Darn Monday holidays...they wreck everything! Just kidding...it's all good! It doesn't bother me so much as it did at the beginning of my mission -- which is a good thing. No offence, because I love you all SO MUCH and I LOVE hearing from you, but I feel like I'm finally getting to the place where I ought to be...where I don't really miss you all that much, and where things not directly pertaining to the mission don't matter as much to me. Don't get me wrong!!! I really love having an inbox full of letters each week, with updates on all that's going on at home, i.e. bathroom remodels, births, weddings, school, etc. It's just that I don't so much just live for my one hour of email time every monday anymore. More than anything, I live for our lessons with the Reyes family, and with Patricia, and with Gavino; I live for the chance to go to the projects and teach Estela and the Topete's; I live for my personal study time each morning; I LIVE for my almost 8 hours of sleep each night :); I live for driving up to the lit-up L.A. temple each night feeling completely beat from a long, totally satisfying day of work; I really live for missionary work!!! And it's the most wonderful feeling!!!!! So I love the highlight of hearing from some of my favorite people in the whole world, and all that's going on in their lives once a week, but I LOVE being a missionary!!!!!!!
I've decided that I want to live my mission as if I was running on a moving sidewalk; so that by the end, when I run right off the end of it, onto solid ground, it really is a total shock, and I just about trip and fall before adjusting to the difference of the pace. The only problem with that is that the faster you run on a moving sidewalk, the sooner you're at the end of it...which ISN'T so much what I'm going for, but will probably be a natural reaction. So if, in a little over 9 months, when I walk off the plane (run off the sidewalk), don't worry if I'm just a little bit shell-shocked, and struggle at least a little bit when re-adjusting (aka: if I'm totally post-mission awkward); that's kind of my goal at this point.
OK, so on to this last week!
The weather here is crazy right now! It's pouring down rain outside, as it did yesterday, and is forcasted to for the rest of the week. Also, I saw lightning and heard the first clap of thunder that I've heard since arriving here in LA! Something about "el nino"...sure makes tracting fun :)
Corina got baptized on Sunday!!!! It was a great baptism, and we're so thrilled for her! It's kind of funny because it's not like this is a huge change for her; really it just makes the changes that she's been undergoing/making for the last few years "official". She sure seemed happy though, and so are we! It's the first baptism that Sis Dickson and I have had that was really "ours" (meaning we taught her from start to finish...except that she'd already had all the lessons about 1 1/2 years ago), so it was pretty exciting, especially for my darling companion :) We sang "Consider the Lillies," which turned out really nicely; she and I both love singing, especially together, which is so fun to be able to do! She carries a beautiful melody, which gives me a chance to have fun with harmony underneath (and sometimes over top) her. Anyways, it was great! We won't be having a baptism this Sunday because our investigators just aren't QUITE ready yet, but the 31st should be a big day for baptisms!
We're teaching a family (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) right now...the Reyes family that I mentioned earlier. They were actually former investigators that were taught before we came into the area, and who we started teaching about 2 weeks ago. I LOVE this family so much!!! It's a great little (well, actually not-so-little) family from Mexico; Antonia is the Grandma, who makes and vends tamales at the local laundromat 3-4 days a week, Alicia is her daughter (who has 3 children of her own -- Jose, Juan, and Sara...who Antonia calls Sarita), Jorge is her cousin...I think (we're still figuring out the exact relationship there with Jorge), and Alejandro is her 10 year old grandson (the son of one of her other daughters). There's actually a lot more people than that who live there in the house, but those are the ones that we're teaching and that have baptismal dates. Anyways, it's so great to teach them! They all come in and sit down to listen when we come, they love learning and participating, Jorge loves reading any BofM verses we need read (and is a great reader), and they're all really excited to get baptized!!! Alicia came to church with her two little boys and Alejandro this Sunday! It was an 88-stake stake conference (which was wonderful), and those little boys were the best-behaved kids there! We're going to go over and walk with them to church this next Sunday because none of them have a car, and I'm really excited! My favorite part of everytime we go over is the closing prayer. It's such an awesome experience to kneel down on the wood floor of their little apartment -- all of us, adults and kids -- and to hear their sweet, humble prayers in spanish. I love being a missionary so much; I just can't even tell you!
Oh, and have I mentioned yet that one of my favorite things in the whole world is hearing little children speaking spanish? It is. I LOVE little hispanic children, especially when they get really excited and just go off in spanish (or the ocasional spanglish...:)!
This is really the greatest place ever -- I LOVE it!!!!!!!
I hope that you all have an AWESOME week, and that you see miracles and the Lord's hand in your life every day -- look for it, He's there!
Good luck with the bathroom remodel, and Dad, I sure hope your back gets better soon!!!
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!
I LOVE Being a Missionary!!!
HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!
By the way, the church is SO true!!!