Another week down, another week closer to freezing! I am so excited to come home!!!!! Now let me explain myself. I can't wait to see all of you! I miss all of you a ton and knowing that I am close to seeing everyone makes me excited!!! But I am not "trunky," I am still 100% focused on the work. I have things that I need to accomplish before I can finish this mission so I am working hard so that when the time comes I can return home instead of having to extend and miss the 7 day overlap. That would not be good. I don't think that will be a problem though so Mom, you can stop holding your breath now! :)
That is exciting news about Jonathan getting his project approved and underway. If it's not all finished by the time I get home you can count me in for long hard hours of heavy labor! Ill even drag my feet to make the hours longer ;) I love projects like that so good choice Jonathan. I am guessing you will try to bust it out and get it done before the cold comes in. Which from the sounds of it has already started to happen for you all. If if helps you feel any better the weather out here is still perfect! I cant complain about a thing! I know we are in a drought and all but I am really enjoying all this sunny dry weather. Rain is a very inconvenient type of weather for missionaries! I don't know how i am supposed to do the whole adjustment coming home. Adjusting here was easy. I would do it over and over and over again!
Before we go any further I want to tell you all about Angelo's Baptism!!!! It was amazing! Everything came together perfectly! It all started Friday with making the program for his baptism. Our ward mission leader would usually do it but he had just moved to Florida and the new one wasn't called until yesterday! So we were all on our own. I personally hate it when the Baptism programs look lame because they are just on a plain white piece of paper with words, so I decided to take it up a level with these programs. I knew I had missionary budget issues so I had to be conservative. We went to OfficeMax because I decided the thing that makes a good program is the paper it is printed on! We found some sweet metallic silver paper for just $5! It was on sale. I bought it and then headed over to the church to use a computer to start typing up the program. 30 minutes later the programs were printing and then I was cutting them and then, BAM! The best programs for a Baptism ever, had been made. Ill have to send a picture so you can all enjoy them as much as I do. Lots of people mentioned at the baptism that its little things like these programs that make a Baptism special for someone. Our mission presidents wife said, "the programs look like a wedding invitation, and that's a good thing!" Over all the set up went smoothly and before we knew it the time of 10:00am had arrived on Saturday morning. Nobody was there besides Angelo and us... We figured singles ward/mormon standard time. We gave it ten minutes and the room was packed. Including a few of Angelo's non-member friends and his family! The Baptism went smoothly and everyone really had a great time. There was a simple talk given on baptism and the Holy Ghost and then Angelo was Baptized! We shared a video of Jesus being Baptized while he was changing and we had the opportunity to share our testimonies about the reality of Our Living Savior! The spirit was strong and everyone had water falling out of their eyes. We then sang There is Sunshine in My Soul Today to fill the rest of the time before he got out. Once he was back a girl from the ward sang Teach Me To Walk In The Light. It was AMAZING!!!! She had such an incredible voice! The spirit once again hit everyone like Thor's hammer and then the baptism was over. I think one of the greatest moments of all was after the baptism when Angelo's mother who just two days before had seen his copy of the Book of Mormon and accused him of worshiping the devil, grabbed her own copy of the Book of Mormon and said. "I need this so I can read what its all about." How cool it that! The spirit is real! It can change hearts! I know that in the course of that baptismal service Angelo's mothers heart was softened and that she had felt the spirit and it prompted her to want to learn about this good feeling she had. I hope and pray that eventually she will decide to follow her sons example and the example of Jesus Christ and enter into the waters of baptism. It would change her families life forever!!!
As far as the rest of the week nothing nearly as amazing happened. We met with a couple of members of our ward and helped them with some of the things they have been struggling with. We also meet fairly often with a young man named Mark. We have been seeing him every Saturday since I have been here and this past week we were helping him prepare a talk because he was asked to speak in sacrament meeting. We show up and he was excited for us to write his talk for him. I looked at him and said, "No way, you are writing this talk. We are here for moral support!" We coached him through the basics of giving a good talk and we told him that he had to speak about things he was passionate about. He concluded that he only was passionate about two things. One, he really liked being around missionaries. Two, he is a huge Oakland raiders fan. We conjured up a talk that combined an experience he has at a Raiders game and a missionary experience. He ended up giving a really good talk! And the best part is we only had to coach him along. He basically did it all himself. We had him compare his experience with Daniel and the Lions Den. Everyone loved it and his closing line of his talk was the best! He said, "...and the real miracle of it all, is that the Raiders actually won! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." Hahaha, I loved it. He did a great job. Everyone loves it when a youth speaker gives a great talk. It helps everyone realize that you don't have to understand everything to have a testimony about something. Simplicity is often the source of hope. As we back ourselves up to the basics it is often when we learn the most. I am really grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve a mission because I have learned so much from teaching the basics.
Well I think that is it. The week has been accounted for. I am loving it and working hard! Ill keep you all in my prayers! Have a fantastic week and stay warm!
Love, Elder Maxwell