He arrived an hour and a half late, so the members (trying to be helpful) directed him to the sunday school class. I saw him in the door and told him to come in. Then, to my dismay, I noticed that he was walking a bit funny and stubling a lot. He sat next to me, and putting his face uncomfortably close to mine, he said in a voice much louder than the occasion required, "¿Cómo essstá, herrrmánou !?" From his breath and tone of voice, it was obvious that he was drunk. As my companion tried to teach the class, he kept trying to talk to me rather loudly. I had to escort him out of the class as my companion kept teaching. Outside, he told me about all sorts of problems with his family. He cried a bit, yelled a bit, and every couple of minutes asked me for money to go buy something to eat. Fearing that he would use the money to buy more booze, I told him that I´d go with him to buy him some lunch, but that I couldn´t separate myself from my companion and that we´d have to wait until he finished teaching the class.
My companion finished the class, and the 2 of us now started to talk to Reinaldo. Reinaldo was mad at Elder Brasher for not wanting to talk to him. Elder Brasher explained that he DID want to talk to him, but he couldn´t leave behind the class of like 12 other investigators, a recent convert, and 4 less-active members. Reinaldo yelled at Elder Brasher, called him a wolf in sheep´s clothing and told him that he should have left the 99 sheep to save the other lost sheep. After talking a bit more, Reinaldo suddenly decided that he was a bit happier and as we were talking (in the sidewalk outside of the church) he decided to sing....really loudly. He sang suprisingly well, and we congratulated him, saying that we had no idea that he had such pipes. He asked us again for money to go buy some food, and we took him to a nearby restaurant, bought him some grilled fish, and left him there eating happily as we called his wife to tell her where he was.
His wife later told us that when he talked to her later, that he was really worried that after what happened we wouldn´t come and visit him any more. We told her that we would still visit him and help him with his goal of being alcohol free, being a good father, and getting baptised.
On the other hand, our other investigators are coming along quite swimmingly and we will have 3 baptisms this Saturday, and 1 more the following week.
|ps the pic is of Reinaldo a week ago, when he came to church sober and smiling|