This week we had the Dia de Accion de Gracias (Thanksgiving). Like I said in the prior letter, we had three different Thanksgiving meals set up. The first one we went over to the Richey's house. There we had our traditional Thanksgiving, with mashed potatoes, stuffing, beans, rolls, and pumpkin pies. After that, we had a little bit of time where we went and taught a few lessons to investigators. Then we had to hurry over to the Martinez's house for our second Thanksgiving meal. There we had, more or less, another typical Thanksgiving meal. Well, they're from Panama, so it wasn't quite an "American Thanksgiving." There was a side of rice with almost every dish, which was a little different for Thanksgiving, and a lot of fruits and greens. Finally after this meal, we had one more to go to before the day was over. At this point, I was not looking forward to this last meal. I was already super full, and at the point of bursting! So we arrived at the house of the Herreras, and they brought out a huge plate of food for us. The nice thing about the first two places was that we served ourselves, but here we had no choice but to eat everything that was on our plates. We each had our own little chicken, a huge side of rice, and another huge side of mashed potatoes. I've never felt so sick from food in my life. I was afraid that I was going to throw up. Not because the food was bad, it was delicious, but it was just so much. So after quite some time, we finished our last bit of food. Or so we thought. After we ate all the food on our plates they brought out a birthday cake from the fridge for Elder Martinez. Once again, they served us so we had no choice but to eat a huge slice of cake. After that, we returned home to our house, did our planning as fast as we could for the next day, and passed out in our beds. It was a different Thanksgiving experience, that's for sure. But all of the food was super good.
A few funny stories that happened this week. The first is about me. This actually happened yesterday. We were in a lesson, and we were talking about Joseph Smith. One of the investigators asked if they had to be young like Joseph Smith to find God. But I only heard them say that Joseph Smith was young when he found God. So with a big smile on my face, I looked at them and said "Yes!" Haha. After they good really quiet and a little awkward. And I was wondering why. But then my companions stepped in and told them that they didn't need to be young to find God, because they were both a little older. After that though we had a short laugh.
One more story happened with one of my companions. We were talking about how the Book of Mormon and the Bible are different witnesses of Jesus Christ. One witness in the Americas and one in Jerusalem. Well, instead of saying the word "testigo" for witness, he said the word "testiculos" (testicles). We got a really weird look when he said that. One of the fun things about learning a new language is looking back at the mistakes that you make. At the time it may be embarrassing, but when we think back to those moments we always have a good laugh.
Last thing in this letter, I just want to write about an experience or two that we had this week. The first one happened yesterday, during sacrament meeting. The Spanish Sisters in our area have been working really hard in our area to activate this less active lady. She's come to church the past few weeks, and she's really progressing. But this week, they were impressed to invite her to take her friends to church with her this Sunday. Well, Sunday came along, and we couldn't find the Sisters anywhere and church was about to start. Then they came in through the doors, looked at us, and said "prepare yourselves!" About fifteen people who we had never seen before came in through the church doors, and joined us for our sacrament meeting. Back home I didn't really think fifteen people at church was a big deal, but looking out at our congregation, it was about doubled! That was a really neat miracle that we all saw.
One other thing, we were having a lesson with a lady named Adriana. As far as we know, she has never met with the missionaries before. But while teaching her the Restoration, it all just made sense to her. Normally we have to clarify points about the Restoration, but she was the one saying the things we normally clarify. At the end of the lesson, we were able to set her with a baptismal date. And she invited us back again, and offered us to feed us before the lesson. For Hispanic people, that's a super big deal! So there is lots of potential with her in the future, and I know that God prepares people to receive our message. I have no doubt about that.
I hope y’all had a good Thanksgiving, and hope that y’all are getting excited for Christmas!