Things have been great this week. The weather has been unreal. For the first time in almost five months here in Delano, I can finally say that I really loved the weather this week. We started off the week with some rain! Not a lot, but definitely more than I've been accustomed to for the past twenty months. We were on our way back from Bakersfield and it was really funny to see cars slowing down drastically and having their windshield wipers going full blast for a little bit of rain. It was definitely cool to see some rain though, and much needed for the area, especially with the drought. The agriculture desperately needs it. The next couple of days were beautiful. I'm not sure, but it felt like it was in the seventies at the beginning of the week. I have really come to enjoy knocking doors and working outside, but sometimes it can be a little bit of a drag in the scorching sun with a tight collar around your neck. haha So this cooler weather was definitely a moral booster! I loved being outside. It got a little warmer at the end of the week, but people are saying that we should be done with the 100 degree weather. It is not quite as nice as the Michigan falls I used to enjoy, but I will definitely take it.
This week I have had a few new experiences, one of which was translating at church. So in our congregations there are a mix of white people and Hispanic people, a lot of whom only speak Spanish. So in many congregations the missionaries are asked to translate for the Spanish speaking members. Well I was volunteered to do translation this week, but I negotiated my way out of it and said that I would do it in a few weeks, but I needed practice first. So I practiced in Elders Quorum, where there is only one person who usually needs translation. I thought that would be a better place to start, so that if I did terribly, I wouldn't be affecting so many people. haha So I sat in the back of class and translated for this elderly man during our last hour of church. It was a really neat experience. First of all, this is like the sweetest little old man ever. He is elderly with a lot of health problems. He carries around an oxygen tank, but he makes it to church every single week for all three hours. He has a lot that could hold him back, but he is really dedicated. Translating the class actually went alright. The beginning was horrible, tripping up on random words/phrases like rock-climbing wall, advertisement, and congressman, but once I got over my nerves it went a lot smoother and I figured out how to work my way around the vocab I didn't know. I knew he could tell I was nervous and at the end of the class he gave me a pat on the back and told me I did a good job. hahaha I don't mind doing that every week for him. It was actually pretty fun.
We found a lot of new investigators this week. It is funny, you talk to people when the temperature is twenty-some degrees lower and they are much more receptive. People were outside, going for walks, and generally in a really good mood with the awesome weather this week. One of the people found is Juan Gutierrez. He is a really nice younger guy, probably around 25. He is into video games and seems like a really smart guy. He asked a lot of questions when we taught him. And when we were the ones asking the questions, he had really awesome answers. Of all of the people we taught this week, I am really excited about him. He seems to have a strong desire to make some changes and do what will bring him closer to God.
Eliceo is doing really well. He is a nice older man that we have been teaching for a few weeks. (Sorry if I repeat a lot of stuff I have already talked about. I forget what I mention in earlier weekly updates) He is really funny. We go over there to teach him, but he is always determined to teach us a lot too. This week he said he would come to church, but when church started, he hadn't shown yet. We waited as long as we could, but Elder Myers had to translate so we were up by the pulpit when church started. Eliceo did show up, just a few minutes late. It was really funny, the other English Elders were still at the door greeting people when Eliceo arrived. He came to the door and said, "Is this the church of Mormons?" And he apparently held up his copy of the Book of Mormon that we had given him, as if a ticket to get in. He is such a cool guy. He is a great guy to teach, because he keeps every commitment that we give him. We ask him to read, he reads. We ask him to pray, he prays. It is awesome! I wish it were always that easy...
Everyone else is doing really well. I've always really liked it here in Delano because there are so many people we are able to help and teach, but I am loving it so much more now that it is cooling down. Elder Myers and I have started running two miles every morning and I do my own workout thing at night. It is so nice to get back to running again. It feels great.
I hope you are all doing well. I miss and love you and keep you all in my prayers. Take good care.
Elder Chad Thompson