I hope you all enjoyed conference this weekend. The Provo Tabernacle is being rebuilt into Provo's 2nd temple. How 'bout that? That is great news! Also Wyoming is getting their first temple! At least something in Wyoming will be on the map! Just kidding
I really liked the emphasis put on young men going on missions. The number of full-time missionaries has decreased pretty steadily the past several years. Missions are becoming more of a menu choice than a duty. I hope young men can see what they need to do, and do what they can to serve missions. We need a lot of help out here! Also, Elder Callister's talk on the Book of Mormon was wonderful. Really, all of the talks were great. This conference went by very quickly for me; I was enjoying every minute of it. Watching general conference at a church building makes a huge difference (we're required to watch them there).
Ceyda and Lavena both watched a good portion of conference and loved it. They learned so much. Their testimonies are growing and growing and they just want more and more knowledge. That's a true sign of someone becoming converted: you want all the knowledge you possibly can. We went over the night before to show them how to get on LDS.org to watch it, and also led them to the pictures of the temples, which they were fascinated with, and then to mormon.org. They were glued to the computer looking at all that, so we left to let them inhale it all! We found out that West will be back February 12-26. They have two weeks to have a nice wedding (They are married but never had a nice wedding, so they're going to do that), go on a cruise, and get baptized. I have felt that I should write West several letters and teach him the missionary lessons from afar, since there won't be enough time to learn everything the first time when he gets back here. I likely won't be here for the baptism. I hope it works out! I will probably only be in Vista for two more weeks. Transfers are on Oct 18. Hopefully I can stay longer.
Last week we picked a family as investigators--a rare opportunity here. They are a Catholic family from Baghdad. It's been really interesting teaching someone from Iraq! They can speak English pretty well. All we have to do is speak simply and they understand well. They don't read English very well though, so we got two Arabic Book of Mormons for them. There's no chance in the world of me reading those squiggles and jumble, but we handed the books to them, and they said "ah! The Book of Mormon!" They looked inside and read some things "Peter Whitmer, Sidney Rigdon" and so on. It was amazing!
On Sunday we had a sad lesson with Jeff Merkel, a less-active man that we've been helping come back to church. He has been very doubtful of the truth of the church, and religion in general, based on "science". The whole time I've been in Vista, we've met with him once a week, trying to help him accept the Gospel into his heart. He's been to church several times and likes it there. He "believes the church metaphorically, but can't believe it to be literally true." We've talked to him about faith, repentance, prayer, the Holy Ghost, church, sacrament, Jesus Christ, he's read in the Book of Mormon up to 2nd Nephi, and we even had one lesson on why the church is scientifically true, because that's what he's been asking for. For 6 months he has been very slow to accept anything we say, despite going to church and praying. He has rejected any evidence, scientific or spiritual, that we've given him, and this Sunday, asked us not to come back next week. It was really sad, but I feel we've done all we can for him.
To make that better, 8 of our investigators had to be dropped this week. Christian and his family moved to San Marcos, TJ, Janet, and Grace had to suddenly up and leave to LA, and Julian moved, and last night his phone number was no longer in service, and we couldn't get his new address in time, and with him goes his brother and their two girlfriends. It's been rough, but it'll be okay. There's always a reason for everything.
I hope you all have had a great week. Thanks again for your support and prayers. Love you all