Monday, July 15, 2013

Family and Friends,

This week has been pretty amazing. We taught tons of lessons and were able to help a lot of people. This week Christian was baptized. It was such a great event and he even asked me to baptize him. He was so nervous that he did not sleep for a second the night before but came to church on time and was baptized that afternoon. He was so happy and I think just overwhelmed by the spirit. Some amazing talks were given and a few people were, I think, inspired to challenge him to go on a mission because of their experiences. The ward mission leader Hermano Penaranda taught a 19 year old in Bolivia and later in his mission got a letter from that young man saying that he was serving in the very same mission he was. They were able to grow together in the Gospel over the rest of their missions and see more changes they could bring to others' lives. One of counselors in the Bishopric, Hermano Aliaga, was able to tell his story of being baptized at the very same age as Christian and his own path to the mission that he was able to serve. Christian was challenged and encouraged many times to go on a mission and has even talked about it before in our lessons. Later that night we had a fireside that we (the missionaries) coordinated centered on missionary work. Christian went to it along with all the other youth. It was a very interactive fireside about revelation, with over 60 people there. Despite all this, and it being his first day of being really a part of all this, when the stake president asked who wanted to be a missionary soon, he stood up. I think it is something that will be very good for him and I think there is a really good chance he will do it. I am excited to see where this Gospel can take him and what he will do with it. I am even more excited that I get to be in Virginia for the next two years to stay in touch with him and watch side by side more of his changes.
We are going to DC today for the first time for real and I am way excited to go to the Smithsonian. We are busing and then taking the metro in--true big city style. We are going in with all the youth so I will be taking a bunch of pictures and videos that I will send home shortly. There are all sorts of great families and great people I am excited to come see again after my mission.
I am excited for this next transfer; our goal is 7 baptisms! My job is to make it happen.
I love you guys so much,
-Elder Jonathan Bigelow

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