June 30, 2009
This last week has been very exciting with lots that happened. First, Francisco was baptized!!! And then confirmed on Sunday. We worked extra hard to get this baptism to go through. We had to have an interview by President Jubitz, which went very well. Then we ended up having to change the time of the baptism on short notice. Which means we had to call every single member, but it was worth it. I think it got more people to come as well. I used the awesome baptismal template that I made with Sister Matson for the program agenda thing. It looked really great. Thanks Sister Matson! The day of the baptism was pretty hectic as well. Elder Tracy and I got there really early to set everything up. It turned out that there was a baptism right before ours so everything was already done, meaning chairs and the font being filled. The stressful part was making sure that everybody that needed to be there was there. Including Francisco, one of the branch presidency, the speakers, and the music stuff. It was a relief when the last person got there and we could start. The whole baptism went perfectly. The two speakers were Arturo and Toni, both of which are recent converts. They both did a great job. Then Francisco and I went down into the water and there was a really peaceful feeling. It was an amazingly beautiful experience to have seen Francisco make it to that point. I could see a stronger light in his eyes than I've ever seen before. Even in just the last few days he is such a different person. He is so much happier even with everything chaotic around him. After the baptism Hermano Garcia talked a little bit and invited Francisco to go up in the front. He wanted to point out all of the people that came to his baptism and that they were his friends and family. This touched Francisco a lot and he expressed how grateful he was with tears in his eyes. He could barely get the words to come out. It was one of the more spiritual experiences I've had on my mission.
The following day at church Elder Tracy performed the confirmation. He did great especially since it was his first time. It was once again the same experience that I felt during the baptism. Francisco was so ready for it. And he was again very emotional like at the baptism.
Well, now the rest of the week. For transfers Elder Tracy is going to be leaving after 7 and a half months in Vancouver. He's going to Walla Walla. Clear on the other side of the mission. He'll be senior companion with Elder Malar; I think that's how you spell it. He came out with Elder Blomquist.
And I will be staying here with my new companion, Elder Trevor Jones. I don't really know him but I've heard lots of good things about him. I'm also going to be the District Leader this transfer so I have some more learning and growing ahead of me.
Birthday has been great. I made the executive decision to celebrate my birthday today so Elder Tracy could be here. We have to be at the transfer site tomorrow morning at 7:30. Which wouldn't give us much time tomorrow.
To answer a few more of your questions; I don't think I'll need any more scriptures. I still have the one pair. I'm not expecting another baptism until towards the end of the transfer.
I got all three packages and a bunch of letters. Including the one from Amy, Thanks Amy.
Marta and Ruben. I'll give you a better update on them next week. We haven't made much progress yet being wrapped up in other stuff. Hopefully we'll get Marta to church this next Sunday to talk to President Ross and make some progress with her divorce.
I love you family,
Elder Ben Arnold