My baby and granddaughter are growing up so fast--they turned 2 months old today, whoopee! Kind of funny because it was Hermana Vazquez's cumplemes (monthly mission birthday) yesterday, Hermanas Neff and Christenson's today, and it's my last one tomorrow.
It's been a week of reliving memories. Ivan Guzman is pretty poor, but we found a gated residential area to contact that was just like my second area in the mission. Seriously, it was like I stepped back in to Los Angeles. The other thing was when I got to go visit my first area, Ocoa!!! Here, we get 2 P-days to see our old areas, so I went to my darling pueblo nestled in the gorgeous, green mountains. I'd forgotten how tranquilo and less humid it is there:) It was so fun to see my favorite members, less-actives, and investigators; the kids and teenagers have grown a ton in the last year, and everyone's doing great. I learned and changed so much during those 3 transfers; Ocoa's a place I'll always hold special:)
Victor and Wbert (finally) received the priesthood yesterday!! I'm so glad they're both worthy to posses it:) Starlin and Anthony are doing well tambien; Anthony is so spiritual that his first word as a baby was "amen" hahaha:) Katherine and Juan are slowly progressing; she's reading the Book of Mormon and praying specifically about the things we've taught, but they still haven't come to church and are almost never there for our appointments, even though we have members with us every time. So their baptismal date will mostly likely change. We're continuing to focus on teaching part-member families, and it's been effective. We have a new investigator named Rolaneli, the 14-year-old sister of a less-active youth. She totally understood the Restoration, it was awesome! She reminds me a lot of my 14-year-old sister, Rachel:)
Unexpected situation story time. About 2 months ago during a zone activity at the church, a Haitian man came asking about an auto sufficiency class. I ran into him again a couple of weeks ago and found out he wasn't a member of the Church; his name is Junior. We invited him to church, he came, and promptly told us afterward, "I want to be baptized. What do I need to do, and when can I?" WHAT?! I was in total shock and stumbled to form words. We had a lesson with him and Bishop, who checked to make sure Junior was here legally, that he wanted to be baptized for the right reasons (not just take the Church's auto sufficiency and English courses), was legally married, etc. Junior had read the whole Restoration pamphlet in preparation for the cita and had several questions & doubts, especially about a living prophet...I really have no idea where all this is going to go. He came to church again yesterday and has a baptism date for January 7th; please pray for him to have an open mind and to be able to recognize the impressions of the Spirit.
In the Dominican Republic, half of the people believe that God and Christ are the same person, and the other half believe that they are separate beings. Many also believe that God is only a spirit. This week, I've been feeling very grateful for the conocimiento (one of my favorite Spanish words, which means "knowledge") that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ is our brother, perfect example, and Savior. They have two separate, physical, glorified bodies of flesh and bone. They, along with the Holy Ghost, are one in purpose: "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). Only through Christ can we be cleansed from our sins, return to our Heavenly Father's presence, and have everlasting life. I love this scripture about Him in Alma 5:48:
"I say unto you, that I know of myself that whatsoever I shall say unto you, concerning that which is to come, is true; and I say unto you, that I know that Jesus Christ shall come, yea, the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, mercy, and truth. And behold, it is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name."
Grateful to be His representative,