Hey, world! Don’t think I'm missing you like a drooly mess, because guess what I just found out! That's right, there's a store here in my area that sells both peanut butter and Dr Pepper! I haven’t bought it yet, but I don’t think it will make me trunky. Just to be safe, I won’t eat or drink any of that while reading the dating section of "For the Strength of Youth." I don’t even know why I have that kind of poison in my room.
And hey, say hi back to Newby Dooby Doo [Amie Newberry, a wonderful creative writing teacher that Davi and Dalton both had]. (Not to be confused with my companion, Rubi Dooby Doo.) She's the best.
And oh boy! Ok, this Saturday, we had Joel's baptism. He's nine years old and is the son of Ana, a lady that we helped reactivate. During the baptismal service of her son, we asked her if she would like to bear her testimony, to which she accepted. She told everyone with tears in her eyes that her life has changed in these past few weeks, even though she had been baptized years back. She mentioned how she feels a peace in her life and her home that she hadn’t felt for a long time and that she's here to stay this time.
After that experience the same day, we went over to Javier, the 19-year-old that got baptized the previous week. After teaching the Plan of Salvation to him again, I asked him the question that might be my favorite question to ask at this point: "So, how do you feel now compared to before your baptism?" It was almost as though he had just realized right in that moment when he said with a smile and a sigh: "A lot better."
What topped that day off for me was in the night, when we had a Family Home Evening with our pensionist's family [pensionist means the person who does their cooking and laundry] and her less-acitve cousin named Jose Luis, along with his nonmember wife Rosa. After watching a video with them, I felt the need to explain to the two of them the experiences we had earlier that day with Javier and Ana, to show that the gospel changes lives almost without us realizing it, and that this change can happen more than once. We challenged them to read the Book of Mormon, and then Jose Luis stopped us and started to cry. He couldn’t stop crying. I cried with him when he said that he misses this, that he has never doubted that this is true, that he wants his family to be eternal and that he knows that his four-year-old daughter needs this foundation in her life, the foundation that he sees in the daughter of our pensionist, Mireya. He even told us that the moment Mireya called him to invite him, he had a feeling overwhelm him to where he knew that that night would be a turning point in his life. He promised that he will come back to the church and that he's willing to help Rosa know that it's true, too. I can’t fully describe how I felt there. It was one of the strongest feelings I've had, even in this country.
Anyway, we're doing well. The ward here is getting excited to do missionary work, and I'm really glad that the work is doing the same over there. I'm excited to just be able to jump on the already moving train when I get back.
Love you all. No, but really!
[PS - Last week I made the incorrect assumption about why Dalton's email was titled "Working the Pedro Beltran." As you can see on the plaque in the photo here, the name of his barrio, or neighborhood, is Pedro Beltran. So he was just talking about working that neighborhood.]