December 20, 2011
Feliz Navidad! Everything is going 100% amazing! So, to start off, José Concepción got baptized last Saturday! It was a great service (we combined the service with another set of elders in our ward, because their investigator had a baptismal date for the same day). It was such a spiritual service. A sister in our ward who was just sealed to her husband and kids gave a great talk about families, and then one of the other elders sang "I Know that my Redeemer lives". For the first time in my mission, I had a hard time getting José underwater. He is about an inch taller than me (usually Spanish speakers are a lot smaller), but that wouldn't have been a problem...except for the fact that during the service, the water was slowly draining and only reached a little past my knee. It was a struggle, but it only took one try.
The next day, he was confirmed and then sustained to receive the Aaronic Priesthood the same sacrament meeting, and then in priesthood he was given the Aaronic Priesthood. His four sons are all very excited to have their dad baptize them in two weeks, and we are finishing up their lessons. They are very smart and love Church. I can't wait for them to all go on missions. The oldest (21) wasn't planning on getting baptized with the rest of his brothers (he didn't seem too interested), but one day we felt impressed to go stop by their house when just he was there, and we sat down and read in the Book of Mormon with him. The Spirit was really strong! He said that he had been thinking a lot about getting baptized, and he is now getting baptized with his brothers!
As far as this week, we are all very excited for our annual mission-wide Christmas "conference" (one of the sisters who works in the office doesn't want any of us to call it a Christmas "party"). There is going to be a great dinner and a Christmas concert by various missionaries, and then the mission presidency will speak to us. Also, on Saturday Arlín passed her baptismal interview, so this weekend we are going to be having Arlín's baptism (the family from Oceanside), and (if everything goes right), her 16-year-old brother Nester should be able to baptize her. Just plain awesome. Arlín's dad accepted a baptismal date on Sunday night for the second week of January!
Everything is going great. The time is definitely passing me by. Three of my companions died (went home) today (Elders Carey, Kidd, and Thomas, who all went home early to be able to make it bake to BYU for winter semester). I remember a year ago, laying in my bunkbed in Oceanside, wondering how in the world 2010 had gone by so fast, and now I am faced with the awful realization that 2011 escaped me as well. The only thing to do is to make the best of it!
Well, that seems to be all for now. I will talk to you (hopefully see you) on Sunday!