*Editor's note: I always use the subject of Wesley's email as the blog post title, but he didn't include one and I didn't know what to put instead.
Well, I was all excited to start off this email by saying, "Surprise! We had a baptism!" We have been trying to get Chilo baptized for a few weeks now, because he has attended church the required 3 times. He works and travels a lot, so it is difficult to find him. But on Friday we met with him and went over the baptismal interview questions. He didn´t understand everything perfectly, but it sounded like he was willing to follow Christ however he could. Unfortunately, when we brought the Zone Leaders to his house for the interview, he was not there. We had lunch with his mom Ursula, a recent convert. She called him and found out he had been drinking the night before. No go on the baptism. I guess it will be good to have more time to explain the doctrine better to him.
One more piece of sad news. Junior and Perla (yes, he is the often drunk Brazilian), have decided they don´t want to visit us anymore. That happens a lot; we are often changing who we visit depending on who is progressing and how much time we have. One of our biggest challenges is teaching and planning so we can meet with as many people as possible. But Junior and Perla were possibly my favorite people to visit with. They were really fun and very smart. The thing is, they didn´t do their part to read and attend church in order to receive an answer to their prayers. He gave us a 20 minute talk about why he thinks all churches have the same doctrine but different customs, and that Joseph Smith could not be a prophet. Pretty sad, but we are not going to give up completely on them. I really feel like they will get baptized, it is just a matter of time.
Now to answer some of your questions. A bit about my companion. He is 24, and he has a girlfriend who is serving in the mission in Argentina right next to ours. He loves video games, so we talk about things like that a lot. He also loves singing bass. He is pretty-laid back, but he is a good missionary. He has not always been completely active--he read the Book of Mormon cover to cover for the first time on his mission--but he knows a lot about the gospel. He hasn´t gotten to baptize anyone yet, but we will change that soon! Transfers are every six weeks, so that will be this Tuesday. (That is why I have the picture of the new, fresh planner). But it is almost certain that he will stay with me to finish my training.
I have not gotten to do much more cooking than what I have told you about, just basic pasta, rice, etc. But with the members and those basic meals, we definitely get by. I did buy some peanut butter, but it is more like peanut frosting. I am going to try to make some brownies with it today to bring to FHE with the Herrera family, Sergio and Blasida. They have three little girls who are almost exactly like the daughters in Full House.
The cards in the picture are what we made to help prepare Daisy, the oldest, for the baptismal interview. They know the church is true, but they have had some job issues recently--he hasn´t received his pay in about a month, and they were not very well off in the first place. For that reason, they have not come to church, and he drinks sometimes. We are really trying to work them a lot this week to strengthen their faith that if they sacrifice the Lord will bless them. We might even baptize them this Saturday if they are ready. We have so many people who I know could be baptized with just a little more time and effort on their part to read, pray, and attend church.
One miracle this Sunday--2 investigators unexpectedly attended the Stake Conference! We sat in the hall (because it was so packed) and listened to a broadcast from Salt Lake of several General Authorities, including Neil L. Anderson, who did not use a translator because he served in France and lived in Brazil (which was obvious in his accent). President Monson also spoke. The investigators were Reinaldo and Rosillo, the niece of a less-active family that lives about 40 minutes away from us. Right now most of the people we are teaching live in two groups, each 30 or 40 minutes walking from the main highway, where we live. Last Monday, we walked 40 minutes in the mud, and you can see in the picture what that did to my shoe.
I also must have eaten something bad, because I threw up before, during, and after the one lesson we had time for. Not a fun day.
I´ll do a quick clothes inventory, so you know how things are holding up. I gave away one tie to the Vargas (less-active) family, but I got two from the Baez family, the family of Reinaldo and Rosillo! (As you can see from the picture...one of them is really weird).
I opened up all the short-sleeve shirts, because it has gotten so hot that long-sleeves are not bearable. (It´s about 97 and huuuumid right now). My shoes and suit are doing very well, though they are getting a bit dirty. I´ll work on that today during P-Day. Pants are also doing fine, and I have no choice but to wash the dry-clean ones. Those are actually much more comfortable than the black ones from Missionary Mall, which are thicker and a bit too small (but, as you may have discerned from the pictures...I am losing quite a bit of weight). I don´t like the Missionary Mall mesh socks, and I don´t know if the belts will hold up for two years. I do use the jacket without the liner when it rains, along with the boots. I don´t know if I will ever use the liner. It is so hot down here. But I love it!
I don´t have time to write that much, but I sure am receiving a lot of letters. Glad to know people are thinking about me, and know that I pray for you all often, too. Love you, Mom!
-Elder Wesley Morgan