Monday, September 5, 2016

2016-08-22 Leviticus 13:41

SO, I think I only mentioned this to my family before, I'm in a new area ("trunky transferred," as I think it is colloquially referred to); I'm in the port again, in a new ward (around five months old) called "Torrentes." It's actually really big, definitely the biggest ward/area I've been in so far. We have to take buses almost every day to give good follow-up to our investigators, or get rides with members when possible. We also walk a lot, as usual. The ward sacrament meeting attendance averages around 160 a week and we go to the Veracruz stake center for our meetings, which is quite possibly the nicest church building in the mission. It hascarpet in the chapel! And pews (well, kind of)! 

Let's see, investigators... There's a 15-year-old named Brayan who's really cool... he went to EFY a few weeks ago because a friend invited him, and the Sunday before I got here he showed up to church by himself with a white shirt and a tie in his hand because he didn't know how to tie it. The bishop actually thought he was a member! The missionaries put an appointment to go visit him during the week, and that became me, because the other missionary left. So we started to teach him and his family, and his mom, who sells fruits and vegetables during the week, including Sunday mornings, started to put plans to stop working on Sundays so she should go to church. Last Sunday she couldn't go, because she had to notify her clients of the change, but this Sunday she and Brian were there over a half-hour early in the chapel! We hope that Brian's little brother goes next week. Brayan's goal for baptism in the 10th of September, and his mom's (Juana) is the 17th, although Brayan's a little more sure than she is right now. Brayan's really enthusiastic about everything he's learning--and I really like when he prays. We told him that prayer was a conversation with God, and so he always starts, "Buenas tardes, Padre Celestial,..." I always smile when I hear him--his prayers are really sincere. Juana understands that her family needs the Gospel, and she's progressing, if a little more slowly--she just feels like she needs a lot more time to make the kind of changes in her life she needs to make.

Carmen was also there the Sunday before I came; a friend invited her, and she went, and accepted an appointment with the missionaries... again, me and Elder Howard. She's gone every Sunday since, is progressing great, has great fellowshipping from the Relief Society, and is progressing towards getting baptized on the 10th of September. She just needs a little help leaving coffee...

We also found another good new investigator on Saturday named Stefanie, a college student who has a lot of good questions. She was a reference from a member friend who lives in another ward. We just taught her once, and she didn't make it to church, but we'll stop by soon to see how's she's going.

Vianey is another investigator we have; she's 19, went to an overnight YSA activity and really liked it, and has a while (over a month) going to church, but her parents are very active in another Christian church and haven't exactly been supportive. She has friends among the YSA group in the ward that are helping, but she hasn't been really constant lately, not keeping her commitments, and so we might have to drop her from the teaching pool for a little while. 

There are some other people as well, but these are those that have been progressing the most lately. There are a lot of people in this area. The photo below where you can see lines of houses (this is the residential part of Veracruz where they build whole neighborhoods of the exact same model of house, I suppose to save money and space--it makes it really easy for me to get lost... and the street names aren't numbers, just random names, or occasionally groups of things, like "bird names," but not in alphabetical order, unfortunately) is just one of thirteen "colonias," or residential group areas, of roughly the same size, that our area covers, many of which are far away. 

Love you all, I'm happy, and healthy, and trying to make the most of every moment. 

Élder Rob Weatherford

P.S. "Yet is he clean."

(Rob's Mom:  P. S. S. for those of you who do not have your Bible handy, here is what my silly son was referring to in the subject scripture:  "41 And he that hath his hair fallen off from the part of his head toward his face, he is forehead bald: yet is he clean."  Forehead bald...)

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