Monday, May 13, 2013
Monday, May 13
It was great to get to talk you all yesterday! So I guess I’ll update some of the things from this week. Monday night we taught another lesson to
and E, and again tonight for lesson 3. They like meeting and all, and
learning, but I’m not sure how committed either of them are. Tuesday we
taught J again, we read Mosiah 17 and the first half of 18 to talk about
Baptism, with a cool story, and I brought pictures of Abinadi in King Noah’s
court and then the one of T
and all baptizing, pictures make things great. So he’s still doing good;
we talked some about him on the phone. Alma
Wednesday we were on exchanges, me and Elder C were in my area, so we tracted a lot and some success. We met one 19ish year old girl that said we could teach, she just moved here with her family from Florida and said they were looking for a church and set up info and return appointment, then later we talked to a girl coming home from school that was interested, then we realized they were sisters, so hopefully we can meet with their family sometime.
We met an Orthodox Jew that let us in and talked for a little over an hour. He had a big beard and yarmulke and all, there’s a lot around here. But he talked a lot, he knew a lot about religion and all, and I think he has very little chance of accepting the gospel, but he’s nice and wouldn't mind meeting again. He’s very well read, and thinks he has all authority to Old Testament meanings considering its the Jewish book, and he reads it in Hebrew, and he’s read plenty of books that try to dispel the Jesus of the New Testament and everything. But he said we felt like brothers to him, and loved the good we do, and agrees SO well with our explanations of repentance and our purpose in life and family values. He’s a really funny guy too, his name is Mosha, English translation is Mike he said, but he lets teenagers call him Moses.
We tracted into an older lady who was busy and really appeared uninterested but she ended up saying we could try again in the evenings. We didn't even see her face, and she really was just nice. But we returned a few days later in the evening, and she wasn't home, but her boyfriend was, and he asked for a Book of Mormon, said he'd read it, and we talked for a bit and we’ll follow up with him sometime soon.
We tracted into a lady A I believe she’s from
. At first we heard
yelling through the door and it sounded like she was telling us to go away, but
eventually she opened the door and asked what it is we have that’s so important
we needed to knock on her door and all. She was very pushy and all, but
as soon as we said Mormon, her countenance changed, she said she had thought
about attending a Mormon church with her friend once, and she gave us her
number and said she was busy, but would be free Tuesday, and apologized for
being all rude, so we’ll see what happens there. She looked almost Hindu
or something and had a veil type hood thing. We talked to her neighbor at
church Sunday though, but apparently she’s Christian and has a cross tattooed on her forehead.
So that was cool. Ethiopia
We tracted into a guy named C, he was older, from
and started out “you guys want me to go to church? where and when is it?"
he was pretty talkative and kind of loud, had an accent, and cursed a ton, but he was funny, and we talked for a
bit, and we’ll hopefully be teaching him soon.
He wants to got to church in Spanish because it’s beautiful but I
doubt he speaks it. Yugoslavia
We were walking down the street later and a Mexican guy in a truck started waving insanely, stopped in the middle of the road, got out with a huge smile and started hugging us, he said he found Jesus 3 days ago, for years he was addicted to pain killers but was freed from that and he was filled with Christ. His name was S and we referred him to Spanish missionaries, his English was weak. But he also kept saying "I have a special daughter" and pulled out his picture of his 11 year old girl that sure enough was special. But that was cool.
We tried to visit one lifelong inactive guy again, I may have mentioned running into the guy with half of a head. But he wasn’t home, but his nonmember wife was, and we talked for quite a bit. She’s a strong Christian, and has had tons and tons of close family and friends who are LDS and she loves the church, knows it well, uses the temple square genealogy thing quite a bit, but we got her hooked on the genealogy resources nearby, and are getting her set up with some ward members, and she’s excited even though she made sure we know she’s not about to join the church. Her husband hasn’t been in the like 45 years they’ve been married so.
That day we met another inactive that started by punching his screen door thing (out here they’re all metal sheets with holes, so we cant see in), and all we could see were his MASSIVE fists resting on the thing, and he said in a deep dark voice "I’ve fallen from grace", and he was acting all angry with himself and sounded distraught. Then I said something “oh no such thing”, then he said "I kicked my dog... and I didn’t have to" and he sounded like he was crying, and really mad, so we talked about that for a minute, then he said "just look at my dog" and opened the door and his dog came out... the dog was fine, and he was smiling, and he just said "sorry, I got married a couple years ago to a nonmember I’ll come back on my own time, I’m fine", and then we talked about where we’re from and whatever, but that was funny. He has the biggest hands I’ve ever seen though… he was like 6'1 and just had a huge head and huge hands. But he looked like a normal good guy.
