Hope everyone is safe at home and doesn't hear as many gun shots as I do every night! Saturday night was kind of scary because a lot of police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks showed up while we were home having dinner at about 8:30 at the houses right next to my apartment complex. Elder Guzman said he saw a guy running away through our window but he kind of likes to exaggerate things so I'm not sure if I believe him. We never found out what happened but there were a lot of people outside for a while and lots of emergency people.
So it turns out it was an asparagus festival that was going on! Monday-Thursday there were people setting it up all day and the festival was Friday-Sunday. We could have gone and tracted with people but we would have paid $10 to get in so we decided against it. Now they will probably be taking things down for the next 4 days and the roads will all still be closed.
The only good story I can think of from this week is about a girl named Monica. On Wednesday I was on exchanges with the district leader because we have to do that once every transfer. Elder Torres went with my companion in our area. They went to visit a reference named Miguel and found him and ending up adding him and his sister (Monica) to our teaching pool. Miguel is the husband of a lady that Elder Torres taught in Lodi and ended up baptizing, so I think he will be a good investigator. Monica, the younger sister is about 17 years old. Elder Guzman usually talks a lot when we are with investigators but when he gets nervous around girls het gets shy and quiet. The first time we went over there Elder Guzman almost left before we had taught them anything or said a prayer so I had to make sure to jump in.
We are still working really hard with Carolina and Eva. Eva has moved out but has been sick all week and lives in a different area now so we haven't seen her. We can only drive a certain amount of miles every month so we usually get about 35-40 miles every day and it takes that many just to get to her house and back. She didn't come to church yesterday either and we're not sure what's going on with her. Carolina is awesome. We know she has a testimony and wants to be baptized but the only thing that's holding her back is her family. She wants her family to learn and be as excited as she is but everyone is worried that she is going to change if she gets baptized. We also think her husband is telling her not to do it. We'll see how things work out with that.
We set goals every week and have had lots of plans but recently I have felt like we have focused more on finding people to teach than helping out the people we've already found. So my companion and I have decided this week to focus more on the people that we already have. We will be working a lot with Carolina and Eva, and also a lot with a guy named Angel. He is probably the most committed person we have because he actually calls us to find out when we can come over and lets us now when he's not going to be there when we have a scheduled appointment. (It's kind of a Latino thing, but a lot of Latinos don't like commitments and they will always tell you that you can come back and teach them or set up a time to come back but a lot of the time they aren't there). So Angel is really good but he has had some trouble with the law in the past and he says he would feel really guilty if he went to church but always reads what we ask him to read and is really interested. We also have a family called familia Guzman (like my companion! but not related) and they haven't been coming to church but they are always really interested. Last night we went to teach them and the dad (Iban) was really interested in the plan of salvation and was even teaching his aunt about things that he has learned and what we do as missionaries. We are going back to teach them tomorrow and I'm excited. We also found a girl named Violeta two weeks ago and she has been in LA but she just came back Friday and we have an appointment to teach her tonight so I'm really excited about that.
Everything is going really well here and I love it! Here's the answers to a couple questions I've been asked recently:
Eating with members - we don't eat with members all that much because a lot of the ward is inactive. Yesterday though, the bishopric actually told all the members they need to feed us so we have a dinner every night this week! So that's exciting. We get $127 every month for food and everything else. We usually buy everything together (the 4 of us that live together) and just split it 4 ways. Last week though, we ran completely out of food on Saturday. All we have had the past 2 days is tortillas. No bread, no cereal, no milk, no fruit, nothing. But we just bought lots of food so we will definitely have food this week.
Mail- mail is also weird. The say that they forward it daily from the mission home but last Wednesday I got all my mail at the same time; a letter from Michael, a letter from my mother (which was supposedly sent on a Monday), and a package from home (which was sent on a Saturday). Even though things were sent 4 days apart they came on the same day. So I'm not sure exactly how it works.
Well everything has been going good! I don't get to work out and eat like I would like to but we usually play soccer every Thursday and P-day so I can live if I keep that up. I'm still alive and loving everything out here too! We had investigators at church yesterday so that's good and we're just working on getting a baptism! Hope everyone is well at home, and I hope Forrest starts his mission papers!
(John did send his photo memory card in the mail, so I'll get some of the photos posted in the next day or two).