Is there a way to access "disabled" users?

Hi everyone!

I've just recently begun developing with elgg and I'm trying to implement a user invitation system where a user must invite another user in order for that other user to register.

So what I'm doing is, when userA wants to invite a friend, userA submits a form which includes userB's email address. I then create a "pending" user for userB (subtype=pending) and I disable the account. However, I've noticed that once I disable an account I can't retrieve the object with get_user($guid).

Can anyone recommend perhaps a better approach to this, or perhaps a workaround? I also want to potentially be able to list pending users, however I dont want pending users to be able to login until they've become active users.