Well hi there, everyone!
Sorry about the wait - I'm sure everyone was just clamoring to hear from the awesome Elder Slavens once again! Am I right?? Because it was Labor Day yesterday the library and all that jazz were closed, so I wasn't able to do any writing. But I was gracefully given the chance to do so today, so here goes nothing!
It's been an awesome week. Lots of growing on my part. I've really learned the importance of being exactly obedient and doing all the things I'm supposed to. It's been a slightly rough first couple weeks in the field, mostly because there was almost no missionary presence in my area prior to my coming here. Basically, we're cleaning up the place and buffing out the scratches of malnourishment. If that makes sense. There's like a truckload of less-active members in this area, so we're doing our best to give them some proper attention and get 'em to rejoin the fold. We actually have a pretty extensive list of less-actives / recent converts, so Elder Casillas and I have been making the rounds and giving them each a visit to see how their lives are going. Funny things is, none of them are actually members, apparently! We've got like a faulty list or some jazz, which means that each time we visit those houses, they answer by telling us that they have no idea who we are, and we gotta start from scratch!
But that's actually what makes it the most fun, 'cause trackting is really a blast. The fact that we have no idea what's gonna happen makes every knock an adventure! The Latino people here are so humble and accepting and kind, and if we catch them at a time that they can talk, they pretty much always let us in! Unfortunately I'm still having a tough time with comprehension of Spanish, but I'm practicing, and can tell I'm getting a little better every day!
But as I said: Trackting is a blast. We meet some awesome people, and at times, also get turned away in the funniest ways. There was this guy we went to trackt the other day, who apparently is a less-active member, so we walked up to his doorstep. This super smooth Presley music was playing from inside the house, so we figured this was a pretty chill dude. We knocked, and a super friendly-looking Latino man opened the door with this huge smile on his face. We said "Hi there, we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!" He replied, "Oh, are you looking for Elvis Presley? He's not here! He's dead!" We were pretty confused at this, so we decided to take a shot at Spanish. "What's your name, sir?" I asked, in what I was hoping was a language he spoke. At this I think he started getting a little worried that his "dumb" act wasn't working, so he started dancing. Yup, dancing. He said "Well, you're not going to find Elvis here! Good bye!" And slowly danced back into his house. I don't know if I've ever laughed harder than I did at that moment. I thought I was gonna choke on my own laughter! Elder Casillas and I probably make references to that moment like 5 times a day.
So it's been a lot of fun, and I can't wait to really get this area moving again! We've done tons of trackting and have met lots of nice people, and we've gotten quite a few appointments from those people, so we're hoping to be pretty busy in the coming weeks! Our main goal right now is to get the Spanish branch up-and-running again. I believe a couple years back a lot of the Latino members weren't going to church regularly, so the Stake shut down the Spanish branch because there weren't enough Priesthood holders attending. So we've got our work ahead of us to try and bring those people back so that the Spanish-speaking members can go to church in their own language! Wish us luck!
I hope you guys had an awesome last week and Labor Day! And I hope you have another awesome week ahead of you!
Party on, friends and family.
Elder Casillas esta manejando.
We scratched this one night and I'm pretty sure we won an iPad.
Guess it wouldn't serve us too well out here.
The sun every night in Buhl, ID.
The Twin Falls Temple