A- Area. Milwaukie is doing well I wasn't in the area too much this week; Wed/Thurs we did another exchange with the Sandy Elders, I'll tell you about that later, but the point is that I wasn't here, and Friday was the meeting. I think it was good for Elder Soriano to have to handle the reigns for a bit, right now we have quite a few people we could teach, but none of them really strike me as wanting to be baptized... I did some math after MLC on Friday and instead of a 1 to 16 baptism to news, Milwaukie as somewhere around a 1 to 56 baptism to news, I've been here for 28 weeks and found at least 2 news a week. Food for thought, looks like I need to keep finding.
M- Miracle This week we had an awesome miracle happened that truly opened my eyes to how there are people all around us just waiting to hear the Gospel. On Tuesday morning, we were in the Moreland ward in southwest Portland, because an investigator had a dentist appointment and needed us to translate. We got there at about 9 and left at about 10:30. As we were leaving, I had the very strong impression that we just needed to stay and walk around. I ignored it.That part of our area is pretty white and rich. In my 6 months plus here, I have not found a Spanish Speaker in those parts. So I was ready to go home, we had studies to finish and a busy day planned. We got in the car and drove away. Before we had made it a block, again the impression came to me that we needed to stay put. This time I listened, and we parked the car back where it was. I parked, turned to Elder Soriano and said, "I don't know why we are here or what we are going to do, but I feel like we need to be here." We got out, looked around, and nowhere was screaming at me. We decided to go to a Safeway nearby because I like what you said about teaching captive audiences. As we were walking there, a gentleman stopped us and very kindly asked us if we believe in Christ. He genuinely wanted to know. That is the first time in my mission that I have been stopped by a stranger, non member, for good reasons. We got talking, and he told us he was from California, and that he was being evicted from his apartment and had to go back. I asked if there was anything we could do for him. He got teary eyed and told me that he was disabled and had been stressing about how he would move. We told him we would love to help him, and are going to help him later today. To me that was such a testimony builder that God is putting people in our paths because I had never been that deep into Moreland before, and the chances of us being there just for a few hours, a few hours out of 6 months... That was a powerful experience for me.
P-Personal. I am doing well. I enjoy the privilege of being able to serve those of this district. One of the things that makes it so awesome is that we are all in groups, so we all have very similar circumstances. Sometimes I feel as if I am a greenie again in the sense that I almost feel like my greenie fire is coming back. Every day I am just excited to get out and work.
S- Studies. This week I read a conference talke entitled "By the Power of His Word Did they Cause Prisons to Tumble." ... or something like that. It was a reference to Mormon 8:26. It talked about how sometimes we can just imprison ourselves be it through pride or bad habits or what have you, and the way out of those prisons is the Word of God.
E- Exchanges. On Wednesday of this week I did an exchange with the Sandy Elders, Elder Villatoro and Elder Mann. A couple weeks ago Elder Mann came here with me, so this week I went to Wilsonville with Elder Villatoro. I loved it. Elder Villatoro is honestly who I was expecting to be district leader this transfer He is experienced in the mission, he is focused, he is a great teacher who knows when to teach, when to testify, and when to listen. We taught several really powerful lessons together, we taught so smoothy it seemed like we were companions. I told Elder Villatoro just to lead by example, the rest will follow. There wasn't really much I could tell him, he has more experience in the mission than I do so I just tried to let him know that I am here for him.