I hope all is well and you were all able to see Ohio State beat Oregon in the national championship game! Go Bucks!!! My week went really well. We had another great lesson with Manny. He is doing so great. He is reading the Book of Mormon every night with his big sister Lucerito and he has been praying too. It has been really cool to see his testimony grow. It is an awesome thing to be a part of. He has gotten a ton of fellowship from the youth here in the Branch as well. We have a sports activity every week and Manny comes and plays with us. He has made a lot of friends with the kids in our Branch. He came to church again on Sunday, which was awesome. He is a really good kid and I feel really lucky to be able to teach him. Sunday a new family that just moved to Lake LA randomly showed up at church. They have never been to our church before, but are looking for a place to take their three kids. They are a really cool Hispanic family. It was funny, when we first found them in the hallway, a bunch of English members were trying to communicate with them, but weren't having any luck. We got them settled in and took their kids to primary. We will probably visit them sometime this week.
We were knocking doors this week and we found Olga! She is a really nice elderly lady and she lives with her sick husband. He is getting near the end of his life and she is caring for him. When she opened the door for us she was stressed out because her husband had fallen out of his chair and she wasn't strong enough to lift him back up. So we offered to help and she was grateful. It was really sad. He had fallen and hit his head on the wall. So Elder Dee and I lifted him up and sat him back down in his chair. The poor man couldn't talk, but I could tell he was really happy to be sitting upright again. We talked to Olga a little bit and she is a really sweet lady. Things are hard for her right now. We are going back to teach her again. We are excited to keep working with her.
Well, this week I hit my year mark! I can't believe I have been serving as a missionary for that long. I haven't been home or seen my family in a year! That is crazy for me to think about. It has definitely been a crazy year. I didn't always know if I could serve a mission. There were a lot of days when I wondered if a mission would even be possible. I have always had a testimony and I have always known that a mission is a good thing, but there were times when I didn't think I would ever actually be able to leave my family. Even in the weeks leading up to leaving, I was having a hard time dealing with the fact that I wouldn't see my family for so long. It was a really hard decision, but I am so happy I decided to serve. I haven't had to make a lot of big decisions in my life, but deciding to serve a mission has been by far, the best decision I have ever made. Being a missionary has made me realize how far from perfect I am and how much I have to learn. It has humbled me a lot. I really love the chance I have to teach people about the Savior. A mission has taught me a lot about love and sacrifice and how closely related those two things are. Sometimes it's hard to be away from family and friends and to put school on hold, but sacrifice is one of the best ways we can show our love for the Savior and our Father in Heaven. I am so happy I am out here serving as a missionary. I am grateful for all of the youth leaders, family and friends who helped me get ready to serve. I am especially grateful for my parents. They taught me to love the Lord and put Him first. I am a lucky kid, to have grown up with so many amazing influences in my life.
Well, I should get going. I miss you guys! I hope Michigan isn't too freezing!! Take good care.
Elder Chad Thompson