Thursday, March 27, 2014

Five Baptisms in Lomas de Solymar--Looking for more investigators!

Hey guys.

This week was absolutely crazy. I realize I say that all the time, but this time I actually mean it! haha! There are now officially 5 more members baptized into the Lomas de Solymar Ward. It's amazing to see how these people have all been prepared in their own way. I´ll give a small bio on each person.

Melany: She is the daughter of an inactive member of the church. But we didn't meet that way. She started talking with the missionaries about a close friend that lives next door. She is 15 years old, and is now really active in the Young Women's organization and has found quite a few friends in the class. She has very strong faith in Christ and really only wants to do the right thing. 

Gustavo: He just recently married a member who also just became active. He is really interested in religion. He was raised in a family where his father was a practicing Bandista leader. That's a religion that has a lot of interesting practices. They are like a melting pot of all different religions, plus native Brazilian religions, and believe in sacrifices to calm the evil spirits. This is all my understanding from what has been told to me since I've been here. Very often, especially near the holidays these people will put out sacrifices of chickens with popcorn chunks of potato and various liquids and oils spread around the corner of a street to appease the evil spirits.... anyways his dad at one time wanted to sacrifice him as a small child, but his mom wouldn't let him. And now he's learning super fast and has a wonderful testimony of Jesus as our Savior.

Ana Laura: Ana is the mother of the two children, Edgardo and Mateo. They're a very special family. She was an investigator about 2 years ago and never really progressed, so the other missionaries had to leave her. My companion and his companion before me found her while contacting at the bus stop. She invited them back over, but again didn't really want anything and was only being nice. The elders eventually came back one morning dressed in service clothes as a surprise and offered service until she gave in and let them help her. They worked there one morning, befriended the two boys and won the mothers heart. She is super awesome. She currently lives with her two boys and her mother. Her mother is a member who has been inactive for 60 years (we are still working with her). She is super awesome and has probably the  most genuine desires to follow Christ of almost anyone I've ever met. 

Edgardo: Edgardo is either 13 or 14, he is now super active with the young men, and actually had the Young Men's President baptize him. He also likes to come with us to perform service when he doesn't have school. An awesome kid!

Mateo when he is not being crazy

Mateo: Mateo is 8 yrs old. He is probably one of the most squirrelly kids you've ever met. He cracks me up. We just need to help him find more friends in the Primary, so that he will stay in class, so that way his Mom can stay in class. Sort of like Will. Will got a new teacher in Primary in January and had a hard time adjusting to the new teacher. His previous teacher had developed a great relationship with him and he was not ready for the change. It took a few weeks but now he is staying in his class the entire time. This week we have him promised to stay in class the whole 2 hours.

So now what... We just baptized all of our investigators, so we need to find more and retain the others by helping them be active and firm, I guess that's not the worst problem to have, haha! 

I love you guys

√Člder Taylor

Selfie of the companionship on our way home from the marriage we went to. The marriages here are a lot like a Las Vegas ceremony. You sign some papers, the official says 30 words, kalazam! you're married. Like getting married at the DMV/BMV, I actually think that we might have been in a DMV/BMV.

Here are some photos Ben has taken with Flat Stanley for Will's 1st Grade Class

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