Well, it's been a good week. Elder Ericson and I set our first baptismal date! His name is Bene, he's around 30 years old, and he's from Guatemala. He was recently separated from his wife and children, and his wife has already married someone else (I know that doesn't quite make sense, but that's what he said. Maybe he and she were never married...). We've only had one lesson with him, so I don't know too much else. I swear, half of the guys living in his apartment are prepared. They're also all from Guatemala. One of them, Luis, lived in Utah before Texas. He's been to church several times, read the Book of Mormon, and knows it's the word of God. Otto is very spiritual and regularly reads the Bible. He responded very positively to the Joseph Smith story and said he would read the Book of Mormon. We're really excited to see what happens with them!
Also, we're going to have Elder Neil L Anderson visit us next month! There's an area restriction on who get's to go, so I'll find out today if I can go.
About the "Are you willing to listen to a brief presentation" phrase, it honest to goodness works. We were eating with members two nights ago and when we invited them to use the phrase sometime this week, the sister said she used it with a friend on Facebook, she said yes, had a lesson, and said she would be baptized if she received an answer. So give it a chance whenever you see an opportunity!
Last thing. I had a really good experience this week that strengthened my testimony of Joseph Smith. We were talking to someone who had listened to the missionaries before, and, to say the least, he didn't agree with our message. He asked us where the Bible mentions Joseph Smith (in a rather aggressive tone), and when we responded to that, he said that Joseph Smith did nothing. When I heard that, something welled up inside me that told me it was time to testify. I told him he was wrong--that Joseph Smith reestablished the church of Jesus Christ, that he built temples, received revelation, and was a true prophet of God.
I love this gospel and have always been grateful for Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and everything else he brought forth, but I have never felt the veracity of his calling so strongly as I did that night. God loves us, and he speaks today. He has called men in our days to continue the work of Jesus Christ in the earth. I testify that that is true.
Thanks for all the love and prayers, I can feel it every day!