Wednesday, August 22, 2012

One year Baby!

To the Greatest Family Ever,

I CANT BELIEVE I HAVE A YEAR!!  It really is so crazy.  It has gone so fast.  It still doesn’t seem real that I have a whole year in the mission.  I really feel like I just need to spend this whole hour thanking you all.  Thanks so much for all that you do.  I really couldn’t do it without you all.  I loved reading your emails so much. I loved hearing the story about the trolley in SF. I loved Alex’s talk and I loved hearing a little bit about the Olympics. Thanks for the party that you threw in my honor. The cake looked really delicious and the shirts are way sweet. If my guess is right Dad designed them? You are the best Dad.

I was really blessed this week because it was excellent. I’ll start from the beginning. Mom, I loved your print out and read later letter. To be honest it answered 2 prayers. First mine, and then later Alfredo Chacon! (The man that got baptized Saturday).  Tuesday we were talking about the spirit and he asks the question- “When I started going to church and started talking with the missionaries I felt so happy and I knew I was feeling the spirit so strongly.  Right now I don’t feel that way.  I don’t know why I am not feeling the spirit so strongly.”  I basically just told him word for word what mom told me.  It was so awesome.  When he started going to church he smoked, wasn’t married, didn’t pay tithing and fought with his wife.  He has since made a 180 degree change.  Of course he felt way different at first.  He went from bad to good, as President McKay put it.  I talked about being willfully guided and how the Lord wants us to choose for ourselves.  He wants us to be able to change who we are.  I also added a scripture of my own. D&C 58- The Lord shouldn’t have to tell us everything we need to do.  We need to be anxiously engaged in a good cause.  It was a great lesson.  I love it when the investigador understands 100% what you want them to understand.  So thank you mom!!  You deserve the credit for that one.

I’m not going to lie I still haven’t eaten at McDonalds yet. Tomorrow we should be getting our money for the month so I will probably eat there this weekend.  It’s actually pretty expensive and with the dollar rising they just keep jacking up the prices.  This week we went in to downtown because my comp has been sick for a little bit and had to get his blood tested.  While I was waiting I weighed myself.  If I told you how much I weighed you wouldn’t even believe me. So I won’t even say anything. But I’m not fat, just look at the baptism picture J.

I want to send some pictures really bad of my area but I still haven’t taken any pictures. We never bring our cameras or money just in case. I know that I will be perfectly safe here (not to mention it helps being 6’ 7”) and we don’t go in the poor areas at night. But I’ll take pictures as soon as I can. 

On July 27th I actually did do something to celebrate. Remember the Chacon Family that got baptized this last Saturday, Andrea is the name of the mom.  She had her birthday the 27th. So I bought a dulce de leche chocolate strawberry ice cream cake and we brought it to their house. This is one of the best parts- while I was buying it, guess what was on TV. The opening ceremonies! We were way lucky because it was showing Turkey so we just waited a few minutes and watched USA. I saw Jake and Sean, and Lebron and Durrant. I couldn’t help but feel so much pride for our country.  I really love the USA.  But it was really great to be with the Chacon Family right before they were baptized.

And now the Baptism. It was definitely the best baptism I have had my whole mission. There was tons of support from the ward, which was really great. First the little boy Franco that is 11 was baptized by his uncle.  Alfredo (the dad) and his daughter Violeta asked me to baptize them, so I went next.  Then my comp baptized Andrea last.  It was really special.  I can tell that they will be really strong in the church.  Last night we were talking about how they will get callings in the future and will be able to serve. We asked them what they thought about that. Alfredo opened up his Book of Mormon and turned to Nephi 3:7 - I will Go and Do. He read it with this big smile on his face haha. They really are so special. I feel so blessed to be a part of their conversion. I really was the one that  benefited the most from this experience.

Well guys I still can’t believe I have a year. It has gone FAST, and slow at times. But really fast for the most part. I am excited for the time that I have and for the experience, but I am kind of scared for how fast everyone says this last year will go. I just hope that I can learn everything I need to. I really don’t want it to end. I am being so blessed out here. I really owe it all to you guys. You are the greatest family that somebody could ask for. I hope that you all know how much I love you. Before you know it we will all be together again.

Have an Excellent Week!

Love Riley!