|Jose and family at his baptism|
Dear Family and Friends,
Jose is baptized!! Ahhh Sister Patterson and I are so proud of him! It's been such a treat to teach him these past few months to see him grow spiritually, as he's gained a better understanding of the teachings, who he is and what his purpose is here, and how the gospel can once again bless his and his family's lives.
Preparing for any baptism can be stressful, but it turned out very well. Half of the room was full of his extended family, many who have been less active for a while. As Sister Patterson and I sang "I Stand All Amazed" before everyone joined in at the third verse, I could see Jose, his mom, sister, aunts, uncles, and cousins in tears as they remembered his grandma's influence in their lives. Everyone in the room could feel the spirit's powerful witness. When Jose was baptized, his family was still in tears. The Deacons welcomed him into the ward and presented him their surprise--a leather bound quad of scriptures with his name engraved. He still fought back tears, and once he sat down behind Sister Patterson and I, he whispered, "I'm still going to use the one you gave me," referring to the unbelievable duct tape scripture case she made him.
The remainder of the baptism was incredible and the spirit remained. His mom gave her first prayer out loud in English for the first time in a while. She and Jose's sister came to church the next day for the first time in a while. It's been difficult for his mom to come because of work, but they were glad to see him be confirmed and receive the Aaronic Priesthood. She told us that she wants to keep coming, that his grandpa also came to his ward for the first time in years, and how much of an influence Jose is making in his family's lives. Jose has been a powerful example of how one life can touch many.
With Thanksgiving coming up, Sister Patterson and I will eat at the Tardiff's in our ward. They are so awesome and invited us over for Christmas morning as well. Haha there was a rumor that they serve steak on Thanksgiving, so we'll see what happens. Christmas morning will be fun as well, as they said that they don't let their kids eat many sweets throughout the year, so on Christmas morning they not only prepare breakfast foods, but pile up every sweet that could be imagined--shakes, brownies, ice cream...haha oh mercy it will be a fun treat. :)
Since this week is meant to be focused around what we're grateful for, I could go on and on, but you would most likely get bored. Something I am thankful for is how well my health has been overall. My CF Dr.'s appointment on Friday at Boston Children's went very well. It started off with the Pulmonary Function Test. I was actually very proud of the numbers from this visit! My FVC was a 98, FEV1 was a 99, putting me in the 100th percentile for my age group. It's requires a lot of work to stay high up in the numbers, especially with what the mission requires. A physical therapist also came in to examine how I do treatments to make sure everything I do is at its best, including all the huff coughs every 5 minutes. She said it was a good chance to still check and make sure everything was right since many patients don't complete the full regimen, or even skip treatments/do only a couple a week! That thought to me is unbelievable that they wouldn't care how they take care of themselves when CF is a serious condition. Starting about each morning off with cardio exercise for 40-45 minutes every morning in the living room to the same 6 songs over and over, making sure I get adequate nutrition by eating well, and not skipping a single treatment or pill...the hard work pays off. :) However I know that there are still many patients that still work hard and keep fighting but struggle greatly. I don't know if I will ever be at that point, so I'm just thankful that everything is going well. It's truly a blessing.
Josh, I am sooo excited that your mission papers are finally submitted! It's about time! Also, just to let you know about the black car... when I drove it the speedometer was about 15 miles ahead of what it really went. I hope it's still not that way but be careful if it's the only option. It would be good to get it checked out! Driving on the free way was scary at first when it took me a while to realize what was happening.
Alicia, I am planning on writing you back today. Did you hear the results from last week? I look forward to hearing from you again.
Whaaaa...Brandon, you are already applying for colleges?! Oh man! Well what schools are you planning on trying for?
Mom, thanks again for Tyler Robinson's talk. It's neat that Carmen read it in sacrament meeting (and tell her congrats on her mission call). I still haven't forgotten of Tyler and Millie, as they have played an influence for the mission here.
Yes dad, I shook Elder Nielsen's hand three times and told him you said hello. :) It was a neat opportunity to hear from him, meet him, and talk with his wife afterwards.
Everything is still going well and I hope all is going well for all of you. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
I love you and thank you for being such a wonderful, supportive family, for all that you do and who you are.
Talk to you next week.