This Monday, we had a great start to the week! We saw Pablo and Gloria right after dinner and taught them about the importance of baptism. We explained the principles of entrance into the Celestial Kingdom, being cleansed from sin, and baptism by the proper authority. They seemed to understand well! We presented to them the baptismal date of January 10th. They didn't give us a definite answer. They still have to make the effort to come to church before we can really set a solid baptism date, but things are looking up! Gloria is much more involved now, for one thing.
That night we also finally got into a home we had been trying to get in since about the time I got here to Montrose. I think Elder smith taught the family once or twice before I arrived. We were able to get in and show the Moreno family the "He is the Gift" video and extend an invitation to hear the message of the Restoration. They told us we could come back for dinner and a lesson on Friday night! We had some great homemade tacos and a very scattered lesson. During dinner, the TV was on, the kids were running everywhere and playing with cats and crying. We didn't know how we were going to be able to teach a lesson. But after the meal, we pulled some stools into the living room and everyone got quite. They sent the younger kids into another room so that the five adults that were there could focus on our message. We had told them that we were going to answer their questions about the Plan of Salvation regarding the three degrees of glory. We did so pretty effectively using Paul's letters to the Corinthians. I think they were satisfied in that regard; but they had a ton of other questions! Questions just started flying left and right at us, and there was no way we could possibly answer them all in one sitting. So finally I said, "Okay. Why don't you talk about it and choose two questions you want to have answered?" They chose two. Based on the two questions they chose, next time we visit we're going to teach about the pre-mortal existence and the word of wisdom. We also found out that the women in the family dabble in witchcraft, so we'll have to help them quit that for sure.
On Tuesday we had a luncheon with the other zone here in Montrose and President and Sister Murdock! We had taco salad, a nice missionary Christmas movie, and karaoke. Elder Smith and I also got to have our interviews with President Murdock for the transfer. It was a good day! That night we had a lesson with Allan again, and it didn't go so well. He basically told us that he's not willing to do anything we ask him to (read the scriptures, pray, come to church, etc.), and that he feels like we're over at his house every day and it bugs him. We feel like we kind of have to drop him for the time being, with the hopes that he can be picked back up again and taught by the missionaries when he's ready and willing to progress, to make and keep commitments.
One of our investigators, Beatriz, who hadn't been progressing for a while, recently told us that she was going to make coming to church a priority. That is awesome! That is just about the only thing that has been holding her back from baptism for months. She worked on Sundays, and never made a real effort to get time off to go to church. We told her we were very excited to see her at church and asked if we could come by for a lesson the night before. When we showed up Saturday night, she told us she was doing very poorly. She had been crying. The night before she had gotten a letter in the mail that informed her that she and her oldest son were going to be deported to Mexico. I didn't understand a lot of the legal vocabulary, but I think it's supposed to happen in the next thirty days. The biggest complication is that she is a single mother and has an eight-year-old son who is a U.S. citizen. She won't be able to bring him with her because his father is also a U.S. citizen. I don't know a lot of the logistics, but hopefully everything will turn out alright.
Other than that, we've been finding quite a few new families to teach! It's been awesome! In my whole mission I've never found so many traditional families as I have in this area. Now we just have to help them understand our purpose, so that they will be willing to change their lives for the Gospel!
|Making Gingerbread Cookies with some members|
Mom asked a few questions about my Spanish.
Are you fluent? That depends on your definition of fluent. If we're talking about the gospel, I think I'm pretty fluent. Talking about other things, I'm not too bad.
Are you able to understand native speakers yet? For the most part, yes! There are a few people who speak oddly, and I don't catch most of what their saying. But I usually walk away from a lesson or a conversation realizing that I was in tune and involved the whole time! Definitely a huge blessing.
The work moves forward and Christmas draws nigh! Remember this Christmas not only the birth of our Savior, but also His life, ministry and Atonement. I love this Christmas season! May you all have a great one! I love you!