I have survived another transfer. I am blessed to be with Elder Smoot. We are both excited to have another transfer with the entirety of the Gavilan Branch. We still cover from San Jose to Gilroy. We have a baptism in two weeks and another the week after that. We keep lining them up. The Branch members keep coming up to us to say that they have referrals for us. We are doing everything we can to respond and follow up with our referrals within 24 hours. Sometimes this can be a challenge with the number of lessons that we are teaching, but we still manage to find time.
Last week was a near perfect week in many respects. We were only one key indicator off from having perfect standards of excellence numbers. These are the numbers we report weekly. Standards of excellence is a goal set by President Jackson that is designed to get areas to baptize monthly. It's amazing how consistently areas baptize as these are achieved. The best part about achieving standards of excellence, is that it gives us lots of time to teach. Teaching really helps to build our faith as we see people grow closer to Jesus Christ.
The baptism of Jesus Calderon Huezo was perfect. His son is a counselor in our branch presidency and had been a member for a decade or so. It was a happy day for the entire Cisneros family. We were blessed to hear prayers, talks, and musical numbers from all of the family members. Even his in-laws from Los Angeles came for a visit. Our investigators in attendance were very excited for their own baptisms and expressed their excitement while we were eating refreshments. Jesus was beaming as he came up our of the water. The branch is already looking for ways for him to excercise the Aaronic priesthoo (he received it on Sunday). Because he can't read, they are trying to figure out a way for him to participate in the blessing of the sacrament.
Today's transfer meeting was very interesting. The Tri-Valley zone was split into the Pleasanton and Livermore zones. Also, the mission has done away with Spanish wards that have three companionships. This will allow missionaries to better work with ward councils. It gets a little crowded in ward councils with six missionaries. The large wards will have two companionships. As such, some branches have two companionships. These changes are blessings that will ultimately help missionary work across the mission. I don't know how we managed to go unscathed in the Gavilan Branch. (We are one of the strongest branches in the mission)
I am glad that it is warm back home. Supposedly, Gilroy is the hottest area in the mission. We have yet to see this. We have begun to see posters for the Garlic Festival. We still smell the Garlic every morning.
In response to something Dad mentioned in his letter. I don't want to get transferred. There are other areas in the mission, I have yet to see, but I would much rather stay here where the work is good. I love Gilroy. We have a great relationship with the branch and want to keep it going. I hope to stay here until Christmas.