Hey everybody! I'm writing a day late this week because it was Martin Luther King Day yesterday and none of the libraries were open. We have had kind of an interesting week. The biggest news is that I'm staying in the Valencia Branch for at least another six weeks! The transfer week rumor was that one of us would be leaving but we waited and waited for a call last night and it never came, so it will be my fourth transfer in this branch. I was kind of thinking I'd be transferred but I'm happy to be here still. The branch members are really awesome. Hopefully we can see some good success this next transfer!
Things are still about the same with Jose. We taught him about four times last week and each lesson lasted about 1 1/2 hours. He likes to get into really deep stuff, so we have to kind of bring it back to the simple things like gaining a testimony first. He's really fun to teach though! Every time we go over there he comes out and tells us that he feels pretty much content with what he has, but by the time we leave he's intrigued again and wants to keep studying. He says he's not going to give up trying. He may be a process but I think he'll get there eventually, even if it's not with Elder Jenne and I.
We had some good lessons with the Contreras family this past week as well. We got the entire family together and read the story of Ammon and King Lamoni. We're trying to get them interested in the scriptures again so that they can get their testimonies back. The kids really liked it! Last night we watched the full length Joseph Smith movie with them (don't ask where I got it). There were a lot of distractions but it went pretty well over all. Reynaldo (the dad) was focused the entire time and had some good questions for us after. They are making progress slowly but surely.
On Thursday we met an interesting character. We were coming out from a lesson and a guy came up to us and started talking to us. His name is Daniel and he is currently living on the streets. Supposedly he has a home but he's on a "mission" right now too. He was drunk but he seemed pretty sincere at the same time. He asked us to read him Psalms 100 so we did and then we told him about the Book of Mormon. He asked if we could give it to him and then asked us if he could be baptized! We talked to him for about a half hour and it went pretty well. There are a lot of things we would have to work out/find out for him to get baptized, but we're going to work with him, if we can find him again...
On Tuesday we were teaching a lesson to someone on their doorstep. In the middle of it we heard what sounded like a gunshot. We came to find out the next day that their was a shooting a few houses down from us at 3:00 in the afternoon. That comes right after the shooting in front of Jose's house the week before (in the same neighborhood). We are working in the ghetto for sure but we're being careful, don't worry!
We met an elderly couple earlier this week and began teaching them. Their names are Catalina (74) and Gabriel (88) Rodriguez. We had another couple in the branch pick them up for church and it went really well. So well in fact, that at the end of the concluding talk in sacrament meeting, Gabriel started to stand up and shouted HALLELUJAH!! It just erupted out of him and cut through the dead silence of the meeting! EVERYONE in the congregation turned to look at him simultaneously. It was one of the funniest moments from my mission so far. He added a few more in priesthood meeting as well, but not quite as loud.
I'm sure there were other exciting things that happened this last week but I can't remember them all. Things just fly by out here and you don't have long to dwell on anything. I love this work! The church is true! Thanks for all of your support!