Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Many General Authorities

Dear family,

Another week gone. It's sad to realize that the short time on a mission flies by so fast. Elder Cornaby is going home next week. I feel like I just got transferred to the Morgan Hill zone. It goes by so fast that I am just going to claim from now on that I am at 15 months. It will keep me from dealing with the point in my mission when people begin to say "you go home soon." Also, fifteen months is perfect to let them know that I actually know a little bit of Spanish and have a halfway decent chance of being able to communciate a little more than "pass the tortillas, please." Please make it published if you desire, but I will no longer grow old as missionary. 15 months it is.

We are excited to baptize Jose Luis Resendiz this friday. He is very excited. He even introduced us to his wife via telephone. She is very excited that he is getting baptized and wishes she could be here to see it. They are planning on getting sealed once he has enough money to move his entire family from Mexico. It was amazing how the Lord led us to someone as prepared as Jose Luis. We feel like we did nothing. We just invited someone on the street to church and he accepted. His life will be forever different because he accepted a simple invitation.

We had an awesome lesson with Eugenia Rojas. She continues to progress and is excited to see a baptism this weekend. She has accepted all of the major commandments and already feels as if she has been a part of the church her entire life. She was raised in a convent in Mexico and knows that everything we teach is true. She is surprised she never found out more about the church before coming the the United States. We are shooting for a May baptism for her as well.

We have begun to roll out something new I have been using in other areas. Covenant planning is something we are teaching our missionaries so that they can truly find out what the Lord wants them to do to baptize. Simply, it requires missionaries to find out, through prayer, how many people they are supposed to baptize in the upcoming month. They then find out what they must do to receive that blessing. By the time they are finished, they have formed a binding promise with the Lord to know how to baptize in the upcoming month. It is amazing how many times this last week we have received a confirmation that this is exactly what our zone needs. It is something that I have done from time to time in my mission thus far, but have had troubles maintaining. It is hard spiritually, emotionally, and physically but worth it. It will help our missionaries develop a one on one working relationship with the Lord because a covenant has been made.

We are really excited to see all the miracles that are to come in the next few weeks.

The Gavilan Branch continues to grow and improve. We are hovering at just below 100 members in sacrament meeting. With a few more priesthood holders we can become a ward. We were excited to welcome back President DeSalmones, our branch president, from El Salvador where he finalized the adoption of his three year old son David. We had a good time being involved in the surprise party that was help upon their return. The Branch is glad to have three year old David as a part of the primary. The Desalmones are anxious to enter the temple and get sealed to David as well. It really is a blessing to have such strong leaders guiding the work here in the Morgan Hill Stake. There are some changes in the air that make us very excited.

In preparation for these changes we will be having many visits from General Authorities. The weekend of May 20th Elder Clayton and an apostle will tour the mission. The following weekend we will receive special stake training from Elder Hinkley and Elder Allen of the missionary department. I can't say much now, but we are super excited. Elder Cornaby would give his best tie to be able to extend a month.

The work progresses wonderfully. Peace be the journey.


Elder Badger

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