WE HAD A BAPTISM!!! Nadege finally decided to allow us to dunk her in the water, and I'm now aware at how much of a miracle that really is. A few weeks ago we were at the point of dropping her as an investigator and continuing to teach another Haitiano in the same house. She wasn't willing to pray to receive a testimony of whether or not the gospel is true. But finally she did it and we ended up dropping the other investigator instead because he wasn't progressing at all. Now she is the cleanest person I know, having an opportunity to start over. Also, it is a miracle that we baptized someone who doesn't speak very much Spanish (and no English) in a situation where almost nobody close speaks French!!! It was a headache at first (not nearly as much as this computer that the Internet is messed up and the space key on the keyboard sticks) but turned out really well in the end.
This gospel really does change lives, I've come to appreciate how much that is true within the last couple of weeks as we've grown closer to baptism with a few of the investigators that we've been teaching. To see these people grow to become strong, faithful members is a real blessing. I'll try to get a quick letter written today and it and a picture from before the baptism sent next Monday.
So I really can't believe that East Texas got 2-3 of snow in Lufkin (and that's the small amount). Everyone here keeps telling me that the noticias are saying that the United States is freezing over and having an unusual winter, but until this and the pictures I can't say that I believed anyone... LOL! We are starting to cool down here a little bit, like once every couple of days is below 30 grados, so it is starting to get a little nicer.
School is getting ready to start back on March 1st so we should start seeing more people to teach in a short little while as everyone has to return from vacations. (Typical Chileans leave for vacations for "1 week" and stay gone for about a month and a half). The numbers for the mission always jump up from February to March as almost everyone comes back and a lot of people start to listen.
Two things that I wrote myself a note so I absolutely didn't forget:
1) SHOUT OUT!!! to Ryah. If it were possible to sing in a letter (or e-mail) I would do it, but I'm pretty sure it won't work... so I'll just shout it as loud as I can. ¡¡¡FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS!!! Sorry I can't tell you Tuesday, but if it makes you feel better you can read this again on Tuesday... LOL. And I'll be thinking about you!
2) Friday morning I officially felt my first temblor (mini-earthquake). It was measured at a 4.0 here in Santiago with the epicenter in Mendoza, Argentina (just 2 hours or so away). It kinda freaked myself y Élder Davenport out a little bit. It is definitely an interesting experience when you are praying quietly and the floor under your knees (on the first floor...keep in mind that the floor is solid brick on a concrete foundation) starts rocking like a few small waves are passing under it. It felt alot like being on a boat that is crossing the wake of another. Definitely not this Texas boy's cup of tea!!! LOL.
So far it looks like we are still on schedule for the baptism with Patricio next Sunday, if all goes well I'll have a picture from his baptism in the letter too. He is definitely a character, pero buenisimo. The only downside with him is that he has a really big interest in deep doctrine and does a good job at dominating the conversation with his experiences with meditation and his questions. Ojalá his mamá will be baptized with him too, we've got to try to guide her to making the decision for herself though. We'll see what happens tonight when we have our Noche de Hogar ("Night of the Home", o sea, Family Home Evening) with them.
Congratulations to Brandon Garcia!!! That is a huge accomplishment! Is Casey still teaching there, I heard he was being transferred to Kansas but I never heard when.
¡¡¡Oye Mamá y Papá!!! Angela told me that you haven't RSVP-ed for the wedding yet. You might want to get on the ball so that she knows for sure. LOL!!! (And that was just a friendly reminder...nothing more).
Mamá: See if you can get Kathy to help you send the picture from your phone to the computer if you and the familia can't figure it our. I'm sure she knows how to do it.
So I think I've already accounted for all of my new experiences that I've had this week. We just finished an activity de zona where we watched the movie about Gordon B. Hinckley and "Mountain of the Lord", about the contruction of the Salt Lake Temple. Then we had churrascos afterwards, yummy!!!
I don't have much time left and I've got to e-mail Angela again. I don't know if Grandma D. got my letter a week or 2 ago but I'll do my best to get another one out next Monday too.
Love you lots and sorry I'm missing all of the fun weather going on in East Texas.
¡Todo mi amor y cariño! ¡Les extraño muchisimo!
-- Élder Todd