Well, it's starting to heat up again here. The coldest it got here was 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but only at night and early morning. I'm pretty sure the coldest part of winter here is over.
Today I knocked down 10 months in the mission! I might order a pizza tonight, we'll see.
At first, when I freshly got to this area, I didn't quite understand how huge it is. We have the entire city to ourselves, and it's humongous. A lot of it is desert wasteland, and much of it is inhabited, with a few investigators here and there and far between. Parts are covered in palm trees, parts in sage brush, and parts in pure dirt. But the house is really nice! We have beach sand and grass covering the entire front patio!
The members usually feed us pretty good here. Mexican hamburgers and pizza look like common items here, for the missionaries that they love haha.
It looks like my companion, Elder Pinedas, is probably gonna leave next week. He's been here for like 6 months now. He's a great companion, as we get a long great. He's from Honduras, and he has about 15 months in the mission.
They're gonna start making the chapel bigger now, so I only got to go 1 time. Now, every Sunday, we're gonna be taking a bus from the chapel to one in Torreòn. That also means that we're gonna have to take a trip to Torreòn every time we have a baptism. But that's alright, I like road trips.
I'm probably just gonna be a new suit and all new shirts. There's no way they can all get reduced so much without looking weird.
We have quite a few progressing investigators here. 4 of them are the Torres family. They have gone to church twice and are loving it. They want to get baptized, but still don't feel ready. And the dad smokes 14 cigs a day, which might take a while to drop. We're gonna throw a baptismal date as February 16th for the mom and the 2 kids, and it'll probably be February 30th for the Dad, depending on how he is doing with quitting smoking.
We have another 2 progressing investigators, and we taught them the first lesson last week. Karina (mom) and her 8-year-old daughter, Karina. They are both awesome, and went to church on Sunday. Last week I hail-maryed them a Baptismal date for February 9th, and they accepted with enthusiasm. We are gonna teach them the Plan of Salvation this week, and they are a set-in-stone baptism for next month. They're awesome, and truly golden investigators.
We also have a few others, but they aren't progressing as much. The members here are awesome, and we got a reference last week! We went and contacted her the other day. Her name is Micaela, and we contacted her daughter who was there too. We got to know them and taught them about how God is our loving heavenly father and how the gospel blesses families. It was really akward the whole time because Micaela's daughter, named Biri Diana, has a new-born baby. And here they don't really have much shame. Right there in the lesson, she just whipped one of 'em out and started nursing her baby right there in front of us, without a blanket or any idea of just how socially incorrect that act is. So we just played it out, trying to not look in her direction too much, and forcing ourselves to look at her face while we included her in the lesson. Yeah, my first real culture shock right there.
The other day we got a message from a member who said she had a cousin over who had a lot of questions and that she needed help. We hurried over there, thinking she had a reference for us only to find her teenage cousin waiting there, about to pounce. He started accuse us of polygamy and trying to get us from every angle. I won't say what religion he pertains to, but to those Spanish-Speaking missionaries, they're nicknamed "TeeJays". I have lately been studying the Bible pretty intensely, and he was trying to prove me on a ton of stuff, saying that The Book of Mormon can't exist because there can't be anything more than the bible, that angels can't appear in these modern days, that only a certain number of people will get in to heaven, that we don't have living spirits, and a ton of stuff like that. For 2 hours straight we duked it out, and I won on every point. I then compared him to the Saducees and Farisees in the way that they knew much of the doctrine, but didn't understand any of it and refused to understand when it was correctly explained and layed-out for them in front of their eyes. At that point, he stopped trying to fight and was slightly humbled. I then told him that all of the answers are in the Book of Mormon, combined with the Bible and offered him one. He refused to read it and said that he only believes in the Canonic Books. So in the end I didn't turn him into an investigator, but at least I got a good game out of it, and I did my part by trying to help him. But the good thing is that now he won't be bothering his cousin (the member, young woman), as he knows that she'll just invite us over haha. I don't ever look for these battles, but he just attacked us headlong, and naturally I had to defend God and the church.
Well, I'm loving Matamoros. The members are awesome, the Bishop, his counselors, and the ward mission leader all do their job right, and we're having success here, even with the less-actives (5 of them went to church on Sunday). I'm loving my new area. We have interviews with Pres. Flores this week, so we'll have to see how it all plays out during the week. Until next week!