This was a pretty good week! We've really been trying a lot harder to work with the members- we've been having a lot of success. It's amazing how helpful people are when you are nice and polite to them. I feel that lots of times people- and members- want to do the right thing, but they just aren't sure how. I've realized that instead of telling people that they need to help us, we can explain to them what we want them to do. For example- there are some members that really like to give us food- others that have cars and are willing to give us rides, others that like to have family home evenings and invite friends, and others that like to sit with new people at church and help them feel comfortable. My whole mission I've tried to tell people what they need to do- and we all end up getting kind of frustrated. In this area we've been trying to get to know the members and we've kind of been able to tell what they feel most comfortable doing. It's been great! I guess that's a plus side to opening up the area- we don't really know where to go- so we rely a lot on the members. Plus side to being in a branch- there are only about 60-70 members- so it hasn't taken that long to get to know the members. Other plus is that we are the only missionaries in the branch- so all the members live in our area!
I started playing the piano in sacrament meeting last week. I tracked down the home teachers of some less active families we are teaching- and we brought them along for a couple lessons. Home teaching is such a big problem here- no one does it- but I believe that part of it is that they don't know how to do it. They've never seen a good home teacher. I believe that we'll be able to help the branch out by showing the men how to do the home teaching. There are only 8 active Melchizedek priesthood holders- so it shouldn't take that long!
We got a reference from President Vasquez this week for a man named Luis. He lives pretty far away- but we were able to get a hold of him. He really, really wants to be baptized. His girlfriend has been a member for 7 years- and she has really been helping him out. It's amazing to see the difference it makes when an investigator has solid member support.
If you want to look it up on the map he lives in a city called Olocuilta- we live in Santo Tomas.
Coming home from that first lesson with him we got a little lost- and ended up in the other mission in San Jacinto. The bus is a highway bus- so we needed to get off at an overpass where the highway passes close to our city. The driver forgot to stop. This was probably 7.00 or so- dark outside- so we missed it. Once I realized we had missed it I went up and talked to the bus driver, he was really nice, with his help and another passenger we figured out where we could stop that would be close to a bus that could take us back to our area. That's how we ended up in San Jacinto... The driver felt really bad, he even gave us some money to pay for the bus to get back to our area. It's so interesting how nice people actually are- sometimes we assume the worst of people, but everyone makes mistakes. We actually ended up having a fun conversation before we got off. He was really impressed how much we knew about the bus system in San Salvador (perks from being a missionary I guess!) I feel like there are more things I want to say- but I don't have enough time.
It suffices me to say that I am really happy. Really, really happy. More than I've ever been. To be honest I'm pretty sure I could be a missionary forever, shame we can't do that.
Love you lots!
- Elder Goodman