Sorry I didnt send an email last week. The explanation of why is way to long, so i'll leave it at that. Anyway. Its been a good week. What was good about it I really cant remember. During the week there are all these things I think of that I want to put in my letters and by the time monday rolls around I forget. We have a baptism coming up though! We have been teaching a woman named Virginia, she is the mother of a woman in our ward. Virginia is from Nigeria (Like everyone else in the state of Maryland. Sometimes I feel like i'm serving a foreign mission) and is here visiting her daughter until may. She was an evangelical priest in Nigeria, but has been coming to church with her daughter since she got here. Long story short, she's been reading the Book of Mormon, feels her faith build when shes reads, and asked us if she could be baptized! She chose december 10th so her family could be there. Hopefully everything still goes as planned so she can be baptized then.
We had specialized training last week. It's basically meetings from 9-4 for two days. President Belliston talked a lot about how our mission is really on the verge of something incredible. Our goal for Baptisms this year is 400. Last year, the goal was 300, and all the other mission presidents in the northeast basically made fun of him, told him it was impossible. I think most of the missions around here struggle to reach 200. This mission had 305 last year. So this year it's 400, and it's just amazing how the Lord is blessing us to reach that goal. We've already exceeded last years goal, I think were somewhere around 320. The Lord's work continues to roll forward!
On a side note, we hade to drive through baltimore city to go to specialized training. Oh. My. Gosh. Dirtiest city i've ever seen. Theres garbage everywhere. It looks like people dump their trash out there windows. I thought Gary was bad. I can't imagine anyone actually living there. Every other house is boarded up, the ones that arent are collapsing. Definitely made randallstown (where we live) look like paradise. Next monday theres a sister in our ward who wants to take us into the ciry and show us the nice parts. From what I hear theres some really cool things there, so that should be fun.
Tonight we are cooking for some member is our ward who are from Nigeria. Side note, we eat a lot of african food here and i'm not a huge fan of it. It's usually either chicken or goat and really really really spicy rice. Africans eat everything drenched in red pepper. So anyway, we have a woman in our ward, Maria Okereke, who wants to learn how to make American food so when she goes back to Nigeria she can make it for everyone. The thing is they still put red pepper on American food. they say it makes them sick if they don't. haha. So we gave her a shopping list and we're making her shepards pie. I'm trying to figure out if it will still taste ok if its got pepper on it. I guess we will see.
I really am loving being out here and serving. I'm having all these really amazing experiences, 98% of which I don't get to write about. Theres just too much to write about, so someday I will get to tell my stories in person. But I just can't believe how blessed I am to be able to serve a mission. I look back at how much my perspectives and attitudes on so many different things have changed in the past 2 1/2 months. I feel my testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ growing each day. I can't imagine living the rest of my life without the things i've learned and seen since i've been out. And i've still got 15 more months of this! Everyone should serve missions if they have the opportunity!
I hope everyone is doing well! Until next week!