Once again, I am out of time. Lame, I know. But! We had a good week. Esther is still doing great and wants to be baptized. Because of the conflict with her family and her wanting to keep all this a secret, we will probably have to do it when her family is out of town. And she never knows exactly when they will be gone until like a few days before. So! We got permission from President Griffin to do it on any day of the week, and to confirm her at the baptismal service. And we are basically just waiting for a day that will work.
Update: We just had a lesson with Esther with a legit sister RM from the Germany Berlin mission named Megan. Actually it was pretty funny - Megan got to the meeting place before we did, and when Esther got there she tried to give a pass along card to Megan. It was super funny. I might have already mentioned this, but Esther gives out more pass along cards to people than we do haha. Esther's family is out of town this week so we might try to do the baptism on Thursday. This is crazy short notice though and we aren't sure if it's gonna happen or not. It's a weird and tricky situation. We really don't like going behind her family's back either and we aren't entirely sure what to do about the situation... We need some guidance. Prayers would be greatly appreciated!
We saw Verner, a less active member, again. We are trying to help him overcome some of his doctrinal concerns by helping him regain a testimony of Joseph Smith. The lesson went pretty well, he had some questions about where the church went after Christ and the early apostles died, so we were able to teach him a lot of the Restoration.
We also had a lesson with a Spanish speaking guy from Mexico we tracted into. His name is Luis and he has a super cute family. He doesn't speak much English so we brought a member that speaks Spanish and he basically taught for us. There aren't any Spanish missionaries close by except a Sister who is likely going to be transferred next week, so it's kinda tricky to teach him. But we will do our best.
My message this week is about families and charity - specifically the principle that "charity never faileth." If your family is struggling - and, in one way or another, all of our families are struggling - remember that the one thing that does not fail is charity, or the pure love of Christ. In this the restored Church, we believe in eternal families. Yet often it can be difficult to believe that our families, as imperfect and struggling and assailed on all sides as they are, could possibly become something eternal. In the words of Elder Uchtdorf, in his April 2016 conference address "In Praise of Those Who Save:"
"...There is one thing that is right in every case.
"...Whatever problems your family is facing, whatever you must do to solve them, the beginning and the end of the solution is charity, the pure love of Christ. Without this love, even seemingly perfect families struggle. With it, even families with great challenges succeed.
“‘Charity never faileth.’
"It is true for saving marriages! It is true for saving families!"
The pure love of Christ will save our families if we will faithfully seek to be filled with it. I know Christ can save our families.
And Elder Uchtdorf really does a great job of making this point. If you have time I highly recommend studying his talk!
I love you all!
Elder Alex Swindler
A Whole Lotta Pics
1) Elders Lakko, Constantino, and me
2-3) Elders Nelson, Lakko, and Constantino. We ate dinner together one night this week (pizza, BBQ chicken, and soda - a well-balanced diet for the active missionary!)
4-6) Found this sign at a baptist church
7-8) Selfies at the Children's Museum
9-10) Glam shots
It rained like crazy this week! This was one of the storms. It knocked out our power a few times and knocked out a bunch of traffic lights too. (As if driving in the South wasn't fun enough already...) And yet, even with the rain, it is still SUPER hot here. :P