I hope you are all doing well. Hopefully the weather is continuing to warm up in Michigan. We have definitely had plenty of heat out here. This week has been pretty great. We have done a whole lot of knocking this week and we have met some interesting people. Knocking doors is pretty fun. I have really come to like it. When I first got to my mission, I kind of dreaded going out and knocking doors because I felt like most people really didn't want to talk to us and it was kind of tiring. I guess that is still true and most people don't want to talk to us, but I have a lot more fun with it now. It is pretty cool being able to talk to so many people. When working you kind of have to find a way to be happy and enjoy what you're doing or people probably won't want to listen to you. There is a new rule for missionaries that doesn't allow us to knock doors at night. It makes sense. So usually when the sun goes down, we just hit up downtown Delano and walk around and talk to whoever is out. Well the other night we were talking to this lady and some guy walks by and says, "Are you the Christians (in spanish)?!" We replied that we were and he said, "Okay, once you finish talking to this lady come down the street to my house and I'll be waiting to talk to you." He turned out to be a really nice guy. His name is Miguel. He was raised Jehovah's Witness and he has a child, but is separated from his wife. He told us that his faith has been broken and he is having a really hard time. He asked us a lot of questions and he really wants to know what his purpose is here. It was almost 9:00 when we were talking to him so we set up an appointment this week to go back and visit him. He's a good guy who just seems a bit lost right now. He said he knows he found us on the street for a reason and I know that that is probably true. I am looking forward to meeting with him again.
This week we also had lessons with some of our other investigators like Jose. He is doing really well and we got him to church for the first time on Sunday. It was really cool to see him come with his fiance and two kids. We weren't able to meet with Rustum this week, but we talked to him a couple times and he is doing well. He is just really busy. He has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying so we are happy about that. We talked with Brother Guttierez on Sunday who is his father-in-law and he said that Rustum really liked the message that we shared. He says he is keeping up with the commitments that we left with him. It is nice to teach someone who lives in a house full of members, because they can help him a lot. This week we also met Jamie. We found her while we were visiting a member of the ward named Brother Gomez. He is a really cool guy and Jamie is his grandaugher. She is not a member of the church neither are her parents. She spends a lot of her time with her grandpa at his house and one day she told him that she wanted to be baptized like her grandpa had been. So Brother Gomez introduced us to her and asked us to start teaching her the missionary lessons. Jamie is a really sweet, cute little girl. She is probably nine or ten years old. She is a really good listener. She understood everything that we taught her. After our lesson, she taught me how to yoyo and do a couple of tricks. So that was pretty cool. She is a really good girl and we are excited to keep meeting with her.
The rest of the week went pretty well. I don't know if I have mentioned it yet, but here in Delano we are in a car share. There are two other Spanish Elders who cover the West side of Delano and we share the car with them. Every day we switch, so we spend half of the time in the car and half of the time on bike. I actually prefer our bike days. It is getting really hot (and I might change my mind pretty soon...), but being on bike is a lot more fun and you can talk to a lot more people on the streets. And my folks sent me a big pitcher and huge container of Country Time lemonade so we can cool down and take a breather whenever we need too. It helps on super hot bike days.
On Friday we had exchanges in Oildale with the Zone Leaders and that went really well. It used to be my Spanish area in Bakersfield. Our Zone Leaders are really cool guys and it was a great exchange. This Sunday was a little stressful. The English and Spanish members have separate meetings in church and the person who chooses people to speak in Spanish Sacrament meeting isn't the best at choosing people on time. So Saturday night and 9:30 we got a phone call and they asked Elder Tapia and I to each prepare a talk in Spanish, 15-20 minutes each! I was way stressed. I am not great at talking in front of a lot of people, especially in Spanish. They let us choose our topic and everything turned out fine. I chose the topic of why Jesus Christ is so important in our lives and I actually took up enough time. After Sacrament Meeting, the teacher who teaches Gospel Principles had to leave early so they just handed me their lesson plans and I taught the class by myself while Elder Tapia went to another class with our investigator Jose. It was a little stressful, but I got through the class and it turned out alright. I know when I am willing to try hard, the Lord makes up the difference and it all works out.
Last week on P-Day, Elder Tapia gave me a haircut and botched it. I asked him to shorten the sides and just trim a little bit off up top, but chopped it all off with his clippers! haha I actually like it better really short now, it is a lot better being outside in the hot sun. Well, that was my week. I hope you are all doing well. I can't believe we are almost through May........time flies! Well, take good care. I miss you all.
Elder Chad Thompson