First off, we dropped by Ernestina and Guillermo's house on tuesday, and we were fortunate enough to find Rosario there as well. We talked for a short while, and when we started teaching them, Ernestina said "well, yeah... when are we getting baptized?" We just about fell out of our chairs! So, we talked a bit, and decided that they had to be baptized on the tenth, because they're going on a trip to Mexico soon. We were shocked! First they drop us, then they get scared around us, and now they're on board again! So, we ran around like chickens with our heads cut off for the entire week, because we had to get everything in line for the baptism. We were fighting the Zone leaders the whole way back from the temple to get them down here to interview them on Thursday, but found a solution by doing a companionship exchange from Thursday through Friday. So they pass the interview with flying colors and Saturday shows up...
And Rosario won't answer her phone all day long! It was super scary, because she's the one who backed out first last time, and Ernestina and Guillermo were wondering what was wrong. We went ahead with the plans anyway, and got everything ready, from the program to the water in the font. While it was filling, we left Mynor to watch it, and we headed back to the apartment to grab some things. We decided to call her one more time, so while Elder Vaca did that, I knelt down and prayed. I just prayed for her to answer the phone, because if she did, everything else would work out. Before I'd finished, she picked up, and the first thing that she said was "I'm on my way, I'm coming!" It was great! So then we show up at the church, everyone's there, and Rosario shows up and tells us she's not going to be baptized. :( Her daughter was still in Bakersfield, and she wanted all three of her children to be there for the baptism. So, we start the program. I gave the talk on baptism, and Elder Vaca Guzman baptized Ernestina and then Guillermo. It was awesome, and the spirit was very, very powerful. After the baptism service was over, guess who showed up? Rosario's daughter! And Rosario felt the spirit so powerfully that after the closing prayer was said, she hopped up and asked to be baptized on the spot. So, we waited around for another hour for the font to fill AGAIN, and though the service was very short, and most of the people had left, Rosario was baptized, and it was the best one of the night. :)
So, Sunday morning they were confirmed by Elder V, and the blessings pronounced upon them were awesome. Guillermo physically shook when Elder Vaca said "Recieve the Holy Ghost!" so strongly that though my hand was on top, I could feel it. It was great, because many lessons before, he'd asked us what it feels like, when you get the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now, it seems he knows! ;) Now, they're all preparing to do baptisms for the dead soon, and go to the temple as a family in a year. Hopefully the Lord will soften Benito, Rosario's husband, and we can teach him and her two daughters.
The temple was awesome! I'm not a huge fan of the L.A. temple's outer design, but the inside is positively georgious. Brother Estill took us, and the only problem was he ran us through sessions like roller-coaster rides. It was still a great trip, and a huge pleasure to go with Elder "Papa Vaca"
Last night, we had dinner with the Savea's, and if I haven't mentioned them before, they are a huge, wonderful samoan family. We always make sure that if we visit, we haven't eaten anything for two meals, because they feed you enough to last for three! Their son, Fusi, was running about in his Iron Man costume, and he's way cool. Fusi's the man! So, the main reason I brought them up in this letter, is that after eating a ton of stuff, I also ate a fish. No, I didn't eat "fish" I ate A FISH. Like, all of it, (Except the gills, you don't eat this fish's gills) and I can now officially say I don't like to eat eyes. I barely got that part down. Either way, just thought I'd report the latest, most gross thing I've eaten out here. Not sure if I'll top that (Knocks on the wooden table!)
This discussion reminds me though; How's Paul doing? I might have met the family of someone who knows him; Elder Mark Estill, who's finishing up his mission in Suva Fiji real soon. He hasn't written me back, so could you find out for me? Thanks a heap in advance!
We've had a miraculous week, we really have. I thought a lot about Brittney this week. I felt bad for not answering your questions and letters, and I promise I'll try harder. I love you a ton, and I want you to remember that, but I'll do better to show it! Keep up the good work, I'll send you a letter really soon. Thanks for all of you guys' love and support, I can't tell you how much we thirst for news from you all.
Also, could you send me more pictures like the one you sent of Danielle? I'd love a recent one each of Mom, Dad, and Brittney at least.
con grande amor;
Elder Matthew Clough