Haha man it just amazes me how similar Jessica's mission and mine are! This week I also got to do a few exchanges, the only difference is that as an Assistant we actually don't take anyone into our area, we just go out with the people and work their area for a few hours. We had an awesome exchange down in the Southern part of the mission with an Elder that I picked up from the airport and then Elder Sanchez, my old companion! It was pretty sweet, especially since I was able to see how much this Elder has grown. At the beginning we were honestly just worried that he wasn't going to stay out on a mission, but it's incredible, he's come to love the mission and love teaching the gospel! Not to mention that we went to a teaching appointment with this super old but faithful guy. He's a baptist deacon and has donated literally thousands of dollars to his church, but he heard the message and loved it! We asked him what it would mean to him if there were twelve apostles and a prophet on the earth and he said in a Southern accent "Well, it would mean I'd have to follow them of course!" And if there was just one church from God? "Well I'd have to be a part of it of course!" Needless to say he accepted a conditional baptismal date and then committed to come to church and follow the baptismal calendar we would make for him! But the coolest part of it all was that this Elder was able to extend his first baptismal invitation of his life after being out in the field for something like 10 weeks! Haha Elder Sanchez and I had to keep pushing him along and staying quiet, but he finally did it and did it super well! It was just cool to see his face light up afterwards when he realized he had just extended a baptismal date to a pretty solid guy!
Phil is also doing well! Man, he's ridiculous! At church he was talking about how he hadn't done anything "extra" recently and so he wanted to go to the Visitor's Center and then he wanted to go to an addiction recovery program they have here and try and see if his story could help some people! He ended up coming to an FHE with us at the Matsumori's home for all the investigators and recent converts in the area. He had been asking before if there would be people there that he could help and when he came there was an eternagator for an area that hasn't been progressing at all! Phil started to talk to him and just told him his story, encouraged him to fast, and told him it was all worth it because he had to do it for his little daughter! It was honestly ridiculous! I could not believe how much Phil has changed! In just a few months he's gone from a guy that probably never would have listened to us to a guy that just has such a fire for teaching other people about the gospel. His testimony is a representation of what I call "real" missionary work, where you share it just because you feel it! If only we could always be like that! He's also super pumped about home teaching and about teaching his families to their needs and being there to help them out for anything! He's definitely someone that will magnify his callings!
We've also been working on quite a few projects here in the office, we're making a new binder for all the incoming missionaries with all the information they need, we've been working on transfers once again, and we've been working on all those other little problems that always seem to crop up! It's been pretty fun! All in all it's been a good week. Unfortunately my scripture reading has gone down from normal though, you'd think that as a missionary that could never be the case, but for the last 2 days we've had to be at interviews in the mornings and so we haven't had time for studies, and it's incredible to see how much your spirituality can start to lack just from missing a few days. Needless to say last night I had to do some scripture studying even though it was a little late, I was just starting to feel spiritually bogged down!