The heat rages on in Delano, CA! I keep waiting for it to start to transition into fall, but I guess it isn't that time yet. I've been wearing long sleeves everyday, but that doesn't make it any colder outside. One of these days it will cool down. It has been a super busy week again. We have had a lot of lessons and some of our investigators are really starting to progress. Jose is one of the people we have been teaching who has really been progressing well. He has been cutting back on smoking and he has almost stopped 100%. So this week we were really excited to see how he was doing. We usually just text him and he meets us at the church for a lesson, but this week when we texted we got a reply that said that his phone was out of service. We tried for a couple of days, but we kept getting the same answer. So we went by his house a couple of times and his roommate told us that he was either gone at work or out running errands. So we got a little nervous because we hadn't been able to talk with him all week. But he surprised us on Sunday when he walked in to church. We usually have to drive by and wake him up or call him to wake him up, but he just showed up and that was pretty cool. So he is doing great and I think he is definitely committed.
So for the past couple of weeks we have been visiting the Pizano family. They are a really cool, young family. The parents are members of the church, but they have been less active for some years. They have a ten year old son Alfonso (Fonzy), who they want to take the lessons so he can decide if he wants to be baptized. It is always really fun going over there and he reminds me a lot of my younger brothers. He is a great kid. So we have been teaching him for a couple of weeks, but we are going to let the English Elders take over because it seems like he prefers English. His family asked that we still visit from time to time to share messages with the family because the parents prefer Spanish. They are a sweet family and we will help them any way we can.
We were knocking doors this week and we met Carlos! He is a nice guy and he just got out of jail. He is living with his parents. He said that the missionaries used to visit him a long time ago. There is this old picture in the church building of all of the Delano church members from a couple of years ago and he says he was in that picture because that happened to be one of the days he visited our church. He said he misses missionaries coming and he even showed us the white shirt, tie, and pants that the missionaries had given him to wear to church. He is doing his best to be better, and those are really the kind of people we are looking for. He says he just got out of jail and is living with his parents, but he is trying to contribute the best he can while he is living at home. I forget who the talk was by, but in one of the last sessions of general conference there was someone who gave a talk on how the saints are sinners who keep on trying. I think that is so cool. In our church, we are called the Latter Day Saints. That doesn't try to say that we are perfect or anything, but that we are all just sinners who keep on trying. We all have those things, big or small, that are our weaknesses. What we need to do is keep trying. And that is exactly what Carlos is doing, so we are excited to meet with him and help him with that. He is a humble guy who wants to try to do what is right. We were lucky to meet him. We also met Adelia this week. We talked with her for a little while last night and she is way cool. She straight up told us that she wants to change to give her son a good example. She wants us to teach them both and she said that they will both start coming to church. She seems really committed and that is the first step.
This week we also had good lessons with the Beltran and Espinoza families. Last night the Espinozas invited us to dinner, which was delicious. I almost drank beer though, so that was a little sketchy, hahaha! Jose Espinoza handed us these bottles, but told us it was like that nonalcoholic wine that you can get. So I believed him and went for a drink and Elder Myers snatched it out of my hand and it turns out Jose accidentally gave me a real beer. So good save on the part of Elder Myers! One thing I don't want to be is a Mormon missionary who drinks underage! haha It was pretty funny though.
I am loving Delano, the people I get to serve here and the people I serve with. These missionaries are all so great. Elder Burton just had a birthday so I made a cake and we threw him a little surprise party earlier today. It was really fun and he appreciated it. I know I have already had three transfers here in Delano, but it would be a bummer to leave. I've had some great experiences in this area. It has also been so much fun. The other day we were walking out of a lesson to find that our bikes were gone! We were freaking out a little bit and asked some neighbors to see if anyone had seen somebody walk off with two bikes. Nobody saw who took the bikes so Elder Myers gave the police a call. He was answering some questions when the other Elders pull around the corner with our two bikes on the bike rack, laughing their heads off. They got us pretty good. We will have to think of something good to get them back. I really do love it here. I can't believe this is the last week of the transfer and I very well could be leaving Delano. I hope you all are doing well. I love and miss you. Have a great week.
Elder Chad Thompson