Hey, Papa! I'm actually really stoked that you wrote me this week! I'm glad everyone seems to be doing so well and you're getting everything checked out with the doctor. Keep me updated on that stuff, will you?
Questions and concerns: I think the deferment for my loan expired. You guys have all the info for that, right? Will you be able to update that? Also, I was thinking the other day that I don't know if you guys payed tithing for my taxes way back when. I don't know how much it was and I can't really do that from here... can you guys help me out with that, too? Sorry, I wish I could do this stuff myself....
THIS WEEKEND WAS SO CRAZY. I'm kind of glad it's P-day and we kind of sort of get to take a little break. Let me tell you what happened....
In our district, we've set a goal of being more direct and bold with inviting people to be baptised. With a little help from our district leader, Hna Palombo and I decided to invite an "eternal investigator," Claudio, to get baptised again, even though he has already had 3-4 baptismal interviews with other missionaries, passed them all, and then either drank the night before the baptism or just never showed up. BUT, THIS TIME was going to be different! THIS TIME we were going to be BOLD and help him understand that if he doesn't make the decision to get baptised now, he'll just keep putting it off and putting it off until he finally runs out of time. So on Thursday, we went to his house and had a lesson with him and his mother, a recent convert, and invited him to be baptised THAT Saturday, in two days time. And you know what? HE ACCEPTED. So we got everything ready and set up his baptismal interview with the zone leader who was doing devisions here, and told him to be at the church at 7pm.At 6:30 that day, his mom called to tell us that something happened with his motorcycle, and that he couldn't make it to the church. AAaaaahhh! So we went and found the elders and BOOKED IT about a mile and a half on foot all the way to his house, and the Elders walk FAST. I was keeping up with them pretty well because I've got a year of practice with these guys, but I thought my poor little companion was going to die.. We finally got there, did the interview, filled out the paperwork that we needed, and we were ready to go for the next day.
Saturday, we got to the church early to find that the ward mission leader had already cleaned the building and filled the font. The baptismal clothing was ready, and by1pm we were ready to start... but no one was there yet. We called Hna Bonifacia, Claudio's mom, and she hadn't even left the house yet. Well, that's just normal Paraguay. So we waited. For an hour. People finally started showing up, and his mom got there, but Claudio was still missing. We called him and he was still 10 blocks from his house and had to swing by there first, but he was "on his way." Honestly, all I could think was, "Crud. We're going to get stranded AGAIN." We waited in the chapel for ANOTHER HOUR when Hna Bonifacia stuck her head in where we were sitting and said, "He's here!" WE JUST ABOUT DIED. He actually came and got baptised!! Holy cow, we were so happy. Two hours late, but he finally did it.
THE STORY ISN'T OVER. We stopped by their house that night and saw that Claudo had gotten a hair cut.... that is, a short mohawk.... That should have been the first sign that something was up. But he still seemed fine and said that he would see us the next day in church, so we left and everything was fine. We worked, went home, planned for the confirmation the next day, and went to bed. We were woken up at 3am by a phone call from Claudio. An instand "OH NO" feeling set in. I answered, and he said something into the phone, but I didn't understand from the music going on in the background. This happened 3 TIMES. The next morning, we called Hna Bonifacia and found out that he had gone out the night before with his buddies and never came back home. We went to church, and he never showed up. There was nothing that we could do. Later in the day, we went back to their house to find out that he had returned completely drunk with his right arm scraped up, crashed his motorcylce, and lost his cellphone and spent all his money. His mom even found a pack of cigarettes outside that he had hidden. Needless to say, we are going bytonight to have a VERY SERIOUS TALK with Claudio. Believe me, I will let you know how it goes. I will definately try to control the righteous fury as much as I can.
So that is my very detailed, very interesting story for this week. Please enjoy. Here is a picture of the would-be convert. Also, to cheer everybody up, a picture of me and Mercedes, the little girl of one of our investigators with real intent!!
I love missionary work!!!
Love you guys a ton!!!!!!!