So here in Campo Largo there are quite a few members who give us lunch and we eat three or four times a week with members.
On Tuesday we ate with the Relief Society President Nelly Machada. She made us milanesa (meat that has been breaded and cooked in oil), salad, and birthday cake (it was Elder Sacalxot's birthday the week before I came).
On Thursday we ate with a member who was recently baptized named Selva Dominguez and her son Luis Perez. She made for us noodles and chicken cooked in the oven.
On Friday, Sister Mirtha Fernandez cooked goat (which is actually good) and noodles. It was kind of funny though. She had called us the morning of the day that we were going to eat with her and she asked, "Elders, do you eat goat?" I looked at my companion and he just shrugged his shoulders and said to me, "sure." So I told Sister Fernandez that we do eat goat and that it sounds good. And surprisingly enough it was good; it didn't really have a unique flavor or anything.
On Saturday we had empanadas with the first counselor in the young womens presidency Alejandra Duarte. It was anything new or something that we don't regularly eat, but it's good anyway.
But those were our meals this week.
We've been teaching a girl named Karen Gonzalez who is eight years old; her older sister, Dayana, is already a member, but her parents aren't. Due to her age, we've been making sure to teach in a very simple manner so that she understands the principles and concepts. So, this last Monday we taught her about tithing and fast offerings and we had bought a big bag of tootsie roll type candies to help us. What we did is we gave ten tootsies to each of the kids who were there (there were five) except for Karen. At the point that she didn't receive any candy I assured her that she would. So we explained that they had all just been "blessed" with ten tootsies and now they needed to pay their tithing. So they all gave one tootsie back to me. I then explained how tithing and fast offerings are used to help other people and then gave everyone's returned tootsies to Karen plus four more so that they all ended up with nine. I then explained that for being obedient they would blessed and gave them all more tootsies, so that they all ended with more than they started with.
Later on Wednesday we were going to practice the baptismal interview with Karen and decided that we were just going to review the concepts briefly and then draw something to represent the idea of the commandment. Now that I think about it I should have taken a picture with everyone and their drawings, but I didn't have my camera with me.
So when Friday came around it was time for Karen to have her baptismal interview. She did very well, but at the very end when she was asked if she was ready to be baptized she said, "no." It's alright though because she said that she'll be ready this Saturday. So now we're preparing her baptism for the thirty-first.
On Tuesday we had a meeting with all the other elders from the zone and as part of our training we were all asked to come to the front of the room and and explain a Gospel word in a way that a child could understand it. So one elder was asked to explain "exaltation" and couldn't think of how to say it. So the leaders asked if anyone could help him. I said, "being sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise" and it got some laughs even if it didn't really help us define exaltation more clearly.
When we had lunch with Luis and Selva, Luis started telling us all his stories about the times he has had debates with people from other religions, whether they were members of that church or missionaries. He said that one day the Jehova's Witnesses came to visit him and they asked if they could come back with some more members of their congregation and Luis told him that would be fine if he could invite two of his friends. They asked if his friends were the Elders and he said that they were and he says that now the Jehova's Witnesses haven't been to his house since.
He was also telling us about someone who made the comment that the missionaries are annoying become they always want to talk to you and visit you in your house. So Luis asked him, "who else in this world comes to your house every day to offer you salvation? To me that isn't annoying."
This week I had the opportunity to give service. There is a member who's husband is a member of the evangelist church, but sometimes comes to our meetings. He doesn't want to get baptized (trust me, I already invited him and got kind of mad), but he likes to visit. But his wife mentioned how he needed a haircut and how it's difficult for them to get to the barber shop (her husband, Francisco, needs a wheel chair), so I told her that I have a machine to cut hair. So we went back the next day and I gave him a hair cut.
Yesterday, I invited all the leaders from the organizations of church to come to have a branch council meeting and it went pretty well. I gave a training that took about thirty minutes (even after I had shortened it), but it went really well. I taught about how it is that we are going to do the missionary work and I based the training on the parallel chapters of Alma chapter twenty-six, verses twenty-three through thirty-one as well as Heleman fifteen verses four through eight. I also threw in Jacob chapter five verse seventy-two just because I like it. We had a really good meeting though. Our plan this Saturday is to have all the members that can make it come to the church at four in the afternoon, split into companionships and go and visit a many less active members as they can in an hour and a half, and then all come back to the chapel at six for the baptism of Karen Gonzalez. We decided to call it "Super Saturday of Visits," but Elder Sacalxot wants to call it "Member Hunting."