Hahahahah dear family,
This week was much better! Thanks to all of those who wrote me and gave me advice. Each one of you gave me some helpful insight. I'm really so glad to be here on the mission. I am learning so much, and I love to learn and grow closer to Heavenly Father. It is a great blessing to be one of His missionaries in this time and age. It's funny, I don't think I even realize or comprehend how much I've changed for the better, how much I've grown. I still feel like the same person, but I know I'm not. If I could watch a video of my life at the start of the mission and a video of right now, 7 months later, I think the change would be great.
Welp, I'm gonna start talking to you all about my investigators now, because they are the purpose of my mission. They define my mission. The first investigators are Elizabeth Martinez and her son Diego (10 years old). We met Elizabeth in the last transfer, knocking doors. She has been slowly progressing, but she is definitely progressing. She also has a son named Michael (3 years old) and a husband who we met the first time this week. The husband was always working, and Elizabeth was hesitant to tell her husband that we were visiting because she said he's very Catholic and doesn't like to talk to people who teach from different religions. We asked her to tell him that we were visiting and to ask him if he'd have interest in listening to the message that we share for the families. She did it, and that's a good sign, because it shows that she thinks what we share is important for her family, including her husband. However, the husband said that he didn't have interest, but he said it was ok that we continue passing by to teach Elizabeth and their sons. One night he arrived at the house from work while we were there, but didn't enter in the house and left. So we had never met him or talked to him. But this past Sunday, we stopped by the house and we met him and presented ourselves! The only thing is that he was drunk and went to his room to sleep, so we didn't get to talk to him more than present ourselves. Elizabeth is very kind, and we have a good friendship with her and especially her sons. She wants her family to be closer to God, and especially worries about her sons. She feels like she raises them by herself for the most part, and I know that she wants more help from her husband, and doesn't like that he drinks. She is still having trouble going to church, but she has started reading the Book of Mormon by herself and praying. In the last visit, she told us that she has interest in learning more about the Book of Mormon. I can see that she wants to know if it is true or not, but she still has trouble with commitment. She has a baptismal date for October 1st, which is kinda far away, but it's because she is still unsure. I know that as she keeps reading the Book of Mormon and praying, she will receive her answer that it is true and will feel more willing and prepared for her baptism. We had a lesson with her in which a recent convert to the Church accompanied us. The recent convert, Hermana Posada, worked wonders! She shared her testimony of the gospel so strong, and was able to relate a lot with Elizabeth. Ever since that appointment, Elizabeth has been showing more interest and more commitment. That goes to show that the testimony of the members of the Church can make a huge difference. We as missionaries can only do so much, but members can help us in accomplishing what we can't accomplish. Many times they can relate to the investigators in ways that we as missionaries cannot. So family, help the missionaries! Help them a lot! You guys will be amazed at the seeds you can plant in the hearts of others! Travis, I hope you are going out with the missionaries! I started to go out with them when I was 14 and I still feel like I arrived to the mission clueless. It is a great experience to help others come to Christ! I was able to help the missionaries in teaching Jennifer Kott and her brother, who were later baptized, and Travis Wormington, who was also baptized. And I was very happy in doing that. I was able to make friends in the process as well, with investigators and with the missionaries.
Another investigator is Nora Chacon. She is a little different, and my companion and I have concluded that she has a little bit of mental problems, but she is so innocent, and kind, and honest. She is our most devout investigator. She has gone to Church for the past month without fail, but she will be moving to a different stake next week to live with her mom. She has had a very hard life. I believe that of all the people I have met in my entire life, she has had the hardest life of all. And so although she is a little strange, and the lessons with her are difficult and sometimes it's hard to be patient, I have to learn to love her, and I do love her at times, but I'm still working on loving her all the time. And that's what she needs more than anything: someone to love her and treat her kindly. Because for all of her life, people have treated her as worthless, including her parents. I hope that one day, she can overcome all the pains she has had with the Lord's help, and continue going to Church, where she can feel the Lord's love and be with people who will hopefully treat her kindly, because even members of the church can be cold at times. And I hope that she can progress enough to be baptized one day. That would be awesome.
Our other main investigator is Marlon Vega. He is GREAT. He loves us and we love him. He has soooooo much potential. In our first visit with him, he started to cry as he talked about the relationship he used to have with God. He used to be very close to God, and had so many blessings from the Lord. But then he distanced himself from the Lord and fell into sin, and as he told us about the hardships he has had since he fell away, the tears came flooding. He told us that he felt like we were sent to give him a second chance in life. An opportunity to fix his mistakes and receive forgiveness through repentance and baptism. We have already talked about baptism, and he has the desire to work towards being baptized. But there is a great obstacle. He is living in ''union libre'' ( I forgot how to say that in English) with the woman who is practically his wife right now. So in order to be baptized, he must get married with her. But it gets more complicated because he needs to get divorced from his ex-wife to marry his current wife. And it's even more complicated because he doesn't know where his ex-wife is. She ran away with his daughter and he hasn't seen his daughter in 3 years. In order to get divorced, he needs the signature of his ex-wife, and then he has to get married, and THEN he can get baptized. And all that also costs a lot of money.... So we are going to be praying for him very much. I you all could pray for him, as well as for all our investigators, I know the Lord will answer our prayers.
I love you family! The work is going much better now, and I am happy!