Monday, November 3, 2014

2014-11-03 I don't know what changed, but fasting must work.

Hey Everyone,
Well this was an excellent week.  Last week I wrote a little about Benancia and her family (the family we found last week and they came to church on Sunday).  This week we met the dad, Reinaldo, who had been out of town.  Normally the father is the hardest person to get to listen to us and the least likely to progress in a family so I was a little worried about meeting him.  Through his wife we'd set up an appointment with him even though she'd warned us that he considers himself Catholic and doesn't really like the hermanos (what they call any non- Catholic Christian).  When we showed up he was waiting for us and smiling and really nice.  We had an awesome lesson and he's an awesome guy.  We taught about the restoration and asked him why it would be important for him to know if what we'd taught was true.  He told us that he's been worried lately about being a better father and husband and that if this is the true church he's sure that is what would make him a better family man.  He is interested and understood well what we taught.  He told us he wasn't going to come to church yesterday because he had a prior commitment to do something with his extended family for the day of the dead.  He promised and assured us that he'll come this Sunday though and that he'll read what we left for him in the Book of Mormon.  His wife and kids did come again to church yesterday.  His wife also told us on Saturday that she'd received her answer that this is the true church.  She loves the church and so do her kids.  Her 13-year-old son, Alan, who was the least interested, enjoyed church so much that he was excited to go with the young men to clean the church on Tuesday and then invited one of his other friends to church too.  I'm very excited about this family because it is hard to find an entire family who are all interested in listening.

Side note about Halloween.  Pretty much doesn't exist here.  However the following 2 days, November 1st and 2nd, are Day of the Saints, and Day of the Dead.  What was explained to me was something like on the first day the heavens open and all of the spirits come back to earth and then the next day they all leave.  They make tables with pictures and names of their dead family members and then cover the table with the dead people's favorite foods.  They do have a similar to Halloween tradition.  The kids (lots but not all) go to houses and do Catholic prayers to win baked goods.  They teach the Catholic prayers in the schools here and then it's a requirement for their grade that they go do this trick-or-treating type deal so lots of the members do it too.

Kevin passed the sacrament for the first time this week.  His younger brother, Samuel, continues to come to church every week and we teach him 3 times per week.  He never misses a day of reading the Book of Mormon.  He wants to be baptized and will be baptized as soon as his dad gives permission.  

I've started teaching English for an hour twice per week to his other brother, Alan.  That's actually working out really well.  He'd only listened to us once before we started with English last week but this past week he sat in on all 3 of our lessons with his brother.  He also told us that he prayed to know if it was the true church for the first time this past week.  I think the English teaching is also helping us win over the dad a little more.  He really wants Alan to learn English and English classes are expensive here so he's happy with the classes.  I don't understand why the dad won't just come to church and pray about it.  He's always polite with us and he'll listen to us every once in a while and he says he'll come to church but he never does.  He just doesn't seem to care much about it.  I really think that he'll get baptized though and I feel like we are progressing with him even if it is ridiculously slow.  I really like his family. They are very nice and one of my favorite families to visit.
last day of soccer-- We are quitting our morning soccer playing as of this morning.  These are the people we played with for the last 3 months for  our half hour of exercise in the morning. 
I think I've told you about the Bustamante twins, Katerine and Michel, before.  Their father and sister were baptized almost a year ago and they've been listening to the missionaries and going to church regularly for over a year.  We don't understand why they don't want to get baptized and we've been visiting them regularly since I got here and we were running out of ideas about what to teach them so we decided to fast for them.  So we did this weekend and while we were fasting we went to an appointment with them.  We hadn't decided what to teach when we got there.  We wound up sharing a short lesson about the 10 virgins.  Then we decided to just go for it and invite them to be baptized like we have so many times before. We asked them to prepare themselves for the 22nd of the month.  They looked at each other and then whispered between themselves and then said, ¨We want to be baptized on the 15th.¨  I don't know what changed, but fasting must work.  I was so excited and their dad and sister were too.

I talked with Rodrigo from Potos√¨.  He's told me he's not going to church because he's in the cuartel, a military boot camp type thing that is semi-required by law for 17 or 18 year olds, and they do things on Sundays.  He did tell me that he's reading his scriptures and praying so that's good.  Hopefully he'll be out of the cuartel soon but I forgot to ask him how much longer he has.

Hermano Daniel used coca again so he didn't get baptized but it was just once and so that's still a lot better than it was before.  He'll get baptized in the coming weeks.

Fabian is a great new investigator that I'm not sure if I wrote you about last week.  This week we taught him about the Plan of Salvation.  He has a 20-year-old brother who passed away a few months ago, Talking about that, we wound up explaining baptisms for the dead a little too.  Fabian told us that he's received his answer that it is the true church.  He wants to be baptized and wants to get his brother baptized too.

Also last night was changes and I didn't have one.  I stay here with Elder Delgadillo.  I'm fine with that.

Anyway, this really was an awesome week and I'm looking forward to this transfer.  I think we can have a lot of success.  I hope you all are having a great time.  I hope you are all going to the temple.  I got to go do a session this week.  My first since January.   I loved it.  I didn't want to leave the Celestial Room because I know it'll be at least 3 months before I get to go back.  I miss being able to go to the temple more.

I love all the people we are teaching here.  It is so great to be a missionary and get to meet all these wonderful people.

Elder Howlett

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