Hey familia :)
The first councilor in our ward is named Hermano Ramirez and he is so cool. He is ostentatious and has a bold personality. I think he lives at the church. I have gotten to know him more lately, and I find him to be incredible. He is so humble and works so hard. He really is at the church all the time and we found him once after he'd slept on the little couch here because he volunteer teaches seminary at like 5:00 in the morning. He has more energy than anyone I've ever seen and he is always injecting that energy and fun into the endless activities that he is planning. He works and wears himself out everyday for the Lord and for this gospel. Something was mentioned and they said that he lived just down the street from Christian which means that he lives in Tiawana (that's just what they call it) which is where the poorest of the poor live. He is so confident and involved I assumed he had money, but also, he is employed by the church and has 9 kids and they are very careful, but I think they are having a hard time paying for things. I was really touched when I found this out because of his work ethic and attitude and devotion.
Sweet German and Francisca made it into the waters of baptism! Completely willingly I might add ;) There were times when I thought we'd practically have to drown German.
German and Francisca arrived and we walked them in. German had purchased a suit to wear after his baptism. The elders surprised him with a green tie because verde es su color favorito :) Francisca had some pretty braids in her hair. We got them all in their white clothes and as they were sitting and waiting for us to start German kept getting little tears in his eyes. He was pretty scared and nervous.
I've learned a lot from watching German. His follow through with baptism is very impressive because of all that he had to overcome to get to that point. Also, he definitely understands the seriousness of making covenants. I think he even puts more emphasis on it than is really healthy. He is now a covenanted man and he knows it and he wants that. This touches me. He is ready and willing to live every single thing. When we went to his house the next day he asked me if it was ok for him to give the people who had provided the food afterward another installment of the payment even though it was the sabbath. Of course this was ok, and I assured him of that, but I could see that had I said 'no' he wouldn't have even though it needed to be done. He has put God as his number one priority and I don't know how many other faithful long time members of the church have even gotten to this point. I love him very much. He is so full of goodness. He is the example the Savior would use to talk about a man that has come to him in full humility and will never turn away. I know you will have a chance to meet German one day. I think it would be so cool if they could visit the temple in SLC some day.
After the confirmations on Sunday we went over to their house and talked about the priesthood with him. It was cool because Tara Prince called them while we were right there around their table with them! I heard her voice on speaker for a minute.
When we were leaving we hugged them a lot and German shook our hands and told us how grateful he was for all we did for him. He thanked us for no abandonarnos. He held our hands and tears started coming to his eyes and running down his face. (I know it sounds like he cries a lot, but he really doesn't cry ever. There is just a lot of meaningful things happening to him right now) I cried too because I will miss not seeing them as much as we do. I have such a bond with them and I love them so deeply. German thanked us for our time and support. He told us we could always come to them if we needed anything. They had us write our names in their hymn book so they can always know us. He told us that we were always welcome there. The best part is that he told us we weren't just missionaries to them and we weren't like ward members to them. He told us that we were family. I know that I will get to see them after this life and I know they will make it. They are going to be sealed as a family in the temple in a year. I can actually go to that because I was the missionary that was with them for their baptism.
I love you all very much and I am praying for you. I know that I have the best family in the world. Peter, Heidi, me, Sam, Skib, and Nate. We are so blessed <3
Brazos y besos,