So, we had a really great week; Christmas was especially good stuff, and after that the days just seemed to fall into the normal groove. The highlight of the week was definitely seeing Brother Palmer get baptized! It was really cool to see and affected a lot of the members in a very positive way. They all knew that if he didn't know VERY deeply that this was absolutely true, he'd never be doing it. But he did. Brother Bryan baptized him, and then Sunday we all stood in the circle to confirm him and give him the gift of the Holy Ghost. I can't wait to see how it's affected him over the course of a few days. I'd never realized how much it completely changes people as I have out here. Seeing Rosario, Ernestina, Guillermo, and now Carmen grow so much in a few short weeks has been absolutely miraculous. Another cool thing that happened just last night was when we finally got around to going to the Savea's house again. So, as we were talking, waiting for dinner, Fusi comes into the room, and guess what? Fusi's opened his mouth! He's speaking in both English and Samoan. Sometimes he tries to go back to his hand guestures and babble, but Sister Savea tells him off when he does. It was really awe inspiring to me, to see a blessing like that work so suddenly. I felt very grateful to be part of that.
Another cool experiance that happened this week; Elder Marquez and I were on exchanges, teaching Katrina (Benjamin's wife) in Maricopa. He was sick and couldn't meet with us, but she told us she'd read, and she really loved the plan of Salvation when we taught it. Unfortunately they didn't make it to the baptism, or to church, but she told us she loved that Matthew is really starting to like us. She says we're good people to look up to, which is nice to hear, all things considered. Anyway, after that we decided to go tracting, so we picked a street, walked along it a ways, and then I just walked up to a house and knocked on the door. Inside I could see an older woman and a teenager, and she answered the door. Right after she did, I hear this old man shout "Come in!" A bit perplexed (this is a VERY uncommon occurance. It's never happened to me before.) we walked in and he asked us "who we were with" so we told him we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He then replied "Oh. Well I go to the Church of Christ, so I'm not interested." But I figured we were in there for a reason, so I said "that's fine." and started talking to him anyway. He's got a pretty interesting life; he was an electrician on airplanes; specifically, he helped work on and design? the really cool black triangle bomber, the air force uses all the time. He's got a cool picture of him and a bunch of guys standing in front of one of them, and on the front row is Neal Armstrong. Very cool. At any rate, we taught him and his wife the Gospel of Jesus Christ (article of faith #4) during which she gave us some newspapers from the Church of Christ (interesting stuff, mostly true. closer than a lot of other peoples stuff I've read) so we took the opportunity to give them the Restoration pamphlet, and we taught them the whole restoration. The spirit was incredibly strong.
So that's been our week. Yes, I did get the packages for Christmas, and I'm really very grateful for everything you all do for me. Also, tell Dad I finally realized why he never uses punctuation correctly. Spanish is worse on your punctuation than it is on your spelling, believe it or not. They use question and exclamation marks like parentheses in the middle of the sentence, run on sentences are completely legal and in fact required (I've read paragraphs in Predicad Mi Evangelio that are a single HUGE sentance whereas in Preach My Gospel the same paragraph is composed of 12 different sentences) and so are double negatives. (some passages in the Book of Mormon REALLY confuse spanish speakers because they're not in Double Negative format.) So I've developed sympathy for him.
At any rate, I love you all, and can't wait to hear what you've all been up to. Stay feelin' good!
Elder Matthew David Clough