If I had one piece of advice that I would give myself earlier on the mission (and although there is a lot I'd like to say), this week my advice would be invite EVERYONE in on the lesson. My whole mission it seems like I was focusing on one person in a family and didn't take any notice at anyone else in the house who might have an interest. The reason I say this is an experience I had this week.
We have been meeting with a less active lady who was baptized at 17 and since has not come to church. We have been pushing and pushing for her to come but somehow she never has had the drive or the determination to actually come. She has had a really nice boyfriend over at her house a few times and he has been friendly towards us but always leaves the room when we start the lesson. Well we went back there a few days ago and the boyfriend answered the door. Turns out he has been encouraging this lady to come to church and to continue meeting with us. He informed us she was busy at the moment and to come back later. So we went in the car and he came back out of the house and knocked on the window. He told us he was trying to establish a relationship with her and that he grew up Catholic and then asked us if we had anything from our church that he could read. So we gave him a Book of Mormon and explained a little about what it was. We will have to follow up pretty soon on how that went and hopefully some fruit would come out of it. But the moral of the story is you never really know who might be interested in learning more, and you can't just assume someone is not interested. It's really neat.
There's also the black lady who grew up Jehovah's Witness and wanted a church for her kids, turns out her boyfriend is also interested in learning from us and he is taking lessons with us now. How cool is that?
On a funny note, we went to a child of record baptism of a less active family this week. And when he got baptized, he said "thanks everyone for coming to my baptism, this is my best baptism ever!" Lots of chuckles around the room. But it also was one of the sweetest baptisms ever. The family was less active, so the room was filled with people with tattoos, hardly anyone was in missionary clothes, and it was just neat how a little event like this could bring a family together. It was so sweet to see. We were also invited to be in the circle to confirm him a member of the church, and after the blessing, he shook everyone's hand, but when he got to me, he gave me a big on hug and continued to give everyone a hug as well. It was sweet.
Yes I had a good birthday, did lots of work and helped lots of people. Thanks everyone for the gifts :)