Memorial Day was sweet! We went to a place called Desert Breeze Park and played soccer and just hung and then me and one of the elders I live with went to play tennis because he plays too. I miss playing, so it was really great to feel myself hit some good shots again. It was a super good time. I got a little bit burnt, but nothing bad, and now it’s just farmer tan. I’m used to that though. Since we are on bike this week, I’m just getting darker. So I might be back to my old tan self pretty soon, which is also good.
Our ward had a huge 5 de mayo party at the beginning of the month that was super sweet. We all had a good time at that and a lot of investigators were there which was cool. Our ward has a volleyball season that just ended. They would practice every Wednesday evening and had games on Thursday nights. This stake I guess has a pretty active sports schedule; they even have somebody called as a stake sports coordinator. They have a track meet between all of the wards in October and the missionaries have their own team in it, so I hope I stay here at least until then, haha. That would be super fun. Let’s see, Oh, the Elders quorum got a new president so we had a carne asada. The turnout wasn’t fantastic, but apparently after the first 2 hours a bunch of people showed up. We were just there for the first hour. The carne was incredible! Oh my goodness, it was soooooo good. I was eating just to have the flavor in my mouth, hahaha. I also tried it in a piece of cactus and that was even better, so good. I think we are getting some more tonight too, so I’m excited.
The man who teaches the Principios del Evangelio class in Sunday School is the best teacher ever. His name is Hermano Quintana and his granddaughter Karen is who we baptized on Saturday. He used to be a stake president in Nicaragua, and now he is our gospel principles teacher. All the investigators look forward to his class. It’s like their favorite part of Sundays in general. It’s so cool. He is funny, personable, explains things perfectly, and he is really good at getting people to participate. He is a major reason this ward does so well on baptisms.
Karen's baptism was really great! She has a lot of family that are members and they all showed up to support her. The talks were both really good and I think everyone enjoyed them. Her mom and sister aren't members yet, so it was really good for them to see it. Their cousin, Jason, just got back from his mission in Montreal and he is really working with them. He is super cool and a big help to us. The guy can speak English, Spanish, and French very, very well. Perfect English and almost perfect in the other two. I need to get my Spanish better, but it’s super hard. Well, kind of, it’s always getting better and better, but it takes so long when everybody is constantly going back and forth between English and Spanish. Back to the baptism. Karen was super happy and I think it had a great affect on everyone there. She got confirmed the next day and is just a super solid girl in the gospel now.
We had a great lesson last week with a girl named Mariana who is here temporarily living here with family, but goes back to Mexico soon. We had already taught her the first 3 lessons and she just loved it all. She loves church and everything too, especially in Spanish (she went a few times in English, but she doesn’t speak that much English yet), but she was concerned about tithing. So we went through the 10 commandments with her and talked about tithing when we got to “thou shalt not steal.” Then we went to Malachi where it talks about “will a man rob God?” and says “ye have robbed me” in your tithes and offerings. The scripture then promises that the heavens will be opened unto you if you obey this commandment. She really liked that. Then her aunt shared a really good personal testimony about tithing and also talked about it being 10%. In Spanish the word for tithing is diezmo...signifying the tenth, which is also cool. It was a really good lesson and now she is excited to pay tithing after she gets baptized and to obey all of the commandments. She is now finished with the lessons and just waiting to go back home so she can get baptized with her mom who is also taking the lessons in Mexico. So cool that they can be learning the same thing in different countries.
Ties are doin well. I’ve increased my stash through a couple of good buys and trades. By the way, I’m not asking for them, but if anyone ever tells you that they are going to buy me a tie, tell them to get it from Kohls, a skinny tie that isn’t striped, but has a different pattern. They have a lot like that there and they are all awesome.