This last week we had some amazing stuff happen! We had changes and we saw a couple miracles with the Gonzales family. First off, changes. I am now a step dad! [meaning his companion just finished his training, and Garrett is his second companion in the field]. My new companions name is Elder Jones from Syracuse Utah. We are serving in a place where I will probably always be sweating because it’s hot. The area is Oratorio, zone Cuilapa, which is also outside of the capital, we are in district Ixhuatan (ish-wa-tan). Honestly, when we got the changes I was a little surprised that I was going to be staying outside of the capital, its great though. Outside of the capital is the best. In Cuilapa there is no stake and that is one of the big goals, and the branch in Oratorio is one of the key points. So I am now serving in a branch, which has an average attendance of about 85 and there are 300 registered members.
Monday morning after changes I got a call from President Shumway talking about the importance of this area. He said that he almost never does calls like that but this area is super important. He also told me that, “you are more than ready to be a zone leader but I felt so strongly that you need to go to Oratorio. You and elder Jones will be doing the work of four missionaries.” Last change there was Oratorio 2, but it was closed, and now Elder Jones and I will be covering our area and also what use to be the area of Oratorio 2.
So last week the mom of Jenny was being kind of a stinker, but this week we went and visited the family, but only her and her three daughters were there so we just talked with them. After looking through all of their family pictures we talked about baptism. And lets just say that Jenny got baptized last Saturday! The mom had such a big change of heart. She totally gave the decision to Jenny and supported her when she said that she wanted to be baptized Saturday.
The baptism went great, we had lots of support from the ward. After some talks and everything, she was baptized. The mom felt something different when she saw her daughter get baptized. We also talked with her briefly afterward and she was crying. We just hope and pray that the feelings that she had in her heart was enough to change her heart and not just touch her heart.
Saying goodbye to them was tough. After so many months teaching a family you start to become a small part of their family. They made us dinner the last day that I was there and they wrote me little notes. When I left they were all crying. I honestly did not realize how much of an influence I was for their family. The other three kids will be baptized in two or three weeks and hopefully the parents will follow shortly behind.
Elder Jones and I are going to have a great change together. It will be nice to be with another gringo. J We are going to work like CRAZY but we are also going to baptize! I love you all so much! Keep up the good work with all that you are doing.