This week we are seeing the the culmination of this 7-week transfer marathon. Two people Elder Thomas and I have taught will be baptized this week. One into the English ward (we really only half taught him), and [our investigator] into Spanish. [He] was baptized back in 1991 in Guatemala, but after 22 years and an immigration to Los Estados Unidos his record has been lost without a trace. He has actually been the beneficiary of missionary visits for over a year now. Before we ever met him he had almost completely quit drinking and was attending church every week. We found out his record was gone, have taught him everything (most of it was really new to him) and he will be baptized this Saturday. I've never taught anyone so humble and willing to learn as him. After reading from Malachi we asked him if he'd pay tithing. He said "Well of course, it says to right here!" He recognizes his weakness, but seeks to do his very best. It has been a delight to see him come to Christ, obey His commandments, and reap the blessings.
The members here are great. They are anxious and willing to help us visit people. They feed us fantastic food. I am impressed by their strength, testimony, and those love one for another.
As we get to know people, asking about their families, beliefs, hopes and plans, I love discovering how the fullness of Christ's Gospel is really what fills every need and heals every wound. We talked to a man on Saturday that really has no direction in life. He wants to have a family. He wants to stay away from jail and drugs. But he really just doesn't know why. The spirit was there are we read from 2 Nephi 2 that "men are that they might have joy." This man is afraid of death, afraid of being lonely, and he said we helped bring him peace.
My testimony of the commandments has grown a lot. I see first hand why God wants us to have families, to love them, to stay with them, why he asks us not to drink or smoke, why the prophets council us on our financial habits and decisions. There really is a happy way to live. It's not the easy or the natural way. It's the way God wants from us so we can be happy.
The ice was fun.*
*Houston (CNN) -- After pelting parts of Texas with snow and ice, a rare deep South winter storm moved into Louisiana on Friday, icing roads and causing at least two deaths. Louisiana State Police closed I-10 at the Texas border after numerous traffic accidents blamed on ice.The interstate closure was one of many hampering travel in the state Friday afternoon as state police warned of deteriorating conditions. They warned residents to avoid driving unless it was absolutely necessary.State police said two people died in traffic accidents attributed to the weather. . .The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for southwest and south-central Louisiana through Friday evening. As much as a half-inch of ice is possible, the agency said. Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency because of the storm. State offices were closed in 38 parishes, according to the governor's office. Schools were closed in 37.
Earlier, the storm made trouble in Houston, a city so unaccustomed to wintry weather that it's only had three bouts with measurable snow since 1968. One Twitter user jokingly posted: "Ice on my windshield. Anything I can do or should I just bust it out with a hammer?" Although the winter storm warning had been lifted for the Houston area Friday afternoon, forecasters warned that bridges, overpasses and other wet spots could freeze again after dark on Friday. Icy conditions remained sketchy. "We still have ice on the roads and overpasses. A lot of roadways are closed, and nearly all of our interstates have ramp closures or lane closures because of the overpasses," said Michael Walter, a spokesman for Houston's emergency management agency, said. "If you don't need to be on the roads, stay off them," he added. Icy conditions also caused delays at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, he said. About 100 flights have been delayed. High winds associated with the storm also forced the U.S. Coast Guard to suspend shipping through the Houston Ship Channel. While the channel remained closed Friday morning, the Coast Guard hoped to have it reopened by afternoon, Lt. Ashley Bullard said.
No coat, no hat, no gloves, below freezing temperatures: that's what Zach calls fun!