I am writing you from a library here in the Hamilton/Fairfield area to tell you that I will staying here for another transfer! That's right, here comes transfer 3 in the Hammy town. And Elder Elbaba is staying too! That means this will be our 5th transfer together! Almost every Spanish missionary is staying in their areas this transfer. Elder Taylor is going home, his last companion is leaving Dayton 2, and Elder Bradford is leaving Dayton 1. And this transfer we're getting our first new Spanish missionary in over a year! Everyone's super excited!
This week was a week of firsts. I met my first real Cuban. I met my first real Nicaraguan. I ate my first pupusa. I had my first apartment check in over a year. (passed with flying colors by the way...) I also learned how to make Mexican cheesecake, had a birthday party for a 69 year-old Dominican lady, and got permission from a less active to call him over and over and over until he woke up and came to church. We gave up when he still didn't answer after 20 or so calls.
I also met with a few less actives who were really suffering. It was very difficult to see them in such stressful situations, but it helped impress upon me that our actions definitely have consequences. Sometimes we can't see it until it happens, but choosing to not obey God's laws always brings misery. We can always trust that we will be the most happy when we follow His commandments.
We had a really good sacrament meeting yesterday. There was a mix up with the program, so there ended up being no speakers prepared, so Presidente Maya changed the theme of the meeting to missionary work and had the 4 Elders, our mission leader and a Priest who recently decided to serve a mission bear our testimonies about missionary work. We also had a full house: 108 people in sacrament meeting! It was packed!
I also had two really great experiences that impressed on me the importance of following the direction of priesthood keys. In the stake that I'm serving in the stake president has asked the missionaries to teach a very specific lesson to all of the members about how to invite others to increase their faith in Christ by the Spirit. The lesson is a little complex, and so we were a bit worried that some of our members wouldn't be able to grasp it very well. But we decided to do what we were told and teach the lesson. We taught it first to a less active Guatemalan man who hadn't been to church in over a year. The Spirit was strong, and it caused him to really think about his goals for his family, and rekindled his desire to come to church. We next taught it to a pair of Colombian sisters who are very active. Partway through the lesson they thought of someone they could invite to the upcoming branch family home evening, and the rest of the lesson we just watched as they came up with idea after idea of things that they could do to help this person they wanted to invite. These experiences helped me realize even more that those who have priesthood keys really do receive guidance from the Lord. If we will pay attention to what our Bishops, Stake Presidents, and other leaders counsel us to do, we will be blessed, even if the things they tell us to do don't make sense to us at the time.
Well, that's about it! Hope all is well out there! Have a great week!