So this week has been pretty good I guess.. but to answer your first question, no. We were working with them a lot this week and we did the baptismal interview questions with both of them, Ester, we had to explain a lot, but she has a desire to be baptized and our mission president was talking a lot about how "baptism is not a question of their knowledge, but a question of their faith." That has definitely been the focus of our thoughts though, are they really ready? Is this what the Lord wants for them? Will they be active later? All kinds of stuff and finally on the Friday before we managed to talk to Santiago and do the interview. He surprised us! We were worried about his testimony of "José" Smith but when we asked him about it he basically told us, he believes the Book of Mormon is true, so he believes he was a prophet! Super cool. So we did all the interview and the only thing he had problems with is the Word of Wisdom. So we asked him to pray right there and he did, we all knelt down and he prayed silently, then when we got up, he said, "no... I´m not ready. I need to repent of some stuff first." At first I was confused and frustrated because I prayed he would receive an answer, but then I realized that he did, it was "Not yet." So, we know he has a true desire now, it will just take time. When he said that though, Ester changed her mind and we know she won't be baptized without him.
So that's been the big thing for the week, haha but its all still good. The pension is actually really nice, plus we have started taking the bus to our area (we are still learning all the routes and stuff though, Saturday we almost left Neuquen on a 2 hour bus ride haha) also we installed our washing machine, but I guess the water drain doesn't work because every time we wash clothes a lot of the water dumps on the floor. We are getting it checked soon I think but for know we are just living with it haha.
We did have another cool experience though, Omar asked us if we could find shoes for a few of the kids to go to school with and one of the Hermanas in the ward helped us out and the next day after dropping them off, the two little boys, Aaron y Nahuel were wearing theirs, and they loved them, that was super cool. We have been going over there a lot too, and they are definitely progressing, except for not going to church, but they all love us now. Sometimes we play little games with the kids and Omar told us that we are a blessing to their family. They will for sure be baptized one day soon!
To answer a few more of your questions, we always try to contact in the morning and go back for studies during the siésta (The naptime for all Argentines from like 2-5 haha :P) and I don't need an ipod, here they just use pen drives to play music on the dvd players we get, so I'm good there haha. Yes I still have my camera bag with a few extra chords they left. Transfers are every 6 weeks, so not counting the MTC I am on my 3rd transfer, which usually is the average in one area, so my guess is that me and Villanueva are leaving this transfer which we will know for sure on the 16th of May.
Now to your questions about the first vision, when we teach the restoration, we talk about how the purpose of this life is to have families, learn, progress, and be happy. Then we talk about prophets and their roles, then Jesus Christ. How he established the church, had the authority and when he and the apostles died, the church and the priesthood were lost. Thus, a restoration was needed. Then we talk about how there was a lot of religious confusion and how Joseph wanted to know the truth. Then we quote the first vision. "Vi una columna de luz..." when we do that the spirit testifies and every time is super strong. We explain that they are feeling the spirit and a little more about the Book of Mormon. After feeling the spirit so strong, they want to learn more. Crazy how simple it is haha, but it works.
One more little note. So I guess a little while back, a few branches watched Meet the Mormons and 80 something investigators showed up. One member made a video of it and Elder Holland saw it and called President Lovell. Now we are doing it again but A LOT bigger! Plus we are the ONLY mission in the entire WORLD to do this! How cool is that!
Well, that about sums up the experiences of the week, we have been talking a lot about how Christ is always there for us and its super true. He's always waiting for us to turn back to him. I love the scripture, Jacob 3:1-2. (I only have it in Spanish so you might have to type it up in English for the blog haha) but that scripture is super powerful for me, it talks about how basically, we just need to want to follow him and he will help us more than we can imagine.. super good.
I love you mom, I'm super glad to hear about all the family, tell Jaxson he's a stud for getting in the paper (like his oldest brother haha) tell everyone I love them and miss them, I'll talk to you soon!
Jacob 3:1 But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction. 2 O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.
Anyway, the baptism didn't happen.. yet. Basically he prayed after our interview and he got the answer "No, youre not ready" but now we know his testimony of the Book of Mormon and he really wants to be baptized. We know he will soon though just not yet. Ester backed out when Santiago did so we will just see what happens though. We feel a lot better about it now, strangely enough haha
So, Happy Late Bithday!!!! Just so you know that is a good memory for me too (we went deep sea fishing and Darren got pretty seasick)! I don't regret it at all haha. Speaking of which, this weeks Noche de Hogar, Hno Cirer (Our ward mission leader) had us draw pictures of a really good memory and then explained that that is what it will feel like to return to live with Heavenly Father again.. so I was thinking maybe I would draw myself making that diving catch or something but then I had a better idea. I drew the two of us laying down looking up at the stars on the last night of the High Adventure campout. Just thought I'd let you know :)
Oh one other thing, one time when we were at Omar´s and they had "Son como niños 2" (Grown-ups 2) on the tv and I noticed now that Adam Sandler totally reminds me of you haha, in the good ways of course haha but anyway. I really didn't have too much to talk about this week, I explained a lot to mom, so I guess for this letter, I just want you guys to know that I think about you all a lot and that you guys are in my prayers too. I love you Dad and I hope this week goes good for you and everyone, talk to you soon!