Sunday, March 31, 2013

March 25, 2013

Our neighborhood in Cuenca

Hello there Family!!

Well, I can honestly say that Cuenca is much COLDER than Las Palmas. I´m freezing, but it´s also good. I´m trying to have a good attitude about it by telling myself that I missed the cold. I also have a cold, the sickness, which is not cool either. Oh well, all part of the experience. Cuenca is a small town, and it compares to Parla in smallness. It´s cooler than Parla though, since it has old buildings and stuff. My new companion is Elder Lyman, from Utah! He´s a really cool, chill sort of guy!! He´s a really hard worker and also is very diligent in his work!! I was hoping to train my last transfer, but I know that Elder Lyman is my companion for a reason, and I´ll learn all I can from him! We both have pretty high expectations for Cuenca and I´m excited to work with him a bit more these next few weeks!! Nine members came to church and we have a goal that by the end of the transfer it will go up to 20 or 25. We also have a goal for 2 baptisms here in Cuenca before the transfer ends. Super cool and I´m super excited.
Elder Lyman (next to an old mini Cooper)
Anyway, as you already know, we didn´t make it to Cuenca on Monday since we didn´t make it to the train on time. Tuesday we did make it!! We went in an Alvia Train, which hit a top speed of 252 KPH which was pretty cool!! When we made it here, our piso dueño [landlord] picked us up and took us to our piso [apartment]. It´s pretty far out of town, but really nice!! It´s brand new as well!! We visited a few members and that was it for the night.
Note how you can see mountains from our neighborhood!
Wednesday we spent all morning organizing the three area books that we have of former investigators. We called as many of them that had phone numbers and also set up a few appointments with members, but only were only able to visit with Henry, a member from Africa, and an English teacher here in Cuenca. We also saw an investigator who is ready for baptism. Super fun day, but cold. Haha.

Thursday we had weekly planning, and we planned during the morning hours and have great expectations for this area. We then went out and visited a Dominican family who are less active, and Jose, a recent convert and Branch Mission Leader, brought a friend over who is an 86 year old Spaniard. The lesson was interesting, but it was a fun experience. We also met a member family that lives just 2 blocks away from our piso [apartment]! They are a Spanish family with a daughter that is a return missionary!! Super nice family, but the husband and son are less active. We´ll work with them along with other less actives.

A view of old town Cuenca
Friday we met with some antiguos [former investigators] and also Elvis, a member that has been baptized, but never confirmed. It´s been over a year, so he´d have to get baptized again. We hope to work with him too so that he can continue to want the baptism. It seems that he´s really good!! Not much else.

Saturday we met with one former investigator. He´s a joven [young man] and stopped listening to the missionaries because he studies a lot. We´ll have to see about him. We then kept passing by former investigators and while we were knocking a building, we met a Spaniard who invited us in. He´s super nice and had a Book of Mormon, but wasn´t interested in the message. Oh well, so far just planting seeds.

The branch meetinghouse in Cuenca
Sunday we met the branch at the church, yes, all nine active members. It´s the most humble branch I´ve seen, as well as united! I love this little branch! Super cool and nice!! The Branch President gave us names of people to pass by and teach/call and it was a list that we´ve pretty much passed by them all. We´ll continue to see what happens. We had a few lessons yesterday too!! With one investigator, we talked about Jesus Christ and what she thinks He wants her to do. She mentioned baptism and so we talked a bit about that and know that she´s ready!! I hope that she takes that step soon! We then met with two less actives and it´s just sad to see them fall away even when they are so good to us!! I hope that we can get at least one of them to come back.
And that has been the first week of opening Cuenca! Hard, cold, but rewarding as well!! I see potential here!! I hope that you guys continue to have a good week and a good time there in Texas!! Stay warm!! Love you all!!

Elder Bauer

Sunset in Cuenca

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