Mis Seres Queridos
Another transfer has come and gone, can you believe that? I can't! This last week was so amazing! First of all, we had transfer calls on Saturday and I was basically a nervous wreck all day because I REALLY didn't want to get transferred from my area! We are going to be baptizing 6 people in April, and possibly 4 more if this one family we have been teaching decides to take the plunge ;) On Saturday a bunch of us missionaries all met up to go over the transfer paper with the zone leaders and once we got there Elder Astin handed me the paper and said, "Better start packing your bags Hermana Taets." When he said that I just yelled, "Are you serious?!!!!!" and grabbed the paper. I should have known that Elder Astin would lie to me, he is always teasing me, but I am staying in Fairbanks with Hermana Blanco this transfer, woo hoo! This will also be Hermana Blanco's last transfer because she goes home on May 5th, so I will get to "kill her", meaning I will be her last companion in the mission. I am pretty stoked to inherit all her stuff haha.
The best thing that happened last week was all of our lessons with the Patino family. We usually teach them about 4 times a week, and each lesson was so good. On Tuesday we taught about Repentance and committed them all the be baptized on April 11th, and only Juan Carlos, the 29 year old son, said yes. I almost cried. He has come so far since we first met them! He had to stop drinking, but has been clean for like a month, and has just changed so much and is so happy. He has two little daughters, and his 9 year old daughter will be baptized as well. Adela and Carlos, Juan Carlos' parents, said they would have to talk about it. So, we went over there on Thursday, Adela made the most delicious enchiladas btw, and when we asked them about being baptized on the 11th they said they would! Woo Hoo! They were so excited to tell us haha and they have been asking us all sorts of great questions lately about baptism and they want us to take them to see the temple and to go buy scriptures and a hymn book. Man, they are such an amazing family! I have been so blessed to have been able to find and teach them and watch this miracle conversion take place in their home. When we taught them on Saturday they brought a friend over and were teaching him and were telling me that the church is true and they were going to help him find that out for himself. I felt like a proud parent to see them teaching their friend and being missionaries before they even get baptized. I am so excited for their baptisms! It will pretty much be the best day ever! I love the Patinos so much, I am pretty sure they are my "Mexican family" because Adela wants me to come back after the mission so she can teach me how to cook Mexican food, and Carlos said that I have to bring my husband over to meet him and get his approval before I get married haha. He said I can marry a Hispanic is I want, but to be careful because a lot of them are all "borachos" (drunks) hahaha.
I love the work I am doing here in this area. We are finding so many people who have been prepared to listen to our message and prepare to be baptized. We knocked into this woman in Jaunary, named Sara, and she said we could come by some other time in the future. Last week we were in her neighborhood so we stopped by and she let us in and was just the sweetest lady. She wanted us to come back and so we taught her and her husband last night. Her husband has a really hard time speaking, I think he had a stroke or something, but the lesson was so good! They both are devout Catholics, so Sara was saying it is hard to think that they could have been wrong for all this years but she feels something when we come over to teach and so she want to keep learning and wants to know if it is true. We asked Jose, the husband to say the prayer, and as he prayed he just started bawling. I have never seen a grown man cry like that. He was praying for God to keep him strength and to help him to speak and for help in this hard time in his life. After he prayed we said we would be back this week to bring them each a copy of the Book of Mormon and Jose got really excited and pulled out two english copies of the Book of Mormon from his desk. He said he has had them for years, someone left them there, but he couldn't understand them because they were in english! He was really excited to finally have a Book of Mormon in spanish. Can you believe that? Jose and Sara are so amazing, and I feel like we found them at the perfect moment in their lives for them to be able to receive us and be taught. I cannot believe how blessed my companion and I are! What a privelage it is to be able to teach and help people to know of the love that our Heavenly Father has for each of His children.
I love all of you and am grateful for all of your love and support.