Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My new Home

What a great week! So as everyone knows I am now kicking it with all the gangsta cholos in big city Nampa. Elder Padgett and I are really excited to be serving together and to help this area reach it's potential.

This past week has been a little bit of a change from the Ontario and New Plymouth area, but I am really enjoying my time here. I am sort of starting to understand where everything is in town. On Sunday we had Branch Conference, so that made it really easy to meet all of the Branch and Stake leaders. The Stake President (President Asay) speaks Spanish, and so far in my mission speaks the best of all the stake presidents. Presidente Dardon is from Guatemala and he is a great leader and really loves everyone. We have made a lot of new contacts and have received some referrals and we are hoping that we will be able to make good contacts with all of them and help them to feel the Spirit and to have the desire to learn more.

Also this past week I had a very wonderful experience. Back in New Plymouth we had been teaching this sister by the name of Sandy Skinner. We first started teaching her shortly after I had first gotten to Ontario. She was very excited to learn the gospel and had said on multiple occasions that she had been prepared her whole life to except the gospel. She has had many spiritual experiences, including a dream that she had about 15 years ago. In this dream she had died and when she was on the other side of the veil she saw three lines of people and they were handing out robes. The first line was getting black robes the second were getting blue and the third were getting white. She had always remembered this dream and had never found the answer until she heard about the Plan of Salvation. She also heard a "still small voice" that had protected her a couple of times in her life.

Sandy definitely marches to the beat of her own drum. If you remember a few months ago a family got married on mule back, that was her and her husband. And so when it came time for her baptism, she just had to do it in the river. I was honored that she would ask me to perform the baptism. She said that I had been going over the longest so I should be the one to baptize her. Of course there is no rule that says that, but when she decides to do something that is how she is going to do it.

The water in the Payette river felt wonderful and it was very tempting to "accidentally" slip and have to go for a swim down the river, but I resisted. I was able to feel the spirit that was present, especially because, right after the baptism, a sister from the ward played "Amazing Grace," and we all sang along. It was a very spiritual experience, one that I will not soon forget. I am also very grateful for the young man that took all of the pictures for me, it will make it easier to always remember.

Another fun thing we did this week is we went to the church orchard in Caldwell to thin the peaches. It was a good branch activity and I always enjoy service. I wish that I had remembered my camera, because on top of the ladder there was a great view of the Snake River, and all of the trees in between. As always, at every Branch activity that exists we had food. The horchata was very delicious and we enjoyed the American touch to the food, the hot dogs.

It is pretty fun living with the other Elders. We pretty much only see them after 9 at night, and before 12 in the morning. We all study personally in the same room, but when it comes to companionship study, we take turns going in to the bedroom. I think that we might have a couple of house studies, but we will see how everything goes.

My responsibilities as a District Leader are basically, run district meetings, which are every Friday, and collect the numbers from the Elders on Sunday. I am also supposed to go on exchanges with every companionship once every month. The district includes, Ontario, Caldwell and Nampa, so there are a total of 10 Elders in our meetings, two being the Zone Leaders, which go to every meeting. I am also to do baptismal interviews for anyone that I haven't taught before. I don't have any scheduled, but hopefully will have some in the near future.

That is just about everything that is going on here.


Elder Paxton

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