This week was really good but hard at the same time just because of the shift in everyone´s schedules with Christmas festivities. Almost all say that they will have time in January to meet but this week they are busy. So that´s been hard because so many of our lessons have fallen. Also Jose wasn´t able to make it to church this week because when we passed by his house Sunday, he was extremely drunk. He was really honest with us when he was drunk and said two things that we´re very interesting (I´m glad he´s not an angry drunk). He said first htat he had a lot of respect for me because I continued to return, I don´t know why he said that specifically but he tried to point at me when he said it and almost got his finger pointed in my direction. Second he told us that his wfie does not like the things we teach. I honestly think she is a big part of the problem right now, because she talks him down and always talks about his drinking problem instead of supporting him and telling him he can overcome it. I think we´re going to have a serious talk with her and ask her what she believes our intentions are coming to their house and teaching them. She just has to open up a little bit, but I don´t know what will do it. The good thing this week with him was that we were able to have a family home evening with his family and make rice krispy treats whcih they really enjoyed. They have a great family, just a lot of problems to overcome. It´s been a good lesson for me in agency, and I hope that Jose can trust the Lord to help him overcome this. Please pray for them as we will be doing.
One thing that was an incredible success this week was the activity of our Gospel Principles teacher, Anna Lucia. She is a convert that is married to the first counseler of the bishopric and is incredible. The topic for the class 2 weeks ago was service, so she set up a whole activity with us, our recent converts of a year, and our investigators to go to a resting home in Antigua and give them something small and sing songs. It was really incredible to sit there and talk with these old Guatemalans that really have nothing, most of their family is dead or has basically abandoned them, and all they have is the resting home. It was funny to hear their excitement about their room that they had and hear them tell me about it because that´s really all they have to talk about. I love just visiting with people who just need to talk to someone, because you know they are incredibly lonely. But of course because it was a resting home for old people, all of them weren´t quite there. One of them called me Elder José Smith (I´m sure he had past experiences with the church) and another old lady couldn´t stop talking about how I was good looking for a Gringito (literal translation, little gringo or little white kid from the States). She said that I need to leave my wife (?) and make a night visit to her. Assuming she meant that in the worst way possible, I just awkwardly laughed and left the room, knowing that she probably didn´t have the most moral past if she was saying stuff like that in her crazed state.
Ana, one of our investigators and the girlfriend of a member who was inactive, was able to attend the activity and we can tell it really impacted her. The sad part with them (the husband´s name is Pedro) is that they live together and really want to get married. Pedro has a desire to come back to the chruch but with Ana. He has even started paying his tithing which is incredible. The problem is that she is already married to someone who lives in the States. This complicates things but we think it´s possible to divorce without the permission of her husband here in Guatemala because they´ve been seperated for so long, but it will still be a long process. We´re still teaching them though, and Ana is awesome. She has such a desire to know everything (she brings a notebook to church to write down her questions and what is being taught, an example to the rest of the members in the church right? haha) and I really hope that the Lord will prepare the way for them to be an eternal family because they really are incredible people, with pure intentions. She is now more active than many of the active members. She attends all the activities and everything, she´s awesome.
Anyways things will pick up for sure in January, I know it. I love Christmas time and being on a mission really brings the importance of it into perspective. The importance of the Savior´s life that he willingly gave in his perfect obediance to the Father. Enjoy it everyone! I love you all and hope that you are doing well. Sorry that letters are still slow in coming, I´m slowly getting through them, but thank you for the support everyone. The church is true, and this gospel changes lives. I love sharing it and while it´s hard, I wouldn´t be doing anything else right now. Please keep me in your prayers!