Well, I had my birthday this week. I can´t believe that I am already 21 years old. I don´t know how the time has passed by so quickly. It feels like just yesterday I was still going to high school preparing for a football or basketball game, or studying for a test. But now I realize that high school was almost three years ago for me! I am getting like Dad saying things like, "when I was your age, I had to get up at 4 in the morning to milk 40 cows, and then go to school!" Don´t worry, I don´t think I can pull the ol´ "when I was your age" card yet. But it was great here on the mission for my birthday. My mission president´s wife took very good care of me and made me a strawberry cake with my name on it and everything! She really is like a mom to us all here. She always buys everyone a new tie when it´s our birthday.
I had an amazing week this week. Just to let you all know what happened, I will explain to you all about someone really special from our area. His name is Diego and he is a 15 year old young man who we found here in the ward. We found him about three months ago and we took him and all of his friends to Church. They all loved it the first time and all of them wanted to be baptized the next week. We went around to all of their parents and they all allowed their children to be baptized... except Diego´s mom. She didn´t want him to be baptized in only two weeks and wanted him to wait a little bit more. So we let him wait a little more, and in the meanwhile, Diego went to Seminary every single day and participated in the ward choir, the theater piece that the young mens and young womens put on, and he even wanted to go to the temple with all the youth but got really sad because he couldn´t go. Everyone in the ward knows who he is and loves him to death. He is one of the most polite and coolest guys I have ever met. He always talks about serving a mission! We brought the bishop to talk to his mom and not even he was able to convince her to sign the baptismal form. Well, just the other day, my companion and I set a goal to not leave the house without a signature. We talked and talked... and talked... then his abusive dad came in and it started to get ugly. We stayed calm and bore our testimonies to them both. Diego wasn´t there during our conversation. Both my companion and I felt the Spirit so strongly in that moment that not even the hardest parents could have said "no". She took the paper and signed it, and even his dad signed it! We ran to Seminary to show Diego. When he saw the baptismal form all signed and everything, he started to cry and hugged us both! Just think of a young man who really wanted to be baptized! His baptism today was one of the best I have ever been a part of thus far. When he got out of the font, he gave me a big ol´ hug and said, "now I can go on a mission!" I love this Diego! We have about four other recent-converts who are getting ready to go on a mission next year as well! This stuff is great!
I went to the temple this week as well. There was a young man who always went on companion exchanges with me in my last area who finally got his mission call. He doesn´t have anyone in his family who could be his escort, so he called me up and asked me to be his escort. I got there and I saw his excited face seeing the beauty of the temple inside. I remember how I was my first time. Super curious and feeling the Spirit so strongly. He asked me so many questions and I really was happy to see how much he appreciated what he learned in the temple. I love meeting all these people on the mission. I got really sad this day thinking that I probably never will be able to see the majority of these people again when I finish the mission. I love all the experiences that I am having!
I love the mission and I love my recent-converts! I love seeing how they are growing and learning with me. I will be even more happy when they all go through the temple! My families that I baptized and the young men that will go on a mission in a few more years. There really is not a more gratifying work than this. I am really getting worried about the end of the mission. I can´t let any more moments pass me by! I love you all and thank-you so very much for all the support for my birthday! I love my family!