Wow, that transfer just went flying by. But it was a good one. Tough, but good. And it ended with a great reward. Yesterday Eduardo was baptized!! Elder Webb did it, his last day in the sector. It was a great baptismal service. It´s been hard with him, but he finally did it. He stopped smoking and is really trying to change his life. He already has changed a lot, and I´m grateful to have stayed here this transfer to watch him continue.
Talking about transfers, I am now with my new companion. Elder Webb went to San Pablo, a zone where I have been before. He is training, opening the sector, and DL. I knew he was going to be training. Actually, the other day I even guessed that he was going to San Pablo. I called it!! I´m now with Elder Ibarrola. He´s from Paraguay and today starts his 4th transfer. More or less new, so I´ll be teaching him a lot; although he had a great trainer, so I´m sure he already knows a lot. I´m also District Leader over a companionship of sister missionaries. It´ll be a good transfer.
A couple months ago we had a training meeting with President May and the Assistants. (Side note: one assistant, Elder Andelin, was my companion in the MTC. Sweet!) They introduced us to a new activity that we are now doing with the families in the ward. It is based out of Jacob 5 about the olive grove (the longest chapter in the scriptures) and appropriately named The Lord´s Vineyard (La Viña del Señor). It is split into two lessons, one where we share a scripture about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and offer service. The next lesson we share a scripture about missionary work and a few select verses from Jacob 5. We then give them a special paper we have that has a place for the family name and a bunch of boxes, like an Excel page. We then have them write the names of all the people they know--neighbors, friends, relatives etc., regardless of if they´ve heard the missionaries or not. And really focusing that these are not referrals for us. Yet. After they get a list made, we invite them to pray as a family and pick one person with whom they, not us, can work. They can invite them to the church, FHE, give them a Book of Mormon, etc. and continue doing activities until they think that the family is ready to receive the missionaries. Then comes the cavalry. It works, too. I love it.
We did the Viña,(Vineyard) with an active family in the ward several weeks ago. I actually talked about them a couple weeks back, the Ramirez Family. I mentioned how they took a family with them to church. That family came from The Lord´s Vineyard. The mom is Carolina, with 3 sons--Felipe, 18, Nicolás, 10, and Andrés, 6. (Andrés is Spanish for Andrew, and it´s funny because he reminds me a lot of Andrew Simonson, just smaller.) They loved the church, and we´ve shared with them a couple times. Carolina and Felipe have a baptismal date for November 28. They have been reading a little in the Book of Mormon and progressing well. We are really excited to continue teaching them.
This last week I received a letter from a convert, Nicolás. He´s doing great--studying and working, (he studies laws) and always really busy. But he says that he always ends the day reading in the Book of Mormon. He has the Melchezidek Priesthood and is a counselor in the Quorum of Elders. His letter made me cry for joy, as he is staying really active in the church and progressing more and more. It made me real happy to hear from him.
Well, time´s up for this week. It was a great week and things should keep getting better from here.