Investigator Update and a Scare
September 29, 2014
Hi Family and Friends,
This week was kind of hard at first but it ended up being a really good week!
Elder Remund and I had set a goal this week to get 5 members to come to our investigator lessons. We have been praying hard to reach this goal because having a member present at the lesson makes all the difference because a member can really make the investigator feel more comfortable. It started really slow this week when our lesson with a member present fell through on Monday night, and our other three scheduled member present appointments fell through when either the investigators weren't home or the member forgot to show up. But miraculously we met our goal and got five for the week when we had three member present lessons on Sunday!
Here is a quick summary on our investigators with baptismal dates:
Jeff was initially set for Sept 27 but Elder Remund and I recommitted him to October 25 when we realized that he wouldn't be able to meet the date because of word of wisdom issues. Jeff is really excited about this date and is working really hard. He has a tremendous amount of faith and he knows that God can help him. Elder Remund and I taught him the law of tithing on Thursday. Jeff didn't blink an eye when we explained it to him and he said that he knew that tithing was important, that it is a commandment and he committed to living it. I'm really excited for him. He has also told me that when he gets baptized on October 25th, he wants me to baptize him. He said that I radiate with the spirit like no other missionary he's met and that's why he wants me to baptize him. Jeff has been taught by the missionaries for a very long time and initially didn't want anything to do with the church, but slowly he has changed. Elder Remund has told me that most of Jeff’s progress has transpired since I have been here. He thinks that some people just don't progress until a certain missionary clicks with them. He thinks that I have been that missionary to Jeff.
We have not been able to meet up with Elias for two weeks now. Elias just got a new job and has been working crazy hours, and as a result we haven't been able to meet with him. We have set up multiple appointments with him, but then the appointments have fallen through when he gets called onto a shift that he originally didn't have. As a result, we have to drop his baptismal date because he isn't going to be able to meet this date. Elder Remund and I are hoping to meet up with him in the next couple of weeks when things get less crazy for him
Last week we set Edis’ baptism for October 25, but when we taught her this week and tried to reset her, she was a little wishy washy. She said she had already been baptized, so we will talk to her about the importance of having authority in order to baptize during the next lesson. As of now she doesn't have a baptism date.
Edwin and Miriam-
Elder Remund has been teaching this couple since February. They are so strong in the gospel and have such strong testimonies. They haven't been baptized yet because they need to get married first because they had a child together before marriage. They are getting married on December 20th and are scheduled to be baptized on January 10th.
We take turns, with the four hermanas in our district, teaching an English class. This was my first week teaching the class. It was really awesome. I never really realized how complicated English was until I tried to explain vocabulary and grammar to the Latinos in English. Its crazy to say this but although Spanish is hard to learn, the way vocabulary, verbs and sentences work are normally more simple than English. For example: "How much does this cost?" is just "Cuanto cuesta?"
While we were teaching the class we met Jorge, a less active member. At the end of class he asked us if he could come with us to an investigator’s lesson. Jorge is an amazing guy. He has such a strong testimony of the gospel and he loves coming out with us to lessons. He went with out with us for three hours yesterday and taught two lessons with us. He is extremely humble and loves the gospel so much. The only reason he is a less active member is because he doesn't go to church very often since he works most Sundays. I don’t know how to get him to church more often when he has to work to support his poor family that is back in Honduras, but the hermanas who are teaching him have a plan to help him.
The temperature has really changed this week. Normally, it rains quite a lot here, but it really hasn't rained much since I have been here- until this week. The temperature has also dropped. It's starting to get cold here and the humidity doesn't help. The humidity just seeps into you. The weather here is also unpredictable. Earlier in the week it was really cold and rainy and the past few days it has been warm.
It's a challenging to speak Spanish successfully with everyone because the Latinos that we are meeting here are from all over the world: Mexico, Honduras, Salvador, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Panama and so forth. Every person has a different accent and different vocabulary. Some people I understand perfectly and other people I can barely understand at all. However, it is cool because I get the chance to try lots of different foods and experience all the different cultures. My ability to speak is improving as well although sometimes I still have a hard time talking to people.
We participated in two service projects this week. We helped the Garcia family move. My companion and I were the only ones to show up to help, so it took us five hours to move everything into the moving truck. We also helped the Ojeda family clean out their extra storage space. They just moved in 4 weeks ago and they still had some boxes in this storage area that needed to be unpacked. After the work was finished, I had a near death experience at their house. Hermana Ojeda cooked some eggs for us. I didn't bother to ask if she cooked with peanut oil because I've never heard of anyone cooking eggs with peanut oil before. In addition, all of the Latinos I have asked, "Cocina la comida con acieta de cacahuete?" have said no. Luckily, Elder Remund just happened to ask the question for me and she said she had used peanut oil! So if Elder Remund hadn't asked I probably would have eaten the eggs and gotten really sick.
On Sunday, I participated in giving five priesthood blessings. Three were for members of family in our ward that were sick, and the other two were for Edwin and Miriam, our investigators, who have been having a hard time. I gave two of the blessings and one of the anointings. We arranged it so that I give the blessings to the individuals who could understand English because I'm still working on learning to give a blessing in Spanish.
I'll talk to everyone next week! Nos Vemos!
Whenever we find new Latinos in our area we mark their location down on our big map. I was pretty happy because when found some new Latinos and I got to mark it on the map.