Monday, April 16, 2012

Week 15 in Sonsonate

Subject:  Ah, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it, or, learn from it!

This was a slower week. We only found seven new investigators and had to drop a few others that still seem kind of positive but, for one reason or another, are not progressing. Not very fun to do. One of those that we're dropping (or better put are not visiting nearly as often) is Juan Carlos. You've all heard a bunch about him and how he was progressing, but he needs three attendances to get baptized and just won't come to church. He even has one attendance already. It's really sad to see that. He keeps saying that he's going to come because he wants to get baptized, but I think there's something he's not telling us. Maybe he's started something bad, like drinking or smoking again, and wants to clear that up first. We'll have to figure it out. But for now we can hardly find him anyway, so it's getting tough to focus on him. Also, he told us on Saturday that he was going to try to miss part of school on Sunday to go to church. He didn't, and we went later to ask him why. His family told us that he still wasn't back, but that he hadn't even gone to study. That's why I don't feel particularly comfortable with the situation.

Anyway, there was him and a few other people that are just not progressing well now. The most positive investigators that we have are not even that positive, either. The Campos family is probably at the top of the list. The wife is the biggest obstacle with them, though. She is very evangelical and doesn't want to go to our church at all or even listen to us. The worst part, though, is that she doesn't want to get married. We went up there with our ward mission leader, though, and she happened to come out so we started talking to her. She confirmed everything that I just said, but we also caught her interest with something, although I don't know what. I think it had to do with us helping her husband change and become better. Makes sense, right? I'm pretty sure that's what every wife wants. The husband told us that he was going to come to church on Sunday, and true to his word he showed up. Even better, he somehow got his wife, daughter, and niece to come as well. That was pretty awesome. They were a little bit shy, but the husband was definitely involved in everything and was even asking questions. That's awesome. I think that even if we can't convert the rest of the family right now, he'll get baptized once we get them married.

Another investigator that came to church was Mauricio. He is a crazy guy, which I mean in the non-literal sense of the word. He was on the national team here for soccer a long time ago, and is now some kind of super important guy in San Salvador and is in charge of electric and something else for the country. I forgot exactly what it was, since it's pretty technical. He was also in charge of the campaign that got Mauricio Funez elected President here, so he's got a lot of contacts. Also, his house is super nice. He's like 65, too, but looks like he's 45 because he's in really good shape. Crazy. Anyway, he reads the Bible every morning and night and loves to read, so the Book of Mormon is going to be golden there. We're taking one over Tuesday night, since we are currently out of them. He is a reference of the stake patriarch, too, which is pretty sick. The only problem, though, is that he is very catholic. He wants to talk a lot about the bible, but I think he may take a little longer to get converted due to his great lifestyle. People tend to be that way, which is why we generally have more success with poorer people.

Also, he is a very educated person. After church he told us that all of the meetings were great, and he started giving us these crazy in-depth analysis of each one. The thing that made me slightly sad, though, was that he said he didn't like sacrament meeting because there were kids making a ton of noise and crying and running around and screaming, and there were a lot of people not paying attention and even a lot of adults just talking for a lot of the meeting. That's a problem that I have been well aware of for a long time (twenty-two months now!), but talking to the bishopric hasn't really helped. We'll have to find a solution, because he definitely noticed it and expressed to us that it should not be like that during the most important meeting in our church, especially while they're passing the sacrament. I'm almost relieved that someone else here saw that, though I'm almost ashamed that it was an investigator and that that is the impression he was left with.

There was another woman named Carolina that came to church, too, but it was the first time that we had talked to her, so we don't know much. She just showed up, I think, and lives in Sonzacate, so it's a little harder to teach her. We're going to do so on Thursday, though, since she's going to come down for mutual. Good times.

Here's something super crazy that happened, though. I called America, the other area in my district, to get their numbers on Friday, and they didn't answer. Just a side-note, by the way, we report how many lessons we teach, referals we receive, and news we find every night, and it's my job as DL to get those from the district and report them to the ZLs. Anyway, I kept calling them after 9:30 and they weren't answering, which is slightly bothersome. By 9:50 it was worrisome. By 10:30 it was very worrisome. The ZLs even called their bishop, who went over and banged on their door, but nobody answered. Eventually, around 11:15 the zone leaders talked to the APs and basically said that what they said is that we should just wait until morning. There wasn't much else to do, since we couldn't leave the house. I was pretty worried, to be honest. Stuff like that doesn't happen very much, if at all. The next morning we finally got ahold of them. They had tripped over the phone cable and the phone broke. And they went to bed early, so they didn't hear the bishop banging on their door. Wow. That's horribly anticlimactic. It's a lot better than some of the situations I was imagining, though, especially since their area is pretty dangerous.

I'm running out of time now, dang it. I wanted to make this email a little bit more work-focused, which is why I kind of dove right in at the beginning. Oh, and I forgot to say that I gave a talk on Sunday, which went well. My comp gave one, too, and his Spanish was actually somewhat decent for it. I was impressed. Anyway, thanks for all of the emails and updates and such! If I'm not mistaken, Dad just told me that I will be giving my homecoming talk in two different wards, which is kind of crazy. I don't know if that was supposed to be the same talk twice or if I was supposed to come up with a different one for each ward, though. Oh well. I've still got two whole months to think about that. That's forever away. It's like four Christmas breaks in a row. Or my entire time at the MTC again. Or one sixth of a year. Or 66 days. However you calculate it, it's a lot. So don't be thinking that I'm getting baggy out here. I'm just getting warmed up before the crazy super ultimate awesome end of the mission rush. Which, again, is far away.

Thanks again for all of the emails and support that you guys give me out here! I love reading about all the stuff going on back home, and it actually is making me a little bit curious to see how things will be when I get back there. Well, we'll just have to wait and see!

Elder David Arrington

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