"White tongues hang out, God is good."
This past week at Zone Conference I played the first religious song I've ever written. It actually ended up being a medley of that song (Untitled at the moment) with hymn 163 "Lord Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing" (favorite hymn, go listen to and sing it). I really like the way it turned out and I got lots of good feedback from Elders and Sisters, asking for lyrics, recordings, etc. I'm working on it. 2 weeks ago I laid down my first recording on the tapes the family sent me for Christmas last year. More to come. Some songs are religious, some are not. My goal is, by April, I want to have about 7-8 religious songs recorded, sent to Chris so he can digitize them and put them on CD's, and then distribute them before I'm gone. I realize the power of music like I never have before.
MORE on music: Sister Dunning (senior sister) and myself are in charge of the entire Christmas Fireside in Union City this year. I have been calling and texting like crazy, recruiting missionaries to sing, play, speak, and participate in the program this year. It will be on the 15th of December. 1) I work with our zone, 2) I need to work in my area and keep finding prepared people like the Acosta family (more on them later) and 3) now I have to organize a speech and music program for all the Hispanic members in our mission boundaries. It's going to be awesome. Elder Blanco, Elder Romrell, and I are going to be doing a trio spanish song with guitar and trumpet. We'll see how the composing goes for it. I'll keep you updated.
Anyway, let's move on to the Acosta family. I know I've talked about them before but I just wanted to discuss them a little more: THEY ALL came to church yesterday. One reason why I love church is because it's such a rich environment for revelation and establishing relationships. It can be stressful when you have a family of 6 that come, but it's so worth it when you work through your members and they strive to shepherd your investigators through classes and meetings. I loved watching Hermana Laluz (Dominican gospel principles teacher, returned missionary from 20 years ago) start to fellowship Sofia, talk to her about nursing (they're both studying and in the medical field), and embrace her warmly when the family left after church. ALSO, Jo-Jo is good friends with the Relief Society President's oldest son. They box together and hang out at school. Man, life is good. They loved church and we'll be helping them progress toward baptism in the coming weeks. We had an amazing lesson with them the other day as we read Enos and talked about the importance of praying correctly and striving to better our personal prayers; making them more heartfelt and sincere.
E. Nielsen and I set a goal to speak in spanish whenever we're not in the apartment and it's gone well, so far. It could be better, but we're striving to be more obedient, up our Spanish, and be better examples for the whole zone. We love zone 3.
Christ is our King and Savior. I watched a baptism in darkness the other day and it was still incredibly inspiring and spiritual. A whole family was baptized in one month (De la Cruz family!) and everyone, except for Richard, was baptized in darkness, meaning the light to the baptismal font was burned out. It turned out to be a cool metaphor to me. As those people were baptized, it seemed as if the font literally lit up, especially as they rose from the water. Richard baptized his little sister Sara yesterday and I was close to tears as they embraced in the water after she came up out of the water. The priesthood is real and it is GOD'S power.