The first thing that happened was that Alicia passed her interview! We were so happy and excited to see her finally ready. So, much to our surprise and dismay, the VERY NEXT DAY their father decides to go back to Mexico. Alicia had been crying all day when she found out, because she wouldn't be able to be baptized Sunday. So, Thursday morning at 2:00, in spite of everything we said and talked to them about, they hauled off. Of course, we gave them the direction to the church down there, but it's at least a 2 hour drive, so if her parents won't come to church when it's 5 minutes away, how are they going to come down there!? Not to mention how they're going to pay for the gas and provide for their family. It was a really tough morning. The rest of the day was good though. We went to the Christmas devotional with the other zones in Bakersfield. It was really cool to see Elder Jenkins and Elder Vaca Guzman there. The President and everyone gave really great talks, to inspire everyone, and also showed us the PianoGuys Christmas video (the one mom was talking about) It was really great!
So, that was pretty rough, but we still pushed forward for Carmen. We were exceedingly busy, though, and didn't quite take as much time as we might have to visit her. Fortunately she's a trooper, so she fought pretty well. Then, when we asked Rosario to give the talk on the Holy Ghost, she not only accepted it right off (which was a huge surprise for me) she ran by Carmen's to talk to her, which was HUGE because Carmen was struggling in her testimony. She was saying she wasn't sure she'd received an answer that the Book of Mormon is true (which isn't true, she was on FIRE up until the last day before the baptism.) Rosario talked to her a good bit, and then when we passed by we helped her really get excited and in gear. So on Saturday, we got ready to baptize Carmen. It was... something else. So, in most church buildings when you run the water in the font, you've got to run it straight hot, and then it'll run out of hot water and the water will be about right. So we did that. Apparently the building in Taft has an infinite supply of hot water, because when I got in the water to Baptize Carmen it was VERY VERY hot! She couldn't get in, and I couldn't blame her. It was a lot hotter than any hot tub I'd been in. So, we ran the water straight cold, and I jumped in and started stirring the water around for close to 15 minutes. My hands and feet were redder than a stop sign and I was pouring down sweat. Elder Johnson about laughed his head off, as well as the Zone leaders. So then, I forgot part of the Baptism ordinance (comisionado), so it's a good thing Elder Johnson reminded me. When she was baptized and I went to change, though, the spirit was very strong. So, then the next day Elder Johnson gave her the gift of the Holy Ghost. It felt really good, especially since Elder V gave me the mandate to go help her.
Brother Palmer is progressing like a boss. He's a licensed Baptist Minister, but he's received a witness that the Book of Mormon is true, and while he has a hard time with certain ideas in the Gospel, he's told us he's going to learn and work on it. We've taught him everything, he's good with it all, so we're having his interview on Wednesday and on Saturday he'll be baptized by Brother Bryan, his home teacher. He's super excited, underneath his cool, grumpy shell. When his wife bought him a triple combination this weekend, he got all happy and said "Now I've got All of them!" That's real cool, given his total alliance and devotion to the King James.
As for Isaias, we're going to have to wait a bit longer; we haven't had much time to teach him, and he's got a learning disability anyway. So we're going to plan on next week.
Also; while Brother Estill and Sister Estill were coming back from Fiji with their son, Elder Ben Estill; they ran into Paul and Family! It was really cool to talk to them about Paul and his mission and stuff, but they forgot to mention that they know his cousin! So if someone could let Paul know at some point in time that I ran into Elder Estill and family, I'd appreciate it.
So that's pretty much it; We've been having a totally crazy time here in Taft. I'm sorry I haven't had time to send out a lot of letters and mail to people, but I really think about you all a lot. I love you and wish you all a merry Christmas!