Well, this week was LOCO. I had more lessons with a member present than ever before and we didn´t find anyone who became a new investigator. There are several reasons for that.
Love you all!
1. We had the open house (I attached photos) in the chapel. That was really spiritual for the few people who came. As in many wards, there is a small percentage of members in this branch who do all the work for the rest of the members. I do wish we had more support from them. We did find a few miracles in the open house. Once again, we got to teach in front of the baptismal font, and there was a girl who asked us, "I was baptized in another church when I was 14, but I want to be a member of your church. Do I have to get baptized again?" Golden!
2. In preparation for the open house, we had some less-than-efficient meetings with the members. We also had to go to the church one morning and empty the font with buckets because the pump broke. Luckily my companion is the Hulk and we got it done in record time. I also lost an entire day doing interviews for other missionaries in the district who finally found baptisms but live very far away.
3. I realized how little time I may have in this area, and I put everything towards baptizing someone before the end of this training. I really want Elder Jessop to experience the joy of having a baptism, but it is all according to the Lord´s will. The assistants were doing exchanges, and one of them told us something that really helped me. He said that there are some missionaries who need to baptize often or they won´t work hard or be excited. There are few missionaries who will keep working hard with a positive attitude even when the results won´t come.
That made me feel really good, and I have been trying to invite so many of our investigators to get baptized this week or the next. I have to realize that it is their choice, and we have been praying with them and for them so that they can get an answer. My biggest hope is Clementina, the mother of my convert Paola. She believes the church is true, but isn´t completely sure. We shared the story of Peter walking on the water to help her with that, and she will keep praying to receive an answer. Other than that, we have been trying to visit so many people, and now we just have to wait and hope God grants us a miracle this Saturday.
Also, as part of the 12 week program (which Daniel is also doing) there are tasks to complete every week. For example, the new missionary has to learn to teach certain lessons or techniques. This week he had to take the initiative in everything. That led to many awkward pauses and long lessons, but as always, he is learning fast.
One interesting person we are teaching is Miguel Bogado. He is a member of a church with a very long name--"Israelites" for short. They have long hair, beards, and the women have to wear veils and dresses, because they believe in "the restoration of all things." That part sounds familiar, haha. But they treat it as being very strict with the Bible. He even believes that the sun revolves around the earth. Surprisingly, he is very open, and he obviously knows a lot about the scriptures. We are just trying to help him realize that the Restoration happened through Joseph Smith. He likes the Book of Mormon, so I know if he keeps his heart open he´ll see the truth.
Alma 7:15 was a scripture that our Zone Leaders shared in the training. I do appreciate your comments on my letters, because I can´t see how you react to these stories. I´ll think about Christmas requests and keep praying for all the members of our family in need. My Mission President´s letter thanked me for my positive attitude in spite of challenges and shared the quote "They key to success is consistence." (Or is it constance? Or being consistent? AH! I don´t know English*). Well, I hope all is well.
Love you all!
-Elder Morgan the Older