Well, this was a GREAT week! We had S's baptism on Saturday, which was amazing! Of course, it was a baptism so what could go wrong, did go wrong. We had a hard time filling the font, one of the speakers didn't show up...the usual. But in the end, everything worked out perfectly. Somehow we got the font to work and it filled up in the hour and a half we had left (miracle) and I ended up replacing the speaker who didn't show up (it was because she couldn't get a ride there) so I spoke on the Holy Ghost. I talked about how it's a still small voice, using the example from 3 Nephi 11:2 of when the nephites heard the voice of the spirit before Christ came, but it was a still small voice that penetrated them to their souls. I then told a story from my own life when I felt impressed to follow the spirit and was able to help somebody. It was when I was in college. I was walking home from school one time and I saw a girl with disabilities in a wheelchair across the street. I felt impressed to go follow her. I tried to shake it off, thinking it would be weird because I didn't even know her. Finally, the spirit prompted me enough to follow her, by the time I'd caught up to where she was, she was trying to cross the street. But you know how streets are higher in the middle and lower towards the sidewalks? It's ever so slight, but this girl was struggling getting up the slight slope. I got there just in time to help her cross before the light turned. If I hadn't followed the spirit, who knows what would have happened?
It was a really short notice talk (like 10 minutes, maybe) but I did my best.
This week was full of a lot of baptismal preparations. Not only did we have S, but we also have L this Saturday. That poor guy is going through a lot right now. We got a call from him Saturday night. He told us he'd got kicked out of his house and was on the street. He was going to try to get into a shelter, but he didn't have any clothes for church the next day so he wasn't sure if he could go. We told him it didn't matter what clothes he had on, as long as he was there! He ended up getting into a shelter that night and he did come to church, thank goodness! This morning we got a call from him and one of the members is letting him stay at their house for now. He said he was surprised, but grateful. It's amazing the miracles that come when you keep the commandments!
Sowas one of the best sacrament meetings I've ever been in! There were two baby blessings, the confirmation of S, and a particularly good testimony meeting. The spirit was really strong, to say the least. I was really pleased with the spirit that was felt. I love going to church because it gives us the chance to be rejuvenated spiritually and that was definitely a spiritually rejuvenating day. It makes getting through the week a lot easier. We also had dinner with our branch president and his wife last night. They're a hoot! I love having dinner with them. We speak in Spanglish and the food is always delicious. It's a blast.
So now we commence with preparations for L's baptism as well as preparations to get him, S, N and J (another new convert) to the temple on the 14th. It's going to be a crazy couple weeks. We need to help them prepare names of their ancestors to take to the temple so they can do vicarious baptisms for them. We've already talked a lot about baptisms for the dead and how we can help our ancestors receive the blessings of the Gospel, even though they've moved on the spirit world. They're both very excited about it and have already started finding names.
There is definitely plenty to do here in Hartford. On top of all the great missionary work that's going on, yesterday was the Puerto Rican parade. The festivities started Saturday night and endednight. There were honking horns, screaming, yelling, fireworks and sirens going for a good 24 hours, if not more. It was hilarious. Despite all the irreverence, I couldn't help but look out our open 19th story window at the Hartford skyline and think that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be right now.
I love you all so much!