Many of you have asked if I had the chance to catch a bite of turkey. The answer is yes. I definitely ate more than a few bites.
I was glad to see your Thanksgiving pictures. It sounds like you had a blast on Thursday. Our Thanksgiving was pretty exciting too. Thursday morning we picked up Elder Rodriguez. You wouldn't believe how much work we are able to accomplish with three. Training Elder Rodriguez is very different from the last time I trained. Since last Christmas, the mission department has introduced a special training program that outlines almost everyday of companionship study. New missionaries do not learn the Preach My Gospel lessons in the MTC. Instead, they learn how to identify concerns and teach to the needs of investigators. This means that we are giving Elder Rodriguez his first exposure to the lessons.
We anticipated a slow week with Thanksgiving, but were surprised by the amount of work that we had.
To give you a little background on Elder Rodriguez.... Elder Rodriguez submitted his papers from Ensenada, Mexico so he was able to submit at age 18. He doesn't turn 19 until April. He went to middle school and high school in San Diego where his parents live. His dad is currently serving as a branch president in San Diego. He spent the month before his mission with his grandparents in Ensendada. Much of his time growing up was spent split between Ensenada and San Diego so he speaks both Spanish and English. We are really glad to have him. The members love talking about Mexico with him. There is a certain level of camaraderie that only "paisanos" can have.
Today Elder Rodriguez got his first chance to invite someone to be baptized. I realize I still have the "greeny fire." I remember my first week in Redwood City and how scared I was to invite someone to be baptized in my broken Spanish. He is eager and anxious to teach. The investigator we taught, Lucia, is progressing very well. We are hoping to have a baptism by the end of the year. She asks the "golden" questions.
While teaching her the Plan of Salvation, she commented that it all seemed familiar. As if she had heard this all before, but she didn't know where. It is really cool to hear that when we teach people. Nothing we teach is new or different. The Spirit reminds people of truths that they once knew, but have forgotten.
I love you all and am anxious to open your packages and letters (and see you soon, but I don't like to talk about going home).