Friends and Family,
To begin this week's email, our story begins Monday evening. In the branch, there is this family that Elder Wilson and I are very close to. The Estrada Family. Hermana Estrada and her kids are members, but her soon to be husband, Jose, is not. He is planning to get married and baptized towards the end of this month. He is really really cool and is practically a member, he just hasn't been able to get baptized for quite some time due to some legal complexities with getting married. Hermana Estrada has been very pregnant my whole time I've been here, and Monday she asked if we could come by and give her a blessing. We stopped by towards the end of the night and talked with the family and somehow made it out of there without giving her a blessing. Later that night we both realized we had somehow forgotten to accomplish what we had originally planned on doing. We thought to ourselves, "Ahh. No worries, we'll just give her the blessing."
The next morning at around, we were at the gym in the church working out when the sister missionaries run in screaming their heads off about how Hermana Estrada is having her baby and how she needs a blessing. Elder Palacios, Elder Wilson, and I all had our own reactions. Elder Wilson got super excited and happy and started heading out the door almost immediately. Elder Palacios was more like, "Hold up, let me change my shoes." I was very confused and just looked around trying to figure out what was happening. Foreshadowing for what our reactions will be like when we become future fathers.
We hurried out of the church and rushed home to put on a shirt and tie and then rushed quickly over to the hospital. We got permission to enter her room to give her a blessing and took some pictures with her to capture the moment. We kept telling her. "Smile!" and her response was "I can't!". I guess that's what having a baby will do to you. We stuck around the hospital and helped her and Hermano Estrada out with anything that they needed, and aboutthe baby was born. Waiting in the hospital felt like a TV show or a movie or something. It was cool, I liked it a lot and learned a TON.
While out tracting in this one trailer park in our area, we ran into a less-active member who attends the English Ward. He had a bunch of really cool swords on the wall and a record player and was a really cool and humble guy. We talked with him and invited him to start coming back to church, and he promised he would! We saw him at the church building yesterday. Goes to show that small and simple invitations can have a huge impact on people's lives.
Conference this weekend was very enlightening. I went into the weekend with three questions in mind, and had all three answered. I'll just share some highlights that I took away from all of the talks.
"A loving God is as close as a prayer away." -Carol F. McConkie
"Boys, be ambitious." -Kazukiko Yamashita
"Whatever the cost of repentance, it is swallowed up in the joy of forgiveness." -Linda S. Reeves
"Service is not something we endure to obtain the Celestial Kingdom, it is the very fiber of eternal life." -Carl B. Cook
"Even the darkest nights shall turn into dawn for the faithful." -Evan A. Schmutz
"The gospel is truly about the one." -K. Brett Nattress
and one final quote (not from General Conference) that I saw in a member's home this week that I really enjoyed.
"Comparison is the thief of joy." -Theodore Roosevelt
Con Mucho Amor,