March 2, 2015 (Week 39)

Funny story, I got sick!  I should has seen it coming.  Elder Granda was a little sick before, and he lives too close to me not to catch it as well.  It’s just the sniffles is all; it won’t make me stop working, just be a little uncomfortable.  I’ll be fine, unless it’s one of those awful kind with all kinds of staying power, because then poor Elder Granda might hear a lot of complaining on my part.

That’s good that you went to Belize, and, more importantly, that you made it back home safe.  I definitely offer my services when I get home on that project.  I want to see what is going on, and I’ll be all post-missionary traumatized and wanting to do something spiritual in a weird place.

Ethan is cool.  That shout out he made to me puts all kinds of pressure on me to try my hardest in my mission, but that is fine.  No hay problemas.  I don’t think that many people back home realize how cool it is to believe is Christ and be Mormon.  From what I’ve seen, having hope, reading cool old books and serving other people is not something nerdy at all.

We had an interesting mix of success and let-down this week, which is normal.  We saw some of the fruits of our labor in the chapel yesterday, with a new less active that finally showed up and an investigator.  The less active feels like a success.  Her name is Lili, and she has a son who is a very good investigator of ours.  We have been working really hard with a family of loyal members to get her to come, to the point of the people actually passing by her house to help her want to go on Sunday morning.  She showed up late and left right after sacrament, but hey, progress is progress.  Her son didn’t come, because he is at his Dad’s house along with his older sister.  The investigator who did come was a little more odd, in that I have never seen him before.  I only knew he was an investigator because Elder Granda told me so.  I have no idea why he came, because he left so fast after Sacrament that we didn’t have the chance to talk, but we will visit him during the week.

Our biggest problem right now is that almost all of our investigators that are awesome are living with someone and have had kids, but not a single one is married.  There are 3: Javier, who went last week to church and looks like Pancha from The Emperor´s New Groove, a lady named Arelis, and a couple named Ana Luisa and Marcos.  Javier wants to get married because he says he really wants to get baptized, so we are hoping that is why he didn’t go to church: to propose marriage.  Arelis does not want to get married, but she is willing to separate to get baptized, because he… boyfriend? is a loser, and Ana Luisa wants to get married, but she thought that she could only get married through the Catholic church, which costs an arm and a leg.

Ana Luisa is a gold star, actually.  Yesterday, we had a lesson with her whole family, because she knows that these things are true, but she wants to get baptized with her whole family.  We are just like, “Cool.  Let’s go, then.”  She is a really good support for us.  She was making her kids listen to Lesson 1, and it was pretty spiritual.  If we can get Marcos a little more on board, I think that we should see progress there.  (Marcos, just so you know, looks exactly like Oswaldo from BYU, but about a head shorter.  He acts a lot like him, too, actually.  Pretty funny.)

The saddest story is from a guy named Gonzalo.  He has had a rough life.  We don’t know the whole story, but he had brain surgery, leaving a giant dip in the back of his head, and because of that he couldn’t talk, so they cut a whole in his throat too, making him talk in a dry whisper that is kind of hard for these gringo ears to understand.  But he is so humble, and he actually loves us and what we teach.  Every time he sees us, he has to fix my comps tie, and when we gave him a Book of Mormon, he was so excited he couldn’t stop shaking our hands and telling us his plans of how he will protect it.  He is the most likely to bring to the church to be baptized, but he is also the one that is receiving the most opposition.  He spends most of his day making humitas (look them up, they are amazing.  They might come up if you search up humas instead, I don’t know.  The -ita/-ito thing is super Chilean) and everyone there is bullying him so much that he is scared to listen to us.  We don’t really know what to do but pray and fast, because last time we talked to him, he almost seemed a little annoyed that we were there, if not angry.  Time will tell.

Elder Mathewson

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