Hello family and friends!
Wow, another week in the mission gone. Before you know it I´ll be calling home for Mothers Day! Speaking of which... it just happens to fall on the day before transfers and there is a good chance either me or my companion will be transfered that day which means we will have to go to the bus station right after church and not have time to call home that day... I´ll let you know next week what´s going on if I know anything new.
With the weather, apparently the people’s diets here changes a little bit for the winter and I had a chance to try a "new food" this week called Polenta. Basically it´s like a hot cereal made out of corn that they serve with lots and lots of cheese and other things. (I think it´s kind of like grits) Apparently they eat it a lot during the winter as well as lots of Gizo (stew) and other foods loaded with calories... my companion keeps telling me everyone gets fat in the winter.
This week we lost our ward mission leader Hno. Saica. Apparently something happened between him and the Branch President (who happens to be his son in law) and he was released this Sunday. My companion and I are kind of having mixed feelings about the whole situation, because we have had a hard time working with him, but at the same time he did do a lot to help us. We will try to make the most of the situation we are in now, and hopefully we will make some progress being able to work more freely with the members as well as getting the Branch President more involved in the missionary work here.
All this happened just in time for an activity we were planning to have that Hno. Saica was in charge of. With him being "unofficially" released, the burden fell on us. He wanted us to have a Capilla Abierta (Open house) activity at the church which we agreed would be a good idea. He wanted to have it open from 10 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, and we said we would try to be there as much as possible but that we might need to come and go to be able to get some work done as well. Being in charge and having handed out invitations all week long that had the hours listed as 10-5 we ended up having to stay at the church the whole time. It could have been a really succesful day if people had shown up. We had all the classrooms set up with the manuals out on tables for people to look around the church. We had primary music playing in the primary room, hymns playing in the relief society room with the baptismal font open, and a movie playing in the kitchen. We also had church movies playing all day long (the testaments, the restoration, legacy, etc.) on the projector in the cultural hall/chapel. During the 7 hours we were there we had good support from the members (several of them stayed the whole time and they brought us some lunch!) but we only had 1 non member that came in the church to look around, and she didn´t even want to give us her address to pass by her house. :( bummer! We even tried waiting outside the church and talking to people in the street to invite them in, but people crossed the street just to avoid even having to walk past us. The church was very cold inside and those of us who were inside were all bundled up and huddled around the heaters.
This Sunday we had our District Pres. as well as one of Pres. Asay´s counselors in our Sacrament meeting who I think came to talk to our mission leader... There were very few people in church this week, and we didn´t have any investigators there either. (José our investigator that is always there every week went to Buenos Aires this week to have his foot looked at) Not having any investigators meant we were off the hook for teaching Gospel Principles, so we enjoyed going to Sunday School and learning from the Old Testament the story about the talking donkey. Another nice surprise, one of the members just happened to bring us lunch today which was a great blessing because it is the end of the month and we are basically out of money and food!
Amongst the interesting events of the weekend, we did have some success as well. We set dates of baptism with 2 of our investigators to be baptized next month! It´s nice to see some people progressing, but we´ll see if I´m even around to see them be baptized!
Anyways, that´s all for this week!
Elder Ian Wheelhouse