Merry Christmas! Everything is going great here in Escondido. It's getting pretty cold here. Yesterday it was pouring rain. But we are having more fun than ever!
Joshua was baptized on Saturday! The Spirit was so strong--Joshua's dad, who said that he has only born his testimony once since his baptism four years ago, bore a powerful testimony after Joshua's baptism. He was in tears and he said that he really wanted Joshua to be a missionary when he is nineteen. Miracles are real.
José passed his baptismal interview on Sunday after Church, and he is very excited to be baptized this Saturday. We went to teach him and his sons last night, and they told us that they had talked to their mom and she had given them permission to get baptized! Originally they wanted to get baptized with their dad, but we explained to them that we had to teach them a little more, and we told them that if they got baptized in one or two weeks, their dad could baptize them. They loved that idea (especially José). So, we are going to work on getting them ready to get baptized as well. We are being very blessed right now.
As for Arlín (the 9-year-girl from the Oceanside less-active family), she is ready to get baptized, and we are now just waiting on her grandpa to visit from Mexico to arrange the service. Her dad is doing great as well. He came to Church in a tie on Sunday!
The Spanish missionary conference last Thursday was great. President Cook asked the San Clemente zone leaders and us to prepare to talk about the six most common Spanish errors for missionaries (as far as the language goes), and then President Cook gave us great training as well about extending baptismal commitments. All in all, it was a great meeting. Afterwards, we were sent on the mission-wide exchange--I ended up in Temecula with Elders Walker and Colby--which was great because I knew Elder Walker from before our missions, but we have never been able to serve around each other. We had a lot of fun and found a lot of great people. I thought I was going to be able to "rest from all my troubles and from all care, and sorrow" (Alma 40:12) as far as our area goes and be able to focus on just helping them in their area and helping them improve, but it turned out that I had to run our area over the phone while doing proselyting with them. It was pretty crazy, but a ton of fun (and I slept on the floor!). . . .