Monday, March 7, 2011

I have some great news for you guys!!! This Friday, count on a baptism. That's right. All of our hard work finally payed off!!! We have Pedro marked for baptism this Friday! I'm super excited. He is going to be a great example and priesthood leader in our branch!!! That's pretty much by far the biggest part of my news this week. Other than that, transfers are in a week. Can you believe it??? It feels like I arrived on this island yesterday and its already been almost 6 weeks. Chances are, I'll stay. Usually people stay on the Azores for 3 or 4 transfers, so I think I'm staying, but you never know ha. So Elder Dalton has started going around and bidding farewell to people that we don't visit that much because he pretty much knows for a certainty that he will be leaving. He already has a good 6 months on this island.
As for the branch, yes the bishopric has addressed the smoking issue. That's the sad part. Yesterday, President Eves asked a 15 year old kid in our branch if he knew that the savior wanted him to stop smoking, would he? and the kid answered no. So it is a sad situation, but no one can judge but God. I like what Kenny said about it... that this church itself is a perfect church, Christ's only church on the earth. But the people in the church are far from perfect. As missionaries here, we have tried to reactivate a lot of members that have fallen away because of transgression and they don't feel comfortable going to church so they just straight up quit going, but one of the things we tell them is that church is like a hospital for us. Its not a place where perfect people go, but a place where people who have imperfections go to use the atonement and be spiritually healed. Unfortunately though, we still have a lot who refuse to go back, and a lot have fallen away purely off the example of others they have seen who have fallen away.
But yeah, just to clarify, the military itself won't be transferred off the island, just a lot of the American families are being transferred to other airbases. A surprising amount of the families here have at one time or another been living at Hill Airforce base!!! Cool huh? but anyways, we just hope a lot of members move in to take their place when they leave so we can have a good strong priesthood group in our branch.
Other than this, I don't have much news for you guys. The work continues to go on and my testimony and love for the savior is always increasing!!!! I love you all and miss you so much. I pray for you all everyday. Ill talk to you guys next week. Tchau!!!!!

Elder Willes

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