My Spanish is coming along very slowly. I understand a lot but it's just a couple words and conjugations that throw me off. Also everyone's accent is different depending on the country they're from so there's that too.
Okay so my week this week was pretty bad actually. We had almost all of our investigators cancel lessons on us. My companion says that sometimes you'll just have bad weeks like that. But we did have some good things happen.
Vania is an investigator that the missionaries have been teaching for a while. She always has questions that are really hard to answer and she's always trying to find a loophole in the rules that will allow her to do stuff like drink coffee. Of course we told her she can't and she has been doing really well on all of her commitments. The largest challenge we have is getting her to church and getting her to read. She doesn't see the importance of church and the says that she hasn't gotten an answer from God that this is true yet. That is when I shared with her my personal conversion story. I explained Alma 32 and taught about the metaphor and the invitation. If any of you don't know what the chapter is about then read it because it is a really good chapter. I told her that this is the way that I found out and that it was a long and slow process but the seed grew and now I know. She said that she will read it because she thinks that it will be that way for her. We then invited her to be baptized on 10/17. She said that she would pray about it. She also said that she felt a overwhelming sense of fear. I told her that change is really scary.and the change we're asking of her is a big one. But the more the seed grows the more the fear goes away. I also told her that this is just a goal and she won't be baptized unless she is truly ready.
Ricardo is a much older man who is a less active member of the church. When we met him he welcomed us into him home which was an old trailer not too far from where Vania lived. He immediately opened up to us. We asked him why he didn't go to church anymore. He said that he knows the church is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that its all true, but a year ago someone did something terrible to him and his family. A year ago he was regularly attending church and was looking for a new home for him and his new family. A member offered to sell him a house and he agreed. The paperwork was all finished, the house paid for and Ricardo was a proud, new homeowner. Only there was no house to be sold. The whole thing was a hoax and it was a well planned hoax. Ricardo took this man to court and lost. This other member of the church took all of his money and left the area. Ricardo didn't have the money to pay for his current house anymore so they lost everything. They now live in an old trailer with him and his wife. They have no faith in the members anymore and haven't been to church since. It makes me sick that a member would do something like this. Anyways we've been trying to get Ricardo to come back and yesterday we saw him at a branch party. It completely caught me off guard when I saw him walk through the doors. We welcomed him and showed him to the gym. Now our Elders Quorum President is one of the greatest guys I know. When we told him about Ricardo he immediately got up, went over to him, and introduced himself. He then took him around the gym and introduced him to about 8 other people and they immediately fellowshipped him into the Branch. We didn't see him at church today because I think he still has his trepidations about coming back and trusting people again but if he does it's going to be because of people like President Hendricks.
The party was also insane! It's completely different from the ward parties back home. Everyone brought food. Also they had flags everywhere. All the Mexican food when under the Mexican flag and the Argentinian food went under the Argentinian flag and so on. They even had a US flag for us gringos. After we ate came the cultural celebration where people would sing songs and perform dances from their country. It was really incredible seeing all of the different cultures gathered in one place. It's nothing like our home ward. Anyways I miss you.
Love, Elder Austin