This week is very exciting because this Saturday, two of our investigators are getting married. We have been helping plan for this wedding and it has reminded me a lot of when our family planned for Rachel's and Rebecca's weddings. These two people have become my family, their troubles are my troubles and their happiness is my happiness and I cannot wait to see them married this Saturday.
Besides preparing for the wedding, we have 4 baptisms on Sunday morning! One of them is Karlita, the woman who is getting married on Saturday. Her boyfriend still isn't ready to be baptized but he is preparing for a later date. Another is Carlitos, the 12 year old boy who prayed with us in the lesson and finally decided to be baptized. His date was originally set for the 22 but when he found out that we have transfers the week after, he moved his date up so that he can pass the sacrament to us. The third is Esna, the single mother of the two teenage children. We are still teaching her children and hope that they will join her in the near future. And the fourth is a man named Normando Smith. My companion is convinced that this Latino man is the direct great-grandchild of Joseph Smith, because it is the first person she has ever met with the last name of "Smith". She still doesn't believe me that Smith is probably the most popular last name in the United States and every time we meet with Normando, she asks if he has had the chance to look up his genealogy haha.
Every day, I learn so much and my views of the world have completely changed. This last week, my comp was telling me that there is an area in our mission that "has houses like the houses in the United States". When I questioned what she thought a house in the U.S. is like, she responded, "A house with carpet. The first time I saw carpet was when I was 14 years old." Little moments like this create a little pit in my stomach when I realize how much I have taken my life for granted. I am so incredibly lucky, and so incredibly blind that it has taken my so long to really realize that.
I am really happy here and I am so lucky to have an opportunity to be teaching people about Christ and inviting them to change their lives to a life with a better outlook. A recent convert told me last week, "Before my baptism, I had a lot of problems. And after my baptism, I still had the same problems because they didn't change, but my view has changed. I can be happier in spite of my problems because I have a new life." I know that we have a Savior who suffered for us, so that we can have the opportunity to change our lives by changing our choices, which brings a change of views. I love my mission and I am so happy to be sharing such a beautiful message with the people here.