Hello, my dear parents :) .
I'm glad dad enjoyed his jambalaya haha, I'll gladly have some if he deigns to grace me with it. I was so pumped to see the picture from Lane with Sindylek, it made me laugh. He actually is visiting the branch at the moment, so I think it's awesome. He actually came teaching with us and the branch president one evening to see O and D's family, which went very well.
This week was an amazing one once again. The miracle family of last week's email is still going strong, and O, D, A, and M will be baptized this Wednesday! It's going to be a special event--I'm really trying to make it better than ever and start implementing some good ideas that've been discussed in the mission to make the evening extra-great for all those involved. Pres. Pilkington may even make his way over to Sheffield for it if he can, which would of course bring even more of a special spirit to it. They all passed their interviews, and I've been so impressed by the strength of their hearts in doing what's right. O and D both had to give up coffee, which they did the day after we'd taught them about it, which was the only way that they could make their date. They replaced it with Ovaltine (props to the Allens for coming up with the idea all those months ago for A, who's still going strong), and it's been a real trial for D. She said that every morning she feels a very strong urge to drink coffee, but she prays for help while in the kitchen and makes herself a cup of Ovaltine instead, pushing forward and through the challenge. The granddaughters are a couple of very smart girls, and impressed us in the interview on Saturday. (I was translating for E. Crabb). M, the youngest, couldn't remember much about prophets, but she passed the interview on the condition that we reteach her about prophets before her baptism. Then, without any coordination from us, the Primary teachers do a lesson on Sunday for the kids about prophets! Is that inspiration at work, or what? She understood so well that evening we didn't even need to spend much time on the subject, and instead had a brilliant lesson about fasting. O and D will be fasting this Sunday, which will make their day even more amazing with receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost as well.
Aside from the light shining from that family, we had some other great miracles throughout the week, actually scheduling 2 more couples for baptism who we'd not taught before. One of them is a referral from a part-member family in Firth Park, who are doing a great job fellow shipping from a bit of a long distance.
Church attendance was astounding once again, topping last week's sudden peak by an additional 8 people. All 3 of the branch's missionary teams had good turnouts from the 3 areas and people being taught, including new people and some who have been less consistent that are becoming more consistent. It was an amazing miracle, truly. Now it's time to work hard to try and build it even more!
I love working in this branch. It's become a home to me, these people a part of my family. They love me, and I love them. I guess a year and a half in one area will do that to a missionary, and it'll be an even stronger bond by the end of two years.
I love you so much, too. Don't think I've forgotten about my birth family! Rather, be happy that you now have loads of new brothers and sisters :) . When you get to meet them one day (and you will--it's a must), you'll be adopted right into their hearts, too--you'll see. Have a great week!
Sending my love and theirs,