I had an interchange this week with Elder Nick Larsen, as we were conversing about BYU it came out that he knows Marcy Badham--small world! So, a big hi to cousin Marcy from Elder Larsen and Elder Ray.
As promised, this week I want to write a little bit more about the people I have met here in La Serena. During this same interchange, I met a recent convert named E. She was baptized just a few months ago, and recently went through a separation with her husband of several years (he is also a recent convert, and thankfully neither of them has weakened their faith because of the separation. If anything, they are stronger now than they were before). She told us that, every Sunday at 5:50 or 6:00 in the morning, she wakes up and cannot get back to sleep because of the simple anticipation and excitement to go to church that day. What a great habit, and what great faith!
Back in our ward, we went by this week to meet the Y family. R Y, the mom, came back to church on her own about a year ago. Since then her two older children and three nieces and nephews have also been baptized. We were sharing with these youth (ages 11-16) when, suddenly, a few neighborhood friends dropped by. Then, one by one, the fathers of the other children came in, then the grandpa of all of them, then the older sister who still hasn´t been baptized. We started the lesson teaching 5 people, and ended it teaching about 12! It was a lot of fun, and I hope that this family continues coming unto God as they have been up to this point.
Two sisters, las Hermanas M, are leaving tomorrow for their respective missions in Colombia and Ecuador. They gave really amazing talks on Sunday, and begged the ward to help their father (a recent convert) and their sister (a less active member) so that, when they get back from their missions, they can be sealed together as a family. What a beautiful experience.
One family that I really enjoy is the R family. They are one of the seven less-active families that the ward is focusing in on right now, so we went by to meet them and see how we could help them. Everybody in the family is a member, but only one of the four is completely active, and one more is slightly active. We watched a really old video about the plan of salvation with them, and talked a little bit about their personal plan. They decided that they need to get back to church, I´m excited to keep helping them (the movie we watched was called "On the Way Home," I first saw it here on my mission. It´s quite excellent for anybody that wants to look it up.)
We are currently helping a sister named P to get ready for baptism. She has been listening to the missionaries, and going to the Relief Society activities, for three years, but hasn´t been able to be baptized because she lives with a man she is not married to. But, when we started talking to her (and her five year old daughter A, who is a ton of fun), she decided that she is going to move out of the house until her boyfriend decides to propose to her. More news as the plot develops.
Viviendo el sueño,
Elder Jason Ray