This last week was a great week and there is a lot of information, but I will try to condense it down to just the most important, and also the coolest, things.
First off, we have the baptism this Saturday of Sister Orbalina. She first started listening to the missionaries about 9 months ago but always had problems with marriage, she is not married but was living with some guy. But she moved out of his house because it was a bad relationship. She is super quiet and does not like talking, but also really awesome. Where she lives there is a member who passes by with his truck and picks everybody up on Sunday. She used to live about a mile from the road where he would pass by, and she would always walk up to the road just hoping that he would pass.
The other main investigator is Ruben. My first day here we taught him for the second time. He has a bad relationship with his parent’s so he is living here in Oratorio with his cousin and her husband. Her husband happens to be a counselor in the District Presidency, so he went to church with them several times without the missionaries knowing. After the first time teaching, we left him 3 Nephi 11, but when he showed up to the church for the second lesson, he had read the first six chapters and Third Nephi 11,12,17, and Moroni 10. He has a date to be baptized for the 16th of Feb. At first we had the concern that his parents would not be willing to give him permission, but he talked with them and they have given him permission!
The branch seems good, the people are great, hopefully it will be a ward in the next few months.
Elder Jones is still great, we are already great friends. He was already in this area and has three months in the mission. Luckily there is already a teaching pool of people that we can help progress, but we will also be finding new people to keep the teaching pool stocked. And yes, there are bananas and coffee everywhere! Also coconuts and mandarins. There are parts of our area that are fairly jungly.
Yeah, Oratorio is a little small itself, but our area extends to a part called Las Cabezas, which is towards El Salvador, and in the other direction to El Molino which is at la Isla. We do a ton of walking though we also use a little tuc thing, which is nice. Honestly, most of the time walking around we are dripping sweat.
A couple of other investigators who could keep progressing are Giovani and his "wife" Karina. They have gone to church once and we have taught them a couple of times. Unfortunately, they did not go to church this last week. Hopefully they have a good reason and will come this next week. There are some other investigators who have potential but aren't progressing very well for now, if they start progressing better, I will let you guys know.
On Monday we had our district meeting in the area of Cuilapa, which is about twenty minutes from where we live. When we were coming back, we had to take a micro bus and there was no room on the inside, so we ended up with one foot inside the bus and the other hanging outside with our hands holding on to a little bar that they had on the inside of the bus. We were like that for about 10 minutes flying down the highway, and then some people eventually got off of the bus and we could get in, but that was kind of an adventure. Also, originally Orbalina wanted to be baptized in a river, so yesterday Elder Jones and I took a bunch of time finding a river and then trying to find a spot on the river where there was sufficient water to be able to baptize. After about two hours walking around in the sun, (it was about 90 degrees, and the hot months have not even started yet) we didn’t have any luck finding a spot for a baptism, so we had to convince her to be baptized in the church.
Doctrine and Covenants 24:8 says, "Be patient in afflictions, for thou shall have many, but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days." I love how straight forward the Lord is. He said be patient in your affliction, for they SHALL be many. We knew from the get-go that we were going to have many afflictions and tribulations, but if we endure, He will be with us. With God ALL things are possible (Mark 10:27). For after much tribulation come the blessings. (D&C 58:4)
Enjoy the temple this week and stick with the process in all things.
I love you all so much and hope and pray that we all have a great week in our personal, physical, and spiritual goals.