Dear family and everyone else,
This week has not been utterly terrible. As some of you are aware, it's my dad's birthday today, April 25th. Wish him happy birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY dad!!! Things that have been decently good this week... well, on Saturday, was the Love Manteca Service Day. Us, Lathrop, YSA, and Union did service at the cemetery. We dug and ripped out overgrown grass that was covering the plot pavement areas at the cemetery. It was well needed since people in the past were stealing money from the city instead of taking care of the place like they should have been doing. In July, they will be hiring a new manager to take care of the cemetery so it can be given the care that it needs. I could just imagine all the spirits next to their graves, or in one major group saying thank you! We also uncovered an old family plot name at the gate area that people are supposed to enter in, but people usually don't. We also uncovered a 28 year old grave stone that has been completely buried by dirt and has sunk a little. It was slightly cracked, so we made a note of it for the future manager to figure out someday. We finished up by having lunch with eating cake and hot dogs and a banana.
An hour after we finished the cemetery, we changed from our proselyting clothes, because we were asked to in the first place, to do service for Sister White with our district leader, Elder Ahau. He for some reason was on an emergency exchange just before the transfer ended with another district leader from San Andreas named Elder Nielsen. It was good to see him again. Sister White was updating her yard to be more water efficient. She ripped out half of her grass to put in water saving plants with nice mulch. It was the day of service. We accomplished a lot that day. Sister White was grateful. I'm still trying to figure out if I am at all related to her. We then finished the day having dinner with the Eckle's at Mongolian BBQ.
Throughout this week, we have been talking to Giovanni. He's just been super busy tending his daughter until her mom picks her back up at the end of the week. We talked a little bit about what the Book of Mormon is all about and some stories there are inside. He became even more interested in reading it. We've also been trying to get in contact to help him get this Gospel Art book that Elder Guernsey has shown him. It was inconvenient and embarrassing when he showed all the different pictures, but he at least grew to better understand the plot line of many scriptural references and church history.
We have almost answered every question that Luke has about the church. He just for some reason cannot let go of the belief in the Niassan Creed, which believes in one being with 3 different personalities or something of the sort. We got him to read 1st and 2nd Nephi, and funny story is he started quoting those scriptures to his active parents and they were bewildered. He's come a long ways, but we are not done yet. We hope that when he reads the entire Book of Mormon, he will receive a confirmation that it is living scripture, and that he will accept that Joseph Smith translated The Book of Mormon, and that he is a prophet of God, who in turn tells all mankind that the Godhead is three separate beings.
Maria Johnson is still doing wonderful in the gospel of Christ. She comes to church, participates in activities with her fiancee. Brother Richard Cursey had eye surgery, so he can see a lot better in one eye now. Thank goodness all went well for him. We taught lesson one and two I believe again with her.
Lastly, this week, we have been working almost daily with Marsh Baker with her piling issues. Her car was towed away for some reason, and she got her court papers back to fight for her apartment that in a month she will be evicted from. She has also been stolen from by many homeless people due to her roommate letting them in. She had a good council with him, and they both set bounds for each other. She will be nicer as long as he doesn't let anyone in anymore. We gave her a talk to listen to together, and a copy for her to restudy, and she grasped and applied what she learned. She learned from the talk from a seventy that we need to take care of ourselves with our basic needs first before we take care of other people. She took it too hard and went straight up bold. It was a huge 180 for her in one or two days. We were surprised. She seemed slow before. Her desire for the gospel grows evermore fierce as she continues to learn. Now, she just needs to stop smoking once and for all. We have confidence in her.
I forgot to mention that I am pleased to announce that I will be staying here in Northland Ward with Elder Shepherd. I will let you all know who I will have for dinner on Mother's Day and what time. Love you all.
This is what happened this week.
The cleaned up cemetery