16 February 2015
Happy Valentine's Day! I mean, Presidents' Day... it's hard to feel really patriotic when I'm not living in the United States...
First of all, thank you for the Valentine packages! I got your 24 vintage cards and the box from Mom. I loved reading the cards and opened them over a span of three days, enjoying each individual note. Thank you all for sending me so much love! It felt so good to hear from you and see each of your details in the cards. You helped my energy level get back to "one thousand fourths," as Ian would say. That's the highest level, isn't it? And yes, Julia, there are stray cats in Chile. Jaylen thought they were worse than the dogs when they howled at night or climbed on the roof. Although, the dogs definitely outnumber them.
Let me tell you how I open Mom's packages. We receive mail at district class. I don't want to open everything yet but the 45 minute ride home is too long to wait. So I take out the house key to slice the packing tape as I am waiting on a bench for the micro. I just have to lift the lid and peek because I know that my fairy godmother has created something astonishingly beautiful. I also know that she's praying it will get here on time and I wish I could call her and say thank you, but I can't so I pray that she can relax and know that I am delighted with her beautiful surprise. Thank you Mom! The individual treats I gave to investigators and members. Hermana Santander loves the Valentine treats and the box and the ribbons and the bows. Whoever says that material things can't make you happy has never received a package from my missionary mom.
On Valentine's Day we had an activity with all of the young single adults in the branch. We planned it because there are a lot of investigators and converts who fit into that age group and it was an opportunity for them to get to know others. The Elders taught a lesson, we played games, and ate completos. Elder Gunnell brought the desserts. The brownies were good.
Our investigator's baptism is scheduled for this Sunday!!!! We taught her about baptism and confirmation. When we read 2 Nephi 31:20 she loved it and wanted to mark it "for her talk." "What talk?" we asked. "You have a talk?" "Someday," she said. She is prepared and desires to participate in the church in every way. We had a family home evening with her at a wonderful member's house.
A newly baptized member accompanied us to teach a lesson with our investigator and she shared a story about how before her baptism she heard a literal voice tell her that if she stayed on this path she would be a different person. This sister was called to serve in Relief Society yesterday! I am so happy with this branch.
The second counselor in our branch came with us to teach a less active member we have been teaching. It was a good match. The counselor said just what the man we were teaching needed to hear.
We were able to teach the family with we started teaching again! We taught part of the Plan of Salvation and they accepted a conditional baptismal date for March 15th! They still aren't sure about it but they are willing to investigate more. They didn't come to church yesterday, however because their son was sick. This son had such profound, although not strictly doctrinal, questions, such as how Adam and Eve's children could procreate without mutations. I suppose that mutations evolved over time and that Adam and Eve had very healthy genes.
I love you! Have a happy busy week!
Hermana Eva VanCott