I hope you all had a great week and a Happy New Year. Mine was pretty great, I heard the Buckeyes beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl! I was so dang happy to hear that on New Year's Day. It was fun to imagine how pumped my family was back home about the Buckeyes big win. Other than New Year's and the Buckeyes making it to the National Championship game, we had a pretty good week. It was super cold for a couple of days, so we had some good times biking around. The cold made it a little more difficult to talk to people. We usually go out and talk to people who are out on the street or in their front yard, but when it gets really cold and windy, people stay inside. But we have kept at it and have been trying to talk to as many people as we can.
This week we visited Margarita again. We taught her before and she was awesome. She really loved the message that we shared and told us to come back the following week. When we went back the next time the house was completely dark, so at first we didn't think anyone was home. Well Margarita answered the door and she looked really sad. She has been through a lot and she kind of vented to us for a little while. She has had a really sad life. She was born in Mexico where she was forced to do some really difficult things. She had her first child when she was fifteen and one year later, her baby was kidnapped from her. She had more children while she was in Mexico and they were taken from her. She moved to the United States a couple of years ago and shortly after she came here she had a stroke. All of her family is still in Mexico. Right now, she has no job and no income. The water and power are turned off in her house, which is really rough in this cold. So she put her bed in front of the fireplace so that she can have a little bit of heat and light. Her story was really hard to hear, I don't think I have ever felt more sorry for somebody. The entire time she was telling us about everything, she was sobbing. It is just hard sometimes, because sometimes we meet people that go through some really hard trials and I can't possibly understand their situation. I'm only 19 and I have never lived through some of the devastating experiences of some of the people I have met. While I can't fully understand what she has gone through, I know that the Savior can. He loves her and knows just how she feels. We talked with her for a while and tried to help her understand that. She calmed down a little bit before we left, but I felt really bad for her and her situation. We will keep praying for her and try to help her.
We also got to meet with Manny again. He is really cool. His 19 years old and is starting college and a really fun guy. He came to churchyesterday, as well as the two weeks before that. He is doing great and he is still reading the Book of Mormon every night with his sister. His sister is the one who first invited him church. She is the only member in her family and just got home from serving her mission. She has been a great influence on her brother. It turns out she got a job offer in Utah and will be leaving in two weeks. We are a little nervous because Manny is kind of shy and we want him to still feel comfortable at church when his sister leaves. I think he will be fine though. We have a lot of great young guys his age in the Branch who are becoming a good support system.
I am doing well and I am still enjoying Lake LA. I can't believe it is 2015. That is crazy......just think, I will see you all next year! Take good care.
Elder Chad Thompson