Pictures of Merida
Dear Mom and Papi,
Phew. Well, this week was kinda rough. We were really low in lessons because the majority of our plans fell thorugh up until the evening. I'm not sure if it was because of the world cup (And yes, I was
rooting for Argentina. Oh well...) but either way, a lot of things were falling through. We walked, and we walked, and we walked, but aside from all the walking reports, I do have a few wonderful things
to report. Something I forgot to mention last week (as I spent my whole hour and a half of email with my personal note to the family, haha) was that we had our largest church attendence, especially with
the 4 investigators we had at church. That was so nice to see them all there at church. AH! Plus, we had a baptism this Saturday too. Our investigator, M, finally got baptized after 12 years!!!
Unfortunetely, I missed it because I had to go on emergency splits with one of my zone leaders, but what's important is that it was finally able to happen and also that she was able to be confirmed a
member of the church the next day.
Speaking of that Sunday, we were able to have 4 investigators at church again, but two of them were
different. We started teaching a man named J. R. who's situation was very similar to our other strong investigator, L. We found him walking home and he was very sad. He was drunk (We have a knack for helping out the "borachitos" here. Haha. Seriously. You never know who'll be a golden investigator.) and in his own words describing the experience, "Yo soy muy triste!" (I am very sad!) because of how alcohol had affected him. Well, we started talking to our new, sad friend and set an appointment. We came back and he was stumbling home right at the time he showed up. (Despite the alcohol, that's precisely why he came home at that time. He remembered us... *sniff*) We tried teaching a bit, but booze makes him kinda dramatic and teary and sad, but in the end, we prayed, left a Restoration pamphlet and a Book of Mormon, committed him to stop drinking, and set up another
appointment. We weren't sure just how receptive he was to everything because of his state, but we decided we'd see how he was next time.
All I can say is wow. We came to our appointment, and he was expecting us and was 100% sober. He had read the pamphlet and a bit of the Book of Mormon in between visits and just his whole countenance had changed. He's a really chill and less dramatic man when he's not drinking. Haha. We
had a really good lesson on the Atonement and committed him to baptism and to attending church. We came to pick him up for church so we could all walk together that week, but he wasn't home. We were a bit sad because he seemed like he'd be a progressing one. We came back for our other appointment with him and it turns out that he was gone because of a funeral, but he said he'd come the next week. Along with him, we committed his "wife" (Well, here there are a lot of "union libres"
(literally meaning free union) and he's in one of them, however, you find a lot of olderish couples actually aren't married.) to come too, even though she attends another chruch. (Not the Catholic, though.) His 10 year old grandson was also there and we were able to help him understand that we can change and become better in this life through the Atonement because he did not understand that. We gave him a Book of Mormon and we hope we can visit with him more because I can tell that he's a really good kid who has a good belief and faith in God.
In regards to Sunday, J. R. was there with his wife and they were able to attend sacrament meeting. Ah, that really is such a good feeling. It made up for having to find out that morning that the branch president needed us to speak in sacrament. This is the second time we've had to do this, but I find I'm getting good at more or less giving a talk on the spot. It's kinda fun, actually. Haha. I spoke on how church attendance can help us find others to teach through being able to receive personal revelation at church and that the only way we can do that is if we truly take advantage of the time we have at church and really try to get something out of it. I hope my message was retained because we really need more folks to teach. Oh! And I received mail from the Routsons! Ah, that was really nice to hear from Pa Routson. They're good folk. Please tell them I love and miss them and hope they're all happy and well. No ward or branch can ever replace the love that I've felt in Hermiston ward! Well, that's about it for this week. Anyway, send everyone my love, especially Pedro when you see him next or any of the guys. I miss my group of fellas. Till next time, bye!
Love Elder Manuel Antonio Santos