“If you want to increase your faith increase your personal righteousness.” - Elder M. Russell Ballard
How are you doing? How has your week been? Things are still busy here in Los Banos. ONE YEAR LEFT! Only one year and I'll be home. Where is the time going?
If I thought the Spanish culture had people feed us a lot, I hadn't had dinner with a Tongan family yet... I think I had enough food I could have served a family of 5 off of my plate, but they expected us to each eat that much... and so we did. It was insane! It was delicious rice and chicken but oh my it was so much food. Then while we were contacting this week there was a man who wanted to Bible bash in Spanish...my favorite part of the experience though was that he didn't even believe in the Bible...of course.
We have been trying to clear the ward lists because there are a decent amount of names, but I can't match any faces to them. So we have found many people have moved, but the saddest part was knocking on the doors and finding that these members have been deceased for a few years! Are you kidding me?! It made me realize that we need to be so much better as members to know our neighbors, to know the people in our ward, and then to love them. How did these people all slip through the cracks? If I ever needed to strengthen my testimony of the importance of visiting teaching or serving the one, this definitely has done it. I encourage you to pick a name off your ward list and go meet them, serve them! From this same project, we also were able to meet an older lady in the ward who is fairly ill and alone. As we sat and talked with her I felt as if I was transported back the times she was talking about. I loved the rich history that she has and all the beautiful memories she shared. It also made me really wish I had lived in the 40's.
While contacting we met a mechanic who has redone a chevy impala... it solidified how much I like that car (if any of you know Dean on Supernatural that's who I thank for the introduction to the impala lol). I found myself wondering if you could make any type of car more fuel efficient as we continued working down the street. I am definitely not a car/mechanically inclined person though and so I have no idea, but I was trying to logic my way through the thought. Maybe I can blame the 103 degree heat for part of my lack of brain power?
A concept I learned this week, or rediscovered that has really stuck with me is that our feelings/emotions are a result of things that happen but that we usually don't realize or address. For example, when I am feeling frustrated it is probably because my expectations aren't being met, whether they are my expectations of myself, others, or a situation. I think understanding that has helped. To be able to see the root cause of the emotion I can gauge it and see if the expectations I have set are even realistic or not. It has helped me put everything back into perspective.
Elayna and Audrina were BAPTIZED!! It was such a sweet service. To see the two sister (eight and nine) enter into the waters of baptism and make that covenant was truly a blessing. I really did feel the spirit there and felt very privileged to have been a part of their journey. I just love them. They were so cute like little marshmallows in the white jumpsuits. I wish Angelina would have been there as well, but we are hoping to keep working with her family and shooting for a new date in 2 weeks.
I hope all is well. I love and miss you all.
Joel 3:14 "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision".