Great to hear from you all back home. I am glad that summer is going well! This week we were SUPER busy. We had a zone conference on Tuesday (actually i wrote home Wednesday so I may have mentioned that already...) that, while touching on a lot of topics, had a great focus on obedience for no reason. In other words, obedience because we've made a covenant to be obedient, not obedience because we desire some blessing or obedience for fear of a curse. I felt affected by it. President and Sister Smith both speak Spanish, so they taught their discussion together. It was a great example of teaching by the Spirit and in unity as companions.
Our miracle this week started Sunday. We met the younger sister of two active members whose name is B*****. We found out from our branch president that she had wanted to get baptized over a year ago, but that her mother had denied her permission (she is 14 years old). We decided to give it a shot. We went Wednesday night to talk with her and her older sisters, who all saw B***** being baptized as impossible. After a little while, B***** finally expressed that YES, she did want to be baptized, but that she thought her mother wasn't too hot on the idea. Thursday afternoon we went to talk to her mother, and after talking about the necessity of baptism and the importance of agency, she said that her daughter could be baptized upon receiving a spiritual confirmation that she should do so. Right there with her mother we committed B***** to pray that night and tell her mother in the morning how it all went. (The mother was super nice to us the whole time, I should add.) We showed up Friday afternoon, and B***** was super excited to see us. She said she had already obtained permission from her mother, and Elder W***** (my son and Zone Leader, who I was with on exchanges) did her interview right then and there. We filled out her records and the mom signed them, and B***** passed her interview EVEN THOUGH WE HAD NEVER TAUGHT HER (she had known everything for a long, long time). She was then baptized yesterday (Sunday) afternoon. The Lord really can open and change hearts. I have been able to see it time and time again out here, just as much in my area as in other areas. ESPECIALLY here at the end of my mission.
As far as some of my plans and goals for the next few weeks, I have been trying to work hard on being more sincere in prayer and striving to be more dedicated in my study of the scriptures. I never have had difficulty with desires to study, but I have gotten lazy recently with how effectively I do so. I am reading the Old Testament all the way through, and it is really intriguing (LOTS of death in the Law of Moses, and lots of what would today be cruelty in the era before the coming of Christ--also the Psalms and Proverbs have more doctrinal value than I originally thought). I am also trying really, REALLY hard to not think of home. I really feel happy and content being here in the mission and not having worries, but me being me I am already drifting into trying to plan things out for next month and decide what kinds of things i will be doing and stuff like that. Time will be short before getting to BYU... GAH! Stop that! ;)
I love you all so much! I hope summer continues to go well. My companion and I are SUPER EXCITED for the eclipse, even though we won't get to see it.