It has been a whole flippin transfer. I can hardly believe it. Like it´s soooo crazy to think it´s gone by that fast. I´ve been in Argentina two weeks less than I was in the MTC, but it seems likes it´s only been a couple of weeks.
This week was interesting, it was the biggest week for the cosecha, the harvest, so everyone was busy. Everyone. Our investigators, the members, everyone was working. So it wasn´t as successful as we were hoping but it was still good. On Friday and Saturday there was a big festival celebrating the Plum haha. We went on Saturday for like half an hour and just looked around, it was kinda like a way smaller version of the state fair. There were a couple little rides for kids, and a lot of booths where people were selling watches, hats, gancho stuff (that´s like the Argentine Cowboy), soccer jerseys, and just all kinds of stuff. Then they had a live band and chorizo which is like the Argentine version of the hotdog. Anyways, turn out to church the next day was super lousy because everyone was at this festival until like 4 or 5 in the morning. We had a member who was selling clothes there who didn´t come, and all of investigators were there late sooooo in the morning there were 5 people that went in the traffic with us to Oeste. haha. I think the Oeste meeting was small too, they said it´s usually way more full but still, there were more people there then we usually have in Bowen and we had three hours of church which was kinda new for me. It was the first time in three months that I´d been to a regular 3 hour church meeting with families. Anyways, I´ll try to go through our investigators like you asked.
Pedro y Lucas: The hardest thing for them is just finding time to teach them, they go swimming and study a lot and now that school has started I´m sure they´re going to be studying a lot more. Pedro is the one that went to church by himself that one week, and his older brother is named Lucas. They are like 14 and 16 I think. They´re way outgoing and whenever we see them, if they see one of their friends, they don´t hesitate to call them over and have them talk to us. We really need some youth in Bowen (among lots of other things like Priesthood) so it would be way cool to get them but we just gotta find time when we can consistently teach them.
Omar: Omar is the one who was really sad his family left him and had a big smoking problem. He´s been to church twice but couldn´t go this week because he stayed up way late at the festival. The good news is his family and wife came back so he´s a lot happier and is excited that we can teach them now. I think the big thing this week will be talking about smoking, because both him and his wife smoke a lot. He has a lot of desire to change and become a better person though so that´s way good to work with.
Jonathan: This one is kind of a cool story. He´s about 17 and we opened the mouth with him one night like 3 or 4 weeks ago and he was way good. I thought he was just kinda going to blow us off but he ended up stopping and talking to us for like 10 mintues about questions he had about the Book of Mormon and what we believed and stuff like that. We gave him a pamphlet that describes the Restoration and asked him to read about it and then pray. We tried to set up a time when we could stop by and talk to him but he said that his dad wouldn´t like it. He knew a member so we were thinking we could maybe have lessons with the member but never really set up anything solid. Anyways, we were knocking doors on Saturday I think and we got into this one house and started talking to and teaching this guy and then Jonathan walked out! Turns out we had knocked his dad´s house. Well the good news is his dad is actually really nice and didn´t have a probably talking to us. They have doubts about the Book of Mormon and the dad doesn´t really understand the importance of being associated with Christ´s church, he just kept saying that all he needed to do was believe in God and didn´t really understand that if the Book of Mormon is true, it means he needs to be baptized into the church. But it was good that we found out their doubts and can now start teaching to them, that´s what´s so good about asking people to be baptized on the first lesson, even though it sounds kinda crazy, it helps a lot. Jonathan is going to read the Book of Mormon and just put it to the test and pray afterwards, and you can´t go wrong with the Book of Mormon so I´m really excited to see what´s going to happen. He is way solid though.
If I had more time I would go through more but we´ll see what happens after this week and I can give you all more info on all of our investigators. We have so many it´s hard to know who is going to progress and who isn´t.
Last week we realized that we needed to work a lot more with the families in Bowen, in a couple different aspects. There are only two families who both the mom and dad are members, and both of those families have inactive sons, so we don´t really even have a complete family in the branch. Since the missionaries have only been here a year, practically everyone can be considered a new convert, because they haven´t been growing up or living the gospel their whole lives. To help the families out we´re trying to shift some of the teaching responsibilities to the parents, instead of having us doing FHE in the church, we´re going to train all the parents so they can have their own FHE in their own home. We printed off some suggestions that we got from lds.org and then a story about how FHE helped a family and a calender where they could mark if they did FHE on Monday, if they did family scriptures and prayers on the other days of the week, and finally if they went to church on Sunday. We´ll see how it goes, hopefully it´ll start strengthening the families and family relationships though, because they are the most basic structure of the church, and if Bowen is going to survive it´s going to need some strong families. Next, we want to start teaching the three husbands (for lack of a better word because only one is actually married) of the Bolivian sisters who are active. One of them is Angel who got in a pretty bad car accident a while ago and now is looking really open to the missionaries. Another one is Cristian who is actually with one of the daughters of the Bolivian family who really has a desire to change and improve his family. And lastly there is the one husband who is married but is more apathetic to the church. It´s hard because he would be the easiest one to baptize because he´s actually married and the others aren't...and he´s the one who doesn´t seem to have as much of a desire to change or improve his life. Hopefully once the families start doing FHE the husbands will feel more of a desire to join the church, and hopefully the sons who are inactive will start becoming interested as well. It´ll also just help the children who are semi-active but aren´t really strong, because there´s a lot here that are like that too. Anyways, there´s a lot of work to be done haha.
They annouced transfers today and I´m staying with Elder Robinson so I´m pretty excited about that. I just need to work on speaking more spanish with him because I feel like I´m not doing enough in that aspect to improve my language. This week was pretty cool though because there were a couple days where I just stopped worrying so much about whether I said something wrong or not and just tried to talk. I asked a couple different questions to people that I wouldn´t have normally asked and talked to this little kid for a while which was pretty cool. I´m excited to be with Elder Robinson though, he is a really good teacher and we get along well. He´s funny and easy to joke around with so life isn´t boring and we keep things excited. He´s a hard worker and we had pretty good numbers this transfer so hopefully we can keep it up. So far we´ve taught 101 people some principle of the gospel. Kinda cool huh? Oh, also, on the topic of transfers Elder Summers who was in my MTC district is going to be in Oeste next transfer! Haha how crazy is that? It means I´ll see him every P-day when we do stuff with our zone (our zone has 12 Elders, and our District has 6) and then whenever Oeste and Bowen have activities together.
On a side note, Bowen has some kind of fruit canning factory or something so there´s a couple neighborhoods we walk through every day that smell like when mom is canning peaches. Haha, it´s kinda weird. Our schedule is never very set because no one else really has a very set schedule. We´ll schedule to come back to a house at another time and 90 percent of the time they won´t be there. Probably because they knew they were going to be gone and didn´t want to listen to us haha. We have a couple investigators that we go by at the same time every day but other than that we just kinda go by investigators whenever we think they might be home. We very rarely go tracking door to door, maybe maybe once a week, if even that. It depends on if we need new investigators or if we don´t have anyone else to teach but usually we stay busy teaching. We have Companionship and Personal study in the morning, and are out the door by 10:30. Then we work until lunch which is at 1. Then we go back to the Pench and have language study until like 4 because during the sista everyone is asleep haha. Then we´re out and working until like 9:30 at night. Right now we´re supposed to be in bed by 11 and up by 7 but it changes in the winter to the usual 10:30 and 6:30. Hopefully that answered most of your questions...I think I covered all of them.