HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALIX!! I know that its kind of late, but I am hoping that my letter to you got there. This was a crazy week, and it sounds like it was for you too. Our runaway elder has not turned up yet. Also, just a bunch of random stuff has happened and we haven't had a lot of time in our area. I was able to finish the Book of Mormon this week, though. Honestly, as soon as I hit 3rd Nephi I can't really put it down. I love the end of that book. I wish other people could come to do the same... I started again, this time I am going to mark every reference to Jesus Christ so that I can see just how much that book testifies of Him. This week has been tough for Elder Soza and me becuase usually we end a week with 15 references received or so, but last week we ended with 4. No one is giving us their addresses lately. We have been counting and calculating, and lately, we have to talk to 10 people on the street to get 3 references. Let's blow that up so we can see better. In every 100 people that we talk to, we get 30 references. Of those 30, we get into about 8-10 houses. Of those 10 houses, less than half become progressing investigators. Not all progressing investigators accept a baptismal date, and church statistics show that 1 in 8 baptismal dates gets baptized... So you can see why the method the church is pushing is through the members.
Anyway, here is a cool story. One day, we were working with a member who is about 18 years old. All of our appointments fell through, and we were standing on a corner figuring out the best way to continue, when a woman approached us and asked us, "Ustedes son misioneros de la iglesia mormona, ¿verdad?" (You guys are missionaries from the Mormon church, right?). We told her that yes, we are mormon missionaries. She responded, "¿qué tiene que hacer uno para asistir a su iglesia?" (what does someone have to do to attend your church?). Whe explained that she just has to show up and that she is always invited to come visit with us there. We got her reference....SHE LIVES IN ANOTHER AREA. Just across the street from where our area ends. So we were a little bit bummed about that, but we saw that there are people who are interested in learning about our church, and that got our hopes up a little bit. We are working with some new people now. One is named Ronnie Lobos. He is about 23 years old, and is pretty open to what we are teaching. Another is Familia Medina, but just one of the men who lives there is really listening to us so it is really just hermano medina. Aside from them we are working with a few less-active families. We learned this week that sometimes people inactivate because they don't understand something, but they don't feel like they can ask anyone about it. So they stew in their doubt until they just leave. I don't know the best way to prevent that from happening, except maybe teaching well the retention lessons and getting them involved in every possible way. Alrighty, time is short and I'll finish up. I love you guys. I am way excited for the happy news of this week, and I can't wait to see what the future brings us all (maybe a baptism for a change...hahaha). Zach you are a champ. Nice work. Alix, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I love you. And I love you too, Mom and Dad. See you guys in two!!