SOOO... I get to stay in Santa Paula with Hermana Wallace!!! I'm so pumped!!!!
Garrett is absolutely amazing! Yesterday, we got to go to an open house for the Castro Family and him and his mom were able to come as well! When we invited him and his mom to come, they didn't hesitate to say yes! They really wanted to meet you too. He's still keeping all of his commitments and is still really excited to get baptized next weekend! We're all starting to finalize all the details for his baptism and the ward has been so supportive. Everything that we bring up to have them help us with, they jump on it right away. Melissa, even though she can't get baptized right now, is still looking forward to being baptized in October. She is such a great support for Garrett and the ward has welcomed them both in just like family. I'm so glad that I'll still be able to be here in Santa Paula to see him get baptized!!
Yesenia is a new investigator that we found this week. She was a potential that we found in our records, so we decided to go see her. When we taught her the initial Restoration lesson on her doorstep, she loved it and said that she wanted to be baptized. We had scheduled another appointment for later this week, but she ended up going out of town so we couldn't meet with her. We rescheduled another appointment for this week and we're trying to get as many members as involved as we can before we go back. She's so prepared.
Jenny is progressing nicely! She's definitely starting to recognize the faith that she has, but hasn't quite recognized it completely. This week we were able to watch The Testaments with her at a members home. The spirit was really strong and she told us that the message was pretty strong from the movie as well. Sister Morales (the member) was a really great support as well. She bore a really strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Christ, which I think helped Jenny even more to understand that this gospel and church really are true. We're working with the Relief Society to get even more sisters involved so that she'll be more comfortable at church.
Naomi is the non-member daughter of a less active member. Their family has been going through a lot right now, so they absolutely love it when we come over. We didn't know that she wasn't a member until we went by this week. She's starting to show more of an interest in going to mutual and maybe even coming to church. There are so many recent converts that are in this ward that are all her age, so it'll make it a little easier for her to make friends. One of them, Sandra, lives right around the corner, so it'll be really good for both of them to have someone near.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak in church! I love doing this because then the members can see how much we want to work with them to hasten the work. I spoke on doubt and Hermana White spoke on fear. As I've been studying for this talk all week, I came to the realization that the main sources of doubt are that people don't have a testimony of the Book of Mormon and they don't have a testimony of the Atonement. While I was speaking, I was prompted to talk about all of the health problems I'd had and how once I decided to study the Atonement more and study the Book of Mormon more, that was when the headaches starting getting a little better. I never realized that until this week. I never realized that I was doubting the Atonement in some aspects. I KNOW that the Atonement is so real and Jesus Christ did it just for me. I have no doubt about that.
I'm so sad that President and Sister Castro are leaving next week! However, I'm so grateful for the wonderful things that they've done for me and for this mission. I love them so much!!! Anyone going to BYU-I needs to take a class from him....he teaches religion classes!
Thanks for all the love and support!!
Me with Hermana Linford
Me with President and Sister Castro
Me with Hannah