We are super excited because this area is kicking right now. Ever since started working with Jorge Quevedo (recent re-active and father of recent convert). We have been receiving a lot of work from the Lord. We have started working with Jorge's family now, to re-activate them and also working a lot with his girlfriend Augustina who wants to be baptized.
Jorge had a surgery on Saturday for his Hernia, so he is trapped in bed until he heals. We gave him a blessing and we hope he will heal quickly because he and augustina have already shown a truck load of faith.
We also found a lady this week who we think is awesome. She is friends with some active members in the ward and also has talked with missionaries in the past. We taught her a lesson and it went super great, we even managed to get a baptismal date with her for next month and we have high hopes she will progress well.
ALso we have been working with a man named Luis who is a special case. He is a special case because 1. he smokes and drinks, 2. he has almost no family and lives alone, 3. WE can barely understand him, 4. he can barely understand us, 5. he has talked with elders in the past but they were never able to help him and ,6. He wants to quit smoking but has no faith that he can. Me and my comp are praying all day and night that he will have the strength he needs to overcome his addictions. We have a great hope that he will progress because he seems to sincerely want to change. We just have to be patient with him.
My favorite part of the week was last night. We had a lesson that I loved a lot and that I want to tell you guys about. There is this family here in our area and they´re less active and super nice, and their family is huge, consisting of the mom and dad, a lot of Brothers and one sister who are all married now and have kids and for one reason or another they either hate the church or just have no desire to return, though if we show up and share a scripture they always say that they feel spirit and realize the need to return to church. Elder Wihongi and I have been working alot with this family and we visited one of the brothers yesterday night. Probably not the smartest decision because they were watching soccer and also this happened to be a night where almost the whole family was there with all the brothers and their families and in the mix was some non-members, baptized (but inactive members), genuine people who wanted to change, people who don't know what they want in life, and people who genuinely hated the church. And we were in the midst of them and they were loud. hahaha. One guy was making sarcastic remarks to offend us and then the wife or sister would hit him and tell him to go away. Some of the people asked us questions about ourselves and other people were trying to make their fellow family members mad by telling us where they lived so that we could visit them because as they were saying "this sheep is super lost"! They would laugh uproariously about that. Eventually they let us share our message. This is the part I absolutely loved about this lesson. Up to this point it had been extremely loud and raucous in this home, but When we started the prayer the room immediately got quiet and everyone listened to the guy saying the prayer. The silence continued during scripture we shared. We shared Ether 12:27 with them and we testified to them quietly and simply about what they had to do be happy in this life. The spirit was present in that moment and my testimony grew tremendously from that moment when I saw these people silence themselves in respect for our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that wickedness is weakness and that righteousness is might.
This week was amazing.
Love you guys,
elder ren Porter
1 & 2. A typical home in the "campos" or farmland of Mercedes. The Campos are a very humble area of my mission.
3. A typical rooftop of a home in campos. They have to use heavy garbage to hold the roof down.
4. Me walking down a typical alleyway in the campos. They use tarps to cover walls and windows because they can't afford to buy more. It's very cold in their homes.