Dear Fullmer Family,
Happy 4th of July! I hope you all had a wonderful day off. It sounded like it was pretty hot there, however if you wanted you could go up to Snowbird to go skiing. That's pretty crazy. If I told that to people here I don't think they'd believe me.
Yesterday our branch planned a BBQ during the day. However we weren't able to attend the activity because we had ZONE CONFERENCE! It was a wonderful zone conference. It was the meet the president conference so it was really good. President and Sister Anderson are incredible. When President Anderson was giving his talk, or whatever you want to call it, he talked about while at the MTC during the Mission President Training Meeting, Elder Gonzalez (in the Presidency of the Seventy, and is the one over our mission) said, "I expect great things from the Florida FT Lauderdale Mission." This was said in a meeting with 152 (about) new mission presidents. He said that the world knows who we are and they're talking about our mission. He has a plan to double our baptisms. That would mean that every companionship would need to have 2 baptisms a month. It was a very encouraging meeting. Most of the training was centered around "Catching the Vision." He said that it is vital to "Catch the Vision early in your mission." This is what I need to work on. It's really easy to be concerned about our own welfare. But when we have the vision of others and only concentrate on them, miracles happen and work is being done. Surprisingly as I went up to talk to Sister Anderson she said, "Hello MTC companion!" They both remembered me! It was great to talk to them. We just kept talking and talking and I got this feeling that everything would work out perfectly! It was wonderful. Last night it was too late to watch fireworks, but we definitely heard them last night. Were you able to watch the fireworks?
This week we had quite an amazing miracle. We had a BAPTISM! It was a surprise baptism. He's a Peruvian man who speaks English, Spanish, Italian, French and I believe Portuguese. He's a cool guy. He's 61 years old and loves to ride bikes. He lives on a boat in the bay and does triathlons (spelling?). He's had 2 strokes but he has more energy than ever.
Last Monday I believe he came to the lesson after we had taught him the restoration and said, "I want to be baptized." We taught him everyday last week and taught him everything that he needed and he was baptized last Saturday. It was incredible. My companion performed the baptism and I did the confirmation... In Spanish... It was a little rough but the important parts were done correctly so he has the gift of the Holy Ghost which is most important. It was a little challenging getting everything ready on such short notice but we got it all done and we had a baptism of both water and fire! Ha ha. It was great!
This week also had some challenges but we're working through all of them. I've been getting better about talking to people on the street and we have gotten a few potential investigators from both my companion and myself opening our mouths. It's tough but we're learning and growing.
Something that I have learned this week is to not go down to South Beach on 4th of July weekend... On Sunday we received a call from an old Cuban man who is a member who has been sick recently. He was feeling better but was very lonely. He asked if we could go down and visit him. Forgetting that it was 4th of July weekend we agreed... Probably shouldn't have. We got down there and there were so many people!!! Well when we finally get to his apartment he says he's feeling a lot better and wants to get something to eat. I told him that it was Sunday and we're not supposed to use money on Sunday. He said "Shhh!" He said, "I'm hungry, you've been fasting all day and I'm going to get you something to eat!" If you haven't noticed he's an old stubborn Cuban. He started to leave and I remember saying a prayer before we left that we would be able to keep all the commandments today. We tried to talk him out of going but he wasn't listening. We left him apartment but thank goodness we couldn't find any where to park in South Beach to go eat. We asked him over and over if we could come back another day to eat with him and over and over he said "No." I didn't know how this was going to work out but I said another prayer and I asked him if we could come back on Wednesday and he said, "Sure! Whatever you Elders want to do." It truly was a miracle! We were able to keep the Sabbath Day Holy and also cheered up an old sickly man. However, I'm never going to go down to South Beach on 4th of July weekend. Welcome to the live of a missionary! Ha ha.
Here's the news about our investigator. Well I don't know if I told you before but he needs to be divorced from his old wife in Cuba before he can marry his new one in Florida. It's quite a complicated process but he's doing all he can to get it done fast. He said it shouldn't take too long. Hopefully it won't. Well his "wife to be" is very excited to get married. She hasn't sat down to talk with us before, or taken the lessons, but we saw her and our investigator on the street yesterday and we talked for close to 20 minutes. It was great! She's so excited to get married and she's very supportive of his decision to be baptized. We want to teach her as well but their work schedules conflict so it's a little difficult to teach her. However with the power of the Lord we'll get her to come to church soon and then get baptized! We have the faith!
Dad you were wondering about our apartment. Like you said it is across the street from the chapel so no we don't have any excuses if we are late. Luckily we haven't yet. But the apartment is quite nice! It's very small but it doesn't need to be very big. We have a little kitchenette a bedroom and a big room. There is a couch, which is a little too comfortable sometimes. We also have a washer and dryer in the apartment which is very very nice to have! The only bad part about it is the walls are thin. There is a fire station across the street as well so sometimes it gets pretty noisy at night. I've been sleeping alright I guess. A little bit better than before but not a whole lot better. It's alright though.
Concerning the Bahamas and Cayman Islands mom, I'm not sure on the status of the islands. Sorry... It's exciting that you'll be attending the Hale's homecoming. I'm sure you'll feel how amazing they are! Please send them my love! Thank you for sending the package as well. Soon you'll be able to see how beautiful my area is! Ha ha.
Wow! This letter is pretty long! Hopefully it makes sense. I'm writing pretty fast. Ha ha. Anyways thank you all so much for the love that I've felt. I know that times get tough but the Lord will never give us anything that we cannot handle. We just need to be patient and always do our best. The Lord never expects anything more then our best effort. I know this is the Lords work and that he loves us very much! Please keep me in your prayers! I love you!
-Elder David Fullmer