Melina Bello and I
Great great great big week with tons of miracles. It's the first INTENSE success we've seen in Passaic, which made me happier than I thought I could be.
HOWEVER. First item of business is: OSWALDO AND GUILLERMINA MANZANO GOT MARRIED AND BAPTIZED in Plainfield yesterday. They are MY FAMILY. If you think you are happy, COME on a mission, meet a family, and get them baptized. THEN tell me how you feel. You have no idea. Elder Leon and I taught and baptized O+G's two kids and O's brother, Feliz. We were waiting for G to get a form of identification so they could take out a marriage license, get married, and get baptized. We worked really hard but didn't see a whole lot of success. I then left, Elder Bell came in and with TONS of help from lawyer, Elder Mortensen (senior missionary) they got married yesterday at 5 o'clock and baptized into the kingdom of God at 6. Life is wonderful. Now, let's get back to Passaic, home of ruffians and brigands.
1. Met a Dominican baseball player named Miguel a couple of weeks ago who played for the Diamondbacks in Arizona. He was moving into his new apartment in Passaic, when we passed him and Elder Dahl gave a fist-pump and yelled "Go DIAMONDBACKS!" (he's from Phoenix). The guy stopped and yelled something back to us. We ran back to him and contacted him and started talking to him about a weird mix of baseball/Arizona/the gospel. It worked. We saw him again on Wednesday and found out his sister that lives with him was baptized about 15 years ago in the DR but went less active soon after. He's 22, prays beautifully, loves our message, and accepted a baptismal date for the 1st of September.
2. Elder Packer (Assistant to President Jeppson) came on an exchange with us on Tuesday and we saw all of our investigators that needed an extra push. He's an incredible missionary and it was great to have him with us to see how he worked. We saw Andrea and Juan, taught a powerful lesson about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and then committed them to come to church. They came and they were happy. More progress to come with them.
3. Isbeth Santiago, our investigator from Panama read Mosiah 24 (the chapter we left for homework) and didn't understand it. So instead, she read 1 Nephi chapters 1-14. She LOVES the Book of Mormon and knows it's true. We're planning on setting her with a date for the 25th of August. When we teach her and her twin sister Carmen they act like they're 16. They giggle, make jokes, complain, and talk about how life is hard. We're just there to teach them the gospel and make them feel good about themselves.
4. Our new investigator Carla (Puerto Rican lady) came to the other Elder's baptism on Saturday night. She brought her 6 year old son, Jacob too. They both loved it and Jacob was asking tons of questions about baptism after. After the service, we showed her the chapel and the spirit was super strong. She felt great and said she was coming back, but couldn't make it to church on Sunday. But she's coming next week!
That's the update for this week. The gospel is true. J. Smith was a prophet. I'm eternally grateful for the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the Book of Mormon, for music, food, friends, family, companions.
ps - We wrestled last night in our apartment because our landlord and their family left yesterday for Puerto Rico. They'll be gone for a month. I got a scraped ankle, bashed knee, carpet burns on my elbow. I almost got choked out by a beefy Salvadorian's shoulder. It was great fun but I get really competitive when fighting. PEACE.