This week makes three in row without a baptism and we've had pretty sad numbers at church. It's really easy to see and monitor progress by the baptisms and church attendance, and after a week of hard work, it hurts when there is nothing to show for it. We were hoping to baptize Ivania and her kids this week, and one of the APs and our zone leader came out to get them excited and teach/interview them, but we went to her house in the morning and she was busy, but the elders kind of pushed their way in and tried to teach/talk to her anyway and they ended up just making her way mad. So there went our baptisms. Trying to push people around just never works.
But, we taught some bang-a-rang lessons this week to some of the recent converts who are now less active (and inactive) members of the ward that I've been working with for over 3 months. We felt the spirit so strong and they were so pumped up and excited to come to church, committed to come with zeal.... and they didn't show. It just about killed me. I was so sure they would finally come. We also really needed to get family (Ronaldo y Rosa Idalia) to church so they start really progressing and they put up a bunch of excuses Sunday morning. However, we did have 8 investigators at church and two of them were even a family. Teaching families is the best thing ever. It's just sad when you think you've found a really awesome family that is going to progress and then you find out that one of them is married to someone else still... not that many people care or much less have the money to get a divorce in Nicaragua. That's happened to us twice in the last month. So that's the pits, but we are working with 2 families that are actually legally married and a couple more who aren't married but who don't have a divorce standing in the way.
Ronald and Rosa Idalia had the discussions like 5 years ago but they moved to a new area and I think the missionaries lost them. They went to church with them at least once the first time around, but they didn't come this week with us. Hopefully next week we can get them both there. Ronaldo is a lot more positive than his wife but when we can get her to sit down and listen she always softens up.
The other married family was a reference from one of the oldest members in the branch (has the most time to be a member of the church). It's his son and daughter in law. Hno. Cesar is a very interesting ward member. He's about 65 and joined the church almost 20 years ago. His wife and 8 kids are all super catholic and basically disowned him (and divorced him) when he joined the church. But he still lives in the same house as his ex-wife.
The lesson with his son actually went really well though. We talked about eternal families and the restoration of the sealing power and they were really interested and had good questions. They live in a dangerous area for us to work in after dark though and since they work all week, we can only teach them on Sundays. Which means it will be hard to get them to church and progress will be a little slow but I think that they have a lot of potential too.
The family that came to church yesterday are called Julio Cesar and Kenia. He's about 35 and she's 17... but whatever. They've got a cute one year old and they are both mildly interested, but they did come to church. What I like about them is they are frank with us. They don't lie and they don't hide. That always saves us time...
Another who came to church is named Osmin. He is 20 and was a reference from another ward member. I help him learn english and then we preach the gospel. So far it's working out nicely. I think it would be amazing to baptize him and prepare him for a mission... How sweet would it be to have someone you taught on a mission? That's my dream with him anyway.
Wow, I feel like this email is super boring. I'm getting good at soccer again. We play every monday and I'm always the only hermana who likes to play. I made two goals today and had a direct assit in two others. It's fun to play with the latino elders. They're way good. Well, really that's all that happened this week, we taught a lot of sweet lessons and then no one came to church and our baptism fell through... bummer. But the work goes on and we keep praying and working with all we've got to find those whose hearts are prepared to receive greater blessings than they ever thought possible.
Being a missionary is the best thing in the world - even when you can't see the fruits...
Love, Hna. Crosland
P.S. Thanks for sending me stuff. Wow, you guys are on the ball. And I don't think I told you last week, the stuff you sent with the Sheets came through pouch this week. Thanks so much! The talks are amazing. And the singing card just about made my week. Jajaja, you guys are a hoot. I miss your crazy faces.
Here is a pic I sent to our zone leaders last week. This is the zone Matagalpa before the last changes. The sisters from left to right are Hna. Aguilar, Hna. Bustillos, yo, Hna. López, Hna. Zavaleta, Hna. Escobar, Hna. Juarez, Hna. Estrada, y Hna. Pineda. All of my comps are in this photo (except for Hna. Hernandez). Fun huh? Sorry I haven't sent any interesting pics for a long time... I'll try harder next week.