So update number one, Andres. He is soooo cool and so going to get baptized. :) Okay, so he's got a while to go, but honestly this guy is the best. I think I told you last time about all his credentials as a Bible scholar and what not. So we had a lesson about prophets and the apostasy, and it was really hard for him to take it all in. For him, to hear someone tell him that the authority of God was taken from the earth and that the men who tutored him all his life don't possess that authority kind of rubs the wrong way. Plus, he has this idea that the church is just another U.S. institution sticking it's nose in other countries' business where they're not really needed or wanted.
And yet, through all these doubts and theories of his, he is miraculously progressing! Two young girls that are WAY less educated than him sit across from him and say in very simple Spanish yet VERY directly, "Andres, we know these things are true. Tonight, will you read this chapter of the Book of Mormon, and pray to ask God if it's true?" He sits there for a moment, thinking, and then just says, "Si" with a smile that says "Man, how did they do that? Why did I just agree to that?" But he's keeping his committments, reading and praying, and that's the important thing, because the minute that we start to ACT for ourselves is the minute that we start receiving answers and developing our own testimony. I have a feeling it's going to be a long journey with Andres, but I am so excited to see how Heavenly Father answers his prayers.
Clotilde. . . she is so wonderful, and yes Mom, you guys would be BEST friends! You are so similar in a lot of little ways. One being your meticulously clean homes that are always warm and smell nice like flowers or warm spices. That's a tad bit unusual for Argentines. :) Clotilde is sooo ridiculously close to baptism, it's not even funny. Teaching her, I've learned alot about patience and ALOT about "teaching people, not lessons," a principle we learn in the MTC. My black and white approach to life just doesn't work in teaching Clotilde, and as we've changed our approach and thought about whatClotilde needs instead of how we want to teach, we've seen miracles. We go piece by piece, answering each of her doubts with love and testimony, and I've seen her heart open even more and the lights go on. Keep praying for Clotilde. :)
The other day we were walking along in the "cheto" part of town (cheto is the Argetine word for ritsy) when a man pulled over and yelled from his car in English, "Hey! Are you guys Mormon?! Are you American?!" We smiled and called back in the affirmative, and he pulled over to a side street to jump out of the car and shake our hands. He had the weirdest New York/Latin accent, and we learned that he spent the first 18 years of his life in Florida with his Argentine parents, but lives here now. And he is obsessed with the U.S. and the beach. His name is Gabriel (when he's in Argentina. His "American name" is Joseph) and he is SUCH a character! Long story short, we've started teaching him, he came to church on Sunday and really liked, so we're going to keep teaching. It's kind of like teaching a 9 year old boy, but we'll see what happens!
The future elders are awesome. Well, we've actually only been able to teach one of them alot, his name is Matias. He's 17 years old, and he's just an adorable, shy litte basketball jock who wants to learn more about Jesus. We teach him outside because his parents are never home, but we met the mom and she's super nice, so we're going to try teaching her as well. Neither of his parents are very religious, but Mati started going to a little Evangelical church by himself when he was about nine. He's quiet and shy, exactly the way I imagine Cam being around two sister missionaries, :) but he lights up when we talk about simple principles like prayer and being able to talk with Heavenly Father. He's super busy with basketball, so our next goal is helping him get to church.