¡Hola Familia Mía!
Well, can't really say that the news at the beginning of the e-mail brightened up my day... But that is okay. It is kind of a bummer that you found out about about Aunt Mardria from Facebook!!! That sucks pretty bad actually, I'm not sure I like that that whole side of the family doesn't really let us know about anything (or talk to us, ó lo que sea).
The good news that followed was definitely good news, hopefully we hear more about that very, very soon!!! I'll throw a comment in another e-mail so that it doesn't give anything away. Also it is good that you might be able to see the Gilmore family pretty soon. It is kind of a bummer that I won't be there, but I guess that's how the cookie crumbles!
I got a Halloween package? If I did, it has not come in yet, but hopefully it will get here soon.
The weather here in Santiago can't figure out at all what it wants to do, a couple of days ago it was very hot outside and today it is cloudy and chilly. I'm thinking the climate here is more "bipolar" than the climate in East Texas, but I might have to have a memory refresher to know for sure! We are going into summer here so with the time change we gained an extra hour of sunlight which we are enjoying a little bit. It finally feels good to be able to work in our sector in a little bit of daylight.
This week has been another crazy busy week. We've been all over the place again this week and yesterday Elder Young and I got a little bit lost way over on the west side of Santiago! It was kinda fun... we knew, in a round about way, how to get home but we had no idea where we were going and our map did not lead us very well at all! But along the way we were able to run into a nice little surprise called A&W Root Beer & Dr. Pepper, both are tastes of home and are great even though I wasn't (nor am I) a huge fanatic of Dr. Pepper. This week we will be making root beer floats to celebrate this recent coming of events/stroke of luck that we've been having.
We are in full swing preparations for the 22 new missionaries coming into the mission on the 8th of November. Almost everyone in the office is running in about a million different directions and I'm always just sitting here peacefully at my computer watching the world pass by... it gets a little boring sometimes. Today, as unfortunate as it is, my letter is not receiving my full and undivided attention as I am preparing for 2 RPE meetings that President May has tomorrow. (Oh what fun!!!). ¡Pero así es a veces!
Also this week has had a couple of interesting turns of events in the sector. Wednesday we were able to teach one of our new investigators, Margarita, again. We taught about the plan of salvation and the importance of following the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a part of that plan. The Spirit was very strong and we felt like we should focus a lot on baptism near the beginning of the lesson... Let's put it this way, before we were done with "life on Earth" Margarita had a baptismal date for the 31st of October, just over a week away. She is well prepared for baptism; we will be having a family home evening with her tonight to work on gaining a little more confidence with her and we will be teaching the rest of the lessons that are necessary for baptism during this next week. It was great to see someone accept a baptismal commitment without any reservation at all, and especially a date so close...
I'm not sure I've ever really explained how our teaching and the missionary lessons work... I'll go ahead and give you a little feel for what we go through to help someone be baptized. When we find someone to teach we normally follow a basic outline of lessons to help prepare our investigators. The lessons are found in Preach My Gospel and are designed as 5 lessons with the basic doctrines of the Gospel as well as the commandments, ancient and modern. It is recommended that we teach all of these lessons, but there is no specific order as there is with the old "discussion" format previously used by the missionaries. The idea of this way of teaching is to help us follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost in the lesson and really focus on the needs of the investigators instead of just teaching the points listed in the manual. Other than the lessons, we focus on helping the people we teach to keep commitments to help them gain a testimony for themselves of this marvellous Gospel. In a nutshell that is what we do, and it is all topped off with a baptismal interview by one of the leaders of the mission (Elder Moore will be doing 2 tonight for the Conchalí 14 Ward), and last but not least the baptismal service itself. Pretty exciting isn't it?!?!?
I've got to admit that I was super excited to get updates on the house, but I'm still kind of disappointed that I haven't gotten new pictures of the house or the family for a while. I feel like that part of the e-mail never gets read or something... And I'm really hoping that y'all can be in the house by Christmas, that would be an awesome Christmas present. I'm also pretty excited that the Rangers are going to the World Series, the Taylors' and Elder Moore were pretty excited as well! And Lufkin!!! Woot!!! (If Elder Moore saw the "Woot" he would probably kill me...)
Well, I think that is about all I've got for this week. Sorry it is a little bit choppy, but I'm kinda having focusing problems today. Love y'all and hope all is well!
-- Élder Todd