Wednesday, September 18, 2013

[9/9/2013] Week 26: Six Months!

You know what's awesome? Old people. It dawned on me this week during a discussion with Brother Robinson that he is a valuable resource. Here's a guy whos' spent eighty-three years on this earth. That's a lot of life and experience under his belt. While I've only got nineteen, I can draw on his life story to sort of get the gist of what I can expect in the coming years. He's done it already! What's ahead doesn't have to be a daunting, dark abyss for me; I've got people who have already lived it all! It's like a secret weapon; a cheat code to knowing what's in store!

On Tuesday, we went out and set up three different teaching appointments for Wednesday. On Wednesday, every one of them fell through. That's the life of a missionary! Know why I'm not upset about it? Because instead of moping, we hit it hard and contacted other people on the streets and in the area book and found some pretty solid potential investigators.

I don't know if y'all know this, but contacting people is sometimes really discouraging. People tell you how wrong you are and how they've already been saved and how faith isn't a feeling, it's fact and blah, blah, blah. Sometimes it's really hard to keep going. You feel like no one will listen, no one will change, no one will accept you. But you know what? You don't have to do it alone. That's one thing I've really been learning over the past month or so. You can ask Heavenly Father to give you courage and strength and confidence and, above all, faith. He'll give 'em to you. And when you use 'em, he blesses you even more. With people to teach!

So on Friday, we taught Josh and Justin Copenhaver again. They're the 8-year-old twins who struggle with learning and retaining information. The lesson started off really, really rocky. It was really hard to keep them attentive and engaged. I seriously stopped in the middle of the lesson and didn't say anything for several seconds so I could listen to the Spirit. At that moment, I noticed a spiral notebook in the center of the table around which we were gathered. I whipped out my pen, and began to explain the Godhead and prayer by drawing it all out in caricatures on an empty sheet of paper. Immediately, their eyes brightened and they were reciting all the fundamentals of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost right back at us. It was awesome!

Also, we learned on Tuesday that Tami, our most solid investigator, has decided to rejoin the Catholic faith. It was kind of a heart-breaker, but I know she felt the Spirit and she knows the Book of Mormon is true. My hope is that she'll come back around one day. Maybe even one day this transfer... ;)

I noticed on Saturday that it has been a year since I started work at G&A with President Allen. Man, time is a crazy thing.

On Saturday, I conducted exchanges with Thomas Lake and spend the day in my area with Elder Black, who just got here a few weeks ago. That kid is a goof. He writes super hilarious songs about missionary life and sets them to well-known tunes. One of them was titled "I Can't Wait to be AP" set to the familiar Lion King tune, "I Can't Wait to Be King". On Saturday afternoon, we rushed around trying to invite as many people as possible to Cottage Meeting on Sunday night. We went to invite Brother Lothyan, a less-active member, but he wasn't home. A few doors down from Brother Lothyan, we spotted a guy shooting hoops out front of his house. Keep in mind, this is a super wealthy neighborhood. More times than not, wealthy people don't like to talk to you. So it took a little bit of faith-mustering to go over and talk to him when I felt like we had better things to do. But I did anyway, and it was worth it! We introduced ourselves to John, who is 32, has a serious heart condition, grew up in poor and destitute circumstances, makes great money now, barely finished high school and never finished college, but does mortgaging for Wells Fargo, and lost both his parents by the age of 21, but has a great family of his own now. He is really blessed in a lot of ways. He's really grateful for his material possessions, but he knows only his family will make him truly happy. He had had an especially rough week,  and he noted it was no coincidence we decided to come and talk to him. He confessed Christ when he was 13 and has since been an avid disciple. We taught him about how our missionary service works and he admired our early-founded faith. We testified of principles taught in 1 Nephi 3:7, Alma 32, and Mosiah 4, left him with a Book of Mormon and a commission to read and pray, and he said we could come back next Saturday! Just goes to show that you cannot predict and you should not judge. We are all children of God!

This weekend was Stake Conference. On Sunday morning we enjoyed a broadcast from Salt Lake to the states of Washington and Alaska. Included in the speakers were Elders Hales and Perry. The latter's brother lives in our stake somewhere.

Yesterday, after church, Elder O'Rullian and I had the privilege to perform baby blessings for a less-active family we're teaching. That was awesome. It was truly a tender experience to hold the body of one newly departed from the gates of heaven, to present her before her Father in Heaven, and to exercise the Melchizedek priesthood in naming and blessing her.

Last night, we attended Cottage Meeting and helped to set up and take down chairs and whatnot. As such, we arrived home pretty late last night. Everyone else in our complex had already gotten home for the evening and there was not a single place to park, with the exception of three-quarters of a spot next to an overreaching SUV and a nook next to a dumpster in the very back which wasn't technically [or legally] a parking spot. We counseled together and decided on the latter option, for fear of fresh scrapes and dings after the owner of the SUV left for work in the morning. We decided we'd get up and out the door right at 6:30 to move the car to a more suitable, more legal spot. Well, we did just that, and as we descended the stairs to the parking lot this morning, we were faced with a tow truck just pulling into the complex. Someone had called us in. The big green shark slowly made its way over each speed bump and proceeded in the direction of the dumpster next to which we parked. I freaked. Elder O'Rullian freaked. We were going to lose our car and President was going to kill us. I started to jog back towards the car to see if I could meet the tow guy there and talk him out of taking what wasn't even ours. My alarm grew and grew simultaneously with the pace at which I ran. I busted into a full-out sprint, surpassed the lurking tow truck, hopped in the car, started it, whipped out of the nook, and drove slowly past the tow truck, waving sheepishly at the tow guy. He waved back, looking slightly perturbed. Whew. We were safe. As we rounded the parking lot looking for another spot, we found the tow truck parked next to another car with its hood up and connected to it by a couple of jumper cables. It was a false alarm. We freaked out for nothing! Great way to start a p-day.

I love y'all!

Elder Martin

No comments:

Post a Comment