December 18, 2017
Family! Transfers were this week. I am back in the Spanish Branch in Birmingham. Long story short is that about 4 months ago, they combined the 2 Spanish Branches here in Birmingham to make a bigger one. So I am technically serving in the same spot I was in Feb-May but I'm now serving in the Cahaba Spanish Branch. Pretty Crazy! It's good to be back though and I have been well received back into the Branch. It's been good!
I don't know if y'all remember an investigator named Irma Ayala that I was teaching last time I was here... Elder Krupa and I tracted into her one day. As I've been serving in other places she has continued to investigate the church and she really wants to get baptized but her husband at one point said that if she got baptized they would be getting a divorce. So she decided she was just going to keep meeting with the missionaries and learn more and more. In the meanwhile, Chayo (the husband) has slowly but surely been coming around. This is what I've heard from other missionaries. I've stopped in a few times while I've been in Birmingham but other than that I haven't been able to see them. I haven't been able to see all the change happening. Soooooooooo.... I stopped in with my new companion Elder Lewis this week. We show up and they were super excited to see us. As they welcomed us into their house, there was a Latino Preacher talking to them. I guess he is Chayo's cousin. He started talking to us and starts to really get into it and bash with us about what's right and what's really of God. We just sat there and basically just took it. After about 2 minutes go by, Chayo, Irma, and us are all listening to this guy go off and talk about how Joseph wasn't a prophet and all this stuff about our church. All of the sudden, Chayo speaks up and just gets into it with him! haha! He basically bore his testimony of all the truthfulness of the message that we as missionaries bring. I wish y'all could have seen it. I was like drooling on the other side of the room thinking "What is happening... Is that really Chayo?" Irma and Chayo continued to back us up hard core and we didn't say a word! He defended Joseph Smith, the church, the Savior, and all that we stand for. They aren't even members! It was amazing! I was just speechless. When I left Lorna the first time, Chayo hadn't even sat down in a lesson with us. He would just walk through or be in the other room the entire time. Irma had only been taught the first 3 lessons. Then the next thing I see of them is testifying to a Latino Preacher of the truthfulness of the Gospel. Irma mentioned a scripture that she found on her own in Revelations. It's Revelations 10:9-10 it says:
9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
She told him that this scripture is talking about the Book of Mormon. It was powerful. They are going to be baptized. I know it! They are so strong. Chayo is continuing to come around and I know that they will continue to grow. Will y'all keep them in your prayers and pray that they will come to the conclusion that they need to be baptized? I know that the Lord will answer our prayers. As we pray for specific things and for specific people he knows how he can help.
Thank you for all you do! I love and appreciate all the love you show me. I am so grateful for this Christmas Season and the opportunity we have to be able to reflect on the birth of our Savior. He lives! and He loves each of you. He has perfect gratitude for all you do. Have a great Christmas week. Love you all!
|The Carter Hill Crew|
|The Colvin Family. They are the greatest!|
|The Davis Family. Man... I'll miss them. Some of the most hysterical people down here!|
|Patty and Meta|
|The Jamaican! Elder Lewis is the man.|
|Elder Johnson and Elder Erickson at our Transfer Hub Meeting|