This week I think we’ve started to make some progress with a few of our investigators. I mean, the majority of them still tried to lie to us and tell us they'd read the pamphlets when they really hadn't, but that's just part of life here. The conversation usually goes something like this:
"Did you have the opportunity to read the pages we marked in your folleto?"
"Oh yes, of course."
"That's wonderful. What did you learn?"
"Oh, many good things... about God."
"Ok, then... let's start with a review."
This week, however, we actually had 2 people read their assignments: a quiet young woman named Yudi and a jolly 50-year-old man named Domingo. After asking someone if they've read and expecting to hear "muchas cosas buenas," but instead they say something about 'sacerdocio' or 'la vida preternal' is like waiting for a splash of icy water to the face that never comes, and I couldn't help but smiling ear to ear. I literally left walked away from both of those citas with tears in my eyes.
On Saturday night, both of our 7pm citas fell through and we found ourselves looking for someone to teach. For some reason, I felt that we should go visit an investigator that we hadn't been able to find in several weeks, even though I knew that she wasn't usually home at that time. So we went and, of course, the house was empty. However, as we were leaving, a little old lady standing in the dim orange light of a doorway across the street called us over. She asked what church we were from and we told her. She then surprised us by saying that she was baptized into that church. We were a bit skeptical at first because we have had quite a few people try to tell us they're members when they really aren't (including one man who once tried to convince he was baptized 7 times), but she insisted that she had been baptized at the church on Santome (our chapel) but that she hadn't been in many years. So, we invited her to come the next day, told her when it started, and then said good night.
Sunday morning before church we called 7 people and passed by 14 houses. We were, as usual, met by one mumbled excuse after the other from nearly 20 drowsy people who were loath to leave the comfort of their beds and peak their heads out into the hot morning sun. We ended up walking into sacrament meeting empty-handed and I was nearly on the verge of tears thinking about the prospect of yet another week with zero investigators in attendance. But as we sat down in the back pew, something told me not to be upset and to just wait a bit - so, as downtrodden as I felt, I was able to keep my composure.
I was just after the first hymn that I noticed who was sitting a few rows in front of us. It was the old lady from the night before - she had actually come, and in fact, had even gotten there before us! It was long after I noticed her that Domingo entered the chapel in a white button-up shirt, and upon seeing us yelled "Hermanas!" in the middle of the sacrament and proceeded to squeeze into the pew and sit down in between us. And not 10 minutes after that, two more of our investigators - Elsa, and then Jose - showed up and then sat down with smiles on their faces.
This was the most investigators we've had in church so far in this new area. I was overjoyed and offered a silent prayer of thanks.
Throughout the meeting, whenever Elsa liked something that the speaker had said. she would let out a fervent, "Amen!" Apparently she liked quite a lot. Domingo also seemed to like what was being said, as evidenced by the fact that he began enthusiastically echoing Elsa and even adding in a few of his own. And then there was me: sandwiched right in between the two of them and smiling proudly.
All my love,
Hermana Kaitlin Olsen
|Azua town plaza|
|Carlos' new motorcycle|