This week we had a fantastic lesson at a member's home with Tami. We had dinner and then read out of 1 Nephi 8 using the same read-around technique that I learned from Elder Benedict. This was super effective in helping her understand the significance and power of Lehi's dream. She loved hearing everyone's thoughts and testimonies and the Spirit was incredibly extant amidst those present and in my heart. I was wrought upon to be super bold! I asked Tami straight-up: "Do you believe this [the Book of Mormon] is the word of God?" She really does! I also asked, "Do you feel the love of God right now?" She really did! She described feeling torn between her Catholic roots and the Mormon church. Her only hang-up is that she doesn't feel ready to commit 100% to the lifestyle embraced by members of the Church. In fact, she's not sure she's ready to pay tithing, having just finalized a divorce and feeling a little constricted at the wallet. I think she knows what all her spiritual witness of the Book of Mormon entails; she just isn't ready to commit yet.
I conducted my very first exchange as a district leader this week with Elder Wells of Thomas Lake. We spent Thursday in his area, and to be honest, it kind of made me miss being in a bike area! During the summer, at least. We had a really successful day of street contacting and found some really solid potential converts. There was this one super cool guy from Sri Lanka, named Nelson, who was some sort of Apostolic Christian. I think Elder Wells needed that as a pick-me-up, because most often, they struggle to get anyone to listen, and that's tough on a new missionary.
We also were able to go back and visit Brother Chamberlin, our newest investigator, who struggles with severe short-term memory loss. He remembered us! We had another short lesson, gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon (with our names, respective hometowns, and directions to the church inscribed on the inside cover), and invited him to come to church with us. The first time we invited him, he was warm and receptive. The second time, after he had forgotten, he was a little less so. He would rather go to church alone, as opposed to with others--presumably so he can come and go as he pleases. He wasn't at church yesterday.
So they always told me, "There's gonna be that one companion that you're just not going to get along with." I always thought, "Oh, I'm personable enough. I can get along with anyone, no problem." Well, y'all, I may have met my match! Haha, in all seriousness though, Elder Julius and I do struggle to get along from time to time. I think it's just our personalities. We are working through our differences slowly, and there haven't been any major incidents or anything, but there's a good amount of friction from time to time. Other times, we get along just fine and have good laughs and do well in the work.
Wellp, Brandon is heading home from Ghana this week. That's pretty crazy. Now I'll be the only missionary out from the Martin home! Not for long though. Only about 200 yards. (teehee) Christian will be out soon enough!
It's super cool that the trucks are going.
I can't believe Margo is a teenager now! I'm working on a letter 'n' stuff to send her shortly. I'm way late. "Sorrrrrry!" (guy thrown out of window, Emperor's New Groove).
Hahahaha, that story from Mom is so funny. It's weird to think that I actually used to date girls, though. I'm a missionary! That's all I've ever been as far as I'm concerned. The weirdest thing is when you try to recount stories from before the mission and you absent-mindedly refer to yourself in those stories as "Elder". And then you have to correct yourself, but you're not sure if you should because then you're revealing your first name to the world. And then you do anyway because you realize it's not a big deal. As long as your audience promises to continue to address you as "Elder" because it's, well, you know, representative of the gravity and mantle of your calling and all.
I love y'all!