Hola mi familia y mis amigos
Well, an exciting point of my mission on Saturday. Mario was baptized. Interesting story about him: two months ago when Elder Torres first came to this area (before I was here) he met Mario on the street and started talking with him about religion. Mario, different from 99.999999999% of the people we teach, wasn't Catholic and didn't believe much in God. But he invited the missionaries to come to his house and teach him. And then he invited them back. And again. And then decided he wanted to change his life. He began to change his life in ways that his friends (one of whom was baptized into the Church about 6 years ago, and one of whom is going to be baptized in the coming weeks) said they couldn't have imagined. Right after church on Sunday, he came straight up to me and said he wanted to pay his tithing right then and there and showed me the money he had to pay it (in our Church we follow the Law of the Tithe, see Malachi 3 or my little (younger) brother if you have questions). It was powerful. And right after he said it, his friend (the one baptized a few years ago) said he wanted to start paying tithing again also. In a few weeks they will leave to Indiana where they will spend the next 4 months roofing there, but they will leave with a whole lot more than what they started with.
Another interesting story about this past week, and this story involved Uncle Dave Colton, my dad's oldest brother. More specifically, it involves how he helped two people without even fully realizing how much he was helping (most likely). So Uncle Dave works for the Church in Europe as a lawyer (his official title is way to long and boring). This past Winter (either January or February), he came to Utah for a conference with many of the important lawyers for the church (which probably sounds like one of the most boring meetings on earth for 99% of the people in the world to be totally honest Uncle Dave). But, for Brother and Sister Tracy (see my younger brother if you have questions about why we call people Brother and Sister instead of Mr. and Mrs.), it was the opportunity of a life time. Sister Tracy has a degree in international law and is now working on another law degree at BYU. They plan on moving back to Asia after she gratuates to work as a laywer there. And they also happen to be one of the most amazing couples I have ever met in my entire life. I can't remember how or why, but she was invited to the dinner and both she and brother Tracy, who have lived all over the world together and plan on doing so again after she graduates, went to the dinner hoping to find out how to deal with corruption in other countries. And poof, Uncle Dave ended up sitting at the table with them. And Uncle Dave worked in Zimbabwe (back when he worked a a lawyer for a mining company) and dealt with corruption there. And in their words, although not quoted exactly: "In an hour conversation with him, we basically learned a semester's class worth of how to deal with corruption. He exuded such a quiet confidence about him and had such a desire to help us that we learned everything we could possible have hoped for an more." They went on for a little more about him. And when Brother and Sister Tracy say something like that, they mean it and their opinion carries quite a bit of weight from my point of view. So, Uncle Dave, congratulations. At least two people in this world look up to ya :)
Next week I will be sharing a story about not-coincidences (spelling?) that happen as missionaries. This one kind of blows my mind away. It involves people meeting the MTC and then leaving but still being connected by weird circumstances.
Love all of you