Hi family!!! This last week was such an amazing one!!! Definitely an emotional roller coaster...but still an amazing week. The highlight of the week was Ines was baptized!! (I'll send pictures). Unfortunately Jocelyn did not go through with her baptism. I still can't believe how quickly Ines chose to be baptized. 11 days! And I've never seen anyone so happy. She couldn't stop smiling/crying during the whole baptismal program.
We went to the church with PLENTY of time to set everything up for the baptism but of course...everything went wrong. The keys that we've ALWAYS been able to use to get into the font and the baptismal clothes closet would not work. We called our branch president and everyone else that we could think of to help us but no one was available. It takes about 45 minutes for the font to fill up so with about one hour to go before the baptism all three of us started to panic. After about 10 minutes of panic aka getting nothing done, we decided to say a prayer. We kneeled down in the church, right in front of the baptismal font and said a prayer. Right as we were saying amen, we got a phone call saying that a bishop from one of the other wards was brining us the correct keys. Coincidence? Maybe. But I believe it was an answer to our prayer.
Our ward mission leader was late so the baptismal service started 20 minutes late....but other than that it was perfect! Ines had asked us to sing at her baptism and I was so happy that she was choosing to be baptized that I said yes before realizing that I don't sing!
But we asked President and Sister Watkins to join us and one of the elders so that our voices would be drowned out a little. :) We sang How Great Thou Art (in Spanish....Grande eres tu) and it was SO spiritual. I don't know how we sounded but the spirit was amazingly strong. Everyone was crying. And I forgot that I was even singing in front of our whole branch. I just kept looking at Ines and she had the BIGGEST smile on her face with tears rolling down her cheeks the entire time.
It was a very happy day (Saturday) even though we only had one baptism instead of the planned two. Jocelyn chose not to be baptized because she wanted her brothers to be able to attend and one of them was out of town. We don't have a new date set for her but hopefully it'll be sometime soon.
This week was also the 35th annual Gilroy garlic festival. Apparently it's a big deal! We volunteered for the whole day on Friday and our job was to fry the calamari. I know....we got lucky. The festival was really neat though....pretty much everything was made drenched in garlic. I tried garlic ice cream (DISGUSTING), garlic fries, garlic bread, garlic calamari and garlic pesto pasta. The garlic fries and bread were really the only thing that I liked. I'll send some pictures from the garlic festival too.
As far as our other investigators....Will is still meeting with us twice a week. We don't teach him the usual lessons, we are going through an addiction recovery program with him. He's progressing really well though. His next step will be to go to the addiction recovery classes with a ward member. He keeps saying that he will...but then he chickens out. He needs to take small steps but he's already turned his life around so much.
Amber's son, Anthony, is still planning on being baptized the 17th of August. It's coming up quick! When we first set that goal I thought it would never get here. I PRAY that I'm still in Gilroy next transfer (Transfers are next week). If not, I can always come back for his baptism. But I really want at least one more transfer here in Gilroy. Amber is still struggling with her smoking and coffee addictions but she's definitely made a lot of improvement as well. As far as wedding plans....they seem pretty distant. But next June is her goal so hopefully she sticks to it. We haven't had any interaction with her husband...he knows how to keep his distance. But I still have hope that one day he'll come around!
Thanks so much for the pictures!!!! I opened all of them and they were fine. I think Ethan looks so cute with his glasses!!! And all of the miller sisters look so alike. Looks like everyone had a good time!
By the way....you're going to Texas in January? Can't you wait 3 more months?!?!?! I guess we can just all go back once I'm home....RIGHT? :)
Can you email me a picture of my weber ring? I'm really happy that it came!
I have a bunch of things that I'll send home...soon (hopefully) including my SD card. I haven't made a disc of all the pictures yet but I did make a disc with all the pictures from sis gg's camera. Maybe I'll send that home too.
Well that's it for this week!! I hope everyone else is doing great. I pray for everyone daily!! Jessica....feel free to write sometime soon! It's sure been awhile :)
I love you all!! Thanks for the support!
Love, Sister Billings