This week is going to be crazy busy and stressful! We have tons going on. We have a wedding for two of our investigators on Friday who are getting baptized Saturday. After their wedding we have to go up to the mountains with them because they are having a party with their family and want us to meet them. After that Elder Rodriguez and I have to take a bunch of our investigators to a young adult fireside where we will be giving talks. After is a dance for the youth. Then on Saturday we have our baptisms finally!! I'm super stoked! I am baptizing a young adult named Ruth who is super awesome and really has a great understanding and faith for the gospel. It is always a blast teaching her. Elder Rodriguez is baptizing Maritza, the lady getting married on Friday, and a friend of her husband will be baptizing her husband, Orlando. After the baptisms there is going to be a ward party at the church for Orlando and Maritza's wedding. Then after that we are all going to the stake center for a stake activity! So there is a lot to look forward to, a lot going on. I'm going to be exhausted. But I'm super excited and can't wait for my first baptisms! I am super blessed to have so much going on. I would much rather be exhausted and stressed than rested and having plenty of time because nothing is going on.
This past week we also set 4 more baptism dates! We have a few other investigators who are well on their way to baptism as well! We unfortunately have to stop teaching one of our super good, progressing investigators because her pastor told her she can't meet or talk with us anymore. Which I think is totally dumb and hypocritical. What is wrong about learning about other religions? Like, that helps you have a better understanding of other beliefs and your beliefs. It helps you realize how your church is different and why you believe one way or another. I guess the pastor is just scared of two 19 year olds ;)
On Friday we took one of our less active young women to an activity for the young women at the church. It was a theme of a beauty pageant so they all wore dresses and had crowns. (You could say it wasn't the funniest thing to sit through as a guy...) One by one they all got up and gave small talks about a subject in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. Betania, our less active, was going last, so Elder Rodriguez and I and two other Elders planned to cheer for her super loud when she got up to give her talk. Usually it is just silent and no one cheers because you're not supposed to. So we were all super excited and wanted her to feel way special and cool so we were all getting ready. As we sat waiting in excitement, jittery and ready to cheer super loud, the moment finally came. Right when she stood up was when we were supposed to cheer. The announcer called her name, "Betania." she stood up and, "Yeah Betania!!" I yelled. With a bright smile on my face and clapping, I realized I was the ONLY one that cheered! All eyes in the room looked back and stared at the crazy white American boy in the back, aka me. I slowly stopped clapping and felt my face turn tomato red. Some people laughed, others just turned back around probably thinking, "Crazy white boy." Fortunately Dominicans do stuff like that all the time and it wasn't out of the norm really so they didn't think much of it. I turned to the other elders and punched them all in the arm and asked why the heck they just made me look like a fool! They said they all chickened out last second. Awesome. Haha. I just laughed and thanked myself for being crazy like that anyway so I wasn't that embarrassed. So that was a funny little experience haha.
I had a dream that I saw Trent Reilly holding an Argentinian flag and there were a bunch of people congratulating him, so I am taking that as revelation! I'm calling Argentina for him! So Trent, get ready and learn Spanish because that's where you're going! :D
Super Excited for this upcoming, crazy week! I'm super excited for this work and the success I have been having! Thanks for all the love and prayers. And Happy Thanksgiving! As I probably eat rice and salami you will all be getting fat on turkey, mashed potatoes, and everything else that is making my mouth water as I write this! So be thankful for that and stuff yourselves a little more for me!
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for how blessed I have been throughout my life and that I have been blessed to have had such a strong testimony for so long. I am thankful for the opportunity every day to share this amazing gospel with others. I am thankful I have working arms and legs so that I can help others and serve others rather than needing others to help and serve me. There is simply not enough time for me to write all that I am thankful for. But I leave you all with this challenge, every night before you go to bed, write or at least think of 5 thinks that you are thankful for that day. It really helps you realize the blessings and the good of that day, even if it was a terrible day.
Happy Thanksgiving! Be happy and stay thankful, because it could always be worse!