Well, another week has come and gone already. Time just keeps pushing forward and we keep doing our best! It was great to hear about all your experiences this week, although the painful ones were not as nice to read haha.. but I'm glad you're all doing relatively well!
Mom - First off, I am sorry you twisted your ankle! It's no fun... you know as well as I do the times where I rolled/twisted my ankle, so I completely understand what you're going through right now. But I hope it's getting better for you, and that you start feeling better soon! It's crazy to hear about what's going on down in Argentina, and I hope that's all working out well and everything. And Elder Paxman's lost 20 pounds?? I'd say that's about how much I've lost, but I don't have a scale or anything, so I don't know for sure. That's great though, I'm sure he's doing some great work down there. :)
Dad - Don't worry about not sending the package yet. I don't know when the next time is I'll be going to the office, but if you are looking for ideas, maybe you could send the new For Strength of Youth pamphlet? Elder Hammer got one and it's really cool, and the mission hasn't gotten them yet, so I think it'd be cool to have a copy if you could? Also, my Captain Moroni tie bar is getting pretty beat up (it was old before I left), so if you want or whatever, maybe you could send a new one? Thank you again for your experiences. It reminds me so much of my first few days here... and it's great to be able to read about your experiences. I really do look forward to reading them every week! And that Stake Conference sounds like it was incredible. You'll have to update me on that as well!
Marilee - I already wrote you back, sis. :)
Anyway, the week! I think I'm going to start writing about my week differently, since writing about it day-by-day gets a bit slow, since a lot of the days are the same with just riding around contacting or trying to find people. Basically I think from now on I'm going to just talk about our investigators and how they're doing, and anything cool that happened. But if you like the other way better, let me know! That way is more organized and everything so if you like it better, I wouldn't mind keeping it that way. We'll just try it out this way this week and see how you like it.
So starting with Zondy, our prime investigator, we were able to teach him a few times this past week, and on Saturday morning he gave us a call and said that he didn't smoke that morning! We were very excited, and happy for him because it's a step in the right direction. We had to cancel his baptismal date for this coming weekend, but we're going to set a new one for him in June to work for. He did come to church yesterday, and didn't smoke yesterday either, so that was awesome. He really wants to change, and I know he wants to do the right thing, and he is such a humble young guy, and I just want the best for him. He's so close, but Satan is working hard on him. But he's going to come play basketball with us today, so that will be good for him to get out and everything.
This past week was kind of rough because we weren't really able to work with the members very much. It's been difficult getting members to come with us, but this week we're going to try really hard to get members to come out with us, because it's when the members come out with us that the miracles start to happen. Something interesting from this week was on Wednesday, Elder Mangelson had a district leader meeting in Bayamon, so Elder Keller from Ponce came here to Guayanilla, and we worked for that day together. That night we had a meeting with the bishop, and he gave some good ideas to work better with the members, so that was really helpful. The problem was, on Sunday, al lot of the members were up in San Juan for some Army testing thing, since a lot of Puerto Ricans are in the Army. So yeah, it's been difficult working with the members, but I think we'll see some change in a bit here.
With other investigators, we don't have a ton of other investigators right now... :( We found a really cool lady though, who has a family and everything! Her name is Priscilla, and I guess she's talked to the Sister Missionaries in Ponce, but lives in Guayanilla, so we're planning on talking to her and teaching her family. She seemed really cool and pretty interested, so I think there's some potential there. There are also a couple of other families we found, and we offered to help them move this past weekend, but when we passed by there, they weren't there. So that was too bad... but hopefully we'll be able to find them on another occasion and start teaching them.
But yesterday we had a cool experience in Yauco. The Tesch's, which are the senior couple in our district, invited us over there (they work in all of Ponce), and we taught a less-active family, the Feliciano family, and we and the Yauco Elders helped in the blessing of the mom who was sick, and the dad who needed some strength. But it was a really cool experience and I think it will really help them progress.
Anyway, besides that, nothing too crazy happened this week. :) We keep progressing with Zondy, and helping him, and I think we'll be having a good week this week! I really hope that all is going well for you, and know that I love you very much. Thank you for all your support and all that you do. Thank you for everything my dear family! I love you!
Con muchisimo amor,
Elder Kimball Ray Gardner
Puerto Rico San Juan Mission