this week and he felt really strongly to change the radio station to a Christian station called KLOVE. They were reading the scripture of the day and it was 1 Chronicles 16:11. As he heard that scripture and the song that followed, the Spirit touched his heart very strongly, even more powerfully than when he decided to become a Christian. He said "I knew then that I needed to be baptized into the Mormon church". It was amazing to hear the story and he was so excited to tell us. He is such a great guy and he wanted to know so badly and he got his answer!
We are also teaching another Brandon that we met on Monday. He wants to change his life around and he's going to get baptized on January 25th. His biggest problem is to quit smoking which is a challenge because he does a lot of that. We will see how we can help him do that.
On Thursday we had a really spiritual experience in our Mission Leadership Council. We talked about goals we wanted to set for the mission this year. The last year our mission has kind of been on a decline. A lot of really new missionaries have come in and a lot of them have had to train new missionaries when they themselves don't really know what they're doing. As a result we have really spiritual missionaries but they don't know how to baptize. Luckily that transition phase is at it's end and now we can grow and progress. The last two years we have fallen short of our goal. This past year there were 651 people baptized in the mission. We set a goal of 801 for next year. It's a lofty change but I know it's not only accomplish-able but one that we can exceed. In 2012 when we had 2/3 the number of missionaries we baptized about 750 people. Now we have about 75 more missionaries and it's about time we show it. Elder Gilray and I decided to start off the year by being the examples. This week we broke all sorts of records with lessons taught and people to church. We're being very blessed and I'm doing everything I can to continue it.
We are also teaching a new friend of Josh's named Kenneth. He agreed to be baptized on February 1st and loved church yesterday. I gave him a hair cut Saturday night too. He had long hair and always wore a hat to cover it up but I cut it short for him and it looks a lot better and he was a lot more comfortable at church.
We also are continuing to teach Carole. She came to church and brought a friend from Lodi named Eric. He actually lived in Riverton Utah for a while and graduated from Alta HS in Sandy in '07. He really liked church and has been before. He says he has friends that are on missions right now. We are going to try and teach him tomorrow. He seems to already know a lot about the church.
I hope everyone is doing well back there and that things continue to go well.
Les Quiero a todos!