Monday, September 21, 2015

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

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. 
Elder Austin

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