We have been working a lot with Edgar, João´s friend (by the way, João is the portuguese name for john). They are good buddies and teaching Edgar has really helped João stay excited about the church and his testimony has grown a lot as we teach Edgar. Seriously, everything that my mission president says is GOLD. He taught us that we have to teach all 5 lessons before and after baptism, but the lessons after baptism have to be taught with a non-member. That means that the recent convert has to give us referrals and we have to teach the referral with the recent convert. If they don´t have a referral for us, we have to bring them with us to teach another investigator. It works so well because the recent converts are so enthusiastic about the church and how it changed their lives. I just love working with recent converts, especially João because he has changed so much in the months that we have known him. He literally has a new light about him. He is also helping Edgar quit some bad habits/addictions and is bringing him to church activities and everything.
This week we have had 2 activities at the church--one was with the other ward that shares our chapel and the other was just our ward. The combined activity was good, but the ward activity was awesome! Tons of members showed up and about a third of the people at the activity were non-members/part member families/friends/etc. It was way cool! I love using the chapel. It´s always a great experience for everyone.
We ended up taking the same bus home as a recent convert in the ward. He is probably in his 60s and was baptized like 6 months ago and he goes to every single ward activity and has not missed a sunday since the first sunday that the sister missionaries invited him. He mentioned that he had plans to travel to visit his family in another state but is waiting until after march. I asked why and his response gave me the biggest smile. He said, ``I have been to church for 44 sundays. I have been to the temple 3 times to do baptisms for my ancestors. I will visit my family after I have completed one year of the church. I need to get my endowment and I will not miss one sunday in this ward until then.`` I was amazed at this man´s conversion. He is an incredible example of righteousness. Everytime we have stopped by his house and ask what he has been doing that day, he says that he got home from work and has been reading the scriptures. I´m glad I could meet such incredible people on my mission.
Thanks for your emails and updates, etc.
Anyway, we are still teaching Edgar. He went to an activity on saturday at the church and really likes everything about the church. However, he really struggles with the word of wisdom. He has smoked cigarettes since he was 8 years old. He smokes like 10 cigarettes a day right now (compared to 4 packs like a month ago), so he is smoking less. He needs more motivation to quit smoking. I think we will try to go the temple with him and João this week to help him to expand his vision and help him to feel the desire to try harder. He has a testimony that the church is true though and is really grateful for our help. He said that he knows what we teach is true because he sees the light in our eyes and told us that he knows that it is the Spirit. This week we will bring more members with us to our lessons and really help him to quit smoking and drinking.
This week we also realized that many of the people that we have been teaching aren´t willing to keep any sort of commitments so unfortunately we will cut many of them this week. We need to work more at measuring desire and really finding the elect. In our teaching pool were people that don´t read what we give them or pray and many who aren´t home when we have appointments with them. However, we are confident that we will find new investigators this week and help them progress.