Hello hello hello!!!
The past week has been great! I can't even remember what happened! It was THAT good! :P hahaha
O.K. Let's see...
Can I just say that being bold is the best thing ever? President Taylor commited us to extend the baptismal commitment on the first lesson every time unless the Spirit whacks us over the head with a 2x4 and tells us not to. So that's what we do! And it's awesome! We've prayed to be led to people who are looking for the truth or for them to be led to us or put in our path, and we find them!
Let's make one thing clear as well: tracting is AWESOME!!! Everyone that we have taught, found, and committed to baptism was off of tracting. While tracting isn't the MOST effective way to do the work, when all other sources aren't putting out, tracting WORKS! We pray to be led to know which streets to tract, then we look at the map, and then we pick a few streets that we feel strongly impressed to check out, then we tract and find these people! It's awesome!!
Embarrassing moment of the week: yesterday two of our investigators came to church (Brendan and Katrina - a young married couple that's getting baptized on Saturday!). Brendan was introducing himself to someone and the guy asked, "Brennan? Or Brendan with a D?" He replied, "With a D." Elder Jackson and I have been calling him Brennan this whole time! When Brendan says his name, the D isn't as emphasized when he says it than when others say it. So we've been traching someone for a month and we find out we've been calling him by the wrong name. Yeah. That's special. :P
Oh! So you may wonder why I titled this letter "Genuinely Genuine! Welcome to the Heartland!" Well, here's why: the people here are REAL!!! Some of you may not understand what I mean by "real", but for those of you who do, it's awesome! Almost every single soul here is sincere and genuine and genuinely kind. Even if we're tracting and they tell us they're never going to go to our church and they think we're weird, at least they're genuine about it! And then we find people to teach and we teach them and they say stuff like, "I really do appreciate it. Thanks so much." But it's not the "I know that I should say 'I really appreciate it' so I'm going to say it and give you a faked smile." THEY REALLY MEAN IT!!!
I don't mean it to come off as judgemental, but people can tell if someone is being genuine or not. It makes me cringe when people say stuff because it's the "(insert compliment/statement of gratitude here)" thing to do. Basically, I LOVE the people here! It's so nice to be around real people all of the time. There aren't any fake personalities here in Oklahoma. Just good ol' Americans doing stuff the American way and just being themselves. I've met the most genuinely kind people here. They're so sincere. They don't use fancy words or way of speech or try to say stuff like General Authorities or anything. They just talk from the heart and I can FEEL what they're saying, not just hear it. A conversation here isn't just words and words. It's hearts and hearts. I love this place :)
Speaking of the most genuinely nice people I've ever met in my life, Brother Revilla had us over on Saturday for birthday dinner. He turned 40 last Wednesday and made US dinner to celebrate HIS birthday. I LOVE THIS GUY! He made some Peruvian food for us (he's from Lima originally) and it was DELICIOUS!!! We offered to help him but he kept saying, "Thanks, Elders. It's okay. Have a seat, Elders." He's Diego's dad, P.S. So that was really nice.
Then the Brisolaras had us over for dinner. They have a big family (12 children between the ages of 11 and 29, something like that) and they're all really cool. Brother Brisolara and I had a nice chat and it just reaffirmed to me that the people here are so loving and genuine and charitable. This place is incredible!
Oh yeah! It rained really hard last Monday. We were at a dinner appointment and were just about to leave as it started to pour down rain. Luckily, we had our bikes outside waiting for us, so we rode the 4 miles home in the rain! It. was. AWESOME!!! We got inside and took pictures of how soaked we were (it was a memorable moment since it's been 105 F all the time!). So that was fun :)
I think that's it for now. Life is fine and dandy like sour candy! haha :P Thank you, everyone, for all of your prayers. I can FEEL the power and strength from the prayers said in my behalf and in behalf of the people of Oklahoma.
Oh yeah, praying for large groups of people to receive the Spirit works! We just started praying that the Lord will pour down His Spirit on the people of Lawton, Oklahoma to prepare their minds and hearts for the message we share and I can already see the difference in the conversations we have with people! It's INCREDIBLE! (or, een-cred-dee-blay as we say it in Gringo Espanol). So, PRAY! 'Cause God hears you! And He wants to help you! And if you try to think of what Christ would pray for if He were in your same situation, then your prayers will be SO POWERFUL you won't even know what to do with yourself! I promise you that this is true!
Have a wonderful week, everyone! I love you! Testify and be happy!
Elder Woolley :)