Hola mi familia! Mom thanks so much for sending the baptism picture. I showed it to Blanca and she loved it! I'm going to get it laminated so I can always bring it with me. I also really really liked your letter with your baptism entry. And dad, I'm looking forward to getting yours. Thanks to both of you! And yes, I still need you to send letters to Matt. I sent one to his mom in January but I haven't heard back from him yet. The next one I write I'll probably send to you guys so that not one person has to do it every time. But who knows...maybe I'll be transferred! Probably not though. We have transfers next week (week 5) because......I'm not sure why actually. All I know is this transfer is only five weeks long. Something to do with all of the new missionaries coming in.
This week was really productive and yesterday we had 4 investigadores at church! :) I was so happy. Blanca came...she hasn't really missed a week but I still love to see her there. Her husband and son are starting to take more of an interest in learning the gospel. The elders have been teaching her 17 yeard old son so I hope he starts coming to church as well. Ana, Luis and Diana were the other investigadores that came. It was fast Sunday (because of stake conf) so they got to hear a lot of really good testimonies. I felt like everyone who bore their testimony said exactly what I felt like Ana and Luis needed to hear. They said "next time we come, we'll wear nicer clothes" I didn't care that they were wearing jeans I was just happy that they said "next time". And most of the active members in the branch wear jeans to church so I didn't even notice that they weren't dressed up.
Blanca seemed really happy that there were other "new" people at church. When she saw them walk in she asked me if they were new too. I said yes and she got a huge smile on her face. Then she leaned over and told Ana "I'm still learning too. We're the same." It was so nice of her. Then she asked me how many people we teach and I said we try to get 25 lessons every week and I showed her my list of people and pointed out her name and she got an even bigger smile and said "Oh I'm number 1!" She reads more than a few chapters from the book of mormon every day and is learning SO much on her own. And she's already made friends with several people in the ward. Blanca invited us over to a members house for dinner this Thursday and I was trying to figure out how the tables had turned. But it's great! Oh and apparently there is something wrong with my pancreas? That's what blanca tells me just about everytime she sees me. She works for some health company (it's kind of like meleluca. And the owner is mormon) so she said she's going to get me something.
Ana and her family will hopefully have a baptismal date this week. They know the Book of Mormon is true and they know they need to be baptized but they're not ready to commit because they know that means they have to give up a lot of stuff. But I'm happy they're at least taking baptism seriously. When they do decide to be baptized I know they'll be strong members.
We got a surprise baptismal date from a woman named Patricia. We met her in the parking lot leaving one of our dinner appts, got her address and then stopped by a few days later (yesterday). She was baptized in the catholic church but has never really gone to church or read the bible. She has really strong faith in christ though and prays everyday. She's been through SO much but is still so happy and didn't let her trials become her. She's used the atonement in her life without even knowing it. We taught the restoration, and to be honest it wasn't our best lesson. We were jumping around a lot and barely even mentioned Joseph Smith but somehow the spirit was really strong. We intorduced the book of mormong, asked her to read it, invited her to be baptized on march 16 and she said yes. I'm so amazed at the faith these people have! Getting them to commit to baptism is not hard...getting them to church is another story.
Martin is still the happiest person in the world. Super excited to learn and be baptized but he works SO much. He makes an honest effort to meet with us as often as he can and he's going to try and get work off every other Sunday. We might have to move his baptism date but for now it's still March 16.
There's a talk that I want to recommend for everyone. It's called "The Hesitant Missionary" by Elder Uchtdorf. He talks about how anyone and everyone can and should be a missionary. I don't know where the week went...I feel like we did so much but I can't think of anything else to share.
Well Dad said he wanted to hear more about my companion so here it is: (I'll send a pic today) She can do any type of accent and it's hillarious! She always makes me laugh. She's VERY dramatic and loves to exaggerate. She loves to talk, especially to tell stories and make people laugh. She hates to run. Especially outside (we've been doing exchanges with the other Sister Billings sometimes) but she has done a couple of treadmill workouts with me too. She always makes me a fruit smoothie in the morning while I'm exercising. She makes super yummy mango salsa. (Side note: I learned how to make floutas! They're the best thing ever. Mom especially would love them. I'll make them for everyone in 14 months) And she's been helping me a lot with my spanish. Hopefully that helps!
I pray for everyone every day and I hope all is well back home! Can't wait to hear from all of you :)
Love, Hermana Billings