Elder Holland was on a mission tour with Elder Hallstrom. They saw 4 missions in like 2 days, and so we met in Cranberry, which is north of Pitt. So we had a gnarly day of driving. Basically 5 hours there and back. Sheesh. But worth it. It was so great to have the whole mission back together too. Even though it was just a brief time. And it was Elder Durham who received the ticket, poor guy.
We’re working with the W family, who are less active, and Bro W had Elder Holland as an Area Authority when he was in Chile. At one of their conferences, he got so agro he started snapping the dry erase markers and stuff. Then Brother W's comp had a seizure... Elder Holland came over and said, "It's ok, everything's under control now." Man GA’s are way intense.
Good luck with everything for girl’s camp. To make you feel a bit better, guess what the church out here just found out. The Church purchased a big campground from the Girl Scouts, calling it Camp Liahona, and they have just discovered there are three dens of rattlesnakes in the camp. And because it's right near some state park or something, they are not allowed to move them or kill them. So that's a bum deal if you ask me.
By the way, got a letter from the Relief Society on Saturday. Lots of nice comments. One of the most baffling was "Beware of pods of killer whales." Do you know who wrote that one?
Not sure if this is related but I might as well tell you about this one lady, Sister C. She lives in the heart of our area (read: ghetto) and is real old, kind of dumpling shaped, short grey hair and not many teeth. Yesterday she bore her testimony that she'd had several suicidal thoughts, not that she would act on them, but they were there. And how she has taken in a street cat because she's lonely. And one time she confided to us in a dinner appointment that she is struggling with jealousy-she's jealous of her daughter's drug dealer because she spends more time with her than Sister C does. On that note, the church is true!
Now for the IMPORTANT STUFF ha-ha just kidding.
L got baptized! That was such a great experience! He is such a great man; it is actually very interesting to see how he has changed. I'll give you his full story, summarized. It's dramatic. So to start, his wife, V, is an excommunicated member. Long time ago, but basically she's got 5 kids out of wedlock. Two are members, oldest is 14. So we were starting to work with them, and the first thing she says when we met her was, “ I got married!" (This is a big deal). L first met her when she went to the Dominican Republic. He started calling and Skyping, which they did for a year, then he immigrated over, then they got married! So we started teaching him. He is super yolked, works out all the time, and very silent. Just a naturally quiet guy. He has a son named A, 4 years old and so cute. L has a tattoo on his back that says "A". I got to know him, and I found out that L's sister had been taking the lessons back in the DR and had gotten baptized. So that was why he actually wanted to meet with us in the first place, he had wondered why his new family was Mormon but didn't go to church ever. So he started to come, and started reading the BoM and now is just tearing it up. He reads every night before bed, and last Sunday he was asking the Spanish elders quorum teacher for good scriptures to read in the Bible and BoM. But anyways, he was straight up golden. He got baptized, then on Sunday was confirmed. And though the dude shows hardly any emotion, he was crying as he was confirmed and received the Holy Ghost. So cool! So that's the big news this week. I am loving it.
The thing that has actually been most frustrating here for me has been ward council. Our bishop doesn't announce baptisms the week before because apparently he's done so before and some haven't happened. So the baptism was communicated basically by our word of mouth. A bit disappointing, it wasn't as well attended as we'd hoped. This is the first baptism by walk elders in this area in over 2 years, so I'm excited anyways. Here’s to more to come!