Hey Mami, glad to hear the conference went so well and that you are (probably, by now) enjoying Florida!
It's been an interesting week...some things that I can't even tell you about, due to legal issues, as well as for your own sanity ;) it was actually a pretty scary situation, but we called President Kendrick, he helped us out, and everything ended up being fine.
Cristian is really progressing well and we're finally figuring out his true desires and what is going to help him progress and actually LIVE the gospel, instead of just learning about it. He's been opening up to us so much and he's just so much happier now at church and when we come over. It's great. His dad (Alfredo) just moved out of our area (but still in the same ward) so that's sort of a bummer, but we'll still see him at church, so that's good.
Mauricio is still struggling, but not a lot of update there. Luis is doing ok. Still stoked for baptism, but we had to push back his baptismal date a few weeks due to some issues he's been having with some of the commandments. He has great faith though and is getting more and more support from the ward, so that's great. He was able to come to the baptism of Aldolfo (recent convert of the other sisters in the ward) and he just loved it. It was a beautiful baptismal service, definitely the most spiritual I've been too. Aldolfo (a tough, 50 yr. old military man) was weeping and bore very powerful testimony and the sisters taught as well during the service, which really brought the Spirit. Luis wants to be baptized so badly, so I really hope we help him get there soon.
We picked up a lot of new investigators this week, which is great, because we had been dropping quite a few that weren't progressing. We are really focusing on being more sensitive and led by the Spirit (something that is hard for me), but it's going pretty great. There isn't a lot of news on the Gonzalez family, just that they're doing well, but need to be a little more committed. They come to church every once in a while and read if they have time, but they've come a long way from where they started. Did I tell you about how we actually went to Mass with them a few weeks ago? They invited us and we got permission to go, but now the only problem is that they want us to come again, but we can't do that :( it was an interesting experience though. We keep praying that they will continue to come and feel the Spirit at church. Feel free to keep them in your prayers as well.
We had Zone Training this last week and we focused on using the Scriptures more effectively, as well as teaching with unity. As I was studying personally, I came across Alma 31:5, which just reminded me of how powerful testimony and the scriptures can be. That no matter how persuasive we try to be, it is only through the Spirit that they will truly be converted, which they will be able to feel as we use the scriptures effectively and as we bare sincere testimony.
Today we had Zone activity and played whiffle ball, which was pretty fun. I'm not much of a sports person, but I was impressed by the amount of times I hit the ball and played a pretty good pitcher. I guess that short amount of time you put me in softball when I was a kid did me good mama ;) It's the last week of the transfer, so it was fun to get together as a zone. Elder Herrera and I wore matching t-shirts on accident to the activity, which I thought was a kick! But I forgot to snag a picture. Oh well.
Training is hard, even though I have a good companion. It's such an issue of pride for me. I feel like I have to do everything, and then it's hard for me when I don't feel like I'm doing good enough and my companion wishes we did things better. But alas, we're both growing. Things are smoothing out I think, especially as she realizes that it's ok that we're not perfect and that we don't have to be crazy, perfect missionary robots or something, that we're still human and we just have to try our best. Our investigators are great though, and we're receiving lots of blessings.
Hermana Bennett was just thrilled to hear that I was ending my "40-day fast", and that she was finally able to see pictures and hear a little bit about my friends and life back home (something I've been refusing to tell her about since she's been here), so I guess she feels like she now knows me a little better now ;)
Oh, random story before I wrap this up. Last night we were out contacting by a doughnut shop when a man in line starting yelling "Sisters! Sisters! Come pick out a doughnut!" We, of course, were a little confused. We went over and it was the producer/director of those silly Mormon movies (Single's ward, RM, etc.) and he was offering to buy us doughnuts...on a Sunday night. We told him that it was a sweet offer but we didn't feel comfortable because it was the Sabbath. Well, he bought us doughnuts anyway and we took a picture with him, but I don't have my connector with me, so I'll have to send it next week. It was pretty random, and funny.
Well, I love you loads mama. Thanks for writing me! You're the best! Take lots of pictures in Florida! Be safe!
Hermana Alyssa Nicole Escalante