New Years here is very different from back home. First off this was my first new year away from home so that felt kind of weird but it was really cool to spend it here in Africa. People here celebrate New Years wayyy more than Christmas. I have never seen so many fireworks in my life! Every single person stood outside of there house (seriously almost every person) with fireworks. And these are not the kind of fireworks you light on the ground, they are the fireworks that are shot into the air. It was really loud but pretty cool to see, it was impossible to sleep for a while.
Since a lot of our investigators have been gone for the holidays or really busy we had the chance to do a lot of tracting this week. It's incredible to the people you meet while doing finding! We have been able to give a lot of referrals to other parts of the mission because a lot of people we found were just visiting. One sister we met this past week had some of the most interesting questions I've ever faced on mission. She stops us on the street and invites us to her house the next day. We show up and she just unloads a bunch of questions. Do you cook for yourselves? Do you call home? Do you watch movies? Have you ever pondered John 1:1? What is cherubim in Isaiah? Etc. Etc. This sister knows the Bible better than anyone I have ever met on mission. She was asking for Bible evidence for all of the principles we were teaching. I would give her a reference and most of them she could just recite from memory. We were able to just teach a few concepts and answer some of her questions, luckily we avoided Bible bashing. She says she knows all about our church but she wouldn't tell us what she knows. I'm guessing she knows about the Book of Mormon but we haven't gotten there yet. Anyways, it was a very interesting lesson. I love doing tracting because you never know who you will find on the other side of a door.
We reviewed the baptism interview questions with a 3 of our investigators that are planning to be baptized on Jan. 20th and they are all ready! So if all goes well we should have 3 baptisms on the 20th. We are really making progress with some of our investigators but the biggest difficulty once again is church. We just moved locations for the FOURTH time since I've been here. This school that we moved to yesterday should be permanent for the next year at least. It's a nice school and no other churches meet there which is nice but the concern is that it's really far. We had a pretty good attendance yesterday considering it was the first week at this new school. Hopefully our investigators will still be willing to walk there because it's about 1 to 3 miles for most of our investigators. None of our investigators own cars and to take a taxi is pretty expensive, most people just can't afford to take a taxi for church.
The most frustrating thing at the moment is that so many of our investigators have such great potential. I can see so many of our investigators being baptized but they struggle with commitment. I have faith the Lord will prepare the way though as long as we continue to be diligent. It's incredible how the Lord works and sometimes I'm just too impatient. I've really learned that it's important to remember that the Lord works on His own time table and we just have to wait sometimes. We'll keep doing our best and I know the Lord is with us every step of the way!
I also had the chance to baptize and confirm this little girl who turned 8 yesterday. Her mom and older sister are members of the church and really strong members. It was a neat experience and the spirit was really strong. I was trying to reflect back on when I was baptized at 8, I don't remember much but I do remember that I felt good about what was happening! It was cool to see how excited this little girl was to be baptized.
Love you all,