Monday, June 2, 2014

Buckle Up!

Hey family and friends. So first off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! Everyone in the world says that they have the best mom in the world, but it turns out everyone else in the world is lying. Thanks for taking on a job way harder than Rock Canyon and UVU--motherhood. You're awesome!

WARNING: This is a long letter but I promise it's worth it!  A little bit more about the area.  The part of our area we work in is all Latino and Chinese.  The northern part of our area is mostly white.  I haven't really been up there much.  The part of our area that we spend all our time in is small enough that we can walk the whole time. It's soooo much better than biking!!

So this week we had one of the coolest stories I've had in a while so buckle up.  So we met this guy named Santiago.  We were heading to a set appointment that we had at 11:00.  That doesn't happen very often because usually everyone leaves super early to go to work.  So as we are walking to our appointment, this guy starts talking to us on a street corner.  After talking to him a little bit, we can tell that he is a little bit drunk.  One of the first things that he said was, "I would like to get involved with your church group."  So now with him being a little drunk, we were thinking, "alright, is he serious?" Sensing that the conversation might take a while, we started walking with him toward our appointment.  Turns out that he lived on the same street as our appointment.

So we talk with him for about 10 minutes as we are walking. He tells us that he wants to give up drinking.  He said that as he was walking around that morning he was specifically looking for somebody that could help him change his life. (for those that have watched District 2, this guy is totally like Eric)  We get his number and his address and tell him that we will stop by after the lesson we had on that same street.  So we go to the appointment and they weren't there.  So we go back to Santiago and talk for a bit.  We showed him the Because of Him video and gave him the Restoration pamphlet to read when he was in a better condition.  Seeing as we were going to be helping him stop drinking, we realized that we would need to drop by fairly consistently.  We thought that as we did that, he would have the needed support and we would also be able to find out if he was serious about quitting or not.

So this first lesson happened on Wednesday and we set up a return appointment for the next day.  Thursday, he shoots us a call about 2 hours before our lesson to make sure that we were still coming.  When we showed up, he was a little bit drunk again.  He told us that he called his family and told them all that he was now Mormon. We introduce him to the LDS Family Services program to help people fight addictions and invite him to read the first step.  We set up a lesson for Friday.  He wasn't there for the appointment.  A lady there said that he was probably at the convenient store on the corner.  So we go there and we found him with a group of drunks and everybody except for him were getting a little violent with each other, so we kept our distance.

We give him a call on Saturday evening to drop by and he said that he would be there.  We find him sober!  He said he had some beer in the morning, but in the lesson he essentially said, "I'm sick of this. I'm quitting drinking."  We invite him to church and set a baptismal date for July 20.  We told him that we would swing by and walk with him to the bus stop and ride the bus with him.  He calls us 15 minutes before we were supposed to meet up to make sure we were still coming. We get to our meeting spot and he's totally sober. He said that he slept awfully because of the problems with withdrawals but he was excited to go to church.  We get to church and the whole time he is talking about how good he felt there.  San Gabe is super good at saying hello and welcoming unfamiliar faces.  He told all of them that he will keep coming and that he is meeting with the missionaries and the missionaries are helping him to change his life.

Then we go by him last night to follow up on church a bit more.  He said he loved it and he wants to keep going with everything. He still hasn't had anymore drinks.  He's doing super well!  At this rate, we will probably have his baptism much sooner than July 20th.

So there's the miracle of the week.  Hope you all are recognizing all the awesome things that God does in your lives everyday.  As we look for his hand in our lives, we will find it.  As a result our gratitude and trust in God will inevitably increase.

Love you all!
Elder Christensen

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