Dear Rest-O-Family, (he wrote a private letter to Colton first).
Well hey there, happy campers! How y'all doing? It sounds like dad is recovering, which is spectacular, and that Tyrel is geared for the holiday season, and that Taggart is being social, and that Aubrey is being productive, so it's all good. I'm good as well, if you really have to ask. I had my first baptism this week, my first on my own contact, and several awesome references from the undeniable Hna Rosario, who is just a boss when it comes to missionary work. More on that later. I probably should get the bad news out of the way first.
Yes, contrary to what I have thus far written, some bad things do happen on the mission. For one, I haven't received my box and I'm quite looking forward to it. Two, several investigators who have baptismal dates are falling off their wagons. And three, I am as sick as a dog. I don't know where to begin.
Last week, I got sick. It wasn't bad. I really was just a bit off color. The doctor told me I had a stomach infection and to take some pills and that I should eat less fats. Easy. I was over it completely in like two days. Last night, I woke up with a huge stomach pain. In the morning, I went to the bathroom seven or eight time and I'm not going to describe the results. I feel beaten and battered, I've slept like all day, my companion gave me a blessing, and I should probably go to the doctor soon. I might have a fever because I'm burning up. But, I will press forward in faith. Don't worry too much. I'm doing all I can to beat this and I will, with the Lord's help.
Investigators falling off the wagon:mostly, there are three examples of this. The first is Hno Daniel. He is the husband of a member. His whole family are members. He has received the lessons before and essentially knows that the church is true. The problem is that he is trying to quit drinking and it is very hard for him. He doesn't want to get baptized and then just fall. So he refuses to get baptized. We've done only a bit with him. He loves basketball, so we played basketball with him. We cut his jungle down for him. We listen to his stories and his problems. We haven't really taught him anything yet because we don't just want to be a couple of missionaries looking for an easy baptism. We want to help him and we want to be his friends. And he said that we are different, that he likes talking to us as opposed to other missionaries whom he refused to listen. He agreed to give us an hour this Sunday to teach him. We showed up and as we approached the house, both of us swore we heard his voice, but his wife insisted that he wasn't there. I'm worried that he doesn't want to listed to us.
Next is Luis. Luis is thirteen, has a baptismal date, and works on Sundays. So he has not gone to church, although Hno Cabrera goes to pick him up every Sunday. What worries me he most is that when we asked him the question, "You do want to be baptized, right?" He responed with "Yeah, why not?" The why not worries me. I don't think he sees religion as a necessity, but rather more of a security blanket. So I'm worried for him.
Finally, We have the family of Enrique. In the beginning, they were golden. Now, however, they still don't come to church, they accept our teachings but don't put them into practice, and Enrique works on Sundays. Their door is always open for us, but they just aren't keeping commitments. I'm worried that they never will. If they end up getting married like they said they would, I'll know they mean business. Another worrisome fact: Enrique, specifically, keeps asking for more time before his baptism. I want to know more, I want more time to prepare myself. Never, I´m ready for baptism. I'm not sure he'll ever be ready by his definition. Oh, how I worry.
But I did have my first baptism! German got baptized and his whole family came. I directed the affair while Elder Juarez actually did the baptism. It was simple, but good affair. An investigator who came loved it. Now we are helping the investigators family with their marital problems. He seems ready for baptism and she seems willing to try to fix the problems. Another example of good coming from good.
By the way, we were asked by like three different people to help with marital problems this week. I don't know what they are thinking. We are 19 years old and I don't speak very much Spanish. But they ask and we try to help. We do what we always do: Tell them to pray as a family, to endure to the end, to start reading the Book of Mormon. These things will help, but often the family needs more, so we turn to the bishop. It's difficult to see all the problems and to have the answers, but to have nobody act. Nonetheless, aside from being sick, I'm still experiencing so many amazing things. I'm neither discouraged nor depressed. I am determined and happy and, well, sick. I hope you all do just as well, aside from the sick thing. I will send pictures next week I promise. Talk to you next Monday!