A very Tagalog Thanksgiving

So don't worry about my Thanksgiving. We ate three times. At the last house we had a lot of Filipino food at our Ward Mission Leader's house. Us and his daughter's boyfriend were the only white boys. It inspired a children's book that I am going to write, entitled, "A Very Tagalog Thanksgiving."

This week was a good week for us. We had both of the investigators that are committed to be baptized in church. Nick had to leave shortly after the sacrament, but we were excited to see him there. Sharon is basically active, so it doesn't take any teeth pulling on our part to get her there. She has a lot of family that are members. You know, big Tongan family. Her uncle will be blessing a baby in our ward this coming Sunday, and they've actually asked us to stand in on the blessing. That will be a different kind of experience. I don't think I've ever met the uncle either. Sharon was set for the 8th, but she expressed a concern that she doesn't want to be rushing in to it. She didn't understand too much about baptism, so we just taught about it and why it is important. We haven't moved the date yet, so we're going to follow up with her tomorrow at our lesson. She's been doing great otherwise though. She is good friends with a fairly active young woman, who used to not be active, so it is good for her too.

This last week I went rogue. And went out of the mission. I was on an exchange with Elder Horlacher, who is in the ASL branch. Since they are the only ASL missionaries in the bay area, they have a little more leniency with where they can travel. We went to Hayward, which is like half way between Newark and Oakland. The cool experience of that day was that we were able to give a deaf lady a blessing. I anointed and Elder Horlacher translated, but then he gave the blessing. I left my hands on her head, he took his off and signed the blessing so she could see, and when he was done, he put his hands back on her head. It was an amazing expirience. Even though no "words" were said, I could really feel the spirit as I had my hands on her head and watched the other Elder sign the blessing. It was exactly the same feeling as if the blessing had been in english. Really powerful.

This week on Black Friday we got a new investigator. His name is Scott and he's a late 30's, early 40's black guy that is super cool. We had an appointment with another potential that we were bringing our WML to and the appointment fell through. I felt like we should visit Scott, who we'd been trying to see, without success for a month. We went by, and he was there! We didn't teach him a super formal lesson, just talked. He has been taught by missionaries in the past, but his depression hampered his ability to meet. He's better now, and has a better grasp on agency and certain things happen then I do. We said hi to him on Sunday and he said he requested work off so he could make it this coming Sunday. We're teaching him on Thursday.

So, this week is most likely my last in Newark. Transfers are next week and I'll know on Saturday if I'm leaving. So unless I go to two of the other stakes in Alameda, you probably won't get an email until the following Monday. There is a lot of good stuff going on, and I'll definitely have to come back for some baptisms, like Sharon and Nick and hopefully even Scott.

One last cool thing that I can think of, Is that Richard picked up the phone! I felt prompted to call, and did, and he answered. He's living in San Jose now, and sounded fairly happy to talk to me, so I'm going to call him again, and refer him to missionaries down there. It'll be ironic if he is in Elder Howard's area, since we are the missionaries that started teaching him.

Also, there is a Notre Dame football star, Manti Teo, or something like that, that is cousins to one of the members in my ward here. They said they are scheming to get to the National Championship game, which is at Dolphin Stadium this year.

This week was good. Have a good week, and if I get transfered, have another good week.

-Elder Richards