I hope that you have all had a great week. It has been another busy week here in Delano. We have been teaching a lot of lessons with the investigators that we have found lately, and we have found a lot of new people to teach as well. Jose came to a family home evening at the Ayon's home on Monday night. The Ayons are an awesome family. Hermana Ayon is an older woman who is a recent convert. She invites us to dinner every Monday night. Her son Juan and his wife Eszy live there too. They are about 23 years old and are both recent converts too. They are the coolest. Every Monday we usually go over there and have a family home evening. They told us that they would be okay with us bringing investigators too, so we invited Jose! This Monday he came and it was awesome. It turns out that he actually knows Hermana Ayon and they ended up hitting it off. Jose is doing a great job of cutting back smoking. He came to church this week and it is really easy to see that he has a strong determination to do what it takes to get on the right path.
This week was pretty hot, but I actually love being on bikes. I prefer a bike day to a car day. I just feel like we get so much more done when we are on bike. I don't know how it works out, but when we are on bike we end up finding more people to talk to who are willing to listen to us. I think it is because I get super red and look tired and people take pity us. hahaha Either way, it works out great. So this week we have been biking a lot. But the other day the other Elders were using the bikes and one of them got a flat. So Saturday was a walking day for us. It was a little bit stressful because on Saturday we were super busy. We almost had an appointment for every single hour, and most of the time there was a bit of distance between each appointment. At 10:00 we started walking to our first appointment and I knew we were in for a long day. The appointment was on the other side of town and it took a really long time to get there. The sun was hot and we were almost late and we weren't even sure if she would be there. So we finally got there, all hot and sweaty, and she was there and let us right in! She gave us the best tasting cold water I have ever had. haha Her name is Catalina. She used to be taught by the missionaries, but she moved to Mexico a few years ago. Well it turns out that she just got back. She told us that she continued meeting with missionaries for a while at the end of her trip in Mexico and even went to church down there. She said she was glad we found her again and she is just super awesome. So we taught her and met some of her family too. After that we kept walking around Delano for the rest of the day. It was difficult to get around and a little stressful, but the Lord definitely helped us out. It was another test of my attitude. I've been thinking about that a lot lately and I think I mentioned it last week. The day seemed like it was going to be impossible to make it everywhere we needed to go, but everything fell into place. We had multiple people, complete strangers, pull up next to us as we walked along the road to give us cold bottles of water. We stopped at a gas station to take a break and chill in the A/C and some random guy bought us cold Gatorades. At the end of the night we were walking as fast as we could to our next appointment that was all the way across town. We were going to be easily half an hour late, but a car pulled up to us and offered us a ride! Even cooler, they ended up being less active members of the church who lived in our area who we had not been able to meet yet. They were incredibly nice and took us all the way to our appointment. They even gave us their address and a return appointment to come and visit them. All in all, it was a great day. We got to teach and find a lot of people. It felt like everything was stacked against it being a good/successful day- the lack of bikes, the heat, and all of the appointments we needed to be at back to back. At first my attitude wasn't that great. I think a lot of times, things stack up against and it may seem overwhelming. We look at the huge trial or obstacle and front of us and it seems insurmountable and we get stressed out or even give up. I think sometimes, God places those obstacles in front of us to test our faith. I'll admit, my faith was definitely tested. I didn't know if we would be able to accomplish everything we needed to do. But the Lord definitely provides. He is aware of us. If we just try, He will help us. It takes effort on our part. It takes the decision to keep on trucking despite the obstacles in our path. I know that in my entire mission, even in the super hard parts, He has never left me or let me feel alone.
Sunday was pretty great too. We had a lesson with the Espinoza family and they are doing great. They have so much genuine interest in what we teach. I love how every time we teach, the whole family participates. One of the daughters who is in high school has a boyfriend who came over and the parents even had him sit down and join us. haha It was funny. He was a good sport. Then afterwards we helped them move some furniture out of their house. They invited us back over later this week for dinner and a lesson. They are just an awesome family to teach.
The rest of the week went well. I am still loving Delano! I hope you all have a great week. Take good care. Miss ya!
Elder Chad Thompson