Thursday, July 22, 2010

from Kent 7/19

¡Hola Familia!‏

Yesterday Jorge Soto (father) was baptized and it was a most glorious day. Two of his sons that don't live with him came for the service, Sergio and Luis. We gave the address of Sergio to the Assistants, as he lives in their sector. It turns out that Luis (who has a wife and two kids) will be living here in Quillón for work. He came to Church and really liked it! He'd done a fair deal of church hopping but never found anything that really filled him, he said. Officially he's Catholic, he was one of the teachers/missionaries for them, but told us how he really liked the feeling that was had of mutuality and equality in the Church when he came for the baptism. He's excited to learn what there is, because he's seen the change in his brothers and in his father, and has agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it! I believe we'll be seeing another baptism in a month or so. Jorge the younger also received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday, and is taking the ordination of Teacher seriously, in that he is to teach his family those things he learns.
Here's the story of Elder Jaar. He played soccer professionally for Ecuador, and began his mission here in Quillón. The fewest baptisms he's had in a sector is 18, (I had 5 in Tierra Bella) and he had before seen just about all sides of life. Currently he is one of the Assistants to the president, and has a strong connection with those here of Quillón. A few months ago his father was killed while on the way to the Temple, but he's staying in the mission. So he volunteered to do the baptismal interview for Jorge (father) considering the recent loss.
I haven't really had the opportunity to give a great report on my investigators. Here it comes. First off we've been working with the Soto family for a long time. We came into contact through them by a member who worked with Jorge (father) for a while. He shared a bit about the Church with thim and invited him to Conference. After attending conference, he said that he really likes it and wanted to be baptized, but reading scripture will be difficult because he didn't know how to read. About a month later the family (Jorge, his wife Jeanet, and two sons Edgardo and Jorge) all came to Church and liked it. So we began to teach them. At the beginning it was an informational learning process, but after a few lessons everything changed and a light and joy entered their countenances. Edgardo told us about the first time he took the Sacrament. He said that he always felt it was something sacred and that one should be worthy to partake of it. The first day at Church he took it and told us that the bread burned him, and that he couldn't swallow the water. He said that at that moment he knew that he needed to repent and get baptized to enjoy the blessings of the Sacrament. The week following the baptism of Edgardo the entire family came into town for Jeanet's funeral. Jorge (father) took the opportunity to exhort all seven of his children to get to know the Church, and that it was through the Restored Gospel that he and Edgardo had such peace in so hard a trial. So far, we know that two of the sons, Sergio and Luis are investigating the Church, as well as a sister of Jeanet.
A week or two ago we found some new investigators. Knocking doors we came across Paola who had once talked with Missionaries of the Church when she was 14 years old. Turns out she didn't understand a lot, we clarified a few questions and she invited us in to teach her kids Franco and Esteban (17 and 15). She had taken the decision to let them decide what Church they would like to join, and therefore hadn't really taught them much anything other than that God exists, which they believe. So we've begun to teach them and they're pretty interested. She used to be Catholic but then spoke of how much she had "seen the light" when she became Evangelical. So far she's liked everything we've shared.
Katherine Cartes was found by the missionaries about nine months ago. She's read the Book of Mormon a few times, and knows quite strongly that it is true, but has a very set Catholic family (not so much that they're active at all but just that they don't want to change) and so they don't give her permission to attend the actual Church services, but she comes to Institute. She's 19 years old.
We haven't been able to meet with these friends of Hector yet, but he says they're still interested so we're going to keep trying. Hector (super convert from March, going on a mission in March) has convinced Oscar (Branch secretary and three year convert, the both 19-20 years old) to go on a mission! Oscar was about to go on a mission several months earlier but then lost enthusiasm and the branch had been worried, and he'd always kind of dodge the subject, but now he's decided to go again! He's got just a little bit more money to get together and the three (Hector, Oscar, Edgardo) will be leaving on their missions all about the same time.
The Fernandez family was here in Quillón for the weekend! I was riding by on my bike and they pulled up next to us in a car. (The Fernandez family were our neighbors in Tierra Bella). Turns out things are awesome in Tierra Bella still, Elder Law has been baptizing a lot of great people according to them!
The winter's not too ridiculous here actually, we've had almost an entire week and a half without rain! (We had before experienced two and a half weeks of pure rain). The thermals and cornbags etc. are holding up lovely.

The new President wants to work more with us, so we won't be having as many conferences, but rather he's going to be coming out and teaching with us. If there is another package to be soon sent (though it seems I just barely got the other one) I think there's a CD of Church/EFY type music somewhere in my room called "When All is Said and Done." If a copy of that could be made and sent t'would be most appreciated. The Almond Joys seem to have changed into fantastically delicious items, a contrast to what they were when I was of trick-or-treating age.
Much love, happy summer!

Elder Kent Pimentel

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