I hope you are all having a great week. Things in Lake LA are continuing to go well. It got really cold all of a sudden. It seemed like Spring was starting, but it was freezing this week. There has been quite a bit of rain too. We still had a lot of miles to use with the car, so we were lucky and stayed in the car instead of on bike for most of the week.
Everyone is doing really well. Manny has had a pretty hard week though. He has been facing a lot of opposition from his family. His family is not into Christianity and they do not want him going to church at all. It has been especially hard for him this week because his sister Lucerito has not been in town. She is the only member of his family that is supportive about the Church. We have been in contact with him every single day this week and he has been reading his scriptures and praying. He still wants to keep coming to church, it is just a bit of a struggle for him. We are praying for him and helping him as much as we can. He really is a great kid.
Victor is doing awesome! We have been able to have two lessons with him and they have gone great. The first time we visited him we brought DJ. He is a member in the Lake LA Ward who is getting ready for a mission. He has been waiting for his mission call to come for six weeks. I can't imagine having to wait that long, I only had to wait for two weeks. He has been really anxious waiting for his call to come so we have been taking him along with us to some of our lessons. It actually worked out great when DJ came with us to the lesson because Victor is trying to learn English and so he was able to practice a little bit. We taught Victor about the Word of Wisdom, which is the lesson that talks about how we avoid smoking and drinking alcohol and coffee and he took it really well. I am always a little nervous about how people will react to that lesson, but he told us that he stopped smoking and drinking. Can't ask for someone to be more prepared than that! Later that night, we took DJ to our dinner at the Ruiz's house. After dinner DJ told us that he wants to serve a Spanish speaking mission because the food is so good.
The rest of the week was really good. We had a lesson with Dulce. She is doing really well. We haven't been able to meet with her a lot lately because she just recently had a baby. We had a chance to visit her this week and we shared a message about the Plan of Salvation. She really seemed to enjoy it. We also had another lesson with Victor, and we brought a recent convert, Ernesto, along with us to help teach the lesson. Ernesto recently lost his wife and little girl in a car accident. He has been through a lot and my heart really goes out to him. We have been spending a little more time with him and he said it has helped him. Victor really likes Ernesto and he has been a big help at our lessons with Victor. They get along really well. It's amazing that Ernesto would consider helping us work when he has been suffering such a loss. I have met some of the most amazing people.
Church on Sunday went well. Victor came again! It was a really good week for him to come too because it was fast and testimony week, which means that during Sacrament meeting members can go up and share their testimonies. The members here in Lake LA are amazing, so there were some great testimonies shared. The Branch is super small and there were only 32 people in Sacrament meeting, but the whole hour was filled with people going up and sharing their testimonies. I love this Branch. Transfers are in two weeks and I know it may be a long shot, but I would love to stay one more transfer here with Elder Dee. It is crazy how we never go a night without a dinner. During one of the testimonies, one of the members mentioned that she was going out of town and wouldn't be able to feed us on her usual night. Within five minutes of the end of the meeting, we had three families offer to feed us dinner that night! The members here are so good to us. I have met a lot of really great people out here. I love serving in Lake LA.
I hope you have a great week and stay warm. I miss you all, take good care.
Elder Chad Thompson