Well this week was absolutely insane!!!!! One of the busiest weeks I've ever had!!!! So I already talked about Jorge and Maria but I'm going to be talking about them again for this week.
So this week was President Chamber's last full week in the mission. We will be welcoming President and Sister Lansing in the mission field this Friday. I am really sad to see them go. The mission president and his wife become your parents here in the mission. We watched them give their departing testimony this last Tuesday along with many of the friends I have on the mission. At the end of next transfer all of my previous companions besides Elder Stout will have left the mission. I'm starting to feel really old!!!!! I don't like it!!!!!
Besides that we had a very successful week! This week I think is the first time we were able to achieve the standards of excellence two times in a row! Our goal is to achieve them for the rest of our missions. Which will be much easier for Elder Jimenez because he only has 7 week left. Okay so here's what happened this week. We've been meeting with Jorge regularly and his mom half as regularly. Jorge has many friends preparing to serve a mission for the church and one of these friends are leaving on the 6th of July and Jorge was scheduled to be baptized on the 9th. So during one of the lessons this friend is nearly crying because he won't be able to be there for Jorge's baptism. I look at Jorge and say "hey how about you just get baptized on the 5th?" So he is now on date for the 5th!!!!! His mom has been making amazing progress as well. During one of the lessons this week we hinted to her "hey you know Jorge is getting baptized on the 5th. Wouldn't it be cool if you both got baptized on the same day?!" She said "yeah that would be pretty cool" and we left her to think about it. We're trying to not be too pushy with her because she's dropped missionaries in the past for being too pushy. But she did think about it. In fact she thought about it all week long. This last Sunday we had stake conference and we had 3 investigators at church! This was a day of miracles. Maria and Jorge were sitting next to Elder Jimenez and I was sitting next to a new investigator named Mario. I actually had met him that very day. A member friend had brought him and introduced me to him and so I sat next to him. The conference was in English but we had translation. The only problem was that the person translating was too far away from us so it wasting working. Mario told me that he couldn't understand anything so I started translating for him from English to Spanish. THAT WAS HARD!!!!! Especially because the guy giving the talk at the time was from my Ward and he was speaking in English, his second language and he had a crazy accent! Right after the talk was over they had moved the translator closer to us so it was working and I didn't have to translate anymore. It was an amazing meeting! What added to the amazingness more was that President and Sister Chambers decided to come and participate. Right after the meeting I was teaching this man about the Book of Mormon and giving him his own copy and the entire time I'm doing this President Chambers was standing behind me watching me the entire time! President Chambers is the most intimidating man I know and it was very unnerving to have him watch me like that. Right when I gave this man a Book of Mormon, President Chambers comes up and introduces himself to Mario in perfect Spanish!!!! I was thinking "what the heck did he understand me the entire time!?!?" I had no idea he spoke Spanish until then. Right after that the friend of Mario said that they had to go and they left. Right after they left, Elder Lyons came up to me and said "hey was that Mario leaving?" Me: "yeah why?" Him: "please tell me you invited him to be baptized." Me: "no why!?" Him: "I was talking to Hermano Silva (the member friend) and he told me that Mario asked him if he could be baptized today." Me: "WHAT!%#€%#" I had my hand on the door ready to run Mario down and invite him to be baptized but Elder Lyons stopped me "CALM DOWN Elder Austin! Don't run him down you'll make him nervous!" So that was an opportunity wasted but don't worry I repented. Later that day I received Mario's phone number from Hermano Silva and called him. It was literally the strangest phone call I have ever made. Never under any other circumstances would I have ever said what I did. This is what I said. "Hi is this Mario?" "Sí" "Hey this is Elder Austin, I sat next to you in the meeting." "Brother Austin!!! Yes yes yes I remember you!" "Yeah so I just talked to Hermano Silva and he told me that you want to be baptized. Is that true?" He said "claro que si" which I guess the most correct translation into English would be "heck yeah!" I did a kind of a chuckle of unbelief. "Do you want to meet every single day so you can get baptized this Saturday!?" "Yes please teach me I want be baptized!!!!!" "Yes sir I can do that! We'll meet tomorrow at 7:00." "Thank you thank you so much!" And that was how I put Mario on date. Literally the most unique way I've ever put anyone on date. He was a miracle!
Now about Maria. She was sitting next to Elder Jimenez during the meeting and she started crying during the second talk. Right then Elder Jimenez received the prompting to teach her in a separate room right after the conference. He did so and invited her boldly to be baptized. I wasn't there but from what he told me it was the most spiritual experience on his mission. He extended the date for the 5th of July which is the same day that Jorge has. She said yes!!!!! In the prayer she actually talked about how thankful she was for the missionaries and that she had already decided to be baptized a couple days ago. It was a miracle that she accepted. She's turned down plenty of missionaries in the past but now she's ready!!!! I am so excited to see her be baptized!!!!!!!
And now just one last miracle. we had already planned to teach Jorge again that very night and Maria wanted to join him. So we had our plans and we were ready. We went to the door and knocked and Jorge's dad answered. I can't remember if I already mentioned this but the first time I met Jorge's dad was about 4 weeks ago when he opened the door and said "Catholic and not interested!" But this time he said "Elders thank you for coming. Please come in." I was dumbstruck!!!!!! I didn't think it was the same man! We went in and the whole family was present. Maria, Jorge Jr., Jorge senior, and their other son Gerardo. Right when we all sat down we heard a knock at the door. Maria opened it and an army of 5 walked in. They were all Jorge's friends ready to teach him the truth!!!!! But I don't think they expected at all for the whole family to be there. So we had 11 people all in one room and we taught this family the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jorge and Maria both gave testimony to the father and the other son. They didn't accept a date but they are new investigators and the going to read and pray as a family. We are planning a temple square trip in which we are planning to put the father and the other son on date at the same time.
Well that's pretty much everything that happened this week. I hope everyone had a great week! Elder Austin