But then we talked to some of his neighbors for a bit, one was talking about how he had a lot of LDS family and he lived in Salt Lake, and how one time he got lost and wandered to the 3rd and 4th floor of the temple, and how trippy and weird it was. People like to joke about that stuff a lot. People think it’s super political. Like people that are anti-ish and know anything about it never believe that we’ve been in. It’s a really common thing to think you have to earn your way through several different degrees to how far you can go, and only the very top leaders can go to most of it...
But then Friday we had Zone Conference and President gave his departing testimony and all. We had dinner with J; we brought a member with us. She’s pretty unique and crazy, but normal too. She grilled steaks and talked a lot. She’s a great lady, but a little scattered, really talkative, and down to earth though. She wants us over again, and she’s trying really hard to do missionary work on her neighbors. She does a lot of good. She’s done everything, part time inventor it sounds like even. She got a patent on "bed bras" she invented, it’s an easy to put on bed skirt, and they started selling them at Walmart, then Big Lots bought it, now it’s kind of over.
Saturday we met a real old Italian man named A, sitting in his garage with a trash bin separating clumps of grass from all the dirt on the roots, while listening to Fox news or something. He started out talking a lot about politics, and the evils of the Democratic party; he loved to talk. He had a really hard life, really learned the old values of integrity and hard work better than anyone, and loved giving us his words of wisdom, and they were great, and he credits everything to God. Then he talked for a long time about family, when he lost his wife of 52 years 7 months 3 days and 2 hours... He had so many wonderful insights on families, how important they are, different roles, humility, God, service and everything so aligned with our own, but he’s never had a real affiliation with a church, but is Christian. We really focused the conversation on Christ near the end, he TALKED, but we gave him a plan of Salvation pamphlet and he was crying kissing Christ’s picture on the cover by then...We shared nothing that was new to him, but we’ll hopefully be able to go somewhere with him, he’s such a great guy, maybe too talkative and old to make all these steps and all though. He was also paralyzed waist down, and working to satisfy the neighborhood about the conflict of the dead grass, and the city trying to limit water use. But he was also taking care of his handicapped son who lives with him. Oh we sat to help with the grass while we talked; he is such a generous man as well.
But after that we tracted our way down to Brother F's and he fed us, and we talked for a while. He says A (above) is a millionaire but spends none, I’m not sure I believe it. But Brother F is interesting, he just likes to pick fun and challenge people. He told some stories from friends who served missions, and things he’s seen, that he tells in a way like he’s not trying to make fun, but they make the church and missionary efforts seem like a complete joke, and I don’t believe a lot of what he says. He also talked some about the 9 classes of angels, how they only do the dirty work for good, and how Mormons are the originators of them being just heavenly messengers resurrected and all. Luckily I knew something about the nephilum and giants, and that cherubims and seraphims are also in the Book of Mormon, and so he also resorts to using the internet, and getting things a little off topic, so then the angels moved to Greek mythology, and he told how our belief in baptism, and John the Baptist is based off Achilles’ mom not submersing him completely as an infant so his ankle remained, and how that full submersion would make one immortal, and the whole genealogy on those Greek mythologies, and the people that believe those were captured by Romans right before New Testament or whatever, things I don’t know enough about, or really care. But he’s nice, and likes talking to missionaries. He also was making fun of his own baptism, how he did it just for his wife, and he got his jack Mormon friend to do the baptism, and no one else knew how his friend lived as he did... but hopefully an impression was left.
So yeah, that’s been most of my week. Yesterday was good. I missed the story about J but hopefully I’ll cover that next week. Actually I’ll just hit it real quick. She’s an African American lady about 60, she’s from
and she spent a long time doing a lot with Salvation Army. She used to
live in a room that the C family rented out to her, so they invited her
to church, she’s been twice now and is very studious and taking it
seriously. She learned a ton in the lesson we taught her in the C home Thursday night and it went really well. She’s got a great
understanding, believes the Joseph Smith story, and all. So we went into
the lesson thinking she was just a lady no deeper than I love Jesus and
all, but turns out she’s a fantastic woman. So we weren't planning on it
but at the end I committed her to baptism, she gladly accepted, and then I
asked if May 25 worked, and at first she panicked, said that’s really fast, and
it seemed bad, but then she calmed down, realized she had panicked for nothing,
told us that, then said she knows that if baptism is the right thing, God will
help her get there, and there’s no point in waiting for those blessings.
So she’s excited and working hard. Yesterday after church I asked if she
learned anything, and she said she heard a quote she really liked "live so
people who don’t know Christ, will want to by meeting you" which I could
tell really touched her, despite all of the other small details of things about
the church that was probably brand new, that one quote really touched her the
most, she knows what matters, the things most important to repentance, Christ,
and ultimately Salvation. San Francisco
Oh and dad you mentioned the piano comparison the other day I believe, but I actually had already shared that comparison with them, that’s a great talk.
But yeah, thanks for your letters and everything. Sister S said that I sound just like my dad; I had never heard that before. Happy Mother’s Day and birthdays I missed.