Everything is great. My new companion's name is Elder Dawson. He is from Plainfield, IL. He is a boss hogg outlaw missionary. Love him. He has such a sincere desire to share to gospel and help other people accept it. He is the man. Our new area is good. It has some ghetto parts and some rich parts. We saw miracles this week. We worked out little tails off.
Our first day we met this guy named Jose, who lives in our apt complex. We set up an appointment for the next day. We went by and he asked us how he could know God was really there. He believed he was but he just didn't know. We read a little out of Alma 32 and the Spirit was so strong. We invited him to be baptized on December 10th and he accepted, willingly. The next day we texted him to see how he was doing. He texted back and said that he wanted to stop our meetings because it wasn't the right time. We think his family was involved in that...so we were a little bummed but it didn't stop us.
That same day we went out and saw this lady named Kathy getting out of her van with two young kids. We stopped and talked to her a little and asked if she had 20 minutes that we could share something with her. She accepted and we sat out on her front lawn. We found out that she is married, has 5 kids, AND has a car! What more could we ask for? So we taught her about the restoration of the gospel and invited her to be baptized on December 17th. She accepted and cried after she said the closing prayer. Sunday came along and we went by her house before church to double check and make sure she was coming. She answered the door and said they were getting ready to come. We were so excited! Then she texted us 20 minutes before church started and said that she and her husband "changed their minds about coming to [our] church" and to "not come by [their] house anymore." It was another kick in the face but we didn't let it get us down. We just kept moving forward.
A non-member daughter (49 years old) of a less-active woman that we met earlier in the week came to church though! We were very happy about that. We are meeting with her tonight with one of the sisters in the ward that knows her. We will see where it goes. Then last night we found this wayyy cool girl named Ruby who is a senior in high school who says that she always feels judged at church and never has friends. So we set a dinner up with a family in the ward that has two daughters around her age that she can be friends with on Tuesday. It will be great.
Church was good. The ward is nice. We have been praying for them a lot to get more stoked on missionary work. Please say a prayer for the members and the Bishoprick. On Saturday we went back to Buena Vista for Gabriella's baptism. She asked me to baptize her. I was so excited :) I love her. She is going to be the best member in the world. Pharrell.
So yeah, I'm a district leader now and the district is awesome. We had district meeting this last week and set some goals as companionships for baptisms this transfer. Good stuff.
I'm sorry to hear about Mike Aiken and Grant's father. The news of the gospel is great though. They are happy. Send my love to the Heaton family. I am very grateful for Mike and all the letters he sent me. I was really really really really really looking forward to thanking him personally for all the thoughtful letters he sent me on how I could improve as a missionary. Now I will have to wait a little while but I hope Aunt Emily and all of her family knows how much I love and appreciate Mike and all that he did for me. It really meant a lot to me. Just to have someone, besides the two of you, who wrote on a consistent basis.
My address is 180 Windtree Lane, Winter Garden, FL and I don't know the zip. For Christmas...I really don't need anything. If I could ask you to do one thing it would be to go make someone who is less fortunate happy. Not even in a big, extravagant way. Just something simple that will help someone to feel the love of our Heavenly Father.
I love you both so much and am so thankful that you are my parents. I am such a baby. I feel like I cry about everything now hahaha. I cry during hymns, during testimonies, during baptisms, everything hahaha. It's crazy. But I really love you a lot. I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving. And please give my love to all of the family and friends that you see. Talk to you next week!
p.s. This computer isn't letting me attach pictures for some reason. Sorry!
Elder Austin Gable Engemann