It has been an outstanding week + 2 days for us. On Monday the 31st we had a lesson with Luis and Chrismarily Affonso and had the Spanish speaking sister missionaries in Hawaii with us via FaceTime. Luis speaks fluent English, and Chrismarily apparently understands most of what we say although I have not yet heard her speak in English. They are a very nice Venezuelan couple with one young son. The sisters taught about 70% of the lesson and every time we switched languages (which was frequent) either they or Luis would briefly translate the gist of what had been said. I cannot speak Spanish, but the few words that I have picked up came in handy with letting me keep track of what topic was being discussed. On Wednesday while I was on exchanges with Elder Topham in Zionsville, Elders Greenhalgh and Bundy taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ (again with help from the Hawaiian sisters). From what I was told, Luis didn't need to be invited to be baptized, as he asked when he could be baptized after the doctrine was taught. Similarly he showed initiative by saying he would talk to his boss about getting Sundays off work from now on. Unfortunately he still had to work last Sunday. His hours shifted this last week so our next visit will be Friday at 1 before he goes to work.
The other Venzuelan family we met this week were not nearly as receptive, but were equally friendly.
This week I met three investigators that we were unable to meet with in the holiday season. Of them, Ahbilash is the one that most seems to have a real desire to search for the truth. A day or two after our discussion with him I stumbled across a talk called "The Book of Mormon: Man-made or God-Given" by Tad R. Callister that seemed to address all of his questions and a few more besides that far better than I could, in addition to providing a great list of doctrines unique to our church with their accompanying references within the Book of Mormon. It's not the sort of talk I would recommend to most investigators but it seemed perfect for this situation, and I learned a lot from it.
No big breakthroughs with Fred this week, although we did learn that he has almost finished reading Alma. The Spirit is present whenever we teach him, and I think he has a solid understanding of the message; it is just taking a long time for it to sink in.
On Thursday afternoon/evening we took our first expedition to the Southern half of our area. There is no public transit system in Carmel where we live, and because of the way the river and the freeway and our boundaries work, the only ways to get down there would be to a) hitch a ride from a member like we are going to do this evening or b) bike all the way to the bottom of the area on the Monon bike trail. We made really good time both there and especially on the way back because Elder Greenhalgh wanted to get home on time. I don't think I've exercised that well in years.
We've been enjoying lovely warm weather up until today. Yesterday the temperature just dropped steadily all day long. Thankfully no snow has stuck yet, although it shouldn't be long now before winter hits in earnest.
Our time in the temple this morning was exactly what I needed. The Spirit in the celestial room is instructive and powerful. I have a testimony of the need to be regularly spiritually fed. I need to find ways to make my personal scripture study less like studying chemistry or doing a literary analysis and more like the kind of feasting that that I seem to get from the temple, zone conferences and general conferences. I suppose a big part of that will just involve making prayer more central to study instead of being tacked on. What are some ways each of you have found to make your study more meaningful?
It sounds like you had an awesome party last week and I'm glad to hear Zach and Jasmine are becoming top-notch skiiers :). We all knew it would happen eventually but I guess coach RaeRae sped progress up a whole lot. I hope you all have a great week in spite of the return to the grind.