Santiago officially dropped us. He doesn't want to come back to church or talk with us until his drinking problem is under control more. We tried teaching and testifying all we could to help him make the choice to stay with us, but he had made up his mind. That was quite the bummer.
Nancy gets back today. FINALLY! We have been keeping in touch through Facebook (sooo glad we have that) and she still sounds pretty solid. She wasn't able to go to church while in Mexico. She found out the family she was staying with were Jehovah's Witnesses and they wouldn't take her. She hasn't mentioned anything, but I'm going to be prepared in case she was fed "anti" stuff while there. She seemed very sure of herself before leaving, so I'm not too worried.
So, when I was back in Pomona, one night I prayed saying, "Father, help me know what is your will and help me stay diligent in whatever you give me." This past week, I feel like I got a glimpse of why I was called to serve here in El Monte at this time.
Part 1: I'm not sure how much I have talked about our Stake President, President Esquerra, in the past, but I have been in his stake all of my mission except for 10 weeks (Pomona). My third day in the mission, he and President Becerra came with us on a lesson, and he still remembers it. We have developed a pretty solid relationship. For the past month or so, I have been helping the stake organize a massive project to rescue the prospective elders. I have created some stuff on the computer that will help all the leaders keep track of these men and figure out what they need to be able to progress toward receiving the priesthood. So far, all the feedback has been very positive. It looks like it will help a ton.
Part 2: President Esquerra's work schedule is very flexible. He often plays basketball with the missionaries on P-days. Because of how far away we live from the stake, he often offers to take us back home. That leaves us with about 20 minutes of one-on-one time with our Stake President each week. EVERY single time I have walked out of his car and back into our apartment, I have gone to my iPad to type up something amazing that he said. I have seen many patterns of leadership that I would like to emulate in the future. It has been a huge blessing, and this past week, I have felt like this was one of the reasons that I was assigned here at this time.
My testimony has recently been strengthened in the following: Even when we feel like we are in a situation that does not coincide with what we see as "ideal", God has everything calculated out in such a way that, in the end, all our experiences will lead us to become what he wants us to become.
Love you all so much!