This last week has been pretty good, taking into account that we got to eat at P.F. Chang's and Benihana.
I think I have told you about Brother H, the gringo guy in our ward who takes us out to dinner once a week. His wife is in Arizona and she comes down to visit every once in a while, because she works for Copa Airlines and gets free flights. She is in town right now, so they took us out to dinner to P.F. Chang's on Friday. I had never eaten there and I liked it! The Hinckleys have traveled the world and eaten incredible food, so it made me laugh when they brought us the food, and they were sitting there talking about how "inspiring" the presentation of the dish was. It reminded me of the judges on “Chopped.” It was Elder P's birthday on Friday, so Saturday night, we took a trip down to Benihana. I had never been there before, and we lucked out and got the best chef in the house! He did all this crazy cool fast flippy knife chopping and cooking stuff and it blew my mind. P and I split a sushi roll (bomb) and I got some filet mignon (bomb.) There were eight of us there, and it was a fun time.
Yesterday, we saw a lady sitting with a member family in our ward. We went over to meet her, and figured out she is their neighbor and just came to church to learn more, so we set up an appointment with her that afternoon. We ate lunch with that same member family, and they went and got her (her name is D and the family is the T family.) Her husband came too. Her husband said he wasn't affiliated with any religion, and she said that they have been searching and trying different churches for years looking for the truth. We taught them about the restoration and Joseph Smith. D talked a lot during the lesson, but her husband didn't really say anything, which is usually pretty typical of the guys here. Usually, the ladies listen more. So, after the lesson, we asked him what he thought since he hadn't said much, and he said, "Well, it is really logical, what you have told me about Joseph Smith, and it makes a lot of sense. We have been searching for a long time, so we want you to keep coming back and teaching us." It was a powerful lesson. The mom of the member family told about her conversion story and how she recognized that the church was true, and we invited them to be baptized in July. It was an exciting lesson.
So, I am sure you all heard that the U.S., even though they lost to Germany, still passed onto the next phase of the World Cup. Tomorrow they play Belgium, who is pretty good, but I think we can beat them. We are going back to S's house to watch and then teach him and his wife a lesson, so it will be fun! The work really slows down here when a game is on, especially when Colombia and Costa Rica play, because they are Panama's neighbors. They have both moved onto the quarter finals as well. Sounds like things are pretty normal back home, except for the war zone in the front yard and mom's surgery coming up. I hope it all goes well and I will keep praying that it does.
That is funny that you found C's parents at the temple! I wrote them a letter a while back, just sharing some mission experiences and telling them that C and I are writing. You should get to know them better. They are awesome people. Well, it is time to get going. I hope you all have a great week!
Elder Austin Michael Kipp