Querido Familia Verde,
How's everyone doing? I loved the letters and the stories. I'm amazed at how fast life goes and now all Jared's friends are getting calls. Troy is going to be an amazing missionary. I still remember quite vividly how he said he was super pumped to serve a mission after my farewell. The 58 new missions thing is crazy! Me and my companion were looking at all of them and I was so pumped that they are making two more Arizona missions. But yeah the transfer has two weeks left and me and Elder Gundersen hope we can have one more at least together. But I've learned from experience that it doesn't always happen the way we like, so I just keep my fingers crossed (not literally, that would be crazy). Oh and by the way I'm the Journal King. I have never missed a day.
So this past week was super stressful, tiring, and just hard. It just seemed like appointment after appointment kept falling. Then we'd just have random challenges including: the person who did R.'s interview filled the form out wrong, our car died on Saturday night and we had to take it to Pep Boys, the man I interviewed in my old area didn't show up to his baptism, and just a lot of things that tried my patience. It all came to a peak on Sunday when I think Satan was trying his hardest to just bother me and my companion. But through all the hard stuff this week it still ended up being one of my favorite weeks of my mission because R. was baptized yesterday! I have been to quite a few baptismal services in my time but this one was so powerful.
R. has been through some hard trials in his life. He was born in Guinea, in Africa in the middle of war basically. They moved here to escape and Baltimore hasn't been rainbows and sunshine for this family either. We met with R.'s mom this week who is nice but really not interested. She related some hard things about R.'s life that maybe I'll have to tell you about one day but long story short, he was depressed, angry and suffering when the Elders here found him several months ago. But then his mom told us of how much change she's seen in him and she can't even believe it. It was so amazing to see the Spirit work in her.
So when the baptism came and he came out you could see some emotion (which isn't the norm). After drying off he came back and was asked to bear his testimony. I wasn't sure what to expect but it ended up being so powerful. One thing he said was,"I'm proud to say, honored to say, and so grateful to say that I'm a Mormon." It was amazing and his family was all affected strongly. His brother G. wants to be baptized so bad and his mom came and hugged us (we couldn't do anything, she's big).
I've learned that when the most important things in life are getting close (i.e. a choice to be baptized or serve a mission) Satan tries his hardest to get you down. But it all works out in the end. I love this Gospel and I'm so grateful for the life I've had thus far. I love you all so much.
Me and Elder Gundersen
Me and Felix (back in Baltimore!)