This week has been such an amazing week with so many miracles. We started out the week great by teaching Garrett (who is getting baptized on Saturday!) and going over the baptismal interview questions. He's so prepared to finally enter the waters of baptism. Everytime we see him, he brings it up and how excited he is to finally be able to take the sacrament on Sunday after he's been confirmed. He had his interview yesterday and passed! We're so excited to be able to be here to witness the changes that he and his mom are making in their lives. This week we're planning on doing a few "keep the fire going" lessons to help him keep feeling the spirit. His mom is doing so amazing too! She's such a great support for Garrett and even though she can't get baptized until her and Bruno get married in September, she still wants it really bad, is coming to church every week, participating in every way possible, and constantly shares her testimony. She's such a chosen spirit too!
Juan is doing absolutely amazing! We were finally able to have another lesson with him this past week after a month of not being able to see him. We were able to take Hermano Guerrero with us and it went perfectly. They clicked right at the beginning and the spirit was definitely present. Juan has such a desire to follow God and connect with him better in his life, so when Hermano Guerrero shared his conversion story and what he's been through it helped so much. We were able to sing "I Am a Child of God" for him too which made the spirit come in even stronger. He told us that he knows that we're sent from God to help him and that he wants to be able to keep feeling the spirit. We invited him to be baptized, but he was a little hesitant to completely commit though. Hermano Guerrero did a wonderful job at explaining the blessings that follow after baptism and Juan said he'd think about it. Also, he's still been sober after a month since we first met him. He's progressing so well.
Beto is a less active that we were finally able to meet this week. We've been working a little with his non-member brother, but little did we know that he was listening when we stopped by the last time. When we stopped by this week he told us that he heard the entire conversation and decided that he needed to come back to church. It's amazing too because he remembers the amazing fellowship that Brother Kurtz offered to him a few years back. He wasn't at church yesterday, but we're planning on stopping by more this week to get him to come back. He's so prepared to come back.
The Jones family is progressing so much out of no where. On Monday, we found out from a sister in the ward that they were trying to get a hold of us, but didn't have our number. We stopped by on Wednesday and found out that they were wondering if they could get a copy of the children's Book of Mormon so they could read it to their kids. They threw away all of the copies of the Book of Mormon that they had two years ago when they went inactive, but after they took their kids to church that one time a few weeks ago, their kids want to start learning more. We found out that their oldest son isn't baptized yet either, so we're hoping we can help their family get reactivated so that he can. We stopped by yesterday to drop off the copy after we got it from our district leader and they were still really welcoming. She even instituted a hug at the end when before they didn't even want to look at the missionaries. They told us they were going to be at church again next week!
Jasmine is struggling a little right now with feeling the spirit in her home. Just like she had issues with evil spirits a few years ago, their family is starting to notice creepy things around their house that are signs of evil things. We decided to randomly stop by when we were in the area this week and Jasmine just broke down crying and told us how she felt. We sang "Nearer, My God to Thee" to calm her down and re-invite the spirit. We asked her if she would be interested in receiving a priesthood blessing and she accepted! We talked to two brethren in the ward and we're working out a time to be able to stop by asap to get the blessing arranged. I feel really bad for her, but I know that it'll definitely help her and her family out.
Celeste is doing a little better. Her back aches came back, so it's hard for her to come to church or really do anything for that matter. We had a really good heart to heart with her and she told us that we just need to be persistent with getting her to do things. She's been reading her scriptures, so of course that helps, but she's still really overwhelmed with her newborn baby as well. We're coordinating with the Relief Society to get her visiting teachers and other sisters in there to help. She really does have a very sincere desire to come to church more frequently though.
President and Sister Castro left on Friday, but now we have President and Sister Felix! I haven't met them yet, but I'm really excited to get to know them a little better. The Trumans are leaving tomorrow and it's going to be really sad because they've been here my entire mission too. It's even more sad because they attended church here in Santa Paula too, so we saw them all the time! I'm really going to miss all these people, but I'm excited for all the change that's happening and all the new things I'm going to learn.
Thanks for all the love and support!
Hermana Wallas and me with the Truman's
Me with the Truman's