So this week went really well!!! We had a Zone Meeting where the ZL's had something prepared for us. This is a rare occasion and doesn't happen often at all... but they got approval from President Castro, so we had one. It was great! It was all about casting out doubt and cultivating faith. It kind of goes hand in hand with Elder Holland's talk this past conference (Which I saw that you mentioned in the letter). It is so easy to focus on the doubts and what we don't know.. but when we cast out those doubts and truly focus on what we do know, our knowledge will definitely increase. I feel like this past little while has been hard for me, just with like a few number of things, but that is how growth occurs. I kind of like to think of it like building muscle. When we exercise, we are actually tearing the muscle down, and at the time it is painful and uncomfortable. But this is how the growth takes place. When we build ourselves back up again, we are going to be stronger than we were before, as does a muscle when it repairs itself. So that was a really cool realization this week!
Elder Smith and I asked Leroy to pray about getting baptized on June 8th. He is so ready! He was originally thinking about being baptized around the end of summer, but during that zone meeting, the whole time I could only think about Leroy, and casting out all the doubt we have with him and his situation. and June 8th was pressing on my mind. We have already invited him to be baptized on a specific date a few times, so this time we decided to have him pray about it for himself. We feel that he is in tune with the spirit enough to receive a confirmation from the Holy Ghost if it truly is the right thing to do. But he is doing great! He recently got a new job (because he got laid off... not sure if I mentioned that or not.) But he is liking his new job! The Lord is definitely blessing him.
Ezekiel and his father Felix have come to a halt sort of... Ezekiel is still reading the Book of Mormon every now and then. They both have some Word of Wisdom problems... So we are praying for them about that! And they are attending a church called the Pacific Christian Church, and his family loves it there. That's where they think they might end up going. We are really encouraging them to try out our church again, and to bring their family to see how they like it, but they are not sure. We are really working on them.
Steve is doing great! We went over and read the Intro to the Book of Mormon with him this past week. It took us an hour and a half to read it with him! We would read a paragraph, then he would have a ton of questions about it and what it said! It was great (: We found out that he only works Mon-Fri so we are going to try to get him to church! He is a really nice guy!
We talked to this guy named Peter Brinkerhoff. He said he had looked at his genealogy and one of his grandfathers far back the line came across the plains with the saints, and he was the only Brinkerhoff in the U.S. at the time. He said he has a lot of far distant relatives in SLC and all of over Utah. And I told him that was cool, because we have lived by a couple Brinkerhoff families! He was kind of skeptical about the Book of Mormon and baptisms for the dead, and a few other doctrines of our church... but he was a really nice guy! He was pretty tall, I'd say 6' 4" or 6' 5". We had a really good discussion with him yesterday at his door step.
I'm so glad I have this opportunity to be out on a mission! It really is so great! My knowledge and testimony have grown so much! And I can't wait for the growth that is still yet to come!
I hope all is well at home! You are always in my prayers! Love and miss you!