It's been a good week this week. Things are looking up. We finally found a new investigator on Sunday, and then another one last night. Sunday was a man named TJ. Older black gentleman from Rochester, NY (ha!). He has spent much of his adult life (now in his 60s) trying to find a church that fits what he reads in the Bible. So far he has found that the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, and 7th Day Adventists are the closest. He said the Mormons are probably the religion that follows the Bible most closely, including building temples and "the order of Melchizedek." He is very religiously smart and so far is fascinated with the LDS Church, especially the principle of the pre-mortal world. He will be a very interesting person to teach!
Last Saturday I was on an exchange with Elder Davis, one of the zone leaders (not related, as far as we can tell). Among all the people we talked to was an older black lady in her 70s, name Mary Poe. She grew up Lutheran and Baptist and loves the Lord. We taught her last night for the first time and got to know her better and gave her a Book of Mormon. We arranged to get her a ride to church on Sunday and she is very excited. She told us that last week, she was on her knees praying in her room that somehow she could go back to church, since she hadn't been in the 5 years she's lived here. Her back hurts too much to walk to the church down the road. Just a few days later we found her on the street and she was happy to let us come by. She was very happy to accept the invitation to come to church with us.
Fonzie Vavao got baptized this last Wednesday! I didn't tell y'all because he called me after I was done emailing and asked me to come to the baptism and baptize him. I was definitely happy to, and the baptism was held last Wednesday. It was in the 10th ward, the ward to our east. Other than their ward mission leader, and a counselor in the bishopric, there was only one family that came to the baptism (beside Fonzie's). The Riddles decided to come, so I got a chance to see them for the first time since last spring when I came to Vista! Karisa, her brother Joe, and their dad (Uncle Craig) were there and after the baptism I got a bunch of time to talk to them. It was good to see them again! Their good friends in the 3rd ward, the Isas, feed us sometimes, so they said the next time we eat at the Isas, they would come too. I'm so happy for Fonzie! It was really cool too see him and his family again, and be able to be there for his baptism. He will be a solid member of the church.
We had a meeting last Thursday for all the trainers and their companions that were in their first 6 weeks, so we went. There is a new program introduced by the Church that sets up a curriculum for trainers to teach their new companions by the time their first 12 weeks are over in the mission. In the packets we got, it said the goal is to prepare our companions so well, that by the end of their first 12 weeks in the field, they will be ready to successfully train a new missionary! Elder Bowen is making some good strides and learning a lot about the work. He has a good drive when we're out working and loves the work. He still smells but he's a nice kid.
Next Tuesday we have another General Authority coming to our mission. Elder Gibbons of the 2nd quorum of the Seventy is coming to visit and teach us. Because he's coming to our area of the mission on Tuesday, our PDay will be on Thursday next week instead of Tuesday. The next week it'll go back to normal.
I hope you are all doing well! I appreciate your love and support. Have a great week everyone
Elder Jon La Follette