Big surprise of the week is that our branch president, President Studdert, was released this past Sunday. He didn't give us ANY warning. But, before sacrament meeting, he pulled me and Elder Pitcher aside to tell us that we would be speaking in sacrament meeting. This is rather unheard of since usually he just calls us up from the podium in Sacrament Meeting, but he told us because there was a slight change of plans. President Brown (pres of the MTC) was going to be in our meeting so instead of giving a full-blown talk (by full blown I mean 3 to 5 minutes in Spanish), we just had to bear a one minute testimony. We didn't find out until we were in sacrament meeting that the reason for President Brown's attendance was the changing of the guard, so to speak. We were all a little sad! The Studdert's are such powerful and kind, genuine people. We had been told many times by other MTC district presidents, etc. that we had the best branch president in the whole MTC and I'm pretty sure it was the truth. Hermano Collett (President Collett, now) was made the President, Hermano Call the first counselor, and we got a new 2nd Counselor, Hermano Shallamberger. He and his wife are a spiritual powerhouse. He was a mission president in Spain ten years back and they have been fun to get to know.
I'm doing really well. I'm SO sick of the food and ready to get out into the real world for that reason, but I'm pretty nervous about interacting with real world people. We went to the doctor's office again for Hermana McGrath's last broken finger follow-up and I was way too hesitant about striking up conversations with the people in the waiting room. It's going to take some practice to know how to get to know people in a significant way in such a short amount of time. We finally did start talking to some people, but it was after they started the conversation. Definitely something I can practice in the next few weeks.
Testimonies are so powerful. Nobody can dispute a true, honest, sincere testimony because no one can take away some else's beliefs. People's testimonies have made such a big impact on me this week. Especially Hermano Barrio - he is such a spiritual giant! He was helping us learn from the scriptures how we can help other people have a desire to learn the gospel and as he finished, he bore such a sincere and heart-felt testimony that just pierced my soul! The gospel really does mean everything to him. He and his wife (they're newlyweds of 3 months!) realize how important the gospel is and he said that he would give up everything he had to rediscover the gospel. That's pretty cool!
I finished the Book of Mormon this morning! How great is that?! I love the scriptures. I feel like my love for the scriptures has grown 30 fold since I have been here. I get so excited about studying. I especially have loved studying by topic and finding hidden treasures of knowledge.
We had our first "baptism" this week!! It was so great! We will actually have our second one today - we're on fire! :)
We got a new investigator this last week. This has been the hardest thing for me this last week because he's a really good guy who has gone to seminary with his friend (his high school was LDS-sponsored) so he knows all these things, but he has no desire to act on these things. He doesn't see how the gospel means anything to him. I feel like this is something we may encounter a lot. It's hard to teach the gospel to people who don't feel like anything is missing in their lives. That is going to be my quest as I am on my mission - to figure out how to do just that.
I love you!! I have to go.
P.S. Ether 12:27 is my new theme scripture - it's good! Look it up!