Mom asked about Luis and his family in her letter to me, so I'll let you know a little about that situation to start with. Luis hasn't been coming very regularly for a while to church. He's only been once in the last 6 weeks, and the majority of the reason he hasn't come has been for work in one way or another. His son hasn't come even once in that time. Nor have his nephews. But we're working on that. It's hard to get in to see them now because it seems that Luis has more work now than he had in the Summer!
Andrés is progressing slowly. He still finds it hard to believe in Joseph Smith, which is a big stumbling block for most people. We're trying to reinforce the necesity for reading and prayer in obtaining any answer, but he's still reluctant to even do that. I think it's because he values a whole lot the teachings his mom gave him as a child, raising him as a Catholic. We're trying to share with him that we are not trying to trample or even set aside his beliefs, but rather to build them up, but I don't know if he really sees it that way. We realized in our companionship study today that perhaps one of his biggest doubts is that a belief in Joseph Smith is denying everything that his mother taught him. I also think that he still thinks that we worship Joseph Smith. Obviously, we know that's not true. He's been telling us that he doesn't think we need someone to tell us God's will if we have the scriptures (which he still doesn't like to read much of anyway). We'll be trying this week to focus on the Restoration and the need for a prophet, as in old times.
Also, once again, we were the Sacrament program. We're working on getting the men and priesthood holders that we have here more active and participating, but we're still having a few problems with that. Most of it revolves around work, but there are some other existing problems.
I will tell you this, if I finish my mission here in Tolhuin, I'm going to have a culture shock when I come back home going to a ward of almost two hundred people. I'm used to about 13 right about now, including us.
Ah, well. Things will be getting better.
This week, we'll be finishing the mission challenge to read the Book of Mormon in 90 days. I read the second half of Mormon and the first three chapters of Ether this morning. I find it strengthening to me to read that even in his moments of deepest grief for the slain of his people, Mormon feels to reach out to us and emphasize the need for us to follow the Gospel of Christ in order to be saved. That and Moroni's testimony at the end of Mormon, explaining to us that al of his people have been destroyed because of their pride and their wickedness. They continue to exhort us to diligence in keeping the commandments of God and to remember Him in all that we do. It's something that we need as a constant reminder because it is also something that we don't do with all that much consistancy as human beings. But we are promised a multitude of blessings for obeying and keeping the commandments of God.
I thought it was interesting that from 3 Nephi 18 to the end of 3 nephi, we are told fifteen times in one form or another that we need to pray unto the Father in the name of Christ. Just an interesting point that I noticed, especially with all the people who say that we need to say memorized prayers in order to be heard, or recite the same things over and over. Something to think about.
Tonight we have a full night, working with a few less active members and a few new investigators. Hopefully there will be bigger and better news next week as we increase our efforts to find new people to teach.
I love you all!
Happy Father's Day to Dad, Brandon, and Marvin!!!