This was a super cool week. We finally got to talk to Ricardo again, and he's just so cool! He finally opened up to us a bit, and we were able to talk to him again about the restoration. As it turns out, he had some doubts and questions, but the spirit in the room was strong enough that what questions he had seemed to dissipate with no effort. He's super busy all the time, so he has had trouble reading and praying, but when we invited him this last time, he just said he really did want to get an answer and that he would read and pray that night. He's so cool! He's really open, and willing to experiment. I think his biggest challenge will be finding time to keep too many commitments.
I have some relatively sad (don't worry, not THAT depressing) news, which in some ways doesn't come as a huge surprise. Kenia, the awesome person who had decided to get baptized, has been completely impossible to contact for a week. We've tried by her house a lot, but she didn't keep her first appointment and hasn't been opening the door for a week. We know she was there at least 2 of those times (including the appointment). We ended up deciding the best thing to do was to just hold off on trying to visit her for the next week. We're hoping that we can then return, try to set up another date (she had the as a date before, but we have to change it), and try to help resolve whatever concerns or questions she may have. I am confident that if she continues trying to find the answers she wants, she will be very well off in the Lord's hands.
Oh, yeah! I also have a new companion, Elder Aguirre. He's so awesome! I am so excited for this transfer. He's from Colorado, but was born in Chihuahua. He'll get along with all of the chihuahuas in this area, that's for sure. Man, I think sometimes here they have a different philosophy for guard dogs. Sometimes, there will be a massive, threatening Rottweiler, German Shepherd, or Pit Bull. However, the vast majority of the time, people substitute quality for quantity. Some yards have entire armies of chihuahuas, completely undisciplined, but readier than anything to attempt to bite your ankles off. 5 chihuahuas is about the average.
I didn't see this, but I heard a story from another missionary that he personally witnessed. Once, there was a group of 5 or so chihuahuas chilling in the middle of the street. They were super friendly to each other, but a mean bunch to anything else that moved. Before long, another little chihuahua gang rolled around the corner, and the first group proceeded to instigate a chihuahua war. The leaders went at each other, and the other dogs followed suit. It was, according to the other missionary, a little chihuahua gang war in miniature. I guess that was a rough neighborhood, at least as far as chihuahuas were concerned. I'm going to have to get a picture of one of the highly trained and greatly feared chihuahua private armies to send. One of these days.
I also found out something pretty cool last week. Remember Bob? The prospector guy? Well, turns out he is hard core. Some of you may be familiar with an event known as the Iran Hostage Crisis. Well, apparently Bob played an important role in that. He was, for several years, leader of a Special Ops squad. He had an office in the pentagon. Well, during the Hostage Crisis, he flew in on a civilian airplane, completely unarmed. He then just strolled into the office of the President of Iran, looked him in the eye, and said a line worthy of a movie: "I'm not armed right now, and I'm not here to cause problems. But if you continue to cause trouble, I'll come back and there'll be a bullet through your head." He said the president was always nice to him after that.
This week has been super fun. I know I've said that before, but it's so true! I just keep learning more about this work I am trying to do. I love the people here so much! They're all just great. I don't even mind the chihuahuas, despite the fact that they think when we walk away that they chased us off. We are trying to find a lot of people right now, and have begun focusing on helping the members discover the joy that comes with this work. Right here, right now, there is no other place I'd want to be.
Okay, picture time!