MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL!!! It's been an interesting week for me for sure. Elder Ashcraft and I decided to drop Guillermo and our other investigator whom we have never met. Guillermo just wasn't in the right heart with the right desire to accept the fulness of the gospel and apply the principles that were taught to him. Twice he was drunk while we went over to a teaching appointment with him. One cannot feel the influence of the Holy Ghost under such conditions. It was a scary experience. We will never go back to him while I'm here-- that's for sure, but he did say that he wanted to be baptized. Now is just not a good time for him. The other investigator picked up a 2nd job, and it became impossible to meet with her, so we turned her over to the Lord for further preparation.
The good news is that we have picked up a guy named James. He is an Assyrian. General to Jordan, Israel, and Iraq area. Most Assyrians in Turlock are Christians. Some are refugees, but not James. He's lived here for many years. We read from Mosiah 2 with him to answer one of his questions as to why we have to fight in general. We answered by saying that we must listen to the Holy Spirit to tell us things that we must do right and not listen to the devil's temptations. We wanted to stay longer for our appointment, but we had to meet up with the sisters later that night.
We also came to find out that Sister Pietz was leaving to go somewhere else in the mission. Emergency transfer. Sister Miller heard the next day that she will be leaving for Oakdale again, so we no longer have the sisters in our ward. Elder Ashcraft and I will be alone in the mighty work here in the newly formed Turlock 1st ward. Nothing seems to want to be alright around here. There is something changing, something in commotion. As of right now, there are 5 English Wards, and 3 Spanish Branch's in the Turlock Stake. This stake is getting spread thin. I hope they and we missionaries can help build up the church again. Let us all spiritually convert others to the gospel and help our spiritual brothers and sisters become members of the restored church through baptism and confirmation.
Thursday, we will be having a Mission Christmas Devotional and sharing our talents or just sing together. Hopefully I will see my Christmas package then. They will also be hosting Christmas breakfast for all of us at the Mission Office. We will also be having a new mission picture, so hopefully I will get that email, and then send it to you for my final time with the whole mission before I come home. It's been such a wonderful experience serving here in the Central Valley of California. There are so many things that I want to share when I get home during my homecoming talk and report how well I have been in serving the Lord. May the lord bless you all back at home, and me as we are in the service of our fellow beings this Christmas season.
Sincerely with love to all and to all,