Last Monday we taught a whole family of 5. Im not sure how to spell their last name yet, so I'll get that next time. They are friends with the Smelser family who live in the little mormon gated neighborhood we live in. (I haven't sent pictures of that yet! Next week!) They know them from their daughters playing softball. Al and Heather and their kids moved here from Philadelphia a little bit ago. They are awesome! The Smelsers have done a good job sharing the Gospel with them. They invited them to church on Easter, and watched some of conference with them, so its going great. They invited us over for dinner on Monday, and then we taught the first lesson after. Al was into it, he used to be Catholic, but wasn't happy with that. Heather has never had religion or anything, and she was paying really close attention, and giving us this stare, and at first I thought she was mad at us, but she was just paying really close attention. It was pretty funny... But by the end there were tears and everything. So its going great. We have another lesson with them tonight. And he said he'd bring us legit Italian meatballs this time. They are also being fellowshipped by the ward they actually live in... which we don't cover.
Tuesday we taught Alex. I'm concerned about him right now. His mom is throwing all sorts of wrenches into it. She is giving him all sorts of concerns that wouldn't have existed otherwise. And its going to be difficult for him to stay on the path, and keep doing what he needs to with opposition coming from within his home. And his mom said he has to read the whole Book of Mormon before he gets baptized. Which is also crazy... He's 15... come on.
Wednesday night we taught Danielle the rest of the commandments. She is doing awesome. She is handling all the opposition in her life very well. We found out Sunday that her parents are being less supportive, and her best friend told her not to do it. But she doesn't care. She knows whats right, and she's going for it.
We have also found out that the girls we were teaching a while ago, Haley and Veronica, are making bad choices, and so their friend doesn't want to talk to them anymore, and so we haven't been able to teach them for a while... I understand where she's coming from though. and so does Bro. Penrod. He told us as a parent he's glad she's making good choices, but from a missionary aspect, he wishes she would stay friends with them and pull them in. So its a weird situation.
Thursday we taught Carly again. Carly is doing amazing. She left her journal/notebook at the Warner's house for them to read, and they had us look at it also. She takes awesome notes on whats going on in the Book of Mormon, she wrote down how to pray, and a question about receiving answers, that a bunch of her Mormon friends, including most of the Warner family answered. And then the last thing she wrote was a prayer, that was really touching. We assumed she was ready for a baptism date, and we went into the lesson prepared to do that, but as we talked to her she was telling us she wanted a more sure answer. She wants to "know" as she said. We talked about how that was important. She is the most sincere 15 year old ever... And that will be good for her parents as well. They are mostly supportive, but understandably a little apprehensive. They want her to attend a few other Christian church services just to make sure. But she also needs to come to ours! She misses it a lot because she plays competitive soccer.
Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Cox in my area. He is one of our district leaders. He is awesome. We had a ton of fun. Not a whole lot happened all day. I had to drive to wal-mart and get a bike seat on our "no drive day" because my old one was broken. But we had a good day. Elder Cox really cares about people, and is real and genuine. And I really appreciate that. Too many people get so caught up in stupid stuff, acting like they care, but they really don't do anything. I have always tried not to do that. I'm very realistic. And so it was a good day. Elder Cox is also hilarious.
Saturday we went to the ward "foot-rodeo". Just a rodeo themed activity. It was funny. They, of course, had the Elders be judges of the Chili contest. So Elder Jackson and I tasted all 36 different Chilis. Oh man. It was fun, but I didn't feel good after. I found myself giving the highest scores to things that tasted the least like Chili... The white chicken one and the stake & salsa verde one were my favorites. We also watched over a hundred little kids chase chickens around the rodeo arena. A ton of them biffed it really hard diving after the chickens. It was worth it. We also got to talk to Carlos, the guy we taught on Easter. He is doing awesome, and meeting with the missionaries in Mesa.
Sunday was a typical church day. Danielle was at the singles ward, which is always an adventure. Theres a ton of funny people there. We've been trying to make friends and get to know the ward better to try and get more referrals out of them. All the guys in the ward are RMs, so they're not dumb, and the more I get to know them, the better they'll do. Sunday night we met with a new High Councilor about the missionary work in his stake. [... I was about to write all this stuff about the stuff he said that I found annoying. but I decided not too. I've realized recently that I've become a lot more sassy on my mission. Mostly I think because I don't put up with as much, and I think I'm a lot more comfortable expressing myself... But I'm still working on being nice to people. Never has been a strong point.] but all in all he's a good guy, and will do awesome in the calling. The stake needs it to. So I'm excited for that to come.
Pictures next week,