Monday, May 7, 2012

Week 18 in Sonsonate

No transfer this week!  So, Sonsonate is where David will complete his mission.  I think that’s a good thing….

Subject:  I prefer the weapon that you only have to fire once. That's the way Daddy did it, that's the way America does it, and it's worked out pretty well so far.

Wow. You all blew it. I was so hopeful that I would get a fair number of emails this week, and then I opened my email. 23 emails. Shameful. Well, it's definitely not the most I've ever gotten. Actually, it's the second-most I've ever gotten. By now you may have realized that I am speaking ironically as I have nothing but good things to say to you. Keep doing what you are doing.

Hey! So I found out what is going on with changes this week. Are you all ready for this? My last changes in my whole mission: Nothing. I am staying right here in Sonsonate with my current comp, Elder McLean. I am very happy about that. The only thing that I am slightly bummed about is that my Spanish accent has pretty much tanked these last few months, and I was thinking that my last comp, if it were a Latin, could help me fix that, but that's no big deal at all. Elder McLean is awesome, and we're going to be tearing it up out here for the next six weeks.

Six weeks! Well, it's six and a half, so let's not get ahead of ourselves. Six weeks is a long time. I can do a lot of things in that time, and I'm going to, so I hope that none of you expect me to get baggy any time soon. But still. Six weeks.
This week was awesome. We did so much better. If you will all recall, we were having a difficult time with our lack of investigators, but this week we suddenly found a ton. It was great. I will only mention a few of the more positive ones, though, to avoid an overly long email. The first was a family of five called the Rivas family. They are not super super positive, but we had some really interesting lessons with them about how one of the brothers can stop drinking, and about forgiveness and repentance and such. The family did not come to church this week, but there is some potential.

Then there was a guy named Alfonso, who was kind of interesting. He wasn't super positive, really, but his son is deaf, and we have a lady in our ward that is a sign-language translator. So we're going to get her involved and see if we can make something happen. It would be cool to baptize a deaf kid.

Now on to the more positive ones. First, we have the Mira family. They are ridiculous. The husband, David (and yes, they are already married, which saves us a step) was studying to be a Catholic priest for a long time, and then he left that and became a Lutheran pastor for six years. After all of that time, he noticed a lot of corruption in all of the churches, and stopped going about four years ago. He also drank, which was not prohibited in the Lutheran church, but he felt that he shouldn't, so he had no right to preach if he drank, too. So he just stopped going to church. Then he got married to Isabel, and they now have a two year old son, Luis. And let me take a moment to say that Luis is a nightmare. He is the most obnoxious kid I have met on my mission. Almost. Maybe Brian (or the rest of you, but Brian was actually there) will remember a lady in San Salvador (I believe her name was Ana) who had a five-ish year old son who was basically the devil. Luis is like that, except he is super happy while he is obnoxious, and his parents don't really do much about it. Last time we went there he was literally climbing all over us completely naked, stealing our plaques, and grabbing our ties and screaming. At one point he ran and stood on somebody's bed and just started peeing. Really crazy kid. But the parents are super, super positive. David has told us a couple times that he had been praying recently to know what he should do, since he feels like he should be going to a church. And then we showed up. I love being an answer to people's prayers. And they went to church on Sunday and absolutely loved it. And they have read the pamphlets we left, and are starting the Book of Mormon. And they always have really good questions. Golden family, as far as I'm concerned. And the husband was showing us a bunch of his Lutheran pastor stuff, which was really interesting.

Then there's Abby. She isn't quite as positive, but is still good. Actually, she was one of the first investigators that I taught here in Sonsonate, but we only went like twice because she just kind of straight-out told us that she wouldn't go to church or get baptized or anything. Then one day, while we were planning, we decided to put her name down. We showed up, and guess what? She's awesome. She told us that that very night she had been going through some really hard times and was praying for help. And all that morning she had been praying for it, too. And then we showed up. Again, I love being the answer to people's prayers. President Monson mentioned that in conference, once, if I remember correctly; that there is nothing more satisfying than following a prompting and finding out later that you are answering someone else's prayers.

And then, to wrap this up, there's Mauricio. He is progressing very well, and we actually have a baptismal date for next Sunday with him. He'll have his interview on Thursday. But he also is very, very intelligent and likes having answers to things. He already knows that this church is true, too, so I feel like most of his research is just out of curiosity, and not trying to compare or see the pros and cons (I almost wrote ver the pros and cons. Spanglish for you). Yesterday we went over and he had done a ton of research on the internet and such. We spent two whole hours (too long, I know, but still) answering questions about everything. I think the only thing that we didn't talk about was the temple-related stuff, which is probably good. But we went into polygamy, baptisms for the dead, the Fall, the kingdoms of glory, Quetzecuatl, Solomon Spalding and the Book of Mormon, the Urim and Thumim, the gift of tongues, the apocrofa, etc. We also went through each of the articles of faith in detail. Very fun discussion, since I think he was definitely asking to learn, not to argue. He also went to church, by the way, and noticed that this week was much more reverent than the last time he came, even though our attendance dropped from 136-ish the first time to 125 this time. Also, I thought it was interesting that he worked as a business consultant for a lot of years, and has already shown that he is very good at identifying and fixing problems. He could contribute a ton to the church.

Alright, that's all I've got time for today. My bad. Time flies now. All of you are doing a very good job of reminding me how little time I have left, so I will do my best to stay focused and make the most of it. Oh, and I remembered that I will need to go clothes shopping pretty immediately after getting home, so I will need older sister help to do so. I do have two years of wearing nothing but a white shirt and blue-and-gray-striped tie (yes, Brian, I mean the last Lopez office tie), so my fashion sense is a little wack (and yes, I did just quote a Weezer song. Points to anyone who tells me which. Not many points, though, because it's easy).

Thanks for all of the 23 emails this week! Actually, they have now reached 25, since a couple last minute emails have been trickling in. I hope that you all have a great week! Keep sending me emails while you still can! Well, you'll still be able to in six weeks, but it won't be nearly as exciting.

Elder David Arrington

PS: Michael! I am so stoked to find out where you're going! You'll have to let me know on Sunday when I call!

PPS: Good thing I just remembered to mention that. I'll be calling on Sunday at 6:00pm our time, which translates to 5:00pm your time. I chose that so you have time after church and don't have to rush home. As far as conferencing and such, I really don't have a preference either way. I would definitely like to talk to the whole family (of course leaving the bulk to the one whose day it is), but if y'all think that it's better to just wait the month and a half, it's fine, too. Talk about it, and let me know on Sunday when I call. I'll call the house number first, by the way, just to see, and then I'd call the conference number.

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