How’s it going everybody!!!
How the heck did y’all all get poison oak?! I remember when we took that trip to Arizona and I had to give you like 40 bucks for medicine because your arm was about to fall off from you itching It, when you got poison ivy. I’m sorry you guys are all itchy. That really stinks. Keep Tony on the piano so he can be a boss at it when he gets older and get all the ladies. He's a fast learner, I bet he'll be composing symphonies by the time I get back. That’s so crazy that Aunt Debi and Uncle Paul showed up out of nowhere! Their trip will be an adventure for sure. Europe is awesome, I want to go one day. I like the pic of them with me in the middle, hah.So this week has been great. We had Al's baptism on Saturday. It was perfect.
Let me tell you a little bit about Al. As missionaries one of our rules is we have to be in by 9 o’clock. The missionaries before us were heading in for the night, tired and a little discouraged and decided to make one last loop around the apartment complex not expecting much because that’s what they did every night for the past 3 months not really seeing any success. (Let me just tell you, do not ever go in early.) They turned on to their street leading to their apartment and they saw a man at his mail box, it was 8:55, but they decided to talk to him anyway. They started meeting with Al and began to teach him the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Al was telling us his story and he told us that he normally wouldn’t start talking to random strangers like that at night, but it just felt right. He said it was like talking to good friends who he hadn’t seen in a very long time. It has been the coolest thing to see the spirit work through this man and to see him grow in the gospel. (I’ve come to learn that we really aren’t learning new things about the gospel, we are really just remembering them.) The Elders who started teaching him were able to come back for the baptism and one was able to baptize him, which was really cool to see. I was one of the witnesses. When I watched Al close his eyes and go under the water it was like it was in slow motion, I felt something. I felt the love and the joy Heavenly Father had for this man. He had been preparing him for a long time. We did the "half-time show", E. Cowan and I shared the message of the Restoration with everyone there. It was awesome because the spirit was so strong and there were a ton of non-members at the service. It was a spiritual drop kick to the face! haha. E Cowan confirmed him yesterday at church and I was able to stand in as well as a few other brethren. I must have been growing numb from getting all emotional because I haven’t been for a very long time, but when he was receiving the Holy Ghost my heart was so full of joy for this man. I was so happy. I can’t really describe it.
You want to know something kind of cool too? At the beginning of the transfer I was praying so hard, asking Heavenly Father "please just let us have one baptism, just one. If we do our part and work as hard and we can and show you that we are really trying." And He indeed answered that prayer, He waited till the very last day of the transfer to do it, but He answered.I love this work, I want to be a missionary forever. I feel like I say that a lot, but it’s true.
I love you all, with every fiber of my being.
Stay strong, stay true, and look out for each other while I’m away, alright?
-Elder DanielThe District
Al Stroes, coolest guy from the Netherlands you will ever meet.