This week we went to Family History with Jose and Marilu Santillan, a family that we baptized last month. This Saturday we’ll be taking them to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. I’m so excited for it, because they’ve been working like crazy to find these names and info of their family. Now, they’re totally ready! They’re such an amazing family. We brought another sister, Milagros, to Family History as well. I have already told you about her. She can’t go to the temple because her Adventist husband doesn’t wanna get married. She just has to wait until he decides to make their 15 year relationship "official", I guess. She is missing these wonderful blessings for his lack of desire to commit. She knows what’s right. We just wanna make sure that she can be strengthened enough to press forward always. She was really excited to learn about the family history and for the opportunity that she will have some day to go to the temple for them. She is so awesome!
We have been teaching a less active man, Luis Lopez. He’s been preparing to get sealed with his wife and kid. He’s recently gotten really active and decided on his own decision to participate in the church. Before it was just something that he sometimes did, and other times blew off. But, now he is on fire! We received a call Saturday afternoon from his distressed wife that he had passed away that day in a little 3 wheeled "moto" accident in the jungles of Peru. It was so sad to get the news. It seemed so unreal. Me and my comp said a prayer shortly after receiving the phone call. On Sunday, the bishop asked us to conduct the memorial in the chapel on Monday morning, or in other words, today in the morning. Luis was a great guy. He accompanied us on some of our appointments, and when he committed to something with us, he didn’t like to leave us hanging. He always to tried to fulfill his commitment. They asked us, me and my comp, with the 2 other missionaries here in the ward, Elder Winnie (my MTC comp) and Elder Claros. I conducted the memorial service, and my comp played the piano. It was my first time conducting a meeting in the chapel. It was a neat experience. There was a sweet spirit felt during the service. During the hymns, his wife started to cry, but the whole family was surprisingly at peace today. There were tears, but not as many as I had expected. The service was beautiful and it reminded me of Grandma’s memorial, somewhat similar. (Although at one point, a dog came in and peed on the wall, so we had to clean that up.) They were a really young couple, a little over 30, like 32 or 33, and they have a 10 year old son. Brenda is devastated, but she still was able to speak and say a few words. Luis will be really missed here. It was a real shame losing him. At least, thanks to the gospel, we know that families can be together forever. We were able to bring comfort in that fact. I felt the spirit strongly during the meeting. It was good. Lots of Catholics came and started making a cross sign over their bodies as they approached the casket. (I’m not sure what that’s called when Catholics do the cross symbol on the bodies. In Spanish its persignarse or persinarse. Maybe dad or Samantha can help in the translation of that!)
We had our mission Christmas multi zone this past week as well. The was a power outage so we weren’t able to watch the movie that they were going to show us. It was called “Chariots of Fire” from 1981. I’m not too upset about it though. It sounded old and kinda boring. Anyway, it was an awesome multi zone, and our zone’s Christmas choir turned out well despite the little practice we had. We all wore lighted Christmas hats. Afterwards, I got pics with all the missionaries from my group and the elders from my district in the MTC. I also got a pic with all my companions that are still alive (in the mission). It was cool to be able to see all of them!
I had a good week and I’m so excited to see and hear from you guys Christmas day. About a letter you sent me about the true meaning of Christmas and how I wasn’t satisfied with the gift you sent me last year…I think you might be right. I was happy about the gift, it was just unexpected. I’m sorry that I didn’t quite "get it" last year. I hope that this year I "get it" at a higher level.