How do you get a Guatemalan to come to a church activity? You offer them free food!

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Our weeks have been pretty similar lately. Just as you guys had a ward activity this week, we did also. The only difference is that we didn’t receive any references from our activity like you did. We did have the Mendoza family show up, and Hilda and Vilma (the dumb Latina blondes). Speaking of the Mendoza family, it is looking likely that they could be getting baptized before transfers. They inquired if they had to wait to be baptized on the 8th of October, or if they could do it earlier. If it had not been for following the spirit, who knows if they would of expressed this same attitude. Up until just recently, Andres didn’t even feel he a need to be re-baptized. He was influenced during a conversation about baptism having two parts; baptism by water, and baptism by fire for the gift of the Holy Ghost. This conversation brought to Andres’s remembrance of a dream he had in which God commanded him to build a building, but he was unable to complete the building due to the two blocks he was missing. Upon hearing that baptism consist of two parts, this brought him to the realization that the two parts he was missing was baptism by water and by the fire; whereas before he had only been baptized by water. The only thing disappointing is that Andres was not able to come to church on Sunday due to a worker he had to pay that he was only going to be able to pay on Sunday in the morning. Andres was worried about his wife walking to church without him because she doesn’t know Tojocaz very well; not to mention the crime and lack of security where they live. She is also unable to speak Spanish well. But to our surprise, Maria told us in her broken Spanish that they were going to have faith, and they ended up coming to church on Sunday, with the whole gang!

Despite the great step forward with Andres and Maria, we also had our share of let-downs this week; there is always opposition in all things. First, a family member of Andres commented that “the Mormons have multiple wives.” This led Andres to fear that we wanted him to join the Church so that we could get with his wife. I can’t imagine why anyone would believe that we would want to get with a “corte lady” [a native woman wearing traditional indigenous dress]unspecified12 in the first place. Nevertheless, it did cause us to have to do some damage control. Following that, we got the bad news from a newly wedded couple we found last week that they no longer want to follow through with their plans to be baptized in October. We thought that we had found “a chosen family” due to the fact that neither of them had been baptized because neither had a church that they attended (which is a miracle in itself since everyone in Guatemala and their dog are baptized and go to some church).

This week we also happened to find one of our investigators laid out in the street drunk; this after telling us that she no longer had a drinking problem. Prior to this, she had a baptism date set for November. And then, on top of all this, I was really worried about one of our other investigators, Alan, not having a spiritual experience at church, due to the kid in the ward screaming bloody murder during the sacrament. Fortunately Alan recognized that his lack of preparation contributed to him not having a spiritual experience. He told us that he wanted to come to church more often so that he can form that habit of attending.

To boot, it doesn’t look like Keat’s parents (the brother and sister of Elivs and Fabiola) are going to allow their daughter be baptized after all. Fabiola’s sister is a big as a grudge holder, like Mitch, and is no longer letting her daughter go with Fabiloa to church because Fabiola recently pointing out her personality faults. When we asked Elise when she thinks to talk to her sister again, she said maybe in 2 years.

After all the opposition this week, what I learned was that if you want Chapins [Guatemalans] to put aside their religious differences so they come to church activities, you have to offer them free food. There was an evangelical velorio [visitation] in town on Friday, which resulted in all of our appointments falling through this week. Everyone went for the free food! 

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