Wow, that is soooooooooo weird about the whole return date mix up!!!! I am definitely NOT coming home until July 3rd---as much as I love you all, you'll just have to wait! We ARE an eternal family, so it'll be ok :). I love you all so much. It was rather amusing to hear Kat describe their reaction. Sorry that Christmas really will have to wait until July :P.
As for this week--it was AMAZING. Our lovely sister was baptized and confirmed this weekend. She is so awesome and really has felt the power of the Atonement in her life. However, we still have three investigators who need to be baptized but just can't seem to overcome the family opposition. They are all ready to go and we have been trying our very best, but their time hasn't come yet. One of our biggest challenges is that we haven't been able to meet the opposing parents. We've fasted, prayed, role played, likened from the scriptures, and yet it still hasn't been enough. So we will keep praying and planning! I know there is more to this than we know---God's view is a lot larger than ours. So we will continue in faith.
For dear recent converts and less actives, one I have been working with since day one in this area, went to the temple and did baptisms for the dead yesterday! So awesome! Also a less active sister I have been working with since my first week here, brought her mother to our baptism! The baptismal service was so wonderful! We had lots of friends there, a part member family (two people), a recent convert, and two member referrals with their member friends! Our hearts were full. God is too good to us. He blesses us so abundantly every day! Sister Thomas and I also made cookies for the baptism. It was quite hilarious as we stayed up to 10:28 making the cookie batter and when the two minute warning went off we totally freaked out and went into super human mode. Lol--we made it to be pretty close to on time! And the cookies were a huge hit. It was so funny---probably just 'cause every one wanted us to feel loved. They went out of their way to make this huge deal over our cooking skills and how if we ever needed a job we could make cookies for them. It was so fun--and we ate it up, along with a few of the amazing cookies. Lol. I give all the credit to my companion--although the recipe did come from the Hobble Creek 8th ward cook book I was given. So credit goes to the HC 8th ward! Thanks!
As for my lovely companion Sister Thomas--she is so awesome. I love her so much. We have such a great time together. She just has righteous desires to become better and better. She is an amazing missionary. I am so grateful for her. I really do hope we stick together for three transfers...that would be sooooooooooooooooooo fun. We just go to bed soo happy every night and we are doing really well together. Our area is becoming better and better.
Gospel study is such a precious time. I love feasting on the Book of Mormon--I truly draw strength from its pages. I have also been pondering over my patriartical blessing this week. God has given us so many resources to guide our mortal journey back to His side. I am so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who knows my needs and hears my prayers. He is the best!
I love all of you and can't wait to speak to you all---sounds like I will either get to call you on the 14th (your 13th) OR....I might be able to SKYPE! But we have to set it up with a member...so I'll confirm that next week. If we can skype, I'll need my password and stuff because I have totally forgotten it!
Oh, and the beach was LOVELY. It was the only day all week that didn't rain! We have been having HUGE rainstorms lately---it is the rainy season once more. I bought new rain shoes today....mine from last season have been pretty worn out. Thanks for all the support---my family is the best. And all my companions are so excited to meet you all. Hehehehe, I've told them only wonderful things of course :P.
Love you all so much!
--Sister Brooke Smith