This was a really great week. Yesterday was really great day too.
Yesterday we had 9 investigators come to church, and 7 of them have baptismal dates. They were Savino, Mery, Raul, and their son Carlos Raul--Wendy, Suzana, and Christian--Jesus and Salina. That made me really happy. I talked with Savino while we were at church and he said his family wants him to get baptized Catholic. He said he doesn't want to be Catholic and he thinks he was meant to be Mormon. He's supposed to talk to his dad about that again before our appointment on Wednesday. We are trying really hard to get his dad to listen to us too but he doesn't want anything to do with it.
Juan Francisco Flores was inactive when I got here. We visited him just 2 times and now he's come to church every week for 6 weeks. Yesterday he was called as the stake Sunday school president which is pretty great.
I'm very excited about Mery and Raul and their family. The three that came to church all listen to us twice per week. They also have a 14 year old daughter named Anahi but she's not too interested and we've only taught her once. We did find out this week that Raul has a big smoking problem though. He wants to quit--he just hasn't been able to though--so that's good. Right now they have a baptismal date for May 31.
|me and Benjamin--he is 3 and always comes up to me in church and says hi elder Howlett and he says my name better than 90 percent of the people here. We ate lunch at his family's house yesterday.|
Wendy, Suzana, and Christian are Benedicta's kids. She was out of town again on Sunday so she didn't come but her kids always come to church and to every activity. It's going really well with them except that the mom is always gone. They have a baptismal date for the 24th of May but I think it is probably going to get pushed back a little so the mom can get ready and they can get baptized together.
We got to talk with Jesus and Selina's mom, Nelly, this week. She is very nice. She doesn't know how to read but she does love God. Only her kids showed up to church yesterday though and I don't know why she didn't come. One of the things that makes it kind of hard to teach here is that lots of people have trouble reading. Probably almost half of the adults and 25ish percent of youth. Lots of kids just randomly don't go to school for a year here and there. I'm not really sure why but I think that's probably one of the reasons they don't read very well. The Book of Mormon is really hard for a lot of people to understand. The good thing is that everyone has a firm belief in God and seems to be very receptive to the Spirit.
|with Sabrina--kids here love having their picture taken and they always want to see it as soon as you take it|
The whole (all the members) Benavidez family came to church again. We also went to their house on Friday and got to talk to the grandpa again. He used to not even allow the missionaries but we had a good conversation with him. We invited him to church but he said he's going to some pueblito on Sunday. We told him to come the next time he's in town for a Sunday and he said ok. We also are going to have a family home evening with them tomorrow.
|with Jose in the Benavidez house|
Yesterday after church we went on divisions again. I went with Manuel (the same guy from last week) and we had a terrific afternoon. The Castro family has an inactive 14 year old nephew who lives with them who we've been trying to visit for months. We went yesterday and he not only was there but seem happy to talk. We taught about the Priesthood. He was ordained a Deacon but not a Teacher. We told him that God needs him to fulfill his Priesthood duties and asked him if he'd prepare to be ordained a Teacher. He said he would. He hasn't been to church since November but he promised he'd come on Sunday and he has an interview with the Bishop on Thursday. One of the things that surprised us is that he seems to have a strong testimony. Most inactive members who we visit don't have a testimony. His dad died unexpectedly almost a year ago and I think that had a really negative impact on him and was why he stopped going to church.
After victor, we went to visit the Bautista family. Two months ago I ran into 3 young men close to the church and talked to them. They said that they'd gone to the church before and told me their names and that they live in the pink house as far north as there are still houses. I thought that that should be pretty easy to find but it turned out that there are way too many pink houses. In the past couple months we knocked liked 15 pink houses out in the middle of nowhere. There aren't even dirt roads where we were looking, just trails. Finally we found it on Thursday. On Saturday we taught them the Restoration. Yesterday Manuel and I decided to go see how they are doing. None of the kids were there but the mom was. I talked to her and found out that she's a member. She and her parents and siblings were all baptized a long time ago. She said she was very active in the church when she was younger but that she hadn't been in a long time. She also said she'd been thinking a lot about the church lately and wants to come back and she said she also wants her sons to receive the missionary lessons. So that seems really really good. We have an appointment to talk with her whole family on Friday.
This is God's church. It is His gospel. And there is no better, happier, or easier way to live life than living faithfully to God, His church, and His gospel. I am completely sure of that.
Have a great week everyone! Go do ordinances for someone who needs them in the temple.
P.S. D&C 88:78-80