This will probably be a short email since I wrote back on Wednesday because of all the things that went down. My headaches have been under control lately and I have been able to function. That was good because it was a "Smile Back" kinda week. I made it through this week and that is all that matters. So rewind to Tuesday..
After we tried emailing at the stake center, I ran off to the urgent care to get checked out. I was feeling like crud and that was the last straw. The mission nurse gave me the okay so I went ahead and saw the urgent care doctor. He was kind of a dweeb when he was diagnosing me because I thought I had a migraine but I didn't and he mocked me for not knowing the difference. That kind of put me in a mood but I got over it. I was diagnosed with bad tension headaches and allergies (GO FIGURE!). He prescribed me with some allergy stuff and some pain medicine to help kick the headaches. We ended up teaching Aaron R**** that night too so it was an okay night. We got our OYMs earlier and so we called it a night after we saw Aaron.
Wednesday we went and finished emailing and saw a referral with one of our Bishop's sons. It was their next-door neighbor. The only problem was that the wife didn't speak any English. Good thing that Nathan M**** could speak it! He basically taught the whole lesson and did the blessing on the home for them. We taught a little bit but there was such a language barrier that Nathan had to teach the entire time. They are semi-interested so we are going to send the Spanish missionaries over to them so hopefully there will be some success in there. It was convenient to teach that lesson because we ran right off to go teach JayR. We taught the big three commandments: Chasity, Word of Wisdom, and Tithing. He understand it all and is basically living the standards already so we just need to get baptized! He is close though, he said he was coming to Ross' baptism so that will hopefully be the turning point. That night was super crazy because we had so much to do and there was only two of us. There was a move that was dropped on us and to go help set up for our dinner's son's birthday party. Luckily some of them fell through but it was stressful. We had to run to dinner and then go to the Cole's home and teach Ross. Our dinner was... Interesting. It was at a recent convert's house and it was the birthday party of her son. One of our members showed up in his blazer and handed out five copies of the Book of Mormon! It was pretty cool and we got a few referrals that we sent in. After the party, we ran to our lesson with Ross and we got him ready and finalized things for his baptism. He is such a funny guy, he thinks I am the strongest guy he has even met haha. It is super funny. He is ready though and is excited to get into the waters of baptism.
This Fourth of July didn't compare to the one I had in Beaumont a year ago but it was still awesome. Our ward and Fruitvale ward did a pancake breakfast together for the Fourth. It was pretty fun, I hung out with Elders Feist and Wood with Hawkins. There were a lot of people there and it was a good time. People were throwing a football around and Feist mentioned we should go get his gloves and go throw so we jumped in my car and we went and got them. It felt so good to throw but man is it hard to throw in pros! I got all sweaty and nasty but it was all worth it. The only bad thing was that I ripped my favorite pants... So I gotta sew them up and get them back in working order.
Hawkins had a district leader training to go to in Riverside so I got to hang with Baltazar and Franson all morning. They came over and we had breakfast and tried to study but that didn't happen... But we did get some work done that morning so it all worked out. We ran off to the K*** home to teach Stevie. In order to teach the Restoration I needed to think up of an object lesson to teach her with so I grabbed my Rubik’s cube to illustrate the Restoration. After the lesson, she ran off to find her cube so I solve it for her haha. Learning how to do that cube has really paid off here in the mission. Our dinner was freaking awesome. We had dinner with the S*****’s and I played on the trampoline for an hour with his boys. I seriously loved every minute of it, I miss that a lot. Plus, it was fun to see their two-year old son run around and be a baby. On top of that, we had ribs so that was the icing on the cake. Our lesson was the Restoration lesson with the Rubik’s cube as the object lesson. We committed them to OYM a friend and share the gospel with them. Overall, it was an awesome night and a much needed one. It makes me excited to one day be a father. I could care less about everything else, as long as I have my wife and kids I will be the happiest man alive.
On Saturday, we weekly planned and part of that was cleaning the car for zone conference on Tuesday because it won't get done on Monday so we did it that morning. Ashley D*** finally got baptized and the best part was that her father did it! It was awesome. Her baptism went smoothly, it was Ross' that we had some trouble. I love my ward mission leader but sometimes he has senior moments and we don't communicate well. We were supposed to have Ross' baptism that morning but we changed it to Sunday afternoon but he was under the impression that it was that morning. Frustrating but we got through it. Our dinner was with the N****'s and JayR. It was super awesome because I love that family. The only one I really connect with is Brother N***** but that's okay. We had burgers and then s'mores! We sat outside, ate s'mores and told stories and talked. It was such a fun night with them. We taught the girls and JayR about the Restoration using the Rubik’s cube again. Yeah! I love that cube of mine haha. It was a good ending to a "Smile Back" day.
Sunday was the big day for Ross and boy was it interesting. Our meetings went well and we got the ward excited about Ross' baptism. It was announced over the pulpit and everything. When Ross walked into the chapel and saw me, he gave a knight’s salute. It was pretty funny to see. He even got up to bear his testimony the day of his baptism in front of everyone! I got a little nervous but it went well. He is truly converted and that is awesome to see. I got up and told my story of baptizing Brenden. Our Gospel Principles class was about repentance. We got the font filled and I got to baptize him. We seriously FILLED the whole entire primary room! It was legit to see. Best part though was that JayR was there. I had a talk with his wife before third hour and so hopefully this will be the turning point. The talks were awesome at the baptism and the baptism itself was awesome. I went into the water with him and I baptized him. When he came up out of the water, he gasped for breath like he was literally born again and he gave me a huge hug in the font. It sure was a memorable baptism. After the baptism, we ran off to Brother C***'s house to get him all set up in using his computer to send things in to the stake. Bless his heart but he is so computer illiterate that he needs a lot of help. We got him squared away and ran off to dinner. That dinner was interesting because we were surrounded by young married couples. Trunky much? Haha nah but it was a fun dinner. Nathan M**** was there because he is engaged to one of the daughters in the family. Overall, it was an interesting week but it was a smile back week.
But overall, I am doing okay. Working as hard as I possibly can to get the work moving forward here. I want to end by sharing my testimony with you two. I know this is the Lord's work and I love doing it. I am grateful for trials; if we didn't have them then how could we grow? We wouldn't. This is the restored gospel and the Church that Christ set up in the primitive days. Most importantly though, I know that my Savior loves me. He knows me and He shed great drops of blood for me. I know I have a Father in Heaven that loves me so much. I love you two and everyone I serve here in California. I am super excited to go to the temple with Vic tomorrow! He is even coming to our zone conference so that will be fun to get to see him all day. I love y’all and I will talk to y’all soon.