Monday, May 18, 2015

Man, what a week. :)

 JULIO GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! wooooooooooo!!! :D It was such a great baptism, too. For those who haven't served a mission yet, you'll learn that the best baptisms always start out looking like they're going to go horribly wrong. No worries, they'll be the most spiritual baptisms ever. His wife got to come!! And his parents, too, they were so angry when he first told them, but they came to his baptism and really seemed to enjoy it!! And when he bore his testimony at the There was so much stuff he hadn't told us, so many miracles all lining up in his life. He bore a bold and powerful testimony to his family. It was just the greatest.

 We were looking through his teaching record. We seriously just taught him 5 lessons. And even then, he already knew everything because he found the baptismal questions and studied them and prayed about them himself. So he had a testimony about everything before we had even taught it. Julio, why are you so cool?!

 He had a really neat comment in the sunday school class yesterday. He said something along the lines of, "For a long time repentance didn't make a lot of sense to me. I"m allowed to be weak, no one is perfect. And God made me that way for a reason, so it must be okay to be that way. But the sisters shared Ether 12:27 with me, which tells us that God gave us weaknesses so that we can learn and grow and become strong through overcoming them. So giving us a weakness is like assigning us a project. I realized that's what repentance was, and why we had to change." That was a really cool thought, and one I really needed to hear. 

 Being imperfect is a crazy adventure, and we're destined to overcome it. The odds are stacked in our favor, all we need is a Savior and a determination to not give up.

 The mortal experience is great fun!

 So fun news....Ramon is no longer couch surfing! Or at least, the place he's at right now is more solid than it's been in a good long while. He still wants to move back into our ward. But guess what?! He's in the ward I served in in Laveen!!! That's a good ward, and they'll take good care of him. C: we got him in contact with the sisters there and they've started working with him again. I've been so worried about him, it's nice to be able to breathe again. He's doing okay, still enjoying the Book of Mormon, still focused on going to the temple one day. That's really how you know they're solid, when their goal isn't just baptism, it's getting to the temple with their family.

 So we've picked up someone new. Or kinda new. I don't think I've written much about her. Her name is Fashe, we'll say. She's from some European contry I can't remember or even pronounce. I want to say Yugoslavakia, but that doesn't exist anymore. Y something slava. Anyway. She doesn't speak a lot of English. she's never taken a class. She came to AMerica and learned by listening and watching TV. So sometimes teaching is hard becasue of the language barrier. Basic words, basic grammar, as simple as you possibly can. But we got her a Croatian Book of Mormon, and she was just the happiest person in the world right then. She was so excited!! We also got her a Restoration pamphlet in Croatian, and that was awesome too. We'd been trying to teach the Restoration, and she wasn't completely understanding it, but she read it in Croatian and prayed about it and she knows it's true and she's so excited to be baptized!!! She's so neat. She was raised Muslim, but discovered Christ when she came to America. She's very close to the Spirit, recieves impressions and promptings all the time, and has told us the whole guiding process of finding her Savior and then finding this church. It's been really fun to work with her!

 I think that's it for's been a really fun week, and I've been so happy being a missionary!! Also, it rained this week :3 always a good thing when it's May and summer still hasn't come! We were getting worried in April there. Should be coming right round this corner, though. 

 Thanks so much for your prayers and support!! I love you all so much!! <3

 -Sister Stratford

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