I suppose I'll start out with talking about splits. Basically, the ward that I'm in was divided, not long ago. It used to be one big ward called New Braunfels, and now there are 2 wards. And, let's just say, there's a lot of work to do here! What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't seem like the ward has really been doing splits with the Elders, until now. I'm not saying that they are doing it now because I am here, but they just recently started signing up to go on splits with us. For those of you that don't know what splits are, it's when you have two members of the ward go with you to teach lessons, one member with each missionary. SO - you get TWICE as much work done. On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to go on splits; Elder wright went with Brother C, the ward mission leader. I went with Brother B and his son, "D," who I think I'm actually related to by the way. They are related to the Snows up in Utah, and they're related to Lorenzo Snow as well. It's also weird, because they have a 15 year old daughter named mason, but she spells it differently. They're a super cool family, and they look pretty similar to me, so you never know haha.
ANYWAYS, I took them out to go visit the "C" Family and "T," the young man who lives with them. Brother "B" and I worked super super well together. We were talking about the importance of praying and reading as a family. We were talking about church attendance and how it's basically a spiritual recharge for the week. It went awesome, no joke. We killed it. Brother "B" was rocking it, and so was his son. They were all very involved. Then, towards the end of that lesson, "T" walked in and listened to the lesson, so then we taught "T" about the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and he committed to reading some of the Book of Mormon this week. It really went great. As we walked out, brother B and his son, D, were stoked. They had a super good time, and on the drive home we literally had to park and stop to talk because "D" had so many questions. He was so fired up about missionary work. And, "D" is 13 years old! He's a freaking stud, no joke. He is inviting the less active kids his age to church now, he's giving out book of mormons, it's great. Brother B thanked me for taking them out and told me how stoked "D" was and how much they want to come back out. It was an awesome experience!
On wednesday, as elder Wright and I were teaching, we got a text from a less active woman in the ward asking if we could give her a blessing. We obviously told her we would be happy to, and we brought brother "O" with us, who is the first counselor in the bishopric. Basically, the woman was having problems in her relationship, and without divulging much, I will just say that it was a very interesting experience. I just told her that we didn't have any advice that could make her feel better, but then I said that we would love to give her a blessing to see if we could receive any inspiration from the Lord, and see what he would have for her. I anointed her, and brother O performed the blessing. The blessing surprised me a little bit. And, although I was feeling the same way, as he performed the blessing, it seemed bold. However, after the blessing she thanked us and told us that is what she needed to hear. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
Also, Wednesday, we took a youth from the ward to teach a recent convert about the aaronic priesthood. This kid is named "A," and he's like 18. Very cool, it went very good. I've made a POINT since I've gotten here to work with the youth, and I've almost taken every young man in the ward out so far. I hope to continue that trend. I am so grateful for people, like Doug, back home. I'm trying to do the same with the kids in my ward. I want them all to look up to me as an older brother, not some lame boring missionary. I try to have fun with them, so they can see how much joy the gospel can bring into their life, and others' lives.
Thursday we went on splits again, except we couldn't get TWO separate members to go with us, so we just had brother Ca (second counselor in bishopric) and his son, "B" (17 year old), come with us. We visited a less active member and then we went over to "H's" house and did this card trick (it's a magic trick with cards that I know) that we related to the gospel. We related it to how God is our loving Heavenly Father, and how he always knows where we're at, through all of our challenges and struggles. It was a very cool object lesson. We actually have been using it a lot lately. Brother Ca actually recorded it. The lesson went well.
Saturday, we went to visit the "R" Family again; they are seriously SO AWESOME. I love this family so much. We visit them on Saturday nights now because that's the only time we can get all of them together. They are a part member family for various reasons, but they all have a strong faith and belief in the gospel. We chatted for a bit and gave a little lesson. His wife was there this time, and she LOVED us. She's actually a gamer, so we hit it off and talked about world of warcraft and stuff haha. Brother R (husband) gave us a ride home, and was just profusely thanking us for coming over and seeing his family again. He keeps telling us how much the kids love it when we come over and how much he wants us to come again. There are for sure two baptisms coming in that family. We are just waiting for a few things, but it should be happening very soon!
Yesterday was a very good day. We actually got TWO awesome referrals yesterday. We went to visit sister "P" yesterday, a single woman who was baptized a year and a half ago. She had brought her mom to church that day, and her mom was AT the house when we visited. We taught the card trick lesson, and the kids loved it. Sister"P" loved it, and so did her mom. Her mom then proceeded to ask us tons of questions. We answered them all, gave her a book of Mormon, and offered to come over and help her out. She said she'd love to have us over every weekend when she's with her daughter because she's super interested. She is going to be coming to church every week and she wants to take the discussions. How awesome?! She has a super strong desire to be baptized - she even told us. We basically just have to get through the lessons and she's baptized.
Also, another cool referral was when we went to dinner with the "B" family, and the mom's sister told us she had a friend who she was bringing to church, and was very interested. She even had multiple dreams of her friend being baptized, and that's why she invited her to church in the first place. So, we have a lesson with them next week, and she's very interested. I feel very good about that, as well.
Now for some of my more frustrating parts of the week. Friday was really, really hard. It was raining, cold, and I was on my bike. I didn't know it was going to rain, though, so I was wearing a pretty nice tie that got pretty messed up. I will have to get it dry cleaned now. It was cold, wet, and NOBODY would let us inside. I also popped a tire that day. Walmart didn't sell tubes my size, so I had to walk my bike home to fix it there. As I was leaving, I saw a homeless man sitting in the rain, FREEZING his butt off. I had a pretty strong urge to go and talk to him. As I talked to him, I gave him a couple dollars, and a Book of Mormon, and I told him that I knew that if he read it, it would bless his life. We chatted a bit, then I walked my bike home. It was a good experience, but I was still down because of everything else. It was the hardest day of my mission, so far, and I really missed everyone. Then that night, I got a package from Amber, and I almost cried from how happy that made me. It really was fantastic. We later went caroling that night, all four of us elders, and it was so bad that it was fun, haha. The elders in my apartment can't sing at all...oh well!
Well, that's all for this week! I hope you guys had a fantastic week. I love you all like crazy and wish you a Merry Christmas!