This past week has been a very interesting one. I say that because all we did was sit in our apartment and wait for Elder Ralphs to recover from pneumonia. We did have the opportunity to teach one less-active lesson but that was it. Elder Ralphs has just been extremely exhausted and constantly sleeping because the pneumonia would just sap his energy. Luckily he has become a lot healthier and we were blessed with the opportunity to begin working again yesterday.
We got transfer news last Saturday and found out that Elder Ralphs and I will continue to be companions. Our area is going to be changed just a little bit so we are losing some of our investigators, including a couple with baptismal dates. But that's ok because now we have the blessing of finding new investigators and baptizing them.
Our most solid investigator right now is a man named Eddie who lives in an equestrian stable with his future wife, baby and stepson in Scottsdale. It was really hard to find him at first because we had to enter this horse ranch and knock on all the doors of various buildings. The first time we went by we couldn't find him but we went into an abandoned-looking house where we saw extension cords running under the door and figured that might be it. No one was home but it appeared that someone was house sitting due to the sketchiness of the room. Thankfully he was outside working when we came back, and now we know what door to knock on. He was a referral from one of the members in our ward and seems really interested in learning about the gospel. Every time we give him something to read, he always has questions for us to answer and insights on the reading. We haven't had the opportunity to teach him a full lesson yet because he is always working when we come by, and Elder Ralphs has been sick.
The less-active lesson we taught this past week was to a guy named Rosalio and he lives with his wife, a heavyset, tobacco-addicted, white woman who learned Spanish on the streets, and 2 kids. We wouldn't have any idea who he is if he hadn't called us and told us he wanted to us to come and see him. It turns out he joined the church about 5 years ago, but soon after returned to a lifestyle of drinking. He realized the mistakes that he made and remembered the Spirit that he felt when he was taught by the missionaries and when he had come to church before. So he called us to help him out. He has a very similar story to many other male immigrants from Mexico: grew up in a household laden with violence, abuse, alcohol, and in-opportunity. Unfortunately this way of living is perpetuated and continues in the lives of these Mexican families today.
One thing you notice hear in AZ is the innumerable amount of smoke shops and liquor stores. Something I had never seen before coming to Phoenix was a drive through liquor store. It just goes to show how rampant the influence of Satan is among people today. Thankfully we have the gospel to help guide us to the path the Lord has set and the Atonement of Jesus Christ to cleanse us of painful sin. Rosalio expressed to us the addiction he has to alcohol and the problem he has abstaining from it. He told us that the Circle K mini-mart (everyone advertises alcohol) is a temptation for him every time he passes it. We taught a powerful lesson on the Atonement of Jesus Christ as we read from Alma 7, and promised him that he can find a cure for this through his Savior Jesus Christ. We assigned him to read about repentance in Alma 36 and testified how real the Atonement really is. When we returned, we witnessed a miracle as he told us that he hasn't thought about drinking for 5 days and how grateful he was that we were able to help him get to this point.
These experiences strengthen my testimony on the healing power of the Atonement so incredibly. It is these types of experiences that make me love being on a mission and being a tool in the hands of the Lord. Unfortunately, his wife is not very interested in listening to us but at least she supports Rosalio in his membership. So this is just a little information about what I am doing, I hope you enjoy reading it. Hope all is well in snowy NC.