This week we have been seeing M progress more and more. We taught the Word of Wisdom to him and Diana and they told us that M has quit smoking and has gone 4 months without drinking. We were so proud of him! He was already striving to live the Word of Wisdom before we started teaching him. It made us sad when they all promised to come to church and didn't show up but we will keep trying with them. We replaced D's baptism for the 18th.
A and Ingrid have their baptisms scheduled for this week! We are very excited for them and have been praying a lot for them. Last night we had Family Home Evening with a family in our ward and the bishop and his wife. We invited A, I and her children, D, M, and the less-active family they are living with to attend and... none of them came! It was pretty disappointing, but at least another less-active, M, and S and J came. We still had a good time, but missed a great opportunity for our investigators with a baptismal date to meet the bishop and other members. The members are so, so important in missionary work.
We also visited N, R, and their family this week and they are doing really well. We didn't have much time to visit with them, but talked about what they call here NOE. (After the prophet Noah). N = Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening), O = Oracion familiar (family prayer), E = Esudia de las escrituras en la familia (family scripture study). They seemed to really like the idea of family prayer and we challenged them to start praying as a family every night.
J is doing well. He told us that he is reading his scriptures and that he wants to serve a mission.
Our landlords, E and A, are doing well as well. They told us this week that they have decided to start going to a church... that happens not to be our church. It hurt me a little seeing as I had felt the spirit so strongly with them. But they thanked us for the blessings they felt they have received for having us live with them and that we have helped A to realize that he needs to help guide his family spiritually as well as temporally. A is very Catholic, but does not practice. E and one of their daughters, D, told us that the fact that he wants to take his family to a church is a very big step and thanked us for helping him realize this. I hope and pray that we can help them find what they need as a family and that they will realize that this gospel is the answer to their prayers and problems.
We started teaching S and J about temples and baptisms for the dead. S got a little teary eyed as we told her that J can be baptized for her husband who had passed away years ago and that she will be able to see him again. We are trying to help the ward set up a day for members to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead.
On Friday, we went with a member of our ward to go see A and J. We ended up meeting 4 of their friends and we watched the 20 minute version of The Restoration. After the video, we asked all of them what they thought about the story of Joseph Smith. Apart from A and J, they were all pretty shy or "too cool" to talk. We told them they didn't have to worry about being embarrassed about feeling the spirit. It surprised us all when afterwards, all of these young men (apart from the younger brother of J, G, didn't want to participate in the discussion and left after the video), started opening up and told us that they really liked the movie and thought that it was true. They all admired the initiative that young Joseph had to look for the truth. They are such a good group of young men. It was a pretty cool lesson, I have to say.
The highlight of this week was an incredible lesson we had with O, R, and their family on Wednesday. When we arrived, we were able to meet O's father, J. Later O's mother, G, came too. J and G are recently divorced but get along really well. G kept joking that she and Jorge are going to get married again. She is such a funny person and kept saying, "Yes, J. You are my husband and you're going to marry me again because families are forever." She is so great and her testimony is super solid! I believe she will be getting baptized very soon. She doesn't live in our area so I'm not sure. We had planned to teach the last part of The Restoration from the great apostasy to the Book of Mormon. We were pretty worried because people kept coming and going from the house, the neighbors seemed to have started a club down the street and started to play really loud music, and the little children were yelling and running everywhere. My companion and I started praying very hard, pleading the Lord for the spirit to be present. We know that they are ready for the gospel and have been prepared. We just needed to spirit to be there in the lesson with us. After the movie of The Restoration, we asked O and R how they felt. O said that he felt something strange. He said He believes that God appeared to Joseph Smith and that he wanted to read the Book of Mormon, "Pero, ¡ya!" (But right now!) to find out if it was true what they said about it. R said she felt good and that she knew that God would tell her if it was true. Then we asked G how she knew that the church was true. And she talked for about 20 minutes about her conversion story. It was a really good story but we lost the strength of the spirit and I was so worried that we had lost them. We gave O and R and J a copy of the Book of Mormon. We testified of the truthfulness of the book and were about to close when Jorge said, "Sorry, I just wanted to share how I felt although you didn't ask." It felt like a kick in the rear end! We had been focused so much on O and R that we hadn't even asked J how he felt. He revealed to us that through seeing this short movie, he found what his problem was. He had spent his life deceived about other churches and felt he could only trust in God, and no one else. He had visited the church before but wasn't interested until this moment. He felt that after seeing The Restoration, he knew that there was something to trust in. He continued bearing his testimony of God and I saw O bow his head with tears in his eyes. Soon after that, there wasn't a dry eye in the room. Jorge's testimony had brought the spirit and ALL of us could feel it. G suggested that O and J should hug and it made me cry even more as I saw these 2 grown men stand up and embrace each other. The love in this family is very strong and we could all feel it as we knelt down to pray. It touched my heart when G said, "Hermanas, I'm sorry, I can't kneel down because I have a bad leg." We told her not to worry and that she could sit during the prayer. She agreed but then said, "No. I'm going to kneel. I know the Lord will help me." We saw the pain in her face as she knelt down, but she didn't say a word. O offered the pray and thanked God for helping him find the path that his family needs to take. When we said amen, G said she wanted to offer another prayer. And again we bowed our heads in thanks to God for this wonderful family and this amazing Gospel. The spirit was so strong. It was the strongest that I had ever felt on my mission.
This church is so true. I love this gospel and I know that Christ is at the helm of this amazing work.
If you are not sure where to find the truth, follow the example of young Joseph Smith and ask of God. He will always guide us home.
Love you all!