Saturday, January 16, 2010

January 13, 2010

Hola familia,
I hope that all is well at home! Elder Galloway and I had a really good week. There's been 2 baptisms in the ward that last two Sundays and there is going to be 3 more the 23 of January. The work in the ward is really going forward the beginning of this year. We also set a date with the former atheist named Gustavo Martinez. He wants to wait until February 7th because he's overcoming an alcohol addiction. We've been trying to meet with him often to keep him strong. He hasn't drank since the beginning of the year but it's been very hard for him. He told us that he hardly sleeps at night. His mind races as he thinks about all the changes that are taking place in his life. He has a friend that's moving here from Mexico in the beginning of February, and he hopes that they'll get baptized with him here. It's amazing to really see the strength that he is recieving from the Lord as his heart has been humbled and he truly is trying to change his life and prepare for baptism. We've always been taught about the enabling power of the Atonement to overcome trials and temptations, but I can really see it in action in his life. He's had several strengthening spiritual experiences as he's went to the Lord in prayer during his times of need. We have been praying hard for him and can feel our prayers being answered as well. His conversion has been a testimony builder for me in many ways. More than anything, that the spirit is what converts people. It took awhile, but after weeks of prayer and simply trying to help him feel the spirit and recognize it, he has been humbled. I really feel that his baptism will be extra spiritual and special.
The mission is really focusing on effectively working with the members right now. More than anything, to help the members feel the spirit and to leave them with bold commitments to help us in the work to find people to teach. Right now, the mission is teaching about 1800 member lessons a month in the homes of members and only recieving about 140 references for people to visit. President's really trying to focus on improving these numbers, and so we're trying to implement that in our area. We've been trying to sing for members to bring the spirit into the lessons. It's been fun and seems to be helping. Hopefully, we'll see some fruits soon. We could use your prayers for the members as well, that they'll be able to help us find people that are prepared.
I'm really enjoying being companions with Elder Galloway. THere's just a different bond because we came out together and have been friends from the beginning. We're on an even playing field and have to lean on each other for support in lessons and with the language. It's been such a blessing to be able to serve together. Our whole district right now really is great. Our district leader is from California and is 26. He's probably the most Christlike person I've seen and has been a great example to me.
I'm going to try to send a picture card that is full today. It has some pictures and videos from the cultural night that we had a while ago.
The weather has been very warm recently. It's great. The snow is actually melting. I guess it's what they call a Shinook. The bad part is that we've gotten stuck a lot recently. On the back roads, the packed snow is melting and turning into 2 feet deep slush. Our malibu doesn't drive well in it right now. I've decided though that it's a great way to find people to teach. If anyone is stuck, everyone that drives by stops to help. I guess it's because everyone gets stuck eventually here and so everyone is willing to help. We've talked about getting ourselves stuck in some of the highly populated spanish areas this next week to see who comes out to help us so we can invite them to hear us. It's led to some good discussions over the past week.
Hope all is well! Love you all and miss you!
Elder Dunlap

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