Sorry I don't have time again to reply to all your emails, but I read them and very much appreciate them!
This week has been great. It was really, really hot yesterday. It has been in the 80s the whole time I've been here, and then it was 95 on Sunday, and then 110 yesterday. We were on bikes yesterday. Not very fun! I drank about a gallon and a half of water throughout the day.
Our investigators are progressing very well. We now have 5 investigators with baptismal dates, all in October. Charles (Oct 9), Marvin [edit last name] (Oct 9), Patrick [edit last name] (Oct 16), "Auntie" Zeny [edit last name] (Oct 22), and Carrie [edit last name] (Oct 23)
We had a fabulous lesson the other day with Patrick. Before we arrived, they had watched "The Testaments" which are apparently very, very touching. I guess I am the only Mormon in the world that hasn't seen that DVD. But, we talked about Christ a lot to start the lesson, about what he means to all of us, and his Atonement. The Atonement is for everyone that ever comes to the world, but it is so personal at the same time. Two of the members present tearfully shared dreams they'd had in which they met the Savior, and felt his love for them. Most of the lesson, we didn't say anything, but rather just soaked in the Spirit that was filling the room. It was so strong. Almost everyone there was silently in tears, and everyone had a huge smile. The Spirit felt like swimming in molasses, it was so strong. Even with the places I've been in my life, that was the strongest I've ever felt the Spirit in my entire life. It was very special.
We gave Charles a priesthood blessing on Sunday, because he is still stuck on having 2-3 cigarettes a day. He is pushing very hard to get baptized, but knows he needs to break the habit first. He was promised that as he was faithful, the cravings would be taken from him, and the burden be lifted from him. On Sunday, he smoked 1/2 a cigarette. That was the fewest he's smoked in a day in over a decade. He attributes his success thus far to the blessing. He is truly becoming converted in mind and now in his heart. It is so exciting to watch!
The last of the legal papers Marvin needs to be married should be in today or tomorrow. (This time for 99% sure) He will be married before General Conference, and be baptized next week.
Some of the days have been very difficult. Sometimes it is very hard to go across the street yet again and talk to a person that will most likely turn you down, just like everyone else. But the Lord is with us all. He loves us so much. Our burdens can and will be lightened because he went through the Atonement. He did it just for us. He knows the hardships we go through, and He knows them perfectly. He will take the burdens from us as we allow Him to.
I know Heavenly Father is there and hears our prayers. Yesterday I was having a very, very difficult morning. I felt angry inside, frustrated, exhausted, and sad. I felt alone, and didn't know what to do. I knelt in prayer, spilling my feelings to Heavenly Father. A couple minutes later, as I was still talking, a small voice came into my head. I felt the words "Jonathan, I love you. You are my son, and I love you." That was the first time in my life that I have ever come to tears because of a prayer or prompting. I know He is there. Remember that in your own lives. We all have something very special that most of the world doesn't know. I hope that we treasure the precious knowledge we have.
I forgot most of the funny stories from this week. But yesterday (the really hot day) after our district meeting, we were having contests as to who could keep their hands on the hot metal of the car the longest. Not quite sure why! But it was fun. I got 2nd place before I had to douse my hands in water bottle water. We were also seeing who could pick up other people. Only one person could pick me up, because I've so heavy. But I tried to pick up someone, whose weight I overestimated. Because of that, I ended up falling on my butt. It was really funny.
Well, that's all I have time for this week. I love you all very, very much, and I appreciate your letters. Please print out your emails and send them, because I don't have time to really read them. I will try to write back something though, because I appreciate it so much.