Thank you for all the packages, letters and emails that were sent out for my birthday!!! I appreciate all the things that were sent, including that banner.. hahahaha! I didn't get to do to much as far as celebrations go and all that, just work. You know how it is. But it was nice to have also had the time to do something cool for both mine and Elder Johnston's "back-to-back birthdays." So last night Elder Johnston and I had dinner with one of my favorite members, the B________ family- they are from Milan, Italy. So talk about the best way to celebrate, with authentic Italian, Nothing Better!! :) We ate soooo well! Pasta, Chicken, Homemade Italian Bread:) Sis B_______ was also able to embarrass me a little bit by showing everyone that ridiculous picture from facebook that K posted, man do I look cheesy. You know I don't like pics lol.
But one of the things that I was really blessed to do was to have had the opportunity to attend a fireside that was held last night by the stake. Johnston and I were in attendance to translate, but none of the Hispanics showed up to the fireside... We were still able to be a part of the fireside and hear all the talks that were spoken nonetheless. The theme of the fireside was "Conversion unto Christ." Our Stake President, President Holland (Son of Jeffery R Holland) spoke about a time when he was converted in his own way to the Gospel. As for myself reflecting on his talk, it kind of hit me that as a guy (like my Stake President), that grew up in what I'm assuming to be a well Gospel-Oriented household, would ever come to his own way of Conversion. He even made a scriptural reference that I thought to be interesting as well, from John by saying "He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." He later emphasized that last phrase at the end of the scripture that illustrates- "Now I see."
As I reflected, I thought about a time to when I had truly been converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or a specific time to where I realized my own conversion. There have been several small moments, especially throughout the course of my mission. (Some of which I can share and express more when I can tell you them in person). But I do know about the importance of conversion and what it means to every person whether members of the church or a recent converts. Everyone should have their story or moment of how they have come to know of the truth for themselves. Something that I am also in the process of knowing and will continue to learn as well. When was the time or experience when you guys gained/strengthened your testimony or were otherwise "converted" to the Gospel? Just something to think about...
I had a pretty good week as far as the work goes. Elder Johnston and I are cleaning out our ward list by doing everything we can to contact the Hispanic people in the area of Lowell, either by phone, knocking on doors, talking with neighbors, etc. to determine if they are still even living in the area. We don't really work too much with investigators, the primary purpose or our assignment is to form the Spanish Group and bring back those who have fallen away and invite them to return. We have had small miracles this past week doing so. One of which included a lady, N___A____, that was "lost" and hadn't been a part of the church in over 10 years, but we had re-established contact with her because we managed to sneak our way into her apartment complex. Just doing what you gotta do I guess lol.
Everything else is going well. Jazz- Lo siento sobre tu equipo... Nadie pensaba que chile estuviera jugar la manera que jugaron. Todo es la representacion que Chile hizo en la copa. Estoy seguro que hay muchas personas alli que todo villa estan hablando de todo de esa. Espero que todo vaya bien con tigo. Estoy emocionado a recibir su carta en el correo! Gracias Hma!
Dad/K I am sending a separate email later on. Thank you guys for all your love and support! I love you all.
(Pics: Lowell, MA. 6/28 and 6/29 Dinner and Desert)