This was a crazy and fun week of missionary work, and I hope all of yours was a great as mine!
On my birthday we were able to go over to the home of some recent converts and eat some cake they baked me. It was a lot of fun and I was able to get to know them and their family a lot better. Both of them are in high school right now and are the only members of their family to have joined the church. Their family is incredibly supportive and amazing people as well so I have high hopes that eventually they will all be ready to be sealed for eternity together, especially with how great of an example these two kids are. They had a family vacation this week and both of the kids left a day later so they would be able to go to church and keep the Sabbath day Holy. They are also very athletic and have already sacrificed certain sporting events to be able to fulfil the promises they made at baptism. If all the members of the church were as consecrated as these two are then missionary work would be so many times more successful!
There were some great things that happened throughout the week in our teaching and training, but I am going to wait on those for now to write about some unusual things that happened on Preparation day. There was an Elder who needed to go to a dental appointment inso we offered to give him and his companions a ride to the train station since they are on bikes. They were running a little behind so we ended up needing to drive them up to Santa Fe ourselves so we decided to spend the rest of the day up there. Since nothing opened until 10 am, and we left at 6am, we spent a good amount of time walking around a beautiful veteran's cemetery and reading the names and dates. It was even more fun when we began seeing headstones that had the Angel on the top instead of a cross, which I had never seen before. Then we spent some time walking though the Meyer Gallery to see my dads artwork. As we were walking we got stopped by a couple homeless guys who wanted to talk, so we spent a few minutes talking about their lives. One of them said he was from even before I said where I was from. How crazy is that?! As we were leaving he told me that he could tell I "will rise to the top in the world". Now I know I will be successful, lol :-)
After spending some time with them we went over to the church building to play some basketball with the rest of the zone. We played for about an hour when one of our elders took an elbow to the face and the skin on his cheek bone split open almost a full inch. We attempted to patch it up with our little first aid kids but eventually gave up and took him over to a doctor in the local ward who had to put 5 stitches in. On the way home from Santa Fe we realized that if we had not missed the train and drove up then he would have had no way to get over to the doctor, or to get back home since it would have made him miss the train going to. It is so amazing to see how the Lord works in our lives!
All Settled Now (from July 11th)
Transfers are always such a crazy time and this one is no exception, but I am finally about settled in. Shortly after leaving Las Cruces I realized I had forgotten my water bottle, camera, Preach My Gospel, and scriptures. When I was packing I decided to leave those things out so that I could carry them onto the transfer van with me and use them on the long trip back to Albuquerque, but then I left them sitting on my desk with no way to go back and get them. I was told that the next time someone would be making the trip there and back was 2 weeks away so I got a new water bottle and started teaching and studying from the missionary Book of Mormons. The Lord blessed me though and a great friend from my old ward was able to bring them from Las Cruces to Rio Rancho to give them to me because she was traveling up to see family. I feel like I am beginning to have life long friends in every part of New Mexico and am so excited to travel back through and see them all again.
Much of this week was spent organizing our zone and area since both Elder Byrd and I are pretty new here, as well as going out and meeting ward members and investigators. In just a couple of days I have already fallen in love with the ward members and those we are teaching and am so excited to spend the next while here, however long that ends up being. I have had so much fun already and am growing close to people that I am sure the Lord has placed me here to serve. One of the families here has 5 hilarious kids ranging from 5 years to 18, and they have friends over all the time about the same age. Every time I am with them I cant help but think of how life was with my family and I just love it. Two of their friends were baptized recently and they seem incredibly solid (with very supportive and strong parents), and now we are teaching another one who is very sincere and fun to teach as well. We will be playing basketball with them today so I can remember just how out of shape I have gotten as a missionary. Each family I meet here just makes me more happy that I have been called to serve them. I have also been able to get to know the member we are living with better and he is a really cool guy as well, and was nice enough to give me an mp3 player loaded with approved music. It seems that with each passing month of my mission I am growing to love it more and more!
I will give more updates later :-) Take care!!