This is going to be another quick email from me. We have a busy day and not a lot of time. That is one of the disadvantages of sharing a car with four other guys, lots to do! I hope all is
well. I had a really awesome week. We found some really great new people and we were able to have a ton of members come out with us to visit and fellowship different people. It was really cool.
Things are going awesome with Marta. She is such a sweet lady. Her baptism is all set and ready to go for this Friday and she is really excited. It is amazing to see how much things have changed with her in the past five weeks. When we first started teaching her she did not want to get baptized. She said it was going to be hard to change. I have seen that concern hold a lot of people back in the past, but we kept challenging her to read the Book of Mormon. I'm not sure if I've mentioned this yet, but one day we went over to visit her and before we even started the lesson she said, "Ok Elderes, ya quiero bautizarme." She told us about how one night, she really just wanted to figure out what she was supposed to do so she prayed. She said she asked God to guide her to make the right decision. After that she said she opened up the Book of Mormon and started to read in 3 Nephi 11 where it talks about baptism. She said she immediately knew what God wanted her to do. It was such a powerful lesson and the Spirit was so strong. She is such a sweet lady. Another thing that was holding her back from being baptized even after that experience was her work. She works in the fields and the grape season is over, so she is out of work. She speaks no English and it is hard to find work for her. She was going to have to find work soon or she was going to have to move back to Mexico to find work there. We have been praying for her to find work and we've been trying to help. The other day, out of nowhere, we got a text from our Ward mission leader. He told us that he had found a job for Marta! It was so awesome and definitely an answer to many prayers. Now Marta can stay in Bakersfield with her family and she is so happy. It reminded me that when we strive to do what God wants, he will provide a way for us.
Big news on Luis too! He is the kid we have been teaching for a little while. He is all ready to be baptized, but we've been waiting for his dad to get home from North Carolina so that he can be present at the baptism. He wasn't supposed to be home until Christmas, but out of nowhere he showed up last night! Tonight we have an appointment with their family and Luis will be getting baptized either this week or the next.
The only downside to last week was that I got really sick. I felt absolutely awful and I blame it on one thing: SUSHI! I let Elder Swindler talk me into trying some sushi. So we went to this sushi place in the hood, which was probably not the best place to get sushi anyways, and I ate a big plate of it. It tasted ok, but the rest of our bike day was a disaster. Fortunately, I was only down for one day and then I was fine. But I think the bridge between sushi and me is burnt. Never again........
I love this ward! The members here are awesome and do so much to share the Gospel with the people here in Bakersfield. That really is how it should be. This Gospel and message that we have is amazing and it can help so many people, why wouldn't we share it? As missionaries, we get so much help. We had another great lesson with Ana in the Urbina's home and they have been reading with her every night. When our investigators come to church, the members are great and really fellowship them. I am so glad I get to finish up my mission in such a great area. I hope you have an awesome week. I miss and love you all. Take care.
Elder Chad Thompson